Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Little About Pork

Blindfolded, you can taste the differences between a Honeycrisp apple and a Fuji. You love Brandywine tomatoes and Cherokee Purples. At the cheese counter, you order Royal Blue Stilton or Shropshire Blue depending on your mood. Congratulations, you’re a foodie.

Now, what about pork? What do you know about your bacon?

As it turns out, the story of American pork is pretty interesting. We have the Spanish conquistadors to thank for the introduction of pigs to the new world. In the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers brought pigs to South Eastern America. Eventually, these animals either escaped or were let out and became foragers. It was long thought that the breeds originated in Spain, but recent DNA testing (yes, someone is out there testing "porkies" genealogy) revealed that our pigs were most likely not from Europe at all; they came from the Canary Islands (off the coast of Northern Africa), which was a frequent stop of the explorers on their way to the New World. Later, other breeds arrived from Europe and elsewhere.

By the 1930s, there were fifteen different breeds of pigs in the U.S. Sadly, six breeds are now extinct. Several other breeds have 200 or fewer animals remaining, although they are making a comeback because of small farmers who raise them for specialty retailers.

The breed of pig that Americans are most familiar with is the Large White (and the Yorkshire, its direct descendent). It is a remarkable animal: hardy, fast growing and unusually adaptable. It is strong and withstands variations in climate and environment. As it grows, it has a tendency not to lay down excess fat, and is therefore a lean choice, ideal for the commercial environment as “the other white meat.”

Pork is popular everywhere in the U.S., of course, but in the South it has a special place of importance. Much of that tradition comes from the history of pigs in America. The earliest pigs five hundred years ago foraged and lived throughout the South, from Florida to Texas. No wonder that when we think of BBQ (where pork reins supreme), we immediately think: delicious southern.

Grilled Pork Tacos and Papaya Salsa
Papaya salsa: 1 papaya; peeled, seeded, cut in 1/2 inch cubes 1 sm red chili; seeded and fine chopped 1/2 cup red onion; chopped 1/2 cup red bell pepper; chopped 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves; chopped 2 tbsp Lime juice

Pork mixture: 1/4 lb pork boneless center loin roast; cut in 2x1/4 inch strips 1/2 cup fresh papaya; chopped 1/2 cup fresh pineapple; chopped 10 flour tortillas (6 or 7" in diameter); warmed 1 1/2 c Monterey Jack cheese; shredded (6 oz) 2 tb. Margarine or butter; melted

Cook pork in 10-inch skillet over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in papaya and pineapple. Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Heat oven to 425F.Spoon about 1/4 cup of the pork mixture onto half of each tortilla; top with about 2 tbsp. of the cheese. Fold tortillas over filling. Arrange five of the filled tortillas in ungreased jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 brush with melted margarine. Bake uncovered about 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining tacos. Serve with Papaya Salsa.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BBQ Beef Short Ribs


Short Ribs
5 Pounds beef short ribs # 9991340

24 oz your favorite beer

Spicy BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)

Spicy Barbeque Sauce:

1 cup ketchup # 5339197

1/4 cup packed brown sugar # 3010741

1/4 cup vinegar # 9328337

3 tablespoons butter # 703157

1/3 cup lemon juice # 4037511

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce # 7406622

1 tablespoon prepared mustard # 4364063

1 teaspoon onion powder # 4353280

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and simmer over medium heat for 15
minutes. Reserve half of sauce for basting and half for dipping.

The Braise
Trim any excess fat from ribs. Place ribs in a Dutch oven or large cooking pot. Add
beer to cover ribs. Bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer,
covered, for about 2 hours or until fork-tender.

Prepare outdoor grill to medium heat. Place ribs on grill; brush with half of reserved
Spicy Barbeque Sauce for basting. Grill, covered, turning often and brushing with
remaining basting sauce, for 15 minutes or until slightly crispy on the outside.
Heat reserved Spicy Barbeque Sauce for dipping. Serve with ribs

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

June 23, 2010

The market has started slipping this week. Availability still varies amongst all the suppliers and this is what has made possible the gap in pricing. Most suppliers will agree that overall production has improved moderately over previous weeks. Warm weather and foggy mornings has caused for irregular growth patterns, expect mildew and burn to be seen regularly. Suppliers are cleaning up product as best they can, but it is still best to expect some defects upon arrival. Other quality issues include pink ribbing, discoloration, and mechanical damage.

