Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TV LADY CHEFS (& Guy Fieri)Please Listen Up

When we watch a TV cooking show it is usually Jacques Pepin. We're both fans. In fact the lil lady is so enamored of Jacques that she has proposed "more Pepin in two thousand ten" as a culinary rallying statement (with the French accent, of course).

In my view Pepin is to most other cooking shows as angel hair pasta is to pasta with hair.

Hairy Lady Chefs LISTEN UP:

Your hair flouncing around and over every step of every dish represents a deficiency in the most basic of food safety principles.

Hairy Chefs: Tie back your locks.

Blingy Chefs: Remove your jewelry. It is not legit in the kitchen. Guy Fieri is an appalling example. He's as bejeweled as a Queen on his show.

Ladies, germs and bejeweled hairy folk: Set a good example by abiding by Food Safety Fundamentals.

Mad Expensive Cheese

We stopped back to visit DiBruno Bros for another hit of River and Glen salmon. While there the extremely knowledgeable cheese guy suggested these 3 mad expensive cheeses. 1-The buffalo cheese I enjoyed most and it was $24.99/#. I do like Casatica, a similar buffalo cheese, better. 2- The Montgomery clothbound cheddar was $34.99/#. A quarter pound slab made a beautiful and imposing presentation. It's flavor was rich and complex. It is a delightful cheddar. 3-The #1 mad expensive was Harbourne Blue. This was a subtle and sophisticated goat blue. DiBruno called it a "well balanced blue for the table" @$44.99/#. I don't agree with that assessment but it was unusual and elegant. A taster expecting a classic crumbly/creamy rich, salty and moldy blue would be blue over Harbourne.

I found all that detail on the label valuable and a very useful customer service feature.

That rose sparkling wine was a super tasty deal we grabbed on our last visit to Total Wines and Spirits in Delaware. An excellent and thrifty accompaniment to the luscious River and Glen salmon.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Recently I asked the Lil Lady to pop into Di Bruno 9th St to grab one loaf of bread. She came back with a loaf plus a few "compelling sales items". These noodles were %50 off plus buy 2 get one free. Originally they were $15/# ! We served the farro noodles with broccoli rabe and a pork rib chop. They were very tasty. The noodles had a faintly sweet, nutty flavor and toothsome texture. In this dish they're sauced with San Marzano tomatos, chicken stock, olives, hot pepper and sage with Cana de Oveja on top. A delectable match-up

Two other noodles came from Nino's on Mifflin. I used a package of their frozen papardelle to serve with a batch of veal stew. I also served their cheese tortelini with bison hanger steak. the papardelle were in that sort of pillowy style abit fluffy. They worked fine in the dish but not my first choice. Both noodles were a good value at about $4/#.

The cheese tortelini were firm and flavorful and sauced up nicely with chives, sage and reggiano. The hanger steak @$7.99 is a whole lot of meat flavor with no bone and no waste, a tasty value.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Salmon at DiBruno's

Yesterday we stopped at DiBruno's Chestnut St. to see if they had any compelling sales items. We didn't find any. I did find a whole bunch of smoked fish that had no expiration date. Of course stuff like that gets my goat. I asked the fish guy about it. He didn't really have an answer except to say that the products are going to be discontinued. He was informative and cheerful about other smoked fish. He guided me around to the case where there was sliced-to-order salmon. ACME was there and so was River and Glen. He gave me the 'take my word for it look' about the River and Glen product. I ordered some and the guy in the pic did some sweet slicing. We grabbed a pumpernickel ficelle and made those little open faced sandwiches.

Dill, tomato, and onion came from the produce folks in the Comcast Ctr. where the produce was fresh and the pricing was very fair.

Thanks to the Dibruno's guys for the recommendation. This salmon was superb and the pricing was better than what I used to from Famous 4th. DiBruno sells the ACME salmon (nova) for $29.99 the River and Glen smoked salmon is $31.99. These are surprinngly reasonable #'s for Rittenhouse area.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cheesesteak SNAFU at Reading Terminal Market

The situation with steak sandwiches at Reading Terminal is an embarassment. The free for all continues and the tourists gotta be leaving town with a bad taste in their mouth, so, so sad.

