Seacoast Eat Local Challenge

baby website is up. I made some good connections, had some good conversations at the New Roots Farm 2006 garlic harvest party. Things are moving forward, and I am feeling good.


Upcoming Foodie Movies

Eat Drink Make Movie: Hollywood's Next Course - New York Times

The New York Times had an article this week talking about foodie movies in the works, as well as looking at what makes a foodie movie work, and why they're so popular. For me its the fact that I can't *always* be eating or cooking, so things like talking about food, reading about food, and the rare but usually pleasurable watching people eat, cook, and talk about food come into play. And they give proper homage to the best foodie movie, containing the best scene, of all time: Big Night.


Summer Reading: Julia Child's My Life in France

Originally uploaded by plentyo'moxie.

a really wonderful, really sweet read. For hard-core Julia fans, there will not be a lot of new material here, though hearing some of the classic stories about her from her perspective is fun. And although the title is "My Life in France" the text really covers after France, too - what happened after the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and the birth and popularity of The French Chef. I love her personality, which really shines through here.

For me, the overarching highlight running through this book is the detailed descriptions of how Mastering the Art came to be. Extraordinary detail about the lengths she went to to thoroughly test each recipe, and the challenge of collaborating, and the trials of finding the right publisher. Utterly fascinating stuff, and a really good read for anyone who thinks to someday maybe publish a cookbook. Not really a primer on the topic, but the effect is somewhat the same - if you would do it right, you would follow Julia's exacting technique.

Buy this book from Powell's
Impromptu Mushroom Tofu Burgers (great for the grill)

What follows are my recollections from a throw-together experiment. Peeps were coming to eat 4th leftovers, mostly burger shaped things, and I didn't have anything new for my veggie friend. But I did have some already grilled portabellas, some brand new dried mushrooms from the Oyster Creek Mushroom Company (all from Maine except the morels. absolutely gorgeous dried mushrooms. much much fresher and more fragrant than most others I've worked with), and a block of firm tofu in the fridge. A cursory glance at a couple online recipes gave me the idea to firm it all up with breadcrumbs. There were a lot of suggestions for lentils, beans, shredded carrots, celery, and whatnot, but I wasn't interested. Simple, straight forward, and grill-capable. That's what I was going for.

Makes 5-6 patties, takes about 2 hours total but most of that is non-active marinating time.

1/2 cup chopped grilled portabellas (or, if you're starting without leftovers, start with 3/4 cup fresh)
1/4 cup assorted dried mushrooms (use what you like, if you don't have dried, use 1/2 fresh)
4 shallots
garlic (when I made this recipe, garlic scapes were in season so I used those, about 6, minced. This week I picked some fresh garlic, in which case, I'd use a whole head - to sum up: lots of garlic in whatever form you've got it)
4 tbl Worcestshire sauce, vegetarian variety (Annie's makes a great one)
4 tbl olive oil, another 4 tbl for grilling
1 1/2 to 2 cups bread crumbs

Soak the dried mushrooms for about 30 minutes, reserve the liquid. Drain the tofu and roughly cube, pressing out excess water. Marinate tofu in mushroom liquid and Worcestshire sauce. Meanwhile, rough chop the dried mushrooms and saute in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the portabellas, the shallots, and the garlic after the dried mushrooms have become golden and sauteed, and cook only a few minutes more. Take off the heat and allow to cool while the tofu finishes marinating. The tofu should marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferrably, an hour.

Drain the tofu, reserving 4 tbl of the liquid and throw tofu and reserved liquid into a food processor or heavy-duty blender. Add the mushroom garlic saute, and process until it's totally mushed. Add 1 1/2 cups of the bread crumbs and process some more. Feel the mixture. If it is really wet, add another half cup of bread crumbs. It should be fairly firm and solid, and not really mushy or sticky. Form into patties and grill at your leisure (I made mine 4 hours ahead and they were great.) Right before grilling, brush a little olive oil over each side.