Some quick links and notes

Me in August Food and Wine magazineI'm in the August Food & Wine magazine in an article about adventurous and picky eaters. I was one of the adventurous ones, and the pull quote they printed with my picture says, "I'll try anything once, even blubber!" Everyone was asking what would be the grossest thing I'd consider eating, and it seemed like blubber at the time. In retrospect I'm not so sure I want to try it. The article doesn't seem to be online yet, but I imagine it will appear shortly.

The recipe for the ratatouille that Remy prepares for Ego in the film of the same name is online at the New York Times. I saw it before, but can't seem to find it now. Also it seems like the byaldi in the recipe for "Roasted Guinea Fowl en Crèpinette de Byaldi with Pan Jus" from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook is similar (the same?) as the one in the Times.

I probably won't post a lot of baby pictures here, so if you're interested in keeping up with Ollie, check out the Ollie Kottke page on Flickr. That will give you all the photos you could ever want.

Ok, back to baby feeding, watching, and loving.

Welcome Ollie Kottke

Ollie Kottke

Introducing Ollie Peter Kottke! Our son was born on July 3rd, all 7 lbs, 2 oz. and 20 inches of him. As you can see from the photo, we've both been resting a lot ever since. Things will be slow around here for a while as I settle in with my newest favorite fella. I can't tell you how cute he is, especially when he starts to cry and his bottom lip quivers and he makes this "whuh whuh whuh" sound. All of the sudden, nothing in the whole world seems as exciting as watching Ollie as he sleeps. Restaurants? Farmers markets? Food? Blogs? The web? The entire outside world? Nope, not as wonderful as our new little boy.

Behind the scenes at Tokyo's…

Behind the scenes at Tokyo's Tsukiji, the world's biggest seafood market. Interesting long article from Vanity Fair about the action at the market, especially when it comes to the highly-valuable bluefin tuna. The bluefin is migratory, and during the summer the best come from off the shores of northeastern United States. When I lived on Cape Cod, I remember fisherman hoping to catch bluefin during the season because a single fish could net $50,000. And that was nearly fifteen years ago.

So, did you see…

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So, did you see Ratatouille over the weekend? What did you think? I went again on Saturday and enjoyed it just as much the second time around, especially because I noticed many more details this time, like the cuts and burns on all the cooks’ arms and the skull stylings of Ego’s typewriter. It sure made me want to go to Paris too! And if the movie wasn’t enough for you, YouTube’s got some great stuff to check out, including this really cool interview with Pixar folks about Cooking up CG Food, explaining how they made all the food in the movie look so realistic and yummy. Here’s the YouTube Ratatouille page with all the videos.

Origin labeling on meat

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Lobbyists and members of Congress have managed to hold off the enforcement of a five-year-old law that required country-of-origin labeling on meat and produce as well as fish. Of course stores could do this voluntarily. I regularly see New Zealand lamb at my local Whole Foods. But "critics say meatpackers simply do not want consumers to know that an increasing amount of hamburger meat and produce is being imported." Hamburger meat!? Yikes. Ground beef is especially susceptible to contamination1, even from the local market, so it's important to purchase it from a reliable source. It seems critical to know if that source is another country, given recent Mad Cow scares, Chinese food contamination issues, humane treatment concerns, and locavorian intentions. Consumers deserve the right to make an informed decision.

1 With a steak, bacterial contamination remains on the outside of the meat, so cooking kills it off even if the interior of the steak is still medium rare. With ground beef, the bacteria get all churned up inside, hence the recommendation to cook ground beef to well done. When you purchase ground beef (rather than grind it at home), it's likely to be made up of meat from many different cows, increasing the likelihood that one was contaminated. If one's contaminated, the whole batch of ground beef is now contaminated.

Without the bitterness produced by…

Without the bitterness produced by hot water, cold-brewed coffee had hints of chocolate, even caramel. Which makes for a delicious iced coffee. Better yet, "cold-brewed coffee is actually dirt simple to make at home." A recipe is included with the article. Sounds like something worth trying.

For two weeks in August,…

For two weeks in August, Matt Reynolds will live in a tent, hit several towns a day, and eat nothing but wings. He will film a documentary as he travels across New York State to find the perfect Buffalo wing, and fittingly will end his trip in that city on the shores of Lake Erie. Whose wing will reign supreme?

Ed's Lobster Bar is much…

Ed's Lobster Bar is much more than a knock-off. It's an exact duplicate of Pearl. Thirty-one of the 34 dishes on his menu are simply lifted from Pearl. Serious Eats has more on the oyster bar lawsuit, including many details that don't appear in the New York Times article. Sounds like it's more of an outright copy than that article lead me to believe. Still, I fear a dangerous precedent if she succeeds with this suit.