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Archive for International Foods

FOOD FACTS: Kappa Does Not Mean Cucumber!

If you’re a sushi lover, you’ve invariably had—or at least seen—kappa maki. It’s a sushi roll (maki) filled with cucumber, and often garnished with sesame seeds.

Most of us assumed that kappa is the Japanese word for cucumber. Today we discovered differently.

The kappa is a well-known Japanese mythological creature, a water imp that inhabits rivers and ponds.

Threats of the kappa have been used to warn children of the dangers lurking in rivers and lakes. A kappa may try to lure them into water, and pull them down.

Tke kappa is a trickster. It is typically depicted as roughly humanoid with scaly reptilian skin, about the size of a child.

Cucumber is their favorite meal. Hence, kappa maki was named for them. The Japanese word for regular cucumber is kyuuri.

Here’s more about the kappa.

 

Kappa Maki Goma

Kappa maki with goma, sesame seeds. Here’s the recipe from JapaneseFood.About.com.

 

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Faloodeh or Faludeh, It’s Delicious Rose Water Sorbet

Faloodeh Sundae
[1] Faludeh with a sour cherry topping (ba albaloo) at The Persian Fusion.

Faloodeh With Sour Cherries
[2] A squeeze of fresh lime juice blances the sweetness of the sobet (photo courtesy Tishineh, a site for Irani tourism).

Persian Ice Cream
[3] A “sundae” of faludeh combined with saffron ice cream (bastani in Arabic; photo courtesy Fun Love And Cooking). The combination of flavors is called makhloot.

Elegant Faloodeh

[4] An elegant update. Here’s the recipe from Tasting Table.

 

We first encountered faludeh, Persian rose water sorbet, years ago. It was an eye-opening frozen dessert among the many jewels at the ice cream emporium of Mashti Malone, in Los Angeles—to us, the most magical ice cream emporium in America.

We couldn’t believe how good it was—as is everything at Mashti Malone. Transliterated from the Arabic, you may also see it spelled faludeh or faloodeh, and also falude or palude.

A sidebar: The Mashti Malone ice cream shop is owned by Mashti and Mehdi Shirvani, two brothers from the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad. In 1980, Mashti bought an ice cream shop called Mugsy Malone on the corner of La Brea and Sunset in Hollywood. Because he had little money left over for a new sign, he simply replaced “Mugsy” with “Mashti,” and a legend was born.

WHAT IS FALUDEH

Faludeh is one of the earliest known frozen desserts; it has been dated to ca. 400 B.C.E. in Persia. Flavored with rose syrup, which also delivers a flowery scent, it’s a cross between shaved ice or granita, and sorbet.

Raw angel hair or vermicelli noodles, made from rice starch or corn flour and water, are mixed in. The result: a unique frozen dessert and sensory eating experience.

We’ve had Asian and Middle Eastern ice cream flavors before, but the rose water sorbet is a truly refreshing experience. The sorbet melts on the tongue, leaving the al dente rice starch noodles to crunch.

Unusual as it may sound, the noodles provides are so delightful that you may try adding them to other granita and sorbet flavors.

In its region of origin, it is a favorite dessert and party food.

  • Faludeh is served in one of two ways: ba limoo, with a splash of fresh lime juice or lime wedges; or ba albaloo, with a drizzle or sour cherry syrup. Or both!
  • We tried it with lemon juice and yuzu juice, too. Our favorite was yuzu juice and a lime wedge. The acidic citrus balances the floral, sweet flavors of the sweet rose flavors.
  • Pistachios and mint are popular garnishes.
  • Variations in texture, syrups and other ingredients exist across the Middle East, India and Pakistan.
  • In Iran, a scoop of faludeh is often served with a scoop of saffron-pistachio ice cream, a combination known as makhloot. It can be turned into a sundae with a splash of sour cherry syrup, and maybe a few sour cherries.
  •  
    Mashti Malone also makes saffron ice cream, and it is divine. Field trip, anyone?
     
     
    MAKING FALUDEH

    We tried a few different recipes in preparation for this article. The recipe below is a hybrid, taking what has worked for us to attain the best flavor with the simplest technique.

