Kanibaba 300x300 Miyas Sushi, Chef Bun Lai and a Tasty FundraiserThere isn’t much I can say about New Haven chef Bun Lai and his restaurant Miya’s Sushi that hasn’t already been said- and said well.  Lai is a rock star of sorts that the New York Times aptly described as the mad scientist of the sustainable sushi movement.”  The 2013 James Beard Award Nominee has turned the restaurant his mother Yoshiko Lai founded it 1982 into “the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the world.” An environmentalist and social activist, Lai takes his place in the food chain very seriously. And so if something is not good for the environment, you won’t see it on Miya’s menu (see this Grist article “This is what a more sustainable American food system looks like”). Lai himself dives for a good portion of the seafood he serves and co-founded CT’s first community supported fishery in Branford- and has become renowned in recent years for his invasive species menu (in Prevention). Lai just wrote this fascinating article for Scientific American on this topic in which he provocatively asks and answers:

“What’s the best way to control ecological pests? Feed them to the world’s greatest predator—us.”

Lai’s passion for his work is infectious. On a recent visit to Miya’s, I was lucky enough to eat my food while he described it to me. The man is not only talented in the kitchen, but smart as hell.  My favorite from the invasive menu is the Kanibaba roll: blue crab meat nestled in potato skin infused that is infused with crab stock, topped with Jersey cow’s milk cheese, lemon dill sauce  and the very best (transgressive!) part- delightfully crunchy local shore crab.

Today is the last day to be part of a fundraiser Lai is conducting to fund his (Hopefully!) upcoming journey to learn about Seminole culture, traditional hunting and fishing, and Native American ethnobotany.

Along with a Chinese master chef, a talented photojournalist, and a passionate Native American human rights advocate, I will be going on a month-long research trip to live in the Everglades with members of the Seminole tribe. The journey will culminate with a presentation at the World Wildlife Fund’s Fuller Symposium at National Geographic Headquarters in D.C, and a documentary movie.

As of right now, he is still short of his goal of $5,000. So consider contributing to this good cause. The best part is that your contribution not only supports important work in cultural history, but also translates into fantastic food at Miya’s.
You may contribute here until 8pm EST tonight, October 14, 2014.

 

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Impromptu Fall Meal: Pork Chops with Granny Smith Apples

by Foodie Fatale on October 7, 2014

in Recipes

PorkChop 300x300 Impromptu Fall Meal: Pork Chops with Granny Smith Apples

I had some gorgeous bone-in pork chops tonight and not a lot of time to make dinner. And so I sprinkled them with garlic salt, black pepper and a little bit of brown sugar, and then dipped them into flour. In a large skillet,  heated some oil (mostly vegetable, with a little olive) on medium high heat with minced garlic, and a just-off-the-tree Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely sliced.  I kept the heat high and seared the chops well on each side. Lowered the heat a bit and let them cook alongside those tasty apples.  Served with roasted cauliflower, this is just the kind of simple food I like to cook and eat during the Fall. Here’s to impromptu preparation! 

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Carissa’s Breads on the East End of Long Island

by Foodie Fatale on September 14, 2014

in Farms/Growers

MontaukCarissasBreads 300x300 Carissas Breads on the East End of Long Island When I visited the Montauk Farmer’s Market a couple of weeks ago, I made a beeline  for Carissa’s Breads‘ table and her glorious Schiacciata alluvia- a sweet Tuscan-style focaccia, made with black grapes and generous amounts of fennel, salt and olive oil. I encountered it last summer and have tasted it in my memory ever since.  It did not disappoint. I was  happy to also try something new, and as different from the Schiacciata alluvia as you could get:  Dark Stout Bread. 1535396 856667947699647 3846501709873893250 n 300x300 Carissas Breads on the East End of Long Island Hearty and earthy with a pleasant touch of
bitterness, Carissa makes it with Montauk Brewing Co dark stout ale and wheat from Amagansett-based Amber Waves Farm.  Two days later, it still tasted great freshened up in the oven, served with some Parmigiano-Reggiano and very sharp Vermont cheddar
10389148 857696057596836 3420560192096675297 n 300x300 Carissas Breads on the East End of Long Island

Carissa Waechter is young, passionate and glowing with the joy of doing something she loves. And what’s more, she’s talented.   She’s been baking since graduating from the Art Institute of New York‘s culinary program. After that, she went on to apprentice with World Pastry Champion Chef Michel Willaume at Mondrian Pastry. She was a head pastry Chef under David Burke for several years before joining Chef Daniel Boulud’s pastry team.  But the real turning point was when Carissa met Amanda Merrow and Katie Baldwin, young farmers who grow wheat at Amber Waves Farm (2014 marked their 6th harvest).

