Archives for the month of: June, 2011

So over time I have met, though only a select few, women who do not like chocolate. This is completely perplexing to me.  Granted I am a bit of a chocolate enthusiast whose interests range from chocolate banana bread to chocolate gelato to my very favorite, solid chocolate pieces dipped in warm melted chocolate. Mmm…yum.  Yes, I understand that I have a bit of a problem.  First step right?

I digress.  I simply do not see how a woman could not like chocolate.  This is in no way to discredit all those chocolate-loving men out there but in a study examining 259 undergraduates’ chocolate cravings (yes I am also jealous to have not taken part in this) a total of 91% of American women had cravings compared to 59% of American men.[1]  Theories for strong chocolate cravings being female-dominated range from cultural gender differences to the phenyl-ethylamine chemical being found in chocolate.  This is the same chemical that causes an orgasm…exactly.  Anyhow, despite the reasoning, it is at the very least a stereotype (if not common knowledge) that we women simply love chocolate!  With that said I have composed a short list of persons/places/things/ideas that make more sense to me than a woman who does not like chocolate:

  • Decorative Pillows
  • Corgi/German Shepard Dog Mixed Breeds
  • Parmalat
  • Jared Leto
  • Highway Traffic Jams Between the Hours of 12:00am and 3:00am
  • The Ending of The Adjustment Bureau
  • People Who Don’t Like Dogs
  • Dopplegangers
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Lady Gaga’s Grammy Egg
  • Personality Differences Between Kittens and Cats.
  • Scratching Bug Bites in Your Sleep
  • Anime Cartoon Eye Contacts
  • The Need to Follow Anything or Anyone on Twitter Besides Food Trucks

I do not understand women who don’t like chocolate.  If you have any thoughts on the matter – including some additional items that make more sense than female chocolate haters – speak up!

End of post.

– Lauren


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One of my favorite things about Saturday mornings, other than the occasional hangover and/or goonsquad diner breakfast, is my local farmer’s market. This past week, I found bunches of golden beets, all with bright, tall greens. The color, when cooked, looks like that of yellow-flesh plums, with the edges by the skin still a dark purple. The flavor is the same as regular red beets, and I went with smaller-sized beets, as they are tend to be sweeter and more tender than larger beets.

Replicating a dish that I’ve seen (and enjoyed) at a number of restaurants, here is a version of beet salad meant to accentuate the natural sweetness of beets as much as possible (those who know me best know I love a little something sweet).

Ingredients

  • Bunch beets, with greens intact (about 1.5 to 2 lbs. total)
  • One large orange (or two smaller ones)
  • Nuts, toasted (I used pecans, but walnuts or almonds will work)
  • Cheese, for crumbling (I used ricotta salata, as I prefer a less assertive cheese, but any goat’s milk or blue cheese is good)
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Dijon mustard
  • White wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Procedure

  1. Wash. Remove beet greens and wash / dry greens thoroughly. Wash beets under running water with scrubbing device (either clean sponge or towel) and dry as well.
  2. Roast. Rub beets with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or until beets are firm, but not hard, when pierced with a sharp knife.
  3. Cut / Juice. While the beets cool, filet the skin from the orange (or oranges). Over a bowl, cut the orange segemnts out from their pithy membranes (called cutting “supremes”), being careful to catch any juice in the bowl. When finished , juice the remaining orange pulp. Repeat if using smaller oranges.
  4. Prepare vinaigrette. Take reserved orange juice and add a few tablespoons of mustard, a dash of white wine vinegar (depending on how acidic you like your vinaigrette), and whisk together until smooth. Add about a tablespoon of the fresh parsley, chopped fine. Slowly add about 1/3 cup of olive oil until dressing comes together. Season to taste.
  5. Dice / Marinate. When the beets are cool enough to handle, dice them and add to the finished vinaigrette, along with the orange supremes (either intact or cut into smaller pieces). Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and up to overnight.
  6.  Finish. Spoon beets and vinaigrette onto a bed of the cleaned beet greens. Add crumbed cheese and toasted nuts. Consume with voracious appetite.

Sweet and earthy, acidic and bright, bitter and salty.

– Max.


I’ll be the first person to admit that it’s far too easy to resort to flowery language when describing a dish or ingredient. In fact, I can admit that sometimes I’m just as guilty as any writer working at the Times describing the newest West Village pan-Asian/Latino farm-to-plate organic pop-up bistro. In an effort to better myself, here is a list of terms that I openly mock, even though most are legitimate and appropriate in their own right, and even though that makes me a big, fat hypocrite:

  1. fusion (I get it, you’re so creative and unique. Your food is Lady Gaga.)
  2. truffle oil (you can buy this shit at T.J. Maxx. That makes it extra gore-met.)
  3. flourless chocolateanything
  4. Overused non-English terms that mean nothing:
  • aioli (really, it’s just mayonnaise. I saw this on the sandwich menu at Hale & Hearty.)
  • frites (I’m guilty as a motherfucker for using this one. Doesn’t change the fact that deep-fried potatoes are sometimes better in a red cardboard sleeve than in a fancy metal cup.)
  • haricot verts (they’re still green beans. Sorry, Jean Claude.)
  • I could go on, and I’m sure I will.

Only marginally better than McDonald's. Just admit it and move on.

  1. hand-picked” or “hand-selected(when not referring to something that grew out of a pile of dirt. That just means you used your hand to touch it.)
  2. textural counterpoint(there, now your review sounds exactly like an ivy-league education.)
  3. “acidic component” (see above.)
  4. heirloom (tomatoes, pigs, corn, fucking turkeys, anything. This reminds us that most of what we eat was bred in a laboratory.)
  5. infused(because food tastes better when it tastes like something else.)
  6. foam (wow, flavored jizzum on my plate! Dunkin Donuts puts milk foam on their coffee, it’s not special anymore.)

here’s to keeping myself honest. 

– Max.

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