Revisiting What’s In Your Fridge?

This is a photo from a July 2010 blog post.  Ellen R and I used to teach together.

Ellen in known for the delicious signature cheesecakes she bakes.

When she opened the fridge door (all those years ago) I saw Beer and Cream Cheese and Eggs.  I think it was basketball tournament time.  I saw the photo tonight and read the 2010 blog post and thought I would repost it and ask you, just like that old newspaper column used to ask interviewees-

What three things can one always find in YOUR fridge?

Ellen R’s fridge in 2010

It seems I always have old condiments, eggs, and butter in my fridge.

 

Greens and Beans at Cucina Vitale

The perfect beginning to a lovely birthday dinner.

Greens and beans. “Escarole, Northern Beans, Garlic, Shallots, White Wine, & Parmesan”

My friend V and I shared this delicious appetizer.  You might have seen it from our last visit to this restaurant on the Southside, Cucina Vitale. Know it’s cash only, BYOB and reservations are necessary for dinner.

Bon Appetit article

 

Travel with Intent blog sponsors Six Word Saturday

Fresh Cut Fries Not From a Freezer

 

French Fries, Pommes Frites, Chips, Fries.  These are fresh cut fries, fried to perfection.

The frozen, thinner ones from the freezer have been around since the 1940’s,  You can find these frozen fries in plastic bags in the grocery store freezer section and they are served in most diners and fast food restaurants. There is no comparison to fresh cut potatoes, plunged into hot oil, drained and sprinkled with salt.

Sometimes fried twice for that extra crispy exterior and light creamy interior. Soggy and limp is the worst.  The type of potato will affect the end result.  Russet/Idaho potatoes are mentioned in many recipes and if you want to become a student of types of potatoes click this Guide to Every Potato You Need to Know

Eating fries may clog your arteries and make one fat, but they can certainly satisfy the palate.  Some people accompany them with ketchup, vinegar, mayonnaise and slather them with cheese or gravy and even tomato sauce. You’ve probably heard of the famous Pittsburgh Primanti Bros sandwich with the fries and slaw right inside the sandwich. (photo of one here)

Here’s Bon Appétit Magazine’s Kelly Dobkin’s “culinary school method” for fail-proof, perfect French fries Secret to Perfect French Fries recipe 

Need less fat, you can bake crispy fries in a 450 degree oven (recipe here)

Licorice-Yes or No?

This past week I’ve asked how you feel about eating Cilantro and Rhubarb. What tastes are pleasing to your palate?

Here’s another distinctive flavor.

Licorice-Yes or no?

Meet Menno, from Holland, who has a stand on Saturdays at Winterfeldplatz Market, selling all kinds of licorice. Some with salt. Some with a lot of salt   My eldest son likes licorice. I do, too   But without the salt for me, please. Here is Menno’s website   http://www.lecker-lakritz.de

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Above- The brochure listing all the varieties  And the  assortment I selected for Mark

Somewhere in the archives I have photos of my sister eating a licorice ice cream cone in Twisp Washington. And of course Menno has sold pure licorice powder to our favorite Berlin ice cream store, Kiez Eis, for licorice ice cream. You know I asked.

 

‘Tis the Season

’Tis the season.  Strawberry season. These look good AND taste wonderful. We all know there are berries  that look impressive but disappoint when you bite into them. But not these.

These strawberries captured the taste of summer. Totally!

Unadorned, they were perfection.

(and when I went to look up strawberry I read that “in the botanical world technically they are not considered a true berry” who knew?

“The strawberry is not, from a botanical point of view, a berry. Technically, it is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries.[4] Each apparent “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.”[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry

Cilantro – Yes or No?

Cilantro. On the side.

I’ve read that for some people it tastes like soap.

Others can pile it on and enjoy the distinctive flavor.

Cilantro- what do you say?

yes or no?

What makes us like or dislike tastes? Last night at the Kiez Eis store one of the ice cream flavors was Spargel/asparagus. Another distinctive flavor. I wasn’t brave to try it although I eat it as a vegetable.

My DIL told me recently they offered Cilantro Ice Cream flavor and it was delicious. To her. Would you try it?

KiezEis Berlin

Cucina Vitale Dinner on the South Side

We finally made it for Saturday night dinner on the South Side.  We’d been meaning to go eat at Cucina Vitale ever since Vincie discovered this dining gem in a Post-Gazette article by Dan Gigler in late January.

Cucina Vitale 

White tablecloths, cut red roses in glass vases, excellent service, delicious food cooked to perfection and served expertly.

Our Antipasti started with black and green olives, Roasted red pepper hummus-like spread and garlic infused olive oil in which to dip the crusty bread. Every bite was delicious. A dish of Greens and creamy Beans was shared. There are no words! What other descriptor can I use besides DELICIOUS?

Followed by the soup of the day which was Tomato Bisque with Basil  (Traditional Wedding Soup is always on the menu)

The specials were Chilean Sea Bass and Lump Crabmeat with a Lemon Caper Compound Butter with sides of Broccoli Rabe and Roasted New Potatoes.

And I ordered the  Cheese Ravioli topped with Medallions in Gorgonzola Sauce with a drizzle of Balsamic.

Tempting house made desserts of Cannoli, Lemon Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Burnt Almond Torte or Tiramisu were offered but we hadn’t left enough room.There are a few things to know if you plan to go-

Reservations are essential. BYOB if you desire and it’s Cash Only.  


GREENS & BEANS                                                                                                                            Escarole, Northern Beans, Garlic, Shallots, White Wine, & Parmesan


The Chilean Sea Bass with Lump Crabmeat and Lemon Caper Compound Butter

The Tomato Basil Soup with a touch of Parmesan


Chef Frank Vitale learned to cook from his Grandmother, in the photo on the restaurant wall.

Shot from across the street as we got into the car.

 

Chef Sam Cooking Class with Lentil Cheeseburgers and Caesar Salad

Chef Sam cooks a Lentil Cheeseburger recipe with a Roasted Red Pepper sauce and prepares a Caesar Salad during Cooking Class. He told how he sterilized the eggs for the dressing, gently lowering them into boiling water for five minutes. Safety was emphasized.  Lentils, mushrooms, beets, carrot, onions and garlic were a few of the main ingredients.  Miso paste helped hold it together.  There were ten participants and we all enjoyed the delicious meal at the end of the class.

The class was held Wednesday afternoon at The Stephen Foster Community Center on 286 Main Street, located next to the Lawrenceville Branch of the Carnegie Library. The center is housed in an 1865 brick building now on the National Historic Register. The center offers fitness classes such as Cardio Strength and Flexibility, Tai Chi, Yoga, Soul Line Dancing, and Practical Meditation in addition to craft and  other recreational activities.

Next cooking class with Chef Sam is May 29 at 12:30. $4 is the cost of the class.

 

 Thank you Chef Sam for a great class and delicious meal

Allegheny County senior citizens can eat lunch for a modest donation of a dollar but should register by calling the Community Center office by noon the day before at 412-350-5460.   Contact Allegheny County Seniorline 412-350-5460 for eligibility, if you need a Home Delivered Meal.