Food Republic http://www.foodrepublic.com Where Food, Drink & Culture Unite Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Salty Seattle Instagrams Jaw-Dropping Pasta Art http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/salty-seattle-instagrams-jaw-dropping-pasta-art/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/salty-seattle-instagrams-jaw-dropping-pasta-art/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:00:28 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161699 Remember that plate of spaghetti and meatballs you Insta’d, thinking “Could pasta possibly get any more beautiful?” Stand aside and look alive, cause when Salty Seattle Instagrams, all you can do is stare. Linda Miller Nicholson, the Emerald City’s doyenne of dough, colors her world of hand-rolled pasta shapes with vibrant purees of fresh vegetables […]

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Remember that plate of spaghetti and meatballs you Insta’d, thinking “Could pasta possibly get any more beautiful?” Stand aside and look alive, cause when Salty Seattle Instagrams, all you can do is stare. Linda Miller Nicholson, the Emerald City’s doyenne of dough, colors her world of hand-rolled pasta shapes with vibrant purees of fresh vegetables and herbs. As if that weren’t enough, Nicholson raises chickens (among other animals) on her farm. The fresher the eggs, the more delicious the pasta.

Check out a few of her stunning designs here, and follow her on Instagram for pasta porn that doesn’t rely on sauce, cheese or truffles to pack a punch.

pasta1
Pasta rainbow. This is how I’m weathering the storm — what’s getting you through??
pasta2
Holiday-themed bow ties made for ABC’s The Chew
pasta3
“Is it weird to be on a tropical island dreaming of all the pasta I’m currently not making, missing my kitchen something fierce?”
pasta4
“I hope your long weekend was as bright as the ☀️ on this raviolo & your week is just as cheerful.”

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Sherry And Scotch In Cocktails: A Perfect Marriage  http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/sherry-and-scotch-in-cocktails-a-perfect-marriage/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/sherry-and-scotch-in-cocktails-a-perfect-marriage/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:00:47 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161754 One doesn’t often think of Spain when they think of Scotch whiskies. At the center of this kinship is sherry — the fortified wine made in the southern coastal Andalucía region of Spain. Sherry and Scotch pair well, both through casks during sherry’s aging process and in cocktails, where the fortified wine adds complexity without sweetness. Still a misunderstood category, sherries can […]

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Fino Sherry Cocktail
Sherry and Scotch pair surprisingly well in cocktails.

One doesn’t often think of Spain when they think of Scotch whiskies. At the center of this kinship is sherry — the fortified wine made in the southern coastal Andalucía region of Spain. Sherry and Scotch pair well, both through casks during sherry’s aging process and in cocktails, where the fortified wine adds complexity without sweetness. Still a misunderstood category, sherries can range from incredibly dry to raisiny sweet; providing a diverse range of options against the flavors found in Scotch.

“Fino [sherry] is bone dry and very lean, but brings a brightness and slight acidity that accentuates the brighter fruit notes of the Macallan,” notes barman Robby Nelson, of Prime Meats and Long Island Bar. At a recent dinner featuring sommelier Josep Roca of Spain’s lauded El Celler de Can Roca — the number-one restaurant in the world in 2015 — Nelson crafted several drinks to showcase the interplay between sherry and Scotch with a take on the Brooklyn cocktail using Fino sherry, Macallan Double Cask and Maraschino liqueur. “I enjoyed the slight richness the Maraschino added, along with the fruity and nutty characteristics that it has, which pairs nicely with the fruit and nut elements of both the sherry and whisky,” he says.

Scotch, despite its richness, can easily disappear in a cocktail. Vermouth can be a bit heavy-handed, especially when using an expensive single malt, while drier sherry varieties, such as Fino, Amontillado and Palo Cortado, avoid that pitfall. Nelson’s Fino cocktail is decidedly acidic, nutty and bright, which is unexpected for a Scotch drink, but a great highlight of the fruit and grain notes in the Macallan. The next time a stirred Scotch-whisky cocktail comes to mind, think about making it with sherry. You won’t be disappointed.

