Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Next Food Network Star: Penn!

Penn Gastronomy Club (PGC), sister organization to Penn Appetit and Penn's newly founded foodie group, is dedicated to its creed of "connecting everyone to the power and joy of food." It turns out that Food Network has the same mission, as Susie Fogelson (Food Network's VP of Marketing and a judge on The Next Food Network Star) explained to an enraptured crowd last evening. PGC's event "A Taste of Philly's Finest", co-sponsored by Delta Sigma Pi, was a huge success and drew foodies from all across campus. A line of over 500 students stretched from JMHH G60 to the front entrance of Huntsman Hall, with every attendee eager for tasty bites and an inspiring talk.

Once students were settled in their seats in both JMHH G60 and JMHH 370 (where there was streaming live feed of the talk), Fogelson took center stage. Throughout her presentation, she spoke about the growth of Food Network and the direction of the food industry. She explored aspects of Food Network's "top-ten-rated power brand", which extends beyond the TV screen to books, housewares, a magazine, video games, and even travel. She also introduced Food Network's latest venture, the Cooking Channel. The spinoff channel focuses more on instructional shows rather than "reality style" contest programming and is an outlet where Food Network can introduce new show concepts and gauge their success.

Fogelson kept the talk informal and constantly engaged the audience. She brought up interesting factoids throughout her presentation; for instance, she spoke about a study that found people "would give up Facebook and sex before food media." At the end of her presentation, she participated in a Q&A session where those who asked questions won snazzy Food Network swag including t-shirts, Food Network magazines, and reusable totebags.

Of course, the true star of the event was the food. Morimoto, Biba, and Pizzeria Stella sponsored the event, wowing everyone's taste buds with unique and exciting flavors. From tuna pizza (a crisp tortilla topped with spicy tuna carpaccio and anchovy sauce) to artisanal cheese appetizers, fresh sushi to Arancini de Riso (fried risotto balls), the fare was certainly "a taste of Philly's finest."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adam Richman's Visit to Penn

It was with great excitement that University City welcomed Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, to the Penn Bookstore. YOUCIE (Young Friends of University City) hosted the event with catering by Baby Blues BBQ and Penne Restaurant. Although Richman was thirty minutes late due to getting lost in Philadelphia, the audience of more than 250 foodies of all ages was enthusiastic upon his arrival.

Richman was at Penn promoting his new book, America the Edible: A Hungry History, from Sea to Dining Sea. He began the presentation with various anecdotes, retracing his passion for food. During his childhood, his first time tasting Italian, Greek, and Indian dishes was when he was in his friends’ grandmothers’ houses. It was here he realized how food broke cultural barriers and united people: “They were immigrants not making much money, but their food brought them together.” Richman’s passion for food continued into his college years in Atlanta, where he maintained a diary about his experiences and reactions for foods from different restaurants. For him, food was “a point of direction”.

After excerpting a section about the history of the bagel from his new book, he went on to emphasize the importance of food. He stressed the power of food over the centuries: “war, religion, agriculture, weather patterns… it’s all packeted into these little morsels of food.” Richman encouraged people to look past what was simply on the plate and to see the history behind it. He left a lasting message with the audience, saying, “I’ve always believed food has the potential to be a kickass thing. But I also hope your love for it inspires each and every one of you to have and appreciate every one of your food experiences and adventures.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Night of Food

Come experience "A Night of Food: A Taste of Philly's Finest" with the best complementary meal of the year! Enjoy phenomenal tastings from Morimoto, Tria, and Stephen Starr restaurants and hear special guest Susie Fogelson, Food Network's VP of Marketing, talk about the growth of the Food Network and the direction of the food industry.

A Taste of Philly's Finest
Wednesday, December 8th
6:30 PM - JMHH G60

Hosted by Delta Sigma Pi and the Penn Gastronomy Club

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chef Poon's Last Stand

Chef Joseph Poon returned to Penn for his third and final preceptorial of the semester, "Chef Poon's Asian Culinary Institute". Students welcomed him back with open arms and empty stomachs, excited to see the energetic culinary master back in action on Penn's campus. The informal two-hour session introduced attendees to Asian cuisine and taught them new techniques to try in their own kitchens.

Chef Poon ensured that the crowd was well-fed right from the beginning, serving everyone delicious noodles, savory chicken abalone congee, and silky pumpkin custard. As students devoured the tasty meal, he provided a history of each dish and its subsequent ingredients. This imparted knowledge helped every student truly understand and appreciate the food before them.

