FA L L 2 0 1 3
CHEESE ISSUE our cheesiest issue yet
letter from the editor EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chelsea Goldinger EDITORS Katie Behrman, Marisa Denker, Byrne Fahey, Jenny Lu, Sabrina Mills, Laura Petro, Rosalind Reynolds, Shaye Roseman, Roopa Shankar CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ellen Amaral LAYOUT EDITOR Shakeil Greeley JUNIOR LAYOUT EDITORS Emily Belshaw, Sydney Hard, Suzette Wanninkhof, Victor Yoon PHOTO EDITOR & WEBMASTER Divya Prabhakar PHOTO STAFF Andrew Braunstein, Maegan Cadet, Yolanda Chen, Elena Crouch, Iana Feliciano, Nicole Jizhar, Jenny Lu, Raquel Macgregor, Danielle Pi, Nikhil Rajapuram, Maura Reilly-Ulmanek CULINARY DIRECTOR Kimberly Schreiber TREASURER Kunal Kochar BUSINESS MANAGER Samantha Meskin ASSISTANT BUSINESS MANAGER Elizabeth Greener BUSINESS STAFF Ashlee Burris, Tiffany Chan, Emily Chen, Mandy Chow, Hilary Dubin, Alexandra Gurley, Ingrid Hung, Allison Millner, Yunhee Park, Jocelyn Shih, Monsicha Tadadej, Grace Wu PUBLICITY MANAGERS Rachel Marcus, Samantha Sharon EVENTS CHAIRS Lisa Marsova, Monica Purmalek BLOG EDITORS Katie Behrman, Nicole Woon OUTREACH CHAIR Julia Brownstein
Personally, I consider myself a true cheese aficionado-I’m yet to meet a cheese too tangy, too tart, or frankly too smelly for my tastebuds. But I’m more than just a casual cheese lover. I’m the kind of gouda-loving girl who’s willing to try any cheese once (just ask my parents, whose palates are regular benefactors to cheeses that bare names as strange as Prince De Claverolle and Misty Lovely). With this freshly grated issue, I hope to expose the delicious, gooey center of the bries (and other cheeses) that I’ve come to love. And with an ingredient as universal as cheese, there is a lot to be exposed. Find out how to craft an entire day’s meals around cheese (p. 24). Or, if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a cheesemonger and what the heck a cheese cave is, check out our interview with Di Bruno Brothers’ Emilio Mignucci (p. 28). For a global perspective on all things cheese, flip to page 33 and explore our internationally-inspired cheese boards. All of this, plus a guide on how to make your own mozzarella (p. 30) and the truth behind cheese and wine pairings, revealed (p. 32). If I haven’t sold you on cheese quite yet, I’m sure one writer’s cheeseinspired romance will (p. 31). For those a bit less enthused by an aged provolone, we’ve got something for you, too. Pumpkin-lovers can rejoice and find out the unique history behind this popular fall ingredient (p. 13). Get your daily dose of food science with an introduction to molecular gastronomy (p. 10) and the science behind caramelization (p. 12). Or read on to find out a Brit’s take on American beer (p. 36). Whatever it is that your stomach’s grumbling for, we’ve got you covered. Penn Appétit is back, and it’s our cheesiest issue yet. So stay sharp (like cheddar) and remember, sweet dreams are made of cheese. Ok, I promise I’m done with the puns.
Grate on, Chelsea Ann Goldinger
SOCIAL MEDIA CHAIR Iana Feliciano COOKING CLUB CHAIRS Vera Kirillov, Kunal Kochar
Penn Appétit is the University of Pennysylvania’s innovative, student-run magazine covering all things food. We publish one print issue each semester and have a blog that’s updated daily. To inquire about advertising, collaborating or getting involved, e-mail us at email@example.com. We are always looking for new contributors in writing, photo, layout, and business. Cover Photo by Divya Prabhakar.
P H OTO B Y E E S H A S A R D E S A I fall 2013
in the city 17 PHILADELPHIA MOBILE FOOD ASSOCIATION: New efforts to promote and help food trucks
CHEU ON THIS: One word, “Wasian”: White Asian food
20 A MEAL FIT FOR YOU: Get interactive with your food 22
KEEPING UP WITH THE KEBABS: Philly’s best kebabs
feature 23 CHEESE 24 A WHOLE DAY OF CHEESE: Cheese-centric recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A CHEESEMONGER? Interview with Di Bruno Brothers’ cheesemonger Emilio Mignucci
MOZARELLA DIY: Learn how to make mozzarella at home
31 CHEESE O’CLOCK: The romantic side of
DECANTING THE TRUTH: Cheese and wine pairings, revealed
33 INTERNATIONAL CHEESE PLATES: Cheese plates from around the globe
out of town elements
36 IN DEFENSE OF WARM BEER: A Brit’s take on American beer
7 A BETTER MEAL PLAN: Challah five ways, learn how to
use one loaf of challah to create five different recipes
MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY 101: Learn the basics behind this growing food trend
40 EDIBLE ART: Recipes inspired by famous paintings
THE GREAT PUMPKIN: Check out the history of this popular ingredient
12 THE SCIENCE OF SWEETS: Discover the science behind sugar’s transformation into caramel
RETHINKING POPCORN: Spice of your basic popcorn with these innovative recipes
14 LEAFY GREEN LOWDOWN: There’s more to leafy greens than the basics 16 WHICH FOOD TV SHOW SHOULD YOU BE WATCHING?: Find out here
UNFAMILIAR FRUITS: The exotic fruits of Southeast
A WORLD OF WAFFLES: Different takes on the waffle around the world
SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN PARIS: A foodie’s humble take on a French picnic
THE PERILS OF GOING ORGANIC: Taking organic to the next level
LOVE AT FIRST BITE: Baby’s first bite of cake
46 HOME-BREWED MEMORIES: Making beer from scratch 47
COOK’S CLIPPINGS: Are cookbooks still relevant?
60 S 38TH ST. // PHILADELPHIA, PA // 19104
Free delivery Student discount Lunch & dinner buffet Catering ~INDIAN CUSINE AT ITS FINEST.~ 215-662-0818 6
BY K I M BERLY SCHREI BER // PHOTO S BY A N D REW B R AUNS TEIN
Challah French Toast: The Original Gangster Serves 2 * 4 slices challah, about 3/4-inch thick * 2 eggs * 1/4 cup whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream
In a 8x8 baking dish, add eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat with a fork until combined. Add half the challah and let soak while you heat up the pan. Heat one tablespoon butter over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Meanwhile, flip your challah to soak the other side. When the butter is melted and frothy, add two slices of challah to your pan. It should not sound like a sear, but make a slight crackling noise. Adjust the heat accordingly. While this batch fall 2013
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract * 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon * 1 tablespoon butter * maple syrup, for serving
is cooking, add two more slices to the egg mixture to soak. Cook challah until bottom is golden, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Turn last batch of soaking challah to coat all sides in egg mixture, swirling dish to coat the bread. Remove first batch to plate and repeat cooking method with final two slices of challah. Top generously with maple syrup and dust with additional cinnamon, if desired. penn appĂŠtit
Serves 2 * olive oil * 3 cups challah, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes * 2 cloves garlic, minced * 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped * 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced * 3 tablespoons cider vinegar * 1/2 cup medjool dates pitted and quartered * 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced * 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped and toasted * juice from 1/2 a lemon * salt and pepper, to taste * ricotta, for serving
Serves 2 * olive oil * 1 large jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped * 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped * 2 cloves garlic, sliced * 1 teaspoon ground cumin * 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander * 2 teaspoons smoked paprika * 20 oz canned crushed tomatoes * salt and pepper, to taste * 3 eggs * 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled * fresh parsley, finely chopped * 2 thick slices challah, for serving
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss red onion and dates together with vinegar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let sit for twenty minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavybottomed pan over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant and soft, about 1 minute. Add the challah cubes and toss to coat with oil. Transfer mixture to a baking sheet. Toss with red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden but still soft on the outside, about 13 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Next, prepare the squash. Spread cubes out on a single layer on a baking sheet. Toss with a scant tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. In a large serving bowl, mix together croutons, dates, onions, squash, and hazelnuts. Drizzle with lemon juice and additional olive oil. Toss together and taste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide between two plates and serve with a dollop of ricotta.
Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large, heavybottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add jalapeño and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and paprika, and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is soft and mixture is fragrant, about two minutes. Pour in can of tomatoes and reduce heat until mixture is simmering. Let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Crack eggs into the mixture and cover pan. Cook until whites are set, but yolks are still runny, 3-5 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your eggs. Baste egg whites with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with feta and parsley. Serve over slices of challah. 8
Serves 2 * 3 cups challah, cut into 1-inch cubes * 1 mild Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces * 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped * 2 stalks celery, chopped * 2 cups mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped * 3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and finely minced * 2 tablespoons fresh parsley * 1 cup chicken stock * 3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus additional tablespoon, softened * salt and pepper, to taste
Serves 2 * olive oil * 3 shallots, thinly sliced * 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced * 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves * 1/2 lb orecchiette or other pasta shape, cooked * 3/4 cup buttermilk * 1/3 cup heavy cream * 4 tablespoons butter, divided * 3 tablespoons flour * 3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese, plus additional for baking * 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for baking * salt and pepper * 3/4 cup challah, cut into 1-inch cubes * additional cheese, for garnish
Grease a small oven-proof dish with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a generous glug of olive oil over mediumhigh heat in a heavy-bottomed sautĂŠ pan. Add the sausage, and cook until fat has rendered and the meat is cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve the oils. Add the onions to the pan, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, and thyme. Cook until slightly cooked through, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat down if the mushrooms start to brown too quickly. Return sausage to the pan and cook for another minute. Take mixture off the heat. In a large bowl, combine challah cubes, sausage mixture, melted butter, and stock. Stir in parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir well. Press stuffing into greased pan. Dab surface with final tablespoon of butter. Cover with foil and bake stuffing for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until surface is slightly crisp. Serve warm. (If there are leftovers, serve topped with a runny egg for breakfast.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 15-18 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove mixture to a large bowl and wipe the pan clean. Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking continuously, until a roux forms. Cook for another minute. Add the buttermilk and cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and add the cheese. Mix continuously until cheese is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. It should be velvety and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. In another small skillet, melt remaining tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until crispy. Add to shallot mixture. Mix pasta into cheese sauce and stir to combine. Add shallots and sage, mixing thoroughly. Pour pasta into a small casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and additional cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a golden crust forms. fall 2013
101 a no r my
l u c e l o o m r t s a g
BY A RIEL L E SO RK I N P H OTO S B Y YOLA NDA CH E N
FOR THOSE OF YOU LOOKING TO experiment in the kitchen, it’s time to trade in your aprons and chef ’s hats for lab coats and safety goggles. The most well known but misunderstood trend to hit the foodie world is molecular gastronomy, a modernist culinary approach that relies on chemistry and food science to manipulate ingredients in new and exciting ways. Innovators in the field develop techniques to excite the palate with unexpected textures and mediums. For example, a method known as “spherification” produces edible liquidfilled capsules that range in size and function. The process begins by blending sodium alginate, a flavorless gum compound extracted from algae, into a desired juice flavor. The chef then adds drops of the solution to a calcium chloride water bath in which the calcium and alginate react to create a membrane around the juice droplets. One may choose to use a syringe to form tiny “caviar” balls or a spoon to make larger spheres. Michelin-rated restaurant El Bulli uses this technique for whimsical takes on caviar plates, including olive oil caviar topped crackers and prosciutto with cantaloupe caviar. Larger spheres can also offer a creative way to present cocktails in jellified form or to update classic desserts like pudding and crème brûlée. Another basic foundation of molecular gastronomy is “gelification,” a method that employs thickening agents to stabilize liquids into solid or viscous states. Stabilizers range from common grocery store items, such as gelatin and pectin, to lesser-known substances like agar and carrageenan. A chef selects which product to use depending on the chemical properties, desired consistency, and temperature of the dish. For instance, molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne’s recipe for instant Parmesan pea noodles relies on methyl cellulose,
also known as vegetable gum, because the compound gels when heated and melts when cooled. Dufresne prepares the meal in front of diners’ eyes by passing a liquid mixture of parmesan, peas, cellulose, and water through a syringe into a saffron broth. As the liquid stream hits the hot soup, the pea mixture instantaneously solidifies into noodles. However, due to temperature differences, the pasta melts when it enters diners’ mouths, creating a memorable eating experience. In addition to making noodles, gelification can also thicken sauces, produce unconventional jellies, and shape liquids into sheets and balls. The versatility of the technique enables chefs to manipulate traditional cuisine’s form and consistency. Aside from their contribution to gelification, thickening agents also play a crucial role in creating edible foams. The technique of “foaming” involves aerating a liquid that has been treated with stabilizing compounds. As a chef incorporates air into the liquid, these stabilizing ingredients bind molecules in patterns that capture pockets of air and allow the structure to maintain its form without deflating. In general, foams vary in their moisture content, air bubble size, and density depending on the ingredients and machinery employed. For instance, a kitchen tool called the whipping siphon creates thick, dense foams out of gels and fatty liquids. On the other hand, a specialized “aquarium pump” machine produces large airy bubbles from juices combined with xantham gum and soy protein. Chef Ferran Adria from El Bulli combines foaming technique with other modernist methods in her potato gnocchi made out of potato foam that he encapsulates using the spherification technique. Spherification, gelification, and foaming offer only a glimpse into the wide array of techniques in molecular gastronomy. With syringes and silicone molds in hand, pioneering chefs are combining science, creativity, and imagination to astound the world with their edible masterpieces. pennappetit.com
B Y L AU RI B O NAC O R S I PH OTO S B Y M AU R A R E ILLY- U LM A N E K
Each year, like Linus in Charlie Brown, America waits with great anticipation for the arrival of the “Great Pumpkin.” What is it about a pumpkin spice latte or freshly baked pumpkin scone that elicits such cozy feelings during ensuing cold weather? Is it simply the deliciously unique taste and smell, or is there a broader meaning associated with the food? Today, pumpkins are no longer merely the simple sustenance they once were. They represent a sense of community, brighten our moods, and evoke nostalgia for simpler days. The humble pumpkin provides a real and existential retreat from our increasingly hectic lives. 16th-century Europeans in America appropriated the pumpkin as a food source thanks to its widespread cultivation by Native Americans and the realization that certain European crops did not thrive on American soil. The pumpkin, appreciated not so much for its natural taste but rather its low cost and storage longevity, served as fall 2013
basic nourishment for colonial families. Native Americans and settlers roasted or baked pumpkin strips, and they dried the seeds and the pumpkins themselves for grounding into flour. Interestingly, the settlers also used the pumpkin as a shell for other foods, removing the seeds and cooking a type of custard inside. The pumpkin thrived in the colder climates of the northeast, and its association with cold-weather fare later evolved into an icon of the season. Serving a primary purpose as food for the farmer’s family rather than as a cash crop to be sold at the market, the pumpkin became tied to family values. As people migrated to cities during industrialization, the pumpkin evolved as a symbol of the simple yet bountiful agricultural lifestyle left behind and induced a sort of nostalgia. Over time, pumpkins became a symbol of commercialized fall and Halloween, generating profits for farmers as thousands trekked to farms and stores to meticulously choose the
perfect perky pumpkins for carving, decorating, and baking. These outings and activities created new family memories, adding to the pumpkin’s importance during fall and winter holidays. Further, The Wall Street Journal reports the world’s largest canned pumpkin company, Libby’s, sells 80 percent of its pumpkin during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, the times of gatherings, traditions, and reminiscences of days past. So, pumpkin permeates our populace each fall, no longer as a form of sustenance, but as a representation of it. There is something comforting in its bounty, especially in these tough economic times, and perhaps that is why new pumpkin offerings emerge each year. While purveyors of pumpkin capitalize on the evolved meaning of this commodity, we can take physical and emotional nourishment in partaking in its proud heritage, and retreat for a while to a less complicated time. penn appétit
the science of
SWEETS BY TO N Y M EI
PHOTO BY D I VYA PRA BHA K A R
At first glance, sugar is simple. It’s a building block—a fundamental taste that we have learned to identify and love. From casual cooks to professional chefs, sugar is a constant companion. If you examine the structure of a sugar grain, there isn’t much of interest: several hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen molecules linked together in two simple rings—a humble structure for a humble flavor. In cooking with sugar, things get interesting when you add heat: A chemical change occurs. The most innovative cooks and pastry chefs are the chemists of the kitchen, with a scientific sense of what’s going to happen and why. Put half a cup of sugar and a splash of water on a hot (higher than 355°F) stovetop, and instigate a complex chemical reaction—no apron or Bunsen burner required. The process of caramelization is slow to start, but it cascades quickly into a series of chemical reactions. 12
It begins with the addition of heat to sugar molecules, which include fructose, glucose, and sucrose. This frees water molecules that were bound within the sugar, leading to the creation of caramel’s liquid state (for you chemistry nerds, this is a tastier version of a red-ox reaction). Macroscopically, you can see white grains of sugar transforming into chestnut liquid. What’s on the stovetop is no longer sugar, but rather a combination of new molecules that together constitute caramel. Caramel’s buttery smell comes from diacetyl, while maltol lends a characteristic savory and dark flavor, like slightly burnt toast. Individual atoms reform into large molecular clumps—a process known as oligomerization— leading to caramel’s coloration and syrupy texture. No matter the form it is consumed in, the unique chemical reactions that create caramel ensure that it remains a delicious, ageless treat. pennappetit.com
B Y B Y R N E FA H E Y P H OTO B Y M A E G A N C A D E T
Admit it. You like that movie theater popcorn butter. The kind they let you pump on the popcorn yourself, as if it were ketchup for fries. It’s been dyed yellow and flavored with all sorts of chemicals. The scent pervades every corner of the movie theater, flooding your nostrils until finally, you give in and give your bag a solid pump. Luckily, there is hope for change. Whether at home or at the theater, you don’t have to stoop to such shameful levels of popcorn adornment. Try these toppings on for size and say farewell to your affair with that mysterious golden liquid.
Toss your popcorn in a light coating of extra virgin olive oil. Grate fresh parmesan over the bowl and let it melt. Generously sprinkle on dried basil, garlic powder, cracked black pepper, and salt. Finish it off with a handful of chopped, toasted pine nuts.
Chop several tablespoons of fresh thyme and toss with popcorn. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of maple sugar (or, if you can’t find it, drizzle on some fresh maple syrup). Top with a few generous pinches of salt.
Toss your popcorn in a typical steak seasoning blend of ground coriander, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, dried dill, salt, pepper, and a touch of paprika.
Make your own ranch seasoning with dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of powdered buttermilk. Toss your popcorn in the mix.
WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT
While the popcorn is popping, crush several red and white striped peppermints in a sturdy plastic bag with your choice of mallet. Tear open a bag of white chocolate chips and scatter several handfuls over your hot popcorn. Sprinkle peppermint dust on top, and mix your bowl thoroughly. If the white chocolate isn’t melted enough for your liking, microwave the popcorn for a few more seconds.
Prepare your pumpkin spice blend: equal parts cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. While the popcorn is still piping hot, adorn your bowl with butterscotch chips. Let them get nice and soft. Shake on your pumpkin spice blend and finish it off with several tablespoons of dark brown sugar. Give your snack a solid stir and enjoy fall flavors on a new medium.
GREEN SPECTRUM BY JEN NY LU PHOTO S BY RAQUEL M ACGR EGOR
Long stems with large and flat leaves, very dark green in color.
Collard greens are low in calories, full of vitamins K, A, and C, and contain lots of fiber. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Stew it the traditional way: Southern-style. Throw chopped collard greens, a piece of ham (bone-in), garlic, onion, and chicken broth into a pot with water and in a few hours, produce a hearty and healthy dish. The large leaves can also be used as wraps.
Medium-sized leaves that are slightly ruffled and wrinkled, attached to a stem that can be white, red, or yellow (depending on the variety).
A huge source of vitamin K with significant quantities of vitamins A and C as well as magnesium. Chard also has lots of phytonutrients, which are chemicals naturally produced by plants that are linked to antioxidant benefits.
For an Asian-style slaw, pair shredded chard with purple cabbage and shredded carrot doused in a miso-sesame vinaigrette. Chard is also great braised, sautéed, or stewed with tomato and lentils for a hearty meal.
Tightly ruffled leaves with a structure that closely resembles kale, but it is generally brighter green in color.
Mustard greens have plenty of vitamin A and K, along with a significant amount of manganese, folate, and calcium.
Mustard greens have a spicy and peppery kick, reminiscent of arugula. Mustard greens are great braised or sauteed. They also find a home in a traditional Northern Indian dish: sarson ka saag. The greens are pureed and then cooked with garlic, jalapenos, and onions.