Fino Sherry Cocktail

“Warm & mature, like Josep Roca”

Servings: 1 drink

2 ounces The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year-Old
1 ounce Lustau Fino sherry
1/4 ounce simple syrup
1/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled couple glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Prep time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

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FResh List: Coop’s Hot Chicken Paste, Comeback Chefs And 20 Other Obsessions Of The Week http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/fresh-list-coops-hot-chicken-sauce-comeback-chefs-and-20-other-obsessions-of-the-week/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/fresh-list-coops-hot-chicken-sauce-comeback-chefs-and-20-other-obsessions-of-the-week/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:00:21 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161715 Welcome to the FResh List! Every Friday morning, the dedicated staffers in FR’s New York City office compile a list of all the random things on their minds about the world of food and drink and beyond, as well as some names to know. 1. Matt Gross’s Hilarious 2017 Food Predictions. (Sample: You’re not going to […]

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coop's hot chicken paste photo
Coop’s hot chicken paste will save you the trip to Nashville. (Not that there’s anything wrong with going to Nashville.)

Welcome to the FResh List! Every Friday morning, the dedicated staffers in FR’s New York City office compile a list of all the random things on their minds about the world of food and drink and beyond, as well as some names to know.

1. Matt Gross’s Hilarious 2017 Food Predictions. (Sample: You’re not going to eat any insects, no matter how often food futurists say they’re the Next Big Thing, because seriously, bugs? Yuck.)

2. Ground venison.

3. Top Chef is now at season 14!

4. Globe-shaped Atlas carrots.

5. Lamb riblets (lamb anything).

6. Anna and David Posey.

7. Dan Kluger.

8. The Colette Podcast.

9. Andy Puzder.

10. Julia Moskin.

11. Wasaki tobiko.

12. Gerard Craft.

13. RIP John Glenn. And Greg Lake. What a lucky man he was.

14. The season finale of South Park, signaling that we can now stop calling all berries Member Berries.

15. Katie Parla.

16. Coop’s hot chicken paste.

17. The “Top 4 Emerging Trends Impacting the Global Fruit Spreads Market 2016-2020” report. (Read it here. It is fascinating. Not really.)

18. 2 Chainz, tapas aficionado.

19. Rajat Parr.

20. Quitting Twitter.

21. The Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas.

22. Luna and Ollie from Kinderhook Farm in upstate New York.

Luna and Ollie watch over their lambs in the pasture.

A photo posted by Kinderhook Farm (@kinderhookfarm) on

23. This Charlotte Observer story about how a barbecue joint with a racist past tries to overcome its tainted legacy.

24. American Girl’s allergy-free lunch.

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How To Make A Simple Fruit Crumble http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/161712/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/161712/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:00:43 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161712 With a nutty, crunchy streusel topping and velvety, just-sweet-enough filling, this killer fruit crumble from our friends at ChefSteps is your foolproof formula for turning any fruit into a decadent, delicious dessert. The recipe is easy to master: Make some streusel (easy), make a fruit base (even easier), assemble in a dish (oh, come on […]

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With a nutty, crunchy streusel topping and velvety, just-sweet-enough filling, this killer fruit crumble from our friends at ChefSteps is your foolproof formula for turning any fruit into a decadent, delicious dessert. The recipe is easy to master: Make some streusel (easy), make a fruit base (even easier), assemble in a dish (oh, come on now) and bake. Ovens vary, of course, but we’ll show you the simple visual cues you need to know to ensure your crisp is cooked perfectly every time.

As luck would have it, this fruit crumble is also a gluten-free treat. That’s a happy accident — we found we prefer the flavor of almond flour to wheat.

So go on, grab whatever looks fresh at the farmers’ market, and make your friends an oozy, crunchy, incredible fruit crumble. Serve straight up or top with a little ice cream  — either way, you’ve got a foolproof dessert you can make anywhere, at a moment’s notice. What could be better than that? Check out the short video and follow the step-by-step recipe below to achieve dessert perfection.

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
3 pounds fresh fruit
300 grams sugar, granulated, divided
30 grams cornstarch
30 grams lemon juice
12 grams salt, divided
150 grams organic rolled oats
150 grams almond flour
150 grams unsalted butter, room temp
1 egg yolk

Directions: 

  1. Prep fruit as needed. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are fine as is, but whole fruits like peaches, cherries and strawberries need some love — remove the pits from cherries, trim and cut strawberries, slice peaches into chunks. For best results, try to slice fruit into evenly sized pieces, which will in turn result in more even cooking.
  2. In a large bowl, add fruit, sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon juice and toss until well combined.
  3. Mix rolled oats, almond flour, unsalted butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Pour fruit mixture into your baking pan of choice, then cover with the streusel topping. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Cook times vary from oven to oven — you’ll know it’s finished baking when the center begins to bubble and the liquid on the surface and around the edges is translucent.
  5. Serve!

ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps’ Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee — for the special price of $24 (regularly $39). Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!

