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Food News 7-28-11

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  • robalini
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://robalini.blogspot.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2011
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      Steamshovelpress.com is back! New web content! New book product! New conference information! PLUS: a new, daily, twitterish quip: "Parapolitics Offhand!"

      Now available on CD and through US Mail only: Popular Parapolitics, 219 pages, illustrated, of comentary on the nexus of parapolitics and popular culture. $15 post paid from Kenn Thomas, POB 210553, St. Louis, MO 63121.


      The 2011 Xtreme Eating Awards
      Center for Science in the Public Interest

      •The Cheesecake Factory Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake. Total calories: 1,540, Total saturated fat: 59 grams

      •IHOP Monster Bacon `N Beef Cheeseburger (two bacon-burger patties topped with American and provolone cheeses on a "Romano-Parmesan" bun). Total calories: 1,250, Total saturated fat: 42 grams, Sodium: 1,590 milligrams

      •Denny's Fried Cheese Melt with fries. Total calories: 1,260, Total saturated fat: 21 grams, Sodium: 3,010 milligrams

      •The Cheesecake Factory Farmhouse Cheeseburger (includes pork belly, cheddar cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo and fried egg). Total calories: 1,530 calories, Total saturated fat: 36 grams, Sodium: 3,210 milligrams

      •Cold Stone Creamery PB&C Shake, per 24 fl. oz. Total calories: 2,010, Total saturated fat: 68 grams

      •Applebee's Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccini (cheese-stuffed meatballs in marinara sauce and parmesan cream sauce atop about four cups of pasta, served with garlic bread). Total calories: 1,520, Total saturated fat: 43 grams, Sodium: 3,700 milligrams

      •Great Steak extra-large King Fries (French fries topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream).Total calories: 1,500, Total saturated fat: 33 grams, Sodium: 4,980 milligrams

      •Morton's Porterhouse Steak (24 ounces of aged prime beef before cooking). Total calories: 1,390, Total saturated fat: 36 grams, Sodium: 1,200 milligrams. That's not including sides, like 850-calorie mashed potatoes or 330-calorie creamed spinach.


      Stoner Cooking

      Buttermilk Baked Chicken
      Recipe courtesy the Neelys
      Show: Down Home with the Neelys
      Episode: Hometown Favorites

      Total Time: 13 hr 0 min.
      Prep 15 min.
      Inactive 12 hr 0 min.
      Cook 45 min.
      Yield: 4 servings

      2 cups buttermilk
      Juice of 1/2 lemon
      1 tablespoon hot sauce
      1/2 yellow onion, sliced
      5 sprigs fresh thyme
      3 cloves garlic, smashed
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      1 (3 pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces, rinsed and patted dry
      2 cups crushed corn flakes
      3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

      Mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add chicken and coat with mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up 12 hours.

      Mix corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and thyme together. Season with salt and pepper.

      Remove chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the corn flake-Parmesan mixture, pressing to help it adhere.

      Place on the wire rack-fitted sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp.

      Cook's Note: Remove the skin to save calories. Soaking chicken in buttermilk leaves the chicken incredibly moist with a delicious flavor.


      Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

      For the dressing:

      8 to 12 ounces Florida orange juice

      2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

      8 cloves garlic

      1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

      1 cup smooth peanut butter

      4 ounces soy sauce

      3 ounces rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar

      3 ounces sesame oil, toasted

      Combine 8 ounces orange juice and remaining ingredients in food processor and purée until smooth. Add additional orange juice if desired to adjust consistency.

      For the salad:

      1 pound cellophane noodles, softened in Florida orange juice and drained

      2 pounds carrots, cut into julienne strips

      2 hothouse or English cucumbers, cut into julienne strips (no quotes on English)

      1 pound fresh bean sprouts

      2 to 4 red bell peppers, cut into julienne strips

      3 pounds chicken strips, cooked

      1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

      ½ bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

      Combine all ingredients in large bowl and toss to combine. Add peanut dressing and toss gently until salad is coated with dressing. Serve immediately.

