Friday Faves No. 153

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Wishing a good Burns Night to all our Scottish friends! Scotland's beloved poet (above) looking quite delicious. Artist Prudence Staite creates edible portrait of Robert Burns using Scottish Breakfast items for a promo by Toby Carvery restaurants. (Scotsman)

What were all those chickens for if we weren't eating them? Chickens Weren’t Always Dinner for Humans (New York Times)

The sonic meal — how sound influences your food experience. Take a listen and run your own little experiment. (Science Friday)

Seaweed, seaweed everywhere — or at least it seems so to us. We approve. Move Over, Kale: Dulse is the Superfood of the Future (Fast Company)

Why we’ve been hugely underestimating the overfishing of the oceans. "A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications suggests that the national data many countries have submitted to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has not always accurately reflected the amount of fish actually caught over the past six decades. And the paper indicates that global fishing practices may have been even less sustainable over the past few decades than scientists previously thought." (Washington Post)

From Candy To Juleps, Persians Left Imprint On Many Edible Delights "Iran was the first home of many commonly used herbs, from basil to cilantro, and to scores of familiar preparations, including sweet and sour sauces and almond pastries. We know that quinces, pomegranates, almonds, fenugreek (despite its name), cumin, coriander and mustard seeds went from Iran to the West." (NPR)

Food and Drink Trend lists abound, but this UK-focused list is particularly delightful with quite a few things we hope catch on, from immersive dining to Alpine cuisine and a mead revival. (Drinks Business)

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 81

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • Eat Drink Vote: an illustrated guide to food politics compiles 250 cartoons that strike at the heart of what's wrong with our food system (like the ones at right). Says the author, nutrition activist Marion Nestle: "I want these cartoons to inspire readers to become active in food politics and work toward a food system that is healthier for people and the planet. Join groups that are working on these issues. Vote with your fork! But food choices are also about politics. Exercise your democratic right as a citizen. Vote with your vote." (Civil Eats)
And Marion Nestle, the noted NYU nutrition professor, public health advocate, and tireless food politics blogger/tweeter, has compiled the cream of this non-genetically modified crop in her just-published book from Rodale, Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics. - See more at:
Marion Nestle, the noted NYU nutrition professor, public health advocate, and tireless food politics blogger/tweeter, has compiled the cream of this non-genetically modified crop in her just-published book from Rodale, Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics - See more at:
  • Last week we took a retro look at the kitchen of the future, but the design brainstorming continues. What Your Kitchen Will Look Like In 2025: smart refrigerators, faucets that detect chemicals and bacteria on produce, and 3-D printed dishes are just some of GE's predictions. (Fast Company)

  • August was National Bourbon Heritage month. We hate to be late to the party, but it's always the right time to catch up on cocktails, recipes and profiles like a real Southern aficionado with this tour. (Garden & Gun)

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 73

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food


  • Nursery food is good for you, or at least the nostalgia it inspires. "Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer." Bring on the mac & cheese and a fluffernutter. (New York Times)

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 63

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • Chickens are keeping their mess to themselves, fashionably, with chicken diapers (right). "'Chickens are a symbol of urban nirvana,' The New York Times wrote last year, 'their coops backyard shrines to a locavore movement that has city dwellers moving ever closer to their food.'" We expect the ironic, 80's-inspired, hipster chicken diaper line any day now.
  • A sensible and delicious solution to low meal-cost school lunches: ditch the industrial meat. A New York City school goes meatless. “This is so good,” said 9-year-old Marian Satti of a black bean and cheddar cheese quesadilla served at Tuesday’s lunch, the Daily News said. 'I’m enjoying that it didn’t have a lot of salt in it.'”  
  • Culinary students at CIA protested what they feel are weakened standards. “There are students here who understand the work and the discipline...but there are also some who just want to coast and get on reality shows, and we see them getting away with it.”
  • A small town in Scotland has launched its own signature menu as a way to support regional cuisine and identity. Huntly, a town of only 4,000 people, has stepped out with this vision. How about "Huntly tattie soup (made with locally-grown veg and short rib or plate beef); Deveron cure trout and mayonnaise made with rapeseed oil; Highland kedgeree (using Moray-smoked haddock, free-range eggs and Fairtrade rice); and Gordon barley risotto with Moray langoustine, mushrooms or rabbit, dotted with Douglas Fir pine oil."

Spring Bounty: A Bevy of Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs (from left) vegetarian, smoked salmon, merguez & pork sausage

Spring is upon us.  The days are getting longer, the sun getting warmer and the garden is getting weedier by the day.  But as the soil warms and the flowers poke their colorful heads up out of the ground, I start fielding questions from family and friends alike, “When are you going to make brunch?” 

Some people plan their garden, and some plan their brunch menus. I already know that this year I will be growing green beans and okra, both of which will be pickled and served up in the brunch-time Bloody Marys and the pineapple sage and boxwood basil will find it’s way into other fun libations. But to eat, I wanted to try my hand at Scotch Eggs.

Meatless Scotch Eggs, with mushroom and artichoke.

Scotch eggs are fun to make and, once you have the technique down, you can try all kinds of flavors. To kick off the Scotch Egg escapades, I tried out four difference outer layers: classic pork sausage, lamb merguez sausage, smoked salmon and a vegetarian option, artichoke and mushroom.

The trick, especially when going outside the classic sausage outer layer, is getting the consistency right. For example, most fresh Italian style sausage can be used directly cut out of it’s casings, but for merguez, which often has a drier texture, you may have to add just enough beaten egg so that it sticks together and binds to the egg and itself. For the smoked salmon “mixture” I ground smoked salmon trimmings in a food processor with egg, fresh ground pepper and some panko bread crumbs. When I had a “sausage-like” consistency, I stirred in some chopped spinach. For the vegetarian option, I gently sautéed artichoke hearts with chopped button mushrooms and then ground them up with enough egg and panko until the consistency was “sausage or stuffing-like.” 

After coating each peeled, hard-boiled egg in it’s outer layer mixture, each egg was dipped in beaten egg, then rolled in panko bread crumbs and they were ready for the fryer. I kept the fryer on medium heat and fried each egg one at a time. Truth be told, they were pretty large so I didn’t want to jeopardize their shape or make my fryer over-flow. Just a couple minutes, gently turning the egg until they are cooked throughout, then gently scooped out to rest and cool on a bed of paper towels.

Traditional Scotch Egg, Pork Fairy approved.

Golden brown and a perfect blend of the crispy panko coating and the tender inner egg, a perfect set of Scotch Eggs!

I’ll be taking a set of these eggs to Easter Brunch to share with friends. For those guests who don’t eat pork, there are the merguez, salmon or vegetarian eggs. But, we all know which Penelope the Pork Fairy’s favorite will be!

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 23

a weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • With Easter coming up, we have eggs on the brain. The continuing popularity of the urban chicken trend and other city farm pursuits has prompted a new agrarian product line from Williams-Sonoma that includes stylish chicken coops, as well as DIY cheese kits and shitake mushroom-growing logs.
  • A Pork Fairy approved app for iPad that walks cooks through making bacon, pancetta and more: The Better Bacon Book.
  • Daredevil eating in Tokyo will get even more exciting as regulations on who can serve fugu ease. "I don't want people to forget that you can actually die from eating blowfish...I feel the government's awareness of this has diminished."