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Battle Hymn of The Goat Father, Part 2

5 Dec

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KITCHENS WE LOVE

21 Nov

Pan on the stove and vegetables in a basket on the floor, a quiet moment before the action starts


And so begins the regular photo feature celebrating enticing, evocative–occasionally provocative–kitchens we think are worth your consideration. These are not the showcase make-over kitchens, the museum pieces, or food mausoleums that the editors of glossy shelter porn mags fixate upon, these are working spaces where good food gets made by serious cooks, they are also hallowed ground where table fellowship (and once in a while, love) is made. So feel free to comment, and/or submit your own photos.

A Pear For Breakfast

7 Nov

Lost this day. March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980

Stunt Foodists Join the Occupy Wall Street Protest Movement

11 Oct
Stunt Foodways activist, Adele Higgins, 24,  confronts a pair of “deep pockets” as protesters march north to midtown Manhattan and beyond intent on visitingthe homes of the homes of News Corp. CEO Rupert MurdochJP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and oil tycoon David Koch, among others.

Stunt Foodways activist, Adele Higgins, 24,  confronts a pair of “deep pockets” as protesters march north to midtown Manhattan. Higgins is one of dozens of Stunt Foodists who have joined the national Occupy Wall Street protest movement. “We are the 99 percent, too!” proclaimed Higgins, who, like many Stunt Foodists, advocate using the whole animal when cooking. Higgins says she and and fellow Stunt Foodists found in the now familiar “99 Percent,” Occupy Wall Street rallying cry a demand they could relate to, and took to the streets today. Higgins chose only the Primal Cuts grid as a costume–but  elected to wear gloves to ward off the cold.

(courtesy The Huff Post)

NEW YORK — Hundreds of protesters, emboldened by the growing national Occupy Wall Street movement, streamed through midtown Manhattan on Tuesday in what they called a “Millionaires March.”

They marched two by two up the sidewalk, planning to pass the homes of some of New York City’s wealthiest residents. An organizer said they didn’t have a permit and wanted to avoid blocking pedestrian traffic.

“No Billionaire Left Behind,” said a placard hoisted by Arlene Geiger, who teaches economics at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Protesters expressed concern about how much less the wealthy will pay – and who would be negatively affected – when New York’s 2 percent “millionaires’ tax” expires in December.

In the closest they’ve come to naming names, the protesters planned to visit the homes of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and oil tycoon David Koch, among others.

Protesters have been camped out for weeks in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, near Wall Street, saying they’re fighting for the “99 percent,” or the vast majority of Americans who do not fall into the wealthiest 1 percent of the population.

Just Nail The Fish To The Fence Honey, We’re Good

13 Sep

Lisa just loves the greenmarket on Cortelyou Road. Every Sunday she returns with a report about how it has grown, or how busy it is. She presents the week’s trophy fruit or vegetable. This week Lisa said she’d purchased the most gorgeous fish. She called it a striper. I smirked. Nobody sells whole stripers at the greenmarket. Hours passed. Lisa worked intensely cleaning up after the painters. Howard Hall was more in the weeds than usual. The playroom ceiling had been replaced.
I did nothing. Worse than nothing, I played SPORE for the entire afternoon (I’d ordered the game when it first came out, but was only now trying it out. It’s completely absorbing).
The sun set. The kids argued. “So are you gonna cook this fish, or what?” demanded Lisa.
“Me?” shaking free from the care and feeding of my gayly painted two-legged carnivore with antlers, long, bony hands for grasping and nasty biting teeth. “I’m cooking the fish?”
“It’s too big for me to cook. And its got scales.”
“What is it?”
“I told you, a striper.”
“A bass? You mean a ‘sea bass.'”
“A striped bass.”
“Like this?” I asked, holding my hands seven inches apart.
“Much bigger.”

I held my hands nine inches apart. Lisa shook her head.
“A legal striped bass is 28 inches minimum.”
“At least.” Lisa nodded her head.
You bought a wild bass at the greenmarket? Not scaled? Is it gutted?”
“Nope,” said Lisa losing patience with my condescending questions. “The lady said it wasn’t hard to do.”
“It’s not, if you’ve done it a hundred times, but it’s always messy as hell.”
“Forget it!” Lisa stormed. “I thought it’d be fun. I’ll just throw it away. We’ll just have chicken fingers.”
“Throw it AWAY? A striper? Shit.”
“Forget it. You don’t have to do anything. I will. Just tell me how.”
“Tell you how?”
No problem, I taunted, all you need to do is remove the fins, scrape every single last scale of four square feet of fish skin, cut it from its gills to its anus and tug free a couple-three handfuls of icy cold fish guts. Oh, and then clean the god forsaken mess up before even turning on the stove. All at 6:30 on a Sunday. With that I stormed into the garage, found a ten-penny nail and a framing hammer, grabbed the fish (sure enough it had the tin taglooped from gob to gill vent) from on top of the cooler.
“Nice fish,” I said, impressed.
“I told you,” said Lisa.
I nailed the fish’s tail to the fence, turned to Lisa who was cold, and heading back inside. “No way. If I’m going to process this fish in the dark, you’re holding the flashlight.”
After some to-do I recovered two respectable fillets. After pawning off the guts and carcass on the chickens, I picked what remained of the broad leaves from the spindly fig tree and washed my hands and the leaves thoroughly. I sliced the fillets into single-serving pieces and then placed alternating layers–fig leaves, seasoned fish, olive oil–until the baking dish was full. The fish baked at a high heat to draw out the flavor and aroma from the fig leaves. I served it all with baked spaghetti squash seasoned with Chinese Five Spice (fennel, cloves, and cinnamon, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns) and steamed broccoli. (7 servings in 50 minutes, not including fish processing)