    Serve it in a bowl, on a plate, in a coupe or Martini glass.

    These days, faludeh can easily be made into granita; but we think that churning it into a smooth sorbet makes it even more magnificent.

    The rose water and rose syrup purchased for the occasion also are a delicious enhancement to vanilla ice cream.

  • Add rose water if you make your own vanilla ice cream.
  • You can also soften a pint of store-bought vanilla and vigorously whisk in the rose water, returning it to th4 freezer to harden.
  • In addition to refreshing yourself in the heat of the summer, also make faludeh on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. It is, in essence, edible roses.

     
    RECIPE: FALUDEH

    This recipe is granita-style, for those who don’t have an ice cream maker.

    If for some reason you don’t want to use noodles, you can substitute pistachio nuts or just enjoy the rose granita plain.

    If you’re a kitchen over-achiever, here are recipes to make your own rice starch noodles and cherry syrup.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 ounce dried rice sticks or rice vermicelli noodles
  • Fresh lime juice or lime wedges
  • Traditional garnishes: lime wedge, sour cherries and/or sour cherry syrup (but you can substitute raspberries and/or raspberry syrup), pistachios (whole or chopped), mint leaves
  • Western-style garnishes: fresh berries, mint leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water. Set aside and let the syrup cool completely.

    2. PLACE the noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand until soft, about five minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cut or tear noodles into two-inch pieces. Next time, if wish, you can try longer longer noodles. When softened, drain.

    3. PLACE the noodles and syrup in a shallow pan or metal ice cube tray (anything that works for granita) and place it in the freezer for an hour. Then remove it, stir it with a fork and return to the freezer for another hour.

    4. RAKE the granita with a fork, and return to the freezer until the desired consistency is reached, about one to three hours. To serve…

    5. RAKE with a fork (like granita), and scoop the faludeh into bowls. Garnish as desired and serve with fresh lime juice or lime wedges.

     

    HISTORY OF FALUDEH

    Faludeh is originally from Shiraz in southwestern Persia/Iran, known as the city of poets, literature, wine and flower. The dessert is is also known as Shirazi Paludeh.

    Faludeh is one of the earliest forms of frozen desserts, with references found as early as 400 B.C.E.. At that time, ice was brought down from the mountains and stored in tall refrigerated buildings called yakhchals, which were kept cool by windcatchers.

    The recipe for faludeh was brought to the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal period, the 16th to 18th centuries. Their cooks adapted it into a cold dessert beverage called falooda.

    A Brief History Of Frozen Desserts

    A brief history of ice cream and its predecessor, frozen fruit juice (sorbet), begins around 2000 B.C.E. Around 4,000 years ago, the Chinese elite enjoyed a frozen dessert. The earliest may have been a frozen syrup, mixed with overcooked rice and spices, and packed in snow to harden.

    Later, a mixture of snow and saltpeter was poured over the exteriors of containers filled with syrup. In the same way that salt raises the boiling-point of water, it lowers the freezing-point to below zero.

    Fruit ices were also developed, prepared with fruit juices, honey and aromatic spices. Through trade routes, frozen desserts were introduced to the Persians about 2,500 years ago.

    (The Persian Empire includes the countries now known as Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and portions of western China and northern Iraq.)

    The Persians drank syrups cooled with snow called sharbat (“fruit ice” in Arabic, and the derivation of sherbet, sorbet and sorbetto). Alternatively, you can envision fruit syrups poured over a dish of snow

    The Macedonian king Alexander III (Alexander the Great) battled the Persians for 10 years before finally toppling the Persian Empire in 330 B.C.E.

    In Persia, he discovered fruit “ices” sweetened with honey and chilled with snow, and brought the concept back to Greece—although the early form of faludeh he knew probably had no noodles.

    Three centuries later, Roman Emperor Nero’s famous banquets always included fruit juices mixed with honey and snow. At that point, it was granita, roughly-shaved ice. As technology improved, smooth sorbet emerged in Renaissance Italy.

    And the rest is sweet, sweet history.

