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It’s Game Day Somewhere
It’s football season and while many tailgaters are stocking up on chicken wings, hot dogs, and beer, other cultures are enjoying a smorgasbord of handheld favorites as they cheer their favorite players to victory.
In Spain, Poland, and Ukraine, they prefer to munch on sunflower seeds instead of peanuts. South Korea’s baseball concession stands offer double fried chicken & hamburgers much like our American football favorites, but for those who want to dip their toes in something a little more adventurous, you can also enjoy dried seafood & pig’s feet. Sweden’s sports fans love hot dogs for their “fotboll” games, but they don’t just settle for mustard. Their favorite way to indulge consists of a buttered flatbread with a sausage, mashed potatoes, shrimp salad, fried and raw onions, and to top it off, mayonnaise. Talk about loaded!
In Mexico, their game day grub is chapulines (pictured): fried grasshoppers seasoned with garlic and lime. It may sound crazy to us, but the Seattle Mariners decided to give chapulines a shot and sold over 18,000 grasshoppers by the end of the first home series of their season! To keep warm during matches in England, fans drink Bovril, a meat extract that when mixed with hot water creates a warm, savory drink that’s perfect to wash down the steak pies they relish during games.
In America, we’re used to the beer man coming around offering cold drinks from a cooler, but in Japan, men and women carry around backpacks of beer and are ready to pour without the spectator’s having to take their eyes off of the game! If they do decide to tear their eyes away for some handheld fare, takoyaki, deep-fried snacks made from chopped octopus, onions & pickled ginger, is a fan favorite. Across the globe at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a crowd favorite was feijão tropeiro, pinto beans simmered with bacon, garlic, onion, collard greens, and eggs.
Patient Marylanders are rewarded every August and September with truck stand sweet local corn and backyard tomatoes. Corn shows up everywhere in our late summer menus: alongside steamed crabs on the grill, in sweet puddings, and in spicy Maryland crab soup. But corn’s deliciousness does not stop there.
The corn husk’s potential lies in more than just compost material. Try using the husk instead of parchment for steaming any combination of fish, vegetable and garden herbs—the earthy aroma alone should be enough to entice you. Or try throwing the corn in the husk directly onto the grill. For the best results, carefully pull down the husk, remove the silk, and pull the husks back up. If time permits, put them in a bowl of water first; this will aid the steaming process. It can be messy eating straight out of the husk, so this type of enjoyable feasting is best saved for family-style meals on the porch.
Many countries like China and Korea use the silk to create a healing tea with an earthy, slightly sweet flavor. The corncob itself continues to offer culinary uses after it is stripped of its kernels. Corncob stock is easy to make and adds flavor to any corn-based dish like chowder or cornbread. Creamless “creamed corn” is show-stopping deliciousness when slowly cooked using the kernels and the milk scraped from the cob with a knife, or the corn creamer: an old-fashioned tool for expertly milking the sweet pulp off the cob. For the modern palate, the milk and the pulp create a unique and wonderful ice cream flavor. A regional recipe is corncob jelly made from cooking the cobs with water, pectin, and sugar. In a non-waste environment, the spent cobs can be dried until they harden and can be good pot scrubbers.
The capabilities of corn lie far beyond its life after shucking. So the next time you think about throwing those green leaves out, or get annoyed by the tendrils of silk stuck under your fingernails, remember all of those parts are a gift waiting to be unwrapped.
Harriet’s Reading Picks: Shichimi Food Magazine #1: The Framing IssueShichimi is a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven spices, a typical mixture being red chili peppers, golden sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, Japanese peppers (sansho), dried yuzu peel, poppy seeds and shiso. Blended together, the distinct flavors become the perfect finishing touch for many dishes providing a dash of heat. The mixture can be tweaked and tailored to fit a family’s preferred taste. Kaoru Mitsui, an ex-caterer, chef, and food stylist, is the founder of Shichimi Food Magazine #1: The Framing Issue. Created from a passion project, the first edition is a genre bending and blending of ingredients one has never seen before.
Mitsui collaborated with seven Japanese photographers to challenge the reader “to examine our perspectives on ingredients, recipes and eating”. Calling this work a magazine is an understatement, but Mitsui wanted her work to be an ongoing platform with each edition connecting ideas, art forms, and people. She envisioned future editions with artists from other countries and wants to explore other styles and artistic mediums. Shichimi the magazine is experiential. Food, fashion, and art intersect in an unbound binder of pages filled with photography, lyrics, textures, recipes, and an invitation to consider ingredients from new perspectives.
Shichimi includes many layers with which the reader can decide how to interpret and interact. Mitsui suggests framing the pages for living room walls, bringing a page into the kitchen for cooking inspiration, or even folding an origami cup from one of the inserts. One of the pages is sewing themed and includes hand embroidery that a reader can feel for themselves. A plate of food is accompanied by scattered playing cards, hinting at the possibility of shuffling the order of the magazine to a reader’s liking.
Shichimi, the inaugural edition, with writing in English and Japanese is limited to 500 printed copies, and we welcome its thought-provoking and interactive presence. Lamb Pilaf with Artichokes
For casual entertaining or a family meal.Ingredients:
1 lb lamb shoulder, diced into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water (for lamb)
~6 medium-sized artichokes, cleaned & cut in bite size
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cup long grain rice, rinsed
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp butter
Zest of half lemon
MethodSear the lamb cubes in a medium-sized pot with olive oil at medium heat until there is no liquid left. Add the 1 cup of warm water. Cook at medium-low heat until the lamb pieces are tender, and all the water evaporates.
Place the artichokes, green onions, rice, butter, salt and pepper in layers over the lamb. Slowly pour in the warm water.
Cover and turn the heat down to low and cook until the rice absorbs all the water. Remove the cooking pot from the heat when there is no water left. Let the Pilaf stand for about 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with fork.
Garnish with lemon zest and chopped dill and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Click here to print the recipe.Place Your Order
The high holidays are approaching – it’s time to place your order! Fall menus are also available with seasonal & fresh flavors for all of your gatherings.
Place your order online or contact a Classic To Go representative: 410.356.1666.
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September 1, 2022
September 2022 Newsletter: Greetings Fans!