Butchery Is Childsplay

8 Aug

Whether it’s continuing education classes, or competitions at food events, evidence of a growing interest in the nearly-lost art of animal butchery is all around us. Leave it to the folks at Schleich, the same forward-thinking German toy designers who brought us the Smurfs, to anticipate a child’s curiosity in the burgeoning trend.

And leave it to the crack team of investigative reporters here at stuntfoodways.com to secure the first images of this secret new toy line. Made from the same highly detailed, quality casting that has made the toy line a favorite of deep-pocketed parents the world over, a new line, Primal Cuts, now offers kids a toy with all the classic primal cuts clearly delineated on the hide of a cow, pig and sheep.

Cow with beef primal cuts chart

Pig with pork primal cuts chart
mutton with chart

The line (rumored to be expanding to lamb, chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats and possibly a horse) encourages kids to identify the source of those cuts of meat they eat every day (below right).Ooh, now there's a hard one lad, where does that Newport steak come from?

The new toy line allows kids to identify and locate the cuts of meat they eat everyday

An ambitious youngster can even use the clearly marked charts to memorize each cut (left).

Each toy comes with its own primal cut chart so kids can study and memorize every cut right down to the brisket

We at Stunt Foodways cheer the progressive thinking of the good folks in Schwäbisch Gmünd who are working to make learning about the harvesting and butchery of animal protein fun. High quality cuts of meat have always been enjoyable; now, with the new Primal Cuts line of domesticated animals, meat can also be a game.

Of course, not everybody approves of the new line. British television personality, celebrity pin-up and Peta activist Jodie Marsh has responded to the new Primal Cuts toy line by (apparently) tattooing her naked body with a primal cuts chart. This dedicated act of protest was, in all likelihood, undertaken before elective surgery to greatly increase the size of her breasts

Peta activist Jodie Marsh tattoos entire body with primal cut chart to protest German toy manufacturer's new line

At press time neither Jodie Marsh nor her representative at Intrigue Management could be reached for comment, though Marsh, has been outspoken in support of the rights of food animals including chicken in the past.

It’s a big world full of people.

Le Diner en Blanc Arrives in NYC, August 2011

21 Jun
Diner en Blanc, Berlin

Image by artie* via Flickr

This Year’s celebration of the culinary inside-job and tight, cropped white jeans, was celebrated on June first. The location of the Le Diner en Blanc is shared with participants just one hour before the event. This year two locations were arranged: Cathédral de Notre Dame–above–and Cour Carrée du Louvre (an inner courtyard of  the Louvre),
The challenge for diners is to get the tables and chairs set up and the food served before the cops arrive. Once underway the police will not (dare?) disrupt the meal. One stuntfoodways source with a seat at the Louvre estimated the crowd at nearly 8,000 Some estimates put total at 12,000. The event is 2o years-old this summer and has already been  in Lyon, Amsterdam, Munich, Zürich, Quebec City and Montreal.

On August 25, 2011 there’s a plan afoot to hold the cloak-and-dagger dinner in NYC. Is there really already a waiting list? …We shall see.

Cooking With Cobblestones, The Stone Soup of the New Millenium

30 Mar
Rooster in grass.

Rooster in grass.

It’s been going around town that a brick is no longer necessary if you intend to smother a chicken. Now, I’m a big fan of The Broke and Chic Project, but even colleagues who share a deep respect for one another have to disagree occasionally. Most any kind of orthodoxy makes me itch. I don’t believe this because fathers and mothers of the tradition say you must (here, thinking Prudhomme and Claiborne) you can’t smother a chicken (or pork chops, for that matter) without pressing the meat to the bottom of the skillet thereby maximizing thermal contact.

It is my considered belief that the entire recipe starts with brick selection. I have been heard to declare that each chicken smothered ha an ideal brick.  To much brick and all the desired moisture is pressed from the bird and evaporates from the pan in the early stages of cooking, if your brick’s too little?…

potholes are almost as good as municipal building sites for sourcing your smothering brick.Destined to be hastily smothered by sticky blacktop, liberation is a duty, not a crime. I have used clay bricks, but prefer granite cobbles. The best smothering cobbles are found art. This morning I passed this pothole, yanked the car to the side of the road, slapped on the hazards and poked around the crater

until I found a perfect cobble for a 2 lb. bird. The cobble was 2/3 the size of industry standard, giving it just enough heft to press the dark meat to the bottom of the cast iron skillet, without being a burden on the tender white flesh.

