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Judith klinger

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  • Favorite foods: anything with butter and sage, bottarga, watermelon, potato chips, is Proseco a food?

Meet the Bronx Italian Importer Conquering New York's Restaurant Scene

Ciao! Beatrice has built an incredible business based on her passion, her generosity, and just plain grit. She is uncompromising in her selection of producers. Can you tell I love her & Gustiamo??

Rant: Enough With The Truffle Oil Already

The rant is fine. Truffle oil is fake.
But, the real problem is ... truffles don't travel. Period. Don't argue with me. The moment they come out of the ground, you lose flavor. The longer they're out of the ground, the more tasteless.
Packing them in rice means you have truffle scented rice, it doesn't mean you've preserved the flavor of the actual truffle.
It's mystifies me why anyone would buy a European truffle in the US, unless you were guaranteed it came out of the ground a moment before the flight.
I find the black summer truffles to be rather tasteless and not really worth the money. The white winter truffles ARE worth it. We buy them, we eat them that night. (I live in Umbria part time) The only way I bother bringing back truffles is in truffle butter. Thinly sliced, packed in butter, the flavor permeates the butter and you have something worth eating.
Rant over.

Grilling: Smashed Potatoes

Our summer go-to is smashed potatoes tossed in a fresh basil-garlic-balsamic-olive oil dressing. Make more than you think you need.

Your one culinary wish.

A magical stove/oven that is always spotlessly clean.

Survey: What Pizza Topping Is a Dealbreaker for You?

Looks like pineapple is the winner. Just the thought of it makes me shudder.
I never considered ranch dressing on a pizza, it will now haunt my dreams.

Some things you may not have considered but they show up in Italy:
French fries
a barely poached egg, usually cracked on top when it comes out of the oven
canned corn, never peas, only corn
clams, the little baby ones still in their shells
And you thought the Italians were purists!

Crock Pot Reconstitution

I usually soak my mushrooms in a combination of cold water and a little sweet wine for about 15 minutes, then cook them in whatever I'm making. I've never had a problem with tough & chewy. Wonder if the mushrooms weren't dried properly or if they were old.
Good luck on the next experiment.

Leafy Greens Question

Herbs work nicely. Fried sage leaves or basil or frizzled parsley.

The Food Lab: A Better Way to Caramelize Onions (Plus, French Onion Dip!)

Two words: maple syrup.

Food Terms that should be banned from the media

Ross, good question, what would you use instead of foodie?
Guess we first have to define foodie.
This quote is from an Eatocracy post: They are if you believe Jason Sheehan of Seattle Weekly who refers to foodies as “coup-counting, lock-jawed, cake-eating, nose-in-the-air dimwits who, with sticks planted firmly in their flabby asses will make their weekly cruise out to the hottest addresses in town, get weak little culinary boners over year-dead trends, focused-grouped Frog-humping menus and anyone doing New American comfort food or French-Asian fusion in million-dollar spaces.”

Lower-Alcohol Cocktails Catch On

Roquefort: Differences between producers?

Guess it depends on who you talk to. I was at a Gorgonzola workshop at Salone del Gusto and the general opinion was that the Roquefort Societe had sold out and was making commercial cheese, not up to its previous standards.

Has the internet changed the way you cook and eat?

Does it bother anyone that there is too much information, too many recipes? For example, if I search 'shortbread cookies', I'll get hundreds of recipes. How do I know which ones are really good & work? Ratings can only take you so far, because you don't know the factors that went into the ratings. I still think a known, trusted source for recipes is very valuable.

White truffles: what would you make?

Here's how it went:
1st truffle: filet mignon grilled over a wood fire, served with a barely poached egg yoke & truffles

2nd truffle: truffle risotto, but I had a very mild cacio cavallo cheese that I think worked better than a parmigiana as it was milder sweeter. There wasn't a single morsel left

3rd and last: Giant shrimp with the top half of the tail shell cut off so it's exposed and the underside is a scoop, broiled on a bed of salt, finished with truffles and our first taste of our freshly pressed olive oil.

It's not a bad thing to live in Italy. I'm not taking any first borns..I have my own and he's enough. I love the idea of the quail in the coffin..that was my favorite dish in Babette's feast. I've made roast quail on truffled white beans, so it's a little riff on that theme. Steamed asparagus would be nice, but out of season, boo hoo. The Coquille idea is good... flavors should be very complimentary. Sadly, the truffle box is now empty.

In Season: Fennel

Starting from the top:
Fennel flowers or pollen: outstanding on roasted meats, makes a fine crust on a roast bird, perfect on top of melted cheese
Fennel Stalks: thrown into a pot of braising meat, combined with bay and used to cook shrimp, used to stir the red sauce as it simmers, added to the fire when grilling meats, makes a good tea

Fennel bulbs: good roasted, good raw

It's a perfect plant. Perfect in every way.

Eataly: An Eight-Figure Bet on Authenticity

Ciao.
Greatfallsdeb: Check out gustiamo.com. Great selection, fair prices, very nice ladies.
Question: Does authentic mean imported? It's an imported food emporium, where does authentic come from?

Cook the Book: Fried Stuffed Olives

Ciao. In Italy, they're called "olive ascolane" and they're stuffed with a savory meat mixture. The tasty morsels are named after the town of Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region, and the best part is you can buy bags of them on the street, get them at any bar, and just in case...there are olive trucks on the roadside in case you need a quick fix.

Mole in NYC?