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This Is How You Should Cut These 7 Tricky Fruits http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/master-cutting-fruits/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/09/master-cutting-fruits/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161692 Some fruits can be difficult to hack into. You’ve lugged home a giant watermelon, some passion fruits, dragonfruits, you name it. And now you’re faced with the sometimes confusing task of cutting into them. What’s the best way to approach a pineapple, mango or pomegranate? You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of […]

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Some fruits can be difficult to hack into. You’ve lugged home a giant watermelon, some passion fruits, dragonfruits, you name it. And now you’re faced with the sometimes confusing task of cutting into them. What’s the best way to approach a pineapple, mango or pomegranate? You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your delicious snack. The good people at Pound Place have drawn up a simple infographic so you can upgrade your fruit intake below. Once you’ve figured out how to cut these fruits, expand your fruit knowledge even further with our illustrated guide.

How-to-cut-7-fruits-like-a-pro

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The Future Of Small Wineries, In One Cartoon http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/the-future-of-small-wineries-in-one-somber-cartoon/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/the-future-of-small-wineries-in-one-somber-cartoon/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:30:07 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161527 Cartoonist Doug Pike pours a little humor with his wine. Coauthor of a book of wine cartoons (with a foreword by legendary wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr.), Pike effectively takes any pretense out of wine drinking by illustrating miniature stories we can all relate to. Look for more cartoons from the book in the weeks to […]

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Cartoonist Doug Pike pours a little humor with his wine. Coauthor of a book of wine cartoons (with a foreword by legendary wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr.), Pike effectively takes any pretense out of wine drinking by illustrating miniature stories we can all relate to. Look for more cartoons from the book in the weeks to come. And remember, when it comes to the future of small wineries, we don’t yet know that irradiated grapes can’t make award-winning radioactive wine. We just have a feeling they can’t.

Welcome to Little Country Farm Vineyards.

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Fäviken Magasinet Is Opening A Dinner Club http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/faviken-magasinet-opening-dinner-club/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/faviken-magasinet-opening-dinner-club/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:00:56 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161652 Nordic chef Magnus Nilsson and his team at Fäviken Magasinet are opening a dinner club in the ski village of Åre, Sweden. “We promise you great food the way we like to eat it ourselves, well mixed cocktails, generous quantities of the wines we like to drink, most at very low markups, plus the music […]

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Nordic chef Magnus Nilsson and his team at Fäviken Magasinet are opening a dinner club in the ski village of Åre, Sweden.

“We promise you great food the way we like to eat it ourselves, well mixed cocktails, generous quantities of the wines we like to drink, most at very low markups, plus the music we listen to when we want to have a good time…at a rather loud volume setting of course,” the Fäviken team writes in an email.

The dinner club will operate as a pop-up from January through the end of April.

In the meantime, watch Nilsson make saffron buns for the upcoming Saint Lucy’s Day for our friends at Mind of a Chef  below.

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Here’s Why You Should Be Eating Goat Year-Round. Recipes Included. http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/forget-goatober-heres-why-you-should-be-eating-goat-year-round/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/forget-goatober-heres-why-you-should-be-eating-goat-year-round/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:00:04 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=160675 Food Republic’s column Ask Your Butcher seeks to answer FAQs in the world of butchery. Ethically minded butcher Bryan Mayer has opened butcher shops and restaurants and has trained butchers in the U.S. and abroad. He helped develop the renowned butcher-training program at Fleishers, where he is currently director of butchery education. In each column, Mayer tackles a pressing issue facing […]

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(Photo: Glen MacLarty/Flickr.)
Curry is a popular dish to use as an introduction to eating goat. (Photo: Glen MacLarty/Flickr.)

Food Republic’s column Ask Your Butcher seeks to answer FAQs in the world of butchery. Ethically minded butcher Bryan Mayer has opened butcher shops and restaurants and has trained butchers in the U.S. and abroad. He helped develop the renowned butcher-training program at Fleishers, where he is currently director of butchery education. In each column, Mayer tackles a pressing issue facing both meat buyers and home cooks. This week, he takes on a type of meat that he finds to be underutilized in U.S. kitchens.

October is firmly in our rearview mirror, or as some of the food-marketing folks like to call it, “Goatober.” I’m here to tell you, however, that goat is something that can be enjoyed no matter what month it is. Whether you grill, braise or roast it, eating goat meat is something to be enjoyed year-round.

