Pork Martinis, Creole Food and Crawfish Dreams

Hosted by
The Community Food Security Coalition can be found at www.foodsecurity.org.

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture is published by Island Press.

Potato Frittata with Avocado and Three-Chile Salsa by Selma Morrow (adapted from her book, The William Sonoma Collection: Potato)
Serves 4

  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped seeded poblano chile
  • 1/3 cup chopped seeded Anaheim chile
  • 1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno chile with seeds
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado pitted, peeled, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 red potatoes, halved and cut crosswise into slices
  • 6 large eggs
  • Lime wedges for garnish
In a bowl, combine red onion and Anaheim, poblano and jalapeno chiles. Toss to mix. Transfer 1/2 cup of chile mixture to another bowl and stir in tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and lime juice. Toss together to make salsa. Season to taste with kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate.

In a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium. Add the remaining chile mixture to pan and saut- until chiles begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to same pan. Add potatoes and 1/4 tsp kosher salt and stir to blend. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes (some potatoes may brown.) Add potatoes to bowl with chile mixture and let cool to lukewarm.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs with 1/2 tsp kosher salt to blend. Stir eggs into potato mixture. To same frying pan, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add egg-potato mixture to pan. Cook, running the spatula around edge of pan occasionally to loosen frittata until sides are set, about 6 minutes. Cover and cook until center of frittata is set, about 9 minutes longer. Run spatula around edge and under center of frittata to loosen. Slide frittata onto plate and invert a serving platter on top. Holding plate and platter together, invert them and lift off plate. Garnish with lime wedges. Cut frittata into wedges and serve with salsa.

Josh Karpf spoke about pork martinis. You can find out more of his food obsessions at www.foody.org.

The Slow Food-Kobrand Wine Tasting and Food Tasting will take place Tuesday, June 10 from 6-9pm at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Century City. The event will features rare allocation Italian wines (wines made in such small quantities that the only way to get them is through allocation by the vineyard) and food tasting from Suzanne Goin of Lucques and AOC, Mako Tanako of Mako, Nicola Mastronardi of Vincenti Ristorante, Josie LeBalch of Josie's, and Piero Selvaggio from Valentino and Posto, Joe Miller of Joe's, Sang Yoon of Father's Office, and Chris Pollan of the Cheese Store of Silverlake.

Ticket price is $55 for Slow Food members, $75 for non-members. Call 212-965-5640 to purchase tickets and find out more.

Nancy Rawles is the author of the novel Crawfish Dreams

Thanks to Magnolia for the tips and the following recipe.

New Orleans Pralines

  • 1- 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T. Half and Half cream
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients except the pecans and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. The mixture will be thick. Stir until it comes to a boil. Then turn heat down to a low boil. Stir occasionally, spooning mixture up onto the sides of the pan to melt any sugar that hasn't melted. Cook until the mixture reaches 239 degrees with a candy thermometer. If you don't have a candy thermometer, bring it to the soft ball stage.

Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and the pecans. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and becomes creamy and cloudy. Spoon onto waxed paper to harden.

What usually happens is that by the time the mixture turns cloudy, signaling that it is time to drop onto the waxed paper, it starts hardening too fast to drop correctly. If this happens, stir in 1 - 2 tablespoons of warm water to thin the mixture. Don't add too much -- just enough to make the spoonfuls drop and settle in a "puddle". You don't want them to look like chunks of rocks.

If cooked to the correct temperature, it won't take a minute to harden by stirring. If you don't cook them long enough, they remain "sticky" and never become firm. They should be firm, yet creamy. If you don't eat them all the first day, wrap them individually and store them in an airtight container.

* Recipes in which the butter is cooked with the sugar and milk seem to turn out better, cook faster, and taste creamier.
* Cook to the correct temperature - 239 degrees. If you use a recipe in which you don't put the butter in while cooking, don't cook that long. Cook only to approximately 210 degrees.
* Don't let it go beyond the soft ball stage. If you do let it reach the hard ball or "thread" stage, it won't crystallize and be soft.
* Assemble all of your ingredients before you start. Have the pecans and the vanilla ready, and have plenty of waxed paper laid out and ready. Have your spoon ready with which to drop the mixture when it starts to harden.
* Spoon them out on a cutting board or a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. They are very hot and may damage a table or counter. Also, the mixture is so hot it will melt the wax onto your counter and it will have to be cleaned off with scouring powder.
* Try several recipes and decide for yourself which you like best.