Food Republic Where Food, Drink & Culture Unite Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:26:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Istanbul, Breakfast Wars, Pancake Purses: 10 Hot Topics On Food Republic Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:00:26 +0000 It was a big week for politics and sports alike. The first of the presidential primaries was held in Iowa, and guess what? There are some all right eats out there. We’re gearing up for Super Bowl 50, but in the midst of party planning, we ventured out to Istanbul for the best street food on either side of the Bosphorus. We also took the author of Food Whore out for her first bang bang and discussed her food version of The Devil Wears Prada. Pancake purses? Powdered soy sauce? Homemade jerky? We’ve got you covered. All that and more on this week’s Hot Topics on Food Republic.

  1. There are kebabs and street food as far as the eye can see in Istanbul.
  2. The East and West coasts are now taking on the battle of the breakfast sandwich.
  3. New York Fashion Week starts next week. Do you have your pancake purse?
  4. What’s better than an Aussie burger with beets? An Aussie lamb burger with beets.
  5. Homemade jerky. Mmm. We learned how to dry our own delicious meats.
  6. Iowa is more than deep-fried things on a stick. Take it from the locals.
  7. We rounded up the 12 best chips, dips and nachos for your Super Bowl party.
  8. Soy sauce now comes in powdered form. Here’s what to do with it.
  9. You may want to stay away from cucumbers for awhile.
  10. Pete Wells hated Food Whore. So we invited author Jessica Tom to a bang bang.
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The Winter Daiquiri You’ve Been Waiting For Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:00:56 +0000 GirlFrom62
A trip to the local greenmarket proved valuable in the creation of this cold-weather daiquiri.

Weighing in at just three ingredients, it’s impressive that the classic daiquiri can be as complex and satiating as it is. For bartenders, while this rum sour is an ideal framework for forging new creations, it also carries an iconic profile that demands the highest-quality modifiers. For bartender Jesse Cason at Brooklyn’s June Wine Bar, however, his current cold-weather daiquiri variation all started with a trip to the local greenmarket in Carroll Gardens.

“I found a bin full of fresh turmeric root and young ginger. They were fresh out of the earth, and the fragrance was amazing,” says Cason. Inspired by his discovery, Cason started by blending the fresh roots with raw honey to capture this flavor in a syrup. Though he knew he wanted to create a sour with lime, the first spirit Cason reached for was the unconventional and pungent Indonesian Batavia Arrack rum, before adding the agricole Rhum JM to balance and improve mouthfeel.

The name for this concoction, Girl from ’62, came from a song by the British garage-rock band Thee Headcoats. Though hardly as sharp as that track’s guitar sound, the bite of ginger and earthy turmeric notes come through clearly in the glass. It’s incredibly refreshing and retains the integrity of its daiquiri base, only accentuated by the use of an overproof rum and lime-zest garnish. With the winter winds blowing outside, this drink ticks all the boxes and brings just the right amount of seasonal goodness. Enjoy.

Girl from ’62 Cocktail

Servings: 1 cocktail

1 ounce Rhum JM 100 proof
1/2 ounce Batavia Arrack
3/4 ounce ginger-turmeric syrup*
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

For the ginger-turmeric syrup:

  1. Combine 1 cup raw honey and 1 cup hot water to create a basic syrup.
  2. Add 1/2 cup peeled and coarsely chopped ginger root (using the edge of a soup spoon works best), 1/2 cup peeled and coarsely chopped turmeric root, 1 teaspoon citric acid (preserves both color and shelf life) and a pinch of salt. Allow to steep for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Using a blender or food processor, pulse the mixture until it has a small, pebble-like consistency. Blending it too much will lead to sediment in your finished syrup. This may cause it to become more bitter over time.
  4. Strain through mesh or chinois, and refrigerate for later use. It keeps for two weeks.


  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with ice.
  2. Shake and double strain into a chilled coupe.
  3. Use a microplane to apply a lime-zest garnish.

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep time: 3 minutes, not including syrup

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Super Bowl Recipe Roundup: Ultimate Snacks Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:00:46 +0000 You don’t really want to be the person face-deep in a hoagie when the urge to jump off the couch and scream at the TV strikes. That’s how you get hoagie on the floor. And hoagie on the floor, friends, is a party foul. Nip this common Super Bowl problem in the bud by making one of these ultimate two-bite-sized tailgating snacks that won’t get in the way of the very important task at hand.

