Code Delicious Episode 1 available here

29 05 2010

If  you don’t want to link about, view the video here-it’s free!

In this episode:

  • Learn why a sharp high quality Chef’s knife is your best friend in
    the kitchen
  • Understand how to hold the knife and cut safely
  • Learn the difference between brunoise and batonnet
  • Learn how to cut an onion and chiffonade basil
  • Cook along with Doc and have FUN
Vodpod videos no longer available.
 
 

 





Code Delicious!

28 05 2010

Code Delicious is here! The educational video series starts today. You can go to tampbay.com and click the rollover on the right to get the video, or even better just click on:

What’s Cooking with Doc: Code Delicious Episode 1

We will announce the new episodes, which air every 2 weeks. Revive your taste buds today!

-Doc





Get Skoold

27 05 2010

Get ready for some exciting news. Doc is going to take you to school. Over the next 12 weeks we will be introducing and highlighting our Grassroots Gourmet concept. It’s the same important message and philosophy you’ve found on this site but in a whole new way. We’re going to offer a series of short, instructional videos. The first six will teach some basic culinary methods to become familiar in the kitchen. The second six focuses in on the how and why of product and preparation choices.

Join me on tampabay.com for the What's Cooking with Doc: Code Delicious series

Oh, and it is completely free-not like a lot of total kuk being offered by self proclaimed experts.

Many of you will already be familair with some of the video content. I hope you will enjoy it as a pleasant refresher and encourage those of your friends and family who suffer from kitchen nightmares to watch, learn and most inportantly have fun in the kitchen. Food, ultimately, should be about joy-not angst.

I’ll be posting the  link here so check back and encourage your friends to join us for a Code Delicious-A program to revive DND (Damn Near Dead) taste buds!





Simple and Fresh

26 05 2010

 

In our zest for “the next great thing” we sometimes overlook the obvious. Here’s a a very simple dish, but it is made great by the quality of the ingredients and the precision of preparation. Grass fed organic free range rib eye grilled medium rare, fresh green beans parboiled then sauteed lightly with a  little truffle butter and a red wine blue cheese mushroom sauce. Simple, straightforward and delicious; do we need a lot more?

And speaking of all we really need, please check us out on Foodierama. It is an awesome site, and as they say:

“Foodierama brings you the best of the cooking web-sphere at a glance. We aim at being the perfect homepage for food and cooking enthusiasts worldwide. We routinely scan the highest quality sources on food, cooking and culinary lifestyle on the web and bring you the latest articles and updates in one graphic front page. Think of us as a virtual portal enabling you to discover new ideas, recipes and sources everytime you go online.

In addition, Foodierama includes an intuitive logo-based directory of the best food sites on the web. Clicking on a logo brings you to the target site, and the next time you visit Foodierama your recently visited sites logos will appear on top. Registered users can also add their own personal links to the top of the directory. Last but not least, Foodierama includes a specialized food search engine based on Google search. Using the search box at the top of the page users can perform either a regular Google search or a food related search that will only show results from the best food sources on the web.”

Just click on the badge to the right and take a spin!





Grilled Lamb Zataar and Roasted Red Beet Risotto

25 05 2010

Zataar is a Middle Eastern spice blend. There is a fantastic explanation and series of recipes on it over at A Taste of Beirut. I was fortunate to get a sample of the real deal from my friend Joumana. A great way to experience a spice profile is to stick with dishes that are simply prepared, dishes in which the spices themselves are forefront and center. I chose to coat a fresh rack of lamb in the Zataar and grill it. Perfection is sometimes knowing when not to do too much. The Zataar adds a subtle exotic herb and sesame note that works perfectly with the grilled meat. We served this meal with the classic risotto preparation, but added two roasted red beets at the end. The beets added a subtle earthiness and an additional textural component that married well with the lamb, not to mention a visually stunning addition to the plate. Serve this with an acidic white (like champagne or chardonnay) or a red with some backbone to cut through the richness of the dish’s components. This is a thirty minute meal worthy of being on any restaurant menu.





Why I am a Francophile

24 05 2010

Why am I a Francophile? I often wondered that. I am not French. I have been to France and been ridiculed and ignored when my French fell too harshly on the ears of Parisiennes. Perhaps it is their dedication as a society and culture to food and wine that strikes a common chord. Ah wine, yes, where would the world’s current standard of wine be but for the French? Then I read the latest wine and health study; it was from France and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The punch line, or should I say wine-stain: People who drink alcohol in low or moderate amounts are healthier than those who abstain.

The study looked at 149,733 people divided into those

  • that never drank (abstainers)
  • low consumers (< 10gms)
  • moderate consumers (10-30gms)
  • heavy consumers (> 30gms).

