Sunday, April 29, 2007

Trisha's Sicilian Style Lasagna


Probably one of the earliest forms of pasta...consists of fairly flat sheets of pasta, typically interleaved with a savoury mixture and baked in the oven...Some believe that its remote ancestor was the classical Greek laganon; this was a flat cake, not pasta as we know it now, but capable of developing in that direction. In classical Rome this was cut into strips and became known as lagani (plural). Cicero (1st century AD) was known to have been particularly fond of lagani. So was the Roman poet Horace, of the same century. He sited them as an example of simple peasant's food while boasting of his simple way of life...something which could be called lasagne in the modern sense had appeared in Italy by the 13th century...Since medieval times, lasagne have been a popular feature in the range of pasta products. Recipes have changed over the centuries, but the advantages of a pasta which comes in sheet form...have been a constant in the kitchen.
Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] (p. 444)

Though made all over Italy, the hallmark of a southern, especially Sicilian lasagna is the use of ricotta cheese, and Trisha's family recipe passed on from her mother is no exception. (Of course in Trisha's recipe ricotta is a "cheese thingy")

Trisha's Sicilian Style Lasagna

You can make up the recipe for the sauce, unless you want to tell your bloggers that I used 2 jars of Traditional Prego!...(I can't not tell my readers this because when Trisha came home with this recipe from her mother, she said "the most important thing is to use Prego Traditional")

1. Brown 1.5 pounds of ground beef, add the seasoning to taste, set aside.
2. Boil A LOT of water, once bowling add noodles for 10-12 minutes.
3. Combine sauce and meat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

After everything is cooked, you take out a 9x13 pan. You have a small Ricotta Cheese thingy (real descriptive, huh?), 16 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese, 8 oz cheddar cheese.

First lay a thin, thin layer of the sauce so the noodles don't stick. Cover bottom of pan with noodles. On top of noodles add a spoonful or two of ricotta cheese and mix it in with the sauce. Layer with Mozzarella cheese and continue to next layer following same process. The next layer should be the final layer. Just add the sauce and cover in Mozzarella cheese and some cheddar cheese for looks.

Cook in over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Slow Roasted Asian Ribs

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup medium-dry Sherry
1 tsp salt
1 large (or 3 small) garlic clove, smashed
1 1-inch cube peeled fresh ginger, smashed into few pieces
approx. 3 lb baby back pork ribs (do not cut them apart)

Stir together sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, Sherry, garlic, ginger and salt in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Place ribs in a dish large enough to marinate the ribs in the sugar-soy mixture (for example: a baking dish, a large aluminum tray or a broiler pan). Using a brush, generously baste the ribs on both sides with the marinade. Pour remaining marinade over the ribs and into the pan. Turn ribs to coat with marinade. Marinate, covered and chilled, basting occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line bottom of a roasting pan with foil. Place ribs on a rack, rounded sides up, in the roasting pan. Pour marinade into a bowl and reserve for basting. Roast, in middle of oven, for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 275 degrees. Baste generously with marinade every 30 minutes (do not baste during last 10 minutes of cooking), until ribs are very tender and glaze is well browned and caramelized, about 3 hours. Discard any unused marinade.

Transfer ribs to a cutting board, cover with a piece of aluminum foil and let stand 5 minutes. Then cut into individual ribs.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Letter of Recommendation from satisfied customers are always appreciated!

To Whom It May Concern:

To say that I am pleased to take this opportunity to write a letter of recommendation for Brian Isaeff would be a gross understatement.
I have known Brian since November 2001. During that time, Brian has been the most resourceful, energetic, devoted, patient, and knowledgeable person that I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with. I make this statement with the utmost seriousness and enthusiasm, as I believe that I have had the experience to back up my claim. I have been an executive chef for over twenty years, traveling halfway around the globe in my profession, and I have dealt with people from all walks of life. Making the decision to do business with Brian was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Brian is more than a representative of his company and products. The level of Brian’s devotion to his work and his customers surpasses any standards that exist in any training that I have ever seen or heard of. Doing business with Brian is like having a business partner without the risks of partnership. We set goals, plan events, and strategize. Working together, we always surpass everyone’s expectations (including our own).
Beyond Brian’s business abilities is his devotion to his children, his friends, and his community. Brian is the kind of man whom you are proud to have as a friend. -Steven A. King Executive Chef, David Walley’s Resort Genoa, Nevada

You have always been one of the kindest and most professional individuals that I have ever worked with.
I have been doing this for 23 years now so that says a lot!! -Cynthia Williams, Supply and Equipment Specialist

We were able to surpass and respond to all the challenges and demands throughout the entire 2006 AT&T Pro Am event due to the tremendous support and careful planning and preparation from Brian Isaeff. We couldn’t have done it without you! -Rommel Esteybar, Purchasing Manager Pebble Beach Company

The opening season of Fine Host Catering at the Concord Pavilion was a hectic time and it is difficult, sometimes, to see everything while opening a 10,000 seat amphitheater.
I noticed Brian Isaeff. Through repeated challenges during our first year Brian went above and beyond to provide flawless service and to exceed our expectations! –Sigmund Brown, General Manager Fine Host Corporation, Oklahoma Exposition Center

Your Industry Leader For Quality And Service

Brian Isaeff, Territory Manager with US Foodservice San Francisco has been over-servicing accounts on the Monterey Peninsula since October 1997.

After working eight years as a Journeyman Meatcutter for a four store family owned grocery store in the Bay Area, Brian was hired by a full-line food distributor in the Bay Area that was beginning a fresh meat program.

Brian developed a territory of 30 accounts including Fine Host Catering at the Concord Pavilion- a 10,000 seat amphitheater, Beverages and More, and Diablo Foods of Quality.

Upon moving to the Monterey Peninsula in October of 1997 Brian created a territory of clients that include:

• 17th Street Grill
• Bird of Paradise Catering
• Big Sur River Inn
• Crown and Anchor
• Earthbound Farms
• Lucia Lodge
• Monterey Plaza Hotel
• Nepenthe
• Pebble Beach Resort
• Post Ranch Inn
• Redwood Grill at Fernwood
• The Santa Lucia Preserve
• Sea Harvest Restaurants

Many of these accounts are serviced as the primary supplier.

Brian’s success and longevity on the Peninsula over the last ten years are due to his product knowledge, commitment to service, and focus on his customer’s success.

Brian says, “I understand that my clients are running a business, and if I can’t provide the products that they need, in a timely fashion, at a competitive price, then they don’t need me.

In addition to that, I have opportunities to talk to the food manufacturers, and their brokers and try to remain on the cutting edge of new products and concepts that will help my customers to succeed.

I have an extremely large sample budget, not because I like to give things away, but because I have proven that if I bring the customer products that work for them, that we will sell more cases.

Peninsula Foodnews was born in 1997 as an extension of the product training and the sample cuttings that I do. It was a way to get information gleaned from those cuttings out to a wider base of customers or prospective customers.

Since the early editions of PFN were published I have had guest submissions from individuals in our industry that want to share new ideas, new products, and services. Submitters have included:

David Traugott,
Brian Meier, Center Of The Plate Specialist
Zeljka Boyd, Contessa Shrimp
Vince Licata, Marketing Manager
Walt Clark, Beverage Specialist

I have the confidence in my ability, my products, and my company that I can be your industry leader for quality and service!”