The romaine market continues to be steady with good supplies and competitive pricing. Green leaf is softer as growers have ramped up production in Salinas. Mildew and tip burn are still seen upon arrival sporadically. This is due to warm temperatures, mixed in with past rains. We are still seeing red discoloration in all leaf items due to the previous rains that we had here in Salinas.

This market is being called stable for now but could change towards the tail end of this week. Some suppliers are experiencing gaps in production on both bunched product as well as crowns. Good weather continues to exist in all of the growing regions. Mexico supplies will be moderate throughout the week. The quality is expected to be strong throughout the week in all of the growing areas.

The cauliflower market is steady to start the week. Early forecasts indicate this commodity will be tighter in availability later in the week. Pricing will be stronger. Some suppliers continue to have better availability and this has caused variations among the different growers in respect to pricing. Planting gaps are likely in the near future with this commodity. Santa Maria and Salinas are the two big growing regions at this time.

California carrots are coming out of Bakersfield with good supplies. Yield and quality are good and there should not be any gaps for the next couple of months. Look for Michigan to kick off very soon.

This market is getting stronger on all sizes, although 24’s continue to have the best availability. Oxnard is starting to fall to the way side and will be finished by the end of June, leaving only Salinas to fill all demand. Overall, the quality has been nice with good weights.


Expect the market to rise. Good demand this week is being met with lighter supplies. This is mostly due to cool weather slowing down harvest numbers, and good demand for the 4th of July. Quality is good with a few fair lots. Supplies are still be harvested out of Santa Maria, Salinas and Watsonville. Some of the growers in Santa Maria have switch their fields to the freezer market due to the weak market conditions. Quality is best out of the Salinas and Watsonville growing areas at this time.
Supplies are peaking this week out of Salinas and Watsonville areas. Quality is good and the increased supplies are pushing the market down.
Supplies are mostly from Mexico this week as California is just getting started. Most of the Mexican supplies will stop crossing as this week moves on due to low fobs and quality starting to go down. California supplies are slowly building with good quality. The market has been weak, but may it firm up over the next week.
Supplies are good out of both the east and west coasts the start of this week. Quality is good with a steady market. New Jersey growers have started with limited volume this week. The main pack size on both coasts is pints with a few 6oz being packed.
Idaho is still heavy to the smaller counts and limited on the larger. The larger counts are still premium-priced and will be for the balance of the season although there some deals out there. The market for all counts is steady to slightly lower. Most packers are still asking for 2-3 days lead-time for large orders of the bigger sizes. The quality in Idaho has been mostly good but internal black-spot and peeper-sprouts have been seen in some lots. Washington is steady on all counts and followed Idaho up in price on 70’s and larger. They continue to peak on 70/80’s and still have excellent quality but are limited on the smaller
sizes and consumer bags. They expect to have storage product available through June. Colorado is also steady to slightly lower on the larger counts. Their quality is still mostly good and they expect to be shipping storage potatoes into late July or longer. Wisconsin is still packing but they are very limited as they are almost finished. New crop Russets were expected to start this week in California but cooler than normal weather has pushed them back two weeks. California shippers are still packing all red, white, and Yukon-golds and have good availability from the Bakersfield area with good quality on all colors. Arizona is also packing reds and golds and still has darker colored reds. Florida continues to pack a few
reds and yukons and has good quality but limited supplies as they will only ship for two more weeks. Alabama and North Carolina will begin packing at the end of June.

California and New Mexico continue packing all sizes, and colors of onions. The availability is generally lower in California especially on mediums and pre-packs, because cooler than desired temperatures have delayed their maturity. There are plenty of onions in the field they just aren’t quite ready for packing so expect changes soon. Once dry, warmer weather settles in for any stretch of time, they should come along quickly. New Mexico has better availability on jumbo and larger yellows. The red market is steady in New Mexico and lower in California due to supplies. Whites are lower in both areas due to light demand. The quality has been good in both areas and the size has been large on yellows and reds, while the whites are smaller and producing more mediums.