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Peyton Manwich Vs. Ham Newton: A Super Bowl Sandwich Smackdown Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:15:26 +0000 NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers will lead their respective teams into action Sunday during Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Only one QB will emerge victorious, but both have made an impression with sandwich makers. Each player has inspired the construction at least one pun-laden pile of meat on bread: Manning with the “Peyton Manwich” and Newton with the “Ham Newton.” Here’s how the players’ edible tributes stack up:

“Peyton Manwich”

Photo courtesy of Cured Boulder

After making its debut in 2014, the last time the Denver Broncos made it to the NFL championship, the “Peyton Manwich” is back for Super Bowl 50 at Cured in Boulder, Colorado (one of our favorite cheese shops in America). No, it’s not made with sloppy joe–style ground meat like the stuff in the Hunt’s can. In this case, “Manwich” is just a play on the guy’s name. The 18-inch sub comes loaded with dry jack cheese, capicola, pickled red onions, romaine lettuce and house-made aioli on a classic baguette. 1825 B Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302; 720-389-8096

“Ham Newton”

Photo courtesy of the Nose Dive

A fixture on the “snacks and shareables” section of the menu at the Nose Dive gastropub in Greenville, South Carolina, the “Ham Newtown” features speck and capicola hams with caramelized onions, blue cheese and a fig spread “Newton,” get it?  on a crusty baguette. 116 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601; 864-373-7300

Analysis: Ingredient-wise, the QB-themed eats possess oddly similar qualities, both featuring the same cold cut (capicola) and same style of bread (baguette). The biggest difference is size. And while the foot-and-a-half-long “Peyton Manwich” mightily overshadows its Carolina counterpart in this department, we suspect the “completion percentage” for a snack-sized sammy is much higher than with a big sub. As anyone who knows football will tell you, this is a very important statistic.

Advantage: “Ham Newton”

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How To Make The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:00:36 +0000 Serious chocolate lover? Well, get ready, sweet stuff. You’re gonna love this one. Our friends at ChefSteps wrote in this week with their signature take on the classic chocolate cake — it’s light and spongy yet devilishly decadent. After months of trials, the team reports that the top recipe came from using mostly old-school approaches, such as brushing the cake layers with simple syrup to retain moisture.

There’s also a twist involved. ChefSteps uses a magical little ingredient called glycerol monostearate, or GMS. Found in some of those fail-proof boxed cakes you loved as a kid, the easy-to-find powder keeps fats suspended in the batter, leading to an impossibly moist crumb that’s never greasy. Feel free to skip the GMS, however — either way, you’ll wind up with a seriously tasty dessert with which to wow your dinner guests, spoil your children and shame the other parents at bake sales. Check out the instructional video and the full recipe below.

Servings: One three-tier frosted cake

Spray oil, as needed
420 grams cake flour (chlorinated), plus more for dusting
820 grams granulated sugar, divided
280 grams cocoa powder, divided
25 grams salt, divided
15 grams baking soda
15 grams baking powder
11 grams glycerol monostearate, optional
340 grams buttermilk
340 grams canola oil
3 large eggs
55 grams pure vanilla extract
440 grams water, divided
50 grams vodka, or other spirit with 35-40 percent ABV
900 grams powdered sugar
450 grams butter, room temperature
110 grams milk
Chocolate shavings or sprinkles, as needed


For the cake:

  1. Place racks toward center of oven and heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease three 9-inch springform or round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment. Dust the sides with flour, and tap out excess.
  3. Prepare the dry mix. Whisk 620 grams sugar, flour, 130 grams cocoa powder, 15 grams salt, baking soda, baking powder and glycerol monostearate (if using) in a large mixing bowl, then sift them into another bowl.
  4. Prepare the wet mix. Combine buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and 25 grams vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until you get a homogenous, off-white liquid.
  5. With the stand mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet, one large spoonful at a time. Mix only until ingredients are just combined (overmixing results in a tougher cake that doesn’t rise properly.)
  6. Bring 340 grams water to a boil. To prevent evaporation, take it off the heat as soon as it starts to boil (an electric kettle works nicely here). With the mixer running on low, add water in a slow stream. Pouring slowly will increase the temperature of the batter gradually so the eggs won’t cook. The final texture will be like thin brownie batter.
  7. Use a scale to pour 600 grams batter into each of the three springform pans. (You’ll have a bit of extra batter — perfect for cupcakes!)
  8. Set a sheet pan on a lower rack in the oven to catch any batter that drips during baking. Bake the cakes on the center rack of the preheated oven until they reach a core temperature of 205 degrees, about 40 minutes. Don’t move the cakes around while they’re baking, or they’ll collapse.
  9. While your cakes are baking, bring 200 grams sugar and 100 grams water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to cool to room temperature. With a spoon, stir in the vodka.
  10. Remove springform pans from the oven. Slam each cake firmly on your countertop to pop any air bubbles. Allow cakes to cool completely on the counter or a wire rack before removing from pans.
  11. Flip the cake layers over onto sheets of parchment paper. Remove the parchment circles stuck to the tops of the layers. If there’s a large dome or “crater rim” on a layer, you can shave it off with a long, serrated knife (or fill it out with extra frosting later). Brush each layer of cake with 75-100 grams of syrup. The more you add, the moister your cake.