      Makes 8 to 10 servings


      How to Make the Perfect Banana Split

      In these times of economic torpor, indulgence appears to have gone totally out of fashion. Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to the way we eat.

      Nowadays, just about everywhere you look, there are articles filled with uninspiring ways to feed a family of four for $4, TV programs showing you how to turn cheap cuts of meat into hearty meals and blogs extolling the joys of earthy root vegetables in our diet.

      So, as a counterpoint, I am going to offer up some recipes that all come from a time when the words "full fat" were not considered satanic. Some, like today's offering of the banana split recipe are straightforward, being more acts of composition than culinary endeavor. Others may take a little more time and effort.

      But they all have one thing in common: They're gloriously indulgent and come from a time when food was, to put it quite simply, better.

      The credit for creating the banana split may have many claimants. However, the general consensus is that its roots can be traced back to 1904 and the town of Latrobe, PA. A pharmacy assistant named David Strickler returned from a trip to Atlantic City and was inspired by the soda fountains he had seen on his travels. He went about creating his own sundae using bananas.

      Bananas had only begun to appear in the U.S. in the 1880s and were still considered a luxury, as was the pineapple that Strickler also put in the mix. When combined with three ice creams, chocolate syrup, marshmallows, whipped cream, nuts, and cherries, it made for quite a premium version of the drugstore delight, and one he was forced to sell for a dime, twice as much as other normal drugstore ice-cream treats.

      Strickler, who later bought the pharmacy, hoped that the dessert would attract students from the nearby St. Vincent's College. He was right, and the popularity of the dish soon began to spread locally. But it took the intervention of one of the country's most famous pharmacies to make this dish a wider sensation, when Walgreen's began to offer it in their Chicago branches.

      The banana split arguably reached the height of its popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, but since the more calorie-conscious days of the 1980s, it has suffered an inglorious absence from dining menus.

      Well, it's time to change all that. If you want to sample a truly decadent piece of American culinary history, below is my recipe for the perfect banana split.

      Banana Split Recipe
      (per person)
      1 banana (ripe, but not black)
      1 scoop strawberry ice cream
      1 scoop chocolate ice cream
      1 scoop vanilla ice cream
      ½ cup of crushed pineapple
      ¼ cup mini marshmallows
      ½ cup whipping cream
      3 maraschino cherries
      ¼ cup blanched, chopped almonds (dry-roasted in a pan)
      2 fan-shaped ice cream wafers (any shape will do if you can't find these, but I think they add to the appeal)

      To get the true effect, you will also need to seek out a proper banana-split boat. Some stores do sell them, but you can also find them online.

      The syrups
      There are lots of recipes online. These are fairly standard ones.

      Chocolate syrup
      (You can use store-bought or see recipe below.)
      1 cup water
      1 cup white sugar
      1 cup unsweetened hot chocolate or cocoa powder
      1 tspn vanilla extract

      1-Combine water and sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved to form a sugar syrup.
      2-Add the cocoa powder and stir until it has all been combined in the sugar syrup.
      3-Allow to cool and add the vanilla extract.
      4-Decant to a squeeze sauce bottle and place in the refrigerator until needed.

      Strawberry syrup
      (Store bought or see recipe below.)
      1 cup water
      1 cup white sugar
      2 cups mashed ripe strawberries

      1-Combine the water and sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved to form a sugar syrup.
      2-Add the mashed strawberries and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.
      3-Pass the strawberry mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and pulp, and decant the syrup to a squeeze bottle and place in the refrigerator until needed.
      assembling the banana split

      1-Peel the banana and split lengthwise.
      2-Whip the cream and keep ready to one side.
      3-Lay the two halves of banana facing each other on the glass plate.
      4-Place one scoop each of the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream between the two halves of banana.
      5-Top the ice-cream scoops with crushed pineapple and then with whipped cream.
      6-Add the mini marshmallows.
      7-Squirt a good amount of the strawberry and chocolate syrups over the whipped cream.
      8-Top with a handful of roasted almonds and the three cherries.
      9-Place a wafer at either end of the glass plate and serve to an awestruck audience.