Two tiered market exist right now between California fruit and Mexican fruit with California fruit going at a premium price. The overall quality is excellent out of both areas with good size and excellent eating quality. The color on the flames is excellent as a result of cooler than normal nights which helps bring on the color and allows the fruit to finish itself. The sugarones are starting to pick up in volume in Mexico and California and we are starting to see some very nice finished fruit that is eating better each day. We expect plenty of fruit and we should have a smooth transition from Mexico and the California desert , into the Central California Valley which will take us through December on fruit.

Washington fruit is still mostly large and heavy to the higher grades in the reds, golds, and granny-smith varieties. The smaller counts and lower grades are still in short supply in all varieties and will remain so for the rest of the storage season. The markets on all three varieties are mostly steady but deals remain on 48, 56, and 64 size fruit. Gala’s and Fuji’s are the only two varietals left and the Galas are very limited. Cameos, Jonagolds, Honeycrisp, Braeburns, Pink Lady’s, and Romes are all finished. D’Anjou pear supplies are lighter again and the market is higher and strong as we near the end of the season. Most shippers only have large size US#1 grade fruit left and expect to have supplies for the next two weeks.
The quality has been good. Expect domestic pear prices to continue to climb until the end of the season. New-crop green and Red Bartlett pears will be available in late July from California.

MEXICO- Growers continues at a much slower pace as their season is nearing the end of this year’s crop.

CALIFORNIA – Growers continue to harvest good supplies, and demand is very good. Most of the California fruit is still small, but with the warming weather, the size is coming.


Market steady to strong as demand has been very good, overall quality is fair as they are experiencing some re-greening and having to gas the fruit about 24 hours to bring back the color. The fruit is eating excellent and has good juice content, but you will see some softer fruit due to the gassing. The 88’s and smaller are the toughest sizes due to us peaking on 72’s and 88’s and not getting an overwhelming amount of 113’s and 138’s. We are packing out 70-80% fancy and the balance choice which is keeping the choice shorter in supply. We will have plenty of fruit through the summer and will hopefully have fruit until we start navels around the first of November, weather will be the deciding factor.

Market is steady to strong with fairly tight supplies out of dist. 2, we are peaking on 115’s and 140’s which is keeping the smaller fruit tight, the overall quality is good to fair depending on the ranch. The juice content is excellent and you will see some fruit with a light green tinge. Expect the market to stay steady and possibly try and inch it’s way for the next few weeks until we start to see some Chilean arrivals which should help keep prices a more stable and possibly ease off. We expect dist.2 fruit along with Chilean until we start the dist. 3 fruit around the first of September.

Better supplies this week on smaller fruit, but larger fruit is shorter in supply.


Market is fairly steady with good volume coming out of Arizona and lighter volume out of the California region, Mexico is also crossing minimal numbers. The overall quality has been good with mostly a green to light straw cast and some fairly smooth netting. Sizes are peaking on 9’s and 12’s fruit. Expect the desert regions to start to lighten up on volumes in the next week or two and then we will see the market begin to strengthen due to a later than normal start out of the Westside deal around the second week of July.

Market is steady with supplies out of Mexico, California and Arizona. We are seeing lighter volume out of California and increasing volume out of Mexico and Arizona, we should see similar transitions to the Westside as we are seeing in the Cantaloupe. The overall quality has been very good with excellent sugar and firm fruit. The overall scarring has been heavier than we would like to see, but overall quality is good. We are peaking on 4’s and 5’s keeping the market on smaller fruit stronger.

Supplies are falling off on both seeded and seedless watermelon out of Mexico. Quality remains good. Domestic fruit will become more available the end of this week with better volume next week. Better supplies on seedless product with seeded watermelon in light supply. Prices are still at the bottom. The mini seedless are in better supply and quality is good.