NYC is not a mole city. Sad but true. Have a bagel, be happy.

Jamie Oliver Wins 2010 TED Prize

Google up the speech. He rocked it. He's an activist, he's trying to make a difference.
Can you cook? Teach someone. Back away from the computer and show someone how to chop vegetables to they don't have buy pre-packaged stuff..and so they don't chop off a finger. Do something.
Video is on my blog if you get lost.

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 108: Eat Less, Weigh Less, Knee Hurts Less

As someone with serious knee issues, long years of skiing have left their mark, I've even had the cocks comb injections, the ONLY thing that helps is exercise, exercise, strength, exercise. Sorry.
The good news is that you do lose weight. Good luck with the knees!
(P.S. At least you don't have to wear high heels from time to time, so count your blessings.)

Pot Racks........

What about pot lids?? I've never seen an efficient pot lid holder. Drives me crazy.

why does organic milk have a longer shelf life than non-organic?

I've read historical accounts that during the Depression era, unscrupulous dairies would extend the milk by adding....kerosene. There are descriptions of blue tinged milk. I know...I know.. I also find it hard to believe.

Spatula v. Turner

Lorenzo, you might be right. Seems as if spreaders are the same as spatulas and turners come with and without holes or slots.

Creamy Creamless Carrot Soup?

A very powerful blender, like a Vita mix will make anything smooth and creamy, even your Cheerios.

Cast iron loaf pan with lid?

The way around this is to knead the bread! Learn to love the knead. It's the fun part of baking bread.

herb oils

Dried herbs should macerate in the oil for a good week or so, fresh herbs only for 1-2 days.
If you leave fresh herbs in for a longer period, they ferment and rot, so unless you are into exploding lemon oil...get that lemon peel out of there after 24 hours.

What do I do with grits?

I'm a NYC girl and I've been gifted with some 'stellar grits'.
The gifter told me to use them like polenta, but I keep thinking grits are for breakfast.
What do I make with these precious grits?

Food Terms that should be banned from the media

Foodie
Nom Nom (actually became a Miriam Webster entry this year)
Veggie (come on...we can all say the word vegetable)
Protein (either it's a piece of fish or it's a piece of meat..or cheese)
App (for your computer or starter?)
Break Down (as in breaking down a chicken or a bunch of kale...seriously just read a blog post where the broke down his kale)

Legal Seafood & Culinary Guild serve 'blacklisted' fish dinner

Since sustainable is the mantra of the moment, what is everyone's take on Legal Seafood & the Culinary Guild of New England serving a 'blacklisted' fish dinner to promote consumer awareness? The menu, which sound yummy, features fish that are on the uh-oh list. Legal says they're fine to eat, but are they promoting that we ignore the warnings about pollution, over fishing?
It's complex. I just wonder what others think.
More here: Jacqueline Church
Deep Sea News

White truffles: what would you make?

It's a bumper year for truffles in my part of Italy. So what should I do with my little tubers tonight? I actually have a little bit of truffle fatigue, so I'm running short of inspiration.
Been there, done that:
on pasta
on double roasted potatoes
on grilled prawns
on beef tartare (one of my all time favorites)
on grilled steak
on eggs (barely poached egg, set in a puddle of pureed potatoes, covered in truffles. better than very good sex)

What do I need to explore?

Top 5 Kitchen Tools, What are yours?

If you were going to a desert island, what tools would you take? The island is supplied with good pots and pans, you just need tools.
A big sharp knife
Wooden spoon
Kitchen Aid stick blender w/a whisk attachment
IR Thermometer because you just never know about oven temps on a desert island
A spatula

Makes me think about how much I could pare down my equipment if I really had to.

What would you make with 2 pounds of lobster meat?

Just got a phone call that I'm being gifted with 2 pounds of lobster meat. I know..don't you wish you were me??
What should I make? It's pre cooked, no shells, that cuts down on a lot of options, not enough time to make lobster ravioli...
Currently under consideration:
Lobster pasta sauce
Steamed lobster meat atop truffled whipped potatoes
Steamed lobster meat in a saffron broth
Lobster-cakes

None of those are rocking my boat....

Green Tomatoes! What do I do with them all?

Frost is in the air, so we chopped down the remains of the tomato plants. I now have about 15 kilos (!!!) of green tomatoes in my kitchen. I've already made more green tomato pickles than we can eat, a tomato mostardo is on the plans for tomorrow.
What else can I make??

What do you use maple syrup for?

I've been gifted with some top quality maple syrup. A good friend carried it all the way back from Vermont, to give it to me in Italy.
Now what? What do I do with it?
Particularly interested in savory applications instead of sweet.
Thanks!

Farmer's Market Prices, why so much cheaper in Italy?

Today at our local market in Umbria, I filled my basket for under ten dollars. I bought: tomatoes, red peppers, green friggere peppers, a string of Tropea onions, a cantaloupe, peaches, zucchini flowers, figs, and a pound of little crabs, oh and some broad beans.
Why are US farmer markets so much expensive? I do not believe US farmers are secretly hiding Jaguars in the barn or that Italian farmers like to give away their food. So, why such a difference?

Kraft Foods on organic bandwagon

Kraft Foods was a sponsor at the IACP conference, and they sent a button down spokesperson to the morning conference to let us know how they were on the organic bandwagon.
Call me a cynic, but I did some poking around to see what's up with Kraft Foods.
Here's a link to my blog.

Hope I'm doing this correctly!
Warm regards,
Judith