Monday, June 29, 2009

Tomatoes at HeadHouse

Blooming Glen had PA tomatoes at Market on Sunday. They sold out with the quickness; so fast that i didn't even get a photo. I was a vendor this Sunday and I was there till the market was over. At markets end the vendors were giving/trading their stuff away. I received a bunch of basil and made this delicious shrimp, sausage and basil pizza.

In the canele dept. the results were better this week but not nearly as good as what i produce at home. The canele at market had good flavor but the texture was a little flabby. I'm perplexed about how to achieve the home results in the commercial oven with commercial molds???

The pic shows home made canele and the other canele pic is from an Adam Erace tweet.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Babbling Loudmouth

You have become a babbling loudmouth
Your insolent ranting, something to joke about.

The lies you have found, you have woven together,
The rope you have crafted, you will find around your neck.

Pride has swollen your head, your faith has grown blind.
The elephant that falls will not rise.

Poetry by Simin Behbahani.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I got down to the Italian Market spice shop on Monday and grabbed a big bag of the chilies used to make cucarachas. Tuesday night I stopped off at Johnny Bears Lounge for instructions and a hot pork sandwich. Wednesday night I fried them up and they are outstanding.

They were an excellent addition to the these noodles sauced with Rogue Creamery smoked blue

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Steak and Potatoes and Radishes

Last night we cooked up the radish greens with garlic and made mashed potatoes with the 'Purple Vikings'. The heirloom radishes we ate raw and chilled. The 'Purple Vikings' did make extraordinary mashed, the radish greens made a good contrast with the potatoes and the WholeFoods rib steak was very tasty. This was an excellent plate using a few superior local ingredients. Thanks to Savoie for the tasty and distinctive radishes and to Colton Organics for the potatoes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bloody Monday

I've been trying to keep a close watch on events unfolding in Iran. The twitter thing is one aspect but there are videos on youtube of unarmed protesting, young people being shot in the streets, bloody sidewalks etc. I'm not sure if these vids were made today. This is the EXTREMELY GRAPHIC video of a young woman dying on the streets of Tehran. I think it occurred Saturday 6/20.

After this uprising and the official response how can any civilized nation regard Iran's leadership as legit? Blaming the West, refusing to consider a recount, threatening protesters with death are the responses so far. These actions reflect pitiful judgement and a disgraceful lack of integrity and morals. It is despotism

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HeadHouse Market

I had a massive and painful canele failure today. My own faulty gauging of the degree of doneness for my first batch in the Philly Kitchen Share ovens doomed me. The batch turned out miserably and could not be sold as legit. OUCH

Like in the Haiku with the view of the moon I walked around and grabbed a few items at market. There was a bounty of beauties there today. I grabbed radishes and $5 worth, 1.5# of 'Purple Viking' potatoes. I think it's more satisfying and authentic to cook with the heirloom products, veggies especially. Varieties produced on a smaller scale grown specifically for flavor or a particular cooking technique vs varieties grown for ability to withstand storage or insecticide ???

It's disappointing that on cooking shows the chefs grab ingredients they haven't tasted or been briefed on. It gives the very false impression that you can make a worthwhile dish with anything you can find. It's correct only when you're starving.

Last year the long neck garlics that Beechwood was selling and the garlic that I usually get at the Italian, Reading or WholeFoods market were very different. The texture was crisper and the aroma and taste was lighter and greener in Beechwoods garlic. I would search out a variety garlic especially for a dish that relied on prominent garlic note. Same deal with the excellent roscoff onions that were once at Iovine.

There were also good looking cherries and strawberries there at the Beechwood table. I am happy to see those folks back at HeadHouse.

In the background of photo are crocosmia, the flower guy up near Lombard St had a great homegrown pot of those beautiful flowering stems.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thursday'sSouth St. Market

The rain took a break for a few hours Thursday afternoon and we rushed over with canele. A few other vendors showed as well. There was coffee, sorbet, cookies, BBQ and lots of sampling and PLENTY of samplers.

Thanks to all my customers and thanks to Brett (guy in pic) and the lil lady (in pic).

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Awesome is the right word to describe what is happening in Iran. At least as exciting and reassuring as the election of Obama, the actions of the Iranian protesters are electrifying, encouraging and inspiring.

Hard to imagine Americans turning off the TV to do much of anything subversive.