Georgia still has a few cucumbers but the quality out of those regions is questionable. Farther to the north, there is better quality but they do not have volume yet. The market will be two tiered for the next couple of weeks as small windows of product pop up and die down just as quickly. Michigan/Ohio will be into volume in another 2-3 weeks which should even everything out.

Western Cucumber:
Mainland Mexico production is dropping in volume as they are ending their season. There will be limited production through the month. Baja production has slowed as some cooler weather is holding production back. Demand is very good.

Western Green Bells and Colored Bells:
Except for a handful of clean up picks this week the California desert is finished. Bakersfield harvest is limited in volume as growers are cleaning crown pick and peaking on extra large and jumbo size. Volume will still be 10 days out. The California desert crop for colored bells is going with good supplies of red, but some growers are starting to finish, so tighter supplies are coming. Yellow bells are tight as supplies begin to drop.

Eastern Bells:
Since Georgia is just about the only real volume region in the southeast and the West is in short supply we could be looking at a continued upward trend in the pepper market. Small areas in Tennessee and the Carolinas will pop up with pepper in the next week or two but until Michigan and Ohio are ready in August, pepper will continue to be a struggle and quality will fluctuate.

Western Squash:
Mainland Mexico has finished for the season. Baja has slowed due to cooler weather. Fresno has good production, but will move into their mid summer gap in 2 weeks and Santa Maria is going on Italian and will pick up volume over the next 2 weeks, and yellow is starting this week with light production.

Eastern Squash:
Michigan and Ohio are working squash this week. All other states to the south are still into squash but the market is all over the place, depending on where it is loading. Quality is better the farther North you go and by the beginning of next week, Georgia will no longer be an option and the market should even out.

Ruskin area of Florida has finished harvest for the season. Tomatoes continue to be harvested in Quincy, Florida as well as South Carolina and Arkansas. All of these growing areas are ahead of harvest schedules due to the heat incurred during the growth of the plant. The supply of tomatoes has significantly decreased compared to the levels that have been harvested over the last month. Overall size has decreased also as the end of the growing season in these areas approaches. These factors are pushing the market upward and look to remain higher for the next few weeks while we await the start of the next growing areas. California and Tennessee are expected to begin harvest around the 4th of July and Virginia around the 2nd week of July.

Roma and vine ripe tomatoes continue to be imported from Mexico. The crop that is crossing through Nogales is now finished, leaving product still crossing from Baja and through McAllen. These two areas will continue to have fruit through November. The quality remains good on these crops and markets are still trading at low levels. As some of the demand now shifts from the southeast to these areas, the markets will firm up on the Mexican product also.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Top Chef Trends for 2010: Best Source of Hot New Food and Beverage Ideas

The National Restaurant Association asked more than 1800 Chefs what they felt were going to be the most trendy items going into 2010. Here is a snapshot of their results.

Television (e.g. Food Network, cooking shows) 23%
Trade shows/conferences/seminars 22%
Independent restaurants 21%
Magazines 14%
Other 7%
Culinary schools 6%
Celebrity chefs 6%
Retail 2%
Chain restaurants 1%

For a complete list of the survey go to the National Restaurant Association Website at www.restaurant.org

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Restaurant Beverage Costs

From RestaurantOwner.com - June 22, 2010 ================================================================
Rules of Thumb for Beverage Costs: How's Your Restaurant Doing?

Although every restaurant is unique, industry rules of thumb can provide a valuable starting point for evaluating and understanding how your restaurant is performing.

While there will always be exceptions, here are a few beverage cost rules of thumb that we've found to be quite reliable over the years when working with operators who have collectively managed thousands of diverse restaurant operations.

Alcoholic beverage costs: Liquor, beer and wine costs will vary among restaurants due to a number of factors but here are typical costs in percentages:

* Liquor - 18 percent to 20 percent.
* Bar consumables - 4 percent to 5 percent as a percent of liquor
sales (includes mixes, olives, cherries and other food products
that are used or consumed exclusively at the bar).
* Bottled beer - 24 percent to 28 percent (assumes mainstream
domestic beer, cost percent of specialty and imported bottled
beer will generally be higher).
* Draft beer - 15 percent to 18 percent (assumes mainstream
domestic beer, cost percent of specialty and imported draft beer
will generally be higher).
* Wine - 35 percent to 45 percent (the cost percentages of wine can
vary dramatically from restaurant to restaurant depending
primarily on the type of wines served. Generally, the higher the
price per bottle, the higher the cost percentage).

