Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chilled Three Pepper Soup with Yogurt, Lime, Cilantro, & Tortilla Strips for the 5 Star Makeover Chilled Soup Challenge

I cannot tell a lie: I was not thrilled when I found out the theme of this month's Five Star Makeover Challenge, hosted as ever by the lovely and talented Natasha of Five Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks!. Chilled soups. If you'll pardon the expresion, I have never really warmed to them.

Oh, they're fine for a few bites. But I always think that with just a few tweaks, even the best of them would be better as something else. Fruity chilled soup? That would make a lovely smoothie. Gazpacho? Great as a Bloody Mary base. Cold vegetable soup? Just right for a dip or sauce.

Monday, June 25, 2012

To Poland, Mexico, & Austria ... in Just Two Days: Getting International at the Summer Fancy Foods Show

As soon as you're granted press credentials for the Fancy Food Show, the offers start rolling in: Come visit booth X! Please make sure to sample [insert cracker company here] when you are at the show! Whatever you do, don't miss the [newest, hottest, trendiest] chocolate innovation! And then there are the invitations to the after show events: dinners, cocktail parties, tastings. It's a bit overwhelming.

I am not complaining, mind you, but there is a strategy to the whole thing. You don't want to say "yes" too soon, because what if something better comes along and you're already committed to something else? I know - such problems to have. Fortunately, my decision this year was pretty easy: I was invited to events pertinent to three countries I have recently visited, and loved: Poland, Mexico, and Austria. Done, done, and done.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rare Tea Republic Tea Tasting at the Summer Fancy Food Show

I know the usual protocol after not posting on one's blog for a couple of weeks is to apologize profusely, make obsequious pronouncements as to one's unworthiness, and swear to never, ever stay away so long again. Well, the truth is: 1.) I am not so egotistical as to suppose that you have been pining away for me, 2.) I can't promise never to do it again, and 3.) I am not sorry.

Don't take that the wrong way - I have simply been having too much fun to feel regret. Case in point: The Summer Fancy Foods Show in DC. Unlike the previous year, when I went solo, this year Poppa Trix got press credentials and came along as my photographer (so all of the photos you see are his). As for me, I was in journalist mode - taking notes and eating lots of goodies. For research, you understand

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sriracha Crab Ravigote over Fried Green Tomatoes

In classical French cuisine, a sauce ravigote is a slightly acidic sauce served hot or cold, generally with delicate meats or fish. Not surprisingly, it's a rather different animal in traditional New Orleans cuisine, though it does retain the spirit of the original. Usually served cold with crab meat, typical ingredients of the NOLA version include lemon juice, capers, shallots, mayonnaise, and hot sauce.

The word ravigote comes from the French ravigoter, meaning to invigorate, and the sriracha, cayenne pepper, and paprika in my version of crab ravigote will certainly wake up the old tastebuds. The spicy sauce and sweet crab are just the thing to pair with the tart acidity of a crunchy fried green tomato - especially with a bit of Creole seasoning in the batter.