For more information please contact Brian at: Cellular: (831) 601-6398

Friday, April 27, 2007

Chilean sea bass

Chilean sea bass are not really bass but Patagonian toothfish, a large, slow-growing species first harvested in the early 1980s by Chilean longliners working the continental shelf in depths of 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Chilean sea bass is a member of the Nototheniidae family. In Chile, the fish is also called mero, merluza negra and bacalao de profundidad "cod of the deep". The fish was first harvested off the southern coast of Chile, almost to the Antarctic. The grounds have been extended to much of the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a big fish; headed-and-gutted Chilean sea bass have weighed in at 100 pounds, but average market weight is closer to 20 pounds. The fish is marketed in frozen form; "fresh" sea bass is nearly always "refreshed" product (frozen fish that has been thawed). However, since Chilean sea bass is generally frozen at sea, it’s a superior product even when sold as "previously frozen." Sea bass from South America tend to be bigger than their South African counterparts.

Product Profile

Chilean sea bass has a rich, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. The moderately oily meat is tender and moist with large, thick flakes. Meat from raw Chilean sea bass is snow white. When cooked, the meat remains white, comparable in appearance to cod.

Refreshed fillets should be shiny and resilient. Frozen product shouldn’t have freezer burn or discoloration.

Scientific name: Dissostichus eleginoides

Market name: Patagonian toothfish

Common names: Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic cod, Icefish

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wild Keta Salmon

Keta (Chum) Salmon

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus Keta

Market Names: Chum, Keta, Silverbrite

Vernacular Names: Dog Salmon, Calico Salmon, Chub, Keta Salmon

Description: Keta Salmon have greenish-blue backs with silver splashes in the tail. It looks very similar to a Sockeye salmon when ocean fresh. Keta salmon range from 6-17 pounds and are mature at 3-6 years old. The Keta salmon has very light colored flesh and is very mild in flavor.

The chum salmon is found in the north Pacific in the waters of Korea, Japan, and the Okhotsk and Bering seas (Kamchatka, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk Krai, Primorsky Krai), British Columbia in Canada, and from Alaska to Oregon in the United States.

Chef Owner David Dildine of the Redwood Grill and Big Sur Coast Foods Catering Holds a fresh catch from a local Big Sur Pond. Dave's Smoked Salmon(and Smoker) have been featured on the Food Networks Beautiful BBQ's with Bobby Flay.

Keta Salmon gets the name “dog salmon” partially due to its many sharp and large teeth and because of the hook nose of the male salmon.

Run Times: Keta salmon runs are typically seen in Alaska starting in mid June and running through mid September.

Record weight sport caught Keta salmon: 32 lbs. caught by Fredrick Thynes in 1985 while fishing near Caamano Point.

Nutritional Information: One ½ lb. fillet of Keta Salmon has 237.6 calories, 39.8 grams of protein, 7.4 grams of fat, 1.6 grams of saturated fat and 99 milligrams of sodium.

Try the Harbor Banks North Pacific Wild Keta Salmon Filets, Skin-on Pin Bone out. Available in a 10# box in either 4 or 6 oz iqf portions. An excellent "special" item, with a 6 oz portion costing only about $1.75.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ice Tea

Recently I have had a few inquiries regarding the different types of ice tea.

There are basically four types of tea used for ice tea.

Most Ice teas are BLACK TEA --- UNLESS they state otherwise.

Black tea is “Fermented tea” and may contain teas from South America, China, Indonesia and / or Indian origins. This is based upon flavor profile, availability, and pricing.

The other teas are:

Oolong tea – “Partially Fermented tea” principally of Chinese and Taiwanese origins.

Green tea – “NON Fermented tea” principally of Japanese, Chinese and other origins.

Flavored Ice tea is based upon the true tea used in the formula, the flavoring oils, and the herbs in the formula

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Researcher says Eastern European nations worst for trans fat in fast food

(Is this a surprise to anyone?)

By Ann Bagel Storck on 4/24/2007 for

A researcher who tested fast-food chains across 35 countries found that several Eastern European nations are the world's worst when it comes to serving unhealthy meals.

Steen Stender of Copenhagen University reported that Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic serve fast food with the highest levels of trans fat. He also discovered a significant difference in the quality of products of the same chain globally.

Stender revealed his findings at the 15th European Congress on Obesity. His survey was prompted by a Denmark law passed in 2004 that banned the use of trans fatty acids in all foods.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Third Best Selling Fish In America

Noted food critic Craig Claiborne swears farm-raised catfish are the finest freshwater fish in North America. In fact, catfish have been served to numerous dignitaries ranging from Prince Charles to assembled Western Leaders. Catfish farms produce genetically superior catfish that are cultivated for size, flavor and texture. Once mature,they are loaded live from the ponds and released into the processing plant,still swimming. Now that's fresh!

Featured on this weeks Fresh Seafood Flyer: 4/23 through 5/5

Farm-Raised Catfish Filets Item # 5403589 10lb.avg. @ $4.29lb.
These all white meat fillets are skinless and hand cut.

Farm-raised, grain-fed catfish is far superior to his muddy river cousin. Scientifically-bred and carefully tended, he has all but acquired a pedigree now that Gourmet magazine rates him the third-best-selling fish in America.
Higher in protein than most meats, farm-raised freshwater catfish is becoming exceedingly popular among health-conscious American diners-and with good reason. Not only is catfish low in cholesterol, fat and calories, he also rates high in aesthetic appeal since he has no fishy smell.
It is also nutritious, healthy and downright delicious.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fred Thompson to Speak at 2007 National Restaurant Association Show

Thompson's speech titled 'Traveling in Strange Circles - From Watergate to Hollywood to the United States Senate to Law & Order'

By PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Restaurant Association today announced that respected U.S. Senator (1994-2002) and actor Fred Thompson will be the featured speaker at the Association's 2007 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show(R). Thompson's speech ("Traveling in Strange Circles - From Watergate to Hollywood to the United States Senate to Law & Order") will take place at 2 p.m. on May 20, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The Show, which runs May 19-22, is the largest restaurant-and-hospitality industry trade show in North America and features more than 2,100 exhibiting companies and 73,000+ attendees. The restaurant industry, with its $537 billion in sales and 12.8 million employees, is one of the nation's largest private-sector employers and a major player in the nation's economy.

"We are honored to have Mr. Thompson at the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and look forward to sharing his insight into politics, Hollywood, foreign relations and life," said William C. Anton, FMP, convention chairman for the 2007 Show, and chairman and founder of Anton Airfood, Inc. "Mr. Thompson continues the long Show tradition of offering opportunities to listen to some of our nation's most influential elected and opinion leaders, to provide them with the insights they need to grow their businesses."

Fred Thompson was elected to the United States Senate in 1994 where he served as Chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs from 1997 until 2002. He also served on the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He chose not to run for re-election in 2002.

Prior to his election, Thompson maintained law offices in Nashville and Washington. Earlier in his career, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Tennessee. In 1973, he was appointed by Senator Howard Baker to serve as Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee where Thompson first gained national attention. He detailed his Watergate experience in his Watergate memoir, At That Point in Time. In 1974, after the Watergate hearings concluded, Thompson returned to the practice of law.

Thompson first appeared on screen in the film Marie in 1985, portraying himself in the fact-based story of a high-profile public corruption case he handled in Tennessee. Since then, he has appeared in numerous movies and television programs, including the features In the Line of Fire, Die Hard II, and The Hunt for Red October, and the television series China Beach, Wiseguy, and Matlock. He is a regular on the long-running TV drama Law & Order, and is a Special Program Host & Senior Analyst for ABC News Radio.

Thompson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former member of the U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission and a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. He is also the Chairman of the Arms Control & Nonproliferation Advisory Board.

Thompson is a native of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He attended Memphis State University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. Thompson lives in Nashville, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. with his wife Jeri. He has three sons, one daughter, and five grandchildren.

