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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Archive for January, 2009

01.28.09

30 Seconds on Top Chef: Monkey Ass Filled with Fried Banana Edition

Bites: News and Miscellany


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No, you shut up. I’m the judge here.

1- I know nothing about celebrity chef guest Scott Conant, but he sure seems pleased with himself.

2- So basically what we’ve learned is that oats are only good as a crispy coating.

3- So Stefan’s obviously in the final. They should just give him a bye.

4 – Carla and Andrew can hit the bong, err I mean peace pipe together after the challenge

5 – Jamie doesn’t know what to do with her mystery basket cooler. Clearly there are no scallops in there.

6- “If they’re going to give me a monkey ass to fill with fried banana, that’s no problem.” - Fabio

7- “Bunky bed” – Fabio

8 – So I guess Top Chef is pissed at Ted Allen for doing Chopped on Food Network and they’re trying to steal Iron Chef with this “Top Chef Bowl” episode

9 – Why is Radhika wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey? Ditka would whip out a can of ass-kickin salsa on her for that move.

10 – Colicchio thinks warm ceviche is “more authentic” than cold ceviche….maybe he should call his buddy Rick Bayless and consult on that one.

11 – Jamie’s rocking the flashdance headband again.

12 – Milli Fusilli looks like they’re getting broken up

13 – Or not. Jeff, he gone.

01.21.09

30 Seconds on Top Chef: Restaurant Wars

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Tom, let me tell you about my technique of sending love from the kitchen.

1 – Jamie wants to serve local sustainable ingredients…hmmm that’s gonna be tough with a pantry made up of Bullseye BBQ Sauce and spam.

2 – Eez not a cheesesteak. Eez a filet mignon sandwich.

3 – Radhika and Leah win the quickfire, and then promptly have a three way with Hosea…oh, wait, that’s next week.

4- Radhika Translator: Global means Indian.

5- “As far as being a natural born leader, I’m still learning.” Hmmm…I guess that means Radhika also is still learning what the phrase “natural born” means.

6- Since when is kissing “flirting”? I guess for Hosea and Leah, sex is just like a handshake.

7 – You gotta love chefs who follow their vision so closely that they choose frozen food over a fresh option. I was going to make fun of Jamie and her desire to open a local and sustainable restaurant since everyone says that. But truthfully, few people put their money where their mouth is.

8 – Fabio is dressed like Tony Montana.

9 – Toby once again betrays that in addition to eating cat food, he occasionally likes to drink dish water.

10- Stefan’s desserts look killer.

11 - Carla’s craziness doesn’t stop Radhika from going home. She gone.

01.18.09

Sandwich Safari

Restaurant Reviews


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Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the word “debris” had one meaning in New Orleans. It was an iconic roast beef po-boy served at 401 Poydras Street at the corner of Tchoupitoulas at a spot called Mother’s. The lore is that a customer asked original owner Simon Landry to add the bits of roast beef that had fallen into the gravy while Landry was carving slices for the customer’s sandwich to his bun. Landry allegedly replied “You mean some of the debris?” More »

01.18.09

Helen Rosner vs. Food and Wine

Grape Pun: All Things Wine


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Though she claims a limited repetoire as an oenophile, Menupages Chicago super-blogger Helen Rosner bested Food and Wine grape genius Ray Isle this week. This month, Isle lauds affordable Argentenian Malbec and calls out the 2007 Clos De La Siete Malbec blend as his “Star Selection”. At about the same time I was flipping through Food and Wine, and just before I went to Binnys, I came across Rosner’s posting about her love for Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling, 2007. I decided to pick up both. The Clos had a lot of fruit but ended up totally bitter and highly alcoholic in the finish and I’d felt like I’d wasted $16 and would have been better off with some Charles Shaw Shiraz and 12 Super Lotto tickets. Whereas, last night the Kung Fu girl full of citrus and lots of acid cut right through the heat and sweet of a schwarma and falafel throwdown from Baba Pita. For $11.99 (at Binny’s) it was a brilliant wine, and easily as good as some 20 or 30 dollar Austrian or German rieslings. Though be warned, it doesn’t have the minerality of the Euros, but displays more of a lemon and grapefruit New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc profile, albiet with a touch more sweetness. One thing’s for sure, it’s the perfect wine for a Cantonese or Thai chowfest. I suspect Isle was swayed a bit by the Clos’s pedigree via French superstar wine consultant Michel Rolland. The lesson here is that wine (and food) critques have nothing to do with superior knowledge, but rather, about being true to your palate.

01.15.09

30 Seconds on Top Chef: Cook Worse than Sandra Lee Edition

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Welcome to sprockets. Pet my chicken. Pet it!

1 – Quickfire challenge: cook with canned garbage. It’s official, Top Chef is now Top Chef Sandra Lee – Semi-Homemade: You use 90% horrible ingredients paid for by your commercial advertisers and 10% talented cooks, and Bravo get’s 100% of the credit for ruining what was once a decent food show.

2 – I was hoping we were going Top Chef Abbatoir and the teams would have to kill their protein.

4 – Do any of these people know how to do any dessert that isn’t a tart, a custard, or a bread pudding? And it looks like they don’t even know how to make a custard, because team pig’s looks totally scrambled.

