You May Have Noticed…

by Foodie Fatale on July 21, 2015

in Women In Food

Hello friends. You may have noticed that I haven’t been contributing to this Foodie Fatale blog as of late- and the good news is– it’s because I’ve been writing so much for so many other outlets like Food & WineRelish and Parade. If you want to keep up with where I’m writing and what I’m eating, please join me on my Facebook page. There is always a lively food-centered conversation going on there- and I’d love you to be a part of it. Thanks for visiting.

LettuceBouquet

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I’m so incredibly proud of the students in my Food TV class at Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center,  Thanks to Homeworks for generously giving us their space, FoodWorks Natural Market for the food, GCTV and Shannon Gale for filming, and to Meteorologist Matt Scott for capturing the culmination of this collaboration and the students’ hard work.
Please watch this story that aired on FOX CT on February 26, 2015 by clicking on the link below:

CLASS

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Parade

From PARADE Magazine‘s December 28, 2015 Issue: “The Party Starts Here,” My story on how to plan a GREAT New Year’s Eve Bash. With sage advice from Mary Giuliani Catering & EventsLe Cirque,The Improvised LifeMarcy Blum AssociatesLaura in the Kitchen, Dr. Meg Urry, and great products from Whole Foods MarketMartinelli’sCostcoPOM WonderfulPerfectPotluck.com. These ideas work well for Any occasion— Be inspired!

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Italian Cookie

by Foodie Fatale on January 15, 2015

in Connecticut,My Family

FoodieFataleCookieMaking

If you’ve read the About section of my blog, you’ll know that my first word was “cookie,” rhythmically chanted as both a celebration and a request when I was 9 months old. Somehow though, baking my own cookies  hasn’t been a part of my December ritual. When I was little, spending my holidays with my extended family, it was my great Aunt Mary who made the cookies. And there were always an assortment of cookies given as gifts to my great Aunt Phil.

But this year, I craved not only the tastes of those Christmas cookies, but that connection to my past. To these tastes. And so, armed with a bottle of prosecco, a seemingly endless supply of butter and a 30 year old community cookbook from New Haven’s Wooster Square (the epicenter of Italian American culture in the city), I set about making cookies that embodied the tastes and smells of my childhood.
ChocolateCrinkle

The recipes sometimes took deciphering (“Knead for a while”). But the deciphering was part of the great pleasure of making them. Without my grandmother, or my great Aunt Phil, or great Aunt Mary to help me learn, I worked with the women of St. Michael’s Church in New Haven- Ann Confrancesco, Margaret Ruotolo, Carmel Consiglio and Theresa Argento who, in the early 1980′s took the time to write down recipes that were second nature to them- infused with the ordinary traditions of Christmas and the tastes of family.

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FinishedCookies

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BlueLobsterRoll

I inaugurated my Foodie Fatale blog back in 2010 with a post entitled Lobster Lust: Top 5 Lobster Rolls on the Connecticut Shoreline Little did I know at the time that this would remain my most popular (and controversial!)
Foodie Fatale entry. Over the years,  Lobster Lust was shared, discussed and questioned by thousands. And I received many comments and emails about the locales readers believed I wrongly missed in my list.

By this past summer of 2014, I felt it was time to revisit the Connecticut Lobster Roll, but in the face of the dwindling summer days, and the expense of tasting so many rolls, I decided to take a different approach, and open up the forum to Foodie Fatale readers. And so I hosted a Foodie Fatale Readers’ Choice poll: Who Makes the BEST Lobster Roll in Connecticut?. I included all the restaurants people wrote to me about over the years, as well as my favorites– and left an option for voters to write in a restaurant that wasn’t included. Once I had 10 write-ins for a particular locale, I added it to the poll. Voters were allowed one vote a week.

BlueLobsterAfter a month of wild voting, record-breaking website visits and unprecedented (sometimes heated) comments, a winner emerged: The Blue Lobster in Berlin, CT with 46% of the vote.

The Blue Lobster’s  winning status prompted my first visit.  Past big box stores and the motels that line the Berlin Turnpike, Blue Lobster is tucked away in its own small building, with a brightly colored sign, and tables set outside for warm days. Blue Lobster Seaford sells fresh fish and live lobsters and has a homey little restaurant where a crowd of regulars regularly gather to eat. It’s my favorite type of business: Family owned. Owner Sal Gineo has run the restaurant since 1990 and today runs with it with his grandson Greg Goodrich. BlueLobsterLobsters

Greg first started working at Blue Lobster as a dishwasher when he was 11 years old, at BlueLobsterOwnerstheir former location down the road. He always loved working alongside, and learning from his grandfather and one summer as a youngster even gave up an opportunity to go away for the summer so that he could stay with his grandfather at Blue Lobster to work and learn. After Greg finished college, he decided to join his grandfather, and eventually became a partner in the business. He works every day and his enthusiasm and passion for his work are apparent every time he speaks.Greg’s wife Tracy was my server and is the best possible ambassador the restaurant could have, cheerful and proud of the business they have all built.
BlueLobster2The night I visited, diners were mostly regulars, joking around with Tracy and Greg. One gentleman even brought his own tartar sauce, much to the amusement of his fellow diners. I ate a variety of chowders- including an excellent Rhode Island style (my fav) as well tasty Clam and Corn fritters. BlueLobsterFritters
BlueLobsterFrequentThe lobster roll was Connecticut style: fresh lobster meat, drenched in butter and served piping hot on a hot dog roll. Best of all, after 10 Lobster Rolls, you get one free. Blue Lobster has a coupon on their site that will give you 10% off your total dining purchase Sunday Thursday, just click HERE to print.

I recommend a visit to this charming little family business for simple and tasty fresh fish and a warm atmosphere.

 

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Joanna Pruess’ Soup For Two: A Delight!

by Foodie Fatale on October 22, 2014

in Recipes

SoupForTwoJoannaPruess
Last week, I had the great pleasure of having Joanna Pruess cook dinner for me. She served beautiful soups direct from her newest book, Soup for Two: Small-Batch Recipes for One, Two or a Few, with photos by Noah Fecks. Joanna is a consummate food and travel expert and knows well the restrictions inherent in shopping at your local supermarket. I love that her recipes take this into consideration and include easy-to-find ingredients (Twenty years ago she wrote Supermarket Epicure: The Cookbook for Gourmet Food at Supermarket Prices).The beginning of the book includes many helpful guides to shopping and setting up your kitchen.

The star of the night was her Roasted Roasted Beet Soup with Dukkah, Yogurt, and Black Currant. The black currant gastrique was so divine - its concentrated sweet, acidic taste really made the dish. And the nutty spicy flavors of the dukkah’s coriander and cumin added not only flavor but a pleasant texture.

Oven Roasted Beet soup w Red Currant Gastrique & dukka

Oven Roasted Beet soup w Red Currant Gastrique & Dukka

Joanna also served an improvised vegetarian version of her Southwestern Chile Soup (adding hominy, cauliflower and butternut squash), as well as a lamb stew that I can still taste!

JoannaPruessSoupForTwo

 I highly recommend this book not only as a staple in your kitchen, but as an excellent gift for the holidays. Delicious, easy-to-follow recipes.

 

 

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KanibabaMiyasSushiThere 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

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

September 14, 2014

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 […]

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POLL: Who Makes the BEST Lobster Roll in Connecticut?

August 31, 2014

**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 […]

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