      Supermarket Standoff: Hot Dogs
      Julia Bainbridge, Bon Appetit

      We have embarked on a taste test tour of supermarket foods. We nibble, we score, and we share the results to help you avoid the paralysis of Brand Choice Overload.

      Today's topic: hot dogs.
      This was not just a test of hot dogs. This was a test of gastrointestinal strength. We tried (and retried) 11 kinds of hot dogs to rank them from best of worst--and it was tough. But we care about your Fourth of July grilling session. (For the record, though, our conference room still smells like wieners.)

      Of the 11 brands, not all of them were beef, but most were. We tasted them hot and without condiments or bread, and while we chomped and scored, nutritionist Marissa Lippert pored over the package labels. Find our picks for taste and her picks for health after the jump.

      But before you do, let us note that we don't really condone highly processed meat products that contain chemicals like sodium nitrite. We strongly believe that meats purchased straight from a butcher who pays close attention to how animals are raised and treated are almost always better than any mass-produced versions. In a pinch, though, it's good to know how things stack up in the aisles of your local grocery store.

      Our Favorites for Flavor
      #1 Nathan's Famous Beef Franks

      Nutrition: One hot dog = 170 Calories, 15g Fat, 6g Saturated Fat, 35mg Cholesterol, 470mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrates, 0g Sugar, 7g Protein, 4% Iron, 0% Calcium.

      Ingredients: Beef, water, contains less than 2% of salt, sorbitol, sodium lactate, natural flavorings, sodium phosphate, hydrolyzed corn protein, paprika, sodium diacetate, sodium erthorbate, sodium nitrite.

      Cost: $5.69 for a package of eight hot dogs in New York City.

      Blind Tasting Notes: "Classic mix--tastes like childhood"; "Greasy, but yummy anyways"; "This is very close to perfect"; "Can imagine this as a nice condiment vehicle"; "Good texture"; "Salty"; "A little synthetic tasting".

      #2 Oscar Mayer Classic Beef Franks

      Nutrition: One hot dog = 140 Calories, 13g Fat, 6g Saturated Fat, 30mg Cholesterol, 360mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrates, ,<1g Sugar, 5g Protein, 2% Iron, 2% Calcium.

      Ingredients: Beef, water, contains less than 2% of salt, corn syrup, potassium lactate, dextrose, sodium phosphate, sodium diacetate, flavor, ascorbic acid, extractives of paprika, sodium nitrite.

      Cost: $5.69 for a package of ten hot dogs in New York City.

      Blind Tasting Notes: "Awesome! Really salty and delicious"; "Very fatty, but good; tastes more like meat"; "Salty but good"; "Smoky--yummy--masks the mystery meat flavor"; "Artificially smoky".

      #3 Niman Ranch Fearless Uncured Beef Franks

      Nutrition: One hot dog = 167 Calories, 13 g Fat, 5g Saturated Fat, 46 mg Cholesterol, 631 mg sodium, 1g Carbohydrate, 0g Sugar, 12g Protein, 10% Iron, 2% Calcium.

      Ingredients: Beef, water, salt, dextrose, mustard, paprika, garlic, sodium phosphate, celery powder, nonfat dry milk, lactic acid starter culture, spices.

      Cost: $6.99 for a package of four hot dogs in New York City.

      Blind Tasting Notes: "Sweet, juicy, and not overwhelmingly salty"; "Beef flavor it strong, but then there's a plastic aftertaste"; "Nothing really exciting here"; "Chewy casing".

      Nutritionist Marissa Lippert's Picks

      A note from Marissa: "It's hard to say really what's 'healthy' because when you boil things down, a hot dog is a hot dog. It's a nostalgic summertime food, it's pretty darn tasty and, in the end, it's just not all that good for you. That being said, to sift out the more 'healthful' ones from the bunch, I turned to the ingredient list. An all-natural hot dog may be higher in calories, sodium and fat, but at least it's not loaded with a bunch of processed filler ingredients. My take-home answer: Have fewer dogs over the summer and make 'em really, really good!"

