Grub Street: 2022 James Beard Award Winners: The Full List

Grub Street: 2022 James Beard Award Winners: The Full List. https://www.grubstreet.com/2022/06/2022-james-beard-chef-and-restaurant-award-winners-full-list.html

Baingan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant Curry — Sowmya’s Spicy Corner

A great recipe from Sowmya’s Spicy Corner, a blog that I follow, for Baingan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant Curry – a delicious and smoky Indian variation of the Mediterranean Baba Ganoush.The dish, which is simple to make, has a unique smoky flavour that comes from grilling the eggplant on direct fire or charcoal. Once grilled, its chopped/mashed, spiced up and cooked to a delicate finish. This smoky and flavour packed baingan bharta / roasted eggplant pairs well with Indian flat breads like roti/ paratha/steamed white rice.

For her recipe: Baingan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant Curry — Sowmya’s Spicy Corner

Miami Cooks: Recipes From the City’s Favorite Restaurants by Sara Liss

          The flavors and foods of Miami, with its imaginative and creative cooking, wide ranging cultural traditions, and unique culinary identity, are brought to the fore by its amazingly talented and award winning chefs and mixologists, Sara Liss, who has been writing about the city’s food scene for more than 15 years captures the culinary essence of the city’s fascinating food scene in Miami Cooks. Presenting 75 signature dishes and drinks from 35 of the hottest restaurants and chefs, either just rocketing to fame or James Beard winners, Liss shares their recipes–ranging from craft cocktails to satisfying brunch dishes to airy desserts. The flavors are global–Cuban food capital of America, but it also home to so many other cuisines―Peruvian, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Jamaican, Cuban, Mexican, Asian, classic French with a Miami twist, and Floridian (of course). All evoke the passionate gastronomic spirit of The Magic City.

Avocado Pizza. Chef Helene Henderson of Malibu Farm Miami Beach. Henderson recommends Caputo (or “00”) flour for the pizza dough as it is an authentic Italian flour used by pizza makers to produce a very soft, flavorful thin crust.

          But Liss takes it one step further. Stating that her mission was to make the entire creative process acceptable and achievable for the home chef, she makes it easy for us to take our cooking to the next level.

       Miami Cooks, published by Figure 1m is currently available for purchase now.

        With beautiful photographs and intriguing recipes, here are a few more to contemplate:

Cubano “Croque Monsieur” – This recipe was crafted by Executive Chef Frederic Delaire from Bar Collins. A Cuban play on a French classic, this towering sandwich teems with slow-roasted pork, an indulgent béchamel sauce, and many layers of ham and Swiss.

Hamachi Cilantro Rolls – “You’ll be sure to wow your mom with some homemade sushi rolls! It might seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, the technique is fairly easy,” writes Liss.

Executive Chef Sunny Oh from Juvia/Sushi Garage.

Shrimp Cakes – This recipe is an Executive Chef Klime Kovaceski specialty from Crust. Riffing on the classic crab cake, Chef Klime has created an easy go-to dish when you’re looking for a hearty brunch course.

Golden Geisha – This raspberry vodka cocktail recipe is from Owner David Grutman of Komodo. This refreshing cocktail is deceptively easy to prepare and heightened to a luxe level with edible gold leaf flakes.

 Jim’s Yellow Fedora – From Executive Chef Daniel Roy from The Jim and Nessie, Jim’s Yellow Fedora cocktail is made with whiskey and chartreuse – a liquor distilled using 130 natural herbs, spices and flowers. In this recipe, it adds depth to whiskey for a play on the classic green hat cocktail.

Korean Braised Chicken with Glass Noodles

This popular Korean dish, also known as Andong jjimdak, originates in the city of Andong, Korea. All at once savory, sweet, and spicy, it sees spicy braised chicken cooked together with Korean glass noodles for a dish that explodes with flavor.

Serves 2 to 3

Marinade [ingredients]

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 41/2Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp concentrated pear juice (see Note)
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 11/2tsp sesame oil

Marinade [method]

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Note: Korean cooking often calls for pear juice for marinating and tenderizing meat. It can be found in most Asian markets.

Chicken [ingredients]

  • 2 lbs, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Marinade (see here)
  • 5 to 6 oz Korean glass noodles (sweet potato starch noodles)
  • Sesame oil, for searing
  • 5 dried red chiles (divided)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 5 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped

Chicken [method]

  • In a large bowl, combine chicken and marinade, turning to coat, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Soak glass noodles in water for 20 minutes, until softened.
  • Coat a large skillet with sesame oil and bring to high heat. Add 3 chiles and sauté for 5 to
  • 7 minutes, until the chiles darken. Discard chiles.
  • Add chicken to the skillet, reserving marinade, and sear for 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the reserved marinade and 4 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then add chicken, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is almost fully cooked. Add the remaining 2 chiles and the potatoes, onion, and carrot and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
  • Add noodles, mushrooms, and scallions and simmer for another 6 to 8 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Remove the 2 chiles and serve immediately.

Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing

Each of the recipes in Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing (Page Street Publishing 2020), a 2019 James Beard Foundation Book Award Nominee by Jerrelle Guy, tells a story. Divided into sections based upon one of our five sense, she delves into her many food memories for recipes such as her grandmother’s Orange Peel Pound Cake though she since has refined it.

