SMORGASBORD: In a jiff ... 'Salads: Beyond the Bowl ... 'Get Jiro!'Peanut butter maker Jif has a crush on hazelnuts with new flavored spreads: chocolate and mocha cappuccino.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
In a jiff
Peanut butter maker Jif has a crush on hazelnuts with new flavored spreads: chocolate and mocha cappuccino. Tasters liked the chocolate version’s strong hazelnut flavor (“kids would love it” said one), while the mocha earned kudos for its complex flavor and hint of mocha. Nice for a twist on s’mores.
Suggested retail price for a 14.1-ounce jar is $3.99 and is available at stores nationwide. For a locater, to to jif.com.
Beyond the salad bowl
Summer is the heart of salad season, but why settle for romaine with bottled whatever when you can elevate the salad course to new and dazzling heights? That’s the idea behind Mindy Fox’s new cookbook, “Salads: Beyond the Bowl” (Kyle Books, $19.95, 175 pages). The noted food writer and editor of La Cucina Italiana magazine has assembled a volume of tempting, seasonal dishes that push the salad envelope.
Think wild arugula, summer squash and asparagus salad, topped with a fried egg, or freekeh with favas. (Yes, we had to look up freekeh. too. It’s a smoky, nutty Middle Eastern grain available at Whole Foods and specialty markets.) A tomato salad with smoked mozzarella and lemon rind offers a twist on the typical Caprese, while a stunning purple potato salad will add a twist to any picnic spread. And an entire chapter is devoted to entree-worthy entrees, such as a salad of lentils, grilled radicchio and chorizo.
The recipes are creative, clever and easy to follow, and the photographs will send you rushing to the farmers market for ingredients.
Bourdain gets graphic
Top-ranked restaurants? Check. Best-selling memoirs? Sure. Emmy-winning television series about all the places where food and travel intersect? Of course.
If Anthony Bourdain was a triple threat before, the arrival of his first graphic novel — the witty and sly “Get Jiro!” (Vertigo, $24.99, 160 pages) — makes the culinary world’s bad boy a quadruple threat now.
With illustrations by DC Comics artist Langdon Foss and a story co-written with Joel Rose, “Get Jiro!” is a hilarious sendup of our food-obsessed culture. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, where Los Angeles’ chef warlords battle for surf and turf, Pasadena, Calif., has been zoned vegan and sushi-related homicides are perfectly acceptable.
The hero of the tale is Jiro, a hard-core sushi chef with a low tolerance for California roll-loving, wasabi-dolloping dilettantes. However, he’s up against two cutthroat warlords: the effete, very French Bob and locavore Rose, who grows her own greens, raises grass-fed lambs and wears a very familiar cloche hat. Is that — could it be — Alice Waters?
The project, Bourdain says, was “a knuckleheaded and intensely pleasurable enterprise,” launched over beers with his good friend, Joel Rose (no relation to the locavore character). That the hero would be a sushi chef was a given.
“For some time I’d wondered — fantasized — about a really hard-core, old-school sushi chef, who took his distaste for ignorance or abuse of sushi to violent extremes,” Bourdain says. “I thought it would be entertaining, and I’m a big fan of spaghetti Westerns and classic samurai films. All those things came into play.”
For Bourdain, a longtime comic book devotee, writing a graphic novel is the “manifestation of a childhood dream.” So you can guess where Bourdain, Rose and Foss are headed next — Comic Con for book signings, fan panels and, of course, a little sushi.
DIY Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than conventional yogurt — and pricier as well. Save some money by making your own version simply by straining regular yogurt through coffee filters.
The traditional method of DIY Greek yogurt is to strain through a cheesecloth, but coffee filters may be more convenient.
Basically, you pour the regular yogurt onto 2 coffee filters held over a bowl (a colander makes a good base) and leave it in the fridge overnight. Straining the yogurt removes much of the liquid whey, lactose and sugar from the regular yogurt, leaving you with delicious thicker yogurt perfect for dipping or dessert.