We first wrote about Chitra Agrawal when we discovered her Brooklyn Delhi products. Since then she’s been up to a lot more than just jarring delicious pickled things from India. Her latest edition to your Indian food education comes in book form with Vibrant India. South Indian cooking is not the Indian dishes that commonly pop to mind for us Americans. Having a South Indian mother-in-law has schooled me on these flavorful and light regional tastes. Chitra draws from her mother’s cooking bringing Bangalore all the way to Brooklyn where she adds her own twists to these vegetarian classics. I’ve often proclaimed, “I could go full vegetarian.” after eating at my in-laws for a weekend. As a pretty serious carnivore, that says a lot about her book and the deliciousness potential. Point is, there’s something for everyone in this book. Vegan, vegetarians, paleo or carnivore the flavors and simplicity will swoon you. We promise.
Food Product Reviews
Old World Jewish cuisine and delicious usually don’t make it into the same sentence. That’s why when we read “A culinary laboratory where Ashkenazi stories and culinary wisdom from the Old World could be explored and brought into the new.” we immediately wanted to know who said it and why. Turns out Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern are not only behind the statement but behind a dinner series, product line and cookbook dedicated to keeping this slice of culture alive. Speaking of slices, tonight of all nights is the perfect time for a slice of the Gefilteria cornerstone product. Artisan Gefilte fish made where else BUT in Brooklyn. The duo now bring Gefilteria goods to you online and through some specialty shops in NYC. Bring a loaf to your holiday parties and keep the new traditions alive.
We haven’t been this excited about milk since we discovered Frosted Flakes in 1982. 100 years ago the Shatto family started raising cattle. In 2003 they decided to start making their own milk and then cheese, then, butter, cookies, ice cream and now juice. They also decided to brand everything with an irreverent and slightly off utter humor. They developed a list of core values for their brandd and then punned the hell out of them. Lines like, “No hormones. Yes Whey.” and “Udder to store. Under 24.” We love everything about the Shatto Milk Company but mainly their milk. It’s a testament to a pure and best-in-class, raw ingredient being the cornerstone of so many other products. In the case of the Shatto family, that means their OWN products. Ohh right, and they brought back the milkman too. OMG. Yes. My Frosted Flakes will never be the same. Now, if I only lived in Kansas City.
Food and Christmas go hand in hand. With the current slobbering over all things edible, it’s no wonder the food ornament game has stepped up to the plate and started hitting homers. No better place to snap up one of these winners than Terrain, the Urban Outfitters folks take on outdoor stuff. This Glass Tomato Ornament is one of our favs because it’s a building block of many recipes and a beautifully simple summer fruit we rarely get to see in winter. Hanging off our tree we want to puree them up and make a red sauce for our raviolo but that would make for a disaster. Obviously, made for memories, there glass vegetable line is meant to remind us how good the real thing is and wait for summer. That’s cool, we’re asking for heirloom seed for Christmas.
Full disclosure on this holiday gift reco. We’re tight with the Barking Irons guys. Help you move. Treat you to dinner. Bail you out of jail kind of tight. Disclosure aside, let’s talk delicious unique Americana history. With Barking Irons Applejack at the root of this story, we guarantee happiness under the tree. Or under those gold multi-candle holders. We digress, this spirit is the OG. Meaning, the British and Spanish sailed over to America. They couldn’t find the usual things to make booze from. They found a crap load of apples. “Jacking”, A freeze distillation process to increase the alcohol content, became a thing. They aptly named it Applejack. Boom, the first indigenous American liquor was born. Quick side note, we are by no means stepping over Haren A Pitahaya, the Apache and Maricopa saguaro cactus wine but Applejack was the first “modern” American spirit. Since then, most of us have forgotten about this story and the product it produced. The guys at Phear Creative thankfully have not. They put into production the first new Applejack option since Laird’s in 1780. What does all this mean? You can gift (yourself if you are so bold) not only a unique addition to ones home bar BUT a historical reference and story to go along with all the fabled Santa Claus tales.
We’re big fans of things that are born from passion and experience. Bittermilk is such a product. The married founders, Joe and MariElena Raya, have been tweaking on their version of the perfect elixir for years. We love their line “The labor is in the bottle.” This makes everyone an ace bartender by just adding your favorite spirit. That’s something that come sin handy during the holidays. Your “host with the most” status gets dialed up with a Bittermilk secret behind the bar. Try the limited edition No.7 Yuletide Old Fashioned before the seasons all gone.
Donuts have seem to take over the food world momentarily. Perhaps its the unbridled holiday eating that’s pumped up the nostalgic hole sweet treat. Peter Pan was just named best donut shop in NYC. That’s a nod to the ways of old over the newer artisanal makers. Point is, we can’t get enough of donuts…apparently. Lines outside of Dough. Cream filling fountains at Doughnut Dolly. Even politically correct examples at Federal Donuts. It makes sense that we’d want to wear them on our feet if we could. Now, for better or worse, we can. Sukeno Doughnut Socks will provide you this thrill. Even better when you get dressed each morning it will appear the donut fairy left you a secret fresh batch. Have fun with this. What’s next Munchkin gloves. Just sayin’.
With a week left to meet their goal, The Bierbox crew is trying to bring the beauty of 5 gallons of beer and the art of the nuances of hops and barley to your front door. Every three months they release a new recipe. This takes the guess work, and fear that your home brew will suck after all the work, out of the equation. The co-founders know their stuff having been in the home brew game for almost a decade. They are also supported by the awesomely, smart folks at Brooklyn Kitchen. With that deck of contributors you’re delivered a royal flush every time a box arrives. More proof? They made this history of beer infographic and a comprehensive homebrewing guide. Get knowledge. Buy beer (making kits).