         “My grandmother used a lot more sour cream and lots more butter and sugar,” says Guy who started cooking from scratch when she was 14 because that’s when she went vegan.

Guy in EJC Studio, the food photography studio she shares with Eric Harrison and their cat Christopher. Courtesy of Bostonia, Boston University.

         “I had to figure out a way to veganize all the things everyone else in my family was eating,” she says. “My experimental approach to cooking is a consequence of thinking outside the box with recipe development from a very early age.”

         Guy, author of the popular blog, Chocolate for Basil, looks at her book not only as stories of her life told in recipes but also as inspirational.

Christopher the Cat after one too many cookies. Courtesy of EJC Studio.

         “I want to inspire black women to reclaim their kitchens, diets, bodies, and personal power,” says Guy, who contributes recipes to the New York Times.

The following recipe is reprinted with permission from Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018.

Apple Cider Monkey Bread

Egg-free, vegan option

Makes 1 loaf

Dough

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

¼ cup warm water, at 115°F

2 tsp  active dry yeast

3–3½ cups white whole wheat flour, divided

½ tsp salt

¾ cup warm milk

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ cup softened butter

Apple cider coating

¾ cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp  ground cinnamon

¼ cup applesauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

4 tablespoons softened butter

Apple glaze

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons applesauce

5 tablespoons packed brown sugar

Pinch of salt

To make the dough, add the brown sugar to the bowl of warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let it bloom until a cap of foam forms on the top, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine 2½ cups of the flour and the salt. Mix on low speed, pouring in the warm milk, apple cider vinegar and bloomed yeast mixture. Add about ½ cup  more of flour and knead until all the flour is mixed in, then add the butter and mix until the butter is completely worked in. Add extra flour gradually just until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the flour. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm, dark place for 1 to 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.

To make the coating, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, salt and butter in a bowl. Oil a Bundt pan and drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) of the coating on the bottom of the pan.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down in the center to release the air. Pinch off about 1½-inch balls from the dough, roll it into a ball and submerge it in the coating. Place the drenched ball into the Bundt pan. Continue until all the balls are coated and arranged in the pan. If there is any leftover coating, drizzle it

over the top of the dough. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

To make the glaze, melt the butter, applesauce, brown sugar and salt together in a saucepan on the stove top or in a bowl in the microwave. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F  and position a rack in the center of the oven.

Remove the plastic from the risen monkey bread, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through, and it passes the toothpick/skewer test. Remove the monkey bread from the oven and carefully flip it out onto a serving tray while hot. Drizzle it with the apple glaze, and serve warm

VEGAN OPTION: Replace the butter with virgin coconut oil, at room temperature, or dairy-free butter, and make sure the milk is plant-based.

For more recipes and information, visit Guy’s website.

Reading and Understanding the New Nutrition Facts Panel

I often spend what seems like hours reading the labels on the food products I’m considering buying at the grocery store. And I always find unpleasant surprises such as how a simple can of kidney beans often contains either high fructose corn syrup or sugar If you didn’t look you wouldn’t know and you’d be adding unnecessary calories to your chili or whatever dish you were planning to make. And who needs extra calories? Who wants sugar in their beans? I certainly don’t. And so I was happy that my friend Kath Beyer sent me some fascinating information on Pyure that takes stevia plants and refines them into a powerful but non-caloric sweetener we can use as a sugar substitute. But even better, the article she sent shows how to really read the new nutrition panels on the foods we buy.

Stevia is a plant product that can be used as a sugar substitute

First some background. As much as we love our sweets and sweet tastes, no one wants the extra calories nor what sugar does to our health. There are many sweeteners on the market but Pyure is a line of plant-based, sugar substitutes created for people who want the best sweeteners for both their taste and the health benefits we’re all looking for.

The Pyure Process

It starts with harvesting and drying the highest quality leaves from the best tasting species of organic, non-GMO stevia plants.

Then through a process similar to steeping tea, we extract the very sweetest part of the stevia leaf.

What’s left with is known as Reb A, a fine white powder 350 times the sweetness of table sugar!

For more information, the Sweet Talk blog is filled with information about the benefits of organic and zero-calorie stevia products.

Sugar and the New Food Label

Families using Pyure are taking a step towards more healthy eating.

First the Really Bad News

We as Americans consume WAY too much sugar. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the average person consumes approximately 17 teaspoons per day or 270 calories from added sugars. The World Health Organization recommends limiting added sugar to 10% of our total daily calories (about 50 grams for a 2000 calorie diet) while the American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams per day (6 teaspoons) for women and 36 grams per day (9 teaspoons) for men. 

That means we are typically eating almost three times the AHA recommendations. According to the FDA, scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar.

The new nutrition label makes it easier than ever to identify sugar and added sugars in your food.

Identifying added sugars on the label.

Naturally occurring sugars are found in foods like fruits, veggies, and dairy products like milk or plain unsweetened yogurt. These nutrient-dense foods are encouraged as part of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, and the sugar grams found in them will count towards the total carbohydrates on the label.