      #1 Niman Ranch Fearless Uncured Beef Franks

      Nutrition: One hot dog = 167 Calories, 13 g Fat, 5g Saturated Fat, 46 mg Cholesterol, 631 mg sodium, 1g Carbohydrate, 0g Sugar, 12g Protein, 10% Iron, 2% Calcium.

      Ingredients: Beef, water, salt, dextrose, mustard, paprika, garlic, sodium phosphate, celery powder, nonfat dry milk, lactic acid starter culture, spices.

      Cost: $6.99 for a package of four hot dogs in New York City.

      Blind Tasting Notes: "Sweet, juicy, and not overwhelmingly salty"; "Beef flavor it strong, but then there's a plastic aftertaste"; "Nothing really exciting here"; "Chewy casing".

      #2 Wellshire Farms Old Fashioned Oversized Uncured Beef Franks

      Nutrition: One hot dog = 230 Calories, 20g Fat, 8g Saturated Fat, 50mg Cholesterol, 720mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrates, 1g Sugar, 11g Protein, 6% Iron, 2% Calcium.

      Ingredients: Beef, water, sea salt, evaporated cane juice, celery powder, onion, garlic, natural flavorings.

      Cost: $5.99 for a package of five hot dogs in New York City.

      Our Assessment: Hmm. The biggest complaints about this one were that is was too sweet, that it had a weird, rubbery mouthfeel, and that its flavor was bland. Not in high standing, unfortunately.

      #3 Whole Foods 365 Jumbo Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

      Nutrition: One hot dog = 250 Calories, 21g Fat, 9g Saturated Fat, 60mg Cholesterol, 780mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrates, 1g Sugar, 14g Protein, 8% Iron, 2% Calcium.

      Ingredients: Beef, water, vinegar, sea salt, cane sugar, celery powder, cherry powder, onion, garlic, natural flavors (contains soy).

      Cost: $5.99 for a package of four hot dogs in New York City.

      Our Assessment: This rates somewhere in the middle. The good comments: "Really good spice balance"; "Nice sweetness/saltiness ratio"; "More sausage-y--thick, fatty." The bad comments: "Bologna-esqe--weird sweetness"; "Too sweet to be called a hot dog"; "The texture is too uniform/smooth".


      The Klondike Bar

      "It's that chocolaty-coated ice cream
      So big and thick, no room for a stick!"

      Has anyone ever actually stopped to contemplate what he or she would be willing to do for a Klondike Bar? Perhaps only in the commercials, for most of us are fortunate to have a plentiful supply in the local frozen foods aisle. Why jump through hoops when you can simply toss a six-pack of the delightful, stick-less ice cream bars into your cart. And that's exactly what millions of people have been doing for decades. It's but a small price to pay to sink your teeth into one of those foil-wrapped delicacies, adorned with a familiar picture of the smiling polar bear wearing a red scarf.

      It all started in Youngstown, Ohio, when a family of Swiss immigrants brought their dairy expertise to America around the turn of the century. From their small chain of dairy stores in the area, they began selling little square slices of vanilla ice cream that had been dipped into a pan full of rich, milk chocolate. They named the treats "Klondike Bars" purportedly after the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon Territory (the site of a gold rush in the 1890s.) One of the Isaly brothers brought a stack of the family-made bars to the staff of a local newspaper in 1922 and word of frozen treats quickly spread to folks in the surrounding areas. By the 1940s, the Isaly family had 7 dairy facilities and over 300 stores. Things were looking up.

      It wasn't until 1978, however, that the Klondike Bar made its way out of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Thanks to the help of a newly built factory in Florida, The Klondike Bar began showing up along the East coast, particularly in New England, New York and Florida. And with a few years, a national marketing plan had swung into full force.

