Ping Pong Anyone?

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Busy week starting with travel to Toronto on business.  Had an absolute blast at a Ping Pong venue called Spin Galactic on King Street West (there are other locations in the US including one in Milwaukee).  Really fun menu of munchies and meals.  I had their fish tacos, which I was surprised to see on the menu of a sporting club.  My favorite little treat was the bacon and maple popcorn…so Canada!  The food and beverages were presented in a unique way.  Chilled Water presented on our picnic table in 1 liter glass bottles with resealable lids and canning jars served as glasses.  Our dessert was an array of sweet treats- s’mores, pralines, puffed rice treats, drunken cherries and crisp fried mini donuts.   The popcorn came in a paper bag with the top folded down.

We also tried the vegetable crudite, but this was unlike any I had ever had…paper thin slices of radishes, beets, and a variety of other root vegetable.  To end the week, I coached an amazing group of entrepreneurial team members and had a special guest representing entrepreneurs in Rwanda.  Work has inspired my culinary interest this weekend.  Eclectic and fun, just like the people I get to work with every day.

Truffled Popcorn from Ina Garten


1 package microwave popcorn, such as Newman’s Own Natural
2-ounces white truffle butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare the popcorn in your microwave according to the instructions on the package.
Meanwhile, heat the truffle butter in a small pot until just melted. When the popcorn is ready, pour it into a large bowl, add the truffle butter and salt, and toss well. Serve warm.

Pimm’s Cup

1 1/2 cups Pimm’s No. 1
1 navel orange, cut crosswise into thin slices
1 lemon, cut crosswise into thin slices
3/4 cup firmly packed mint leaves and tender stems
1 1/2 cups cold ginger ale or lemon lime soda
1 cucumber, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
About 3 cups ice
1 apple, quartered, cored, and cut into thin slices

  1. In a large pitcher, combine the Pimm’s, the orange and lemon slices, and the mint. Chill for about 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger ale.
  2. Put two cucumber wedges, standing on end, into each of four 1-pint glasses. Fill halfway with ice. Pour in the Pimm’s mixture. Push the mint down into the drinks and divide the orange, lemon, and apple slices among the drinks.

Baja Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Be sure to heat the oil to the proper temperature, and maintain the heat. Otherwise, the fish will absorb unnecessary fat and calories as it cooks. If you can’t find fresh, never-frozen fish, substitute another firm white- fleshed fish, such as turbot or striped bass.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

1 cup diced peeled ripe mango
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
5 cups canola oil
3.38 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup beer
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless halibut fillet, cut into 16 (3 x 1–inch) strips
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1. Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.
2. Clip a fry thermometer to the side of a large, heavy saucepan. Add oil to pan; heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375°. Reduce heat to medium, maintaining oil temperature.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, beer, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and garlic powder, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to batter, tossing gently to coat. Remove fish from batter. Carefully add 4 or 5 fish pieces to hot oil; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and done, turning occasionally (maintain oil temperature at 375° throughout cooking process). Drain fish on paper towels. Repeat procedure in batches with remaining fish.
4. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; spoon about 2 tablespoons salsa into each tortilla.

Lamb Sloppy Joes
Recipe by Daniel Holzman, chef of The Meatball Shop

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb shoulder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 bell peppers (green, yellow, and red), seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
8 brioche or kaiser buns, toasted

How to Make It:

1. In a large pot, sauté the lamb in the olive oil over high heat, stirring frequently until browned and beginning to crisp, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb from the pan and reserve , being careful to leave any oil and rendered fat in the pot.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the vegetables and spices to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 10 minutes.

3.  Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, vinegar, sugar, 1/2 cup water, salt, and reserved lamb. Bring the stew  to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and  cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Serve on buns.

Beware of the co-worker who brings her own paddle, but be more aware of the one who pretends to be calm and cool about the whole thing.



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