5 – Does Toby Young sit at home in the dark writing down nursery rhymes and contrived zingers he can use on TV. “The pesto is the big bad wolf that blew this pig’s house down.” Seriously?

6 – Dan Barber just compared some of the desserts to airline food….

7 – Leah: “I’ve rolled many things and tied it up”…..hahaha

8 - PETA is officially on Toby Young watch, as he wants to have “full blown unprotected sex” with pork.

9 – Ariane she gone. Hosea’s girlfriend Leah is saved.

01.14.09

Pass the peas, please

Food History, Recipes


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Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old.

Most of us remember the old nursery rhyme about pease porridge, but some of us actually wondered what they were talking about. More »

01.12.09

The Professor of Pork

Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Despite the apparent liability of being a skinny Jewish kid from Evanston, Barry Sorkin is one of the smoked-pork (and beef) kings of Chicago. In just a few short years, Sorkin and his BBQ joint Smoque in Irving Park have proven you don’t have to be a grizzled soul man or a beer-bellied Nascar, Jesus-lovin’ southerner to make good ‘que. Some would-be haters, however, contend that Sorkin’s only successful because he’s a white dude who opened a good rib shack in the relatively affluent North Side of the city where the media pays attention. More »

01.12.09

Probative Cuisine

Cookbook Reviews, Food History


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My wife Holly and I began amassing a sizable and comprehensive cookbook collection right after we were married in 1970 starting with a simple paperback, Italian Home Cooking. After many pleasurable meals on Hester Street on the lower east side of NYC, we brought home a modest book whose cover, in retrospect, looked like an outtake from “Goodfellas,” when Joe Pesci’s character comes over to his mother’s house at three in the morning with two associates after a particularly hard night’s whack. The photo shows Momma all too eager to load the table with pasta, sausages, peppers, a woven straw covered fiasco of Chianti, and good fresh bread. More »

01.09.09

Resolutions for a Culinary Revolution

Bites: News and Miscellany


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I punked out a few times this year. Tired and overworked and having drunk too much bourbon or ingested too much garlic (I’m mildly allergic) on a Pat-Bruno-worthy Italian red-sauce bender, I’ve occasionally written a few columns that didn’t require a whole lot of research (like this one). I’ve hated myself for it. Shame on me. I plan on doing better next year. But, I’m not the only one who mails it in from time to time in the culinary world, and so in the spirit of the New Year, I give you my resolutions for the Chicago food community. More »

01.07.09

30 Seconds on Top Chef, brought to you by Diet Dr. Pepper

Bartender, Pour me a Drink: Alcohol and Spirits, Bites: News and Miscellany


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Hello Padma, do you have any French in you…

1- As usual, at least one chef is surprised there’s a dessert challenge…dude, there’s been a dessert challenge every single season.
2- Radhika breaks out of the Indian cooking stereotype and wins the quickfire
3- Oh, lord, Stephanie Izard just pimped Diet Dr. Pepper in the commercial break
4- Carla is a total whack-job
5- Shouldn’t they always anonymously judge the dishes?
6- Ha, ha, Toby Young, Anthony Bourdain would like his schtick back.
7- How does Toby know what cat food tastes like? Has he been dining with his pets?
8- Ariane should definitely win Top Chef Obvious – skate wing with brown butter…dude, Escoffier was making that (granted without pineapple)
9- I’m officially printing a “Team Stefan” t-shirt, he’s the most arrogant bastard I’ve ever loved.
10- Colicchio doesn’t like raw garlic in gremolata…I thought that was the classic preparation…either way I love the raw spiciness myself…maybe that’s why I’m not a judge on Top Chef.
11- I bet Toby and the French judge dude Jean Christophe (Jeff Goldblum’s lost twin brother) or whatever would make sweet sweet love together
12- I think most of the judges are acting on prejudice rather than reality regarding the daikon with tomato basil. Daikon is so mild, I’m pretty sure it could be a base for anything.
13- Melissa and Eugene, they gone.
14- Oh, and this has nothing to do with Top Chef, but Oprah just came on, and I know she’s complaining about letting herself become a fatty again, but I think she looks pretty good.

01.06.09

Open Sesame

Food History, Recipes


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While traveling through southern India, doing food history research (this is where most of the world’s great spices originated) and learning more about Indian cooking, I kept meeting chefs who would tell me how they added flavor to dishes by using gingelly oil. They tried to describe to me what it was, how it was pressed from a particular type of seed that was hard to describe, but was very small. When I asked what the English word was for it, they replied that gingelly was the English word. More »

01.05.09

Chewin’ on Chickpea

Restaurant Reviews


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Judging by the cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” by Israeli-French singer Yael Naim playing over Palestinean café Chickpea’s sound system, the Arab-Israeli conflict doesn’t have much purchase here. That’s no surprise, though,as pretty much everything here is a touch askew. More »

01.04.09

Loafin’ Around

Restaurant Reviews


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As anyone who’s ever seen the films “Serial Mom” or “Mommy Dearest” knows, you don’t mess with mother. But, Cynthia Kallile, chef/owner of The Meatloaf Bakery, isn’t quaking in her kitchen clogs. She’s ready to go baking mitt to baking mitt with the assurance that she’s got the best meatloaf you’ve ever tasted. More »


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