Category: Events (Page 1 of 2)

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Bites of the Vendy’s

2015 marked the Vendy Awards’ 5th in Philadelphia, and my first time attending. It was one of those events I had always wanted to go to—being both a lover of food trucks and a huge supporter of The Food Trust and the PMFA—but the timing never worked out. This year the stars aligned and I was thrilled to attend for Geekadelphia. Check out my recap for some highlights.

To summarize, I was really impressed. The Vendy Awards are a fantastic event with expert planning and wonderful food.

Speaking of food, I wanted to share some of the bites I got to enjoy. I was able to sample almost every truck, and below are a few of my favorites.

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Noshhh: Local Food & Drink Vendor Showcase

We were pretty close to going to Philly Cooks this year. I’ve always wanted to go but it was always almost a little too cost prohibitive. This year it was possible, but we had so much else going on that we missed out on the early bird tickets, then the regular priced tickets, and pretty soon the event had come and gone.

“Oh, well,” I thought, “there’s always next year.”

And then Noshhh came along.

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In Memoriam: Lamb Shack at Zahav

Every city has their must-have dishes. Quintessential bites that locals are excited to share with visitors. San Francisco has the Swan Oyster Depot’s Crab Louie salad. New York City has Russ & Daughter’s new Holland herring. And Philadelphia has Zahav‘s elusive pomegranate lamb.

Generally only available to parties of nine or more and only if you reserve it in advance, I spent a long time being certain I would never experience the unprecedented bliss of Solomonov’s 2-day brined bone-in lamb shoulder goodness. That is, until the brilliant team at Cook N Solo announced that in February, Zahav’s back dining room would be turned into an all-lamb BYOB. (From what it looked like, the front was undergoing some renovations. Like I said, brilliant.)

The $36 a person meal began, of course, with Zahav’s gorgeous salatim, and hummus tehina with laffa followed by the star of the show. The meal ended with chocolate kanafi, a crispy cloud of shredded phyllo dough with bitter chocolate and pistachios. I could go on about this meal for pages. The familiar nuttiness of the beets with henina, the kale tabouli I could have eaten a pound of, the deep pink center of the blackened lamb shoulder as it melted off the bone, the fact that I was stuffed beyond belief by the time dessert came by the kanafi was so delectable I couldn’t stop myself from devouring it.

No, I won’t go into all that. That would be bragging.

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Menu

 

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Glorious, glorius salatim

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<3

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Beets, carrots, tabouli, cucumbers.

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Hummus tehina.

 

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Did I mention no corkage fee?

Lamb of my life.

Lamb of my life.

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Chocolate kanfi.

I’ll miss you, Lamb Shack. I hope we meet again.

Sweet and sour salad with apple, yogurt, pickled raisins, pomegranate seeds, shallot, fennel, sesame, and mint

New Dinner Series: Meals of Antiquity, Babylonian Edition

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a preview of an up-and-coming dinner series gracing Lucha Cartel on March 1st—Meals of Antiquity. The first dinner features a menu painstakingly researched by designing cook and historian Colin Barth, and aims to recreate a hearty, seasonal meal that would have been served during the First Dynasty Period almost 4,000 years ago.

At first glance, the menu may read like a standard, hearty winter’s meal studded with nourishing grains and gamey proteins. But a closer look reveals several less common ingredients like Emmer, nigella sativa, and cypress. The meal is also served with leavened Ninda, a deliciously dense bread the color of burnt umber.

Special thanks to Evi Numen for the beautiful photos.

Barth has been researching the menu since November with a goal of remaining as faithful to ingredients, which hasn’t always been easy. As it goes with translating ancient languages, sometimes meaning can be debatable. He learned this the hard way after a particular mistranslation resulted in a recipe test that failed in such a way he knew one of the ingredients must have been translated incorrectly. It turns out what he read as “pounded yogurt” actually meant “pounded locusts*“.

While I am calling this a “new” dinner series, that isn’t entirely true. A few years ago, special events and concerts group Dancing Ferret organized two sold-out Uyghur dinner events. They’re looking forward to re-launching the series and bringing a unique culinary experience to their attendees.

Tickets are just $45 and are selling fast, so snag your spot now if you want to part of this historic (pun fully intended) event. You can view the full menu here and find more info at dancingferret.com/babylon. Don’t forget to follow Meals of Antiquity on Twitter to stay up to date on future events.

*The Babylonian dinner menu does not contain pounded locusts. Unfortunately.

 

Food swap haul

Apple Pie Moonshine and My First Food Swap

Despite being from South Central Pennsyltucky, I had never heard of the magical elixir that is apple pie moonshine until a few years ago when my friend Maria gave me a jar. I’m not generally one for sweets, but I am an apple cider fanatic and it hit all the right notes. Sweet for sure, but still maintaining the crisp distinct apple flavor with just a hint of cinnamon. Liquid apple pie.

Shout out to Kevin and his beautiful handwriting

Shout out to Kevin and his beautiful handwriting

This jar came with a warning, however, and thus so shall this recipe. This stuff may taste like dessert and be totally devoid of the an alcohol bite, but it is strong. Apple pie moonshine is mean to be sipped, shot, or added to cocktails. It’s delicious straight, but go easy. It creeps up on you.

Ingredients

1 gallon apple juice
1 gallon apple cider
2 cups brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks, or more to taste
1 pinch apple pie spice
1 (750 milliliter) bottle Everclear
1 (750 milliliter) bottle vodka

Assembly

This is the world’s simplest recipe. Combine everything but the booze in a large (and I do mean large) pot and simmer on the stove for an hour. Then, let it cool completely, add alcohol, and bottle.

I made a batch for last week’s Philly Food Swap and it was a bit hit. Turns out swappers love a jar of booze (I knew you guys were my people). It was my first time attending a swap, and I can’t believe I waited so long. I think I was partially intimidated by the overwhelming amount of talented home cooks that come. Either way, I could not be happier that I finally joined in the fun. It was an absolutely whirlwind of an evening that resulted in a gorgeous haul of homemade goodies lovingly crafted by local bakers, canners, and cooks. I even came home with a batch of home-cured bacon.

Food swap haul

That’s right, I snagged bacon, cheese, AND gin.

Gorgeous, right?

I’m already brainstorming my contributions for next time since the word on the street is that swaps may be happening quarterly (please let it be true!) and I want to get creative. If the rumors are true and a spring swap is on the horizon, I think I see some foraged gifts in my swapping future.

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