NOTE - All percentages above are the ratio of each item's cost divided by its sales, not total sales or total beverage sales.
For example, liquor cost percentages above are based on liquor costs divided by liquor sales. This applies to the non-alcoholic beverage costs discussed below as well.

Non-alcoholic beverage costs: Historically it has been standard industry practice to record non-alcoholic beverage sales and costs in Food Sales and Food Cost accounts. However, we've found that many operators are now breaking out non-alcoholic beverage sales and costs and report on them separately as "Soft Beverages."

* Soft drinks (post-mix) - 10 percent to 15 percent (another rule
of thumb for soft drinks is to expect post-mix soda to cost a
little more than a penny an ounce for the syrup and CO2).
* Regular coffee - 15 percent to 20 percent (assumes 8-ounce cup,
some cream, sugar and about one free refill).
* Specialty coffee - 12 percent to 18 percent (assumes no free
* Iced tea - 5 percent to 10 percent iced tea is the low food cost
champ of all time. Cost of the tea can be less than a penny per
glass. Biggest cost component in iced tea is usually the lemon

FINAL POINT: While every restaurant is different, if your costs are running significantly higher than the averages above, it might be smart to investigate your pricing, beverage controls and the possibility of theft.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Arugula Salad with Pear and Walnuts

2 tablespoons minced shallot # 631531
3 tablespoons vegetable broth # 5304829
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil # 4350138
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar # 294827
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard # 4537593
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste # 773473
Freshly ground pepper to taste # 950115

1/2 cup chopped walnuts # 9327891
2 firm red Bartlett pears # 3025186
5 cups butterhead lettuce (Bibb or Boston) # 8641615
4 cups arugula, washed and dried # 7074271


1. To prepare dressing, whisk shallots, broth, oil,
vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. To prepare salad, toast walnuts in a small dry skillet
over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until
fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and
let cool.
3. Just before serving, cut pears into 16 slices each.
Place in a large bowl. Spoon on 1 tablespoon of the
dressing and toss to coat. Add lettuce, arugula and the
remaining dressing; toss well. Divide among 8 plates.
Top with walnuts.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Top Chef Trends for 2010: Hottest Restaurant Concept

The National Restaurant Association asked more than 1800 Chefs what they felt were going to be the most trendy items going into 2010. Here is a snapshot of their results.

Restaurants with gardens (e.g. rooftop, back-yard, communal) 33%
Cooking classes/demonstrations 18%
Street food and mobile food trucks/carts 15%
Restaurants on farms 13%
Gastropubs 12%
Other 6%
Featured butchers 3%

For a complete list of the survey go to the National Restaurant Association Website at www.restaurant.org

Campbell Soup recalls 15M pounds of SpaghettiOs

Campbell Soup Co. is recalling 15 million pounds of SpaghettiOs with meatballs after a cooker malfunctioned at one of the company's plants in Texas and left the meat undercooked.

The Agriculture Department announced the recall late Thursday. Campbell spokesman Anthony Sanzio said the company is recalling certain lots of the product manufactured since December 2008 "out of an abundance of caution" because officials don't know exactly when the cooker at the Paris, Texas, plant malfunctioned. Officials believe it happened recently but aren't sure, he said.

The meatballs that went through the cooker did not get the requisite amount of heat, according to the company.

Recalled are certain lots of three varieties of the pasta product often consumed by children: SpaghettiOs with Meatballs, SpaghettiOs A to Z with Meatballs, and SpaghettiOs Fun Shapes with Meatballs (Cars).

The USDA said there are no reports of illnesses associated with the product and Sanzio said the company has received no customer complaints to date.