The new label also requires listing “Added Sugars” in grams and as a percent Daily Value (%DV). The added sugars category includes sugars that are either added during the processing of foods or are packaged as is, like a bag of white sugar. It also includes sugars from syrups and honey, sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices and sugar added to dried fruit. 

The question of “refined sugar” can be confusing. Bottom line. When it comes to our bodies, sugar is sugar. Agave, coconut sugar and pure maple syrup may be marketed as better for you, but they are still 100% sugar and all count towards the proposed daily limits for added sugars.

The new labels are a huge improvement for savvy consumers because until now it was impossible to distinguish the amount of sugar that was added to foods containing both naturally occurring and added forms of sugar like flavored yogurt or a fruit and nut granola bar.

What about low and no calorie sweeteners?

Low and no calorie sweeteners like stevia are not included in added sugars since they do not provide significant calories, carbohydrates or behave like sugar in the body. That’s important for the more than 100 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes, as well as diseases like low blood sugar.

Since stevia is 200 to 300 times as sweet as sugar only a tiny amount is needed to achieve the sweet taste we look for in our favorite foods. That makes stevia or products sweetened with stevia an easy way to help manage the amount of sugar we consume.

Where do you find sugar alcohols on the label?

Since sugar alcohols fall into their own category, they have their own line on the nutrition facts panel. Sweeteners, like erythritol, that contribute zero calories per gram do not affect glucose or insulin levels, but they are counted in the total carbohydrate content on the food label. 

That adds a bit of confusion, so there is a separate line for these sugar alcohols under the “sugars” line on the food label. To calculate the “net carbs,” subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrate grams. For example, Pyure Organic Maple Flavored Syrup (1/4 cup serving):

Total carbohydrate: 27 g

Dietary Fiber: 13 g

Erythritol: 10 g

Net carbs = 4 g 

Only foods that actually contain sugar alcohols will have the separate line listed on the label, making them easier to identify.

Although the new label is more realistic and designed to be easier to read, when it comes to carbohydrates and sugars, there is still some sleuthing that needs to be done. We hope this breakdown clears everything up for you.

Now we’ve learned about reading labels, let’s take a break and try one of the recipes on Pyure website.

Keto Cream Cheese Pancakes

Adapted from Healthy Recipes, these pancakes feel indulgent without all the artificial sugar. Top with your favorite fruit, sugar-free maple syrup alternative, or sugar-free hunny alternative.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Microwave the cream cheese for 10-20 seconds to soften it. Make sure it doesn’t turn into liquid. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs well with a hand whisk.
  3. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, and stevia. Whisk until well incorporated and smooth. This will require some time and patience!
  4. Heat half the butter in two mini nonstick skillets (or use an egg frying pan) over medium heat. Add ¼ of the batter to each skillet. Cook until golden brown and set on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 more minute. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil.
  5. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter to the pans.

Sources:

I’ll soon be sharing more product information, recipes, and nutritional information.

Follow Pyure: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.

Angela Medearis: The Ultimate Kitchen Diva

Photograph by Penny De Los Santos-Diabetic cookbook, Author Amgela Medearis

“People are eating African American food every day, but they don’t know it,” Angela Shelf Medearis says to me when we chat on the phone. In part, she’s talking about James Hemings who, in the complicated way of slavery, trained in the culinary arts in Paris and became a noted chef de cuisine and yet lived most of his life enslaved. Hemings either created or introduced a variety of the foods we eat now such as macaroni and cheese, ice cream, French fries, meringues, crème brulée, and French-style whipped cream.  Another dish he created that we don’t eat regularly if at all is his handwritten recipe for snow eggs–soft, poached meringue, set in puddles of crème anglaise.

          Hemings was the son of Elizabeth Hemings, an enslaved woman and  John Wayles, the man who “owned” her. The two had six children together.  Wayles also had a more traditional family and his daughter Martha married a plantation owner named Thomas Jefferson. Thus, James was the half-brother of  Martha Jefferson who “inherited” James  (that’s so creepy I even hate writing it) when Wayles died. James was eight when they all came to live at Monticello. His youngest sister, Sally was just an infant. To make matters even more complex, after Martha died and Sally reached some type of maturity—she was probably in her mid-teens, she became Jefferson’s mistress and had six children by him, four of whom lived to adulthood.

          So, Sally Hemmings was Martha Jefferson’s half-sister, and her children were half-siblings to Martha and Thomas’s children. I only mention all this to show how intertwined Black and White families were and also how the foodways of both merged.

          But while Hemings introduced the Frenchified cookery to America,  

Medearis, the founder of Diva Productions, Inc., the organization that produces her multicultural children’s books, cookbooks, videos, and audiocassettes, points out that people weren’t eating black-eyed peas before Africans arrive in this country.

          “Back then they even thought tomatoes were poisonous,” she says. “But when they shipped slaves, they also shipped  the foods they ate with them  because that was a cheap way to feed them,” she says. “The recipes for those foods traveled from one place to the other. If they stopped in the Caribbean or South America before coming here, then the recipes changed with the foods and spices available and the types of cooking techniques.”

          Medearis, a television chef known as the Kitchen Diva, has written 107 books. Many are children’s books, but she also is a cookbook author focusing on both the historic roots of African American cookery and healthy eating like The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook: 150 Healthy, Delicious Recipes for Diabetics and Those Who Dine with Them.

