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The Food Almanac: Monday, February 3, 2014

The Food Almanac: Monday, February 3, 2014

Today’s Flavor

It is supposed to be National Carrot Cake Day. Carrot cakes get a lot of attention because we all know carrots are good for us. That gives us permission to eat twice as much of the cakes, despite the sweet, rich icing. You can feel the good things and the bad things fight it out inside, to paraphrase Mark Twain. The most impressive carrot cake in New Orleans was at Smith and Wollensky, where one slice could feed a family of four until they left town after the hurricane.

Chronicles Of Cheese

Today in 1815, the first factory making cheese for wide distribution and sale opened in Switzerland. Before then, cheese was the produce of farmers, who usually made their cheeses with milk they produced themselves. This historic moment opened the way for the eventual emergence of cheese in an aerosol can.

Music To Drink Beer By

This is the day in 1967 when Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze. Little did he know it would inspire a raspberry- flavored beer made in Abita Springs decades latter. He probably wouldn’t have cared. Abita Brewery’s Purple Haze beer remains one of its signature brews.

Edible Dictionary

patty shell, n.A cup made of puff pastry, filled with thick, saucy stuffings and baked until the shell is browned and the sauce bubbly. Patty shells are an inch or two (at the most) in diameter, and about an inch deep. They’re the same thing as a vol-au-vent, but smaller. In New Orleans, by far the most popular filling for patty shells is a concoction of oysters in a veloute. They are very popular as finger-food appetizers at parties. A major culinary crisis occurred when the largest maker of patty shells — McKenzie’s Bakery — went out of business. They’re easy enough to find in other bakeries and frozen, however. Some people try to make their own, but that’s more difficult than it looks.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Celeryville, Ohio is in the north-central part of the state, on the south side of Willard, in a large area of farms, mostly growing corn. However, they historically did grow a good deal of celery in the area, hence the name. The popular restaurant is the 224 Varsity Club, with a menu ranging from steaks to pizza, and a sports bar.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

Carrot and parsnip tops are so closely related to parsley that you can use them for any parsley purpose. One day, I will include them in the sauce for oysters Rockefeller.

Deft Dining Rule #631:

The only time a chef uses parsnips is when he’s trying to create the illusion that you’re eating something you can’t get at home. Most of the time, though, it’s not something you’d want to get at home.

Physiology Of Eating

Dr. Henry Heimlich was born today in 1920. He popularized a method of saving a choking victim so well that the technique is now known as the Heimlich Maneuver. He published a story about it called “Pop Goes The Cafe Coronary” in 1974. Shortly after the article came out, a restaurateur used the technique to save a woman who was choking on a carrot. The maneuver consists of putting one’s arms around the chocking victim from behind, holding a fist in the other hand. and giving a quick, forceful upward thrust to the abdomen right below the rib cage. This often dislodges whatever is blocking the air passages. It’s not without risk, but it has saved many lives.

The Saints

This is the feast day of St. Blaise, who lived in the third and fourth centuries and became widely venerated across Europe. He is the patron saint of Dubrovnik, Croatia, where the cathedral named for his is much visited. He is the saint whose intercession is called upon by those wishing not to have diseases of the throat. In Catholic churches everywhere, a blessing of the throat with two candles is given on this date. This is a blessing I always try to get, because I love by talking and swallowing.

Annals Of Food Writing

On this date in 1946 Holiday,a large-format, slick, beautiful travel magazine, published its first issue. There was nothing comparable at the time, and it dominated the field for years. One of its most influential features was the Holiday Restaurant Awards, given annually and proudly displayed by restaurants that received them. In the 1970s, Holiday was merged into Travel to create a mediocre magazine that stopped publishing in 2003.

Annals Of Food Art

Norman Rockwell was born today in 1894. He was most famous for his Americana-drenched covers for The Saturday Evening Post, but those paintings were so evocative of American culture that they’ve lived on long beyond the magazine. Rockwell’s depiction of Thanksgiving dinner, “Freedom From Want,” created the ideal for all Thanksgiving dinners, one that is still revered even by people who haven’t seen the painting.