Goat is still a very small part of the meat industry in the U.S., but it has shown signs of growing over the past decade. The reason? Well, simply, goat meat is delicious. Sure, we are all very well aware of goats as a source of milk for dairy products or as fiber for their hides, but eating goat meat is something that we should all appreciate. The last few sentences alone should clue you in on how purposeful raising goats can be, as they can not only feed us but also keep us warm! And let’s not forget that goat meat is consumed throughout the majority of the world.

Sure, goat suffers from a few negative connotations, not least of which is the phrase “old goat,” but if you have been a reader of this column for any length of time, we champion the flavor of older, more mature animals. So is the old goat really that bad? I think not!

So let’s talk a little about eating goat meat and dispel some myths along the way.

Photo: Ben Fink
Island-style curried goat stew. (Photo: Ben Fink.)

Eating Goat

The demand for goat meat in the U.S. is far greater than the supply. Our ever-increasing population of cultures that frequently eat goat meat is the main driver. However, despite the demand, producers in the U.S. face many challenges. Goats are seasonal breeders, and that poses problems in supplying the market with consistent, quality product. Coupled with the difficulty of obtaining goat meat through retail markets, it’s more difficult for you, the consumer, to obtain goat outside of private channels, farmers’ markets or on-farm sales. Goat just doesn’t have the clout that other meats have…yet!

But what if I told you that goat meat is extremely nutritious, with high amounts of protein and iron? Okay, maybe now you’re listening. And maybe lamb just isn’t your thing and for some reason you’re stuck on goat being too similar. Well, that’s just not true. In fact, goat meat has a flavor profile that’s more similar to beef. Not to talk down on lamb — you should totally eat lamb.

You’ve heard me talk about why you should eat veal. Well, you should be eating goat meat for the same reasons. They are incredibly sustainable, dual-purpose animals. The goat dairy industry generates a large number of kids (baby goats). Dairy farmers have no need for males and keep only some females. We need to put these surplus animals to use in the food chain. And it’s not just about eating kid goat. Sure, we value tenderness and, of course, the lack of flavor that comes from such young animals, for some reason. But the full flavor of a mature goat can be just as rewarding as a culled dairy cow, mutton or sow. That means flavor, folks!

Okay, if I have to, I’ll say it. You can cook goat much in the same way you cook lamb. There, does that make you feel more comfortable? Yes, you can have chops. Sure, you can roast a leg. And of course, you can braise it and even curry it if you want. The most important thing is that you’re buying goat from a butcher or farmer that you trust, who has raised them out on pasture and allowed them to graze and forage and eat what they are supposed to eat!

So with that in mind, how about a recipe or two?

Let’s skip the chops and go directly to my favorite parts, the legs and shoulders. And contrary to what you may think, roasting and braising are about the easiest ways to cook. Season, let sit overnight in your fridge, turn your oven on and let cook. You’ll use a probe thermometer to make sure you get to the desired temp, and we’ll spice minimally to make sure we don’t mask that great goat taste.

Roasted Goat Leg

(Photo: John Hahn/Facebook.)
Leg of goat. (Photo: John Hahn/Facebook.)

Ingredients
1 five- to seven-pound fully pastured, whole goat leg, bone in, aitchbone off
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Mix your dry ingredients thoroughly and then add your wet ingredients. Make sure everything is mixed well together into a paste. If there’s a decent amount of fat covering, score down until you reach the muscle. Be careful not to cut into the muscle. We want to give the paste (mostly the salt) a chance to season and tenderize the meat overnight, and that fat will act as a barrier.
  2. Tightly wrap the goat leg in plastic wrap so the pate stays in contact with the leg and place in your fridge overnight.
  3. Some folks like to start high, at 400°F, and then kick the oven temp down to 325°F after 20 minutes or so and continue to cook until desired doneness. Some start low, around 325°F, and kick it up at the end. I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of guy — the gray area. I start at 300°F and I leave it there. Simple. That lower oven temp will allow for a much more even cook. We’ll keep that probe thermometer in and pull our roast when it’s 130°-135°F. Let it rest for about 15 minutes and then carve away!

Tip: Make sure your butcher ties your goat leg. This will give you a relatively even shape and help it cook more evenly. Or, if you’re up for the challenge, watch our roast-tying video

Braised Goat Shoulder

(Photo: World's Best Pan/Facebook.)
Goat shoulder. (Photo: World’s Best Pan/Facebook.)