But she didn’t start out to be a cook.

          “I only cooked enough that social services wouldn’t come and take away my children,” she says with a laugh. But her mother, after she retired, decided she wanted to market her raisin pie for some extra income.

While her mother and sister did the cooking, Medearis who often wears feather boas during her TV appearances and on her PBS cooking show and isn’t shy about being in the limelight, did the marketing.

But when her mother and sister decided to quit, Medearis knew she had to learn to cook if she wanted to keep her food business going.

Now she’s so full force that celebrity chef and restauranteur Bobby Flay arrived for a Jerk Chicken Throwdown while she was marinating jerk chicken for a family get. It was for his Food Network show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. 

          Who won I ask?

Medearis’s Jerk Chicken

          “My chicken had been marinating for hours,” Medearis replies. “He just arrived from Manhattan and threw some spices on his chicken. It burned. I beat Bobby.”

Watch it here.

Though she originally didn’t cook Medearis had written several loved historic research. Did I know that George Washington Carver drove a food wagon around to introduce people to healthy foods?

No. I knew that Carver, who famously said, “There is probably no subject more important than the study of food,” was born a slave and became a botanist, author, educator and agriculturalist. He also collaborated with auto magnate Henry Ford on growing peanuts and soybeans.

And don’t even get her started on Carver and black-eyed peas.

“Black-eyed peas, okra, peanuts and sesame seeds, and the oil they produce, are documented contributions from Africa via the slave trade to our American cuisine,” she writes in her syndicated column. “I prepared black-eyed peas any number of ways while doing research for my first cookbook.”

That would be The African-American Kitchen: Cooking from Our Heritage, a best seller that even now 30 years later is considered a standard on the foodways African Americans bought to this country.  The problem though was getting it published. Her award winning children’s books were published by Dutton and when she brought the idea for her cookbook, she found an editor there who loved the book. But the editor at the next level turned it down, saying he’d published an African American cookbook almost 30 years earlier and no one bought it. He didn’t think the country was ready for another.

What’s a Kitchen Diva to do? Make a peach pie, of course, as it’s representative of both Black and Southern food history.

“You could hardly get a peach pie anywhere back then in Manhattan,” says Medearis. Wrapping up both the peach pie and the manuscript, separately we presume, she sent both off to the publishing company.

She got the contract.

“That book sold so many copies it was crazy,”

Overall, she’s written 107 books seven of which seven are cookbooks. Published in seven languages, she’s sold a total of 14 million books. But despite that, she’s not ready to stop.

“People ask me when I’m going to retire,” says Medearis who lives in Austin, Texas. “Why should I? I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’m doing what I want to do.”

Creole Chicken Stew

Makes 8 Servings

“This is a quick and healthy version of New Orleans-style gumbo,” writes Medearis about this recipe, which was published in her book, the . “Using frozen vegetables is a real time-saver when making this tasty stew; it’s also the perfect way to use kohlrabi when in season. Select small, tender okra pods for this recipe, and don’t slice them until right before you add them to the stew.”

1½ tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1 cup coarsely chopped carrots

¼ cup chopped celery

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons diced seeded jalapeño chile

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-wide strips

1 cup peeled cubed Yukon Gold potatoes or kohlrabi, or a combination

1 cup diced zucchini

1 cup halved okra or frozen cut okra

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 green onions, chopped, including green parts

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, jalapeño, salt, pepper, and thyme and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a plate, leaving as much oil in the pot as possible. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil. Stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour begins to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the broth and cook for another 5 minutes, whisking until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the chicken, potatoes or kohlrabi, and zucchini. Return the sautéed vegetables to the pan. Partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the okra and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Serve over ½ cup of rice per person and sprinkle with the green onions.

Kitchen Diva: Tap Your Inner Chef With DIY Recipes

Angea Medearis, the Kitchen Diva, wrote one of her syndicated columns on creating Do-It-Yourself recipes.

“Basically, a DIY dinner recipe is about finding a way to retain the flavors of the recipes you love while using the ingredients that you have on hand,” Medearis writes. “If you have always wanted to free yourself from the restraints of a recipe, now is the time to do it! Think of the current lack of ingredients as permission to tap into your inner chef.”

To ease into creating your own DIY dinner recipes, Medearis suggests starting by making a pot of chowder.

“No one really knows the origin of the term chowder,” she writes, “but whether it came from French, Caribbean, Portuguese or Brazilian cooks, the basic meaning is connected to the large pot that the meal is cooked in.”

Medearis is a history buff paritcularly when it comes to food.

“Chowders were introduced to North America by immigrants from France and England more than 250 years ago. Native Americans called the dish ‘chawder’.” she says noting the word interpreted as “chowder” by early settlers and fishermen in New England.

“The original versions of the dish consisted of a pot filled with a mixture of fresh fish, salt pork, leftover hardened biscuits (which were used as a thickener), onions, water and whatever spices were available, writes Medearis. “A chowder is a delicious way to use the ingredients you have on hand to create a meal that does not require extensive prep or simmering for hours. My recipe for Seafood and Sweet Corn Chowder uses the basic techniques.”