Food Namesakes

Football player Eric Curry was born today in 1971. Actress Joan Rice made her entrance today in 1930. Joanna de Bourbon, the queen consort to Charles V of France, was born today in 1338.

Words To Eat By

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” — Garfield the cartoon cat, by Jim Davis.

Words To Drink By

“Better to have loved amiss than never to have loved.” — George Crabbe, English writer, died today in 1832.

Slow Down for Meatless Monday with Banana Hearts

While the rise of the veggie burger is an extraordinary story of massive shifts in consumer behavior, the substitution for one processed food for another is not a reason to be cheerful. However, in speaking with Slow Food’s International Councilor from the Philippines Pacita Juan, there is an indigenous alternative to the veggie burger. It is healthy, and relatively easy to make.

Pacita Juan is concerned with the Filipino diet: Extremely high in salt and carbohydrates.

Just think of the role that anchovy paste plays in popular dishes, like Kare Kare , together with rice. The middle class is relatively small. However, as with much of the rest of the world, it dreams of wagyu (beef), even though most of the time it can only afford chicken in fast food chains, like Jollibee. Or, to be more precise: Juan describes how eaters “consume the leftover dark meat — legs and thighs — dumped into the local market by the US.” After all, in North America if industry could raise the chicken breast without the rest of the animal, they would.

At the ECHOcafé , Juan has noticed a growing interest in vegetable-centric dishes. With chronic diseases impacting many families, flexitarianism is becoming the new normal: Less beef, less chicken, and more vegetable alternatives. Whereas packaged and processed veggie patties are an expensive drag on food costs for restaurants, Juan makes great use of an ingredient that is familiar to most Filipino home kitchens: The heart (or blossom) of the banana.

High in potassium (good for heart health), it is also local, affordable and ideal for transforming into a patty for veggie burgers. If you’re like me, you’ve seen the blossoms on sale in markets but without a clue as to how to prepare these large, red flowers. Scan Filipino cookbooks and you will see banana hearts as a key ingredient in many stews. Blended with other ingredients, it proves to be an even better carrier for flavor than the now wildly-popular meat substitute, the Jackfruit.

Obviously banana hearts are not easy to access everywhere, but the idea of a meatless-burger is not new and inspiration fills the pages of the internet. Lists upon lists of options to fulfill your meat-less burger craving, some of them you can even grill, which covers the primal need to cook over fire.

Artichokes are similar in texture to banana blossoms. Both have thick outer layers and the potential to deliver a soft heart once cooked. In fact, artichoke burgers have appeared in restaurant menus for a few years now.

If you get your hands on some banana hearts, let us know how it goes. We are eager to hear about!

Photo credit

Banana Heart Burger (or Puso Ng Saging)

Do you grow your own bananas? If so, which variety? Industrial production is dominated by the Cavendish. Let’s keep biodiversity flourishing. If you grow or purchase bananas (and their hearts), try other varieties. One beloved variety on the Philippine Ark of Taste is the Saging Mondo Banana, but there are many others. In the ECHOcafé, Juan serves the banana heart burger on a typical Philippine bread roll: Pan de Sal. Hers is a squash-tumeric pan de sal. Yum!


ECHOcafé’s Banana Heart Burger: If bananas grow in your region or if you are lucky enough to live in a community with ample Asian shopping options, you will find banana hearts (or blossoms) on offer. If not, you may still find the blossoms canned. If banana hearts are nowhere to be found, then substitute the banana heart with 3 beets and 1 carrot.

  • 1 banana heart (approximately 500g) — if unavailable to you, substitute with 3 beets and 1 carrot
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP white flour
  • 3 pinches of salt

Pan de Sal

  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • Breadcrumbs


Since both the burger and the bun are popular Filipino dishes, I recommend you to published authorities for instructions. In particular, the Yummy Kitchen video is particularly helpful to learn how to chop and boil the banana heart, then blend with ingredients to fry up in a shallow pan of oil. Follow Yummy Kitchen’s instructions but using Juan’s ingredients. The result is quite astonishing! Another useful site — Filippino Veggie Food — also describes the preparation clearly on its site . You will notice that Juan’s version suggests kaffir leaves. Great idea!