Save the leaves when chopping the tops off of beets. Beet greens have smaller leaves and dark pink stems.
Beet greens are packed with tons of vitamin A and K, as well as plenty of minerals.
Treat beet greens like you would spinach or chard—sauteé them for a quick, healthy side, or combine the greens with roasted beets, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese for a salad that makes use of every part of the vegetable.
Tough, thick stems with small, tightly ruffled leaves.
Chock full of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as fiber, magnesium, calcium, folate, and potassium, kale is often termed a “nutritional powerhouse.”
Kale makes a great salad base. Toss kale with olive oil and massage to soften leaves. Top with sesame and pomegranate seeds. Make your own kale chips by tossing kale in olive oil, topping with desired seasonings, and baking for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Eat out. Cooking is for plebeians. Where do you go?
Help someone cook. Mmmm I get to lick the spoon. Who do you help?
My significant My mom. other. Cooking Nothing like a is so intimate. home-cooked How does it go? meal made with mom's love. How does it go?
Great! We cook a quick meal and have fun doing it.
RACHAEL RAY'S 30 MINUTE MEALS
Horribly. I stabbed my dad with a skewer. It’s every chef for himself.
Horribly. Two hot heads in the kitchen never works out well. Plus sharp knives. EEK.
My dad. Meat and beer for days. How does it go?
Lovely. We make a wholesome meal complete with delicious meatballs and an orzo salad.
Amazing. We grill out and bro out. Like dudes. What do you make?
We keep it simple. Your basic steaks and some sauteed veggies.
A sit down restaurant. Bring on the dining experience. What do you order?
Terribly. I may or may not have told her her beef bourguignon was tough. I’m all about honest criticism.
We go nuts. I'm talking sauce on sauce on sauce.
BOBBY FLAY'S BARBECUE ADDICTION
A bakery. Give me icing NOW. What do you get?
Cupcakes, duh. Tiny little treats are trendy and cute.
The most intriguing item the bakery has to offer.
The special. Always trust the chef's instincts.
A 5 pound sandwich and an entire bottle of sriracha. Bring it on.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATION
MAN VS. FOOD
Something deep-fried with a local flair.
DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DIVES
Sweetbread tacos with bone marrow toasts.
BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN
BY DA N I EL K WA K I L LUSTRATI O N BY EL L EN A M AR AL pennappetit.com
P.M.F.A. Philadelphia Mobile Food Association B Y J E NN Y LU ILLU S TRATI O N BY EL L EN A M A RA L
Josh Kim, the energetic and friendly burger-flipping owner of the SpotBurgers food truck, has a vision. He says he’d love to see food trucks working with nonprofits and other charitable organizations. He sees an assortment of trucks in one place, selling food and donating a portion of the profits to help raise money for a local cause. “It’s amazing what a few like-minded can do,” Kim says. Soon enough, Kim’s vision may be a possibility or even the norm, thanks to the help of a promising new organization: the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association (PMFA). Established in the spring of 2012, the PMFA aims to educate its members on topics and issues that are relevant to mobile food vending and unite them to produce a strong mobile food community. With over 100 members as of this year, the PMFA is shaping up to be a vital part of the mobile food life and culture in the city. One of the most important roles of the PMFA is advocating for food trucks, so the organization also conducts government lobbying. The majority of the PMFA’s lobbying efforts concern altering zoning and vending restrictions set by the city of Philadelphia that some members of the association believed are outdated. “It’s a different world now,” explains George Bieber, current president of the PMFA and the owner of The Sunflower Truck Stop. In Philadelphia, there are few clear laws or regulations for zoning for modern food trucks. Bieber explains that the PMFA fall 2013
seeks to clarify these laws so that it will be easier for current as well as new mobile food entrepreneurs. “We have a critical role to play in educating new and potential mobile food vendors,” Lori Brennan, the director of marketing and communications for the University City District and a PMFA board member, says. To new food truck hopefuls, Brennan adds, the PMFA offers resources and tools to achieving success. Being a PMFA member also means being a part of a special community of like-minded people. Bieber says members will swap tips on places to buy produce and which mechanics to visit for a truck fix. Kim, the PMFA’s vice president, appreciates that the PMFA acts as a middleman to coordinate food trucks for events ranging from festivals to block parties. For Kim, like other PMFA members, the association is essential to giving food trucks more opportunities as well as flexibility and diversity of events to participate in. Going forward, expansion is a consideration for the PMFA-first at the regional level, by venturing into townships around Philadelphia to transcend the confines of the urban landscape. For now, Brennan explains that the PMFA’s chief priority is “promoting a successful mobile food community in Philadelphia.” With the PMFA leading the way, the Philadelphia mobile food scene holds exciting and new possibilities to look forward to. penn appétit
Cheu on This
IL LU ST RAT I O N B Y E LLE N A M A R A L
BY K ATI E BEHRM A N // PHOTO S BY JENNY LU
CHeU Noodle Bar (255 S. 10th St) has a mission statement. After a stream of criticism appeared on Yelp decrying the quirky restaurant’s unauthentic Asian cuisine, co-owners Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh had had enough. Matzo balls, cheeseburgers, and dates aren’t your typical Asian offerings. “We don’t look like a traditional place,” explained Puchowitz, “We don’t say anywhere that we’re an Asian restaurant…We’re Wasian—White Asian.” “What do we, two dudes from Philly, know about ‘authentic’ Asian cuisine?” CHeU’s mission statement reads, “Nothing. Lucky for us, that’s not what CHeU is all about… Our food is often informed by tradition, but it’s never defined by it. All that we require of you is a willing mind and a willing stomach.”
Indeed, it took two willing minds to create CHeU in the first place. About five years ago, Darragh, who was trained in restaurant marketing, decided that he and Puchowitz, who had been working in restaurants since the two became best friends in high school, should partner up. “I thought he was joking for the first four years,” Puchowitz laughed. “He would call me up on a Sunday morning and be like, ‘I just got the best idea! Let’s open up a bowling alley in Philly with beer. [But] then two weeks later, North Bowl opened up.” After four years of missed opportunities, Puchowitz—working at Matyson at the time– finally agreed to open a pop-up restaurant with Darragh. He set to work, drawing inspiration from his favorite foods, like brisket and pork belly, and marrying them with Asian flavors to create an innovative menu much like CHeU’s current offerings. Darragh advertised the pop-up to their family and friends, and the two prepared for a low-key evening on opening night. Much to their surprise, 300 eager customers arrived, drawn by their playful menu. “We ended up running out of food,” shuddered Puchowitz, “It was extremely stressful, and I thought I never wanted to do it again.” But after receiving some positive press and hosting three more successful pop-ups between January and April of 2012, they were convinced it was time to open up a permanent establishment. Short on cash, the duo was forced to go “through all the ups and downs themselves.” Rather than hiring a designer, the co-owners asked Puchowitz’s brother, a local artist, to help out with
And, obviously you have to connect with the cook at some point. When you’re friends and business partners, you can’t really not talk for a couple days.” - Ben Puchowitz, co-owner of CHeU
décor. The space’s small size also presented issues; compared to Matyson’s spacious kitchen, CHeU’s kitchen felt crammed and disorganized. “This was the first restaurant that he and I did together, and it was just a long process to get open.” Darragh remembered, “At the beginning we had a lot of days where we didn’t talk to each other, just cause of petty little things, you know. We had our separate areas—I had front of house and business stuff, and he’s the cook. And, obviously you have to connect with the cook at some point. When you’re friends and business partners, you can’t really not talk for a couple days.” This time, Puchowitz agreed, “It doesn’t really work out for the business…you can have your couple of hours of being pissy at each other, and then you kind of have to move on.” In spite of their shaky start, CHeU has met great success. “There are a lot of people in here,” described Puchowitz, “people waiting at the doors, people waiting outside, people waiting at the drink shelf having a drink. It’s very easy to fill this place up and make it fun.” As Darragh happily noted, “Every day we make an improvement and change something for the better.” And, perhaps the greatest success of all, people finally seem to “get it.” They get that CHeU’s not taking a stab at authentic Asian cuisine. The best friends really just “want it to be good food,” and they have done just that.
A MEAL FIT FOR YOU B Y RO O PA S H A NK A R // PHOTO S BY DA N I EL L E PI
The interactive dining experience is a new and innovative practice, and it has expanded into a variety of diverse offerings. Make your own hot-pressed panini sandwich? Make your own fruity cocktail? It seems like the skyâ€™s the limit. Not only does this kind of menu allow hungry consumers to play with ingredients and experiment with new combinations of flavors, but it also makes the restaurant experience more individualized and rewarding.
CRAVING A BUILD-YOUR-OWN EXPERIENCE IN PHILADELPHIA? HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS MESSY:
[MEDITERRANEAN] AGNO GRILL: 2104 Chestnut St. This Mediterranean gem opened its doors to all health nuts in May 2013. The menu is solely build-your-own style, with a simple four-step process: the base (black rice, wrap, spinach salad), protein (falafel, grilled veggies, chicken, steak, tuna), three toppings, and sauces. Black rice with grilled chicken, pickled beets, roasted carrots, braised radicchio, and tomato cumin sauce? It’s like you get to indulge in a colorful art project—and this time it’s edible. [AMERICAN] RED OWL TAVERN: 433 Chestnut St. You’ll be glad to know that the build-your-own phenomenon isn’t restricted to lunch and dinner. Red Owl Tavern has a build-your-own oatmeal option for brunch (choose three from a selection including apple compote, soy milk, flax seeds, blueberries, and more) and a build-your-own bottomless Bellini option, where you can choose from an assortment of fresh fruit purees. [ASIAN] HONEYGROW: 1105 S. 16th St. We’re glad we can also be the architects of our food in the Asian realm. With Honeygrow, a create-your-own stir-fry bar is computerized to create a casual but chic dining experience. Choose from freshly made egg white noodles, egg noodles, rice noodles, or rice, then add toppings, and finally top it off with a house-made sauce, like sesame garlic, spicy garlic, and smoked oyster. The icing on the cake is the adorable takeout box that your order comes in. [AMERICAN] WEDGE + FIG: 160 N. 3rd St. This quaint cheese bistro in Old City boasts a grilled cheese bar that will satisfy your curiosity about every sandwich combination you could imagine. You start with a choice of bread, and then slowly make your way over to a variety of cheeses, vegetables, fried eggs, meat offerings, pastes, butters, spreads, and more. A personal favorite: whole wheat bread with Brie, tomato, avocado, pesto, and a fried egg. For those with a sweet tooth: pumpernickel bread with fontina cheese, caramelized onions, fig paste, and truffled honey. fall 2013
keeping up with the
KEBABS B Y CH A SE MAT E CU N PH OTO B Y D I V YA PR A H B H A K A R
Few meals are as ancient as the kebab, yet this simple dish has quite the controversial history. According to NPR, its first recorded mention is in a 9th Century Iraqi storybook, but almost every country in the Middle East claims the kebab as its own. Today, you’ll find kebabs roasting wherever there’s an open flame. Even in Philadelphia, there is an incredible array of kebabs just waiting to be pulled off the grill. BLACKENED SALMON KEBAB FROM KABOBEESH
SQUID TENTACLE KEBAB FROM SOLO SKEWER BAR
(4201 CHESTNUT ST.)