My recipe for Seafood and Sweet Corn Chowder uses the basic techniques for making a chowder, but is designed to accommodate the need to vary ingredients based upon what you have on hand or what you can purchase at the store.

Whether you decide to make a seafood or vegetarian chowder, feel free to create your own version of this DIY dinner.

SEAFOOD AND SWEET CORN CHOWDER

If you don’t have all the vegetables, seafood or spices on hand, omit or substitute the ingredient with what you do have. This chowder will still be delicious without it!

3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil

1/2 cup (about l large stalk) chopped celery

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or 1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon dried dill or tarragon, or 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth, seafood stock, clam juice, bouillon fish base or water

1 to 2 large Russet potatoes, or 3 red skin or Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 2-inch cubes, about 2 to 3 cups

2 large carrots, chopped

2 cups frozen corn, thawed, or 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel or cream-style corn, or 6 ears sweet corn, husk and silk removed, or frozen corn on the cob, thawed with kernels cut from the cobb

2 cups heavy cream, half and half

Whole milk or 2 (14-ounce) cans evaporated milk

1 3/4 to 2 cups fully cooked, skinless salmon chunks, or 1 can (14 3/4 ounces) salmon, drained, flaked, bones and skin removed, or 1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, cooked peeled and deveined shrimp, or cooked crab meat (checked for pieces of shell) or a combination of the seafood equaling 1 3/4 to 2 cups.

1. Place the butter or oil into a large saucepan or Dutch oven placed over medium heat. Add in the celery, onion, green bell pepper, garlic or garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper, dill, tarragon or dill pickle juice, and the cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Saute, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the broth, stock, juice or water, potatoes, carrots and the remaining teaspoon of he salt and pepper. Cover and bring the chowder to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to low; stir the mixture, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are nearly tender. Stir in the corn, cream or milk, and the salmon, shrimp or cooked crab meat (or a combination of seafood). Simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.

4. Garnish with lemon wedges, chopped parsley or green onions. Serve with toasted French bread or crackers. Serves 6

Here’s the Jerk Chicken recipe that won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped

4 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Scotch bonnet chili, serrano, or Thai bird

chiles, seeded and minced

3 bay leaves

3 peppercorns

1-inch piece cinnamon, crushed

2 tablespoons ground sage

1 tablespoon ground thyme

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

5 pounds chicken pieces

Combine the oil and vinegar in a medium glass bowl. Stir in the orange and lime juice, molasses, soy sauce, cilantro, green onions, garlic, chili, bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, sage,thyme, allspice, pepper, and nutmeg.

Place the chicken pieces in a large baking pan and pour the spice mixture over them, coating each piece well. Cover with plastic wrap and place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate 12 hours or overnight, turning once.

Allow the chicken pieces to come to room temperature before grilling. Heat the grill until the coals are somewhat white with ash; the flame should be low. Place the chicken on the grill and cover with the lid. Grill for 30 to 35 minutes, turning pieces to cook evenly. Baste pieces with remaining marinade.

For more information including recipes, https://www.medearis.com/

Hungry for Harbor Country: Food, Friendship, and Fun in Southwest Michigan

Lindsay Navama

         Growing up in Tahoe City, a one stoplight town in California’s High Sierra Mountains, Lindsay Navama yearned for the big city life. Los Angeles offered just that, and she was happy there in her career as a recipe developer, personal chef, and  owner of Cookie Culture, a boutique bakery.  

Lake Life Cranberry Limeade Cosmo

         But when she and her husband, David, moved to Chicago for work, Navama felt unmoored and wondered what to do next in her life.

         Lured by articles about the wonders of Harbor Country, the swath of countryside starting at the state line and curving north along Lake Michigan to Sawyer, Michigan, the couple decided to check it out.

         Unfortunately, upon arrival the two were totally underwhelmed.

“We heard people call it the ‘Hamptons of the Midwest but we thought is this it?” says Navama.

Whistle Stop Asian Noodle Salad

         The two didn’t return for several years,  but when they did—they both experienced what she describes as the region’s magic.  It was more than just the beautiful beaches, the eight quaint small towns each unique in its own way, lush farmlands, orchards, rivers, and woods, there was also an appealing vibe. Each visit brought new discoveries– an estate winery, a fun delicatessen that became like a second home, a Swedish bakery that first opened for business in 1912–and new friends.

         Wanting to spend more time there, the couple moved into a small place in New Buffalo and dubbed it “Camp Navama.” There Navama cooked and entertained, developing her own recipes and tweaking them when needed to feed friends on gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo, and other diets. She learned the rhythms of the land and seasons such as when deep blue Concord grapes were  peaking at Dinges’ Farm in Three Oaks or when an order of fresh caught sturgeon arrived at Rachel Collins’ Flagship Specialty Foods and Fish Market in Lakeside.

Buffalo Cauliflower

         In ways it was a convergence of Navama’s experiences growing up in the High Sierras and adulthood in the ever-so-hip L.A. food and cultural scene. Navama identified with many Harbor Country residents who moved to or had second homes in the area and brought that big city sensibility with them when it came to art, food, entertaining but appreciated a more rural way of living and a lot less concrete.

