Monday, January 30, 2012

What's in your bowl?

It's Super Bowl time. I love Super Bowl. But not because I'm so interested in clashes of titans. But because I love an excuse to get together with friends and eat lots of not so healthy food that I get to cook.

Most of the time I do focus on all the good things. This one day a year I succumb to a baser instinct and go big time for carbs, meaty stuff and things that comfort.

Here's my plan for Super Bowl 2012.....

    Snack: Sausage bread and crispy fried lamb polpette with tomato jam-----
      Chili seasoned corn dip with vegetable crudites----
                     A big bowl of grapes---- 

Pretzel bites

Tomato soup and grilled cheese

  Homemade pretzel bites with honey mustard cream---
Roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese---

                           Dinner:  Beef goulash, noodles, Auntie Florence's zucchini casserole
  Dessert: assorted puddings---minted chocolate, mango panna cotta,
                                                       caramel budino
               Milk and cookie shots

Caramel budino
Milk and cookies

Here's the recipe for the polpette....(makes about 24)

  • 1# ground lamb (shoulder)
  • 1/2# sweet Italian sausage (removed from its casing)
  • 1/2 cup day old bread, crumbled (no crust)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • unseasoned bread crumbs for dredging
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying 

  • Soak the bread in the milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes
  • Mix the meats together with a fork
  • Add the soaked bread, grated Parmesan, 2 eggs, butter, garlic, chopped parsley, salt and black pepper.
  • Mix well with a fork or use your very clean hands. Do not over work the meats.
  • Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inches round. 
  • Dredge the meatballs in the breadcrumbs.
  • Fry in a shallow pan over medium heat until nicely browned. About 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain on paper towels before serving.
Serve hot or at room temperature.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A newer kind of farmer's market

There’s a new kind of market headed to Atlanta — one that founder Michaela Graham refers to as a “playground for foodies.”

Beginning in AprilThe Atlanta Nosh will feature 150 food-related vendors each Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. In addition to a farmers market, it will offer a selection of ready-to-eat items in sample sizes and prepared foods to take home. According to Graham, they are also working to make beer and wine available for purchase.

For now, the venue is secret, but we do know it will be outdoors. Graham says that it will be in the “best, most central location in Atlanta you can imagine.”

To partake in this food fest, you’ll have to register on the event’s website. The Atlanta Nosh will function as a private club and attendees will be responsible for an entry fee. Season passes will also be available.

The Atlanta Nosh is designed not only to provide a weekly foodie haven, but also to “support new, small and local businesses who believe in good food and are willing to make things happen.” If you’ve ever wanted to start a food-related business, here’s your chance to get started. Whether you’re a cook or baker, have a cookbook or have designed a new kitchen gadget, The Atlanta Nosh can be your proving ground.

If you’re interested in getting your foot in the door, food auditions for ready-to-eat items and packaged take-homeables will be held on Feb. 18 from 2-5 p.m. at Atlantic Station in the former Pier 1 store. You’ll need to bring ten bite-sized portions for the ten judges who will select the best and most interesting dishes and vendors to join the roster. Graham’s advice to hopefuls, “Just have a dream and be willing to follow it.”

For more information on the food auditions, visit the Atlanta Nosh website.

------reprinted from The Food and More blog with John Kessler

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's the little things

A couple of years ago I visited friend Debra at the Alpharetta Farmer's Market. She and sister Tina sell their delicious Tickles and Da Sauce! there every summer. After visiting and gabbing a bit I noticed a small canvas bag laying on the table. Debra called it a mushroom bag. Out of curiosity I bought one and brought it home.

Never was there a simpler or more perfect little thing to add to my stock of kitchen equipment. Debra promised it would keep mushrooms fresh for ages and that promise came true this evening. Rummaging around in the fridge looking for stuff for dinner, I found my mushroom bag tucked in the back of the fridge still full of the mushrooms I bought 3 weeks ago (and almost forgot).

They were as fresh as the day I bought them. Thank you Debra! I love my little mushroom bag.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A short "miss me?" and The Buckhead Diner

Writing this blog has been a thrill and a joy. Deciding what to write about has been relatively easy. Often there are several blog ideas waiting in the wings. If I've had any challenge it has been finding enough time.

So realizing that I'd hit a wall and couldn't write a word was a cold hard shock. I'd heard people talk about writer's block. Now I had it too. And right before the Holidays when the food world would be juicy with goings on.

What's a blogger to do? How should a foodie cope? The answer came quickly and that's what I did. I recharged by going out to eat and doing a whole lot of cooking. Now I have restaurants to review and recipes to share.

First up?

The nice people from The Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which owns Buckhead Diner, invited several of us blogger folk for lunch. The purpose was to introduce their new menu and show off freshly scrubbed decor.

The most successful restaurants learn to sway with the wind and update to the times without loosing their original style and Buckhead Diner has found that magic in spades. They have managed to reinvent themselves, look shiny and new without loosing the deco flair that first made them popular.

The meal we enjoyed was gorgeous and the Buckhead Diner is as classy now as it was when it opened (in 1987).

Chef  Charles Schwab out did himself. The food was fresh, clean, beautiful to look at.... each plate a crafted testament to the Chef's talent and his carefully sourced ingredients. Some of the food shows off serious Top Chef talent, while other dishes are delightfully updated retro fun.

Pimento Cheese Fritters

These were my favorites. Crispy 2 bite pimento cheese fritters with  pimento jelly. Imagine deep fried oozy pimento cheese melting over your tongue with a little dash of sweet spicy goo. A royal performance for such a lowly cheese.

Mini Corn Muffins

Nothing says lovin like something warm from the oven and these tiny corny corn studded muffins melted my heart along with lots of sweet butter. Yum, yum, yum.

Ceviche Day Boat
One of the things Chef Charles does best is show case fresh ingredients. He demonstrates a mature restraint and knows when to let the integrity and taste of beautiful food speak for itself. There is no Chef ego here. Just a skilled director who can stand aside and smile while his ingredients take the stage. This is readily apparent in the Peruvian inspired Ceviche we tasted. The menu described the seafood as pristine and that is exactly what it is. A melange of the choicest seafood morsels delicately tossed with fresh corn, mango, shallot.

Does the idea of combining bananas, white chocolate, custard and whipped cream appeal to you? Especially when it's topped with more shaved chocolate and tucked into a light flaky crust? Welcome to Buckhead Diner's "famous" James Beard award winning pie. I will let the picture say the rest.
Award Winning White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Buckhead Diner on Urbanspoon