Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT Southtown Star logo 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ A light, airy fruit pudding from America’s past ]]> Lead story image

Snow pudding is a great old American recipe that dates back to pioneer days, back when resourceful home cooks hankering for a treat had to rely on whatever they had — things such as gelatin, lemons, sugar and eggs. In fact, the very first edition of Fanny Farmer’s “Boston Cooking School Cookbook” back in 1896 featured a recipe for snow pudding. My paternal grandmother, Ruth, a graduate of the Boston Cooking School, used to make it for me all the time when I was a kid. A lifetime later, I still remember snow pudding with great affection. So why not … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:13:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Engineered salmon may be a tough sell ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Don’t expect to find genetically modified salmon — or any other engineered fish or meat — on store shelves anytime soon. The Obama administration has stalled for more than four years on deciding whether to approve a fast-growing salmon that would be the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption. During that time, opponents of the technology have taken advantage of increasing consumer concern about genetically modified foods and have urged several major retailers not to sell it. So far, two of the nation’s biggest grocers, Safeway and Kroger, have pledged to keep the salmon off their … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:13:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Milwaukee group wants to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon ]]> Lead story image

MILWAUKEE — Long before it was known for fine cheddar cheese or the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin was famous for beer, especially the national brands brewed in Milwaukee: Schlitz, Blatz and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The brewing tradition started by Milwaukee’s German immigrants in the 1800s endured for more than a century, until industry consolidation in the 1980s and ’90s began sending familiar brands to other companies and cities. Now a small group of Milwaukee residents wants to revive part of that proud history by buying Pabst Brewing Co. from a California executive in hopes of returning the brand to its … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:38:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lighter take on classic eggplant Parmesan ]]> Lead story image

I’ve always been a big fan of eggplant Parmesan. There are a bunch of ways to make this classic Italian dish, but I’m partial to what you might call the full-fat version: thick slices of breaded eggplant that are sauteed, then baked until creamy, and finally topped with tomato sauce and melted cheese. ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:13:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chew on this: Gum loses its pop ]]> Lead story image

NEW YORK — Gum seems as appealing as that sticky wad on the bottom of a shoe these days. It’s not that Americans don’t ever enjoy a stick of Trident or Orbit, the two most popular brands. They just aren’t as crazy about chomping away on the stuff as they once were, with U.S. sales tumbling 11 percent over the past four years. No one in the industry can pinpoint a single factor that’s causing the decline — the theories include an unwillingness to shell out $2 or more for a pack in the bad economy or that advertising veered … ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:17:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate ]]> Lead story image

Though carrots often make it into the Easter feast lineup, I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s a nod to the Easter bunny. Typically, we prepare them much as we prepare sweet potatoes (their distant orange cousins) at Thanksgiving — by glazing them and otherwise shoveling on extra sugar. I’m guessing that this is a reaction to the carrot’s bright color, which reminds us of a kid’s toy. It’s orange. It’s fun. On the plate, carrots are more like a candy than a vegetable. Still, I like carrots and I think I’ve figured out a way here to redeem them. The … ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:17:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ In California, chefs fight for bare-hand contact ]]> Lead story image

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the happy hour crowd poured in on a recent weeknight, the kitchen and bar staff at Hock Farm restaurant scrambled to meet the incoming orders. One used her hands to toss locally grown romaine hearts with anchovy dressing in a metal bowl, while another, facing diners from behind a marble countertop, used his fingers to sprinkle cotija cheese and red onion into chicken tacos. A gloveless bartender wedged an orange slice on the edge of a white wine spritzer. All of them were breaking a state law that took effect in January but won’t be enforced … ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:17:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ First lady: Cooking at home has its advantages ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama said last week that a new focus of her anti-childhood obesity effort will be to help people cook more of their meals at home because they’re healthier. Addressing a health summit in Washington, the first lady said home-cooked meals have less fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories than meals prepared in restaurants — and save money, too. She said too many people think they don’t have the time or the skills to cook for themselves, but that plenty of meals can be pulled together in less than 30 minutes for cheaper than takeout. Obama began focusing on … ]]> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:58:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ A healthy roast bird to help welcome spring ]]> Lead story image

