Eat this Word: Tres Leches

tres leches cake WHAT? Easy as uno, dos, tres. Pastel de tres leches, "tres leches" for short, is a dessert that just doesn’t know when to quit. This gooey confection contains a butter cake that is perforated and soaked with a combination of heavy cream and evaporated and condensed milks, and then topped with meringue frosting or whipped cream. Sometimes it is also topped with cajeta, a sweet caramel made from goat’s milk, or doused with coconut milk—making it cuatro or cinco leches, accordingly. The history of tres leches is ambiguous: although it has been embraced by Miami’s Cuban community, scholars place its origins in either Nicaragua, Mexico, or Guatemala. In Texas Monthly, Patricia Sharpe wrote that this "insanely rich" cake possibly originated with a "promotional recipe once distributed in Latin America, perhaps on cans of evaporated milk or with a brand of electric mixer." Tres leches is certainly doing its part to promote dairy produc

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I Love to Eat: Cooking with James Beard to Premiere on September 27

James Beard
When playwright James Still began considering James Beard as the subject for his next one-man script, he knew immediately that he had found a rich and charismatic figure who could command the stage. “With a solo play, you have to ask yourself the basic question: do I want to spend uninterrupted time with this one character? I answered that with a resounding ‘yes’ when it came to all things Beard.” We can’t say we’re surprised. After all, Beard, who filled kitchens and dining rooms with his jolly presence and sonorous speech, was tapped by NBC in 1946 to tape the country’s first cooking show, I Love to Eat. Still’s new play, which premieres at the Indiana Repertory Theatre on Tuesday night and stars actor Robert Neal, borrows its title from the American chef’s pioneering program. “I’ve been moved by his sense of being a performer and his desire to be famous,” says Still. “This led me to write what

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Ask a Chef: Andy Ricker, Where Should We Eat in Portland, Oregon?

James Beard Award winner Andy Ricker tells us where to eat in Portland, Oregon

2011 JBF Award winner Andy Ricker of Portland’s celebrated Pok Pok shares his picks for great PDX eats.

Late-Night Dining
Victory Bar 
3652 SE Division Street)
“It’s just up the street from Pok Pok so I go here after work. It’s a cool neighborhood bar with a tiny kitchen, but chef/co-owner Eric, who trained in Switzerland, is putting out food that is very high quality, albeit simple.”

Quintessential Portland Cooking
Laurelhurst Market (503.206.3099, 3155 East Burnside Street)
“This is one of my go-to’s as its dishes embody a lot of what makes Portland

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Recipe Roundup: September 23, 2011

string beansThe blogosphere’s sprawling universe of recipes is inspiring, diverse, and—let’s face it—a bit daunting. Our recipe roundup does all the heavy sifting to single out recent, mouthwatering recipes from our favorite blogs. All you have to do is click and cook! Here’s what we’ll be making over the course of the next week. Chestnut and Herb Canistrelli [Chocolate & Zucchini] We're intrigued by these savory Corsican cookies, which are made with Chestnut flour, herbs, olive oil, and white wine. Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup [F&W] Sheamus Feeley of Long Meadow Ranch uses grapes straight from the vineyards in this moist cake, but any seedless red grapes will work.

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On the Menu: September 24 through September 30

Join us as we send off September in style with these Beard House events! Saturday, September 24, 7:00 P.M. Ottawa Harvest Though perhaps best known for the spectacular Niagara Falls, the Canadian province of Ontario also boasts an attention-getting food culture rich with artisanal cheesemakers, exceptional wineries, and forward-thinking chefs. Join us when a team of the region’s most talented culinarians prepares this harvest-inspired ode to Canada’s thriving capital city. Sunday, September 25, 12:00 P.M. Wild Eggs Brunch At the smart and upscale Wild Eggs, brunch is king and eggs are exalted. They’re also prepared beautifully, with a cheeky, globally influenced, egg-focused menu overseen by executive chef J. J. Kingery, who will be treating Beard House diners to a mag

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Recipe: Stewed Octopus with Tomatoes

Stewed Octopus with San Marzano TomatoesThis simple and satisfying stew from New Jersey chef Michael Weisshaupt calls for canned tomatoes, but you could also try making your own chunky sauce with end-of-season tomatoes from the market. If you don't have the time, pick up a can of San Marzano plum tomatoes from Italy, which Weisshaupt favors. Get the recipe here.

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Market Haul: September 21, 2011

Market Haul
As the weather gets cooler, it becomes even harder to decide what to cook. Should we turn those Yukon gold potatoes into a creamy gratin or roast them alongside carrots and red onions? Add the fennel to aromatic wine-braised chicken thighs or serve it as a salad, sliced razor-thin and doused with lemon juice? Here are a few of the recipes we’re eyeing as we make these tough decisions.

The Haul: carrots, scallions, fennel, garlic chives, red onions, Yukon gold potatoes, green beans, and Golden Delicious and Gala apples

The Menu Ideas:

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives, Lemon, and Fennel [LAT] Braised + crispy = the best of both worlds. Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc.

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JBF Kitchen Cam