Doors to McCormick Place's Grand Ballroom, where Thompson will speak, will open at 1:30. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to Show attendees. A 2007 Show badge is required to gain admittance.

Now in its 88th year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals the Western Hemisphere. The 2007 Show will be held May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The Show attracts 2,000 exhibiting companies and 73,000 attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 110 countries. Free, online media registration and more information can be found on the Show Web site at

The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 935,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.8 million employees -- making it the cornerstone of the economy, career opportunities and community involvement. Along with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing industry. For more information, visit our Web site at

SOURCE National Restaurant Association

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Short Course in Bean-ology

In the garden I have my tomato plants all mapped out, and already decided to save some soil space and plant my leeks, garlic, and herbs in containers. Next on the list were my beans. I'm thinking most will be staked along the fence lines for some landscape texture.

Dried Scarlet Runner Beans make a great show on plate or in a salad.

Last year at the Fall Foodshow in Pleasanton I picked up some Rykoff International dried Scarlet Runner beans. Tony Cherney, who was our corporate Chef sometime back had planted some and had vines running all up and around his house. I had some difficulty convincing the manufacturer representative to let me take a dozen beans from her display, but we eventually came to an agreement.

Chef Tony and his Scarlet Runner salad at the "Putting on the Ritz" Food and Wine Event in 2001

I sprouted the beans on my window sill then planted them in 4" clay pots. These I transplanted along the front walkway, and they flourished until the freeze, much longer than I expected! They are a beautiful deep green broadleafed plant with gorgeous deep red blooms.

A while back, the National Garden Bureau compiled some interesting information about beans. The bean group includes snap beans, limas (called "butter beans" down South), and all the beans grown for dried seeds -- kidney, pinto, great northern, navy, and the like. There are also relatives in different bean species -- scarlet runner, asparagus bean, winged bean; black-eye, crowder, and purple hull pea (they're really beans); garden soybean; fava or broad bean; and garbanzo bean. Beans are a warand purple hull pea (they're really beans); garden soybean; fava or broad bean; and garbanzo bean. Beans are a warap beans "string" beans? You still hear this term, especially where they grow 'Kentucky Wonder,' the old-fashioned climber with strings like shoelaces. However, you seldom see real, string beans anymore. The bean breeders bred the strings out of them, so most varieties are now called snap beans. They also bred out most of the fiber, so you can eat fully-mature pods and not have to pick them at the half-grown stage. Buy snap beans that are resistant to plant diseases and set pods in warm weather.

Lima and Butter Beans - The difference between butter beans and lima beans is based on the size of the pods and seeds. The small-seeded, butter beans tolerate more heat, but it takes forever to shell a mess of butter beans!

In cooler areas, some of the runner types of the large-seeded, lima beans have pods 5 inches long, with half a dozen big, flat seeds per pod. Some of the bush types have small, fat seeds in nearly round pods. These are called "potato limas." Lima and butter beans with speckled seeds have a stronger taste than the white- or green-seeded varieties.

Scarlet Runner Beans - Scarlet runner beans have long been grown for their gorgeous, red blossoms and long, dark-green pods. The foliage is handsome, and the runners can climb up to 12 feet. The seeds are good in stews, and the flowers attract hummingbirds.

Shelly Beans - Horticultural or "Shelly beans" are special varieties grown mostly to be shelled out of the pods while the seeds are still moist and tender. The seeds shell out quickly and easily and can be cooked without soaking. You can recognize these beans by the red stripes on the pods and the splashes of red color on the dry seeds. The dry seeds are so colorful that they are often used in craft projects and glued into patterns on boards. You can buy bush or climbing varieties of Shelly beans. Grow enough to freeze and to dry and use in bean soups.

Southern Peas - Southern peas are not at all like green peas; they are more like beans. They are a warm-weather crop that likes heat and humidity.

Black-eyed peas are Southern peas. So are crowder pea, purple hull, knuckle-hull, cream pea, lady pea, silver skin, clay pea, and dozens of other local favorites. You can snap and eat the young pods or shell and eat the seeds green or dry. Livestock will eat the plants and pods. At one time, Southern peas were called cowpeas for that very reason.

Asparagus Beans - If you want to grow "bragging beans," try asparagus beans, sometimes called "yard longs." You will occasionally see pods two feet long, but true, yard-long pods would be a rarity. Harvest while tender and green, and treat as a snap bean. Grow in warm climates for good production, and provide tall trellises.

Fava, Windsor, Broad, and Horse Beans - All are names for the same bean. They are popular along the Mediterranean and in northern Europe, but have not caught on big in this country. They require cool weather and will even withstand light frost when the plants are small, so they don't do well during the summer heat in most of Virginia.

Fava bean plants grow about waist high and have long, broad pods of a waxy, green color. The dry seeds are flattened and round like big, brown buttons. You can cook the dried seeds for salads or soups.

Garbanzo Beans - You will rarely see garbanzos or chick peas growing anywhere except in central California. There, they are planted in early spring, and the dry seeds are harvested in the summer. The plants look more like vetch than beans. Pods are short and numerous; each pod contains two or three plump seeds. The dried or commercial beans are so cheap there is little point in growing your own. Save the garden space and use it for growing snap beans.

Bush and Pole Beans - Most gardeners choose bush beans, the sprinters of the bean family. They come on with a rush, give you three or four heavy harvests, then collapse at the finish line. Gardeners plant a second and maybe a third crop to be coming in as the spent beans are pulled out.

Pole beans are like long-distance runners. They come on slow, but they keep on coming, giving harvests again and again. It's more trouble to put up arbors and tripods to support the climbing vines, but each plant will give you twice as much from the same space as bush varieties.

(Originally published as "A Short Course in Bean-ology" in The Virginia Gardener Newsletter, Volume 11, Number 3.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

May-Jor Hypocrite? Someone has Trans Fat issues.

Yeas & Nays: Wednesday, Apr. 18

Expect to see New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner (will he be checking out the competition for a potential 2008 presidential run?) and there’s a pretty darn good chance that he’ll also make it to Bloomberg’s after-party at the Costa Rican Embassy.

If he does make it, he’ll be delighted to see one of the party’s hors d’oeuvres, designed specifically with him in mind: pigs in a blanket. Bloomberg doesn’t hide the fact that it’s his favorite finger food, but considering that he’s also the mayor who recently banned trans fats in New York City, party organizers have assured us that the pigs in a blanket will be low-fat.

Something incredible has happened, and I'm willing to bet that not enough people will spend that much time thinking about the significance of this event.

Here is a great opinion piece about the Heir mayor's royal decree to ban trans fats in NY.

New York City has banned trans fats.

Now, I've lived in New York city, and I can tell you this: that city runs on a few things, and grease is one of them (the others are subways and gumption). The CBC article says this an all-encompassing ban, "from the corner pizzeria to high-end bakeries." I personally think this amounts to something akin to tragedy. No trans fats in pizza? The quarter of me that is Italian is swearing and gesturing widly in protest.

And here are some additional queries I have: Does this apply to chain or franchise restaurants, like McDonald's? There's also been a move made to require some restaurants to list ingredients and nutrition info on certain foods when they sell it, but who should have to do this, and why do some people not have to? Shouldn't it be my choice to stuff my arteries with trans fats or not? Why doesn't Mayor Bloomberg (whose idea this was, apparently) spend his time and money on building gyms and outdoor courts in the poorer areas of his city--where trans fats hit people hardest--or even making grants available so people can open healthier restaurant choices in those areas? Choice instead of legislation? Opportunity instead of restriction?