Ten grams is roughly one drink. Those in the low and moderate category fared better, with respect to overall health, than either the heavy drinkers or abstainers. Subjectively, they fared better with respect to physical activity and respiratory function. Objectively, both men and women with increased alcohol intake had higher HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels. Moderate male drinkers also had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower resting heart rate, less stress and depression and an overall more favorable (lower) BMI (body mass index), the last being a measure of obesity. Moderate female drinkers had lower blood pressure and smaller waist-hip circumference measurements compared to abstainers.

For those in the study over 30, the most common form of alcohol consumed was wine. Interestingly, those French who drank were also more likely to smoke than their abstinent counterparts, yet the health benefits persisted. The conclusion of the study was that compared with abstainers, moderate consumers enjoy “a superior overall health status and a lower risk of (cardiovascular disease).”

Yes, findings like this are why I am a Francophile.

The French paradox redux, Vive le paradox!





The Law of Unintended Consequences

21 05 2010
From Doc’s Rx Pad: I know this is a long post, but I believe it is an important one. It speaks to the core philosophy of Doc’s Grassroots Gourmet Program. It highlights that the “conventional wisdom” while often conforming is not always wise. Please read and pass it along, I am going to leave this one up all weekend so everyone has a chance to read it.
Thanks,
-Doc

Along with Murphy’s Law, I believe the other universal truism is The Law of Unintended Consequences. The universe is always in a cause and effect mode. The glass falls off the table and breaks. Cause then effect, the glass never jumps from the floor and reassembles itself on the table. The universe never operates in an effect then cause fashion. As many of you know, I promote Doc’s Grassroots Gourmet style of food preparation and cooking. This means, among other things, using fresh ingredients and minimizing the processed additives where possible.

Why?

The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Whenever you alter something, no matter how slight, it has some consequence. Some consequences do not translate into any meaningful effects, homeostasis is maintained. Some cause major perturbations. But make no mistake, there is some effect. With our keen science we do our best to foresee what those effects will be and appropriately address them. That is where the law of unintended consequences comes in; there are things which occur to a system that neither anyone can foresee nor did anyone ever intended to happen.

For awhile now I have been promoting eating healthy not by necessarily skimping on the steak, but by choosing a different steak (and a reasonable portion). Beef from free range grass fed cattle is low in saturated fats and rich in omega -3 fatty acids and other goodies (see previous posts for the references). Well, here’s the data coming in to support our working hypothesis about choosing these products and including them in a tasty, enjoyable and healthy diet.

A recent meta-analysis from the Harvard School of Public Health published in Circulation this month suggests that the cardiovascular risk associated with red meats comes primarily from the highly processed and chemically treated varieties such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed lunch and deli meats. The non-processed meats examined were beef, lamb and pork (not poultry).

While both contain fat, cholesterol and saturated fat, the processed choices are much higher in salt, preservatives and additives. The analysis combined data from 20 different studies involving more than 1.2 million people worldwide.  The findings revealed that daily consumption of about two ounces of processed meat was associated with a 42% increased risk of heart disease and a 19% increased risk of diabetes. Conversely, a four-ounce daily serving of red meat from beef, hamburger, pork, lamb or game did not increase the risk of heart disease, nor did it significantly increase the risk of diabetes. The rates of smoking, exercise and other risk factors were similar between the two groups.

The study concluded people, especially those already at risk of heart problems or with high blood pressure, should consider reducing consumption of bacon, processed ham, hot dogs and other packaged meats that have a high salt and nitrate content. The heavily processed choices had four times the amount of sodium and 50% more nitrates than their unprocessed counterparts. I would add to that the processed versions also contain high levels of additional compounds and preservatives. This combination is what may have led to an unintended consequence in the effort to keep food preserved. The levels of saturated fat and cholesterol are roughly equivalent between the highly processed and unprocessed meats.

“ (There are) factors that have made all red meats potential culprits in raising the risk of cardiovascular disease….But when you try to separate processed from unprocessed meats, you get an entirely different picture.” said Renata Micha, a research fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health’s epidemiology department and a lead author of the study. Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietician at the British Heart Foundation echoes our Grassroots Gourmet viewpoint: “If you like red meat, this can still be included as part of a balanced heart-healthy diet… aim to cook from scratch.”

A previous meta-analysis released in March involving 21 different studies found that intake of saturated fat wasn’t linked to a statistically-significant increased risk of heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease.

These studies do not establish a cause and effect relationship; it is correlative. They do, however, validate the universal truism held within The Law of Unintended Consequences. In our Grassroots Gourmet philosophy, we choose the path of least perturbation.

When you gets your meatses, I suggest you do the same.