The Melting Pot Obscurities Lunch Program
The Melting Pot Obscurities Lunch Program showcases obscure meals from around the US that have roots in times when immigrants from opposite parts of the globe assimilated in regions across the country due to varying circumstances. The result of this blending of cultures produced many meals that may seem familiar at the base but have morphed into an entirely different creature. These dishes will be recreated and given a new little twist, be it a more modern cooking technique or a few new flavors tossed into the pot. The flavors of these dishes are as interesting as the the stories behind them. The Program will pop up across the city showcasing a new dish and a new story creatively and conveniently packed up for you to enjoy. Here is a recap of Volume 1 via Underground Eats.
Ya Ka Mein aka Cold Sober
Ms Linda serving up some Ya Ka Mein My Version
I first heard about this lady in New Orleans selling this weird hybrid soup out of the back of a pick-up truck a while ago. Well, the lady is Ms Linda from Ms Linda's Catering and the soup is called Ya Ka Mein or Cold Sober to others. I remember seeing people drive up to grab a styrofoam cup filled with it, add some hot sauce then head on their way but didn't really know what was going on in that cup til I did some research. Ya Ka Mein consists of either meat or pork in a spicy broth with spaghetti noodles topped with a hard boiled egg and chopped green onion that is known to be a hangover cure hence the name Cold Sober. My next thought is why the hell is this lady selling a soup that structure wise is quite Asian. I can go into a long story about the origin of the dish but
Books - A New Turn In The South
I like myself a good cookbook, they are great inspiration but I never follow the recipes in them. For a change I decided to pick one of my newer books and follow a recipe word for word. The South is quite big in the food world right now - Sean Brock's amazing cooking at Husk in Charleston, Paula Deen making a bunch of money showing people how to make jokingly horrible food, getting Diabetes from that food, then making money selling people pharmaceuticals, etc... Hugh Acheson, a Canadian that moved to the South to study and cook has come up with a book filled with creative new takes on Southern classics. You still have dishes like Fried Green Tomatoes,
Real NYC Pizza - Sacco Nyc
This place isnt Grimaldi's, Lombardis or Patsy's or any fancy brick oven its a whole in the wall pizza joint in my old Neighborhood of Hells Kitchen. This a real NYC classic utility slice and my favorite. Crunchy crust that has chew, solid sauce and quality salty cheese. There is an open window in front to grab a slice or an Italian Ice on the run, a picture of the Pope and ratty newspaper clippings on the walls and a Mets game on the Radio (all the decor you need)
819 Ninth Avenue, New York NY 10019; map); 212-582-7765
Bugged Out Dishes - The Fat Duck, England
Heston Blumenthal is a culinary genius. He puts out dishes at his highly acclaimed restaurant The Fat Duck that are innovative and amazing but this dish here is on another level. "Sound of The Sea" brings using your senses while eating to another place. Your plate is a vessel of beach sand topped with a plate of glass. Your meal is faux sand with oil flavored tapioca maltodextrin and crunchy fried baby eels/ cockles, abalone and various seaweeds served with a seasoned foam paired with Sake. Also served with your dish is a sea shell with headphones in it that play the sounds of a beach. Ok, I haven't had this dish and don't even know if it tastes good but all your senses are used during eating, not just taste and smell (why do you think rice krispies are popular). This dish pretty much uses all of them to brings you to the beach while you are sitting in a fine dining establishment. This may be labeled molecular nerd food but you have to admire the artistry.
Got 5 On it - Tom Pizzica aka "Big Chef"
In this section I give guest contributors involved in food, music, art, etc... 5 questions to give their Top 5's in food. Our next guest is my friend Tommy Pizzica. You may know him from The Next Food Network Star or his show Outrageous Food. Before all the glitz and glamor I knew him as Tom, the guy that could always crack a good joke, throw a proper Thanksgiving Party when it wasn't even close to Thanksgiving and get on me about his beloved Phillies. Read more after the Jump on what Tom got 5 on.
Got 5 On It - Jaysonic
In this section I give guest contributors involved in food, music, art, etc... 5 questions to give their Top 5's in food. Todays guest is my man Jaysonic. A food connoisseur that has traveled the world performing with his group Time Machine. When we first met in DC years ago at a dorm we weren't eating at fine establishments or cooking proper food due to the living situations but have aged in the food game like a fine wine. Jay has worked in a kitchen in the past and I would trust him to put on a solid dinner party any day. So, for our first Got 5 On It I bring you Jaysonic aka Chefboyohboy. Lists are after the jump, enjoy.
Lets Talk Bagels - Absolute Bagels, UWS
Bagel With Lox and The Works Picture via scanwiches
Even though I'm not a breakfast person I love me a good bagel. I grew up with them, but have been disappointed in the quality of what I've been getting recently and never liked H&H that much. Most are too doughy, no crunch, scant toppings but Absolute Bagels on The Upper West Side is the best Bagel in NYC. Surprisingly run and made in-house buy a Thai family these have the perfect combo of crunch and chew. Grab an everything bagel with lox/cream cheese and the works and enjoy the beauty.
Absolute Bagels - 2788 Broadway btwn 107th & 108th
5 Semi-Uncommon Condiments That You Should Have
Ok, I have no qualms with my beloved Heinz Ketchup, some Tobasco or some Lea and Perrins but there are other condiments out there that aren't appreciated. They may be a little harder to find but still easily available if you look for them. All these choices are cheap and a must have in my fridge. Read more for the breakdown with a special guest contributor and feel free to add any to the list.
MISSING - Head On Shrimp
Its the summertime and to me that means seafood (not saying I'm not eating my share of meat) Shrimp cooked in any fashion is a beautiful thing but where are all the heads going? Obviously at some point the shrimp you are eating had one. Head on shrimp keeps the shrimp more moist and flavorful when cooking and is a good indicator of freshness. You don't have to eat the whole head, just twist it of and suck out the juices. Sure, it definitely isn't necessary for a shrimp cocktail but it makes other dishes a lot better. You can find them if
you look for them hard enough.
Links, Thoughts, Videos, Reviews, Recipes and things I think are relevant
The Melting Pot Obscurities
Ideas In Food
The Food Experiments
Eco Friendly Foods
Chefs Knifes To Go
The Wok Shop