Ironically, someone (thanks, Anne!) who works at Health Partners sent me this link to Serious Eats, a great web site and one I peruse regularly. I cannot wait to see if someone does this at the Great Minnesota Get-Together; you would be stupid not to try it. I can’t believe I have not run across this one yet, but I am already looking into where to find it when I land in Korea this summer. Here are my other faves for inclusion this year at the Fair. (And yes, I am thinking about the Fair the moment it becomes spring.)
Thanksgiving on a Stick: Stuffing, turkey, and cranberries on a stick, deep-fried and with a cup of gravy for dipping. Three different people throughout the last three years have mentioned to me that they will be making a serious run at this in 2008.
Banana Q: My fave. Fresh, ripe banana rolled in raw brown sugar and deep-fried briefly. It’s bananas Foster without the snooty server. Served with your choice of crushed nuts, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, etc.
Real Barbecue: I admire the Famous Dave’s fellas for doing a great job and coming out with new items each year, but what about real pit BBQ with huge slabs of beef, good beef, being sliced and piled high on fresh, crusty rolls? Or true pulled pork? Heaven.
Doner Kebap: The Turkish version of a hallmark of street food I see all over Europe. Like shashlik or gyro except that the traditional Iskender doner kebap has a range of salads, pickled vegetables, and sauces that are unrivaled in my opinion.
Navajo tacos, shark-and-bake sandwiches, roti sandwiches, California tri-tip sirloin sandwiches, true muffalettas, and southern fried chicken . . . I could keep going. What is the food you would love to see most at the State Fair?
On May 16, I suggest you join us for the third annual CuisineArt 2008: The Aluminum Chef Cooking Challenge, a Wolfgang Puck fundraising event benefiting the Walker Art Center. There will be a version of the Iron Chef cooking challenge that Wolfgang Puck and I will be hosting and judging. Teams will compete to create the winning dish using the same secret ingredient revealed at the start of the competition. After the battle royale, guests will be treated to a three-course dinner prepared by Puck, after which guests will stroll down to the “Sweet Success Dessert Lounge” created by Sherry Yard, the award-winning executive pastry chef for most of Puck’s endeavors and the author of a brand new book that I love called Desserts By The Yard.
Even better, only 100 guests can be accommodated, so this will be a very special evening indeed. Reservations are $1,250 per person. Teams of ten receive a single ticket discount for a total table price of $11,250. Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the multidisciplinary programs of the Walker Art Center. To make a reservation, please contact Cody Ward in Walker Development at 612-375-7642 or e-mail Cody Ward.?
Speaking of Iron Chef stuff, Alton Brown is coming to Mall of America on April 28. Brown is one if the few luminaries in the food universe that I would crawl across a desert of broken glass to see in person. He is a great talent, and he has had a pretty good year by anyone’s yardstick, garnering a Peabody Award for his show Good Eats, and his new series Feasting On Asphalt is in its second season on Food Network. Last year, he was in Minnesota for FOA shooting at the Russian Tea House, Mickey’s Dining Car in St. Paul, Olsen’s Fish Company, Bob’s Java Hut, and Uptown Tattoo in Minneapolis. Go check him out.
Upwardly spiraling commodity prices; skyrocketing oil prices; out of control farming subsidies; and hundreds of millions of new Asian, Russian, and South American middle class consumers with disposable income coming ‘online’ have sent global food prices up more than 80 percent in the past few years, according to The World Bank. And who gets screwed? Why, the world's poorest nations of course. Here is a quote from last week’s WSJ:
Rioting in response to soaring food prices recently has broken out in Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ethiopia. In Pakistan and Thailand, army troops have been deployed to deter food from fields and warehouses. World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned in a recent speech that 33 countries are at risk of social upheaval because of rising food prices. Those could include Indonesia, Yemen, Ghana, Uzbekistan and the Philippines. In countries where buying food requires half to three-quarters of a poor person's income, "there is no margin for survival," he said.... "Many policy makers at the weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank agreed that the problem is severe. Among other targets, they singled out U.S. policies pushing corn-based ethanol and other biofuels as deepening the woes.
Now, I have seen angry mobs of thousands protesting food shortages in Morocco, Bolivia, and the Philippines in the last year, and it is scary. There is real anger out there, and it is not just directed at us but at all the ‘haves’ in the world regardless of citizenship. I have been pelted with rocks, chicken soup, peach pits, bottle caps, and rotten fruit—and that was just in Bolivia. I have walked in neighborhoods affected in part by our President’s ill-fated foreign policies (or lack thereof), and it is upsetting, to say the least. But what I really want to know is which of the candidates for Dubya’s job has a realistic solution for dealing with this issue, curbing our misguided ethanol policy, remaking the absurd subsidy regulations in the USA, ending our insane reliance on foreign oil, and helping our nation regain its status as the country most likely to show up with food (not guns) when another nation needs help?