Ingredients
1 five- to seven-pound fully pastured goat shoulder, bone out
3 cups red wine (roughly the whole bottle, so get one for you to drink as well)
1 cup water
2 cups shallots, peeled
6 gloves garlic crushed/peeled
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Have your butcher (or you can, if you’re feeling up for the challenge) debone the shoulder and remove any glands. Season the shoulder with salt and allow to sit in your fridge overnight.
  2. Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and wait until the oil starts to shimmer, not smoke.
  3. Brown the shoulder on all sides, making sure to scrape down the bottom of your Dutch oven to remove all those little bits and pieces that stick to the bottom. Add your shallots and garlic and cook those down over medium heat for another 10 minutes to get that caramelization. Meanwhile, your oven is preheating to 300°F. Add in your wine, water and the rest of your spices, bring to a simmer and then off into your oven for roughly three hours. It should be fork tender but not falling apart. We want to slice it.
  4. When the shoulder is done, remove it from your Dutch oven, and reduce the remaining liquid over medium heat to create your sauce. It’s ready when it coats the back of the spoon.

Tip: Feel free to add any vegetables to your stew — potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, etc., making sure to account for variations in cooking time. We don’t want the texture of mush!

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Lunch With A Comedian: Ahmed Bharoocha At L.A.’s Badmaash http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/lunch-with-a-comedian-ahmed-bharoocha-at-las-badmaash/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/lunch-with-a-comedian-ahmed-bharoocha-at-las-badmaash/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:00:39 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161185 Welcome to Lunch With a Comedian, where we treat a funny guy or gal to a meal at a notable restaurant. This column replaces Bang Bang Talky Talk, mainly because most comedians other than Louis CK apparently prefer eating one meal at a time. First up, we head to Los Angeles to break naan with […]

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Ahmed Bharoocha photo
Comedian Ahmed Bharoocha recently debuted his first Comedy Central special. (Photo: Stephanie Nelson.)

Welcome to Lunch With a Comedian, where we treat a funny guy or gal to a meal at a notable restaurant. This column replaces Bang Bang Talky Talk, mainly because most comedians other than Louis CK apparently prefer eating one meal at a time. First up, we head to Los Angeles to break naan with Ahmed Bharoocha at Badmaash.

From Ahmed Bharoocha’s Comedy Central Half Hour: “I was listening to the radio and the radio host said, ‘I think we should ban all smelly foods from airplanes. You know, like curry, and hummus, and baba ghanouj.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, very clever, lady. No one’s ever gonna crack that code.’ It’s like, ‘Next time on Racist Radio: I don’t want any fried chicken moving into my neighborhood. Bean burritos are taking all the jobs, and matzo ball soup controls the media.'”

It’s a few days before the presidential election, and comedian Ahmed Bharoocha and I are sitting in downtown Los Angeles hot spot Badmaash awaiting our lunch order. I’d felt a twinge of liberal guilt when suggesting an Indian restaurant to a man with Pakistani roots, but it turns out that it’s a go-to neighborhood spot for Bharoocha. Over the next hour and a half, we discussed food, comedy, family and of course politics and identity — though we didn’t know what was about to happen in our country. The joke, you could say, was on us.

Bharoocha is not a political comic, but his background often plays into his material. “My mom’s Irish Catholic, and my dad’s Pakistani Muslim,” he says to me in reference to his food upbringing, though it’s often a setup for bits during his stand-up routine. His comedic chops have earned him an increasingly big following of late, with a first Half Hour for Comedy Central (a solo set that first aired in October), as well as a debut comedy album, Almond Badoody, to show for it. His YouTube ensemble sketch show, Dead Kevin, has a growing following and interest from networks, and he has a recurring role on the Adult Swim show Dream Corp. And thanks to the election that happened a few days after our lunch, Bharoocha’s personal take on being an American of mixed background should become more prescient and in turn comedic.

Here, in this edited and condensed interview, we veer from religion to food to comedy to making it big, all between bites of chicken tikka masala and Bharoocha’s favorite, onion and chili salad.

Do you use religion in your act much, like as an icebreaker?
I usually do it towards the end, by the time they like me. Like, “What do you think about God?” Some people turn off and they think you’re making fun of God, and they think it’s wrong, but you connect with a lot more people that way. Like, “Yeah, I see where you’re coming from.” Someone with a Muslim name, it’s kind of cool to not be this face of strict religion.

Has your name or ethnicity ever been an issue for you in Middle America?
Not really. Maybe once some guy booed me when I said my dad is Muslim. But other than that people mostly get quiet, which for a comedian is the thing you want the least. You want ’em to laugh. Because I kind of look white, it’s pretty easy for me. Like walking down the street people aren’t like, hey, what’s this brown guy doing? But when I’m on stage and people hear my name is Ahmed, it’s in a funny context so it’s kind of nonthreatening.

