• 30Jun

    When we were kids, most of our mom’s would tell us not to play with our food…I wonder if the members of the The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra got this lecture!
    So, immediately prior to a performance, members of the orchestra would take 90 pounds of vegetables and fashion them into musical instruments. Apparently freshness counts in not just food for your table but for the stage as well. I guess you can say this isn’t canned music…
    The veggies of course are only good for the one performance – afterwards, the muscians pass their instruments on to a band of chefs who make a huge pot of soup for the audience to enjoy post performance. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to dine on soup made from vegetables someone has been blowing in.
    And speaking of playing with your food…scientist at Cornell have hybridized a new variety of cauliflower that is orange. The first orange cauliflower was discovered in a marsh outside of Toronto. It didn’t taste very good so the scientist got to work on crossing it with plain old white cauliflower to increase the flavor. According to lab analysis – the orange cauliflower has 25 times more Vitamin A than it’s white cousin. I suppose this means the orange variety is good for you but I want to know what was in the water in that marsh! Anyway, look for this new variety in specialty grocers or maybe at your local farmer’s market. 

    Signing off now…remember, you can play with your vegetables but don’t forget to eat your veggies too!

  • 29Jun

    This is our very first post…  

    We’re on an Indian food obsession these days. A few favorite clients love Indian food so in the quest to provide diverse choices and authentic tastes I have enbarked on the spice trail with my taste buds ready.  

    Yesterday I made Shami Kabab – this version from one of Madhur Jaffrey’s vegetarian books. It’s a great recipe – a complete protein with soybeans and rice. Of course I couldn’t help myself, I made a few adjustments to the recipe to punch up the flavors – I added more garam masala (even made my own to ensure the spices were fresh and punchy) and threw in a few dashes of…dare I admit it…balsamic vinegar. The balsamic kind of reminds me of tamarind chutney so I haven’t completely fallen off the continent! I don’t know, the Kabab mix just needed some acid to take away the flatness. In my humble opinion it worked. The family I cooked for yesterday love hot hot hot food so for yesterday’s batch I threw in a finely dice jalapeno…ouch. And then there was the texture – the original recipe called for white rice. The first time I made it the whole thing came out too mushy for me so now I use brown rice instead. The Shami Kababs are served with a nice zippy Tamarind Chutney. For yesterday’s sides, I did a saute of spinach and a bright yellow (from a bit or tumeric) coconut rice. Yesterday’s menu also included Aloo Gobi, Curried Lentils, Garlic Naan, Curried Summer Veggies with Tofu and Vegetable Biryani. All in all it was a very hot day of cooking.  

    Ok, a little aside. The bright yellow tumeric reminds me of the violin I varnished. One of the base coats is shellac colored with tumeric and saffron – Wow, talk about bright! Curiously enough, music played from said violin is quiet tasteful…at least in the right hands! 

     My next project – fluffy, bubbly Naan Bread….