(50 N. 10TH ST.)
This kebab looks less delicious than some of its brightly colored counterparts, but tasting it proves otherwise. The first bite reveals a warm and juicy center hidden beneath the crispy exterior and a surprisingly complex layer of savory spices on the outside. Best of all, it comes nestled in a bed of Afghan rice and drizzled with a homemade lemon-cilantro yogurt dressing.
For $1 a pop, you can chow down on a whole range of Chinese kebabs at Solo—Chinatown’s very own charcoalburning skewer bar. The squid, one of the more exotic options on the menu, is pleasingly chewy and has a deep, smoky flavor—as expected—but the Asian BBQ glaze brushed on before roasting is what really sets this skewer apart.
CHICKEN TIKKA KEBAB FROM SITAR INDIAN CUISINE (60 S. 38TH ST.) Each bite of these succulent cubes of yogurt and spice marinated chicken is pure pleasure—the meat is incredibly tender after broiling in the restaurant’s Tandoori oven and the chicken is dripping with a rich tomato and yogurt sauce.
HANGER STEAK BROCHETTES FROM AMADA (217 CHESTNUT ST.) These indulgently tender morsels of red meat will have you salivating before they even leave the skewer. Grilled a la plancha, this juicy Spanish take on the kebab is served with a drizzling of mojo de cilantro—a zesty mixture of olive oil and garlic—and a spritz of lemon juice on top. The result? Sheer carnivorous perfection.
“ SAY Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!” -The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare
CHEESE PHOTO S BY D I VYA PRAHB HAKAR
B Y C H E LS E A G O L D I N GER & RO O PA SHA N K A R
ROASTED FETA WITH HONEY, MINT, AND PINE NUTS, SERVED WITH MIXED BERRIES Serves 2-3 • 2 oz Pine nuts • 1 8 oz block of feta, cut in half lengthwise • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint • 2 teaspoons honey • mixed berries, to serve Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese. Place one piece of feta in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle top with ½ teaspoon honey. Top with the chopped mint and half the pine nuts. Drizzle again with ½ teaspoon of honey. Place second piece of feta on top, sandwiching the mint and pine nuts between the two pieces. Bake for 15 minutes, or until warm and slightly melted on top. Drizzle cheese with remaining 1 teaspoon honey and sprinkle with remaining pine nuts. Serve with mixed berries, and eat warm.
SAVORY CHEESE BREAKFAST WAFFLES Serves 3-4 • 2 cups flour • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder • 2 eggs • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted • 2 cups buttermilk • 1 teaspoon sugar • pinch of black pepper • pinch of salt • ¾ cup Swiss cheese, grated • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated • ¾ cup broccoli, finely chopped • ¾ cup spinach leaves, finely chopped Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together eggs and butter until well combined. Add flour mixture. Slowly add in buttermilk, ¼ cup at a time, whisking after each addition until the batter reaches a pudding-like consistency. Stir in cheese, broccoli, spinach, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat a waffle iron. Add batter, close, and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all waffles are cooked.
B Y C HEL S EA GO L D I N GER & L AUR A P ETRO
cheeseLUNCH fall 2013
FRIED GOAT CHEESE SPINACH SALAD WITH PARMESANCRUSTED PECANS
BRIE AND PROSCIUTTO QUESADILLA Serves 4 • 8 oz Brie cheese, rind removed and sliced • 5-10 sliced dried or fresh Calimyrna figs • 1 tablespoon brown sugar • 4 tablespoons orange or nectarine jam • 2 tablespoon olive oil • 4 slices prosciutto • 4 8-inch flour tortillas In a skillet, heat olive oil on low. Add fig slices and brown sugar, stirring so as to coat the figs in the sugar. On a large flat surface, lay out the tortillas. Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon jam. Divide the cheese and figs equally among the tortillas, nestling into the jam. Top each with one slice of prosciutto. Once all of the fillings are added, fold the tortilla in half. In a large skillet, cook the quesadillas over medium heat until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side. Serve warm.
FRIED GOAT CHEESE SPINACH SALAD WITH PARMESANCRUSTED PECANS Serves 4 For Pecans: • 3 oz pecans • ½ cup parmesan, grated • 2 tablespoons butter, melted Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss pecans with butter until coated. Add cheese and mix thoroughly. Roast the pecans in the oven for ten minutes, or until the cheese bubbles. Allow the pecans to cool.
For Salad: • 1 sugar pumpkin, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves • ½ cup dried cherries • 1 8-oz log goat cheese, sliced into 8 slices • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper • 1 egg, lightly beaten • vegetable oil For Dressing: • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan • 1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil • ¼ cup red wine vinegar • 1 tablespoon honey First make the dressing: Combine all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss pumpkin in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of rosemary. Spread pumpkin mixture on a baking sheet and bake until soft and fragrant, approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine spinach, cherries, and pecans in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing until fully coated. Divide among four bowls or plates. In a medium bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, black pepper, cayenne, and remaining tablespoon of rosemary. Prep goat cheese for frying. First dip one piece into the egg, and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a plate and repeat with remaining goat cheese slices. Heat a generous glug of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, drop in each piece of goat cheese and cook until golden brown and melted slightly, 2-3 minutes. Flip each piece of cheese and repeat process, so that both sides are golden brown and crisp. To finish plating, evenly divide fried goat cheese and pumpkin between servings. Serve warm. penn appétit
MULTIGRAIN BLUE CHEESE GARLIC BREAD BY CHEL SEA GO L D I N GER
Makes one ½ lb loaf (no bread machine required)
MACARONI GRATIN B Y S A B R INA M ILLS
Serves 5 • ½ lb elbow macaroni • ½ a white onion, finely diced • 3 cloves garlic, sliced • 6 dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for twenty minutes, drained, and chopped • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1 cup chicken stock • 1 ½ cups heavy cream • 4 ounces each tallegio cheese, cubed; white cheddar, coarsely grated; asiago cheese, finely grated • ¼ pound fresh crimini mushrooms, cut in small strips • 1 bunch rainbow swiss chard, washed, stalks removed, shredded • 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the porcini mushrooms and fresh thyme, cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook for approximately 3 more minutes, until thickened. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until thickened substantially. Whisk in the cream and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and chard, sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened. Fold the cheeses, reserving a few tablespoons, into the porcini sauce until melted. Mix in the drained noodles, mushroom, and chard. Pour evenly into a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. 26
• 1 teaspoon salt • 2 cups bread flour • ½ cup whole wheat flour • ⅓ cup rolled oats • 3 tablespoons dry milk powder • 3 tablespoons cornmeal • 3 tablespoons wheat germ • 7 tablespoons blue cheese • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil • 1 ¼ cups warm water • 2 teaspoons instant rise yeast • 1 tablespoon honey • 3 cloves chopped garlic • 1 egg, lightly beaten Begin by making dry mixture by fully combining salt, flours, oats, milk powder, cornmeal, and wheat germ. Set aside. Combine 6 tablespoons blue cheese with olive oil in a small bowl. Melt in the microwave for 40 seconds, taking the bowl out to stir halfway through cooking. Combine warm water and yeast in a medium bowl. Mix together until fully dissolved. Stir in melted blue cheese mixture and honey. Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise in a warm, dry place for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled. Uncover the dough and punch down on the dough using your fist; you should hear the sound of air being released from the dough. Allow the dough to rise for another 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3inch bread pan. To assemble the bread, first form dough into a ball. Cut the ball in half. Roll each half to form two twelve-inch snake-like logs. Set the pieces side by side. Using your thumbs, gently press on each log to form a 1-inch deep cavity approximately 2 inches from the end of each log. The indentations should be on opposite ends from another. Be careful not to pierce through the dough. Fill each indentation with ½ tablespoon blue cheese and half of chopped garlic mixture. Paint the area surrounding the indentations with egg wash. Cross one dough log over the other at site of indentation, and stick together with the egg wash. Cross the other dough log at the other indentation, again sticking together with egg wash, so that you form a twisted bread loaf. Top bread with any remaining garlic and blue cheese. Brush entire loaf with remaining egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped in the center. pennappetit.com
BY BY R N E FA H E Y
LEMON RICOTTA CAKE Serves 8 For the Glaze: • ¼ cup water • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice • ½ cup sugar • zest of one lemon • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme For the Cake: • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour • 1 cup sugar • 1 tablespoon baking powder • ¼ teaspoon salt • ¾ cup whole milk ricotta • ½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon milk • 2 eggs • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 1 ½ cups fresh fruit, chopped if necessary Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9-inch round springform pan with butter or cooking spray. For the cake: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together ricotta, eggs, vanilla, and milk in another bowl. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Add fruit and stir to combine. Do not over-mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake is removed cleanly. While the cake is baking, make the lemonfall 2013
thyme glaze: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved. Let steep for 10 minutes, then strain over a bowl, discarding thyme and zest. Poke the cake all over with toothpicks. Pour lemon simple syrup over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
ROSEMARY PARMESAN SHORTBREAD Makes 20 cookies • 3 ½ cups flour • 1 cup powdered sugar • ¼ teaspoon salt • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped • 3 sticks (¾ lb) cold butter, diced into ½-inch cubes • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and rosemary in a large bowl. Add butter and cheese. Incorporate the ingredients using your hands until the dough comes together. Gather dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Slice into ½-inch thick rounds. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. penn appétit
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A
CHEESEMONGER? BY MA RI SA D E NK E R A N D RO S A LIN D R E Y N OL D S // PHOTO S BY I A NA F EL I CI A N O
“BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU…IT IS THE GREATEST JOB IN the world.” From growing up with the founders of Di Bruno Brothers (930 S. 9th St.) as grandparents to chasing down the best cheeses all over the world, Emilio Mignucci has the dream career: cheesemonger. Over steaming cups of coffee at Mignucci’s favorite café in the Italian Market, he explains, “I’m like a conduit between cheesemaker and cheeselover.” It is the cheesemonger’s job to ensure both that cheesemakers have access to the right market for their products, and that customers can find their perfect cheese. To provide this service, Mignucci stresses, it is important that he knows and cares for his cheeses as well as he knows his family; “Cheeses are like my children,” he adds by way of explanation, “I love them all.” Part and parcel of knowing his cheeses is knowing his cheesemakers. Since Di Bruno Bros. sources cheese from all over the world, Mignucci travels frequently in search of products that he can bring back to Philly. Mignucci first aims to find the best of the traditional cheesesthose that have been made the same way for hundreds of years. He recalls visiting the Roquefort-sur-Soulzon commune in France, where the cheese is aged in caves beneath sea level. Roquefort owes its distinct flavor to the very air of these caves; the ocean breeze permeates through cracks in the rock and infuses saltiness into the cave air and in turn, the cheese. Such an effect of the environment on flavor is called terroir, and Mignucci stresses that it is an integral part of how any cheese is made. After scouting out the traditional cheeses, Mignucci searches for “newcomers on the cheese scene-the ones trying to change the industry.” According to Mignucci, many of them are right here in the US. “The American market for that kind of innovative stuff is booming…we almost don’t have to import!” he exclaims. After carefully selecting the cheese, Mignucci’s work is not over. “Cheese is a living thing, so it is always changing-you need to know how to handle it and store it,” he explains. As cheeses develop their flavor from different strains of molds, it is important to know how to work with each type. For instance, A cheesemonger knows that goat mold tends to grow aggressively, so he usually isolates those cheeses in order to protect other cheeses from infestation. With his cheeses all in order, Mignucci uses his experience with taste to help patrons select cheeses. Oftentimes, customers come in asking for the best type of cheese to pair with a particular food or drink. Helping fall 2013
customers find the right product is what cheesemongers excel at; they are the link between the artisan and the consumer. To answer their questions, Mignucci and his fellow cheesemongers need to thoroughly understand the flavor profiles of all the cheeses that Di Bruno Brothers stocks. “I consider flavor all day long,” he tells us. To pin down a specific taste profile, Mignucci relies on a flavor wheel and lots of taste-testing. After store hours, he and the other cheesemongers often experiment with blind taste tests. They sample a cheese, and then try to match the flavors they encounter with those laid out on the flavor wheel. The wheel breaks taste down into broad, well known categories like bitter, salty, and sour. Each category is further broken down into flavor. For example, a bitter taste could be lactic or citric; if lactic, Mignucci decides if it tastes of steamed cream, fresh milk, or a more herbaceous flavor. Beyond owning Di Bruno’s, Mignucci has also helped to shape the cheesemongering profession. As a member of the Board of Directors for the American Cheese Society, he has worked the last eight years to create the Certified Cheese Professional Exam to improve industry standards. Candidates have three hours to answers 150 questions, ranging from the science behind how cheese is made to rating the butterfat content of the milk found in hundreds of breeds of cows. Aside from taking the exam, the best way to become a cheesemonger, Mignucci says, is to “learn by doing”: by visiting and training with cheesemakers, going to gastronomy school, or working at a place like Di Bruno’s. As our interview drew to a close and our cheese cravings grew only stronger, we had to ask Mignucci: “What is your favorite cheese?” Prefacing that picking between cheeses was like choosing one child over another, he eventually told us, “the cheese that’s always in my fridge? Grande Provolone. I was born and raised on it.” “It was always the cheese shop to us,” Mignucci explains, eyes aglow with memories of his cheese-filled childhood. With his school right around the corner from the shop, he never ate lunch with the rest of the students. Instead, he strode down the main street of the Italian Market everyday and his grandparents, aunts, and uncles would make sure he was more than well fed. He “grew up eating weird cheeses that other kids were afraid of.” Now, with a studied knowledge of cheese to share, he expertly guides customers-including us lucky interviewers-to satisfy their cheesy cravings.
CHEESE O’CLOCK BY S AB RI NA MI L LS ILLUS T RAT I O N BY E LLE N A M A R A L
Growing up in California wine country, the best part of the long summer days was what my mom called “cheese o’clock.” Just as the sun started to set and the coastal breeze blew through the valley, we would head inside and make our afternoon snack. Some days, it was a sliced apple with aged, sharp cheddar and roasted turkey. Other days, we picked tomatoes from our garden and ate them with fresh mozzarella and salamis. Regardless, cheese was always the centerpiece of the afternoon amusebouche. Cheese o’clock became a tradition that my childhood best friend and I brought with us to New York this past summer. While other interns looked forward to happy hour, we dragged our tired bodies through the subway with visions of charcuterie. As the last rays of sunlight streamed through our Soho apartment, we savored gorgonzola chive dip and rehashed our days. It was a warm Saturday night in July and my roommate was dragging me to a party. In the midst of the fallout from a bad breakup, I was unenthused at the prospect of going to a stranger’s Upper East Side townhouse. But I knew my nights of Chinese take-out and self-loathing had to end eventually, so I begrudgingly put on my highest heels and hailed a taxi. The moment we arrived, I felt alone in a crowded room, the way I often do in New York City. I longed for the comfort of home and my family in California. Just as I was falling into the abyss of my red Solo cup, an acquaintance called me over from across the room. Andrew was the ex-boyfriend of one of my classmates at Penn, and I quickly realized the reason he called me over was to introduce me to his friend. After singing his former fraternity brother’s praises, Andrew drifted away and left me alone with this new suitor, Alex. At first, the situation seemed forced, but I did my best to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw. I flipped my hair as I told him about my internship at a food magazine, and I gave him my best wide eyes as he told me about his job in finance. The conversation flowed naturally, and somehow, we meandered back to my favorite topic: cheese o’clock. He chuckled as I told him of its origins and ate up my every 30
word on the therapeutic effects of a nice manchego after a long day on the job. “All right,” he coughed and pulled out his phone, “I’m going to use this as an opportunity to be cheesy and get your number.” I was back in the game. Monday morning, I was aglow after receiving a text from Alex asking when I was planning on inviting him to one of my “cheese parties.” I replied that since it was a daily occurrence, any afternoon that week could work. I had to prepare, as this was going to be the cheese o’clock of my life. I went that afternoon to the Dean and DeLuca near my apartment and began stocking my basket. I picked a container of bright green Castelvetrano olives for their mild, fresh flavor. I went to the deli and asked for a quarter pound each of my favorite proscuitto cotto and San Daniele. Finally, for the food of the hour, I settled on a triple cream brie and a truffled pecorino, hoping to use the latter as a conversation starter about the summer I spent in Florence. As the cashier rang me up, I cringed at the astronomical total and reached for the credit card my mother had designated for emergencies only. “This could be the boy I eat Camembert off into the sunset with,” I reasoned. Mom would understand. As the week progressed, I didn’t hear from Alex. He had been so enthusiastic, I figured by Wednesday I should inquire. He responded politely but evasively, and my attempts to sell him on the virtues of a good gouda fell flat. With my pride still intact, by Thursday I decided to have my romantic cheese o’clock, but just for one. I cracked open a bottle of Brooklyn Summer Ale and settled down with a book. The creamy brie was as beautiful and delicious as I had imagined, as I spread it on crackers and folded my beloved ham. With the taste of the truffles and olives lingering, I closed my eyes. In the orange twilight, I could have been in the hills of Tuscany or better yet, at the pool back at home with Mom by my side. I later learned that the reason Alex had passed on our date was because he had a girlfriend the whole time. He was bestowed the well-deserved nickname of “the Stinky Cheese Man.” pennappetit.com
Enameled/steel pot Kitchen thermometer Strainer
B Y S HAY E RO SEM A N P H OTOS BY D I VYA PRA BHA K A R
INGREDIENTS 1 gallon unpasteurized whole milk 1 Rennet tablet crushed (or Rennet liquid) 2 teaspoons citric acid ½ cup unchlorinated (bottled) water 1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste) Thermometer Timer
MOZZARELLA MAKES ABOUT 15 OUNCES
Remove milk from the refrigerator and let it warm to about 50° F. As you wait, fill two bowls with ¼ cup water each. Add 1 teaspoon citric acid to one bowl of water. Crush the Rennet tablet and add it to the other bowl. Pour the milk into a large metal pot. Add the dissolved citric acid to the milk and stir for one minute. Add a second teaspoon of citric acid and stir for another minute. Stirring occasionally, heat the milk on low heat (about 15 minutes). You should see the milk begin to curdle. When the milk reaches 88-90° F, turn off the heat and stir in the Rennet solution until dissolved. Cover the pot and let mixture set for about 20 minutes until you can cleanly break apart the cheese curds. Test by poking your finger into the milk and dragging it out an inch. If the curd and whey separate clearly for a moment, fall 2013
you’re ready to cut the curd. If not, let the milk continue to set until the curd and whey separate briefly as you draw your finger out. Using a knife, cut the remaining curds into half-inch cubes. Be sure to move through the entire mixture in the pot from top to bottom. Then, at a 45° angle to your first set of cuts, cut the curds again. Let set uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Using low heat, heat the curds to 108° F, stirring occasionally to keep them separated. Turn off the heat and continue to stir occasionally for another 20 minutes. The curds will shrink and sink to the bottom of the pot. Using a strainer, drain the curds into a large bowl and let set until the curds are completely drained of whey. At this point, you can dispose of the whey. Pour the drained curds into a separate
bowl and slightly break up the curds with your hands. Heat the curds in waves to avoid overcooking: Place the bowl of curds in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Using your hand or a slotted spoon, gently form the curds into a ball, squeeze out the remaining whey, and pour it off from the bottom of the bowl. Microwave for another 15-20 seconds and repeat. Microwave for a final 20 seconds and add salt to taste. Your cheese should be flexible and stretch under its own weight. If not, microwave it for a few extra seconds. Then grab your cheese and stretch! Pull and knead the cheese into a ball, and then allow cheese to stretch naturally. If cheese cools, microwave again briefly. When your ball of mozzarella becomes smooth and slightly shiny, you’re finished. penn appétit
when cheese hits the streets A. Kitchen (135 S. 18th Street) A. Kitchen has a variety of cheese plates on its menu, but the best cheese wedge at A. Kitchen is actually found on its dessert menu. The goat cheesecake, served alongside Riesling sorbet, is unique enough to excite any cheesecake aficionado, and the tang from the goat cheese gives the cake an added tart flavor dimension.
Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon Street) Poutine, a classic Canadian dish made with gravy and curds, gets a makeover at Alla Spina. The crisp fries are topped with bits of guinea hen Bolognese. Of course, the highlight of the dish is in the cheese curds. Alla Spina sources its mozzarella curds from Caputo Brothers Creamery, giving new meaning to this fried favorite.
Claudio Specialty Foods (925 Carpenter Street) Selling some of the finest and highest quality cheeses found in Philadelphia, Claudio’s is reason enough to venture to the Italian Market. While you can’t go wrong with any of the cheeses, do not miss out on the smoked varieties, such as the smoked provolone and the smoked mozzarella.
Little Nonna’s (1234 Locust Street) The stracciatella at Valerie Stefan and Marcie Turney’s new Italian trattoria is served alongside warm, toasted Italian bread and delicious olive oil. The cheese melts in your mouth with every bite, and it gives new meaning to what is meant by fresh.
Talula’s Garden (210 W. Washington Square) Owner Aimee Olexy doesn’t shy away from the importance of catering her cheese plates to each diner’s needs. Choose from a diverse selection of seasonally crafted cheese plates, or speak to the cheesemonger to customize a plate to your own preferences. 32
[decanting the truth] CHEESE & WINE PAIRINGS B Y RO S A LIND REY N O L D S
Wine and cheese have a history as a classic duo; pairing them is often known as an artform. However, for the average person, selecting the right wine for a certain cheese is a confusing task. A quick search online reveals websites that provide numerous and often conflicting rules, subject to the personal taste of the writer. Fortunately, like many other aspects of the foodie world, wine and cheese pairings have hit the attention of the scientific community, leading to a small but growing body of literature that can help demystify this combination of flavors. Sommelier Francois Chartier has contributed to the science of wine and cheese with his book Taste Buds and Molecules, which examines the chemistry behind classic wine and food pairings. The flavors people perceive from a certain food and drink pairing come from compounds called aromatics. Chartier postulates that by pairing foods with wines that share common aromatic molecules, people can coordinate flavors and generate better tasting combinations. His book lays out the individual aromatics that dominate in a variety of foods, including cheeses and wines, which the amateur taster can use to help map and combine flavors. Tim Hanni, a professionally trained chef and wine sommelier, holds to a simpler standard for pairing cheeses (and other foods) with wine. Regardless of the aromatics involved, sweet and umami flavors in food make wine taste more tannic and overall less pleasant, while salty and acidic flavors mellow
out a wine and make it less bitter and more enjoyable. With this rule in mind, cheeses that are salty (like a Parmesan) bring out agreeable flavors in wine, while older or riper cheeses (which often have more umami flavor) will bring out bitter or even metallic flavors, especially in an already tannic wine, such as a full-bodied red. A third opinion on pairings can be found in the work of Hildegarde Haymann, a sensory scientist at the University of California in Davis. Haymann supervised a study analyzing the flavor characteristics of eight different red wines when paired with eight cheeses. Shockingly, the results are inconclusive: Each cheese has a specific effect on wine, but this effect does not vary across the different wines. Overall, every cheese lessens the intensity of a wine’s flavor characteristics. Even more surprising was that finding that no single cheese and wine pairing stood out above the rest. While this variety in scientific advice may seem daunting at first, the bottom line is that cheese and wine pairings are in no way stagnant. There is room for experimentation: People can try pairing aromatics as Chartier suggests, focus on the salinity and sweetness of cheese like Hanni, or even follow Haymann’s research by pairing at random and enjoying the resulting combinations. Ultimately, no pairing is definitively wrong; the only unquestionable guide to flavor combinations is a diner’s palate, proving that personal preference stands as the most reliable standard. pennappetit.com
BY K ATI E BERHM A N A N D JENNY LU PHOTO S BY D I VYA P R AB HAKAR
CHEESE PLATES THE VARIETY OF CHEESES AROUND THE WORLD IS ASTOUNDING. FROM PHILADELPHIA TO GREECE TO EVERYTHING FAR AND IN BETWEEN, YOU CAN NOW EXPLORE AND GLOBETROT—THROUGH CHEESE. CHEESES: MANCHEGO, BRIE, STILTON PAIRINGS: BAGUETTE SLICES, PROSCIUTTO, QUINCE PASTE, PEARS
WESTERN EUROPE fall 2013
Creamy European cheeses characterize this Western European-inspired cheese plate. Hailing from Spain, Manchego cheese is a nutty, sweet, and tangy firm cheese made from sheep’s milk. This cheese pairs well with sweet flavors, like quince paste, and a glass of full-bodied red, like a Carbernet. “The Queen of Cheeses,” Brie, mild and slightly sweet, originates from France and is made from whole or semi-skimmed cow’s milk. Spread the Brie on top of a crisp French baguette and garnish with prosciutto or pears. Stilton, “King of English Cheeses,” (matching Brie in nickname) is a smooth, creamy blue cheese. Complex in flavor with delicate blue veins radiating from its center, Stilton carries an intense flavor and smell. For a burst of sweetness, try this open-textured cheese with juicy pears. penn appétit
*ROAST BEEF *MUSTARD
CHEESES: WHIZ, AMERICAN, COLBY JACK PAIRINGS: SPICY MUSTARD, SOFT PHILLY PRETZEL, RITZ CRACKERS, GRAPES, ROAST BEEF, HAM
Colby Jack is an American classic. It is a hybrid of two different cheeses, Colby and Monterey Jack, but it has a flavor all its own. The orangeand-white marbled, semi-hard cheese pairs well with spicy mustard to amplify its natural spice, derived from the Monterey Jack. Spicy mustard is also a good accompaniment to a soft pretzel—a Philly classic. Dip one end of the pretzel in mustard and the other in a pot of cheese whiz. An unconventional pick for a traditional cheese plate, “whiz” is all-American, and wholeheartedly embraced in Philadelphia. American cheese, with its mild flavor and creamy texture, goes well with your typical American grocery store aisle cracker, like a buttery Ritz. Throw in a bunch of grapes or slices of roast beef and ham to jazz up this simple but classic American plate. pennappetit.com
CHEESES: HALOUMI, PANEER, SAKURA PAIRINGS: PITA, HUMMUS, LEMON, CRACKERS, SPICY MANGO CHUTNEY, NORI
MIDDLE EAST & ASIA fall 2013
Haloumi is a mild, semi-firm but chewy cheese made from cow, goat, sheep’s milk, or a combination of any of the three. Originating from Cyprus, haloumi has spread to Turkey and throughout the Middle East. Grill sliced haloumi or bread and fry the cheese. Try it with a classic Middle Eastern pairing, such as triangles of pita with a smear of hummus and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Paneer is a soft, chewy Indian cheese made from cow milk. Try cubes of paneer on crackers spread with a spicy mango chutney for a sweet blast on your tongue. Sakura, a white cow’s cheese from Japan aged on salted cherry tree leaves, is infused with a Sakura flavor, hence its name. Try this cheese (if you can manage to find it in the US) with thin, crispy pieces of salty nori (edible seaweed). penn appétit
In Defense of
Warm Beer BY A DA M D URBI N PHOTO BY M AURA REI L LY-ULMANEK
Picture the scene: You’re in London, it’s January and, unsurprisingly, the weather is foul. It’s borderline arctic outside and to make matters worse, there is a steady, constant drizzle. You’ve just finished classes, it’s 5 o’clock, you’re absolutely shattered, and as you walk outside, you realize it’s already pitch black, and you’ve barely seen the sun all day. On such a dank day, the one thing that can bring a semblance of comfort is a delicious, warming, and comforting English ale, the best and most effective cure for the inevitable winter blues. You head off to the pub and have a couple of pints with some mates. Suddenly the world seems if not a better place, certainly a more tolerable one. The wonderful combination of schadenfreude, the pub’s relaxing atmosphere, and a slight, alcohol-induced haze means you almost forget about the endlessly depressing climate in which you live. Almost. To all those who think we British drink our beverages warm, let me be clear: There is a cavernous difference between “warm” and “room temperature.” There isn’t a bartender sitting in the back stirring cauldrons of beer over an open flame-we just don’t feel the need to chill our beverages to compensate for the fact they taste vaguely like someone has urinated in a cup of stale water (a.k.a. the ever-delightful Natty Lite). Don’t get me wrong-on a blisteringly hot day (God knows they’re few and far between in Britain) there is nothing better than a good lager to quench the thirst. However, the taste complexity and overall experience of even the finest pilsner can never match up to a decent, room temperature ale. With flavors ranging from dark, sharp bitters to sweet, citrusy golden ales, there is an ale for every palate. Who wants a freezing cold Budweiser when you can have a delightfully malty Doombar, or sample the caramel tones of Old Speckled Hen? For those adventurous few I have convinced, Philly has some craft breweries that serve excellent IPAs (which, despite being served cold, are still delicious) as well as more traditional styles of Ale. Yards Brewing Company (901 N. Delaware Ave.) the Philadelphia Brewing Company, and Dock Street Brewing Company (701 S. 50th St.) all hold stellar reputations, and I fully intend to embrace them with my whole heart (and liver) during my year on exchange at Penn. It may not be home, but it’s the next best thing. 36
unfamiliar fruits. SOUTHEAST ASIAN FRUITS MAY BE UNFAMILIAR TO MANY AMERICANS, BUT EATING THEM IS MORE THAN TRYING A NEW FOOD: IT IS AN EXPERIENCE. FROM SMELL TO TEXTURE AND EVEN NAME PRONUNCIATION, THEY PROMISE TO BE A MULTI-SENSORY SENSATION. BY K A I SY UEN LO H PHOTO S BY N I CO L E JI ZHA R
mangosteen durian You cannot mention Southeast Asian fruits without the durian.This fruit sharply divides consumers. It has tough, greenish skin and spikes that defy anyone who tries to pick it up, a trait that bares its name, “durian,” meaning “thorns” in Malay. The taste leaves a strong impression. Some compare it to rotted food, while others are addicted to the creamy, strong flavor. Its yellow, soft texture melts in your mouth. Durian has been made into many desserts, such as durian puffs, in which durian is wrapped into pastry, and its thick texture also makes it a good base for ice cream.
