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The Food Almanac: Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Food Almanac: Thursday, August 1, 2013


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Today's Flavor
August is National Catfish Month. Catfish is like nothing else in the seafood world. If you have a recipe or a hankering for catfish, and there is no catfish, you just have to put your plans on hold until you do.

Although members of the catfish family are found throughout most of the world, the South has the two or three best varieties. We also have the country's largest catfish farming area--around Yazoo City in northern Mississippi. That puts a great deal of farm-raised catfish into our markets and restaurants.

A bit too much, I'd say. Farm-raised catfish never reaches the excellence that the best wild catfish boasts. The best catfish is smaller than what the farms like to raise, and has a cleaner flavor.

In my opinion, no method of cooking catfish beats simply coating it with seasoned cornmeal and frying it. The only improvements come from marinating the fish briefly in the likes of mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire, or lemon. If you find yourself with large catfish fillets, slice them with a very sharp knife on the bias into smaller, thinner pieces for a cleaner, better flavor.

Fried catfish requires no sauce, either; you can eat it like popcorn. That's impossible if the fish is too thick, or coated in too coarse a meal. The best coating is a mixture of corn meal and corn flour with salt and Creole seasoning. Then all you need is a pan of oil at 375 degrees, some paper towels, and you're a minute away from enjoying some of the world's finest seafood eating.

Food Around The World
This is the anniversary of the Swiss Confederation in 1291--the beginning of Switzerland as we know it. This is the country's national day. What should we do? Eat Swiss cheese? If so, make sure it's really Swiss cheese. Drink Swiss wine? If you can find it. What wines is made in Switzerland is mostly drunk in Switzerland.

Food In Show Biz
This was the birthday, in 1941, of Jerry Garcia, a legendary figure in rock music and most recognizable member of the Grateful Dead. The Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor Cherry Garcia is an homage to his memory. Speaking of portly guys with beards, today is Dom DeLuise's birthday: 1933. Nobody has ever seen him and Paul Prudhomme in the same place at the same time. Could it be. ?

Hooch Through History
The Whiskey Rebellion began today in 1791. The good old boys in the Appalachians--then the frontier of the United States--objected to having to pay nine cents a gallon tax on their hooch. They attacked and harassed tax collectors until George Washington, leading a militia of 13,000 soldiers personally, put the revolt down. The highly unpopular tax--instituted by Alexander Hamilton to pay off debts from the Revolutionary War--only lasted another decade. It was the first taxpayer revolt in the new country, and the first threat to Federal power.

Annals Of Motel Dining
The first Holiday Inn opened, outside Memphis, on this day in 1952. It turned the motel concept into a unique brand, advertising "the best surprise is no surprise." Stevie Wonder once said he liked Holiday Inns because all their rooms were exactly the same. These days, the motel concept is moving towards extinction, and Holiday Inn and its like are heading ever upscale. All but the very cheap ones now more resemble classic hotels. They even have food, which most of them did not even as late as the 1980s. But don't get your hopes up. Good food is still beyond the horizon.

Inventions In Eating
Shredded wheat was invented on this date in 1893. It took two guys to do it. But who really cares?. Joseph Priestley, who was indeed a minister, discovered oxygen today in 1774. Thank God.

Bad Moments In Dining
Today in 10 BC, the future fourth Roman Emperor, Claudius, was born. He was allegedly killed by poison mushrooms fed to him by his wife Agrippina, to allow Nero to assume the purple.

Annals Of Candy
The Mars Bar was introduced today in 1932, in Europe. It was nearly identical to what we call the Milky Way. The American Mars Bar, which came later, was different, with almonds instead of peanuts and a darker chocolate coating. As for me, when I think of Mars Bar I think of a seedy lounge I saw once in Chicago.

Gourmet Gazetteer
Cornbread Branch is a little Kentucky creek running through the rolling farmland seventy-five miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, just over the Kentucky line. It's the kind of creek from which people used to dip "branch water" for making drinks with Bourbon whiskey. Trying to find restaurants nearby, I found they were all in Williamsburg, five miles up State Highway 92. And that they were all chains: Long John Silver's, Krystal, Subway, Huddle House, Burger King, Wendy's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Arby's, and McDonald's. I believe we've found the worst place to eat in America!

Edible Dictionary
gazpacho, [Spanish], n.--A cool to cold soup made mostly with tomatoes, with other savory herbs and crunchy vegetables to give a distinctive fresh, tangy flavor. It has been called (but I can't seem to track down who did it first) a "liquid salad." It was born in Andalucia, in southern Spain, and from there spread across the country and into Portugal. In its homeland, it is more likely to be a rough puree, thickened with bread. In our country, it's almost always served chunky, with cucumbers and peppers as common ingredients, and no thickener. The recipe seems to have existed in Spain before the tomato was brought back from the New World by Columbus, and transformed by that vegetable.