Who doesn’t want to roll up to Thanksgiving with a gallon of whey? Protein brined in protein might be a little bit of a change for you but The White Moustache claims it produces one of the juiciest birds you can cook. With their order only Whey Turkey Brine you can be the hero of the table. Add on some of their other products to accompany and you have apps and desserts covered as well. We’ve been big fans of their labneh and yogurt for years now. This annual item only adds to our obsession of their truly small batch products.
You know we love lemons. You know we love Italy. You know we love local food makers. All those hearts collided in Amsterdam of all places. While poking around De Hallen mesmerized at all the incredible, local, makers we found Bello Limoncello. The svelte, frosted bottle and clean, bold graphic triggered our pavlovian response to hipsterized old world classics. Considering my 89 year old uncles high octane version of citrus aperitif, this mustache adorned version gave me hope for a sipable post meal drink that augments instead of memory erases the completed meal that proceeds the ritual. Started by two Dutch buddies on a trip to Italy, it’s now quite the craze in Amsterdam. Their description is perfect so we’ll just cut and paste this perfect explanation. “A high-quality drink for the highly ambitious. Produced with Italian maschismo and Amsterdam bravoure.” Boss. Right? Their IG is pretty dope too. Check it. We’re hoping it makes it to the states soon but if you just can’t wait, like us, you can get it online.
We’re back from our Nordic adventure. If you’ve been following the IG story you know. Now that we’re settled back in BK, expect an onslaught of Nordic and North Euro finds and events on the blog this week. Kicking it off is this bible of new, and old, Nordic cuisine from the man who made it an unignorable culinary trend. Of course, Magnus Nilsson doesn’t call it trendy. He just calls it his childhood food. Part of his notoriety and the cuisines attention stems from his restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. Currently ranked the 25th best restaurant in the world and with two Michelin stars, it’s almost impossible to get a seat. Incidentally, it’s almost impossible to get to as it’s a 7-hour drive from Stockholm. All part of his plan and experience. In comes The Nordic Cookbook. Broken up into sections, you can find classic Nordic favorites and New Nordic expressions woven together as you flip the pages. Ingredient lists read as you might expect. Lingonberry, juniper, pine, pig trotter, fiskbullar and blodpalt, to name a few. Winter is coming in quick. Perfect time to grab this book and make some hearty, comfort cozy for you girlfriend.
To lighten up this week a little, we’ve discovered @murcer and her texture enhanced, food pattern, illustrations. You an read deeping into why I chose fluff and and ice Cream split from the myriad of quirky designs she has up on @frenchtoastprints IG account. Click over. Stare into the food illustrated abyss for 5 minutes Skip her latest two illustrations and and keep your mind off the politics. You can email her for prints. Just check her profile.
We are huge fans of Phin and Phebes ice cream. Not such big fans of this election. WTF. It’s like Mark Burnett was put in charge of running things. Ice cream has always made everything better. Nobody knows that better than these ladies. Partnering with Madewell, they took a stand and started the Phin and Phebes Pints of Positivity campaign. Show your colors. Join the movement. Wear some schwag with pride. Ohh, and don’t really vote ice cream. Please vote for one of the primary candidates we don’t need any more skewed election drama on poll day.
So you’re hungry and want tacos for dinner, huh? In the great, ancient tradition of hungry-people-eating-food-they-want-to-eat-in-order-to-become-less-hungry, you’ve got a few go-to options: go out, order in, or even cook to get what you so desire. The only problem? Those options require effort. Be honest with yourself: do you really feel like putting in that kind of work? Especially when eating tacos is supposed to be one of the most effortless culinary experiences of all time. But what’s a hungry taco lover to do? What about ‘no pain, no gain,’ you wonder? The answer is in this revolutionary, (practically) effortless alternative to your average, everyday taco-procurement strategies. We’re talking about the “You Better Have Tacos” doormat, and we urge you to lay that bad boy outside your door and wait for the cha-ching, cha-ching — I mean crinkle, crinkle — of an endless supply our fave member of the no-utensil food group, brought to you by your friends, neighbors, and anyone else who should pass through your threshold. It’s so simple, you may weep. So convenient, you may never leave your place again. So foolproof…well we think that it maybe, probably, most likely will work. But if for whatever reason it doesn’t, well then at at least you’ve got a good place to wipe off your shoes — you know, in case you gotta go out for tacos in the rain.
Today’s the day of atonement. I only know this as an honorary member of “the tribe” having sat through my fair share of Yom Kippur dinners. This is the meal that breaks the fast of the past 24 hours. This was the day that sent all my Jewish friends home from soccer practice early to beat sundown in high school. The thing is, my jew crew didn’t really do the fasting part very well BUT they definitely did the breaking part excellently. The typical Jewish cuisine gets a poor rep. This, under the trained taste buds, is a falsely perpetuated opinion perhaps the same way Portlanders say it’s always grey in Stumptown. For context and as a case in point, I’ve sampled some incredible homemade gefilte fish that can go toe to toe with any cultural cuisine. To this end, Jewish food needs better press and a little more marketing oomph to jump the hurdle into main stream. Ashley Albert is spearheading the effort with her artisanal matzo company from Brooklyn, The Matzo Project. Salted, cinnamon or everything (as in bagel) are your delicious choices. You can’t pick wrong. We’ve tasted them all. You might be asking why I didn’t post this last week. That’s the point you should be stocking this year round. Eating it instead of chips or Triscuits. Plus, those of you who partake in the festivities, you’ve got Sukkot in five days. Stock up.