"the time is always right to do the right thing"

Proud of Philly on the this remarkable day.

Weekend Grub

After Market on Saturday we were ravenous. We had a quick consult and then headed to Sonny's for cheese steaks and fries. Satisfying!

Sunday we hit Reading Terminal Mkt and the lil lady grabbed a gumbo to go from Beck's. She definitely loved it. The Beck's server was an efficient, knowledgeable sweetie.

Yikes Yelp at the Piazza!

There I was Saturday morning all psyched up for first day at the Piazza. I was in high spirits, packing hundreds of tasty canelé on a beautiful winter's day and WTF I discover they placed me next to yelp.

Turns out the newest yelp girl is a sweetie and we chatted about the bad people on yelp. We made friends and it all worked out fine.

The market was excellent. We had a lovely, warm for January day. There was a sizable crowd of very fancy dogs and lots of folks too. I gave out hundreds of samples and Joe and I both had fine sales especially for the first day of market. Here is a tasty slide show.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Piazza at Schmidt's Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the opening market day for the Piazza at Schmidt's. We'll be there with Joe coffee. Joe has a a fresh batch of this tasty Nicaraguan along with a bunch of others all roasted within the last 24-48 hrs.

Market Day Canelé will also be at Clark Park.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday at Reading Terminal

We popped in RTM Sunday morning to get chicken stock fixins.We found that Godshall was closed.

We grabbed stock veggies and some Metropolitan stuff. Their canelé was nice and the wheat kaisers were light and tasty. Metro's cracked wheat sour dough is the only bread I give space to in my freezer (Faragalli too I forgot).

The Camembert and ham are from Salumeria.

Clark Park Farmers Market

Wow what a great crowd at the market. Even on a freezy 26° Saturday Clark park was brimming with smiling faces and good spirits.

Lots of canelé enthusiasts, thanks folks. See you next Saturday.

After market and after napping we headed to Johnny Bears for some sustenance S. Philly style. John's Pasta e Fagioli was perfect and the roast pork should not be missed if you're in the area.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Clark Park Tomorrow

I am looking forward to tomorrows Clark Park Market. It's my first time back since early Autumn.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Trip To The Northeast

A $100 Needless Markup giftcard was our excuse to head North to Franklin Mills Mall. We once used a trip to 'Frankie' as justification for a Steve's Prince of Steaks chow down. Lately we've avoided the mall but still find a reason to get to Steves.

Vending machines for 'mini melts' and photo booths were scattered around the mall. They accepted visa and m/c! $5 for the pics and $3.50 for the frozen item, yikes.

That mammaquin was in the City Blue Outlet window.

Winter Manolo's $1K, blingy right?

Steve's bustled with a colorful group of customers. The steaks were close to fantastic.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bánh ướt, Coconuts, Duck Eggs

The lil lady grabbed too many coconuts for her Christmas Coconut (Alton Brown) cake. We froze the leftover coconut meat.

Those leftovers found their way into this recipe for coconut ice cream which suggests using duck eggs for a richer flavor. We found duck eggs at Hung Vuong and we also grabbed some bánh ướt.

Bánh ướt with a crispy fried duck egg was way better than my coconut ice

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome Twenty Ten

There was a zombie like quiet in West Cape May New Years Eve. The loudest sound I heard was the lil lady taking a hammer to a lobster claw.

Cape May lobsters still $7.50/#. We ate a sweet and tender 4 pounder along with home made french fries, cole slaw from the Lobster House and a brut rosé spumante that was on sale at the ACME.

Shrimp & grits for new years brunch using $7.99 u-15's also from Lobster House.

Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) blooms right around January 1. Its spicy fragrance is enchanting in chilly winter.