Deft Dining Rule #405
Of all things fried to a golden brown, that color brings the most pleasure when seen on fried catfish.

Food Namesakes
Mervyn Kitchen, a famous cricket player, was born today in 1940. Classical conductor Oskar Fried was born today in 1871. .Helen Sawyer Hogg, a Canadian astronomer, was born today in 1901.

Words To Eat By
"Fish should smell like the tide. Once they smell like fish, it's too late."--Oscar Gizelt, long-time manager of Delmonico in New York.

Words To Drink By
"I love everything that 's old--old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine."--Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer.


Cook Once, Eat All Week: Pork Shoulder

A slow-cooked pork shoulder, which emerges from the crock pot so tender it shreds at the touch of a fork tine, is one of those kitchen projects that keeps on giving: One weekend roast will feed your family for five weekdays with these delicious recipes for the leftovers. Even on the day you're cooking it, the pork simply roasts in the slow cooker, giving you the freedom to do errands, spend time with friends, or simply kick back and relax. If you&rsquore feeding one or two instead of four, stash half of the finished pork in your freezer, where it will keep for 6 months.

Check out our ultimate slow-cooker recipe for pulled pork and five delicious recipes to repurpose the leftovers every weeknight.

Sign up for our FREE Recipe Of The Day newsletter for more healthy meals.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours, 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 (with leftovers)

1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
⅛ tsp cayenne
8 lb bone-in pork shoulder, cut into 3 pieces and trimmed of all visible fat
1 c prepared low-sodium barbecue sauce
4 hamburger buns
Pickles, optional, for garnish
Coleslaw, optional, for garnish

1. PLACE the pork in a large slow cooker with ½ cup water. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

2. REMOVE pork from slow cooker and discard bone. Cool 10 minutes. Using forks, shred pork.

3. PLACE all but 2 cups of the pulled pork into sealed containers and refrigerate for later in the week.

4. TAKE 2 cups of the shredded pork and combine with the barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

5. DIVIDE the pork evenly among the buns and top with coleslaw and pickles, if desired.

NUTRITION (per serving) 492 cal, 48.8 g pro, 44.7 g carb, 1.8 g fiber, 8.3 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 591 mg sodium

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

Pot Stickers
1 c shredded pork, chopped fine
¼ c finely chopped bok choy
¼ sm onion, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
24 wonton wrappers
Nonstick spray, for searing

Sesame Ginger Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp water
2 scallions, chopped

1. COMBINE the pork, bok choy, onion, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and lemon juice in a large bowl and blend well.

2. PLACE a tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten the edges and bring all the sides up into the center and pinch the edges of the wrapper together, pinching firmly together to seal.

3. BRING 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil in a large pot. Add a few of the dumplings, one at a time. When they rise to the surface, they are cooked. With a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a tray covered with paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

4. HEAT the cooking spray in a large skillet or wok. Add the dumplings in batches and cook until lightly browned on the bottom.

5. MAKE the sesame ginger sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice, water, and scallions. Bring to a boil. Serve hot with dumplings.

NUTRITION (per serving) 462 cal, 34.2 g pro, 113.6 g carb, 4 g fiber, 6.1 g fat, 1.4 g sat fat, 585 mg sodium

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 41 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

1 multigrain baguette (8 ounces, cut into 4 sections and then each halved lengthwise)
2 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
2 c pulled pork
4 oz low-fat Swiss cheese
4 oz dill pickle sandwich toppers

1. SPREAD the cut side of the bottom half of the bread with the mustard. Top each with the cheese, pork, and an overlapping layer of pickle slices. Top with the remaining bread halves.

2. HEAT a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches top side down and place another heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches, pressing down slightly to help flatten. Cook for 6 minutes.

3. TURN the sandwiches over and replace the second skillet on top. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, or until the cheese melts and the sandwiches are flat and heated through.

4. REMOVE from the pan and cut each sandwich in half on a sharp angle. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving) 317 cal, 30.6 g pro, 25.3 g carb, 4.5 g fiber, 9.8 g fat, 4.7 g sat fat, 834 mg sodium

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 24 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp fish sauce
6 c shredded cole slaw mix
¾ c chopped fresh cilantro
1¼ c thinly sliced scallions
2 c pulled pork
½ c lightly salted chopped peanuts

1. PLACE lime juice, sugar, and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave on high until sugar melts, 20 to 30 seconds. Let cool.

2. STIR in fish sauce.

3. GENTLY toss cole slaw mix, scallions, and cilantro in a large bowl.

4. POUR lime juice mixture over veggies, add pork, and toss gently. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.

