Romaine Lettuce Recall

8 May

Ohio-based Freshway Foods issued a recall of romaine lettuce Thursday because of possible E-Coli contamination, according to a FDA.gov press release.

The lettuce, packaged under the brands Freshway and Imperial Sysco was distributed to wholesalers in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The lettuce was also sold to Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh for use in their in-store deli counters and salad bars.

The lettuce was not sold in retail pre-packaged bags or salad mixes and isn’t affected by the recall.  E-Coli is commonly found in the lower intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals and the organism is commonly an indicator of fecal contamination.

For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm211131.htm

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Gastronomic Monstrosity: Spleen Sandwich

5 May

I was perusing my second-favorite ( only to Facebook) website on Monday when I ran across this article written by The Atlantic’s own Tejal Rao. The article entitled, “Spleen, It’s What’s for Dinner” awoke me from an otherwise comatose day in front of the boob tube. You must read this article, if simply to digest my favorite line from this superbly-written hysterical account of the writer trying a spleen sandwich at the urging of her culinary curiosity:

“After a few bites I lift the bun to peek and the sandwich yawns an ancient, meaty stink.”

Sweet Jesus, What the eff????!!!!!

This was THE BEST article I’ve read in awhile.  I gotta tell you; I’m recharged again just reading Ms. Rao’s adept descriptions and wry sense of humor.  I’m going to try and read all of her  articles whenever I can.

Oh for those of you who need to see this in action, I’ve posted this just for you:

I’ve eaten haggis before, and lived to tell about it. I think I’m gonna pass on the spleen.

Enjoy!!

The Responsibilities of Stewardship

1 May

Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as ” the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”

Well. if you like Gulf shrimp, Blue Crab, Snapper, Marlin, Swordfish, Grouper, Stone Crab, Oysters  and a host of other culinary delicacies from these waters, we aren’t doing a great job of managing our natural resources.  I am saddened and angry that our thirst for oil has once again threatened the perilous balance of nature.  I believe that in our quest for black gold, we time and time again trash the environment. You know what folks? It may take weeks or month before we cap off the pipeline that is spilling between 5,000 barrels a day in some reports, to 25,000 barrels a day in other reports.

And meanwhile, we are killing the wildlife and destroying miles and miles of fragile wetlands that support the fishing industries in this area and impacting the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on fishing for a living. I can’t fathom why we would allow drilling without a way to stop leaks when and if they occur.

I’m not a mental giant. I’m just a person who likes the environment and had made an indirect living from it.  I don’t have answers; I just have questions.  I just want us to act like the stewards that God, Buddha, Jehovah or Allah or the Flying Spaghetti Monster made us.

We have to. It’s our home.

In Search of Fresh Fish

30 Apr

Lately, I have had a strong craving for fresh fish. You know the type of craving I mean; the type of deep, down need for a particular taste or smell that not even a facsimile thereof can satisfy. In other words, canned tuna and salmon ain’t cutting it any more. I wanted something grilled or pan-seared that came from something that looked like it lived in water at some point. My problem is simple: I am so picky when it comes to fish that I just stopped buying it.

So, why did I stop buying fish?  Everywhere I went to go buy salmon, tuna, trout or flounder I would see these words: Previously Frozen.

Sigh.

My experience has shown me that some fish fare better frozen than others. Domestic IQF catfish is an example of how well fish can be frozen if handled and stored responsibly. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen fresh shrimp in the seafood case. Even tuna does well if frozen on the boat.  I have an issue with thawing fish to sell as fresh with the words “previously frozen” in small lettering on the advertisement.  Why is the availability of fresh fish so scarce these days?

So, my quest for fresh fish drove me to Whole Foods. Admittedly; it was my first time in the uber-organic haven, so I was a bit mystified and exited to see so many organic offerings in one setting.  Side note: There was two kids begging their mom for rice cakes. Yeah, times have changed.  It was a huge culture shock for me, but I digress.

I arrived at the fresh fish counter and it was like I had died and gone to heaven. I knew I was going to void my wallet of anything resembling money.  I bought trout fillets, two pieces of bright red tuna loin steaks, a pound of certified Atlantic Salmon and turbot. I was just giddy with excitement at all of the possibilities. I was going to have a fish orgy. Mmmmm!

When I arrived home and unpacked my goodies, I became aware that the certified Atlantic salmon and the turbot was previously frozen. There it was, as plain as day on the label. I was bamboozled and hornswoggled! I fell for the okey-doke. I was so enamored with the sights and smells of  a gourmand’s paradise that I completely forgot to scrutinize the labels before I bought my fish. I scolded myself and cooked a piece of the salmon. It was really good, and not rubbery like all of the frozen salmon I’d bought countless times before my self-imposed fish embargo.  When I tried the turbot however, I was disappointed because it was mushy after I cooked it. The turbot proved to be the perfect example of how fish can be corrupted by freezing: typically, the flesh of turbot is way too delicate to be frozen. The tuna and the trout were both great and I learned a lesson:

Trust, but verify.

Thanks to antiagingtreatments.blogspot.com for the grilled fish photo

How to Roast Peppers at home

15 Apr

Part One of my Pepper Tutorial:

Part Two

Video Tutorials coming soon!

11 Apr

The Canon FS 100

Well gang, I’ve prepared a tutorial for you.

The issue is that I couldn’t be bothered with such nonsense as reading directions on how to upload said video tutorial to my computer.

I will say that I’m hot on the case, and I will have that puppy uploaded very soon!

The tutorial is how to roast peppers at home. If I’m successful, then I will post a video once a month or so demonstrating different cooking techniques that everyone should have in their culinary arsenal.

See you soon!

CC

Whole Foods issues recall of frozen tuna steaks

7 Apr

Whole Foods  has issued a recall of their 12-ounce packages of Whole Catch Yellowfin Tuna Steaks because of possible toxic level of  histamine, PRNews Channel reported today.

The packages have a use by date of December 5, 2010 and lot number 4853309157A  on its label.

The recall affects 28 states and the District of Columbia. Eating fish containing toxic levels of histamine can cause scombroid poisoning, a result of fish not properly cooled or poorly preserved after being caught.Typical Scombroid poisoning symptoms include a burning sensation in and around the mouth;  hives, flushing of the face, nausea and vomiting according to FamilyDoctor.org. Persons who have purchased this fish shouldn’t consume it, but call your  local Whole Foods to see what actions you should take.

For a list of states, go here

Thanks to FamilyDoctor.org, FreshFishDaily.com.au,   Whole Foods and PRNewswire.com