         Navama no longer felt lost and instead saw the direction her life should take.

 “I wanted to preserve those memories, great meals, and good times in Mason jars,” she says.     

Of course, jars can’t hold memories, but paper does and so Navama  wrote “Hungry for Harbor Country: Recipes and Stories From the Coast of Southwest Michigan,” (Midway 2020; $34.95).

A great cookbook with 50 recipes and photos by Gabrielle Sukich of Benton Harbor, it’s also a travel guide with small maps, listings of restaurants, wineries, intriguing hideaways, and everything else the area has to offer.

“I never saw myself as living any other place than California and here I am in a tiny town in the Midwest,” she says. “And I’m beyond grateful it happened.”

Whistle Stop Asian Noodle Salad

4–6 servings 

Contributed by Whistle Stop Grocery and Chef Eva Frahm

1 pound angel hair or capellini pasta

5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

¼ cup plus ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

¾ cup hoisin sauce, divided

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium yellow bell pepper 

¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce

Sriracha, to taste (optional)

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the pasta water, if desired. Add the angel hair and cook 7 to 8 minutes until just al dente, so the noodles are still slightly firm and not overcooked. Drain into a colander, rinse gently with cold water, let drain again, then place in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms in ¼ cup of the olive oil for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with ⅛ teaspoon of the salt and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce. Stir to coat and set aside.

Julienne the bell peppers by cutting them into ⅛-inch-thick strips. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 10 tablespoons hoisin sauce, the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, the rice vinegar, the garlic chili sauce, and the Sriracha (if using). Set aside.

Add the mushrooms, peppers, scallions, cilantro, and sauce mixture to the noodles. Toss gently to incorporate. Season to taste with the remaining salt and the remaining pepper and transfer to a serving bowl or store covered in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Lake Life Cranberry Limeade Cosmo

1 serving 

3 ounces favorite vodka

1 ounce triple sec

2 ounces cranberry juice cocktail

3 tablespoons limeade concentrate, thawed

a cocktail shaker and martini glass in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Add the vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and limeade concentrate to the chilled cocktail shaker. Shake your booty while you shake your Cosmo for about 10 seconds, because why not?!

Reprinted with permission from Hungry For Harbor Country by Lindsay Navama, Agate Publishing, Photos © Gabrielle Sukich.

Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Food Lovers: Great Gifts That Do Good

This holiday season, give some fascinating food products that also give back to needy causes to the food lovers on your list.

 COFFEE CHAI CHIA PUDDING (w/ P.B. COFFEE CHAI SMOOTHIE on top) with Blue Lotus Chai

Blue Lotus Chai, a spiced tea free of all sweeteners, additives, artificial flavorings, or colorings, comes in an assortment of masala blends—Traditional, Golden, Mint, Rooibos, Star Anise, and Mandarin. Caffeine-free, it’s easy to prepare, and contains anti-oxidants. This year, Blue Lotus Chai won the Specialty Food Association’s 2020 sofi™ Award for innovation and taste in the 48th annual awards. They donate 10% of their net profits to charitable organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, American Cancer Research and A Hope for Autism Foundation.

bluelotuschai.com/

Blue Lotus Chai

8 ounces coconut creamer (or milk of your choice)

½-¾ teaspoon Blue Lotus Chai powder

1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

½ teaspoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon hot water (enough to dissolve chai powder & sweetener)

A few ice cubes

In a measuring cup, dissolve Blue Lotus Chai powder and sweetener in hot water; stir.

Add it, along with milk of choice and ice cubes, into a blender. Blend until ice is well crushed and milk is frothy. Add chia seeds, stir, and let sit for a few minutes. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Note: If you prefer, you can add the chia seeds to the dissolved mixture before adding milk and mix them up in the blender. This adds to the creaminess, with no crunch & chew from the seeds.

Sacred Sauce

            Another company that donates 10% of all company profits, in this instance to the Rainforest Trust, Sacred Sauce is a medium-heat sauce made with serrano chilis, cacti and blood oranges containing only vegan-friendly, organic, and natural ingredients. Their Sacred Salad Sauce is probably one of the few medium heat sauces for salads. Made with habanero and serrano chilis, mashed up mango flesh and citrus tangerines giving it a sweetness with out having additives such as sugar or artificial sweeteners. The spicy taste contrasts well with the coolness of salad greens.

Neither Sacred Sauce nor Sacred Salad Sauce contain any preservatives, chemicals, xanthan gum, extracts or concentrates.

https://sacred.site

SkinnyDipped Lemon Bliss

            With the mission to leave the world a happier, healthier place, the mother and daughter team who founded SkinnyDipped offer a variety of whole nuts “skinnydipped” in thin layers of a dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate. There’s cashews skinnydipped in a dark chocolate salted caramel, Milk Chocolate Peanuts, almonds in dark chocolate espresso and their Lemon Bliss–almonds in white chocolate with lemon. Low in calories, the ingredients are also non-GMO verified, gluten-free and contain no artificial ingredients. 

SkinnyDippers are now available nationwide at @walgreens! Snag a bag of Peanut Butter + Cocoa Almond to keep yourself fueled up when you’re on-the-go! To find out where else they’re available, click here.