The recalled products have "EST 4K," as well as a use-by date between June 2010 and December 2011 printed on the bottom of the can. The products were manufactured between December 2008 and June 2010 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

Sanzio said the company believes there are about 35,000 cases of SpaghettiOs subject to the recall on the market right now. He said USDA announced the recall of 15 million pounds because that is all of the product that has been manufactured since December 2008. Much of it has likely been consumed.

Consumers with questions about the recall can call Campbell's Hotline at (866) 495-3774.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Jimmy Dean Fades Away at 81

Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, "Big Bad John," and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81.

His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home.
She told The Associated Press that he had some health problems but was still functioning well, so his death came as a shock. She said he was eating in front of the television. She left the room for a time and came back and he was unresponsive. She said he was pronounced dead at 7:54 p.m.

"He was amazing," she said. "He had a lot of talents."

Born in 1928, Dean was raised in poverty in Plainview, Texas, and dropped out of high school after the ninth grade. He went on to a successful entertainment career in the 1950s and '60s that included the nationally televised "The Jimmy Dean Show."
In 1969, Dean went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in his hometown. He sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984.

Dean lived in semiretirement with his wife, who is a songwriter and recording artist, on their 200-acre estate just outside Richmond, where he enjoyed investing, boating and watching the sun set over the James River.

In 2009 a fire gutted their home, but his Grammy for "Big Bad John," a puppet made by Muppets creator Jim Henson, a clock that had belonged to Prince Charles and Princess Diana and other valuables were saved. Lost were a collection of celebrity-autographed books, posters of Dean with Elvis Presley and other prized possessions.
Donna Meade Dean said the couple had just moved back into their reconstructed home.
With his drawled wisecracks and quick wit, Dean charmed many fans. But in both entertainment and business circles, he was also known for his tough hide. He fired bandmate Roy Clark, who went onto "Hee Haw" fame, for showing up late for gigs.
More recently, a scrap with Sara Lee led to national headlines.

The Chicago-based company let him go as spokesman in 2003, inciting Dean's wrath. He issued a statement titled "Somebody doesn't like Sara Lee," claiming he was dumped because he got old.

"The company told me that they were trying to attract the younger housewife, and they didn't think I was the one to do that," Dean told The Associated Press in January 2004. "I think it's the dumbest thing. But you know, what do I know?"
Sara Lee has said that it chose not to renew Dean's contract because the "brand was going in a new direction" that demanded a shift in marketing. The Chicago-based bastards will retain the rights to Dean's name and likeness

Dean grew up in a musical household. His mother showed him how to play his first chord on the piano. His father, who left the family, was a songwriter and singer. Dean taught himself to play the accordion and the harmonica.

His start in the music business came as an accordionist at a tavern near Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., where he was stationed in the 1940s. After leaving the Air Force in 1948, he fronted his band, the Texas Wildcats, and drew a strong local following through appearances on Washington-area radio.

By the early 1950s, Dean's band had its first national hit in "Bummin' Around."
"Big Bad John," which is about a coal miner who saves fellow workers when a mine roof collapses, became a big hit in 1961 and won a Grammy. The star wrote it in less than two hours.

His fame led him to a string of television shows, including "The Jimmy Dean Show" on CBS. Dean's last big TV stint was ABC's version of "The Jimmy Dean Show" from 1963 to 1966.

Dean in February was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was to be inducted in October and his wife said she thinks he was looking forward to it.
Dean became a headliner at venues like Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl and became the first country star to play on the Las Vegas strip. He was the first guest host on "The Tonight Show," and also was an actor with parts in television and the movies, including the role of James Bond's ally Willard Whyte in the 1971 film "Diamonds Are Forever." He was working at the Desert Inn hotel when he was cast as Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Whyte was clearly modeled after Howard Hughes, who owned the Desert Inn and was therefore, by extension, Dean's employer at the time.

Besides his wife, Dean is survived by three children and two grandchildren, Donna Meade Dean said. Arrangements have not be made, but it will be a private service, she said.

