Staff lunch from No. 7 Sub in Manhattan: General Tso’s Tofu with seaweed and pickles, Eggplant Parm with fontina, yellow squash, pickled jalapenos and BBQ potato chips (on the sub), Zucchini Cubano with smoked gouda, peaches and pickled daikon, and an fBLT (the “f” stands for fake, presumably), with soy bacon, lettuce, green and red tomatoes. We love the innovative vegetarian sandwiches (they make meaty subs as well). Some are better than others: the seaweed on the fried General Tso’s Tofu is a knockout, the BBQ potato chips on the Eggplant Parm are a nice, crunchy touch, the soy bacon… not that good. Either way, we’re happy to get a break from mozzarella with roasted red peppers.
by David Latt
Recently my wife and I spent a week in Sonoma County exploring restaurants, inns, and wineries, and came across a dish of grilled corn with a roasted garlic and butter puree at Jackson’s Bar and Oven in Santa Rosa. It occurred to me that the combination would be great with pasta; here’s my adaptation:
Start them in a pot of boiling water, finish them on the grill.
by Jill Richardson
Last week, the Senate unanimously passed the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, a bill that would do just about everything to improve the school lunch program – except fund it. This is no small exception, considering that a tiny percentage of schools are currently able to follow the USDA’s nutrition regulations. How will they be able to comply with improved regulations with only six additional cents per lunch? And, although it passed in the Senate, the bill may still die on the House floor because some in Congress think even six cents is too much.
The school lunch debate has devolved entirely into a fight over the budget, and a rather disingenuous one at that. If members of Congress truly need to cut the budget somewhere in order to adequately fund healthy school lunches, they need not look further than the Pentagon. Representatives and Senators so love to fund weapons programs that provide jobs in their districts that they continue purchasing fighter jets even after the Pentagon begs them not to. (For example, the C-17, the F-35 engine, and the F-22.)
by Edward Schneider
Jackie and I started buying pork from Flying Pigs Farm at the Union Square farmers’ market years ago, but we keep ordering pig meat in restaurants that claim that theirs is somehow special. And we keep being disappointed: other pork rarely has as much flavor as Jen and Mike’s – Jen Small and Mike Yezzi being the farmers. Rarely, but not never: We were impressed a while ago with a Mangalitsa loin (see Mark’s account of a similar roast) and thought it might be fun to cook one of those simultaneously with Jen and Mike’s and see which was more popular among our guests.
Well, the distributor was fresh out of Mangalitsa, but had just received something that sounded interesting: small (one-and-a-third-pound) roasts cut from the shoulder of Ibérico pigs, the black ones that are known mainly for the exquisite hams their legs get turned into. I ordered two, one of them destined for the freezer.
Here are two reports, one from John Robbins and the other from Michele Simon, on CSPI’s (Center for Science in the Public Interest) lawsuit against Coke, specifically their Vitamin Water. According to John Robbins, Coke is defending itself by claiming that “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” Gotta love that. -mb
For another steamy Sunday, here’s one of the best cold dishes in the world (and it’s barely any work to make). Adapted from How To Cook Everything.
Gazpacho, Fast and Simple
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 20 minutes
No one can definitively say what “gazpacho” is—you see it with grapes, with almonds, even with melon— and you can indeed make delicious gazpacho with all those things. This basic recipe is what you probably expect when you hear the word gazpacho, but with this formula you can replace the tomatoes and cucumber with fruits of similar texture and change the soup in infinite ways.
2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped, or one
28-ounce can (include the juices)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded if you like, and chopped
2 or 3 slices bread, a day or two old, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
1 /4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, bread, oil, vinegar, and garlic with 1 cup water in a blender; process until smooth. If the gazpacho seems too thick, thin with additional water.
2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately (or refrigerate and serve within a couple of hours), garnished with a drizzle of olive oil.
by Kerri Conan
There are a lot of things we could do with the purple shiso in our herb garden. My husband Sean and I have tried several: like marinate the leaves whole in a sesame-soy concoction, shred a few into salads and stir-fries, and scrunch several into a jar of carrot pickles. Other ideas we have yet to explore: shiso pesto, tempura, or tea.
But we usually enjoy these sturdy leaves plain, to transport food from plate to mouth, as if you were eating with castanets. (Is this how shiso is often used in Japan? I’ve never been, but whenever the leaves are used to garnish my sushi, it never goes to waste.)