     

    Faluda

    [5] In India, faludeh was turned into a drink for Mughlai royalty, called falooda (photo courtesy Merwyn’s Fotomac).

    Rice Sticks

    [6] Rice sticks (rice vermicelli) can be found in the Asian products aisle or online. You can similarly find rose water and sour cherry syrup.

     
    Around the same time, during the Mughal Empire in 1526-1540, faludeh traveled to India with Muslim merchants who settled there. There, it was transformed by locals into a drink, falooda (photo #5), a “float” rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil seeds and pieces of jelly with milk.

    Modern falooda is often topped off with a scoop of ice cream.

    By the way, both sorbetto/sharbat and pasta arrived in Italy with the Arab invasions of Sicily, in the 8th century (the Marco Polo story is a myth—see the history of pasta).

    Italian granita was born, flavored with fresh citrus, a wide range of fruits and coffee. The Italian cooks left out the noodles.

    Here’s more on the history of ice cream and other frozen desserts.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cold Pasta For Hot Days

    If you love pasta but not the idea of a steaming plate of it on a hot summer day, the solution is simple: cold pasta.

    Cold noodles have been a standard in Asia since…the creation of pasta? That was around 1700 B.C.E. in China (here’s the the history of pasta).

    The recipes that follow were developed by the corporate chefs at Melissa’s, the largest distributor of specialty produce in the U.S. With more than 1000 items available at any given time, Melissa’s sells both domestic products and exotic fresh fruits and vegetables from around the world.

    These are Asian flair, but western tomato sauces and olive oil-based sauces work as well on any cold pasta preparation you want to put together. A plate of angel hair with chilled vodka sauce or linguine with fresh (uncooked) tomato sauce—fresh basil on both—are just right on a hot day.

    You can substitute conventional wheat pasta for the buckwheat (soba) and rice noodles, as well as gluten-free pasta made from legumes and other vegetables.

    The chefs at Melissa’s are always whipping up something new. Even if you aren’t purchasing produce, take a look at them for inspiration.

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PASTA & NOODLES

    Pasta is Italian for “paste,” which refers to the paste of flour and water that is turned into ribbon noodles and short cuts (bowties, corkscrews, etc.).

    Noodles, from the German word “nudel,” refer to paste made with an egg.

  • In the U.S., the term refers to egg noodles as well as Asian forms of pasta. Noodles can be made from wheat, rice, bean, potato, or other flour, like oat; from sweet potato or arrowroot starch; from bean curd skin and tofu; and from mung bean threads.
  • Italian pasta is always made from durum wheat flour.
  • See the different types of pasta and noodles in our Pasta Glossary.
  •  
    First up is pancit, a Filipino dish. Pancit is the Filipino (Tagalog) word for noodles, derived from a Hokkien word for “convenient food.”

    Noodles were introduced by immigrants from China or East Asia, and readily adopted into local cuisine, with each region creating its own combination of noodles and other ingredients (just as in Italy).

    According to the food lore handed down by the Chinese, noodles should be eaten on one’s birthday for long life and good health. Chinese restaurants in the Philippines often have “birthday noodles” on their menus. These are long noodles: it wouldn’t do to serve short cuts when you seek a long life [source].

    RECIPE #1: SHRIMP PANCIT

    This recipe, from Melissa’s corporate chef Miki Hackney, has been taken down a notch in fat. “Pancit is usually pretty high in saturated fats,” says Chef Miki. “I have made a ‘lighter’ version by omitting the traditional frying of noodles in rendered chicken fat, then including the fried skin in the dish.”
     
    Ingredients For 8 Servings

    For The Dressing

  • 1½ cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  •  
    For The Pancit

  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (more as your budget permits)
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, and cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Peanut oil, as needed
  • 2 cups red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Chinese long bean, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups carrot, julienne
  • 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
  • 4 cups napa cabbage, ¼” sliced
  • 2 baby bok choy, ¼” sliced
  • 4 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • Boiling water, as needed
  • 14 ounces yakisoba noodles
  • 8 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • Ice water bath
  • 3 scallions, ¼” cut on bias
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 calamondin or key limes cut into wedges
  •    

    Shrimp Pancit
    [1] Pancit, a Filipino specialty (photo courtesy Melissa’s).