Photo from Lisa Maronelli's story in The Atlantic

WholeFoods Market Thursday Farmers Market.

Come on by today, rain or shine, for the first run of this every other Thursday Mkt. It's outside of the South St. WholeFoods from 2-7pm. Not sure who all is going to be offering stuff. I heard that Perrier may be there with sorbet! I'll be there with the le' le's.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cabernet Franc Wine Tasting

Eric Simonis, Sommelier at Lacroix, hosted a tasting of Cabernet Franc at the Rittenhouse Hotel last night. I was completely clueless about this wine. I received an education. Eric told us about the history, the acreage and soils, vinification, the AOC and of course the flavor. The plate that was at each place setting included salmon tartar with smoked Caesar dressing, cherry gelee with chocolate ganache, beef chawanmushi, and a bacon and mushroom candy. Culinary inventiveness is a strong suit at Lacroix.

Hey, isn't that a Market Day Canele bag on the Sommelier's table!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cape May Little Necks

I try to be the kind of cook who tastes stuff BEFORE planning the menu. On two occasions recently I used clams over Cape May Salts. The clams had better qualities. These were salty, juicy, firm, tender and meaty sweet. The Salts were not at their prime. Clams were $3.75/dz. Salts were $7.95/dz.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Crevettes Duet

WholeFoods has U-15 previously frozen shrimp @$12.99/#. According to Ken (the fish Dept mgr at South St) these were fresh American shrimp that WholeFoods got a good deal on and bought up a few weeks back. They sold some fresh and froze some. I guess i missed the fresh ones. The frozen version is very good. We used them a few times. Lil lady made the shrimp n grits.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Caneles Two Ways

In the photo you can see canele batter cooking in copper molds and in an 8 cavity silicone mold. Molds were prepped with beeswax and butter and the results from both molds were impressive. The copper gives a more evenly cooked, crisper, and better colored canele.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Italian Market Today

Whoa, there was plenty of inspiration at the Italian today. Great looking cherries and apricots and mouth watering long, hot peppers. They all had sweet prices.

Aren't those film workers on 9th st rude?

West Cape May Cooking: Bella Vida on Broadway

Bella Vida is a sure bet for a casual lunch/dinner spot in West Cape May. It's not gimmicky or touristy at all. The cooking is consistently tasty and fresh and the folks there have a very warm vibe going on. They almost always have crab soup, it's crabby! In Autumn they have served an excellent squash soup.

Gaetano and the lil lady eat there religiously.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday at HeadHouse Market

Beautiful Sunday for marketing. Headhouse had a nice crowd and I was there at Joes Coffee stand with Market Day Canele! Because I am going through changes, trying to get my canele to come out right in these new molds, I didn't have very many to sell. I did sell out in just 2 hours so I was very pleased. Thanks to everyone who tried out my canele.

I was so knocked out from baking through wee hours that I did not really check out other vendors. I did see folks walking around with garlic scapes. I wanted some but spaced.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Grazing on Grass Fed Beef, Whole Foods Market

At WholeFoods South St., White Oak Pastures was sampling their heritage, grass fed, naturally and humanely produced beef. Ethan there was searing off little beef meat balls. I said hello and took a photo of the company president and rancher Will Harris III. Will told me that he was enjoying the hospitality and kindness of Philadelphians on his visit. He was there with his daughter Jenni, who was assisting Ethan. They were both real excited about giving folks a taste of their product. I tasted it and bought some ground beef $5.99/# 85% lean. It was excellent quality beef with light and beefy flavor, no gaminess, nice texture and delicious, non greasy juiciness. I learned later that Will's company was able to expand the ranch's capabilities with financial assistance from WFM. At White Oak Pastures the animals are raised, slaughtered and packaged in house. That capacity adds an element of control that support's Will's mission.

In a play straight out of the SuperFresh tactics manual WholeFoods was sampling and selling Will's ground beef while the WholeFoods house ground beef was on sale for $3.49/# and ground bison was also on sale for $5.49/#. A real ground-up!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Market Day Canele

I might be in Headhouse this Sunday. After making a mega sample batch last Sunday it was apparent the packaging needed simplification. This image is printed on a sticker and holds the rolled paper closed.

The gorgeous nun I swiped from a painting by Clovis Trouille. The hive background is a portion of a Joe B piece, the font is Butter.