How did your family background influence your food culture?
Most of my palate came from my dad’s side of the family. My grandmother lived with us for the first five years [of my life], and she was a Pakistani and Indian cook, born in Burma. She had a restaurant in Bangladesh, so her whole life was cooking.

So food was a big part of your family experience?
If you’re over, you’re eating. I grew up in restaurants, too. My mom worked at an Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara. We bought it when I was 11. Dom Deluise used to come in. All the celebrities used to come it. It was called Mariann’s. She’d always bring home Italian food from work. We’d visit her all the time.

Did you learn to cook?
I did. I learned mostly from my dad and my grandmother. The first thing I cooked I ordered right now, the OG Chilis. When I was in kindergarten you had to write a recipe down. I called it onion salad. Kachumber. Kind of like pico do gallo but more onion heavy. If you go to an Indian restaurant you say onions and chilies. They’ll bring you red or white onions and chilies, but I like to add lemon and make a salad of it.

From your background, it seems like you would have been a prime candidate to become a chef. How did you get into comedy?
I never thought about it as a career because I worked in kitchens so much as a kid. I cooked in college, and I was a manager of a cafeteria. Which I really liked, but you’re kind of a workhorse — putting food on a plate and sending it out. I kind of prefer feeding people in my home. Later in my life I thought it might be something I’d be interested in as a career, but comedy is my biggest passion.

When did you become fascinated with stand-up?
When I was 10 or so I started watching Comedy Central and seeing Dave Chappelle, Dave Atell, Seinfeld — just loved comedy. I was kind of a goofy kid. It was always a dream of mine, and then when I was in college, I started working in a restaurant/comedy club as a busboy and dishwasher, and I got up on stage after a year of working there — I was pretty shy — and slowly transitioned into that.

Did your coworkers give you a hard time?
I was such a shy guy that they were all rooting for me, I think. They were all really shocked. Like, you wanna go up on stage? One of the waitresses used to call me Mute — I was that quiet.

Did you know from that first time that this is what you wanted to do?
Yeah. Even before. I had obsessed over it, watching all the specials, and then when it happened, it was kind of like, it went pretty well, I had invited friends. I was so happy that I finally did it because I had wanted to do it for so many years.

So that was all in college in Rhode Island, and fast forward 10 years and you’re on the verge of stardom in Los Angeles. When was the big break?
It’s so hard to tell because big breaks always sound bigger than they are, but I’d say career-wise, I was on Conan last year, and that really helped financially. I’m working the road more. And that was 10 years into comedy. Before that it was comedy festivals.

Is it more competitive on the way up?
I don’t know, I think it gets more competitive in a way when you move here [to Los Angeles]. There’s a community of friends, but you’re still vying for the spotlight because even when you get on Conan or you get a TV show, still for the next year it’s like who’s going to hire you again? You have to keep that spotlight toward you to get the next job. I started in Rhode Island, and then Boston was my home for comedy, and there it’s way more communal. They rib each other and they’re mean to each other, but they support each other a little bit more. Here everyone’s supportive but not in an artistic way, more like, “You’re great,” or more business oriented.

It sounds like you studied comedians coming up. How did that prepare you for this?
Chris Rock was probably one of the first people I really studied. He had a great little interview on one of the DVDs I had, Bring the Pain, which is still my favorite comedy special. He talked about how he prepares for specials, where he’d go out and really work the material out, which is a great thing to learn early on. Louis CK has talked a lot about his process. He’s kind of the one who had that philosophy of writing on stage a little bit that I’ve [used]. Seinfeld is really good talking about the process. The movie Comedian, which is a documentary [Seinfeld] made after he stopped doing the show, about his venture back into stand-up, and he threw out all his old material. That was one of the most influential movies for me as a comedian. It’s what actually pushed me to get a notebook, because he kind of showed the work that goes into it. It is a discipline. It’s not just a funny guy onstage.

Why did you decide to record a comedy album?
I just got accepted to do a Half Hour by Comedy Central. They came out at the same time, which is what motivated me to do that album. I had been doing comedy for 12 years, and I figured I should record an album eventually, and I always put it off because you’re never happy with what you have.

Why is it called Almond Badoody?
Having my name Ahmed Bharoocha mispronounced a lot, it’s kind of a jumble of a few different mispronunciations. Originally I wanted to call the album Almond Birdshit since that’s what someone brought me up [onstage] as once but I didn’t wanna have “shit” in the title.

