The Food of the Times [Fierce Foodie]

I have a penchant for reading cookery texts, from M.F.K. Fisher on transatlantic shipboard cuisine in the 30’s to Apicus on Roman cuisine. I enjoy imagining what a paste of stewed calf’s brains seasoned with pepper and cumin, and cooked with broth, wine, milk and eggs might taste like. Foods come in and out of fashion just like modes of dress, and tastes evolve with the inclusion of other cultures. There was a time when the now ubiquitous pizza was considered exotic or when the tiny breast meats of thrushes and other small songbirds were looked upon by many as delicacies and not potential SARS carriers. Today’s modern cooks have nearly unlimited access to ingredients and cuisine, but very limited time for cooking. Luckily fresh garden produce goes from kitchen to table with little or no cooking. My mother, the green thumb of the family, has donated many a zucchini to my pantry. This recipe makes great use of them and also includes fresh basil and mint. Zucchini ribbon salad with ham (courtesy of Good Housekeeping) Ingredients 2 pound(s) (5 small) zucchini, ends trimmed 4 slice(s) (1 ounce each) deli ham, sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons 1 lemon 2/3 cup(s) salted pistachios, shelled 1/3 cup(s) packed fresh basil leaves 1/3 cup(s) packed fresh mint leaves 1 clove(s) garlic Salt Pepper 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoon(s) water 8 slice(s) whole wheat baguette, toasted 1 1/2 ounce(s) goat cheese, softened Directions With vegetable peeler, peel zucchini into wide ribbons. Transfer zucchini ribbons to large bowl and add ham. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. From lemon, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. Cover and refrigerate lemon peel. Prepare pesto: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse pistachios until finely chopped. Add...

Jersey Joe is Addicted to Shamrock Shakes [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Mar16

Jersey Joe is Addicted to Shamrock Shakes [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]...

You know you’ve got a hit product on your hands when loyal customers flock to Twitter and Facebook shouting with glee when it’s back! McDonald’s has that kind of hit with their glorious Shamrock Shakes. As soon as it reappears, fans are all over social media sharing their joy at the first sip. But this year, on my first attempt – I got shot down. Last March, I did an extensive blogumn on the history of the Shamrock Shake. But for the first time in decades, McDonald’s has officially placed them on sale in all locations coast to coast and is even backing them up with a big budget TV ad! McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes are available in three sizes: child small, medium and large. The seasonal milkshake treat is made with low-fat vanilla ice cream, mint flavoring, optional whipped cream and an optional cherry. They are a limited-time menu item, usually starting sometime in February. The green milkshake underwent a major upgrade last year with the addition of optional whipped cream and cherry. They then joined the McCafe line of upscale beverages. It is also now served in a clear plastic cup, which allows the beautiful green color to be seen, as opposed to the solid wax cups of old. The child’s small is 12 ounces with 540 calories, the adult medium 16 ounces with 680 calories, and the adult large 22 ounces with 840 calories. Growing up in Pennsylvania, these were always on sale during March and as soon as I would see the signs or the old Uncle McGrimmacy commercial, I insisted on heading for the drive-thru. Originally available coast to coast, McDonald’s scaled back sales in the 1990’s to make this more of a regional item. When I moved to the New York City metro area...

Get Your Hands On Some Schweddy Balls [Kicking Back With Jersey Joe] Jan06

Get Your Hands On Some Schweddy Balls [Kicking Back With Jersey Joe]

Schweddy Balls – the newest Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor based on the Saturday Night Live skit has finally made it to your grocer’s freezer. The name is as hilarious as the skit, but while only available for a limited time, some shoppers are being forbidden from buying it. Schweddy Balls gets its name from the popular “Delicious Dish” sketch that originally aired on Saturday, December 12, 1998. The five minute sketch, starring Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, and guest host Alec Baldwin was a parody of two DJ’s hosting a National Public Radio (NPR) show.  The two clueless hosts are sampling holiday recipes, when they are joined by Pete Schweddy, who runs a local bakery selling Christmas cookies. The sketch is a play on words, giving a sexual double meaning to his holiday treats. The joke at the heart of the bit is when Pete Schweddy says: “There are lots of great treats this time of year. Zucchini bread – fruitcake. But, the thing I like to bring out most at this time of year are my balls.” It’s brilliant writing and is absolutely hilarious. The skit now airs every holiday season on various Saturday Night Live Christmas specials. The Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company of South Burlington, Vermont is always on the lookout to create new and unusual ice cream flavors. To cash in on the popularity of the skit, they created the official Schweddy Balls ice cream. The ice cream is available only for a limited run, and after months of searching, it finally has made its way to my local grocery store. Ben & Jerry’s has been responsible for a number of novelty ice cream flavors over the years. Sold in small pints, the flavor joins a long line of flavors such...

WIN A McRIB! The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time [The Ryan Dixon Line]...

Want to win a free McRib? Then play Fierce & Nerdy’s Search for the Great McRibiography! Here’s how to win your FREE McRib: 1. Read Ryan’s Dixon’s now classic manifesto: The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time 2. In the Comments section below, share your own personal McRib story or why you think the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time. 3. Fierce & Nerdy’s Blue Ribbon panel (made up of Ryan Dixon, Jersey Joe, and F&N editors Ernessa T. Carter and Amy Robinson) will select the best stories that touch upon the core values of the McRib. (What are those values, exactly? We’re working on it.) 4. Winners will be mailed a coupon for one free McRib! And that’s it. It’s easy. Almost as easy as going to going to your local McDonald’s and ordering yourself a McRib. But hurry, just like the McRib, our contest is for a limited time only: all stories must be posted by TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st. And now, let’s get on with the show… INTRODUCTION TO THE FIVE REASONS WHY THE MCRIB IS THE GREATEST FAST FOOD ITEM OF ALL TIME Why Me? How did an always poor, mostly anonymous and only occasionally witty blogumnist living in Burbank, CA suddenly find himself as the protagonist in a real-life, 21st century Horatio Alger novel? In 2010,  I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, my voice was heard on NPR and perhaps the greatest corporation in American history became my follower on Twitter. And I owe it all to one saliva-inducing, two-syllable word: McRib. My journey to becoming a PhD in Pork Product and being hailed as the world’s foremost expert on McDonald’s legendary and enigmatic sandwich all...