SkinnyDipped Daughter & Mom

SkinnyDipped Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

• 2 cups almond milk

• 1 box (3.7 oz) organic vanilla instant pudding

• 2 bananas, sliced

• 1/2 cup natural peanut butter

• 1 cup Peanut Butter SkinnyDipped Almonds

To garnish:

• 4 dollops of whipped cream

• 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

• 1 tbsp crushed Peanut Butter SkinnyDipped

1. Start by preparing the pudding. Pour 2 cups almond milk into medium mixing bowl, add vanilla instant pudding and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Set aside.

2. In four jars, layer sliced bananas, peanut butter, SkinnyDipped and pudding mixture. Repeat layering until all ingredients have been used and refrigerate.

3. Before serving, top each jar with a dollop of whipped cream, a peanut butter drizzle and some crushed SkinnyDipped. Enjoy!

skinnydipped.com

The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Nisha Vora Chicago Book Signing

Instant Pot Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit Tacos (recipe from the Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook)

In her debut cookbook The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes, Nisha Vora, the popular food blogger, photographer and content creator at Rainbow Plant Life, shows how to quickly put together delicious and nutritious dinners in an instant pot pressure cooker. A proponent of exciting, beautiful and tasty vegan cuisine, Vora, a graduate of Harvard Law School, left her law career behind and created Rainbow Plant Life, a vegan Instagram account, blog, and YouTube channel. Her colorful and easy-to-use cookbook features 90+ vegan and wholesome recipes made in the Instant Pot. Vora also includes:

  • Plenty of gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and refined-sugar-free recipes (80-85% of recipes are gluten-free) 
  • An in-depth guide to using your Instant Pot, including troubleshooting tips and cook time charts
  • My vegan pantry staples and essential cooking tips 
  • Full color design with my signature vibrant food photography
  • A little wit and humor peppered in between detailed, step-by-step recipes

Here are a few recipes from the book.

Instant Pot Vegan Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Serves 4

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Ingredients

12 ounces dried rice noodles, dried rice sticks, or banh pho*

Broth

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral, high-heat cooking oil

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved

4-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

3 cardamom pods, lightly smashed with the back of a knife

3 whole star anise pods

4 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1⁄2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 Fuji apple, peeled and cut into large chunks

1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (5 to 6 ounces)

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (you can substitute water for up to 4 cups)

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Toppings

1 (6- or 8-ounce) block baked tofu, cut into cubes (I used a five-spice flavor, which went really well with the other flavors)

3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

1 cup Thai basil leaves, torn up

1 cup cilantro leaves, torn up

2 limes, cut into wedges

2 cups bean sprouts

Thinly sliced hot chile peppers or Sriracha

*You can find pho noodles in well-stocked grocery stores or any Asian market. They come in various thickness, ranging from 1⁄16 inch (narrow) to 1⁄4 inch (wide).

Place the dried rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with warm water, and soak until the noodles are pliable and opaque, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them to remove excess starch. (Alternatively, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package.)

Meanwhile, prepare the Broth: Select the Sauté́ setting on the Instant Pot and, after a few minutes, add the oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” add the onions and ginger slices, cut side down. Do not toss and allow to cook until charred and deeply browned, about 4 minutes.

Add the whole spices (cardamom pods through black peppercorns) and cook for 1 minute, stirring the mixture frequently. Add the apple, cilantro, tamari, coconut sugar, and shiitakes. Pour the vegetable broth and/or water on top and stir to combine.

Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 15 minutes.

Once the 15-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for

10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.

Open the pot and, using oven mitts, remove the inner pot. Carefully strain the broth into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl (discard the solids). Season the broth with 1 teaspoon salt, stir, and taste. Add more salt as needed.

Place the cooked rice noodles in individual bowls. Pour over the strained broth and add the baked tofu cubes. Top the pho with the scallions, basil, cilantro, lime wedges, bean sprouts, and chiles or Sriracha.

Chinese Takeout-Style Tofu and Broccoli

Marinated Tofu

1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce

2 teaspoons Sriracha or similar chili-garlic sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons rice vinegar (also known as rice wine vinegar)

Ginger-Chili Sauce

1⁄4 cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce

1⁄4 cup agave nectar or coconut nectar (or maple syrup, but that will have a more robust, less neutral flavor)

2 tablespoons water

1 1⁄2 tablespoons Sriracha or similar chili-garlic sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 1⁄2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

For Finishing:

1 1⁄2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral, high-heat cooking oil

2 medium heads broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

White rice or brown rice (for serving)

Marinate the tofu: Drain the tofu and cut into 4 slabs. Place the tofu on a cutting board lined with paper towels. Place more paper towels on top of the tofu and weight them down with a few heavy cookbooks or a heavy skillet filled with a few cans of beans. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or ideally 1 hour, changing the paper towels in between to drain all the moisture. Cut the tofu into 3⁄4-inch cubes.

Place the tofu in a gallon-size zip-top bag and add the tamari, Sriracha, sesame oil, and vinegar. Toss to combine and let the tofu rest in the marinade for 5 minutes, massaging occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the ginger-chili sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, agave nectar, water, the Sriracha, sesame oil, vinegar, and ginger until well combined.