Our spring feasts — often centered around Passover and Easter — typically call for a center-of-the-plate star such as brisket or lamb. Of course they’re delicious, but both can seriously ramp up the fat and calories in a meal that tends to put the groan into groaning board even before the main course is served. So how about roasted chicken instead? Wait a minute, you say. If you eat the bird with its skin on, you might as well be eating lamb. And yet there’s no way to cook a chicken properly without the skin. Looks like a problem, but … ]]> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:57:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hummus drives chickpea growth ]]> Lead story image

SPOKANE, Wash. — The rising popularity of hummus across the nation has been good for farmers like Aaron Flansburg. Flansburg, who farms 1,900 acres in southeastern Washington, has been increasing the amount of the chickpeas used to make hummus by about one-third each year. Land devoted to chickpeas has exploded in the past decade in Washington and Idaho, which grow some two-thirds of the nation’s supply. In the Palouse region, which straddles both states, there are more than 150,000 acres producing chickpeas today, up from about 12,000 acres in 2000, said Todd Scholz of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil … ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:13:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ A mandoline helps pair potatoes with haddock ]]> Lead story image

This past summer I fell in love with a kitchen gadget that has been relatively slow to catch on in the U.S. — the mandoline. I’ve had several of these kicking around my kitchen for a while now, but I never quite saw the need for them. For those not in the know, a mandoline is shaped like a plank with a very thin, very sharp blade at the far end. To use it, you slide a firm vegetable back and forth along the plank. Each time you slide over the blade, it shaves a slice off the vegetable. Many … ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:13:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ South Beach can deliver on hole-in-the-wall dining ]]> Lead story image

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — South Beach simply doesn’t do subtle. From the beaches (and beachwear) and architecture, to the art and the attitudes, Miami’s South Beach is all about big and bodacious. And the restaurant scene is no exception. World-class chefs — home-grown and imported — have created an enviably impressive buffet of choices, many of them embedded in a daunting list of swank-heavy hotels. Which isn’t always a good thing. While Miami proper has plenty of options for great hole-in-the-wall grub — some drawn from the area’s rich Cuban culture — South Beach itself can feel like a wasteland … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:14:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago native Chef Dale Talde calls his style ‘naturally fusion’ ]]> Lead story image

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Chef Dale Talde says his childhood in Chicago was a little slice of life from Southeast Asia, and it continues to inform his cooking today. “My parents’ house was basically like going to the Philippines,” said Talde, who was born in Chicago to Filipino parents. “It could have been a house in Manila. What inspires me is what I grew up with. What I am is a chef that has taken his roots and is trying to put it in his food.” Those roots are on display at his Brooklyn, N.Y., eateries — the Asian-American restaurant, … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:14:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Paula Deen says she’s ‘back in the saddle’ ]]> Lead story image

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Paula Deen continued maneuvering for a comeback Sunday, turning a beachside cooking demonstration into a public apology for the racist comments that decimated her career last year. The former Food Network star took the stage to prepare chicken and dumplings at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, but before beginning asked the crowd if they minded if she talked about something serious for a moment. Without ever explicitly discussing the allegations or comments she has admitted making, she said she was glad to be back and that, “I am not a quitter.” “We have come … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:15:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Greek olive oil production faces squeeze in efficiency drive ]]> Lead story image

SIMIZA, Greece — In the olive groves around Ancient Olympia, sanctuary of the Greek gods, the trees were once considered sacred, and in many ways they still are. Carefully pruned and pampered, they are described by farmers with a reverence that could match the language used by makers of champagne or single malt whisky. So plans to extend a brutal efficiency drive to olive oil production have been met with anger and disbelief. If proposals from a government-funded study are adopted, olive oil blended with cheaper vegetable oils will soon go on sale as part of an effort to modernize … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:15:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chef Ben Ford wants a return to the routines of cooking ]]> Lead story image

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — His father’s Hollywood career may have moved at light speed, but chef Ben Ford — yes, son of THAT Ford — knew early on that making his mark in the culinary world would require that he slow down. It was the quickening of life — and food — in America that troubled Ford, who has three West Coast restaurants, including the much lauded Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, Calif. As people have focused more on speed and ease, they’ve lost touch with the routines of cooking, routines that give food both meaning and flavor. “My … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:15:37 -0500