rambutan Although not as intimidating as the durian, the rambutan has a creepy appearance due to its fibre-covered outer skin, the very quality that gives the fruit its name (“rambutan” means “hair” in Malay). Sold in bundles like grapes, each individual fruit has to be peeled and pitted. The rambutan’s sweet taste and tangy smell are genuinely considered enjoyable. Although mainly used in desserts or salads, the rambutan is versatile and can also be stir-fried with meat or used in other savory dishes. fall 2013
An attractive purple fruit, the mangosteen is known as the “Queen of the Fruits” in many Southeast Asian countries, due to its cute cap-like stem, which looks like a crown. According to the Chinese principle of yin and yang, the mangosteen (a “cool” fruit) provides a balancing force to the durian (a “hot” fruit). The mangosteen can be complicated and messy to eat due to its thick skin. However, its exotic, sweet taste and nutritious properties make it highly memorable. Break open the waxy outer coating to discover the small slivers of white flesh clustered within. Mangosteens can be made into a wide variety of desserts; however, the mangosteen’s delicious floral taste is arguably best when eaten all on its own.
dragonfruit The dragon fruit comes next in the must-try list of Southeast Asian fruits. Its grand name comes from the texture of its skin, which has reptile-like scales. Cutting the fruit open reveals its colorful inner flesh, which is either white or bright purple (depending on the fruit itself) and dotted with tiny black seeds. Although dragon fruit’s appearance is memorable, its taste is somewhat bland. Its bright colors make it a popular dessert option, whether as ice cream or custard. Its less controversial taste also makes it highly versatile as a cake flavor, or even to add to fresh salads. penn appétit
A WORLD OF WAFFLES B Y N ICOLE WO O N / / PH OTO S B Y J E N N Y LU
Comedian Mitch Hedberg once quipped, “A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap.” Little did he know that waffles were born flat. The ancient Greeks were the first to cook obelios (Greek waffles), sandwiching a simple mixture of grain flour and water between hot metal plates. Medieval Europe quickly adopted the concept under the guise of communion wafers. As the waffle (from the Frankish etymological root wafla, meaning “honeycomb” or “cake”) spread across the world, it evolved into distinct regional varieties.
BELGIUM Belgians knows their waffles: Over a dozen regional types exist in the country. The most well known are Brussels waffles and Liège waffles, both invented in the 1800s. The rectangular, deep-pocketed Brussels variety involves a thin batter traditionally leavened with egg whites or ale yeast, resulting in a light and cakey consistency. The treat is commonly served with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Topping with whipped cream, fruit, or Nutella is considered sacrilege. The round Liège variety (gaufres de chasse, or hunting waffles) is denser, chewier, and richer in comparison. Adapted from brioche bread dough, these waffles are studded with large crystals of pearl sugar, resulting in a caramelized glaze and sweet pops of crunch. Newcomer to the Philadelphia food truck scene, check out Foolish Waffles to sample an authentic Belgian waffle. The roaming truck sells both the Brussels and Liège varieties, as well sandwiches made from the waffles, which are filled with innovative fixings like soy-lemongrass tofu and blueberry cheesecake. Follow the truck on Twitter (@ foolishwaffles) to find out its location.
HONG KONG Literally translating to “little chicken eggs,” gai daan jai are also known as egg waffles, eggettes, or ball waffles. About thirty spherical golden puffs come in an order, attached to each other like a piece of oversized bubble wrap. The shape comes from a unique cooking apparatus: the waffle iron is studded with wells the size of malt balls. Its origins are contested; some suggest that street hawkers used damaged eggs to give the batter its golden color, while others claim that the egg-shaped mold attempted to atone for an eggless batter. Yummy Yummy (51 North 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107) in Chinatown doles out phenomenal madeto-order gai daan jai in a wide array of flavors. A favorite is the green tea white chocolate: morsels of molten white chocolate are nestled inside the orbs of green tea dough.
UNITED STATES Dutch colonists introduced waffles to the New World in the early 1600s. The major difference between American and Belgian waffles is the use of baking powder for leavening instead of yeast. The famed combination of chicken and waffles initially appeared during the 1600s in Pennsylvania Dutch country, where stewed chicken and gravy topped homemade waffles. The popular pairing with fried chicken, specifically, originated in the 1930s at the Wells Supper Club in Harlem. The late night hotspot catered to jazz musicians who arrived after their gigs too late for dinner but too early for breakfast. Fried chicken and waffles proved to be a satisfying compromise. Retro brunch spot Jones (700 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106) serves an adaptation of chicken and waffles that screams cozy comfort food: a fried chicken breast and thigh, accompanied by a malted vanilla Belgian waffle, and a pulled chicken velouté sauce. At Supper (926 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147), try the urban farmhouse’s spin on the combination with duck and waffles: a crispy confit duck leg atop pecan sage waffles, farm cabbage, and maple bourbon jus.
SCANDINAVIA Scandinavian style waffles are recognizable by their distinctive heart shape. Norway favors a savory style using ingredients like blue cheese and gomme (a Norwegian specialty akin to cottage cheese), while Sweden serves waffles piled with layers of silky smoked salmon and roe. However, a sweet preparation is by far the most common across these northern countries with toppings ranging from fruit-based jams and fresh berries to ice cream and whipped cream. Every year on March 25th, Philadelphia’s American Swedish Historical Museum hosts a celebration with heart-shaped waffles galore in honor of Våffeldagen, literally “Waffle Day.”
EDIBLEART B Y M O LLY C O LLE TT // I L LUSTRATI O N BY M EN GZI TA N
SOMETIMES A GREAT WORK OF ART CAN MAKE YOU HUNGRY. LUCKILY, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR ART AND EAT IT, TOO. HERE ARE SOME RECIPES INSPIRED BY FAMOUS WORKS OF ART.
Ontbijt met Krab, Willem Claesz Heda (1648) Lemon and Garlic Crab Risotto Serves 4 1 pound cooked, shelled crab (Dungeness, king, or jumbo lump crabmeat) 1 clove garlic, minced 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth Juice from one lemon 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 ½ cups Arborio rice 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 2 teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper Place crabmeat in a medium bowl; pick through for any shells and discard. Add garlic and toss well. Refrigerate. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil; reduce to simmer. Add lemon juice and keep warm on a back burner. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and stir until lightly golden and tender, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until all the grains are well coated, about 1-2 minutes. Add ½ cup hot broth, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until almost all liquid is absorbed, then add another ½ cup broth. Repeat until rice is tender and almost all broth has been used, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add crab; stir until blended. Add ¼ cup broth and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon zest, and thyme; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve. ***
Three Pears, Paul Cezanne (1879) Dark Chocolate and Pear Pudding Serves 6-8 7 poached pears, halved and cored 1 cup all-purpose flour ½ cup unsweetened cocoa fall 2013
⅔ cup superfine sugar 10 tablespoons soft butter 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8½ inch square ovenproof dish with butter. Arrange the pears on the bottom of the dish. Put all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz until a batter with a soft consistency is formed. Spread the batter over the pears, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Let stand out of the oven for 5-10 minutes and then cut into slabs. Serve with warm dark chocolate ganache. ***
Fish, Jug and Glass, William Scott (1947) Char-Grilled Mackerel Hero Serves 2 Baguette 7 oz. mackerel fillet (fresh or tinned) 3 tablespoons tart lemon aioli A bunch of arugula Pink pickled ramps Salt and pepper Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (375-425 degrees). Pat the mackerel fillets dry with paper towels. Brush both sides with the remaining measured olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fillets on the grill skin-side down and cook until grill marks appear, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the fillets with a flat spatula and cook until grill marks appear on the other side and the fish is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the baguette lengthways and cut loaf into two halves. Assemble the hero: Organize arugula leaves and pickled ramps on the bottom slice and slather the top with lemon aioli. Arrange the grilled mackerel between the baguette’s top and bottom slice. penn appétit
Sunday Afternoon in
BY BE C C A G OL D S T E I N PHOTOS BY I ANA F E L I C I ANO
The Ménilmontant metro stop has the same classic typography and red and white street sign as every other metro stop in Paris. However, unlike the many stations that lead out onto cobblestone streets and quaint boulevards, Ménilmontant is in a fairly nondescript neighborhood filled with small bodegas and Middle Eastern markets. I was meeting up with Eric, a close family friend who had just graduated culinary school, and some of his Ferrandi friends. We had plans to go on a picnic in Parc des Buttes Chaumont, one of the largest green spaces in Paris. Finding food to bring proved much more difficult than I anticipated, especially since we were in one of the city’s small ethnic neighborhoods. Unbeknownst to me, Paris functionally shuts down on Sundays. Shops are closed and everyone wakes up late, as the entire city enjoys the epitome of a lazy Sunday. In theory, it is a fantastic system, but in practice, it proved a bit challenging for picnic prep, especially because I was lunching with culinary savants. Nonetheless, we were determined to put together a nice spread, so we ventured off to see what we could find. Eric and I bought olives and hummus
at a small Turkish shop while Camille and Joel went off to find fruit at the Asian produce market across the way. The only places that were open seemed to be ethnic shops, although we were able to find a singular boulangerie selling Sunday bread. Camille was carrying an entire rotisserie chicken, determined to prove her butchering skills to the rest of the crew. I noticed that unlike the tourists, who buzzed around the city always looking at their watches, the locals lived leisurely. I smiled to myself, as they seemed quintessentially French: young people, well-dressed, enjoying wine and beer and company alongside the river. We walked through a scene that resembled a modern day reproduction of Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon: dogs barking, children playing, everyone sitting, appreciating the weather. We found our picnic spot in a grassy patch next to the big lake and broke out our spoils. I started backwards: dipping ripe red strawberries into Nutella, enjoying dessert for lunch. The rest of our basket was an assortment that seemingly made no culinary sense, but we had done our very best and were all hungry. Eric pitted a pile of olives to mix
into the hummus for open-faced tartines. Camille perhaps took more pleasure in breaking down her chicken than actually eating it. Joel had made sure to bring a cutting board and knives so that we could have a proper place for the cheese. And oh, the cheese! I had gone the day before to a small cheese shop in Montmartre and had quite an experience with an old cheese monger who didn’t speak a word of English. I’d made my choices based on a series of tastes and animal noises, the funny woman imitating the calls of the animal whose milk was used to make each cheese. I couldn’t pronounce any of the French names, but I know there was no standard Brie or common Camembert. There was a faintly yellow sheep’s milk with small bubbles and a thin, stiff rindthe mellowest of the bunch. The log of local goat cheese was rolled in cracked pepper, enhancing the spiciness of the creamy spread. My favorite was a salty hard cheese that we pieced apart on our cutting board and enjoyed with honey and jam. I’m not sure if my cheeks were warm from the rosé or from the sun, but either way, I was content.