For the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer set to low, mix powdered sugar, butter, 150 grams cocoa powder, 110 grams milk, 30 grams vanilla extract and 10 grams salt. Gradually work up to high speed. Once the frosting reaches a consistent color, stop the mixer and use a sturdy spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom. Mix again on high speed, scrape down one more time and give one final high-speed mix. The finished frosting will be quite stiff, with no lumps.

For assembly:

  1. If you have a cake turner, tape a round cardboard cutout to it, then apply a couple dabs of frosting and add a clean piece of parchment on top of that. This will be your work surface. If you don’t have a cake turner, use a cake stand or just a large, flat plate. Gently place the bottom cake layer on your work surface.
  2. Scoop frosting into a piping bag (easily bought on Amazon, or use a hefty ziplock-style bag and cut a small hole in the corner) fitted with a round tip. Starting from the edge, pipe frosting in a spiral on top of the bottom cake layer, then stack another cake layer on top. Pipe another spiral of frosting, top with the final cake layer and pipe the last spiral of frosting. Leave as is, or smooth with a palette knife or offset spatula. While frosting is still wet, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired.

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. The site is currently offering free online classes called Cooking Sous Vide: Getting Started and Burgers, as well as a $10 class called Cooking Sous Vide: Beyond the Basics and a $14 class called Coffee.

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Chris Shepherd Joins Project Runway Winner To Create The Perfect Chef’s Apron Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:30:06 +0000
Chris Shepherd and the Project Runway season two winner worked together to bring a stylish and functional apron for chefs and servers.

An apron needs to be functional and comfortable. It must have pockets. It must stay in place, be long-lasting and, at the end of the day, look good. In another chef and fashion designer collaboration aimed at creating the perfect apron, Houston chef Chris Shepherd called on local designer and Project Runway season two winner Chloe Dao to create said perfect apron.

The Underbelly apron features American-made denim, three large bottom pockets for check holders and tools, smaller pockets on the top for tweezers and pens, a brown cotton twill tie and an adjustable neck strap that was designed to not to be a pain in the neck like traditional aprons.

The apron is one size fits all and sells for $80. It’s available online or at Underbelly in Houston.

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Hotlink Bling: The In-Stadium Menu For Super Bowl 50 Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:00:10 +0000 Have you been to the Super Bowl? Probably not. That’s okay, me neither. The tickets aren’t really available to the general public. You already know that it’s unlike any other sporting event in the world, with the cost of entry typically being thousands of dollars. And with tens of thousands of high rollers thrown together into one stadium, you might have guessed that standard stadium nachos may not be on the menu.

Stadium food-service giant Centerplate is handling the diverse options at this year’s Super Bowl, which features the Carolina Panthers taking on the Denver Broncos. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 7, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Centerplate head chef Santana Diaz gave us the scoop on all the fanciful things available to ticket holders at the big game. “The goal is to continue challenging the stigma of not just serving traditional stadium fare — hot dogs, pizza and burgers,” says Diaz. “The culinary team challenges themselves to create items that really excite people about being at the venue live. California has afforded the team a bountiful seasonal yield of ingredients that we try to incorporate into our stadium menus.” Sounds good! What does that mean, exactly? You’re going to get some pretty nonstandard stadium options. Here’s a sampling.

Centerplate SB50 BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich_LR (1)

BBQ jackfruit sandwich (vegan)

Smoked-then-braised jackfruit, apple-jalapeño coleslaw, and house barbecue sauce on a sweet Hawaiian roll.

