Posts for November 28, 2012

Yes, Pho-Flavored Jerky Is a Thing Now

Pho realPhoto: Michael Persico

Thanks to part-time writer and full-time jerky master, Marcos Espinoza (aka Fidel Gastro), and his recent alliance with Time's chef Sean Magee, pho-flavored jerky is now a thing. And surely the world is better place because of it. This marks the first of what will hopefully be many chef collaborations that Espinoza rolls out with his Side Project Jerky brand that he launched earlier this year. With Thai basil, star anise, and fish sauce, the limited edition jerky mimics the flavors found in the popular Vietnamese noodle soup. It’s currently available at Audrey Claire’s Cook, Green Aisle Grocery, Trove General Store, and online at the Side Project Jerky site. And portions of proceeds from its sales will be donated to the Red Cross to help with ongoing efforts to provide relief for those effected by Hurricane Sandy.

World’s Weirdest Restaurants to Visit So-Not-Weird Tattooed Mom Tonight

Not weird at all.

Food Network Canada’s World’s Weirdest Restaurants touches down here today to shoot an episode at Tattooed Mom. In and of itself, that’s pretty righteous. Though it failed to make the cut on Foobooz’s just published Top 50 Philadelphia Bars 2012 list, the fact that the South Street institution is perhaps one of the last places in this town where folks from all walks of life gather to bend elbows in an atmosphere free of airs and pretenses, the attention is well deserved. But aside from the name, which isn’t really that weird when you start to consider just how many moms these days bear some sort of ink, the joint’s hardly unusual at all. From the network that presents Guy Fieri as some sort of fried food-loving every-dude, a bar full of gracefully-aging tattooed hipsters sipping PBR pounders and munching on vegan cheesesteaks is hardly weird. Cameras start rolling at 5 p.m.

Consumer Reports Says Our Pork Is Full of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

But is it all hogwash?

It was more than a year ago when the USDA relaxed its official pork-cooking guidelines, but hold up! There’s a new pork predicament on the horizon. A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports finds that the majority of pork products in this country are tainted with a rare bacteria strain known as Yersinia enterocolitica. Like garden variety food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli, the bug identified in the study causes fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea that can last one to three weeks if ingested. However, unlike those more common disease-causing agents, Yersinia enterocolitica is resistant to most antibiotics. And all signs seem to point toward the widespread factory-farm practice of loading porkers with antibiotics as the blame.

Read more »

Anthony Bourdain Is Now Foiling Secret Service Keg Parties

In case you missed the State Department's daily briefing on Monday, spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked about Anthony Bourdain's weekend tweet that suggested the Secret Service personnel who'd rented the phones previously forgot to delete text messages pertaining to their keg parties. Secret Service agents are only allowed to have keg parties under direct orders from the president. "Anything that you’re aware of on that front?" Nuland was asked. "No," the spokesperson said. "But we will have our Embassy follow up on that one for sure." Bourdain is traveling throughout Southeast Asia filming his new show, which presumably means it's safe for all government agent who aren't stationed there to proceed with their regularly scheduled illicit weekend plans. [State via Daily Caller, Earlier]

Marc Vetri Gets Fired Up About Holiday Shopping in the Italian Market

“Every stand at this outdoor market lights roaring fires right in the middle of the road in these old metal oil barrels. You’d think it would be a big fire hazard, but it’s awesome.” — Marc Vetri extols the virtues of holiday shopping in South Philly’s Italian Market. [F&W]

Heston Blumenthal May Be Opening in the U.S., Probably in New York

What's he working on now?Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Earlier today, Food and Travel editor Guy Woodward tweeted, "Rumour is that Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in one of Mandarin Oriental's US hotels - maybe next year. My money's on New York." The brainy English chef, who currently holds three Michelin stars and first garnered attention with his modernist food at the Fat Duck in Bray, already operates a restaurant called Dinner by Heston in London's Mandarin Oriental, which ranked No. 9 on this year's World's 50 Best list.

Is it happening? »

Flavor Ammo: New Ways to Use Old Bay

There's a lot going on in that little tin.Photo: Melissa Hom

When you think of Old Bay — the Maryland spice blend in the yellow and blue tin — you probably think of outdoor crab shacks on the Chesapeake Bay, or maybe a lobster bake on a beach. But there's nothing inherently summery or regional about the blend itself, other than how well it goes with a cold pitcher of Natty Boh. Chefs seem to have realized that. Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien has used it in a dish of Sichuan catfish; the Momofuku group famously seasons their fried chicken with it; plenty of places sell Old Bay–dusted fries and burgers with Old Bay–infused aïoli — the list goes on and the reason is obvious: Old Bay's transformative powers extend way beyond crabs.

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Watch This Kid Eat an Ear of Corn in Ten Seconds

We'd hate to think this is the start of a new trend of power-tool-assisted food stunts, because it's only a matter of time before some forlorn teen locks himself in a room with his Lumix, a bunch of bananas, and a band saw. We'll leave it to you to decide if this blé d'Inde à la Home Depot is a cry for help or actually a genius new invention. (That's a trick question, because it's obviously both.) And, as always, don't try this at home.

Cordless corn cobs. »

Khyber Rocks Smoked Duck Fat Popcorn and Old School T-Shirts Today For Its Second Anniversary

Still no crap on tap!Photo: Khyber Pass Pub

The Khyber’s getting way nostalgic today in celebrating its second anniversary as a destination for beer, barbecue and New Orleans-inspired grub. Owners Stephen Simons and Dave Frank are bringing in former bartender, and OG beer nerd Chris Morris (who now serves as "chief enabler" at Philadelphia Brewing Company) to spin some old school vinyl as a tribute to Khyber's punk and indie-rock roots. They’re also going to have a limited number of the pub’s “Get Your Ass to Khyber Pass” t-shirts that were first issued back in the eighties on hand. And in honor of it’s latest incarnation, chef Mark McKinney is benching his legendary Benton’s bacon grease popcorn, to make way for a special smoked duck fat version that will surely have heads spinning. Pork belly corndogs, vegan meat pies, and barbecue chicken will also be on offer, as well as a ton of amazing beers. The good times start rolling at 11 a.m.

Watch Jon Stewart’s Take on the Hostess Closure

On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart became the latest person to weigh in on the end of Twinkies. Needless to say, he doesn't seem too broken up about the demise of this "diabetes dispensary." Stewart wonders what he'll have to turn to for "stomach aches and self medication" — Arby's? Boxed wine? The options are grim.

The full clip, right this way. »

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