“It was then I fell in love with the growing side of the food scene. I really could not believe how great & different food tasted when grown with love and care. My bread business fell into place naturally, and demand continues to increase for breads made with a portion of locally grown wheat, which I mill myself.”

In addition to  Carissa’s Breads, in 2010, she cofounded the Amagansett Food Institute, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to supporting farmers and food producers on the East End of Long Island.  For Carissa, her work baking bread is intertwined with her community of growers and food entrepreneurs.

“I cannot describe the joy I experience as both my business and nonprofit continue to grow and serve my community.”

Carissa’s Breads is a Martha Stewart American Made 2014 finalist.

You have until October 13, 2014 to VOTE FOR CARISSA’S BREADS.

american made 2014 l 0514 horiz 300x168 Carissas Breads on the East End of Long Island

 

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15372 852407224792386 8087766372016333705 n 300x300 POLL: Who Makes the BEST Lobster Roll in Connecticut?

**THE POLL HAS CLOSED**

The Connecticut lobster roll is simple and glorious: a succulent combination of freshly picked lobster meat and melted butter, served on a hot dog roll.
It’s about as different from the cold mayo variety as you can get. Although the basic recipe is the same wherever you go in the state, there are slight variations — and Connecticut residents are fiercely loyal to their favorite purveyors.

Where do you eat YOUR favorite  lobster roll?  Choose among the suggestions below - or add your own.

I’ll write a Foodie Fatale post this fall featuring the winning Lobster Roll.

May the finest lobster roll(s) win!

**9-4-14 UPDATE: Any restaurant with 10 or more write in votes will be added to the poll list

 

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photo 11 300x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9

Pies! Pies! Pies!

Pieon9BIG 295x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9 I was happily engulfed in a pie frenzy recently in New Haven’s Ninth Square District where City Seed Community Food Systems Coordinator Tagan Engel organized the annual Pie On 9 Contest and Block Party,* inviting the New Haven community to bake and submit (130!) pies in a variety of categories.
photo 5 300x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9

Tagan and I went to Sarah Lawrence College together many years ago and I am honored to know her now. A Chef and baker, she  is an activist and leading voice in Connecticut around issues of food justice and sustainability. Also author of the fab blog Tagan’s Kitchen.

Tagan invited me to be a guest judge in the Fruit Pie category.
photo 31 300x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9
10537421 846717455361363 5179955149989971833 n 300x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9 Lucky me! Along with fellow judges Kathy Riegelmann of Katalina’s Bakery, Cast Iron Soul‘s Steve and Shayla Ross, we  tasted nearly 100 pies. The winner, a Divine key lime pie by Abby Klein.

If you don’t know City Seed, you should. They are doing very important work. (Mission: To engage the community in growing an equitable, local food system that promotes economic development, community development and sustainable agriculture). This year’s Pie on 9 benefited City Seed’s Food Stamp Double Value Program, which doubles the value of SNAP food stamps at CitySeed’s five markets.

It was an extraordinary ordinary event. Good vibes, dancing, conversation, food. Little kids everywhere, as well as a range of familiar faces including  New Haven Mayor Toni Harp to 116 Crown‘s John Ginnetti. Learn more about City Seed on their website or Facebook page. And sign up HERE to join their newsletter. Inspiration all around.

photo 4 300x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9

 With 116 Crown’s John Ginnetti

photo 21 300x300 New Havens City Seed presents: Pie on 9

*sponsored by Town Green Special Services District and Green Village Initiative (GVI)

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I’m extremely grateful to the farmers who inspired this story, now available at PARADE Magazine: Frank Trentecoste of Bhumi Farms, Sarah & Ryan Voiland of Red Fire Farm, Marcie Jimenez of Jimenez Family Farm and Marcie’s Pies, and Crystal & Dan Nells of C & D Family Farms. Does your local farm offer gift cards?