    Raw Shrimp
    [2] Mmm, shrimp (photo courtesy I Love Blue Sea).

    Grilled Chicken & Soba Noodles Recipe
    [3] Grilled chicken with soba, buckwheat noodles (photo courtesy Melissa’s).

    Raw Chicken Breasts
    [4] Raw chicken breasts (photo courtesy Provisioner Online).

    Grated Ginger

    [5] Grated ginger photos courtesy (photo courtesy Luxury Thailand Travel).

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Adjust the seasonings to taste. The dressing should have a slight tart taste. Set aside.

    2. PLACE the chicken breast in a saucepan and cover by 1 inch with water. Add salt and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

    3. REMOVE the chicken from the liquid and place it on a plate to cool. When cool enough to handle, use two forks and pull apart the breast into rough shreds. Set aside and lightly cook the shrimp.

    4. HEAT the yakisoba noodles by warming in a microwave or soaking in boiling water, loosening the bunches as they heat. Toss all the ingredients but the shrimp and plate. Garnish with the shrimp and cilantro, with the lime wedge on the side.
     
    RECIPE #2: GRILLED CHICKEN & SOBA NOODLE SALAD

    This and the remaining recipes are by Melissa’s corporate Chef Tom Fraker.

    Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

    For The Chicken

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons seasoned rice Vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  •  
    Plus

  • 3 bundles of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 8 radishes or watermelon radishes, ends trimmed; cut into rounds
  • 1/4 pound snow peas, strings removed; sliced on bias
  • 1/4 pound broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, ends trimmed; cut into rounds
  • 1/4 red cabbage, shredded
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE a hot grill. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and red pepper. Spray the chicken with the cooking spray and place it on the grill.

    2. COOK both sides until you reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Let the chicken rest for 5-6 minutes, then cut into bite-size pieces.

    3. PREPARE the dressing: Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

    4. PREPARE the noodles according to the package instructions, then rinse them with cold water and drain.

    5. COMBINE all ingredients except the chicken in a bowl, add the dressing and toss. Place on a serving platter and top with the chicken.

     

    Chicken & Soba Salad Recipe
    [6] Grilled chicken and soba noodles.

    Thai Beef Salad Recipe
    [7] Thai beef noodle salad.

    Yakisoba Noodles

    [8] Yakisoba noodles (all photos courtesy Melissa’s).

     

    RECIPE #3: THAI BEEF SUMMER YAKISOBA NOODLE SALAD

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, cut into rounds
  • 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 pound beef flap Meat
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 packages Melissa’s Yakisoba stir Fry Noodles Original Flavor (or substitute)
  • 3 mini cucumbers, ends trimmed; halved crosswise and julienned
  • 2 carrots, ends trimmed; shredded
  • 1 container baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red Onion, diced small
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the marinade ingredients into a sealable plastic bag and add the meat. Massage the meat and place in the refrigerator. Marinate the meat for 2 hours or overnight, agitating it every so often.

    2. PREPARE a hot grill and grill the steak to your desired doneness. Let it rest for 5-6 minutes, then slice.

    3. COMBINE all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

    4. PREPARE the noodles according to the package directions (without the flavor packet) and then rinse under cold water. Drain.

    5. ASSEMBLE: Combine the steak, noodles, cucumbers, carrots, tomato and onion in a bowl. Add the dressing and mix well to combine.

     
    RECIPE #4: GRILLED SHRIMP & SOBA NOODLE SALAD

    Ingredients

  • 12 large raw shrimp, peeled; deveined
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed; quartered
  • 1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed; quartered
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, stem and seeds removed; quartered
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled; sliced
  • Nonstick cooking spray, as needed
  • 3 bundles of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 Asian pear, cored; diced
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, minced
  • Your favorite sesame-ginger salad dressing
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE a hot grill. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cook on both sides until the shrimp is opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and squeeze the juice from the lime over them. Set aside.