The city has given its restaurants a year and a half--readjusted from an unrealistic six months--to recalibrate their menus and get trans-fat free. I wonder how many corner pizzerias and falafel shacks will close because their owners can't afford to make the switch. It will be interesting to see how this ban plays out for the people who have to adjust their business plans, cooking methods, and even their cultural norms (try and get any Italian to change their recipe and you're playing with fire) to comply with their "health-obsessed" mayor's whims.

Jeez, New York, this is atypically nutty for you (even by Bloomberg standards). You're generally proud of your diverse menu choices and fluctuating waistline. In fact, I'd even say that this move seems suspiciously LA...have you been reading US Weekly again? Have you been vacationing in Malibu behind our backs? Chilling at raw food restaurants with Lindsay Lohan? 'Fess up.

Hey, it's okay. Don't get upset. Is it Bloomberg? Is it because he has a health-nut contest with a friend as to who can stay slimmer and more fit? You can tell us, we won't say anything.

Okay, stay closed-mouthed if you want, but just remember your proud past. Remember that little pool of delicious that forms when you fold the sides of a pizza up to fit it in your mouth. Remember the warm crullers that coat your insides with a fortifying wall of fat for those harsh NY winters. Remember 4am drunken Papaya King hot dogs and how they take the hangover edge off. Remember cheese, New York, and its multiplicity of uses.

And remember your leaders past, who let you live in all your trans-fatty glory. In fact, I bet Giuliani is shaking his head and eating a piece of pizza as we speak.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Chef Clean

His pots and pans gleam, his ingredients sparkle. For Chef Clean, running a tight ship isn't enough — it also has to be spotless

Chef Clean likes things clean. Very clean. Color-coded cutting boards, cleaning products, chamois cloths to polish stainless-steel surfaces, motorized sanders to remove carbon deposits from the range —
Chef Clean’s Kitchen, represents a completely new vision of the way kitchens should be cleaned and cared for. Visiting it requires a visual adjustment. You won't find knife bags, those symbols of the profession that can be as battered as a fifth-grade lunchbox and as pungent as old sneakers. Instead, you'll see custom-made wooden slots to hold knives that each cook is issued.

A commercial Kitchen requires regular cleaning. There are many pieces of equipment and surfaces that require thorough cleaning.

US Foodservice San Francisco partners with Puritan Services to provide everything you need to achieve superior dishwashing and kitchen cleaning results.
Our products and systems address every variable from water hardness to soil load. We meet the unique demands of your operation with leading-edge formulations in a variety of pack sizes.
Products include:
Dishmachine Detergents Rinse Additives Pot and Pan
Silverware Presoaks Sanitizers
Kitchen Cleaning
We also offer a wide variety of specialty cleaners formulated to attack the toughest kitchen soils.
Products include:
Oven and Fryer Cleaners Drain Cleaners Specialty Cleaners

Monday, April 16, 2007

Calif. Eatery That Sold Snake Closes

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) -- Local diners with adventurous palates have less than two months to try rattlesnake, alligator and other exotic meats.

Pancetta wrapped frogs legs with sunchoke garlic puree

The restaurant Taboo by the Delta is closing its doors June 1 when its owner retires after 10 years in business.

Along with gators and rattlesnake, Taboo served shark, frog legs and turtle.

The name of the restaurant reflects the hidden allure of "things that are forbidden. Things that would hurt you," owner Jesse "Boo" Burkett said. "People just buy into it."

Burkett said he stopped serving kangaroo and black bear in 2004 after the California Department of Fish and Game told him it was illegal.

"People are so curious to things that are different," said Burkett. However, he acknowledged, "you do get negative reactions from people sometimes."

Medallions of Kangaroo Saltimbocca with Marsala Cream on Caramelised Onion Tart Serves : 4
Recipe courtesy of The Kangaroo Industry Association of Austrailia
1.000 kg Kangaroo fillet

8 ea Sage pieces

8 ea Prosciutto slices

Olive oil

Black pepper and salt

1 ea Brown onion, finely chopped

3 ea Garlic cloves

1 ea Ginger knob, grated

2.500 ltr Brown beef stock, reduced

0.500 ltr Rich cream

0.150 ltr Marsala

4 ea Red onions

0.100 ltr Olive oil

0.180 kg Brown sugar

8 ea Thyme pieces

0.100 ltr Red wine vinegar

1. Remove excess tendons and connective tissue from kangaroo. Portion into medallions.

2. Caramelise silced red onions with oil, sugar and vinegar.

3. Make sour cream pastry and chill.

4. Sauté brown onion with garlic and ginger then add beef stock and reduce, finish with cream.

5. Seal kangaroo and cook until rare then rest.

6. Bake pastry disc and place hot onion stew on top.

7. Place reheated kangaroo on top.

8. Surround with sauce.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ringing In The New Part II

Rumors began in early September 2001, Royal Ahold, parent company of U.S. Foodservice in Columbia, Maryland made an offer to acquire The Alliant Exchange, parent company of Alliant Foodservice.

In late November a voicemail went out to all Alliant employees to change their voicemail, and pager greetings to U.S. Foodservice, the company formerly known as Alliant. As of January 1, 2002 the transition is complete.

“ U.S. Foodservice and Alliant Foodservice will remain absolutely focused on providing the highest level of service and support as we move through a well planned and thoughtful integration process” –Phil Collins, President U.S. Foodservice San Francisco

Well here we go again. US Foodservice has been offered up for sale by Royal Ahold. Ahold a Dutch grocery company has decided to divest all of their business in the states. As of this date it appears that the leading bidder for US Foodservice is Clayton, Dubilier, Rice, (CDR) the previous owners of The Alliant Exchange.

Sounds like a good thing to Territory Manager Brian Isaeff, “CDR was the company that invested in our tools and infrastructure. Under their leadership we launched AlliantLink, now which is the best on-line ordering and reporting system in the foodservice business.”

”Our commitment in the past has always been to put the customer first and we intend to build on that commitment as we move forward.”- Phil Collins, President U.S. Foodservice San Francisco

Phil Collins, President of U.S. Foodservice of San Francisco (Formerly Alliant San Francisco) in his letter to Alliant customer stated “U.S. Foodservice and Alliant Foodservice will remain absolutely focused on providing the highest level of service and support as we move through a well planned and thoughtful integration process. Our commitment in the past has always been to put the customer first and we intend to build on that commitment as we move forward.”

Stay tuned for the next incarnation of US Foodservice coming to a restaurant near you. Be assured they will retain the same local leadership, commitment to quality and service, competitive pricing, and cutting edge technology. Who knows if the name will change?

Evolution of a Distributor

• 1853 Monarch Food traced back to Reid Murdoch Co, a wagon train provisioner
• 1883 John Sexton & Co begins as a tea merchant in Chicago
• 1911 S.E. Rykoff & Co was established
• 1946 PYA forms as a school food distributor
• 1971 PYA and Monarch merge
• 1972 S.E. Rykoff goes public
• 1983 S.E. Rykoff acquires Sexton & Co
• 1988 Phillip Morris Acquires Kraft Foodservice
• 1989 PYA Monarch creates JPF Holdings
• 1990 JP Foodservice exceeds $1 billion in sales.
• 1995 Rykoff-Sexton is the 2nd largest distributor, Kraft Foodservice the 3rd largest, US Foodservice is the 4th largest, JP Foodservice the 5th largest, and JP the 6th largest distributor
• 1995 Phillip Morris sells Kraft Foodservice which becomes Alliant Foodservice
• 1996 S.E. Rykoff and US Foodservice merge
• 1997 JP acquires US Foodservice and retains US Foodservice name
• 2000 Royal Ahold acquires US Foodservice
• 2001 US Foodservice acquires Alliant

One-Stop Shopping

Specialty Divisions & Companies

Next Day Gourmet
The company has a supply and equipment division Next Day Gourmet which offers direct order and online purchasing of S&E equipment. Next Day Gourmet provides restaurant startup equipment order fulfillment through the local distribution facility and sales representative.

