Radio and the Holidays
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
First, a couple of announcements:
Tomorrow, Wednesday, I will be on Joan Hamburg's WOR radio
program from noon to 1 p.m., co-hosting her pre-Thanksgiving program. I will be
answering your cooking questions, as I did for so many years on Thanksgiving
Day. Carol Berman, the wine chick, will also be on the program. It'll be old
home week. This program is dedicated to our friend Steve Harkavy, the barbecue
king from Brooklyn, who died suddenly last
Sunday, the day he usually gives his annual Week-Before-Thanksgiving party.
Also from 6 to 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, I will also be on Judith
Regan's Sirius satellite radio program, pretty much doing the same, and having
THANKSGIVING AT THE
After 42 years of plugging out recipes for Thanksgiving, you
will find many appropriate dishes at thefoodmaven.com. Here's a small sampling:
Joan Hamburg's Ritz Cracker Stuffing
Carol Walter's Apple Pie
Carol Walter's Lemon Meringue Pie
Rozanne Gold's Sweet Potato Pie and My Pumpkin Custard Pie
Gougere (cheese puffs)
Bert Greene's Turkey Tetrazzini
Peter's Turkey Hash
COOK AT SELIANO
My cooking and culture tours are getting some excellent
press. We are now recommended in some of the best guide books, including the
latest edition of Fred Plotkin's
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler, and we were recently cited as one of the Top 10 Culinary Tours (and the only one
in Italy) by Sherman's
My next group is May 8 through 14, Sunday
lunch through Saturday breakfast. It will be artichoke season in Paestum, and we'll eat
them every which way and probably every day. We also have some other very
special activities planned. We'll be having a lunch at a very important private
home in Ravello, on the Amalfi
Coast, with gardens
overlooking the sea. We'll get a baking lesson from one of Italy's most famous pastry chefs, our friend Sal
DeRiso, also on the Amalfi
Coast. We'll be visiting
the world's largest and most opulent monastery, a Baroque masterpiece, now a
museum. There's hands-on cooking, cooking demonstrations, a market visit, a
tour of the Greek Temples of Paestum
by archeologist Bob Harned, and other cultural and gastronomic excursions. If
you are interested in joining us, please write to me at CookatSeliano@aol.com.
WHAT I'M COOKING
Again, I have been let off the hook to cook for
Thanksgiving. This has always been my sister's holiday, but this year I am
going to my nephew, her son-the-doctor. Many of you ask after him, Brian
Alexander, wondering if he's a doctor yet. Well, he's been a doc for years
already. He finishes his residency in anesthesiology at New York Cornell
Hospital in a matter of
weeks. While an impoverished resident, however, he learned more than how to
keep you alive during surgery, or manage your pain. He learned how to cook.
He's doing most of the work this Thanksgiving, including his now family-famous
potato gratin, but I have been charged with bringing the stuffing, the vegetables
and a chocolate cake, which I am buying - the superb so-called Brooklyn
Blackout Cake from Ladybird Bakery,
on Eighth Ave. near 12th
St. in Park Slope.
As for the stuffing, I am going strictly old-fashioned
American traditional - bread, lots of onions and celery sautéed in lots of
butter, sage (dried from my garden), thyme (fresh from my garden), moistened
with some homemade chicken broth I made last week and, when I get to Brian's
apartment, with some of the drippings from the turkey. Should be good. Sorry, I
have no formal recipe. I am going to eye-ball the whole thing, but I did just
buy three of my favorite baguettes, from Tom Cat, so they'll dry out and be
ready for my casserole.
As for the vegetables, look at roasted Brussels sprouts.
They'll be on our table. And, right now, I can't decide what else. I'll go to the
market tomorrow and see what looks good. Maybe a string bean dish - the
children at our Thanksgiving table are, I think, more likely to eat string beans
than Brussels sprouts. Sweet and sour onions have crossed my mind, too, but I
don't look forward to peeling all those tiny onions. We'll see.
SHOPPING WITH THE
If you are the kind of Jewish family that doesn't give one
big gift but likes to give a small gift for each of the eight nights of
Chanukah, which begins Dec. 1, just a week away, I've come up with this list
from my Amazon store, all items that cost less than $20. If you are not of the
Chanukah persuasion, consider them
stocking stuffers. I hope you remember that anything
you buy by clicking through my store - even if the item is not stocked in the
store - earns me a tiny commission, the only money that helps keep up the site.
Thanks for considering shopping with me.
From the Kitchen
Tools section of my store, check out:
I grind coarse sea salt, so I'd find the Oxo Salt Grinder,
$18.67, a great gift.
Or the really inexpensive salt grinder from Arta Dolce,
Whisk, $7.30, works well beating almost anything, is heat resistant and
nearly silent when you hit it against metal, not to mention cute.
I use my Benriner
Japanese Mandoline, $19.95, for making vegetable slaw and julinenne (see
the pickled carrot salad in The Southern
Italian Table), and slicing onions, fennel, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and
other firm vegetables extremely thin.
The Oxo Silicone
Pastry Brush, $6.99, cleans up easier and better than conventional bristle
brushes and does the job just as well.
From the Kitchen Essentials
section of my store, see:
thermometers, several types, are available from $4.79 to $12.70. For
accurately cooked roasts, an instant read is invaluable.
The Oxo wooden
reamer, $5.99, makes juicing lemons fun.
From the Italian Groceries
(giant pasta tubes) are a shape particular to Naples (also called schiaffoni) that is now
popular in Italian restaurants in the States, $6.99 a pound
Crotonese is a sheep's milk cheese from Calabria that is sheepy tasting but
not nearly as salty as pecorino Romano
From Other Flavors by
(citric acid crystals), $3.95 a pound, is hard to find and is used to make
sweet and sour Eastern European dishes (see several recipes in Jewish Home
$5.99, is Dijon mustard made in Dijon,
whereas most "Dijon" available in the States is
made here or in Canada,
and it isn't as strong.
Red Leaf Quebec
Cheddar, $5.83 a half pound, $11.66 a full pound
From Reading not Cooking
These are mostly paperback books, so almost all of them cost
less than $10.
The Man Who Ate
Everything If you need a laugh and some insight into a food subject,
there's no one like Jeffry Steingarten, columnist for Vogue, of all places.
This is an anthology of those columns.
The Michael Pollan collection, The Omnivore's
Defense of Food, Food Rules, The Botany of
Salt: A World
History, Food tells us so much about history, which is to say life.
Cod: A Biography
of the Fish That Changed the World, A great history by the author of "Salt,"; actually his first best seller.