    2. SPRAY the bell peppers and onion with the cooking spray and place on the grill. Cook until you get nice grill marks on both sides and then remove from the grill. Once cooled, slice the bell peppers and dice the onion.

    3. PREPARE the soba noodles according to the package directions, then cool them under cold water. Drain.

    4. ASSEMBLE: Combine the noodles, bell peppers, onions, pear and basil in a bowl. Place the salad on a serving platter, top with the shrimp and serve with the dressing. Makes about 4-6 servings.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Ice Cream & Beer Pairings

    Don’t let National Ice Cream Month (July) pass without doing something special.

    A year ago, Baskin-Robbins sent us ice cream and beer pairings of their favorite flavors, We found the article in our drafts folder, which inspired today’s tip:

    Love beer? Love ice cream? Don’t hesitate to serve them together. Beer floats like the Guinness Float have been popular for several years. The recipe is simple:

    Add ice cream to the glass and top with beer.

    If you prefer hard cider to beer, this tip works for you, too; maybe even better, given the sweet succulence of some ciders.

    You can experiment with other types of beer floats, as well as open a beer to serve with a dish of ice cream, plain or à la mode.

    Beyond floats, have a dish of ice cream or a sundae. You could have a cone, but the idea of a cone in one hand and a beer in the other is too much of a balancing act for us. (Perhaps that’s where a beer drinking helmet comes in handy.)

    In fact, have a pairing party with some basic flavors (chocolate, coffee, vanilla). The pairings go far beyond lambic and fruit ale. How about:

  • Chocolate ice cream with kriek, a cherry-flavored Belgian ale, regular or chocolate stout.
  • Coffee or mocha ice cream with stout, especially coffee stout and Imperial stout.
  • Vanilla ice cream with lambic, a raspberry-flavored ale, chocolate or coffee stout.
  • Spicy beers with spicy ice cream: cinnamon, pumpkin pie, etc.
  •  
    The pairing concept works with sorbet, as well. We just polished off an Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider with some Lactaid vanilla ice cream.

    We’ve previously covered beer-and-ice cream articles, such as:

  • Make Your Own Beer Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Stout Ice Cream & Beef Float Recipes
  • Peanut Butter Cake With Beef Foam
  • Spiced Beer & Apple Pie Float
  •  
    You can make those recipes, but why not strike out on your own to find the pairings you like best. You can pair beer with ice cream or sorbet. Just follow three simple rules.
     
     
    HOW TO PAIR BEER & ICE CREAM

    1. Start with basic flavors. Once you know what you like, you can go for the more comples.

    2. Avoid beers that are bitter, crisp or dry. Instead, choose those with some residual sweetness.

    3.Look for a beer with notes that match the ice cream. Different beers can have notes of chocolate, citrus, coffee, fruit, spice. For fall, e.g., there’s pumpkin ale to go with pumpkin spice ice cream.
     
     
    BASKIN-ROBBINS PAIRINGS

    These pairings were recommended by John Holl of All About Beer Magazine. with his comments in quotes. They’ll give you more ideas on how to pair.

