Rank #1: Last Chance Foods: Fishing for Spring
Stephanie Villani and Alex Villani of Blue Moon Fish are a little like the fish they bring to the city’s greenmarkets. They spend the winter season in warmer climates (in their case, the Florida Keys), before returning to the northeast in the spring. They’re back this year—and so are fluke, porgies and other fish.
May 10 2013
Rank #2: Last Chance Foods: Talking Ramen with Ivan Orkin
In the past few years, ramen shops seem to be popping up everywhere from Harlem to Flushing. Chef Ivan Orkin, who just opened Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop at Gotham West Market and published the memoir/cookbook Ivan Ramen, says that the reason ramen has gotten so popular is because it’s the ultimate comfort food.
Dec 06 2013
Rank #3: Last Chance Foods: Mastering Maitake Mushrooms
If you’re out wandering the woods this weekend, you might want to keep an eye out for a ruffled mass of mushrooms stuck to the bottom of a hardwood tree. It could well be a maitake, or hen of the wood, mushroom. The fungi is delicious and has a meatier, more assertive flavor than average button mushrooms.
Nov 08 2013
Rank #4: Last Chance Foods: A Pantry Stocked For Snow Days and Late Nights
A snowy winter storm is a daunting way to start off a new year — particularly if your resolutions for 2014 include eating better, saving money, and being healthier. One way to help meet all three of those lofty goals is to make sure you have a pantry that’s well-stocked. Late nights at the office won’t have to end in take-out, and unexpected snow days won’t lead to miserable treks to the grocery store.
Jan 03 2014
Rank #5: Last Chance Foods: The Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup
If you’ve ever flipped over packaged food and checked for high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list, there’s something you should know: “Experts… say that when it comes to calories and nutrition, sugar is sugar is sugar,” says Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. “And it even gets worse, because they’ll throw in fruit juice, as well."
Feb 28 2014
Rank #6: Last Chance Foods: One Rad Radish
It’s now, around January and February, that daikon radishes begin to really sell, said Tamarack Hollow Farm’s farmer Amanda Andrews. She drives down from Burlington, Vermont, every week to sell produce at the Union Square Farmers Market on Wednesdays, and says that only diehard daikon fans really buy them when they’re first harvested in September. At that point in the year, the long, white radishes are often overshadowed by spotlight-stealing fall produce like tomatoes, squash and berries.
Feb 01 2013
Rank #7: Hot Sauce: Feel-Good Flavor or Just a Punch in the Face?
Americans now eat 150 percent more hot sauce today than they did in 2000. WNYC host Amy Eddings thinks that’s because our palates are bored and jaded.
“We call ourselves foodies by just sprinkling some hot sauce over pancakes and saying, ‘I invented something new,’” she said. “What we’re doing is just blazing a hole through our tongue, and we’re not really settling in and increasing our knowledge about the complexity of taste.”
Jan 31 2014
Rank #8: Last Chance Foods: Go Ahead, Make Ricotta at Home
Making cheese at home may seem like an endeavor for hardcore homesteaders, but chef Peter Berley said that making ricotta is simple. It only takes a few basic ingredients and fairly little time.
Feb 15 2013
Rank #9: Last Chance Foods: Make Hummus Like a Pro
As a snowstorm comes barreling down on the Northeast, many New Yorkers will be spending some quality time indoors this weekend. For those with a can or bag of chickpeas languishing in the pantry, here’s a good task to while away some time: Peel those chickpeas and make hummus.
Feb 08 2013
Rank #10: Last Chance Foods: Getting a Start on Christmas Cake
Mid-November may feel too early to be bopping along to Christmas tunes, but there’s one Christmas tradition that requires a long head start. English Christmas cake, according to Out magazine editor Aaron Hicklin, needs at least five weeks to mature, a process that calls for the cake being regularly soaked in booze. (If only human maturity was developed the same way.)
Nov 15 2013
Rank #11: Last Chance Foods: Why You Shouldn’t Eat Raw Chocolate
Today is Valentine’s Day, so we’re going to talk about chocolate. That’s the easy explanation. The more complicated version of how Last Chance Foods choose to approach the topic of such a beloved confection involves a former aerospace engineer turned farmer, a vertically integrated beans-to-bar company, and a three-year-old factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Feb 14 2014
Rank #12: Last Chance Foods: Taking a Gander at Eating Goose
Chicken coops may be sprouting up on rooftops and backyards around the city, but don’t expect domesticated geese to be taking up urban residence anytime soon. “The biggest reason I don’t think you’ll ever see geese in an urban setting, or even a suburban setting, is they’re very loud,” said Hank Shaw, the author of Duck, Duck, Goose. “They honk at everything.”
Jan 24 2014
Rank #13: Last Chance Foods: How Jacques Torres Does Thanksgiving
Master pastry chef Jacques Torres has a word of advice for anyone making pies for Thanksgiving. He says to keep it simple.
“When you start to put too many [flavors together], you don’t know what you eat anymore,” he said. Instead, pick one main flavor and then use another ingredient or two to complement it.
Nov 22 2013
Rank #14: Last Chance Foods: On a Mission to Save Kubbeh
Cookbook author Claudia Roden made a grim prediction in her 1996 tome The Book of Jewish Food. She wrote that kubbeh, a traditional Jewish-Iraqi dish of semolina dumplings in soup, might soon disappear because restaurants and home cooks were abandoning the time and labor-intensive recipe.
Mar 01 2013
Rank #15: Last Chance Foods: Tips on Creating a Thanksgiving Menu for Every Dietary Restriction
Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, vegan and vegetarian — has your Thanksgiving menu being undermined by food allergies and ethical objections? Tell us about what you don’t eat in the comments below. Or share the extraordinary lengths you’ve gone to in catering to the dietary restrictions of your friends and family.
Here’s what three chefs and one caterer had to say about the subject.
Nov 27 2013
Rank #16: Last Chance Foods: A Family Tradition Built on Horseradish
Making horseradish runs in Carolyn Sherman’s family. Her father, Lawrence, started tinkering with the recipe more than three decades ago.
Jan 25 2013
Rank #17: Last Chance Foods: Crafting Tomato Junk
Look, let’s be honest: Some of us are not ready to get into canning. We might live in Brooklyn, obsess about pickles, and splurge on artisanal cheese, but the prospect of mason jars and hot water baths is just too much, okay? Great. Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about a method of preserving that’s easier than canning.
Oct 04 2013
Rank #18: Last Chance Foods: Introducing Purple Tomatillos
For those of us unaccustomed to cooking with tomatillos, they can be a bit of a mystery. The obvious facts are these: They kind of look like tomatoes, but are not, and they’re a key ingredient in salsa verde.
Sep 27 2013
Rank #19: Last Chance Foods: Turning Host on Host for Food Fridays
For the past few weeks here at WNYC, The Leonard Lopate Show and Last Chance Foods have combined to bring you the latest breaking news in the worlds of seasonal vegetables, new cookbooks, and pickling. Today, Leonard Lopate launched the 3-ingredient challenge with the help of chef Rozanne Gold.
In recognition of that contest and to present a united Food Fridays front, Last Chance Foods host Amy Eddings put a series of questions to Lopate for a change.
Nov 01 2013
Rank #20: Last Chance Foods: True Grits
Matt Lee and Ted Lee exhibit a Southern politeness that speaks to their background growing up in genteel Charleston, South Carolina. Ask the brothers about instant grits, though, and they pull no punches. The pair once described the supermarket variety as “cream-wheat bland, a cultural embarrassment” and recently declared that the white stuff is better suited for spackling walls than for consumption.
Feb 22 2013