5. TOP salad with nuts before serving.

NUTRITION (per serving) 252 cal, 21.8 g pro, 19.4 g carb, 5.1 g fiber, 11.2 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 295 mg sodium

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 24 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

3 tsp canola oil
1 lg yellow onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 lg fresh poblano chile, cut into thick strips
⅔ c orange juice
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ tsp hot-pepper sauce
2 c pulled pork
8 corn tortillas, warmed

1. HEAT 1 tsp of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and poblanos and season well with salt.

2. COOK, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft, 7 to 8 minutes.

3. ADD the orange juice, tomato paste, lime juice, cider vinegar, garlic, and hot-pepper sauce and cook until the tomato paste has darkened in color and the mixture has reduced, about 5 minutes.

4. ADD the shredded pork and warm through. Serve with tortillas.

NUTRITION (per serving) 294 cal, 20.5 g pro, 39.3 g carb, 6.4 g fiber, 7.2 g fat, 1.2 g sat fat, 97 mg sodium

More from Prevention: Fresh Corn And Tomato Salsa

PREP TIME: 33 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

3 oz buckwheat noodles
1½ c thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into 2" pieces
6 oz teriyaki marinated tofu, cut into strips
1 c pulled pork
½ c chopped cilantro leaves
⅓ c mint or basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, sliced
12 round rice paper wrappers (8" diameter)
Bottled sweet chile dipping sauce (optional)

1. COOK the noodles according to package directions. Drain well.

2. PLACE the cabbage, bell pepper, tofu, pork, and noodles on a board for assembling.

3. TOSS together the cilantro, mint, and scallions in a medium bowl.

4. FILL a pie plate two-thirds full with room-temperature water. Working with four wrappers at a time, dip the rice paper in the water then set on a work surface.

5. DIVIDE ½ cup of the noodles between the wrappers, arranging in a line down the center of each wrapper. Divide ¼ cup each of the cabbage and peppers between the wrappers, 3 tablespoons cilantro mixture, and some of tofu and pork onto the noodles.

6. FOLD the two sides of the rice paper over the filling, then fold the bottom end over the filling, envelope-style. Roll up tightly, sealing the last side with a little water.

7. PLACE on a large serving plate or board and cover with damp towels. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

8. TO SERVE, cut the rolls in half and serve with a bottled sweet chili dipping sauce (if desired).

NUTRITION (per serving) 464 cal, 19.1 g pro, 59.3 g carb, 5.5 g fiber, 5.7 g fat, .9 g sat fat, 149 mg sodium


Are you a SLAVE to Your Food? Thursday, August 1, 2013

OMG – How many points of view do we have about food? How much do you have to eat to survive? What is good for you and your body and what is not? Should you eat organic? Is Monsanto and the GMO’s bad? Are you an emotional eater? Does your body look like someone else in your family? Notice the first three letters of the word DIEt – yet we love to torture ourselves physically and financially with the “fitness” and “diet” industry yearly! Would you be interested in a new possibility?

BEING Outside the Box

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel

BEING Outside the Box is all about opening everyone up to new possibilities! What if there is way more knowledge, talents, abilities and capacities available to us that we never even imagined. How can we tap into that? How can we use that information to better our lives?

Has a piece of jewelry ever shown up mysteriously that had been missing or you drove to a location in such a short amount of time that it didn't even seem possible or you saw something that some might say is not real but you know you saw it? What if you are tapping into some of these latent talents we all have but never actualized? It's time - time to wake up and begin living and BEING Outside the Box!

Your host, Lynn Waldrop, will be your Possibility Purveyor, steering you towards a life you never dreamed was possible. How much fun can we have on the adventure of BEING Outside the Box?

Lynn Waldrop

Lynn teaches and facilitates several holistic modalities to empower the client to create and generate change in their own Life & Body. This change can be physical, mental & emotional ailments, finances, health, relationships & simply LIVING! We are energy and our bodies acoustical, therefore, anything with a wave or frequency can initiate a healing response in the body and that is why Lynn’s focus is on Vibrational Therapies using Sound, Color, Light and Consciousness.

You can check Lynn out at her website: www.lynnwaldrop.com

Lynn is a Psychic Medium & Psychic Development Teacher, Access Consciousness “Talk to the Entities" Facilitator, Certified Access Consciousness Facilitator & 3-Day Body Class Facilitator, Sound & Color Therapist, BioMat Therapist & Distributor, Certified Cyma Therapy Practitioner & Distributor, Reiki Master and former Host of Good Vibrations: Catch the Wave to Better Health on Voice America Health & Wellness.


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To maximize the tangy flavor of the rye flour, use rye whiskey instead of bourbon.

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