  • Cherries Jubilee with Barleywine. “A barleywine coaxes out the rich cherry and rum flavor in this ice cream. Bittersweet and leather flavors emerge as well, begging for this combo to be enjoyed in dad’s favorite leather chair.”
  • Chocolate with Belgian Quad. “This beer is bursting with flavors that love chocolate. Two classics with great depth and rich sweetness that only get better with each lick and sip.”
  • Jamoca Almond Fudge with Blueberry Ale. “Brewers are taking the sweet, tangy, earthy blueberry and adding it to caramel-tinged ales, making it a perfect complement to this frozen coffee, nutty, chocolatey concoction. Lively fruit flavors pair wonderfully with the chocolate flavored ribbon.”
  • Mint Chocolate Chip with Coffee Porter or Stout. “The ale already has some cocoa and java flavors and it mixes nicely with the roast of the chocolate chips and the herbal, cool mint flavor of the ice cream.”
  • Peanut Butter N’ Chocolate with Doppelbock. “Nutty and creamy, with an assertive chocolate base, the ice cream brings out the best in this malt-forward dark brown lager.”
  • Pralines ‘n Cream with a Pilsner or a Mango Ale. “The classic pilsner style, with sweet cereal-like malt takes the place of a cone when paired with this southern-style treat. Additionally, two of the most popular beer styles this summer are mango-flavored pale ales and India pale ales. The nuttiness and sweetness of the ice cream balances out some of the more assertive beer flavors, creating a delectable combination.”
  • Rocky Road With Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. “A candy lover’s dream! The stout has sweet chocolate, rich espresso and generic red berry flavors that party hard with the almond, marshmallow and deep chocolate of the ice cream. Rocky Road adds creaminess to the hearty beer and this combination makes for an excellent ice cream beer float.”
  • Vanilla with Peach Lambic. “Sweet and creamy vanilla gets a boost from the lambic, which is fermented with peaches and aged in barrels. Slightly spicy and effervescent, the fruity character of the ale will act like a sauce for the ice cream. This lambic style helps to recreate the classic peaches and cream combination.”
  • Very Berry Strawberry with Hefeweizen. “It’s the start of a fruit salad. Bright, vibrant strawberry mixes with the banana esters in the classic German Hefeweizen. The sweet berry will also help control the assertive spice bite of the clove flavor found in the beer and counter the acidity found in the lemon wedge often served as a garnish on the rim of the glass.”
  • Watermelon Splash Ice With Gose*. “Gose is brewed with wheat and salt and is predicted to be the beer of the summer, making it a perfect companion to the hot weather staple – watermelon. Pronounced “Gose-Uh,” look for variations that already include cucumber, prickly pear, or yes, even watermelon flavors.”
  • ________________

    *Gose is an old, top-fermented German sour beer that originated in Goslar. An unfiltered wheat beer, cloudy gose beers have a spiciness from the addition of ground coriander seeds, a sharpness from the addition of salt, and a lemony tartness. Some are also flavored with syrups.

     

    Guinness Float
    [1] Beer floats combine two of summer’s favorite refreshers: beer and ice cream (photo courtesy Silver Moon Desserts).

    Coffee Stout Float
    [2] A coffee stout ice cream float. Here’s the recipe from Beautiful Booze.

    Brown Ale Ice Cream Sundae
    [3] A vanilla ice cream sundae with salted caramel and honey peanuts, served with brown ale. Here’s the recipe from Somewhere Over The Kitchen..

    Angry Orchard Summer Honey Cider
    [4] If you’re not a beer lover, try hard cider instead. Angry Orchard’s seasonal Summer Honey Cider is a good start (photo courtesy Sanura Weathers).

    Baskin Robbins Strawberry Ice Cream

    [5] Strawberry ice cream with a Hefeweizen? Who knew? (Photo courtesy Baskin-Robbins).

     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEER, a photo-glossary.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Authentic Greek Salad Recipe & The “American” Greek Salad

    Authentic Greek Salad
    [1] The real deal: an authentic Greek salad from Little Cooking Tips. Here’s the recipe.

    Greek Cobb Salad
    [2] We love how Dishing Delish has arranged the Greek salad ingredients like a Cobb salad. Here’s her recipe for the Best Greek Salad Dressing.

    Deconstructed Greek Salad
    [3] We also love this deconstructed Greek salad: an appetizer on a romaine wedge. Here’s the recipe from DeLallo.

    Creative Greek Salad

    [4] All the ingredients of an authentic Greek salad, with some creativity in assembly, from Stix | NY.

     

    Our favorite luncheon salad is a Greek salad, most often homemade, sometimes at a diner or similar casual spot.

    We follow the latter’s recipe: romaine, tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, green bell pepper, red onion, kalamata olives, peperoncini (the italian spelling; pepperoncini is the English spelling), and hopefully, a couple of grape leaves and pita or crusty bread on the side. For seasoning, a sprinkle of oregano and cruets of oil and red wine vinegar.

    We’ve been known to substitute balsamic vinegar for the conventional acidic red wine vinegar, and add fresh basil or other herb when we have it.