Centerplate SB50 Bay Shrimp Roll

Bay shrimp roll

Bay shrimp and braised fennel stuffed in a top-cut roll with a chive aioli.


Sourdough chowder boule

Rich creamy broth with fresh seafood, served in a locally baked sourdough boule.

Centerplate SB50 Local Charcuterie

California charcuterie

Saucisson sec, cabernet salami, prosciutto, coppa, duck-pork gallantine, assorted pickled vegetables, stone ground mustard and sliced baguette.

Centerplate SB50 Cheese Platter

Local farmstead cheese platter

A selection of ripened and fresh cheese from Pt. Reyes Blue, local aged cheddar, Chatelaine Camembert, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, and Vella Cheese Co., aged Asiago, served with dried fruit, crackers and Melba toast; gluten-free crackers upon request (obviously).

Centerplate SB50 Lobster Truffle Mac & Cheese

Lobster and truffle mac and cheese

Butter-poached lobster morsels tossed in a creamy Mornay sauce, garnished with black truffles.

Centerplate SB50 Cali Artichokes

California artichokes display

Tender Castroville artichokes, roasted Gilroy garlic and Pescadero Brussels sprouts slaw tossed in root vegetables vinaigrette; served with lemon aioli dip.

But here’s the grandaddy of them all, the reason to get out of bed and hop on your Gulfstream V to go to the game, and the thing that truly highlights the difference between the food at this game versus any other sporting event. I give you:

The Big 5-0 Sausage (photo up top)

A custom blend of 50 ingredients, including beef, pork, spices and herbs, grilled and served on a poppy seed bun with sautéed bell peppers and topped with tomato ketchup and gold flakes.

HOLY CRAP. THERE IS GOLD ON THAT SAUSAGE. IT IS BASICALLY GILDED. And now you know how the top 1 percent likes to top its hot dogs.

But besides that, the rest of that food looks pretty good, right? I mean, some of it seems tough to eat at a stadium (I’m not sure what an “artichoke display” is even with the photo), but it doesn’t really matter, because…gilded sausage.

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Stay Hydrated With This Smart Water Bottle Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:30:57 +0000 Keeping hydrated is key to many things: avoiding hangovers, clear skin…remaining alive. Sometimes it’s hard to do so with the busy lives we all lead. Until now, that is.

The Seed Bottle features a LED touchscreen cap that will remind you to drink, tell the temperature of the water, keep it cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, warn you if the water’s too hot so you don’t burn your delicate tongue, let you know if the water’s gone stale, keep tabs on your consumption, pick up your dry cleaning and feed your dog.

The Indiegogo campaign for the water bottle, designed by Chinese company Moikit, has raised more than 2,500 percent of its creators’ $20,000 goal and reached their third-stretch goal of $500,000 on Thursday. It’ll sell for $65 once the campaign is over on February 9.

The bottle comes in 12 colors and three sizes. And of course, there’s an app to go along with it where you can play games, presumably hydration-related games.

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Why Is Ben & Jerry’s Releasing Vegan Ice Creams? Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:00:56 +0000 Back in early 2013, I had the good fortune to take part in a press trip to Burlington, Vermont, to spend time at the headquarters of Ben & Jerry’s. Over the course of three days, I learned about the exhaustive processes behind making some of the country’s most beloved and recognized ice cream flavors directly from a “flavor guru” and walked around a “flavor graveyard.” The words “dairy-free” and “vegan” weren’t mentioned once. I also ate a lot of ice cream. Like, a lot. And it was very cold outside.

My, how much changes in the span of three years. On Wednesday, Ben & Jerry’s unveiled its long-promised vegan ice cream line. Later this month, best-selling flavors Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie will be available in dairy-free versions full time, as will P.B. Cookies and Coffee Caramel Fudge on a limited basis. Made with an almond-milk base, the “frozen desserts” (a certain amount of milkfat must be present for them to be categorized as ice cream) reflect an intense period of trial-and-error testing by Ben & Jerry’s, which dedicated several months of extensive research and labor to creating the final products.

So just what exactly is different in February 2016? Well, it’s been consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the Northeast, for one. I was recently diagnosed with lactose intolerance, for another. The words “dairy-free” and “vegan” have also never been buzzier. And as much as I’d like to take some sort of credit for the ice cream giant’s big announcement, it’s undoubtedly this last point that propelled the company to take on a new, previously unthinkable challenge.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie is one of four certified-vegan flavors that Ben & Jerry’s will offer in stores.