Is it the same set on the album and the Comedy Central special?
When I got accepted to do the Half Hour I heard from a lot of comedians, my peers that have done it before, that it’s the best time to release an album. It’s kind of when everyone is looking at you, hearing about you. So I told my agents that I wanted to record an album, and Comedy Central, because they had me under contract, had to approve me doing the album. They weren’t sure until they saw the Half Hour recording, and I think they liked it, so that night they were like, all right, let’s do the album. The Half Hour for Comedy Central ends up only being 20 minutes and then the album you want to be an hour or 45 minutes at least, so I had to hit the road and hammer out the extra 40 minutes that wasn’t as sharp as I once had it when I first wrote it. That was really fun. I felt like when I recorded the album was the sharpest I’ve been.

Before we end, let’s talk about Dead Kevin, which has a nice following on YouTube.
The sketches came from me and Ryan O’Flanagan and Jack Robichaud; we were all struggling through the open mike scene in L.A. when we first moved here. We just gravitated toward each other. We’re all from New England. We all have kind of a shy persona for comedians. We started filming in my friend’s apartment. We kept it really simple. It’s us kind of playing ourselves. We’re just stupid guys in an apartment. And they’re mostly improvised. We’d meet up and have three different shirts, come up with three different ideas and just joke around. Luckily the camera guy who recorded most of them, John Hale, is a great cinematographer. He was able to let us improvise and still capture everything.

How many cameras?
Mostly just one. He’s really amazing. He’s willing to let his work look a little crappier because he knows it’s YouTube. His real work in L.A. is amazing. He knew that that wasn’t the point of our stuff, so he was willing to sacrifice some of the quality but still make it look appealing.

You’re gonna keep doing Dead Kevin?
We took a break. We were working on a Dead Kevin TV show with [Comedy Central] that didn’t get filmed.

Is that a big goal — to have your own TV show?
For sure. When I was younger it wasn’t, really. I loved stand-up and I loved Seinfeld, and everyone always said that was the dream, but I never thought a sitcom would be appealing. It wasn’t until I started doing Dead Kevin that I saw it.

The post Lunch With A Comedian: Ahmed Bharoocha At L.A.’s Badmaash appeared first on Food Republic.

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Here Are The Most Popular Types Of Tuna Used In Japanese Cuisine http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/the-most-popular-types-of-tuna-used-in-japanese-cuisine/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/the-most-popular-types-of-tuna-used-in-japanese-cuisine/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=160930 Tuna is one of the most common items served in Japanese restaurants. We’ve talked previously about where the majority of the world’s tuna is sourced from and debated the usage of farm-raised versus wild-caught tuna in Japanese cuisine. But what about the different types of tuna used for sushi, sashimi and more of the country’s many […]

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Sushi Ginza Onodera Chutoro (Fatty Tuna)
A pristine cut of fatty bluefin tuna at Sushi Ginza Onodera in New York City

Tuna is one of the most common items served in Japanese restaurants. We’ve talked previously about where the majority of the world’s tuna is sourced from and debated the usage of farm-raised versus wild-caught tuna in Japanese cuisine. But what about the different types of tuna used for sushi, sashimi and more of the country’s many delicacies? Surely, a Michelin-starred omakase-only restaurant in New York City can’t be serving cuts from the same fish as some neighborhood sushi joint in a landlocked state…right?

Firstly, it’s important to stress the importance of consuming sustainable seafood and to acknowledge the possible shortcomings of several types of tuna when it comes to this criterion. Just yesterday, Quartz wrote about the severe amount of overfishing taking place worldwide, speculating that there might not be any sushi left by 2048 should we continue our current patterns. There are positive signs, however, such as the imposition — six years ago — of a scientifically recommended quota for catching Atlantic bluefin tuna and the subsequent significant growth of the species. Of the five types of tuna listed below, only one (Southern bluefin tuna) is presently labeled as “critically endangered,” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Back to the question at hand. We decided to go straight to the source for this one, speaking with chef Masaki Saito of NYC’s newly Michelin-starred Sushi Ginza Onodera (alas, we did not chat with the chef of some neighborhood sushi joint in a landlocked state). He told us about the five most common types of tuna served in Japanese restaurants worldwide and provided a bit of insight into their appearances and uses. Here’s what we learned.

KOSAKA Sushi Otoro (Fatty Tuna) (2) (1)
Bluefin tuna is used at many top-notch sushi establishments for choice cuts such as toro.

Bluefin tuna

Bluefin tuna are mainly caught in the Atlantic Ocean. They are the largest tuna, typically weighing around 600 to 1,000 pounds. Bluefin is usually served in top-notch sushi restaurants because it is, quite simply, the most delicious tuna available in the world. In particular, the fat and protein are perfectly balanced, and pieces have a melt-in-your-mouth-type feel.