the perils of going
A RT ICL E AND PH OTO S B Y KAT H E R IN E LIT T EL
“Going organic” seems quite compelling in a culture where Whole Foods, CSAs, and salad bars are components of everyday life for the young, environmentally, and health conscious world. I’m no stranger to the absurdly long lines at Whole Foods, but I wanted to do more: raise chickens and eat the eggs, a perfect cycle. One day, I was loving life as an eighteen year old student; the next, I was very much a mother, cleaning up chicken feces and stressing about my eleven little ones. Hatching chickens began as a way to put into action the eco-friendly ideas I had been advocating in my high school environmental club. I placed my order for twenty fertilized chicken eggs online and, within a week, I received a large brown box full of fragile, developing chicks. For 44
the next 21 days, I turned each egg three times a day, choosing A Guide to Better Hatching over How I Met Your Mother. The incubation period passed before I knew it. All at once, I was feeding them every couple of hours, cleaning their brooder box, making sure they had fresh water, and speaking to them enough so they could recognize my voice. Sadly, like many things in the wild, not all of the chicks made it; some hatched prematurely, and others never hatched at all. I thought I had the capacity to save all of them, mistakenly separating the weaklings from the stronger chicks. I’d heard horror stories about the literal pecking order so naturally, I took precautions. Interfering only worsened the situation by prolonging
the lives of chicks never destined to make it to adulthood. Throughout, there were tears of happiness, agitation, and grief, moments when it was all I could do not to completely abandon ship, and days when I didn’t think I had it in me to drag myself out of bed an hour earlier to tend to the needy chicks before school. When the time came to turn them over to a real farmer, so that they could live with other freerange hens and start to lay eggs, I felt both relieved and empty. I might not have made a drastic impact with my project, but I saw firsthand the life cycle of a chicken from start to finish. While I’m not raising a second batch of chicks in my dorm room anytime soon, I can attest to the appeal of knowing exactly where your food has come from. pennappetit.com
LOVE AT FIRST BITE fall 2013
B Y K AT IE B E H R M AN // I L LUSTRATI O N BY SA RA H TSE
STRUNG FROM A BIZARRE CONE, A tight elastic band cut under my chin. I sit high above the floor, almost high enough to see into everyone else’s eyes. Suddenly, the room goes dark. A floating orb of light approaches me and everyone starts singing in unison. Not one person falters. Whoever they are, they all know my name. I mean, of course my parents know my name. But everyone else, I have never seen them before in my life. I am not properly prepared for this. I have not even had a bath today. The light moves closer to me. It must be a flying bug or something-it looks like the ones that I’ve seen outside when it’s dark. The bug-like light lands right before my eyes. It dances on top of a pink and white striped twig that stands straight up in a pile of brown mud beneath it. It smells different, though. Not quite rancid like mud, but very, very sweet. Despite the roses on top, the object itself does not smell floral. It is something entirely different. Something nice. The singing stops, the people come closer and closer, leaning into the mound of mud. A cold rush of air hist my face, and the floating lights disappear. Everybody cheers and backs away,
and then my mom lifts the big mound of mud and flowers off the table and starts cutting it with some sharp object. She brings over a slice of the…it must be the earth…of the earth to me and places it on the counter of my high chair. Am I supposed to eat this? Eat dirt? I always get yelled at for doing that—Oh well! I stick out my hand and grasp the mud. The top part feels strangely smooth and sticky, the inside like a sponge. The dirt oozes in and out of my fingers, as I tentatively lift some to my mouth. As soon as it touches my lips, I feel a surge of happiness. Dark, daring, addicting, the earth tastes sweet and sugary. The rich taste grows in intensity and lingers on my tongue. I want more. This time, I reach in with both hands and smash the earth onto my face—some makes it into my mouth, some misses. I need a new strategy. I cannot bear to lose any of the scrumptious pile. Luckily, I’m creative. I shake my head and dive into the mound. A chorus of laughter rings out from the group of strangers and my mom chuckles, “Guess she really likes the cake!” penn appétit
My first memory of beer isn’t one of those high school basement stories. I wasn’t with a bunch of sixteen-year olds, passing around a few cans of Natty Light, anxiously anticipating the buzz. I was younger, a little girl, sitting in my kitchen, watching my father delicately handle tubes and stirrers. I remember the smell of hot, wet hay. My dad is an all-grain brewer. It’s the process-oriented, painfully meticulous Naval Officer in him. He describes it as baking the cake from scratch, not from a box of Betty Crocker. This means he extracts the sugars from the grains himself instead of using a concentrated package of extract. With the care of a former chemistry major, he heats the milled barley and then rinses the sugars from the mash resulting in a syrupy concoction called wort. He boils the wort in a 20 gallon crock over a low grill in our carport. He stands there, monitoring his mixture with laser focus for the next hour, and periodically adds hops. The aroma, bittering, or flavor 46
BY LYNDSEY WHEELER PHOTOS BY NIKHIL RAJAPURAM
of the brew depends on when during the boil the hops are added. In the case of his most recent Citra Double IPA, extra hops additions left our party guests with a complex tropical and fruity flavor. Next comes yeast. When I was a little girl, I remember entering the kitchen on brew day to find my dad holding up a small foil package. He explained that inside billions of microscopic organisms were living, and that they were going to help him turn that foul smelling sludge into beer. I didn’t believe him. Turns out that the package contained 100 billion yeast cells and, indeed, those single-celled organisms powered the fermentation process by converting carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohols. Fermentation begins when the wort has cooled, yeast has been pitched, and the vat of thick liquid is transferred to a large, glass carboy with a special valve on top that traps the alcohol and lets gas escape. It looks like a giant jar that would sit in the kitchen
collecting coins for every time someone said a curse word. The carboy in the corner of our living room is swaddled in one of my dad’s old flight jackets so that sunlight doesn’t taint his brew. Everyday for three weeks, he monitors the color and pressure of the amber liquid. Then, with the same ease that he could plop me onto his shoulders when I’d get tired at Disney World, he lifts the heavy jug back into the kitchen and places it gently on the granite counter The bottling process is tedious. Every single bottle must be cleaned with a brush and sanitizer, rinsed with hot water, and left to dry on a bottle rack that looks like a red plastic Christmas Tree. My dad reminds me that washing your hands is critical-- any rogue bacteria will ruin the beer. Afterwards, he siphons the brew into unlabeled bottles, caps them with a clawlike clamp, and hides them away for carbonation. The kitchen must be cleaned up before mom comes home. pennappetit.com
CLIPPINGS BY N I NA F RI EN D // PHOTO S BY EL E NA C ROUC H
I grew up watching my mother in the kitchen. Hair down, ring on, sans apron, my mom would stand over the stove in ripped boyfriend jeans that draped over brown leather boots, yelling up the stairs to me and my brothers to, “Come down and clean off the table before dinner!” as she flipped potatoes with a steel spatula, pushed toothpicks into lasagna, and shook pans of baked cauliflower to make sure that every piece was toasted gold. My mom’s secret ingredient is her cookbook. A six-inch wide, white-turned-gray hardcover book that says “Cook’s Clippings” on the front in thin brown letters; this once ordinary cookbook is now a scrapbook displaying pages covered with my mom’s notes. Magazine cutouts and ripped yellow post-it notes stick out from every side. It smells like Lawry’s seasoned salt and chocolate. It’s a beautiful mess. When I’m home, even if I’m not planning on cooking a meal, I relish looking through my mom’s “scrookbook.” I love leafing through the old cookbooks stacked atop the marble island and the ones shoved into the brown wooden bookshelves. For me, cookbooks aren’t merely books on food, they’re doorways to memories. I look at a yellowed page in one of the old cookbooks in my kitchen and see a recipe for Mandelbrot (a traditional Jewish dessert reminiscent of biscotti) printed in faded black letters. In the margins of the page, my grandmother had written, “Change nutmeg to cinnamon” in barely legible cursive. I chuckle to myself, thinking about how I, too, prefer the sweeter of the two spices. I remember making Mandelbrot with her when I was young and putting my small hands on top of her large, bony ones, feeling her fingers glide up and down as we cut the slab of chocolaty dough with a shiny knife. As I touch my grandmother’s scribbles and hold the tattered book in my hands, I think about how this cookbook came to be. Tucked beneath the layers of pen and print is a trend centuries-old of recording recipes. The first known recipes appeared as formulas on Egyptian tombstones that were buried with nobles. The ingredients were fall 2013
carved into stone tablets, elaborate feasts documented in Arthurian manuscripts, and instructions written on pieces of parchment until, finally, man began printing recipes on paper. But the sharing of recipes has recently experienced another shift—this time, it’s to the cyber world. Generation Y-my generation-prefers cooking blogs and recipe websites to good old-fashioned cookbooks. Interestingly, not even digital cookbooks have a hold in modern society. According to an article in The Boston Globe, “Kindle, iPad, and other e-reader versions of cookbooks account for only 2 to 5 percent of all sales at major publishers.” The death of cookbooks isn’t centered on a desire to use technology; cookbooks have fallen because the Internet provides a quicker, easier, and cheaper way to obtain recipes than paging through a dense stack of bound paper. In addition to one-click access, websites and blogs typically provide features that are outside of a cookbook’s abilities. One example of this is Epicurious’ free iPhone application. Beyond the capacity to search for recipes, the application creates grocery lists based off of recipes and projects costs for one week’s worth of groceries based off of ingredients in chosen recipes. Though I recognize that it’s fun to use apps and it’s efficient to search the Internet for recipes, it’s important to slow down and peruse recipes for the sake of it. I get my news from The Huffington Post; I plan my life with Google Calendar. I tweet and post and “like” and comment, but when it comes to cooking, I am outdated: I open a cookbook, not a new tab. I do it in part to feel connected to my family. I do it in part to feel a part of a timeless human ritual, and in part just to lounge in a comfy chair, dog-earing corners and drooling over the glossy photographs. Today’s world mandates a balance between the two methods of obtention: We can use the Internet when we’re pressed for time and we can rely on our grandmother’s favorite cookbook when we have more flexibility. From stone to parchment to book to blog, I support rolling with the times so long as we don’t forget our roots. penn appétit