    We especially love a Greek salad in the summer, when the seasonal tomatoes are a joy in of themselves.

    THE AUTHENTIC GREEK SALADbelow, from Chef Amanda Cohen.

    Bloggers Mirella and Panos of Little Cooking Tips says: “The authentic horiatiki [Greek salad] is a very specific salad, with very specific ingredients.

    The Authentic Greek Salad Ingredients

  • Tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes; whole tomatoes, cut in wedges)
  • Cucumbers (peeled and sliced)
  • Red onions (thinly sliced)
  • Green bell peppers (thinly sliced)
  • Kalamata olives (whole, not pitted)
  • Traditional Greek Feta (in a big slice or chunk, never crumbled)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (for dressing)
  • Dry oregano
  •  
    The above exist in any authentic horiatiki you’ll be served throughout Greece. There are only two optional ingredients in addition to the ones above:

  • Capers (added mostly in horiatiki salads that are served in Greek islands)
  • Red wine vinegar (for people who want extra acidity).”
  •  
    There is no lettuce, no stuffed grape leaves, no peperoncini, no radishes, no anchovies—nothing that isn’t in the bullet points above. Here’s their authentic horiatiki recipe (photo #1).

    Of course, there are other popular salads in Greece, including:

  • Lahanosalata, cabbage slaw, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
  • Maintanouri, parsley salad, usually used as a condiment.
  • Marouli, lettuce salad with onion and dill.
  • Pantzarosalata, boiled, sliced beet, sometimes with the beet greens, dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Patatosalata, potato salad with finely sliced onions, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Revithosalata, chickpea salad.
  • Roka salad, arugula/rocket (roka) dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice, sometimes with added anchovies.
  •  
    Cypriot salad, native to the island of Cyprus, has similar ingredients to the horiatiki, exchanging the oregano for flat-leaf parsley.

    The other ingredients in Cypriot salad: finely chopped tomatoes (not sliced, as in horiatiki, capers, cucumbers, onions and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and lemon or red wine vinegar.

    The bell peppers and olives: lost in translation.
     
    THE HISTORY OF GREEK SALAD, HORIATIKI

    Horiatiki is primarily a summer dish, using lush tomatoes off the vine. Since lettuce only grows in Greece during the cooler, winter months, a horiatiki salad does not include lettuce (source).

    And while horiatiki is ubiquitous in Greece, it is a relatively new combination. Some of the ingredients are thousands of years old, others as new as the last century.

  • Bell pepper—all peppers, including peperoncini and hot chiles—are new world produce. Pepper seeds were brought back to Spain in 1493 after a member of the Columbus expedition tasted hot chiles and called them “pepper,” after the heat of the black peppercorns used in Europe (the native name for the category is chilli). From there the pepper spread to other European, African and Asian countries. It may have gotten to Greece in the 16th century.
  • Feta cheese may be the oldest ingredient in the salad. References to Greek cheese production date to the 8th century B.C.E., and the items used to make cheese from sheep’s or goat’s milk, described in Homer’s Odyssey are similar to those used today’s handmade feta [source].
  • Lettuce was first cultivated in Egypt for food around 2680 B.C.E. Romaine lettuce was bred on the Greek island of Cos, an alternative word still used for romaine [source]. Romans usually cooked their lettuce, and the plant became known as Roman lettuce due to the Roman belief in its healthful and healing properties.
  • Olives have been cultivated in Greece for thousands of years. Kalamata olives are just one variety from a specific region. Greece produces both green and black olives, in addition to the purple kalamata. Here’s more about Greek olives.
  • Onion’s origin cannot be established for certain. The wild onion is extinct so botanists lack the markers used to track its origin and spread. Traces of onions recovered from Bronze Age settlements in China indicate that onions were eaten as far back as 5000 B.C.E., and may be a point of origin. Archaeologists, botanists and food historians point to are central Asia or Persia as the site of early cultivation. Onions have been cultivated for at least 7,000 years, and were probably simultaneously domesticated around the world [source].
  • Tomatoes didn’t arrive in Europe until the 16th century…but not planted until 1818 in Greece. They were brought back by from the New World by the conquistadors in 1529, but as a member of the Nightshade family were first thought to be poisonous. They were used as houseplants and not eaten for another two centuries. In Greece, they weren’t widely cultivated until the early 20th century [source]. Here’s the history of tomatoes.
  •  
    Now, on to a salad from one of America’s great vegetarian chefs, Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy, in New York City.

