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De la Nariz a la Cola

by in View All Posts, September 22nd, 2009

To all afflicted by the unique claustrophobia of small kitchens, from a Bogota fritangeria comes a design solution:

Nice, though nicer still in red:


The shop pictured specializes in fritanga, a Bogotano specialty akin to Brazilian churrasco and Ecuadoran parrillada, which is to say it’s a mixed grill of sorts.

The difference being twofold:

  1. in lieu of a variety of meats, fritanga opts for variety meat, or often does (cow lung and intestine, in my experience)
  2. in lieu of a grill, fritanga is brought to fruition in hot oil.

Yes, the whole crunchy, chewy, beastly, and glorious mess is deep fried (thus the name, which translates to ‘little fried things’), thrown onto a plate with little potatoes (also deep-fried), harpooned with toothpicks (in lieu of knife and fork), and served with a mildly spicy, cilantro-flavored chile sauce (aji).

Delectate on this!


I was reminded of that delicious experience last week when the Food Network Kitchens had the pleasure of a visit from the master meat cutters of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats, an independent butcher shop just up the Hudson River, in Kingston, NY. Owner Joshua Applegate, who has probably done more than anyone to revive interest in the butcher’s craft, argued persuasively for spending more for better meat and for eating the whole animal nose to tail and everything in between. But, for all his charm and oratorical skills, nothing he said so compellingly made the case for the ethics and economics of nose-to-tail eating as the lunch he and his team cooked up for us: pork skin gnocchi with wilted greens; braised and fried pork cheeks; a tongue taco bar; and sausages galore. A fritanga unto itself, indeed.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian (all photos courtesy Marlene Ramirez-Cancio)

A Fine Time for Wine

by in View All Posts, September 21st, 2009

Farewell, summer. Today marks the first official day of fall, which means it’s time to get jazzed about the best part of harvest season: WINE.

Red Wine

Check out these fun finds for autumn 2009.

Wine Ratings Guide iPhone App:
A one-million wine database, plus your own personal ratings list

Harvest Tweets:
Vineyard reports from across North America

From the Expert:
Screwcaps and boxed wine are in!

Wine Shop Savvy:
How to return a flawed bottle

Harvest Vine Wallpaper:
Dress your desktop for fall.

Need info and tips on vino? Let us know.

– Angela Moore, VP/Site Director

Between the Lions

by in View All Posts, September 21st, 2009

Kentucky Bourbon Fest: Day 2

by in View All Posts, September 18th, 2009

Day two in Kentucky.  Yesterday was a great day.  Kevin Smith, Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark, was our tour guide for the day.  We had about a four hour tour — about three hours longer than average.  I can now make bourbon with my eyes closed after that tour; check out some pictures.  Later that evening, we headed off to Bill Samuels’ house for dinner (so f-ing cool).  This guy is a character and a great host.  Charlie and I sat with his wife for dinner, heard stories about his family’s history in the bourbon business.  Now we’re off to Jim Beam…

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

An Extreme Chat with Secretary Confidential

by in View All Posts, September 17th, 2009


Yesterday, Extreme Cuisine host Jeff Corwin told Secretary Confidential he had homemade pasta fagioli for dinner — pasta, white beans, red beans, fava beans and broth — along with crusty bread and a glass of red wine. Pretty tame, right? Tonight, tune in and join in on a much different culinary experience as Jeff and crew debut a run of all-new episodes of Extreme Cuisine. We caught up with Jeff to find out where he’s been — like Greece and Morocco — and what’s been on his plate, including one bony dish of fish.

Kentucky Bourbon Fest: Day 1

by in View All Posts, September 17th, 2009


This weekend is the annual Kentucky Bourbon FestivalCharlie and I are lucky to be down here as guests of Maker’s Mark — we New Yorkers stand out in this crowd for sure.  This weekend we’ll be hitting up the Maker’s distillery, the Jim Beam distillery, having dinner at Bill Samuels‘ house and much more.  Stay tuned for pictures, and some good knowledge.

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

Because I'm immature

by in View All Posts, September 15th, 2009

I have been cracking myself up over this gallery of misspelled and otherwise odd restaurant menus from the Guardian all afternoon:

sign4_1403027iOn a similar note, there’s this new blog, which has been fairly on point the last few days as well.
Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Beautiful Soup

by in View All Posts, September 11th, 2009

Returned from two weeks in Bogota, Colombia, with mind boggled by a country at once richer (culturally, agriculturally, ecologically) and more immiserated (4.3 million internally displaced persons, approx 10% of the population) than anything I had imagined.

As home to 10% of the world’s biodiversity and encompassing nearly every imaginable ecosystem–from the tropical rainforests, grasslands, alpine forests, deserts, temperate zones and on and on–Colombian cooking draws from a vast larder, and has evolved a fascinating array of distinct regional variations.

During my two weeks I was only able to sample the tiniest fraction of the country’s culinary riches, but I did bring back an insatiable craving for ajiaco santafereño, a soup of which Bogotanos are justly proud, and which must rival the hat and the scarf in providing warmth to the residents of chilly, drizzly Bogota.

Of course, to call ajiaco santafereño a soup is a bit misleading. And to call it a potato soup seems almost disrespectful. Ajiaco comes to the table as a soup, a yellow broth, full of shredded chicken, chunks of potato and corn. But it leaves as the meal itself. Served in black clay bowls, the soup is accompanied by separate bowls of heavy cream, capers and avocado, which are added according to the eater’s preference and which soon bind the soup into a sludgy, filling, and delicious mass.

I imagine it’s well worth attempting at home, but authentic ajiaco santafereño is near impossible to find outside of Colombia, depending as  it does on 3 native potato varieties–good luck finding them–and, crucially, the herb guasca–good luck finding that too–which gives the soup its unique flavor, one that reminds me strongly of artichokes. I imagine one could substitute cilantro for guasca and produce a perfectly delicious soup, but it would be hard to mistake for the real thing.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Labor Day Eat-Ins

by in View All Posts, September 4th, 2009

slow food eat in

As a longtime member of Slow Food USA, I wanted to let FN Dish readers know about an important event that kicks off on Labor Day. Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

slow food eat in

From the Slow Food folks:

Slow Food USA is organizing a National Day of Action on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. On that day, people in communities across America will gather with their neighbors for Eat-Ins (part potluck, part sit-in) that send a clear message to Congress: It’s time to provide America’s children with real food at school.

What’s Shooting Now? The Revelation!

by in View All Posts, August 31st, 2009


Congratulations to all you smart people! You solved the mystery again. Yes, indeed, last week’s photo clues are from the set of Guy’s Big Bite.