Ingredient Spotlight: Labneh

 

Greek yogurt is everywhere. In our granola bars, our hummus, even our shower gel. When a foreign health food becomes the official state snack of New York, you know it’s hit the mainstream. But one unexpected advantage of Greek yogurt’s ubiquity is the piquing of the American palate for thick, tangy spreads, and chefs are constantly looking to regional Mediterranean cuisines for similar ingredients. We noticed labneh, the Middle Eastern iteration of strained yogurt, popping up on Beard House menus this spring and summer, and realized that this spread is on the rise across the country.

 

It turns out that what we think of as "Greek Yogurt" is really just one member of the family of strained yogurts that grace most tables of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African countries. In Greece, it’s called straggistó giaoúrti, in Egypt, za... Read more >

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What We're Reading: June 30, 2014

Scientists suggest that insects could be the key to solving world hunger. [Science Daily]

 

Can we hack our way to a better food system? [Civil Eats]

 

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a new report on the food industry’s sugar-coating of the sweetener’s negative health effects. [UCS]

 

With cod being overfished... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Sherry Bloody Mary

bloody mary

 

Few classic cocktails are more storied than the Bloody Mary, which is reportedly celebrating its 80th birthday this year. With roots stemming from the Russian Revolution and Prohibition, its original name and recipe have long been disputed—but one thing is clear: it's a beloved brunch tradition, hangover cure, and one of the most ubiquitous libations in America today.

 

This weekend, spice up your cocktail routine with a unique twist on the zesty tomato-infused treat. Created by Leo Robitschek of the Bar at the NoMad Hotel, our 2014 winner for Outstanding Bar Program, this sherry-anchored Bloody Mary doubles up on veggies by featuring beet juice along with the classic tomato juice. This inspired variation is perfect for adding a little spice to your Friday evening happy hour ritual—and for reviving you again in the morning if you happened to get a little too carried away. 

 ... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: June 27, 2014

 

The New York State Court of Appeals refused to reinstate NYC’s limit on the size of soda available for sale, ruling that the city’s Board of Health has exceeded its regulatory authority. [NY Times]

 

A new report reveals that untapped water-saving and recycling strategies could help California to a drought-resistant future. [Ecocentric]

 

Eat your veggies: cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, could increase your body’s ability to rid itself of certain carcinogens. [NPR... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of June 30

Clipping Microgreens at the Beard House

 

Here is what's happening at the Beard House: 

 

Monday, June 30, 7:00 P.M
Savoring Sicily and Apulia 
The Momofuku Group’s Jordan Frosolone assembled a team of renowned chefs—who have mentored him on his way to becoming the corporate chef for one of the country’s most innovative and successful restaurant empires—for this unique Italian-inspired dinner.

 

Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 P.M 
Boston Softshell Crab Blowout
For our annual softshell crab dinner, we’ve enlisted some of Boston’s brightest stars to pay homage to the crave-worthy crustacean, which is available only a few months a year. Join us for this scrumptious Beard House feast, which will feature the fleeting delicacy in each savory course.

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Throwback Thursday: Laura Shapiro's "A Food Lover's Guide to Fat"

Cookies

 

Remember SnackWell's? In the 1990s America's fear of fat was perhaps even more pronounced than the aversion to gluten we have seen in this decade. In her 1995 JBF Journalism award–winning article, "A Food Lover's Guide to Fat," historian Laura Shapiro addressed the anti-fat frenzy:

 

Consider the Oreo: two chocolate discs, a creamy filling, and a tradition going back to 1912. For as long as cookie sales have been tracked, Oreos have been the industry front-runner, occasionally jockeying for first place with Chips Ahoy! or Fig Newtons, but always the sentimental favorite. Until this year. When the cookie-and-cracker bestseller list for 1994 is tabulated, last year’s number six will have flown straight up into first place, with Oreos in a dismal fourth. America’s new passion is SnackWell’s. Introduced by Nabisco only two years ago, SnackWell’s is a line of fat-free and low-fat snacks best known for the Devil’s Food Cookie Cake, a morsel of cake and marshmallow wrapped in a shiny chocolate coat. Th... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Parsnip Cake with Carrot Coulis, Chicory Coffee Gelato, and Quince

Parsnip Cake with Carrot Coulis, Chicory Coffee Gelato, and Quince

 

Even though they inhabit kitchens on opposite coasts, fellow Food & Wine Best New Chefs Jamie Bissonnette (who also took home the 2014 JBF Award for Best Chef: Northeast) and Jenn Louis are kindred spirits in food: both excel at delivering bold, daring flavors and are passionate locavores. At their recent Beard House dinner, the duo served this exceptional dessert: parsnip cake with carrot coulis, chicory coffee gelato, and quince. The combination of sweet and savory flavors wowed our guests—and it ain't too bad to look at it, either. 

 

View this event's menu and details here. For upcoming Beard House dinners, check out our events calendar. Photo by... Read more >

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What We're Reading: June 26, 2014

Dirt

 

A chef in Canada is making local dirt-butter, taking terroir to the next level. [The Globe and Mail

 

Two Italian designers revolutionize recipe reading with tattoos. [NPR

 

Downward-facing Dogfish: Across the country, post-yoga beers find popularity. [NYT

 

A North Dakota town experiments with a barista-free coffee shop. [NY Daily News

 

Instant coffee finds a new market in China. [... Read more >

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What We're Reading: June 25, 2014

 

The story behind Wimbledon’s favorite cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup. [Food Politic]

 

Classic NYC restaurants face closure in the wake of huge rent hikes. [NYT]

 

The Broccoli Cleanse: cruciferous vegetables could be the key to detoxing the body. [NPR]

 

Public health advocates push for labeling energy drinks as a step towards safer consumption. [... Read more >

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What We're Eating

 

At JBF, when we’re not thinking about, writing about, or researching food, well, we're eating it. We tapped some of our staff members to see what ranked highest on our radars, and found ourselves with a little bit of a summer sweet tooth, sampling some superlative cake, panna cotta, and not one, but two types of ice cream.

 

 

"At a going-away party for a mutual friend, baker Katherine Yang of Gigi Blue (which is probably New York City's best-kept cake secret) brought over a stunning berry shortcake. It was a delicious combination of vanilla whipped cream and mixed berries, but the clincher was a vibrant stripe of ruby-red berry gelée between the cake layers. Not only was it unexpected and gorgeous, but it also brought the flavor of the fruit to another level. Yang will take orders and deliver within New York City. Order at ... Read more >

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