    Her “American Greek salad” is layered with some ingredients that no Greek chef has likely thought of (photos #5 and #6).

    RECIPE: AMANDA COHEN’S GREEK SALAD

    “This recipe, while it might look intimidating, makes this salad a party on your plate,” says Chef Amanda. “Sumac and za’atar give this recipe its zip. Sumac is a dried berry with a bright citrusy flavor, and za’atar is a vibrant, intensely herbal seasoning. You can find them at any Middle Eastern or Indian grocery store.

    “You can always leave them out, but this salad is a lot more fun if they’re invited to the party.”

    In addition to sumac and za’atar, this recipe invites pickled onions and fried onion rings with a preserved lemon drizzle.

    Thanks to Wüsthof for the recipe. Wüsthof is Chef Amanda’s cutlery of choice; and THE NIBBLE has more than a few in its knife rack, as well. Brush up on your knife skills with these Wüsthoff videos.

     

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Pickled Onions

  • 1 large red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 3 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  •  
    For The Salad

  • 1½ cups plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1½ cups hot house cucumbers, diced
  • ¾ cup fennel, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  •  
    For The Preserved Lemon Mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup chopped preserved lemons, seeds removed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  •  
    For The Mushrooms

  • 2 trumpet royale mushroom
  • 1 can (12 ounces) seltzer water
  • 8 cups canola oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoons za’atar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pistachios, crushed
  •  
    Plus

  • Pita or crusty rustic bread
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the pickled onions. Massage 1 tablespoon of the salt into the onions. Keep massaging until liquid starts to seep out of the onions and then squeeze all of the liquid out. Wash the onions a few times and repeat a second time. Then, add 1 tablespoon of the salt and ¼ cup of the lime juice to the onions and let sit for a few hours. Squeeze all of the liquid out of the onions. Repeat the above sequence. When ready, onions should be a bright pink color. If they are not, repeat the process again.

     

    Amanda Cohen Greek Salad

    Amanda Cohen Greek Salad
    [5] and [6] Chef Amanda Cohen’s take on “the best Greek salad” (photos courtesy Star Chefs).

    Vertical Greek Salad
    [7] Daunted by Chef Amanda’s recipe? Then take on this one, served at Death Ave in New York City. Just stack on a piece of toasted rustic bread and serve.

    Wusthof Serrated Chopper

    [8] One of our favorite Wüsthof knives: the serrated chopper, available at Williams-Sonoma.

     
    2. MAKE the dressing. In a blender mix the garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil. Add the oregano and blend until it is broken up into small pieces.

    3. MAKE the preserved lemon mayonnaise: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until very smooth. Put the mixture into a squeeze bottle.

    4. MAKE the salad. In a bowl mix the tomatoes, cucumbers, fennel, herbs and olives. Add the feta and adjust the salt levels.

    5. MAKE the mushroom rings: Slice the mushrooms into ¼” thick rings and punch the centers out, leaving about ¼” for an outer ring, so that each ring is ¼” thick and ¼” wide. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 375°F.

    Mix the flour and the seltzer in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the panko, the salt, the sumac and za’atar. Dip the rings in the seltzer mixture first and then dip them in the panko mixture. Fry in batches for about 2-3 minutes each. When done, the mushrooms should be golden brown on the outside.

    6. ASSEMBLE: Toss the salad with the dressing; taste and adjust the salt level. Divide the salad onto four plates. Place 4 onion rings on top of each salad. Squeeze a few lines of the preserved lemon mayo across the salad. Garnish: Sprinkle with the sumac, za’atar and the pistachios. Place a tablespoon of the pickled onions on the side of the plate. Microwave the pita and you’re ready to eat!

      

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