Catching Up With The Perennial Plate

Our Heart Within Us is a beautiful exposé on Guatemalan refugees who fled to the United States to escape violence and starvation to make a better home for themselves. I could help but think often of the current presidential campaign while I watched this.  You want to build a wall to stop these people from entering our country?  Really? Because hard-working loving families pose a threat to our sovereignty how?

Next up Waste Not about how the state of Colorado is dealing with food waste and waste from CAFO’s to create non fossil fuel based energy.  It always makes me angry when I hear corporate hacks on TV who work for Monsanto or some other large corporate agriculture concern about how we need to innovate to keep up with feeding the worlds ever-increasing population.  The truth is in this country we could feed all the hungry just on the food with throw away. We don’t need to grow any more or raise any more livestock we just really need to not be so wasteful, figure out better ways to distribute food.  I walk by Whole Foods almost daily and the amount of food they throw out is astounding and they are not unique: instead of trying to genetically engineer food so that corporations can own seeds that are then only sold with a proprietary pesticide/herbicide why not spend all that money on just better using the food we already have?  Oh right there’s no money in that.

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Back in Black

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Seasonal Menus

IMG_1469Every week we have a few dinner parties, sometimes for just 1 or 2 people, sometimes for many more, regardless of how small or big the crowd is I always write a menu on the wall in my kitchen.

Our good friend Debby had knee replacement surgery and was staying with us for a few days to recuperate. She lives in a walk-up so the elevator in our building came in handy. On her last night with us we invited a few friends over to celebrate her successful procedure.

Like most of my menus this highlights the season, and what a season it has been Continue reading

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Making Pies with Bessie White

With all the fruit in season at the market this seemed like a well-timed piece from the folks at the Perennial Plate. I love how each pie top has a different design based on what fruit it’s filled with.

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Perennial Plate is Back!

For Place and For Animals is the first video from Perennial Plate husband and wife team Daniel and Mirra, who took some time off to start a family.  I’m very happy to see them back! I love their gallivanting videos that focuses on food, travel and sustainability.

Please search this site from more from this talented couple. I think I have posted everything they have ever done!  Enjoy.

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This Week’s Menus, The Tony’s, Even More Jesus Stout and Gay Pride

IMG_1103This last couple of months my blogging has really slowed down.  I’ve tried to figure out how to move forward, I don’t really want to stop, but at the same time I don’t seem to be able to post daily like I used to. This is a new idea for me, a kind of weekly update on food and life and how they intersect, with links to recipes and all sort of other things, like food shops, artisanal food producers and more.

One thing I’d like to remind all of you of is that after 10 years of writing Urbanfoodguy this site is a tremendous resource for recipes and to a lesser extent travel.  Next time you are looking for a recipe trying searching Urbanfoodguy!

This last week or so has been pretty hectic.  We had friends over for the Tony’s: IMG_1102An eclectic menu based on foods you could eat while watching TV. Continue reading

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Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Ramps

P1040191Folks in the Northeast get very excited when the first edibles start to sprout.  Ramps beat out Asparagus by a good couple of weeks, so the near hysteria about them can sometimes seem little over-the-top.  Wild leeks that grow in the moist soil of forest floors, they usually start to appear in early May.  The above picture was taken near my friends Ansell’s country house.  A short 15 minutes walk away from his place is a stream surrounded by forest   where we hit the ramp jackpot.

Historically my favorite way of preparing ramps is to pickle them and serve them with a cheese course.  As an added bonus the pickling juice can be used in a ramped-up martini ( 2 oz Gin, 3/4 oz dry vermouth, 1/4 oz pickled ramp brine).

Ramps almost make a mean Pesto.  If you search the internet you will find dozens of  ingenious ways to use this first seasonal treat.  My new favorite way of cooking Ramps is to give them the onion ring treatment.  Dredging them in flour makes them crispy so I prefer it to making a batter, but both are delicious.

This is a particularly good recipe to make now when Ramps are nearly over and much bigger.

Crunchy Buttermilk Fried Ramps

Trim, wash and dry 1 pound of Ramps, removing all the greens (reserve for another purpose).

In a medium size bowl pour in 1 1/2 cups of Buttermilk and add the prepared Ramps.IMG_1083Let them soak for about 10 minutes, in the meantime in another medium bowl mix together: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Dredge the soaked Ramps in the flour a few at a time being carefulness to get the flour too wet or it will clump up and you’ll need to make more.IMG_1084Preheat non-flavored oil like Safflower, organic Canola or Sunflower in a cast iron skillet.  The oil should be about an inch deep.  Heat until hot, but not smoking (325 F).  Cook the prepared ramps until well browned on each side — 2 to 3 minutes per side.IMG_1085 When browned remove ramps to paper towel lined surface.  Place cooked Ramps on a serving plate, garnished with hot sauce, Maldon salt and fresh lemon wedges. IMG_1086 I used my friend Michael’s home-made Habanero carrot hot sauce but Tabasco is a fine substitute.

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