Finish the dish: Select the Sauté́ setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the grapeseed oil. Once the display reads “HOT,” use a slotted spoon or fork to carefully transfer the marinated tofu to the pot. Cook the tofu for 1 1⁄2 minutes undisturbed. Use a spatula to flip and cook the tofu until it starts to brown on all sides, 3 to

 4 minutes total. Add the ginger-chili sauce and stir to combine. Select the Cancel setting.

Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 3 minutes.

Once the 3-minute timer has completed and beeps, perform a quick pressure release by carefully switching the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting.

Open the pot. Add the broccoli florets to the tofu and stir with the sauce to combine. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting to low pressure and set the cook time to 1 minute. Once the 1-minute timer has completed and beeps, carefully perform another quick pressure release.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with 1⁄4 cup water, whisking until combined without any lumps. Select the Sauté́ setting and press the Sauté́ button again until you reach Less heat. Add the cornstarch slurry to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the tofu and broccoli over rice.

Ifyougo:

What: Nisha Vora A Talk & Demo with Nisha Vora

When: Sunday, July 21 at 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Read It and Eat, 2142 N Halsted St., Chicago, IL

Cost: 1 Ticket + 1 Book $44.26; 2 Tickets + 1 Book $64.26; Book Only

$24.26

FYI: (773) 661-6158; readitandeatstore.com

#TheVeganInstantPotCookbook

Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health & Happiness

Stressed out during her last term of graduate school when she was counseling clients 30 hours a week, Ashley Melillo returned to her love of cooking, combining it with creating healthy plant-based recipes and creating Blissful Basil, a blog to share her experiences of cooking plant-based meals.Swift Sweet Potato Coconut Curry (sRGB) (1)

“I was taking my work home with me,” says Melillo who works as a school psychologist in the Chicago area. “So cooking and blogging became self-caring.”

Now Melillo’s blog has morphed into her new cookbook, Blissful Basil: Over 100 Plant-Powered Recipes to Unearth Vibrancy, Health & Happiness (BenBella 2016; $21.95).

“I developed a love of cooking when I was young,” says Melillo who also earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. “In the kitchen there’s so much sensory going on—touch, smells, textures, tastes. It’s relaxing after a long week of work. Once I am doing it, it becomes very therapeutic.”

Cooking plant-based or vegan foods are healthy not only physically but emotionally says Melillo. But it isn’t easy to incorporate both exercise and a wide variety of plant-based foods into our life-style.Blissful-Basil-Sprung-Photo-Cookbook-11-15-15--7233 (sRGB)

Indeed, one wholesome smoothie such as her Energizing Carrot Cake Smoothie, Get Glowing Strawberry Mango Chia Pudding or her Cheesy Herb or the Sun-Dried Tomato Good Morning Biscuits, won’t turn our lives upside down health-wise. But it’s all a step in the right direction to achieving physical, mental and emotional well-being. It’s all part of shaping good habits by making good choices every day.

Of course, as a psychologist, Melillo recognizes that it’s most difficult to make these at the very time when we most need to do so.

“It’s when some of these emotions are most at their peak and when you feel almost too overwhelmed to try taking the steps to move forward, that’s when it’s the hardest,” she says. “But it’s the hardest things that push up forward and end up being the best things for us. But it’s important to make ourselves do so–to start chipping away at our anxiety or stress or depression. By taking that one step, often we can go on and take another and another and ultimately alleviate some of those overwhelming feelings.”

Easy Does It Sunday Evening Chili (sRGB)  Such a cooking style doesn’t have to be severe. Have a sugar craving?  Instead indulge in a vegan dessert such as her Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars, Enlivening Lemon Bars, Peanut Butter Cookies and Cosmically Fudgy Cacao Tahini Brownies. Don’t go out for pizza. Try one of Melillo’s pizzas like her White Pizza with Garlic Herb Oil, Mozzarella and Puffy Potato Crust.Blissful-Basil-Sprung-Photo-Cookbook-7551 (sRGB)

For those who aren’t ready to go full-force plant-based or Vegan or know much it at all, Blissful Basil covers a glossary of terms, recipes for pantry items to keep on hand and contains helpful symbols– colored circle noting which recipes are free of gluten, grain, soy, nut, oil, refined sugar and/or they’re raw.

Melillo asked meat lovers to taste test the recipes in her book because she wanted them to be appealing not only for those already committed to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle but to all those who pick up her cookbook or read her blog.

“I really want everyone to love the recipes in this book,” she says.

Swift Sweet Potato Curry

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

pinch of cayenne (optional)

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)

1 cup filtered water, divided

14-ounces full fat coconut milk

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped

4 cups cooked brown basmati rice, for serving

1 lime for spritzing

In a large pot over medium heat, toast the spices for 30 seconds while stirring constantly. Add the onion and 1/3 cup of the water then cook for 5 minutes, until translucent.

Whisk in the coconut milk and the remaining 2/3 cup water, and bring to a boil.

Add the sweet potatoes, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and rapidly simmer for 15 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Spoon the curry into bowls with warm basmati rice. Top with a squeeze of lime juice, scallions and cilantro. Serve warm with whole grain naan and enjoy!