Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeding the Soul of a City

I picked up this really dope book from busboys the other day. It features recipes and stories from workers, graduates & volunteers of the DC Central Kitchen, including renowned chefs Jose Andres (Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Cafe Atlantico), Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations) & Michel Richard (Citronelle, Central) just to name a few.

One of my favorite recipes is Marianne Ali's Pineapple Ginger Soup. The sweet pineapple pairs perfectly with the fresh ginger and is given a slight kick with a bit of ground cardamom. Marianne, the Director of Culinary Job Training's story is equally inspiring. After recovering from a 20 year heroin addiction, Marianne requested a position with the training program and has since worked her way up.

Checkout this video for information on how valuable this program is to our community:

All the recipes are easy to follow and range from simple dishes developed by high schoolers to kicked up classics by top chefs. They even have a beef stew recipe for 2,500 servings!

The stories will inspire you, the recipes will excite you and you'll feel good to know that 100% of the proceeds support programs of the DC Central Kitchen. The book can be purchsed directly through the DC Cetral kitchen here

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DC Food Blogger Bake Sale this Saturday

As part of Share our Strength's Great American Bake Sale, myself and food blogger's across the country will be joining together for the first annual National Food Blogger's Bake Sale.

Nearly 1 in 4 children in the US do not have enough food to eat. Join us this Saturday April 17th as as we raise funds and awareness for childhood hunger. For those of you in the DC metro urrya, we'll be over at Eastern Market (blue & orange line) from 9am to 12 noon selling all sorts of delicious goodies. I'll be holdin' it down from 10am to noon along w/ my homegirl Marie from Lunching in the DMV

For more info on how you can contribute check out Share Our Strength's site. Look forward to seeing you all there!!!

Shout outs to Colleen at Foodie Tots for puttin' it all together!

**Update: It was great meeting/ spending time with other local food blogger. I'm so glad to share that we raised over $600 for SOS on Saturday! Everyones baked goodies were delicious!!! Dskco's Almond Pound Cake was awesome as was LivelovetoBake's Triple Chocolate Cake Balls and Mrs. Wheelbarrow's granola!!! I look forward to following you all!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Casa de Feijuada

I damn near had a food coma after eating all this:
Feijuada... Brazil's national dish- a stew made of black beans and a combination of many many many different smoked and sun-dried meats-- mainly pork, smoked sausages and beef. Originally created by Africans as a way to use leftover/ undesireable meats such as pigs ear, feet, tail. Don't let the ingredients fool you- this dish has been perfected over hundreds of years. The the stew is slow cooked in a clay pot for hours melding the flavors of the beans and smoked meat perfectly and making the meat fall apart tender.


Crusty bread w/ butter & cheese, olives & smoked sausages

Traditionally served with a ton of sides. Our meal included: white rice, collard greens minas gerais style, fried manioc, farfoa, oranges & pork rinds.

Plated for you right at your table:

Also, this is where I had that AMAZING Brazilian Fish Stew I told y'all about and had to re-create at home (check it out in my older posts)
For dessert: pumpkin & coconut compote, banana compote, and milk compote.

And if all that wasnt enough, your meal includes complementary lime and passion fruit cocktails all night (batida).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The art of drinking young coconut water (água de coco):

Coconut water,the juice found in young (green) coconuts is an excellent rehydrator and had many nutritional benefits. It contains more electrolytes than sports drinks and contains tons of natural sugar, salt and vitamins including potassium, calcium, protein, fiber, and magnesium. In fact, it has the same salt concentration as human blood and has even been used as a substitute for plasma transfusions.

So you've never had fresh coconut water before? Here are some tips on how to get the most of every nut--

- start by cutting the top of the coconut. Some people like to cut the coconut in thirds and drink it from the boat like vessels. Either way, its gotta be fresh or it loses some of its flavor and health benefits
- drink the deliciousness!
- Crack the coconut if you haven't already and chop off a small portion of the outer shell to use as a scoop (about the size of your four fingers pressed together)
- use the shell you cut off like a spoon to scoop out all the yummy coconut meat (young coconut meat is still soft enough for you to scoop out easily by hand)

There you have it a super healthy, natural and refreshing drink!

If you dont want to go through all that work (even though its definitely worth it), you can also find frozen young coconut at most international markets. As a child, this was my all time favorite drink & brand:

Note* the freshly frozen coconut is MUCH better than the canned stuff (nutritionally and taste wise)