      Klondike Bar television commercials began appearing around the clock, featuring man-on-the-street style interviews and asking seemingly-normal folks what they'd do for a Klondike Bar, even suggesting such tasks as playing patty cake or riding around on tricycles. Famous folks even got in on the "What would you do?" act during the "Famous Mouths" campaign, which featured celebrities such as: Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous host Robin Leach, comedian Steve Allen and Today Show movie critic Gene Shalit – each biting into and devouring the ice cream for all of TV-Land to witness.

      Today, there are many flavors of Klondike bar, each bearing an image of the familiar smiling bear. If vanilla isn't your thing, perhaps you would like chocolate, or the more exotic Neopolitan, Oreo Cookie, Cappucino, or Heath-flavored bars (to name but a few.) And should the day come when we are required to ride a tricycle, do a backflip, sing a song, or perform any other activity to acquire one these popular snacks, we probably will. It's a small price to pay for something so sinfully delicious.


      Kool Websites: WholeLatteLove.com

      Whether you're a newbie or a skilled barista, Whole Latte Love has everything you need and want to know about espresso machines, coffee makers, coffee grinders, premium coffees and gourmet espresso beans. Doing some research to find the machine that best suit your needs? Then you've come to the right place; our Knowledge Base is full of information! Here you can read articles, watch how-to videos, read customer reviews, research our buying guides, read our blog, and even join in on our forum, The Brew Group. Our Knowledge Base covers everything from super automatics capable of brewing a cappuccino or mocha latte at the push of a button and semi automatics for hands-on brewing, to coffee grinders - burr and blade , coffee origins and, of course, coffee recipes!

      You'll also find top espresso machines and coffee brands such as Gaggia, Jura-Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Illy, Lavazza, Nespresso, Keurig, KitchenAid, and DeLonghi. All of this comes with the best service and support in the business, and at the most affordable prices. If you find a lower advertised price, Whole Latte Love will meet that price!

      We also offer a full line of refurbished machines and offer many of our new high-quality espresso machines, coffee makers, coffee and espresso, and more at reduced prices on our sale page. It has never been more affordable or easier to brew high quality espresso at home!

      We also carry coffee parts and accessories to compliment any machine such as tampers, milk frothers, kitchen tools, cups and serving tools, bases, and cleaning supplies. Whether you are looking for a coffee maker or espresso machine for the home, commercial equipment for a cafe or restaurant or simply looking to buy great coffee, we've got you covered. So, pour yourself a cup of java & enjoy!

      Powered by Passion

      To us, coffee is more than a business – it's a passion. We love what we do and want to share that energy and enthusiasm with you, our customer. That's why here at Whole Latte Love we say we're powered by passion.

      Our goal is to provide you with the best possible coffee experience. We promise to give you all the details about espresso machines and other coffee products so that you're always able to make an educated decision when it comes to coffee. And if you ever need help, our customer service team is here for you.

      It's our belief that the best customer service starts from within – it's about treating the customer like we treat each other. So whether you're a new customer, or a returning one, you'll get the best experience each and every time.

      You'll always get the best price, you'll always get the best advice, and you'll always get the best technical support. That's our promise to you. And if you're not 100% satisfied with your purchase, whether it's a new espresso machine, coffee maker or coffee grinder – we'll take it back within 30 days. No problem. We've got the best return policy in the industry and even a buyer's remorse program.

      You see, coffee is our passion. And we hope it's contagious.


      The Zen of the Vanilla Milkshake
      Swingers Diner, 2010
      Paul Kimball
      Friday, July 22, 2011

      Swingers - Santa Monica, CA

      A "zen" moment

      The perfect meal - vanilla milkshake, cheeseburger, and mashed potatoes with gravy!

      The best milkshake I've had yet in Los Angeles, where there are so many great ones from which to choose, has been at Swingers Diner, in Santa Monica. The food and service is great as well, and the location - just a couple of blocks from Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean - can't be beat...

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