His primary lesson for this preceptorial session was the art of stir-frying. However, he didn't want to stand in front of the audience and simply demonstrate. He made the evening active and exciting, bringing people up to cook themselves! Members from the audience came up in pairs and went through the process of stir-frying as a team -- whether it was picking out the ingredients and blanching them or creating the stir-fry sauce. Throughout the evening, attendees learned how to create six different simple sauces, including black bean sauce, kung pao sauce, and black pepper sauce. Chef Poon awarded those who made the best dishes with 2011 calendars courtesy of Asian sauce company Lee Kum Kee.

Chef Poon followed up the stir-fry session with a demonstration of how to make dragon's beard candy. Also known as Chinese cotton candy, the melt-in-your-mouth treat was broken into small pieces, filled with crushed peanuts, and distributed to everyone in the audience.

As a final treat, Chef Poon once again showcased his incredible fruit and vegetable carving skills. Judging by the audience's enthusiastic response, we can only hope that Chef Poon returns to Penn in the future with more cooking presentations.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Palta Reina

One of my favorite foods in Chile is Palta Reina or Palta Rellena which is a stuffed avocado.  It is incredibly delicious.  Usually, the inside is stuffed with a chicken salad-like concoction.  The avocado holds the filling like a cup and when a you take a bit of the entire avocado and salad combination it is creamy and crunchy at the same time.

The best thing about this dish is that it is a great way to use left-overs in the refrigerator.  Using leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead of chicken is a smart alternative.  Also, the recipe is subtle enough to substitute almost anything for the chicken.  One can use ham, canned tuna, rice, potato or tofu. 

Palta Rellena (makes 2 servings)

-1/2 cup of cut up cilantro

-1/2 cup of diced onions

 -Piece of pre-cooked chicken

-1 avocado


-Mayonnaise and Mustard


1. Peel the avocado and slice it in half

2. Debone the cooked chicken.

3. Cut the chicken into very small pieces.  Add the cilantro and the onion.  Mix in a teaspoon of mustard and a tablespoon of mayonnaise (or to taste).  Add a pinch of salt (or to taste).

4. Spoon the chicken salad mixture into the holes in the avocado halves and pack in the salad. 

5. Voila!  You have a Palta Rellena.

Note: You could cover everything with another bowl if you would like to save the meal for later.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Mayo

One day I had an insane craving for fish tacos so I went online for a recipe. Some of the recipes I found were a little too lackluster when I wanted something with a punch. Other recipes were too complicated with too many ingredients to buy. So, I created my own recipe that is somewhere between the two extremes. It got rave reviews from my family and satisfied my craving, try it out for yourself and see what you think.

1 pound of fish a solid white fish such as halibut or mahi mahi will work
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs, panko would be fantastic but any type is ok
2 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, they come in a can
1 lime
1 cup of shredded lettuce
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 tsp paprika
6 corn tortillas
Salt & pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

First cut the fish into strips about an inch thick. Heat the oil in a pot. Make sure to add enough oil so that the fish will be able to deep fry when you put it in the oil.

While the oil is heating, put the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs each in a separate shallow dish. Beat the eggs adding a small amount of water to thin them out a bit. Add the paprika, salt, and pepper to the flour and mix it up. Take the strips of fish and place them first into the flour to coat them lightly making sure to remove excess flour. Next, take the fish, and put it in the eggs, and then put the fish in the breadcrumbs.

When you have finished with the fish check to see if the oil is hot enough. You can do this by throwing a little bit of breadcrumbs into the oil. If they start to bubble, the oil is hot enough, if they sink to the bottom and don’t fry then the oil still needs to be hotter. If they burn up then the oil is too hot.

If the oil is the right temperature, you can start adding the fish. Don’t overcrowd the oil because the fish needs room to cook to an even golden brown. Once the fish is browned, remove it carefully and put it on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

After this, you can make the chipotle lime mayo. In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, the chipotle peppers with a little extra adobo sauce and the juice from half of the lime. Pulse them until the mayo turns a light pink color. If you don’t have a food processor you can finely cut the chipotle peppers and mix them into the mayonnaise by hand.

You should get six tacos from this so in each of the tortillas put a little chipotle lime mayo and some fish and top it off with the shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Add an extra squeeze of lime if you want and enjoy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...