Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cherry Canele Caneles aux Cerises

I was quick to impugn Madame Celine's grapefruit flavored, light (calories), frozen for shipment canele. I'll roll with the punches if any reader takes a swipe at me for the cherry canele I made recently. They look pretty much like regular canele so I don't have a tasty pic. On the inside the cherries all float to the top, which is finally the bottom. This characteristic doesn't aid photogenicity.

I made only a few dozen. I gave them away to regular customers for sampling/feedback.

The cherries were basic South American imports. They had average flavor when fresh. Cooked they gave off a decent cherry-ness that is an undeniable happy friend of the custard, the vanilla and the rum. They did maintain a satisfying, stone fruity, textural bite after baking.

Rasmus Kofoed winning dishes @ Bocuse d'Or 2011

Scandinavians swept the Bocuse d'Or 2011. France did not make the podium for the 1st time. USA places 10th.

All Photos from gastros on tour.

Wondrous right?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thanks for Clearing Philly Streets

Even our modest lane was cleared by noon Friday.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Merguez & Merguez

No doubt there is other merguez around town .....but where? Here I show 2 versions. The plump linked sausage is from Sonny D'angelo. We served it on a charcuterie plate recently and everyone was impressed. That batch did seem to be especially delicious.    

In the lentil soup is WholeFoods Market version. This offering is superior to other sausage concoctions that are offered there. Their style is the thinner, longer link. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Spatchcock

The Lil Lady has become most proficient at preparing the spatchcock. Her version tastes as good as it looks. It's also especially fun to eat because all of the bones (except wings) have been removed. This plate has a little lemony thyme pan sauce and served with cauliflower au gratin and a tangle of watercress simply dressed.

There were hardly any carbs on this plate so I went ahead and melted a few walnut cream caramels to spoon over cherries and coffee ice cream.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Roast Boast Post

This mostly roasted grub was so right for a freezing January night. The vegetables were especially boast worthy. Those 'Hamon' white sweet potatoes were a delight. Cipollinis, fennel and carrots roasted along with the Hamons.

The beef was a tasty sirloin roast from WholeFoods on sale @$5.99/#. In the roasting pan lay a few handfuls of Davidson's mushrooms, sliced and moistened with red wine and stock. It reduced to a rich and savory light jus.

The mesclun and golden beets and most of the veggies came from The Fair Food Stand in Reading Terminal Mkt. So too did the Crottin de Chevre (Shellbark) and the amazingly outstanding, Pennsylvania's own, Noble Road Brie from Calkins Creamery. The Testun al Barolo and the ricotta for the cherry vanilla ricotta torte came from Claudio. We also killed half a loaf of Metropolitan cracked wheat (my favorite from Metro Bakery) and 1/2 a baguette from Wild Flour, also excellent.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thanks For Coming Out

Saturday Farmers markets in Philly were way too chilly.  Thanks to intrepid customers for venturing out and shopping with us. Chestnut Hill folks shared the warmth with us on our first visit! Same with Bryn Mawr. Thanks everyone for being such troopers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fresh Roasted & Baked @ Chestnut Hill, Rittenhouse, Fitler Sq. and Bryn Mawr Saturday

Tomorrow we've got canele at Bryn Mawr and Chestnut Hill Farmers Market for the first time. We've also got coffee beans just off the boat and fresh out of the roaster.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bánh bột lọc for Brunch

I doubt if it is authentic to toss an egg over a plate of bánh bột lọc and greens but........ add some nuoc cham and  
a bloody and it all becomes quite harmonious.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Desi Chaat House

Wow this is quite the tasty, complex and compelling Indian vegetarian deal. Samosas so savory I'd swear they were porky.

Tortilleria y San Ramon

Is it wrong to insist on tortillas with chiles rellenos? The lil lady says so but i don't care. Yesterday I popped in the Tortilleria and grabbed this pack of fresh tortillas. Steaming fresh, warm fragrant fresh, $2... I was amazed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rittenhouse Farmers Market Ingredients

These 2 dishes, based on prime ingredients from last weekend's farmers market, were delightful. The lamb tenderloin with lentils and spinach used lamb from CherryGrove Farms.

The other dish was made with halibut from Otolith. The quality of their stuff is remarkable. Here the fillet is seasoned and seared. Then it spent a minute or two in the oven with bits of dry rubbed bacon (pre-cooked). The fillet is plated with horseradish cream, mashed yukon golds and brussels sprouts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Modernist Cuisine

I am informed that 2011 is the year of Modernist Cuisine! There is a cookbook with the same name. It isn't out yet but you can pre-order at Amazon. The pre-order price guarantee is $500+ and includes free shipping.

 From the egullet site
What is Modernist Cuisine?

Modernist cuisine (also often referred to, not accurately, as molecular gastronomy or, a bit more accurately, as the culinary avant-garde) encompasses the culinary innovations, technology, and aesthetic of approximately the past three decades but especially since the turn of the century. Some aspects of modernist cuisine, such as the creations of Ferran Adria at the restaurant El Bulli in Spain, are highly experimental and unfamiliar to most diners. Other staples of modernism, such as sous-vide cookery and the iSi canister, have by now permeated the mainstream and are in use in even some of the most traditional restaurants.

Modernist Cuisine is also the title of a groundbreaking book by Society member Nathan Myhrvold ("nathanm") and a team of co-authors he assembled. This five-volume work got its start right here in an eG Forums discussion that has been running since 2004 and now includes more than 4,000 posts. You can learn more about the book and modernist cuisine at the website.

During the last few days we were planning a menu for a small party. Looking for inspiration, I got around to browsing blogs that sketched out dining experiences at L2O and Alinea and other starred U.S. spots. After viewing the famous bacon love swin I was feeling insecure about my muse. The overall imagination involved in many of the modernist compositions is incredible.

I think finding a good slice of ham is a challenge. Meanwhile these folks have created "a work destined to reinvent cooking".

Monday, January 10, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Canele Tomorrow

We're back!  Clark Park, Fitler Sq. and Rittenhouse Farmers Markets tomorrow 10-2. Also Pumpkin Market and La Colombe Rittenhouse.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Philly Cheese Steaks at Reading Terminal Market


The pathetic state of the cheese steak at RTM has been gnawing at me for a while. I imagined assuaging my rancor by eating at each of the vendors that are now offering 'cheese steaks' there and then discussing it here at the cafe. I didn't get far. I started with By George. A few RTM insiders told me that this was the best of the lot. His cheese steak was huge and very chopped/pre-chewed. The roll was tasty but the overall composition was maybe a couple of notches above ghetto style. My cheese steak with mushrooms and onions, a club soda (small) and pitiful fries was $13. Ya that's wrong. It was very similar to the sandwich that is sold at Rocco's located in the parking lot at Home Depot Delaware Ave. The quality is good for a truck stop but not acceptable for a food market.

I intended to hit Carmens next, but as I observed their technique, ingredients and 'grill cooks' I couldn't bring myself to do it. Same with Spataro's. Both of these spots, in fact all three of these vendors jumped on the bandwagon after Rick got kicked.

Lately when I'm in RTM and jonesing for a cheese steak I head over to the Millers (Amish) for a pretzel cheese steak. It may be the best overall cheese steak at RTM and they are $4.50 each or 2/$8.

Additional update.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

The New Yorker starts 2011 with this sweet gastronomical  piece