Parade 300x226 Why Farm Gift Cards Are a Great Way to Get Fresh Food

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photo 2 300x300 Foodie Fatale’s Fresh Peach Trifle on Better Connecticut

All year long, I look forward to the time when sweet, local peaches are in season. Here in Connecticut, they have finally arrived and I cannot get enough. Today on Better Connecticut, I showed Scot Haney and Kara Sundlun the recipe for my favorite peach trifle, with lemon verbena, mascarpone, Lillet Blanc and tasty Entenmann’s All Butter Loaf Cakes.Thank you to Entenmann’s for contributing cakes for all audience members!
WFSB 3 Connecticut

photo 1 300x300 Foodie Fatale’s Fresh Peach Trifle on Better Connecticut

Foodie Fatale’s Fresh Peach Trifle

INGREDIENTS
2 Entenmann’s All Butter Loaf Cakes, crust removed, cut into ½ inch slices
24 oz mascarpone, room temperature
¾  cup sugar
3 lb large yellow Peaches (approx. 12 or 6 cups), peeled and sliced
White sugar to taste
12 fresh lemon verbena leaves, minced
6 teaspoons Lillet Blanc
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 peach (garnish)
1 sprig lemon verbena (garnish)

Preparation

  • Toss sliced peaches with granulated sugar to taste.
  • Mix in lemon verbena and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together mascarpone and ½ cup sugar.
  • Cover the bottom of a 3-quart trifle bowl with cake slices.
  • Drizzle with 2 tsp Lillet Blanc.
  • Cover with approximately 2 cups peaches.
  • Add one-third of the mascarpone over peaches.
  • Repeat layers twice
  • In a cold metal mixing bowl, beat whipping cream with 2 sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Top trifle with whipped cream
  • Garnish with sliced peaches and a sprig of lemon verbena
  • Cover and refrigerate

BetterCTFoodieFataleTrifle 300x225 Foodie Fatale’s Fresh Peach Trifle on Better Connecticut

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RedFireMA 193x300 Life Hack: Find Your Local Farm on Facebook
It’s officially the first week of summer. In coastal Connecticut, this not only means sunshine and days at the beach, it also means seeing my favorite local farmers at markets, stands and pick-your-own events. But unlike in the past, this year it doesn’t feel like like a reunion. Thanks to Facebook, I never really had to say goodbye.For locavores and food lovers, it’s an indispensable life-hack:

By “liking” your favorite farms on Facebook, you can be privy to the harvest status of crops,which can vary greatly from year to year given the vagaries of weather.
You will also readily access schedule changes, event notices & specials. And increasingly, Facebook is a forum where farmers and their community members share recipes.

So if your seasonal market closes once the cold weather arrives, there’s no need for sweet sorrow. Watch your farmers preserve, prune and plant all year…until you meet again in summer.

Enjoy here a few of the farms across the country that I follow on Facebook. Please share your favorites in the comments.

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National Doughnut Day: Foodie Fatale on Mike and Kim in the Morning

June 11, 2014

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Once again, I had a great time on 102.9 DRC-FM with my friends Mike and Kim in the morning for “Foodie Friday” on June 6th, 2014. In honor of National Doughnut Day, we discussed  my choices for the Top 5 Doughnut Shops in Connecticut. Have a listen to our talk while […]

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Easy Baked Doughnuts: Foodie Fatale on Better Connecticut

June 6, 2014

I had great fun celebrating National Doughnut Day today  with Scot Haney, guest host Kristen Taekman and the Better Connecticut crew.  We couldn’t stop eating these irresistible  Baked Doughnuts- and neither could our audience! We also had fun discussing my recent  post: Top 5 Doughnut Shops in CT. Thanks to King Arthur Flour for the great recipe and baking pans. […]

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