All that’s left is to get it into the house and scrubbed clean and stacked in its proper place before Lisa notices that I’ve added to the collection.

At its most elements, beyond the skillet and the cobble the smothered chicken recipe calls for little more than one whole fresh chicken, salt, pepper, chicken stock, and Wondra. Flourishes such as coarsely chopped onion, poblano peppers, maybe some ground nutmeg. The following photo essay lays it out as easy as I know how to do it.

C

That 2 lb. yardbird on the set at Stunt Foodways headquarters

Cut the back out of the bird and, along with the wing tips (cut the tips off with kitchen scissors) and liver, neck, heart any other marginal bits and toss all on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven to brown them. As you’re preheating the oven put 16 oz. of chicken stock on very low simmer. When the nasty bits brown add them to the stock and simmer the lot.

Cutting the back out of the bird allows you to unfold it so that more bird makes contact with skillet

Cutting the back out of the bird allows you to unfold it so that more bird makes contact with skillet, this helps assure that the meat cooks evenly. The trick to a smothered yard bird is evenly cooked dark and white meat.

place bird skin-side down in heavy skillet

Season both sides of the carcass and place skin-side down in the skillet. With the back cut out almost all the skin is touching the bottom or side of the pan. Cast iron conducts heat amazingly evenly.

I use a diner plate I rescued from an estate sale

Cover the bird with a plate that fits inside the skillet. If you don’t, it won’t matter how big or small that cobble is, it’s not going to transfer any weight to the bird.

all important application of the brick

Cook on a very low heat. With the brick on it, the bird is absorbing all the heat the skillet is giving up. Often times I have to take the pan of even the lowest heat or apply one of those cast iron buffers that lift the pan off the burner an inch or so. Cook 30-40 minutes until skin is golden brown and outer edge of visible meat is starting to turn white.

Gear alert: Polka dot shirtwaist dress smart, sheer apron? What the hell.

Gear alert: butcher's apron smart, flipflops stupid.

Flip the bird. When you do, take care not tear the crisp skin as you lift it from the pan.Replace the plate. Replace the brick.Cook on same low heat for about 10 minutes longer. Reserve cooked chicken on the plate used to cover skillet. scrape the biggest chunks of remnant chicken from the bottom of the skillet using metal spatula. Add scrapings to simmering stock.

Chicken and stock for gravy cook together

Chop onions and peppers and will them in the fat in the skillet (5-8 minutes), then reserve them. Remove some chicken grease from the pan and reserve in a heat-proof container (if you have a heavy hand with the Wondra, you’ll have some fat a fallback).

You’re making a roux now, so you’re gonna have to gut this out a bit, you need to leave enough fat in the pan to toast the Wondra, but not so much that you end up with brown plaster of paris hardening in the pan. In Dubiss Constans!

Sprinkle Wondra in the pan and begin blending it into the fat. It should absorb the fat without drying it out, after a while it should turn golden brown, stay the course! You’re looking for a brown two shades darker than a Cheerio. The minute you hit that color start ladling in your hot stock. It’s gonna bubble. Don’t sweat it. Switch tools. Grab a stiff metal whisk and get to work, blend the magical flower in with the stock until you have half a skillet full of gravy. Now scatter the onions and peppers evenly into the gravy and put the chicken back in the pan skin side up and let cook for 5-10 minutes more, spooning the gravy over the chicken.

Smothered, sure, but by what?

That’s thing, you need a brick to make smothered chicken, but it’s not the brick that smothers the chicken it is the gravy.

Fried-Rice Krispy Treats

29 Mar

The fine folks at “unwholesome foods” know how to treat their leftovers. God bless them. Bless them for the courage to order from a restaurant called Pu Pu Hot Pot. Bless them for re-cooking the food that comes from the kitchen of a place called Pu Pu Hot Pot with marshmallows.

Excerpt below:

First, we braved the ice and snow to trek to Pu Pu Hot Pot to pick up some pork fried rice.

Following the traditional Rice Krispy Treats recipe, we combined 3 cups of fried rice with half a package of marshmallows in a saucepan.  We decided to omit the butter because the fried rice was already quite greasy.

so very not kosher

We stirred the ingredients slowly over low heat until they were thoroughly blended.  Then, we pressed the mixture into a buttered baking pan and refrigerated the pan until the “treats” solidified…

Can’t wait to read more?  Fried-Rice Krispy Treats.

Giada’s Cipollini Onion and Fennel Pot Roast (via I Like the Cut of Your Jib!!!)

28 Mar
Fenouil

Image via Wikipedia

I made this yesterday for the second time, and it was just as good as the first time.  A few notes, you can substitute fennel bulbs for celery and fennel seed which is easier to find.  You can choose to leave the vegetables alone and not blend them, but I highly recommend it, they make such a nice gravy.  Oh and remember to PULLLLLLLL the bay leaves out.  I forgot last night. Ingredients Herb rub: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 tabl … Read More

via I Like the Cut of Your Jib!!!