If you are unable to find banana hearts, substitute them with beets, carrot and onion. Grate the fresh beets and carrots. Finely chop the onion. Sauté the root vegetables for 8-10 minutes in enough olive oil to coat the pan. Remove from the heat and drain excess liquid. Once cool enough to work with, combine with other ingredients.

As for the Pan de Sal , it is a perfect accompaniment. Usually served at breakfast, these little rolls are soft on the inside, making them ideal to absorb condiments. Try these two recipes for a useful basis to prepare. You can also adjust to suit your tastes and product choices: The Little Epicurean and Salu Salo recipes.

To learn more about Meatless Monday: Watch the videos about how it is going global and the tour of Terra Madre . To join us, submit a recipe of your own via email ( [email protected] ). If you prepare this week’s

Meal-Prep Monday: 3 Weight-Loss Recipes for Spring

Ask Registered Dietitian Annessa Chumbley, and she’ll tell you that say people say healthy food is impossible because it’s not always budget-friendly or convenient. But that doesn’t have to be true! She gives us a lesson using hardboiled eggs to cover both of those myths!

Recipe #1: Veggie Noodle Ramen Jar

1/2 zucchini, cut into thin noodles or ribbons

1/4 cup petite baby carrots, thinly sliced

2 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 medium spring onion, sliced

2 teaspoons liquid aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

1 1/4 cups beef bone broth or stock

1. In a wide mouth pint jar, add zucchini, red cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and scallion,

pushing down gently to make room for the egg. Add ginger, liquid aminos (soy sauce) and egg.

2. When ready to eat, heat beef broth to boiling. Add to jar and cover with lid. Let set about 4

minutes. Pour into a bowl and serve!Notes:

1. If you don’t have a zoodle maker, use a vegetable peeler to make the zucchini ribbons.

2. For a spicy variation, add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce!

Nutritional Information: Calories 166, Total Fat 5.6 g, Saturated Fat 1.6 g, Polyunsaturated Fat

0.8 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.0 g, Cholesterol 186.0 mg,

Sodium 1,705.5 mg, Potassium 523.1 mg, Total Carbohydrate 17.8 g,

Dietary Fiber 4.5 g, Sugars 8.8 g, Protein 12.9 g

Recipe #2: Avocado Deviled Eggs

2 large brown eggs, hard boiled

pinch of ground black pepper

1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop yolk into a small bowl. Add avocado, lime zest, salt

and pepper. Mash with a fork until well combined. Spoon egg yolk mixture into egg

whites. Top with Sriracha sauce.Notes:

1. Less air contact keeps it looking fresher! If storing for later use, plastic wrap should touch

avocado mix to avoid browning.

2. Cilantro leaves would make a tasty fresh garnish for this quick and easy snack.

Nutritional Information: Calories 104, Total Fat 7.5 g, Saturated Fat 1.9 g, Polyunsaturated Fat

1.0 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g, Cholesterol 186.0 mg,

Sodium 213.1 mg, Potassium 134.6 mg, Total Carbohydrate 2.3 g, Dietary Fiber 1.0 g, Sugars

Recipe #3: Avocado Egg Salad

3 large brown eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped

1/4 cup celery, diced (about 1 stalk)

1/4 cup petite baby carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1. In a medium mixing bowl, mash avocado with a fork. Add remaining ingredients

and mix until fully incorporated. Enjoy immediately.Pro tips:

1. Serve egg salad on lettuce leaves or a hearty slice of whole grain bread.

2. Garnishing with radish slices adds a nice crunch to this salad.

Servings Per Recipe: about 2

Nutritional Information: Calories 275, Total Fat 21.4 g, Saturated Fat 4.3 g,

Polyunsaturated Fat 2.7 g, Monounsaturated Fat 11.5 g, Cholesterol 279.0 mg, Sodium

Watch the video: Προσφορές Πέμπτη 1008 έως Δευτέρα 1408 (January 2022).