What do "The Brothers Karamazov," "Anna Karenina," and "The Cherry Orchard" have in common? They all talk about Kvass. The authors were Russian and Kvass is a popular drink there and all around Eastern Europe. But, until recently, there wasn't much of it available in the States. Listen as Brendan gets a lesson on the Slavic fermented beverage, which is made from stale rye bread, from the folks over at Enlightenment Wines.
Recently, Brendan went to a new restaurant in New York City that serves "kubeh," a Kurdish treat that is essentially a ball of dough made of bulgur or rice and filled with lamb, beef or vegetables. Chef Melanie Shurka, the owner of the restaurant, explains how she meticulously studied the different variations of kubeh to develop her own twist on the dish.
So, chances are you've heard the phrase nose-to-tail dining, the food movement that encourages eating every part of an animal, not just certain popular cuts. Typically, it's applied to pigs or cows. But increasingly, restaurants are serving the less popular parts of fish. Adam Geringer-Dunn of Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. explains to Brendan why fish collars have been popping up on menus all over the country and why he considers them the spare ribs of the sea.
We've sampled many a dumpling on this show, but somehow, we haven't talked about the dumpling of Rico's youth: the Polish pierogi. Listen as he goes back to his hometown of Pittsburgh to visit a shop renowned for their take on the treat and learns a little more about the dish from Beth Kracklauer of the Wall Street Journal.
Los Angeles has an insane bounty of Mexican food. And that's the subject of a new book by the James Beard award-winning food writer Bill Esparza. Listen as he and Rico take a trip to an underappreciated food gem in Los Angeles to learn a little more about the Zacatecas community and the braised goat dish.
What if we told you these two words: Vegan butchers. You might be thinking, "HOW?!" Well, Brendan decided to investigate and talk to Aubry and Kale Walch, who founded The Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Listen as our intrepid host visits Aubry and kale to learn the innovative ways their shop is challenging its soy-based competitors.
Prime rib, that staple cut of beef favored by many a mid-century restaurant, is enjoying a comeback. It's been showing up on menus in trendy eateries in New York City and elsewhere. So, to learn about prime rib, Rico went to Lawry's The Prime Rib to learn all about the classic dish from executive Chef and fourth-generation employee Ryan Wilson.
We were talking about this around the office, and realized we didn't know much about how salt does what it does. To fix all that, Rico sat down with Eric Schulze, a science writer and Senior Scientist at Memphis Meats in the Bay Area. During our chat, Eric taught us everything from salt basics to the science of "dry brining" your next steak.
This week we launch an occasional Main Course series we're calling "Menu Mysteries." In which we check out a restaurant's menu and have the chef decode some of the lesser known ingredients on it. Listen as Rico raids the pantry of L.A.'s Wolfdown, and learns that skordalia is not a flower.
We've talked before about the rebirth of Scandinavian cuisine, but we've never heard about a common Danish breakfast food that Brendan has been calling "beer porridge." It's is a dish Claus Meyer -- one of the best restaurateurs in Denmark -- has been selling since he moved to New York. Hear Brendan get a lesson on the classical Danish breakfast food and the importance of rye in Scandinavian cuisine from Claus himself.