We’re in an unprecedented day and age, one in which seemingly everyone either suffers from — or at least is quick to claim — some sort of dietary condition. Go to a restaurant and someone at the table is bound to request a substitution or three, citing an allergy or restriction. Meanwhile, vegetarian and vegan restaurants have never been hotter, “gluten-free” labels are tacked on to just about everything, and large-scale ice cream companies are making, well, ice cream minus the cream.

Ben & Jerry’s certainly isn’t the first ice cream maker to go vegan. A quick look at the NYC market, for example, reveals that the exclusively dairy-free DF Mavens opened its doors on St. Mark’s Place in early 2014 and that artisanal shop Van Leeuwen has offered many of its popular flavors in vegan versions for years. (The vegan salted caramel is just as good as the original.)

The Ben & Jerry’s release is significant, however, in that it’s likely to usher in similar movements from competitors — vegan ice cream remains a largely untapped market at this point. After all, ice cream is universally established as a milky, creamy treat; there’s even an image of ice cream plastered on packets of Lactaid pills. The potential widespread availability of dairy-free ice cream will, of course, satisfy the vegans and the lactose intolerant, but it just might also convert traditional consumers to switch over, be it for perceived taste, nutrition or newly discovered health reasons. My money’s on a sudden rush of people soon jumping on the “lactose-free” bandwagon.

Editor’s Note: DF Mavens closed shortly following the publication of this article. Its products are still available for purchase in specialty supermarkets and online through its own website.

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The Taste Of The NFL Is A Party With A Purpose Thu, 04 Feb 2016 19:00:31 +0000 This weekend’s hottest ticket is rather obvious. Come on, people, it’s Super Bowl weekend. But what’s the second hottest ticket out there? What if we told you that it’s an NFL-sanctioned event featuring some of the country’s best chefs and football players — both past and present — and that all proceeds benefit hunger-related charities across the United States? Do we have your attention yet?

The Taste of the NFL event is billed as “a party with a purpose.” Held annually on the night before the Super Bowl in that year’s host city, it’s a gathering of top chefs from all NFL cities and player representatives from all 32 teams. Both the chefs and players are donating their time — the majority of the money raised from ticket sales is donated to hunger-related charities in that year’s Super Bowl host city, while the remainder is given out to food banks across the U.S. Since the inception of the event 25 years ago, a total of $24 million has been raised.

This Saturday night’s event will take place at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. Hosted by Andrew Zimmern (who has previously taken part in the event) and including a musical performance by Third Eye Blind, it’s a more popular ticket than ever. The “Super Bowl chefs” will be Troy Guard of Denver and Blake Hartwick of Charlotte, while a couple of notable names participating include Susan Spicer (New Orleans) and Kent Rathburn (Dallas). Tickets are still available!

Food Republic spoke with winemaker Gina Gallo, an event participant for 21 years and board member for the past 18. Gallo helps operate E. & J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest family-owned winery and the largest exporter of California wine. She and her family will be donating two dozen varieties of their acclaimed wines to the event, specifically chosen to pair with dishes made by all participating chefs. “Hunger problems are not getting any better in the U.S. — they are actually getting worse. It shouldn’t be that way in America. Someday we want to end it — that’s our goal…it’s a great platform to make a difference with the NFL sanctioning it,” she says about her motivation to take a leading role year after year.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.28.24 AM
The Gallo Signature Series, bottles that will be among those poured during the event. (Photo: E. & J. Gallo Winery.)

Gallo mentions that many of the chefs have been involved since year one and that others are chosen by the board, which ensures that participants encompass both “hot new” and “long-standing” figures from around the U.S. She also stresses that Taste of the NFL is largely a family event — many parents bring their children, who are excited about the prospect of meeting NFL players, some of whom are enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

As for the perception that Super Bowl Sunday is the ultimate beer-drinking celebration? The one that dictates we’d be crazy to reach for Cabernet over IPA on game day? Wine “absolutely does” pair with the Super Bowl, according to Gallo. “Many people do it!” She mentions more and more stadiums — and clubs within stadiums — bringing in higher-end wines and consumers’ recent tendencies to “drink less, but drink better.” As for Budweiser’s recent anti-wine ad? “We would never play that way,” Gallo laughs.

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