Monarch Foods

To further boost sales growth in the broadline division, U.S. Foodservice will pare its portfolio of 60 private-label brands down to 20. A new unit within the broadline division, called Monarch Foods, will focus on these "power brands." Robert Aiken, currently working on marketing and supply chain efforts for U.S. Foodservice, will head Monarch Foods.

Alliant Logistics
US Foodservice is launching the formation of Alliant Logistics. This formation a "company within a company" is designed to allow US Foodservice to take full advantage of its logistics network, increase customer support and better leverage the organization's position in the market place. This model will incorporate the development of regional logistics centers in Rosemont, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona and Ft. Mill, South Carolina.

Stock Yards

In February 2000, Stock Yards Packing was sold to U.S. Foodservice. U.S. Foodservice owned seven other custom meat cutters at the time and wanted to add a company with a solid reputation to its mix. Other pluses in acquiring Stock Yards were that company's strong management and labor force; their excellent customer service; reputation for high-quality products; and the fact that Stock Yards was a Certified Angus Beef distributor. Dan Pollack stated at the time of the acquisition that he hoped to use Stock Yard’s expertise to streamline and standardize the meat cutting operations of U.S. Foodservice.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pacific Jade Springrolls

The Pacific Jade product line is quite simply… the best on the planet! From gourmet hand rolled eggrolls to springrolls and traditional potstickers, this product line was perfected for the foodservice industry and for the chef who is looking for quality products that are not one, but two steps above the rest. Served in the finest establishments across the country for those with an appreciative palate.

Not sure which flavors will work best for you? Try the Gourmet Assorted Eggroll. Twenty-five pre-fried pieces each of the 1oz size Cashew Chicken, Teriyaki Beef, Oriental Pork and Shrimp. Bake or deep-fry. Average cost is around $.60 each for this high end product.

My top seller is the Spicy Cashew Chicken Eggroll which comes 100-1oz or 50-3oz pack.
This unique and pre-fried eggroll is made with chicken, fresh vegetables, blended herbs, zesty spices and plenty of cashews. Bake or deep-fry.

Please contact for currently stocked flavors, and watch for soon to be released new flavors in this fantastic eggroll line

Dash for green fuel pushes up price of meat in US

From The Times Online April 12, 2007
Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

The price of meat is set to rise in America as the nation’s helter-skelter dash to convert corn into road fuel begins to take its toll on the supply of food.

The US Department of Agriculture has said that meat supply will fall this year because of the high cost of feed. Output of beef, pork and chicken is expected to decline by one billion pounds as farmers react to the soaring cost of feeding their livestock.

Typically, meat production in the United States rises by about 2 per cent a year, but the pressure from American ethanol producers manufacturing road fuel from corn has sent the price of maize soaring to $4 a bushel.

The USDA is predicting that the 2006 corn crop will sell for an average of $3.10 a bushel at the farm gate, the highest for a decade. Faced with extortionate feed costs, cattle and poultry farmers are rearing fewer animals and slaughtering them early. That means a sudden reversal in the annual meat production gain, representing a fall of 1.7lb per person.

“There is a new demand component,” Shayle Shagam, a livestock analyst at USDA, said. “Livestock producers have to bid against the ethanol industry to get supplies of corn.”

The biofuel revolution’s unpleasant negative consequence was first felt south of Rio Grande, when the escalating price of corn affected a food staple. Mexico’s tortilla inflation crisis is spreading north to the heartland of rib-eye steak and chicken wings. The USDA predicts that food prices will rise by up to 3.5 per cent this year as farmers rein in output in response to feedstock costs.

In Washington, the International Monetary Fund added its warning about the consequences of a mass conversion of food crops into fuel. Mounting political panic over carbon emissions has encouraged politicians in European and America to raise targets for the biofuel content in a litre of petrol.

Food prices rose by 10 per cent worldwide in 2006, said the IMF in its World Economic Report, owing to a surge in corn, wheat and soybean prices. The pressure on prices will increase, says the IMF. The EU’s target of a minimum biofuel content of 10 per cent will require 18 per cent of agricultural land to be set aside for road fuel production.

Corn is a vital component of the human food chain, used as cornmeal for baking bread and tortillas, as cooking oil and corn syrup in processed foods and as animal feedstock. Vast US government subsidies for the production of ethanol, used as a petrol additive in America, has encouraged the expansion of ethanol distilleries.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ginger Shrimp Spring Rolls $5.99

A heaping plate of Wild Pacific Shrimp Spring Rolls, bursting with ginger flavor. Served with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

Great appetizer item! Approximately ½ oz each, yet nearly 4” long for great plate coverage. Hand rolled ginger shrimp lumpia with a generous shrimp tail hanging out one end. With a portion cost of only $.13 each, an appetizer plate of 10 will only cost $1.30 add another $.20 for garnish, and you are taking $4.50 to the bank with every order!

Ingredients: Wild caught pacific shrimp (P&D tail-on), fresh ginger, sesame oil, fish meat, soy sauce, and delicate oriental spring roll wrapper. No preservatives. No MSG.

For More Menu Ideas Contact

PMA Launches Online Produce Library

APRIL 11, 2007 -- NEWARK, Del.

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA), based here, has launched a new Web-based online produce library -- "I Know Produce" -- designed to simplify training and produce ordering for retailers

Tom Leonardelli, Produce Specialist at US Foodservice "Knows Produce" Shown here holding a head of baby iceberg.

and foodservice buyers, and to also help menu developers better understand the nutritional values of produce.

"We are constantly striving to provide industry members with the most useful, up-to-date resources," said PMA s.v.p./industry products & services Lorna Christie. "The new I Know Produce library gives users the flexibility to access extensive, updated product information from one convenient location whenever they need it."The interactive library, which replaces its print predecessor, "The Fresh Produce Manual," includes improvements to the type of information available for subscribers. In addition to nearly 175 produce commodities, more than 2,700 varieties provide the most comprehensive and inclusive list of produce items. Other information includes more extensive global availability, nutritional content descriptors, U.S. nutritional values, commodity/variety descriptions, and storage and handling guidelines.

"I Know Produce is a multifunctional tool with information that gives produce professionals a competitive edge," said Schnuck Markets, Inc. v.p./produce Mike O'Brien. "It is useful for everyone in the retail environment, from produce managers [to] store managers, category managers, buyers, and, yes, even a produce vice president!"

A free three-day trial is available by visiting the I Know Produce Internet library at Companywide access for can be purchased at $500 for members, and $1,000 for nonmembers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Revealing Trans Fats

FDA Office of Public Affairs

Scientific evidence shows that consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, and dietary cholesterol raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad cholesterol," levels, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, more than 12.5 million Americans have CHD, and more than 500,000 die each year. That makes CHD one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration has required that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol be listed on food labels since 1993. Starting Jan.1, 2006, listing of trans fat will be required as well. With trans fat added to the Nutrition Facts panel, required by Jan. 1, 2006, you will know for the first time how much of all three--saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol--are in the foods you choose. Identifying saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol on the food label gives you information you need to make food choices that help reduce the risk of CHD. This revised label will be of particular interest to people concerned about high blood cholesterol and heart disease.