In the late '60s, Dean entered the hog business — something he knew well. His family had butchered hogs, with the young Dean whacking them over the head with the blunt end of an ax. The Dean brothers — Jimmy and Don — ground the meat and their mother seasoned it.

The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. opened with a plant in Plainview. After six months, the company was profitable.

His fortune was estimated at $75 million in the early '90s.

Having watched other stars fritter away their fortunes, Dean said he learned to be careful with his money.

"I've seen so many people in this business that made a fortune," he told the AP. "They get old and broke and can't make any money. ... I tell you something, ... no one's going to play a benefit for Jimmy Dean."

Dean said then that he was at peace at his estate and that he had picked a spot near the river where he wanted to be buried.

"It's the sweetest piece of property in the world, we think," he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "It sure is peaceful here."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Top Chef Trends for 2010: Hottest Kitchen Equipment

The National Restaurant Association asked more than 1800 Chefs what they felt were going to be the most trendy items going into 2010. Here is a snapshot of their results.

Environmentally friendly (e.g. saving energy, conserving water) 55%
Productivity-enhancing (e.g. speeds cooking, labor-saving) 23%
Multi-purpose 15%
Specialty/novelty 4%
Mobile/portable 3%
Other 1%

For a complete list of the survey go to the National Restaurant Association Website at www.restaurant.org

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

US Foodservice San Francisco Presents The 2010 Monterey Bay Area Product Showcase

Today is the day, from 10 - 3 at the:
Carmel Mission Inn
3665 Rio Road
Carmel, CA
(831) 624-6630







Monday, June 7, 2010

Beef Short Rib Asian Style

Short ribs are a popular cut of beef. Beef short ribs are larger and usually more tender and meatier than their pork counterpart, pork spare ribs. Short ribs are cut from the rib and plate primals and a small corner of the square-cut chuck.

A full slab of short ribs is typically about 10 inches square, ranges from 3-5 inches thick, and contains three or four ribs, intercostal muscles and tendon, and a layer of boneless meat and fat which is thick on one end of the slab and thins down to almost nothing on the other. There are numerous ways to butcher short ribs. The ribs can be separated and cut into short lengths, typically about 2 inches long, called an "English cut", "flanken cut" across the bones, typically about 1/2 inch thick, or cut into boneless ribs.

Short ribs may be long-cooked, as in pot-au-feu, a classic of French cuisine, or rapidly seared or grilled, as in Korean cuisine, in which short ribs called galbi, are marinated and grilled over charcoal. A specific type from Hawaii is known as Maui-style ribs. Other popular preparations are barbecue and braising.

In this recipe for Asian Style Short Ribs the short ribs are slowly braised for 3 hours with classical style asian flavors, finished for the last 10 minutes in a reduced sauce and served over jasmine rice.

5 pounds beef short ribs, # 9991340
1 cup soy sauce # 8002164
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar # 5330204
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed # 7489339
1 (5-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved and smashed # 5104823
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger # 7015597
1/2 cup light brown sugar # 3010741
1 quart water
1/2 cup sliced green onion bottoms, white part only # 1326438
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper # 760462
1/4 cup fresh orange juice # 6952311
1/4 cup hoisin sauce # 9080482
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice # 4037511
Jasmine Rice, for serving # 6311930
Sliced green onion tops, optional for garnish # 1326438


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a wide stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the short ribs, soy sauce, vinegar,
garlic, lemongrass, ginger, brown sugar, water, green onion bottoms, crushed
red pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Make sure that the stockpot is
deep enough so that the short ribs are submerged in the liquid.

Bake the short ribs, covered, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and
falling off the bones. Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid and cover to
keep warm. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

Drain the fat off of the cooking liquid and discard. Place the remaining braising
juices in a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup of the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil
over medium-high heat. Reduce the liquid until only about 1 1/4 cups remain.
Strain through a fine-meshed strainer, discarding the solids. Stir in the remaining
2 tablespoons of orange juice and the lemon juice.

