Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mango Chutney Truffles

by The Baker

Mango Chutney Truffle

120 grams cream

25 grams glucose

120 grams milk chocolate, chopped

150 grams dark chocolate, chopped

25 grams butter, room temperature

100 grams mango chutney, chopped

confectioner’s sugar

1. Heat cream and glucose in a small saucepan over medium heat. Put both chocolates into a small bowl. When steam begins to rise from the cream, pour mixture over the chopped chocolate.

2. Let mixture sit for 30 seconds, then stir with a rubber spatula (do not use a whisk–you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache).

3. Add the butter, stir to combine, then fold in the chutney. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.

4. Form the ganache into balls (easiest method is to use a small ice cream scoop) and roll in confectioner’s sugar.


Filed under Recipes, The Baker

Jin Ramen Just Isn’t Ippudo

I feel compelled to comment on Jin Ramen, a new restaurant located between Tiemann Place and 125th Street on Broadway. Although I have become disenchanted with the generic conventions of “restaurant reviewing,” I would like to offer a few notes on my experience at this addition to the Columbia family. The take-away: Jin Ramen is not nearly as wonderful as its downtown competitors—Ippudo, Totto Ramen, etc.—but its the best we Columbians have. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, New York City, Restaurants, Reviews

The Nasty Bits

by Andrew Luzmore, Cornell University

It is a central irony in high-end restaurants that those who prepare the food often never taste the fruits of their labor. With the exception of those involved in conceptualizing and creating the menu, the majority of the work force, consisting mainly those of Latin American, West African or Southeast Asian extraction, rarely have the means to dine at the restaurants in which they devote their lives. Instead, daily sustenance in the restaurant in which I spent my summer was taken from the quotidian tradition of the family meal: a meal made by a single cook on a rotational basis for the entire staff using whatever is lying around, and more importantly, cheap. Although considered a necessary evil by some because of the rushed and sometimes careless fashion in which it is put together, for most the family meal serves as a mechanism to share in the culinary traditions of others and a much-needed outlet to unwind after a long shift. Continue reading

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Filed under Andrew L., Cornell University, Essays, Restaurants, Theory and Criticism

Brown Sugar and Chili Braised Pork Shoulder

Having a spare hour or two in the afternoon, I decided to braise a whole pork shoulder for dinner. Although I run a lot, I could count on the help of a few friends—six to be precise—to finish off the beast. Pork shoulder is intrinsically delicious (oh fat, oh crispy skin, so the ode proceeds), cheap ($1.99 a pound!), and extremely easy to cook. In fact, I left the shoulder in the oven for two hours unsupervised during my evening class. No harm done. It does, however, require time, and time’s attendant, patience, for a proper preparation. Do not undertake a pork shoulder roast lightly: it is not a dish to be trifled with. Continue reading


Filed under College Life, Columbia University, Recipes

Notes from Night Windows: Ai Fiori

I spent most of my evening at Ai Fiori looking out the window at Burger King.

Ai Fiori is an Italian restaurant on the second floor of the Setai Hotel off Fifth Avenue. Michael White, the chef, hails from Wisconsin and cooks with a Midwestern sensibility: he has a heavy hand with pork fat. New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo called White’s lobster with white wine sauce “the greatest dish in the world.” I did not order it.

Instead, I started with scallops and celery root, seafood and vegetable sliced symmetrically, both nestled in a bone split lengthwise and slathered with melted marrow. After eating half the serving—and finishing my cocktail, a rare treat now that I am legal and ‘ready to party’—I felt full. It would be a long and distended meal, pregnant with butter—my belly swollen, sore and satisfied. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, New York City, Restaurants, Reviews

Notes From Nashville (Debating Food)

Notes Day 1:

Rotier’s: Jason orders the meat and two, roast beef, thick hunks of tender meat in thick gravy, tastes brown and beefy, coleslaw, very crunch in sweet sour cream, and hashbrown casserole, a recipe out of Fanny Farmer or a spiral bound church cookbook, iced tea, grilled buttery French bread. Emily orders fried chicken, green beans, hashbrown casserole. Beck orders steak dinner, fries, beer-battered cheese sticks. The interior is dark, smoky as though viewed through crackled microfilm, booths, a tv showing the LeBron, college kids bound in coats drinking beer, a waitress with a tired chubby face and a tired smile, thin brown hair, pay at the register to a gristly man graybearded. Neon signs outside read STEAK, SEAFOOD, it looks like a pit but is a friendly cavern.

A car packed with suitcases packed with printed articles, new news magazines, text books, Krugman, Nye, Okun top the shelf, boxes and boxes of granola bars, bottled water, clementines. We make pit stops at Love’s gas station, drink coke and watch the Tennessee sunset, listen to the Black Keys’ El Camino and Nirvana’s In Utero taking highway 24 down south. Then we cross into Nashville a great city of glittering light in the dark south (you can see the motherfucking constellations out the car window). Beck and Emily chat about television shows (Gossip Girl, Project Runway) and gossip about debaters on the national circuit. I sag in the backseat, trying to reach that nirvana of half-wakefulness rocking into the seatbelt and sleeping to the Black Keys’ “Sister.”

We’re staying at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt, which is really almost swallowed into the campus. There is a towel folded in the shape of a swan on each bed. Debaters stroll the lobby lugging big suitcases overstuffed and carrying plastic tubs. There is a discrete taxonomy of debaters. It is easy to identify the policy debaters by their masculine affect, square jaws, tousled hair, cigarette stained teeth, beanies, fat cheeks, laptop dazed donut glazed look, and coffee swilling slump across lobby couches just chilling and shooting shit. The extempers by their careful grooming and intense walk. Extempers walk fast and with a purpose. They are pointy, driven, intense, aware of their intention and ready to fulfill it. There are less of them and they all know each other, so it’s like a perverse family. The LDers are the most attractive, impeccable, smooth and sly, genuinely nice or just plain slimey, and always white toothed and scrubbed nosehair plucked Gillette Max or whatever shaved smooth close to the cheekbones, giving their blue steel looks and ready for rebuttals. And then there are the debate coaches. The men have bottlebrush gray mustaches and craggy blue eyes, carry battered leather briefcases, smoke cigarillos. The women are either homemakers of the 1950s stereotype gotten old with platinum blonde hair and excess makeup around the lips, rouged and tanned cosmetically, or young women who are looking for or escaping from likewise boyfriends.

It is 10:30 and Emily has begun to file. In the connecting room I hear the punctuated click click click of a stapler sampling hundreds and hundreds of newspaper articles. Continue reading

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The Best Burrito

Zach Bell, Yale University

This may not look like the best burrito I have ever eaten. In fact, this burrito looks woefully shrunken in the middle, wrinkled, not stuffed to bursting like a paragon burrito should. Despite its visual deficiencies, I can assure you that this was a burrito sent from the heavens.

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Filed under Essays, New Haven, Running, Yale, Zach B.