However, everyone should be aware of the risk posed by consuming too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. But what is trans fat, and how can you limit the amount of this fat in your diet?

What is Trans Fat?

Basically, trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil--a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats.

Trans fat can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Unlike other fats, the majority of trans fat is formed when food manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine. A small amount of trans fat is found naturally, primarily in some animal-based foods.

Trans fat, like saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, raises the LDL cholesterol that increases your risk for CHD. Americans consume on average 4 to 5 times as much saturated fat as trans fat in their diets.

Although saturated fat is the main dietary culprit that raises LDL, trans fat and dietary cholesterol also contribute significantly.

Are All Fats the Same?

Simply put: No. Fat is a major source of energy for the body and aids in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K and carotenoids. Both animal- and plant-derived food products contain fat, and when eaten in moderation, fat is important for proper growth, development, and maintenance of good health. As a food ingredient, fat provides taste, consistency, and stability and helps you feel full. In addition, parents should be aware that fats are an especially important source of calories and nutrients for infants and toddlers (up to 2 years of age), who have the highest energy needs per unit of body weight of any age group.

While unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are beneficial when consumed in moderation, saturated and trans fats are not. Saturated fat and trans fat raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Dietary cholesterol also contributes to heart disease. Therefore, it is advisable to choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as part of a healthful diet.

What Can You Do About Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Cholesterol?

When comparing foods, look at the Nutrition Facts panel, and choose the food with the lower amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Health experts recommend that you keep your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet. However, these experts recognize that eliminating these three components entirely from your diet is not practical because they are unavoidable in ordinary diets.

Where Can You Find Trans Fat on the Food Label?

Beginning in January 2006 food manufacturers must list trans fat on all their products.

You will find trans fat listed on the Nutrition Facts panel directly under the line for saturated fat.

How Do Your Choices Stack Up?

With the addition of trans fat to the Nutrition Facts panel, you can review your food choices and see how they stack up.

Don’t assume similar products are the same. Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts panel because even similar foods can vary in calories, ingredients, nutrients, and the size and number of servings in a package. Even if you continue to buy the same brand of a product, check the Nutrition Facts panel frequently because ingredients can change at any time.

Monday, April 9, 2007


Here is an interesting article. I think Amy was trying a little too hard to make the Leek mysterious, complicated, and mystical all at the same time! I'm going to incorporate leeks into my summer garden and see how they grow. I bet they love Marina's sandy soil.

Serene, subtly aromatic, almost cool to the touch, a leek can be a revelation in the kitchen
Los Angeles Times

Sometimes a vegetable perfectly matches its true season, bestowed upon us from plant or earth like a metaphor. After the solemn cold of winter, when farmers market stalls seem to rescind their promises, leeks emerge from the earth, dirt-clad and single-minded, as vertical as hope.

Without the raw force of an onion or the hollow delicacy of a bouquet of chives, leeks rely on subtlety and fortitude. A leek is by its nature a patient vegetable. Slow-growing underground, able to bide its time once out of it, a leek also can hold up to myriad cooking techniques, as if the very patience that held it through the slow winter has become alloyed in the leek's own concentric rings.

Serene, subtly aromatic, almost cool to the touch, a leek can be a revelation in the kitchen, with a wealth of nuanced flavor that belies its humble appearance.

Yet the leek, more than many other vegetables, clings to the earth that engenders it, as if reluctant to be separated from its origins. Cut through a leek, particularly a mature one, and you'll find, shot through the ringed layers, a residue of the dirt and sand in which it grew, like the footprint of a creation myth.

Leeks are often grown in little hills, mounded by farmers to increase the proportion of white stem to green leaf. The dirt or sand (leeks are often grown in particularly sandy dirt or sand) becomes embedded within the layers of the leek as it grows. This accounts for the need to soak leeks thoroughly before you cook them.

If the stubborn, earth-shot quality of a leek is part of its appeal, the leek's leaves also have a story to tell. V-shaped, they rise out of the roots like folded sheaths, growing darker the farther they get from home -- a tangible buffer between pale roots and the sunlit world.

Absolved from the earth, washed clean and shorn from the blue-tresses of its leaves, a leek is ready for transformation.

Cooking a leek is not like taming an onion or preserving the delicate ephemerality of fresh herbs or greens. It's about capturing the essence of a vegetable that contains equal parts resilience and grace.

A bowlful of steamed mussels becomes extraordinary when married with leeks. Cut in thin strips and sautéed in butter, the leeks give structure to the wine broth as well as a hint of color -- the leeks on the small black mussels are like thick brush strokes of lime green on obsidian. The dish distills a leek's brightest nature.

I hadn't thought of planting in pots like this! Leeks need deep soil to reach down. I was thinking 2" x 12" raised bed..until I saw the Hollis Garden pics!

After a good braise, a leek develops warm, caramel notes, becoming buttery and rich and aromatic. Its flavor doesn't dissipate; it reaches its full potential. Like an early spring day that can shift in an hour from pallid reticence to honeyed vigor, a leek is not mercurial but capable of sudden moments of revelation.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

"Easter foods are primarily those of Easter Sunday, the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, a day of special rejoicing for Christians, who rejoice too at reaching the end of the long Lenten fast. The concept of renewal/rebirth is responsible for the important role played by the egg in Easter celebrations, a role which no doubt antedates Christianity. There are also special foods associated with the other days in the Easter calendar...In Europe, there is a general tradition, not confined to Christians, that Easter is the time to start eating the season's new lamb, which is just coming onto the market then...Easter breads, cakes, and biscuits are a major category of Easter foods, perhaps especially noticeable in the predominantly Roman Catholic countries of south and central Europe...Traditional breads are laden with symbolism in their shapes, which may make reference to Christian faith...In England breads or cakes flavoured with bitter tansy juice used to be popular Easter foods...Simnel cake has come to be regarded as an Easter specialty, although it was not always so. The most popular English Easter bread is the hot cross bun. The most famous Russian easter bread, kulich, also has a tall narrow shape. This shape is Slavic and of great antiquity...The kulich is based on a baba dough, with more sugar, plus additions of candied peel, almonds, raisins, and saffron. The bulging top is iced and decorated, usually with Cyrillic letters standing for 'Christ is risen'. Traditionally the kulich is take to be blessed at midnight mass on the eve of Easter Sunday. In some families it replaces bread for the entire Holy Week. It is served with Paskha, a sweetened confection based on curd cheese."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 266-267)

In response to the lack of coffee cans available anymore, Kulich molds are available in a variety of sizes.

Cheri's Kulich Recipe

This traditional Russian Easter bread, is baked, believe it or not, in an empty 2 pound coffee can. This unusual baking "pan" is what allows the bread to achieve its stately height. It was traditional to lay a single red rose on top of the glazed top of this impressive bread.
To serve, cut off the frosted crown and place in the center of a serving plate. Cut remaining loaf lengthwise, then in half crosswise and arrange on plate around the cut top.

2 1/2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 T yeast
1/2 C milk
1/4 C butter
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 C raisins
1/4 C currants
scant 1/4 C sherry (preferably a sweet or cream sherry)
1/4 C slivered almonds
1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. milk

Butter a 2-lb. Coffee can. Fold a doubled sheet of aluminum foil around the top of the can to extend it about 2 inches.
Soak currants and raisins in sherry for about 1/2 hour before beginning dough.
Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl of an electric mixer. Heat milk and butter until butter is melted and mixture is very warm (about 115° on a candy thermometer). Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients with mixer slowly running, then beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, egg yolks and lemon zest. Gradually add remaining flour, beating well after each addition. Beat in almonds and sherry soaked raisins and currants. Knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased 2 pound coffee can. Loosely cover top of can with plastic wrap or foil and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, or until dough almost reaches the top of the can (see photo).

Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, remove from can after about 10 minutes and let cool completely.
To mix glaze, blend confectioner's sugar and milk until smooth. Spread glaze over top, letting it drizzle down the sides.

Ham Training

Pork is big business: it is the world's most widely-eaten meat. It therefore is rather apt that pigs are responsible for the naming of one of the world's leading financial centers. To stop free-roaming pigs rampaging through their grain fields, Manhattan Island residents built a long wall on the northern edge of what is now Lower Manhattan. The street that came to board the wall was named... Wall Street.

The break down of the pig:

Leg Muscles:

Bottom Muscle, Bottom with Eye, Bottom, Eye Removed
The Bottom is the largest muscle in the ham.
The Bottom is also identified as the Outside muscle, and may have the eye(finger) muscle attached or removed.
Common weight range: 2-6 lbs.
IMPS Reference #402E.
Top Muscle, Top with Cap (Gracilis muscle), Top, Cap Removed
The Top is the second largest muscle in the ham and is also identified as the inside.
The Top is a high quality muscle and is known as the most tender cut of the ham.
The Top contains the Gracilis muscle, or cap.
Common weight range: 3-5 lbs.
IMPS Reference #402F.
The Knuckle is the third largest muscle in the ham.
The Knuckle contains ears, or flaps located on the sides of the Knuckle, which can be removed to eliminate color distortion, or two-toning in the muscle.
Common weight range: 1 1/2 lbs.

Outer Shank Boneless
The Outer Shank meat has been removed from the Shank bone.

Outer Shank Bone-in
The Outer Shank meat is left on the Shank bone.
Can be smoked or fresh.

Inner Shank
The Inner Shank meat sits on the inside of the ham at the base of the Shank bone.
The Inner Shank is also referred to as the Heel.

Femur or Center Bone
The Femur or Center bone is the largest bone in the Ham.
The Femur has a ball on one end connecting it to the Aitch bone, and a socket on the other end connecting it to the Shank bone.
The Femur bone lays in the middle of the Ham and is not visible from the outside of the Ham.
Aitch Bone
The Aitch bone is the back half of the pelvic bone located on the butt side of the ham. The face of the Aitch bone, along with the Sacreal Vertebrae, is used as a guide to make the break for the Ham-Loin separation.
The open socket of the Aitch bone connects to the ball of the Femur bone.

Shank Bone
The Shank Bone connects the Ham to the foot.
The Shank should be cut just above the knee joint on the rear leg.
This break should be made so that the two bones on the shank are still fused together for Ham hanging purposes.


What is a PIT style ham? PIT stands for Partially Internally Trimmed ham. A true PIT ham will have all three muscles in it. The outside, the Inside cushion and Knuckle muscle. The bones are cut out, it is injected with cure and then placed in a netting to be formed and cooked (or smoked).

Facts About PIT Hams

• A PIT Ham is a carving ham, NOT a slicing ham.
• When tasting a PIT ham you should usually warm it up to loosen up the fats inside which will allow for the taste to be more robust.
• The netting is what gives the ham its skin pattern.
• Some companies out there will sell their PIT hams with the netting still attached, which gives them more sell weight.

Cured Ham 101

Hams are cuts of pork that come from the leg, which have been dry-cured and smoked (country hams) or wet-cured and then boiled or smoked (city hams). The dry-cured hams are saltier, stronger flavored and have a coarser texture. Hams are larger cuts used to serve several people. A whole ham can weigh 10 lbs. to 20 lbs. or more, but are generally sold in halves. They are fairly low in fat but high in sodium and are available bone-in, semi-boneless or boneless. There are many different varieties that are cured and smoked using different methods and some are processed to have a lower fat content.

Some of the terms used to describe the different ways in which hams are processed are shown below. The terms will help to explain the types of ham available and the preparation required.

Bone-in Ham - This type of ham can be a butt or shank portion or it could be a whole or half leg that has the hip, thigh and/or shank bone remaining as part of the ham.

Semi-Boneless Ham - A ham from the leg primal cut that has only the leg bone remaining. The hip or shank bone has been removed, making it easier to carve.

Boneless Ham - A round, oblong or rectangle-shaped cut that has all of the bones and most of the fat removed.

Fully Cooked Ham - A ham that has been heated through to the middle reaching temperatures exceeding 147°F making it ready to eat without further cooking.

Partially Cooked Ham - A ham that has been heated through to the middle reaching temperatures exceeding 137°F, but still requires additional cooking prior to eating.

Uncooked Ham - A ham that requires cooking to prepare the meat for eating.

Boiled Ham - A ham that has been boned, cured and cooked using a process that includes boiling the ham in water. It is ready to serve as sliced ham or ham pieces.

Cure Levels

Dry Cure: 3% maximum pump in it. (Ham has been cooked down and then injected or pumped with solution to 103% of its natural weight)

Natural Juices Ham: 115% (or up to 15% Max Pump). This product does not add any ‘natural juices’. It is just a name.

‘Water Added’: up to 127% pump (or up to 27%). This is only water and product.

Ham & Water product: over 127% (or up to 27%) pump added.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Major Food Sources of Trans Fat for American Adults

(Average Daily Trans Fat Intake is 5.8 Grams or 2.6 Percent of Calories)

cakes, cookies, crackers, pies, bread, etc.

animal products


fried potatoes

potato chips, corn chips, popcorn

household shortening

salad dressing

breakfast cereal


Data based on FDA’s economic analysis for the final trans fatty acid labeling rule, "Trans Fatty Acids in Nutrition Labeling, Nutrient Content Claims, and Health Claims" (July 11, 2003)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Turkey with Spiced Cranberry Glaze

1 Bone In Turkey Breast
2 oz pure maple syrup
3 cloves minced garlic
Ground Cayenne pepper
Ground Cinnamon
1 Can Whole Berry Cranberry
½ Cup Orange Juice
1 Red Onion sliced.

Heat Maple Syrup over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Add minced garlic and heat another 3 minutes.
Stir in Cayenne and Cinnamon.
Add whole berry cranberry and simmer 3 minutes
Add Orange juice and bring to boil, turn down to simmer
and reduce about 5 minutes.
Pour into blender and puree. Strain and chill.

Loosen skin on turkey breast and spread puree. Smooth skin
back down, cover turkey breast and cover with plastic wrap.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place turkey in roasting pan, surround with 1 sliced onion and 3 cups turkey broth. Cover in foil roast 1 hour basting once. Turn oven down to 350, slather half of remaining cran-puree over top of breast and roast 30 minutes.

Remove and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Strain pan juices into sauce pan and reduce. Stir in last of reserved cran-puree. Serve warm.

The Fat of the Land: Cool facts about fats we eat……………

Dr. Samuel Klein Danforth professor of medicine and nutritional science at Washington University, Jennifer Ebelhar, a registered dietitian with St. Louis University, Dr. James Shoemaker, professor, biochemist and dietitian with St Louis University; Dr. Anne Goldberg, an endocrinologist and physician with Washington University school of Medicine; the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In recent years here’s what scientific medicine and nutrition communities have said about dietary fats: Fats are bad for you; fats are good for you; fats cause cancer; fats don’t cause cancer. Fats cause weight gain; fats don’t’ cause weight gain.

Get the picture?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here‘s a guide to help clear up some of the confusion about fat and its effects on the human body.

What is Fat?

Fat is oil. Chemically, it’s a long carbon molecule with different configurations of hydrogen molecules attached and it won’t dissolve in water.

