Let them eat faux gras
When chefs in Chicago were banned from using foie gras in their restaurant, they got creative. Instead of prized duck liver (the animals are force-fed to artificially enlarge the liver), they’re using everything from chicken livers to garbanzo beans to approximate the taste and texture. A recipe for chicken liver faux gras can be found in Michel Richard’s Happy in the Kitchen Cookbook (or here) . So far, Spiaggia’s chef Tony Mantuano hasn’t divulged his secret for vegetarian faux gras, though he says it includes garbanzo beans, vin santo and lots of butter. Listen to his discussion of faux gras on NPR.
I have a rule. If I hear about something three times in three days, then it’s probably a trend to pay attention to. Moonshine has popped onto my radar countless times in the last few weeks. Enough times, in fact, that I’m headed to SR’s Beverage People to check out a New Zealand book called The Compleat Distiller. Though running your own still remains illegal in the US (yes, illegal kids-one bad batch and you can go blind), I’m saying here and now that home-brewed spirits are my pick for DIY-trend of the year. Anyone for Meyer Lemon-infused hootch? And hey, if the whole moonshine thing doesn’t work out, you can always use your still to make your own gasoline. Read the distilling FAQ
Cheese so stinky it’s illegal
Epoisse is an artisinal French cheese from Burgundy that’s so incredibly odoriferous that it’s banned on the Paris metro. It also happens to be banned in the US (at least in its original raw-milk form) because, well, a handful of people died from a food-borne illness associated with unpasteurized milk cheeses. Sheesh. More people have died from tainted hamburgers than stinky cheese, folks. I’ve been obsessing about this washed-rind cheese since reading about it in The Devil’s Picnic: Around the World in Pursuit of Forbidden Fruit by Taras Grescoe. Though I hear its not nearly as stinky or delightful (or deadly), you can buy pasteurized Epoisse at Oliver’s for between $6 and $8 per slice. Just don’t try to take it on the Metro.
So sinful it SHOULD be illegal
The final buzz of the week is about Bacon Salt. Despite the fact that some naysayers in New York have declared that the whole artisinal bacon trend has “jumped the shark”, there are those among us that will never, ever, EVER grow tired of the world’s most delightful food. Bacon, that is. And though I’d rather eat glass than put a Baco-Bit in my mouth ever again, the idea of Bacon Salt (basically bacon-flavored, uh, salt) has its appeal. Sprinkle it on your hamburger, your grilled cheese, your ice cream or, well, even your bacon. Because everything really should taste like bacon.