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A quarter-loin of bluefin tuna. The color gets progressively lighter as the fat content gets higher.

If you sit at the counter of a quality sushi bar, the long slabs of tuna you’ll see behind the glass are likely all from the same cut of bluefin tuna. The darkest shade is akami (lean) tuna, the slightly lighter one is chu-toro (medium-fatty tuna) and the lightest and smoothest-looking of the three — often filled with healthy streaks of marbleization — is o-toro (fatty tuna).

Southern bluefin tuna

Southern bluefin tuna are similar to bluefin tuna, but they come from the Indian Ocean or from other places in the Southern Hemisphere. They are smaller than bluefin tuna, but the quality is almost as good. As mentioned above, the species is critically endangered. Quotas are now in place for fishing, with Australia (followed by Japan) allowing for the highest yearly level of catches.

Lauren Packard
Nothing to see here, folks…just a couple of bigeyes! (Photo: Lauren Packard/Flickr.)

Bigeye tuna

No surprise here — these are tuna with big eyes! They are leaner compared to the bluefin, but their akami tends to be top quality. We’d recommend going with bluefin tuna for toro lovers, and Bigeye for akami lovers.

smalljude
Did you order seared tuna at a casual restaurant? Chances are that it’s lean yellowfin — or ahi — tuna. (Photo: smalljude/Flickr.)

Yellowfin tuna

Quite simply, tuna with yellow fins. Flavor-wise, they’re similar to the bigeyes. In Japan, yellowfin tuna are the most commonly found tuna and are served widely in many casual sushi spots. There’s a good chance that any menu item marked as “tuna” and offered either seared, blackened, marinated or cooked at a restaurant is of this type.

Jeremy Keith
Albacore tuna is easily recognizable from its light hue and less smooth texture. (Photo: Jeremy Keith/Flickr.)

Albacore tuna

Albacores are widely used for canned tuna. Their sushi pieces are identifiable by a lighter, rosy color and a rougher consistency than their brethren. Price-wise, they are the most affordable, so in Japan, you’ll find albacores at belt-conveyor sushi chains. At Japanese restaurants in the U.S., albacore will often run a bit cheaper than all other types of tuna. This is what you are hoping is marked as “white tuna” at sushi restaurants across the U.S., but it’s much more likely that any establishment carrying albacore would label it clearly as such (see below).

Points of note:

  1. Ahi tuna, which is commonly used for poke in Hawaii, can be used to refer to both bigeyes and yellowfins. These are the two most likely types of tuna to be cubed.
  2. Find yourself looking at a menu offering “white tuna”? Stay away! Don’t say we haven’t warned you.

The post Here Are The Most Popular Types Of Tuna Used In Japanese Cuisine appeared first on Food Republic.

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Introducing The Soup That Sumo Wrestlers Eat Daily http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/introducing-the-soup-that-sumo-wrestlers-eat-daily/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/12/08/introducing-the-soup-that-sumo-wrestlers-eat-daily/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:00:31 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=161633 What do sumo wrestlers eat every day? It’s a question you’ve either pondered before or that genuinely intrigued you upon reading this headline. And for good reason. Sumo wrestling is generally (and accurately) associated with males of a certain weight class, as the main objective revolves around grappling with one’s opponent and forcing him out […]

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A bowl of chankonabe, the traditional stew enjoyed by sumo wrestlers on a daily basis.

What do sumo wrestlers eat every day? It’s a question you’ve either pondered before or that genuinely intrigued you upon reading this headline. And for good reason. Sumo wrestling is generally (and accurately) associated with males of a certain weight class, as the main objective revolves around grappling with one’s opponent and forcing him out of the ring or onto the ground.

It turns out that many aspects of professional sumo wrestlers’ lives are strictly regimented, including diet. Our friends at Great Big Story have put together a highly informational video exploring the traditional dish of chankonabe, the famous soup known to help sumo wrestlers put on some serious size. The shoot takes place inside a restaurant run by former sumo champion Satoshi Kitayama, who explains the long history and variety of reasons behind consuming the flavorful stew.

Some of you out there might be thinking, “Soup? That’s it?” Consider its hearty contents, plus the fact that sumo wrestlers eat up to ten bowls a day alongside large portions of rice and regularly follow meals with sleep, and well, there you go. “Ramen on steroids,” as one astute YouTube commenter puts it. Take a look at the fascinating video below.

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