Return the short ribs and the reduced sauce to the stockpot or Dutch oven,
coating the short ribs well with the sauce. Bake for 10 minutes, until the short ribs are heated through and slightly glazed. Serve hot over jasmine rice. Season
each portion with the orange zest and garnish with the green onions if desired

Friday, June 4, 2010

Top Chef Trends for 2010: Alcohol and Cocktails

The National Restaurant Association asked more than 1800 Chefs what they felt were going to be the most trendy items going into 2010. Here is a snapshot of their results.

1 Locally-produced wine and beer
2 Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
3 Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
4 Organic wine/beer/ liquor
5 Food-beer pairings

For a complete list of the survey go to the National Restaurant Association Website at www.restaurant.org

Thursday, June 3, 2010

34th Annual Monterey Wine Festival

It's here! Begining next Thursday night at the Aquarium is 34th Annual Monterey Wine Festival.

June 10th , 2010 - Monterey Bay Aquarium 7:30 -10:30 pm
Prepare to thoroughly enjoy a night at the Monterey Bay Aquarium unlike any other! When the doors of the Grand Tasting open at The Monterey Bay Aquarium guests will receive a commemorative wine glass and be welcomed to a world class venue unlike any other for discovering new wines and sipping cellar favorites too! Enjoy the ability to choose from over 400 wines and sample the fantastic fare of local restaurants and national gourmet food manufacturers - all the while you visit the incredible marine displays of The Monterey Bay Aquarium. It really is a magical experience at The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Enjoy the Oyster Bar with a great pinot gris! You'll savor and delight in the flavors of California and beyond. Master sommeliers will be available to answer questions. Whether you are in the industry, a wine enthusiast or on your way to becoming one this event is not to be missed! You'll find that next great wine buy and discover new eating establishments that will temp your taste buds and end up on your dining calendar.
All samples of food and wine included in the ticket price.

June 11th 5 - 8 pm New Releases and More at the Monterey Conference Center!

Prepare to continue your celebration of fantastic wines and gourmet food offerings at the Monterey Conference Center. A night of new releases and past best of the barrels will highlight wineries accomplishments for the guests palate! These new releases are always a cause for celebration and what better place to sip, savor and swirl than the beautiful Monterey Conference Center? This combination of world-class wine, a silent wine auction, and of course exquisite gourmet offerings, make this a not to be missed happening. You'll have the opportunity to taste hundreds of different wines,meet,talk and learn from some of the world's most knowledgeable wine experts in an enjoyable environment.
Live music will act as a backdrop and a place to relax with fellow wine enthusiasts on the tasting room floor. Wine enthusiasts and food lovers will savor and remember the flavors they experienced at the Monterey Wine Festival long after the doors to the Conference Center are closed.
All samples of food and wine included in ticket price.
New this year.....The "B's" of wine.."Best of Class."
Test your knowledge: While at the festival you'll be able to test your wine tasting skills with the experts! One of our expert wine judges and sommeliers will have a variety of wines that they've "judged." See how close you come to their choices for Best of Class and more.

June 12th Noon - 3 p.m at the Monterey Conference Center.

New this year.... The C's of wine, or should we say Sea's?

Nothing tastes as great as exceptional seafood and a fantastic pinot gris or beautiful white wine. At this first ever happening you'll be able to taste the seas - chowder to be judged for the Best of the Best Chowder Competition. Our panel of judges will choose their pick and you'll be able to try them too while you sip on some fantastic wines and other gourmet offerings! Sorry limited to 300 people.

About the Monterey Wine Festival
Drawn by a combination of world-class wine, educational seminars presented by industry leaders, cooking demonstrations by distinguished chefs, a live wine auction, and exquisite dining, the festival has expanded to include more than 125 California wineries and more than 3,000 wine lovers. Sample from over 400 wines and enjoy a gastronomic delight with fine cuisine from local restaurants.

You will have the opportunity to taste more than 1,000 different wines, and meet, talk with, and learn from some of the worlds most knowledgeable wine experts.

Whether wine is your livelihood, your avocation, your hobby, or just something you'd like to learn more about, the Monterey Wine Festival is for you.

If you are on Facebook become a fan of their Facebook page to keep up on news and events.

See pictures from previous Monterey Wine Festivals here