Dietary fat has lots of destination after it’s eaten….not just to the hips…. Its primary use is to burn as fuel.

“Ironically, (fat) is a light weight way to store fuel,” said Dr. James Shoemaker of St. Louis University of Medicine. He’s also a biochemist and a molecular biologist and has a doctorate degree in nutrition. “Fat can store fuel without water… If you stored carbohydrate, that takes water, and water weighs more than fat.”

In addition to being stored or burned, fat acts as a shock absorber between the organs, as insulation to regulate temperature, as padding beneath the skin and as a means to dissolve vitamins that don’t dissolve in water.

All types of fat pose two problems:
• Fat caused health issues when it lingers in the bloodstream.
• All fats are high-calorie foods. That’s why some researchers say any fats are bad when you get too much, and good when you
get just enough.

The relationship between humans and fat began with our ancient ancestors. Fat was a rare commodity from the animals they hunted, and so the human physiology learned to hold on to dietary fats.

But as time moved on, the human body found itself ill-equipped to handle a state of perpetual abundance with most food flavored with fat. That has resulted in obesity and clogged blood vessels.

What People Eat

People eat four basic types of fat. Each category has lots of versions, but these are the names you hear:

• Saturated fats are from red meat and poultry.
• Monounsaturated fats include fish oil and olive oil.
• Polyunsaturated fats come from vegetables and grains.
• Trans fats are manufactured fats.

Other Lipids

Lipids are fatty substances in the blood. When your doctor orders a “lipid panel”, here is what he is looking at:

• Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a waxy substance used to build cell membranes, skin, and nerve tissue. The liver manufactures the ONLY
cholesterol you need. However, you can’t avoid getting extra cholesterol, especially if you eat meat and dairy products.
Cholesterol travels around the body by connecting to proteins. That’s where it’s differentiated between bad and good cholesterol.
LDL is low-density Cholesterol. It’s bad. That means there is more cholesterol than protein, which makes it more prone to clog blood vessels.
HDL is high-density Cholesterol. It’s good. That means there is more protein than cholesterol. It doesn’t clog blood vessels, and when it bumps into bad cholesterol, it sticks to it and carries it from the bloodstream. Egg yokes, liver, organ meat, some shellfish, and whole milk are sources of dietary cholesterol.

• Triglycerides: Explaining how fat becomes triglycerides is complicated. Triglycerides are the fats that have been processed by the body and are on their way to being burned or stored. If you have high triglycerides, you’re eating too many fat calories and not exercising enough. Doctors use triglycerides as an indicator to overall health.

Making Good Choices

Medical people agree that Americans eat too much fat – way too much.

The good news is that food scientists estimate that American fat consumption consists of an enormous amount of added fat, put in or spread on something as an ingredient – some estimate as high as 75 %.

“I’d say that’s true,” said Shoemaker of St. Louis University. “We need about 1% of our diet to come from fat. However, we eat 20, 30, and 40 times that amount”.

But if it’s added, it can be removed. First don’t submerge food in cooking oil. Submerging it in oil adds 200 – 300 calories,” says Dr. Anne Goldberg, and endocrinologist and physician with Washington University school of Medicine. Second, watch the food labels. Fat in processed food can be avoided by finding healthier alternatives. Avoid adding fat by eating more food that doesn’t come out of a factory. Goldberg said – that means more fruit and vegetables, less red meat, lots of water and no heavy oil cooking. Also, at a minimum exercise according to recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture – that’s moderately intense activity for 30 minutes a day, for most days a week. A stronger heart pushes blood through blockages, and cleaner blood is less likely to cause a blockage.

The Bottom Line

So, how much fat can you eat? The U. S. Department of Agriculture recommends that less that 10 % of your daily calories come from saturated fat. You should eat as little Trans fat as possible; most fat in your diet should be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. Keep your total fat intake at 20% to 35% of daily calories.

Fats of the Land

Trans Fats

These are manufactured fats. Manufactures change natural fat to trans fats in order to prolong the shelf life of bread, milk substitutes and desserts. A tiny amount exists in nature, but the problem dosage comes from food produced in factories.

Manufactured food especially baked goods. Imitation dairy products, hard margarines and some hard cheese. Trans fats make shortening harder.


Read food labels; the government now requires that trans fats be listed.

Trans fats are associated with raising bad cholesterol and cam float around the system getting in the way of nutrients. Also, the residue can be solid at body temperature, so it’s like was floating in your bloodstream.

Saturated Fat

This is the bad fat blamed for clogging arteries, causing heart attacks, and strokes, and breast cancer.

Red meat, poultry, whole dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, lard and butter.

It’s a powerful source of fuel. Some saturated fat in the diet suppresses appetite for hours longer than other fats. That’s why the Atkins diet worked for some people.

Foods fried in saturated fat have vastly superior flavor. Be careful at restaurants. Those really great-tasting rolls could be made with lard or butter, and you won’t know.

Eat like this for a few years and it will probably clog your blood vessels. Also, the more saturated fat you eat, the higher your bad cholesterol. And it seems to lower good cholesterol/

The leanest meat will deliver all the saturated fat you need in your diet. If you’re a food addict, or you like great gourmet meals, you need to exercise a lot more to work off this fat.

Monounsaturated Fat

These are considered good fats because the move through the bloodstream without clogging up the works and do some cleaning in the process.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are found mostly in some plants, such as olives. Olive oil is the most popular source of monounsaturated fat. Omega -3 fats come from eating fish oil or canola oil and cam be purchased in pill or liquid form.

They appear to reduce bad cholesterol. Olive oil is valued because it replaces the use of butter and margarine. Omega-3 doesn’t allow sticky fats and platelets to accumulate in narrow blood vessels and helps move cholesterol back to the liver for processing.

Olive oil and fish oil have the same calorie content as any other fat: 9 calories per gram. Olive oil is 13% saturated fat.

Too much omega-3 fat in the blood cam slow blood clotting a tiny bit. It takes a lot to be a health risk alone, but be careful with fish-oil pills if you are taking a prescription blood thinner or aspirin.

You could get all the omega-3 fats you need be eating 6 to 8 ounces of fatty fish three times a week. When cooking with olive oil, use just enough to lubricate the pan. Don’t immerse your food.

Polyunsaturated Fat

Generally, this is oil extracted from vegetables – soy mostly, but also corn and safflower oil. The Food and Drug Administration says polyunsaturated fatty acids tend to lower levels of good and bad cholesterol.

Wesson and Mazola oils, margarine, and some dairy substitutes that use plant oil, such as coffee creamers.

The only real benefit is that it’s not saturated fat……..

It’s still oil: 9 calories per gram. Many people and fast-food restaurants deep-fry with vegetable oil. Dr. James Shoemaker a researcher with St. Louis University School of Medicine, says the confidence in vegetable oil is undeserved. Vegetable oil is a very new substance to the human diet, he said.
Humans didn’t start eating vegetable oil until the second half of the 20th century. Then, when saturated fat got a bad rap in the early 1970’s, vegetable oil’s popularity took off. Even fast-food restaurants stopped frying in lard and started using vegetable oil.
While that reduced the amount of saturated fat, it didn’t reduce the calories. One piece of fried chicken, for example can deliver up to 300 additional calories because breading has been bathed in oil.

Some early studies showed a possible association with cancer.

Read food labels. Polyunsaturated fat is added to a lot of prepared foods and used to fry a lot of French fries, meats, and many other nibble foods. At home, don’t fry. If you must use this oil, brush it on the pan and sauté at a low heat; don’t submerge you food in any fat.