Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chocolate: The Bad, The Bogus, The Best

THE BAD: WholeFoods Market sells "organic truffles" that are pretty much coconut oil balls dusted with cocoa. Inquiries with WholeFoods into whether the success of these 'cocolates' had caused failures in their motorized shopping carts went unanswered. Since they've been restocked for the holidays I have noticed a low battery level on the WholeFoods hoveround.  The manufacturer of this product, Cemoi, does a lot of private labeling at the very bottom of the pricing spectrum. They don't taste as wretched as the ingredient list would suggest perhaps because each 1 oz truffle delivers about 18% of RDA for saturated fat. You might say who F'en cares. Agree! I don't care so much about that. The F'ed up part's not even chocolate. I call that  Bad Crap.  

THE BOGUS: The Vosges bar that I purchased had a pathetic glamor pic and a wretched third person bio: "After graduating from Vanderblah U., Katrina blah blah blah, then attended Le Cordon Blah."   Shouldn't I give Kat a call and suggest that she terminate whoever it was that directed her to publish 'my personal odyssey' on a candy wrapper? I say: "let's taste your chocolate". I sampled only one version, the Black Pearl Bar. Thanks to the Lil lady I'm schooled in this flavor combo.  This bar tastes like Black Pearl if you use your imagination and you have a fever. If you haven't got a high temperature you'll need patience because this chocolate melts just a little easier than beeswax.  With patience and hot saliva interesting flavor notes do manifest. The package shows a slice of wasabi root and it is listed as the last ingredient. An authetic wasabi note is undetectable. Not what I'd call amazing.  Vosges uses NO COCONUT OIL IN THIS BAR.

THE BEST: Happily the best are 3 locally available superb quality chocolates.  The Love Bars sold on HeadHouse Sundays lately are superb. The chocolate is delightful it tastes like an excellent poem: mysterious, larger than life, satisfying...NO GLAMOR PIC OR NUTTY 3RD PERSON BIO. The wrappers, in fact, show crafty graphics. This chocolate was reason enough to talk smack about chocolate.

Teuscher hasn't dropped the bar when it comes to the real deal. Their champagne truffle is the gold standard according to my metrics.

John & Kira's chocolates too are of exceptional deliciousness. The fig, bourbon ganache combo is a virtuoso composition.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

There is an embarassment of riches for many of us. We're extremely grateful for the bounty.

Thanks to my unbelievably supportive customers!

I'm grateful for the gift of culinary ability.

THANKS to service men and women who sacrifice everything. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

HeadHouse Market OPEN TOMORROW!

There will be lots of good stuff at market tomorrow. We're bringing canelé and caramel gift boxes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Orange Fleur de Sel Caramel

Around here there's been quite an abundance of zest-less oranges. After we skin them for canele batter we try and juice them promptly for screwdrivers or other cocktails. We've been trying, but we can't keep up.

This batch of orange Fleur de Sel caramels made with fresh OJ have a fine orange flavor riding high on the caramel base. At Fair Food tomorrow and at farmers Markets this weekend.  

Those maple leaves I plucked from my deck. They fell from 'Koshibori Nishiki'.

Truffle + Pheasant + Chestnuts + Mascarpone= dud

I imagined I was feeling some legit Autumn culinary inspiration as I padded through all those fallen leaves yesterday. At the Italian Mkt things got slightly out of control . It started at DiBruno Bros where I couldn't resist a fresh (relatively) Perigord truffle. It was tiny, $13.00. Next I grabbed a fresh pheasant at Sonny D'Angelo's.  Claudio supplied mascarpone. There were chestnuts everywhere and WholeFoods Mkt. had some acceptable escarole.

Earlier the Lil lady had picked up a pound of pasta sheets from Talluto.

The ravioli were filled with chestnuts, mascarpone, goat ricotta (Shellbark) and grated truffle. I pan fried the pheasant with garlic and marjoram. The escarole was sauteed with Colton's heirloom garlic and butter. On top of the rav's you see the seared pheasant liver, sage, truffles and Reggiano. I was thinking this would be so dang splendid! It wasn't. Those chestnuts were way sweet. They made the ravs distractingly desert-y. The pheasant would have been perfect for a coyote but was chewy for this human. The liver and truffle were both tasty and suitably seasonal. The escarole and garlic were delish.

This prickly culinary lesson had extra sting to it as I reflected back on the sensational pheasant dish presented at last years Winter Love Feast.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pre Thanksgiving Thanks

Market Day Canele received a flurry of compliments over the last week or so and we are extremely grateful to all of our supporters.

First thanks to Rhodey Girl!
Thanks to Philly Weekly and Tara Desmond where our canele are listed along with lots of other fantastic grub available in our fine and tasty city.

A big thanks to Flying Kite Media who got all up in our stuff to learn about me, the Lil lady and our canele story.

A 2X thanks to Grid for featuring us in their Holiday Gift Guide and the following up Paq-Man style with this missive from the Griddle.

We are a little proud but immensely grateful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I spied a few choice fillets of tile fish at the Lobster House last week @9.99/#. I regretted investing it in this fish stew. The dish is a Brittany classic but the version I ended up with wasn't what I was shooting for.  

All the ingredients were close to prime and the broth was tasty. I did maybe fire up the croutons a little too much. I used arugula instead of sorrel. The guests loved it. Scallops, clams and fish from Lobster House. Shrimp and mussels from John Yi. Octopus from Whole Foods Mkt. Whole Foods also supplied a pair of snapper skeletons for stock.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gratitude on Veterans Day

What else to say but Thanks to courageous veterans.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fresh King Crab at Whole Foods

2 times a year Whole Foods offers these amazing, never frozen beauties. They were available last week at $19.99/#. A good value I could not resist. Amazing,  sweet crabby delight, ethereal texture ......rarely do items in the fish case match the deliciousness that is carefully handled and cooked, never frozen Alaskan King Crab.


We grabbed a wedge of this cow's milk cheese jacked with juniper at Dibruno on 9th. We found it quite tasty with an unexpected semi creamy aspect. It was a hit on our cheese plate.

Here's Janet Fletcher with the low down. She doesn't say much about the super moldy rind. It's taste had the sensation of dissolving a penicillin tablet on your tongue.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Talula's Salmon

At Sunday's HeadHouse Market Amy traded me salmon for canele! Mmm excellent trade!

The salmon was lighter on smoke than some other Talula smoked stuff. Those fat slices suited the lightly fumed and fresh, light but buttery flavors. About $28/#.

Available at Headhouse on Sunday also at Green Aisle Grocery.