Eat this Word: Gefilte Fish

gefilte fishWHAT? Something fishy. Nowadays, not many dishes require you to keep live animals in your bathtub, but that’s how most traditional recipes for this Jewish delicacy begin. The live animal was usually a carp, and you kept it flapping in the tub to ensure freshness. Once the fish was killed and gutted, you removed the flesh, chopped and seasoned it, and stuffed it back into the skin to poach. (Gefilte is Yiddish for “stuffed.”) Served chilled with a little horseradish, gefilte fish was thus an appropriate dish for the Sabbath, when heating food is proscribed by Jewish law. These days, most cooks who make gefilte fish purchase already ground carp, pike, whitefish, or a combination, season it, and shape it into balls. There are two principal styles, peppery and sweet, which are said to roughly correspond to different regions of eastern European heritage—Polish Jews make their gefilte fish with extra sugar; Russian Jews use more ground pepper. Perhaps because of

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Eat this Word: Huckleberries

huckleberriesWHAT? Berry trails. Perhaps more associated with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn than with fine cuisine, huckleberries grow most widely in the West, and along Midwestern rivers, like the Mississippi, on which Huck spent so many days lazing. Huckleberries come in many shades, including pink, white, blue-black, and purple, with the blue-black variety being the firmest and most widely available in the marketplace. James Beard was a fan, writing in American Cookery that they were “wonderful to the taste.” Unlike their close relatives, blueberries and cranberries, which have a multitude of soft, little seeds in their center, each huckleberry contains ten hard, small seeds, and their flavor is more tart. Huckleberries are not cultivated; their growing season is typically from June through August. According to Beard, they “make good pies and cakes and other typically American delights.” WHERE?

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Eye Candy: Eckerton Hill Farm Cherry Tomatoes with Tofu, Shiso, and Sesame

salad_427x318Some didn't think he could make a meatless meal, but David Chang proved he was up for the challenge with his delicious vegetarian dinner at the Beard House last night. A highlight of the evening? His Eckerton Hill Farm cherry tomato salad with tofu, shiso, and sesame. We teased you with the menu yesterday, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Hungry for more? Check out the gallery of mouthwatering images from the event. August 20, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Krishna Dayanidhi)

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