My arterioles are screaming in agony… and yet!
Mae’s: Deep Fried Oreos (by TwoHungryDudes)
Fried in Zeppole batter and dusted with powdered sugar.
Deep fried Oreos are good for the soul. Chocolatey, sweet, hot, and sinful. Definitely not an everyday food, but perfect for a special treat.
From Mae’s in Pleasant Ridge, MI.
I don’t know about y’all, but here in the dirty South, it’s hot as hell. I woke up to let the dogs out at 5:30 this morning and even though it was pitch-black dark outside, it was probably 85 degrees and humid as a swamp.
I think Julia Child once said something along the lines of “there’s nothing better than hot soup on a cold day and cold soup on a hot day.” Or something like that. Anyway, for a while there, the only cold soup I was familiar with was traditional tomato-based gazpacho, which I despise. My brother and I joke that gazpacho probably originated when a restaurant realized they were out of pasta and needed to get rid of the spaghetti sauce. “We’ll just serve it cold, so they won’t know it’s sauce, and give it a fancy Italian name! Voila!”
Behold, brave readers: the monkfish.
This grotesque sea creature looks like something from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History… but alas, all I had to do was travel to my local farmer’s market to catch a glimpse.
If you’ve been following Cheapolicious for a little while now, you’ll notice that many of my ingredient adventures have been rather tame. Most of what I have used was produce (ramps, rhubarb, yuca, etc) and none of it had that gross-you-out quality that a true ingredient adventure would elicit. I knew I had to remedy this. And the best place to purchase gag-worthy ingredients? The meat and seafood section.
Remember that time I went into Whole Foods looking for ramps, and inconspicuously attempted to break up the banded half-pound bundles because (at $20/lb) I only wanted, like, three?
Yeah. That didn’t work. Those rubber bands are thick, and a Whole Foods employee was definitely keeping his eye on Sketchy Ramp-Stealing Girl.
All the hubbub surrounding these foraged greens has been spreading around the East Coast faster than kudzu. It’s rampant, if you will. Needless to say, I was interested. Despite living in basically the foothills of Appalachia (home of ramps), I’d never heard of the things. Yet, for their short-lived peak in April, ramps are, like, totally haute. Funny, considering they’re just wild leeks that Appalachians have been foraging forever, and now they’re $20 per pound at Whole Foods. But I digress.
So, I have a new obsession in the frozen treat genre: Laloo’s goat’s milk ice cream.
This was a bit of a splurge at Whole Foods (I normally don’t buy ice cream at the grocery store, period, much less the $7-8 kind). But it was worth it. The Black Mission Fig flavor (pictured here), which is their signature flavor. It’s delicious — you can definitely taste the goat’s milk, but it isn’t too overpowering. It tastes like goat cheese with figs and honey. Yum! Living in the South, I’m always in search of delicious cold treats. This creamy gourmet ice cream fit the bill perfectly. It’s not exactly eat-as-much-as-you-want healthy — at 150 calories per 1/2 cup serving, you can’t really cradle it in front of a Project Runway marathon for an hour and not expect to get fat. But apparently, goat’s milk is super-duper good for you. I’m really not qualified to get into any details, nor do I really care about “medium chain triglycerides,” but you can read about it on their website if you’re interested.
Honestly, though, this ice cream is so deliciously rich and creamy that half a cup is plenty. Theoretically.
Deep-fried fiddlehead ferns with bleu cheese and Tabasco.
Lemon pappardelle with fava beans, prosciutto, and morel cream sauce.
Question: What do you get when you cross food snobs with the Internet in the middle of spring?
Answer: Gazillions of blog posts about morels, ramps, fiddlehead ferns and fava beans.
I know, it’s not really a funny joke. But it’s true—ever since I started keeping up with food sites like Chow, Saveur, and Epicurious, these ingredients are all I’ve been hearing about. Why? I had never heard of any of these before I took the plunge into foodie sites this spring. According to Serious Eats, food-lovers are obsessed with some of these spring ingredients (namely ramps) simply because they’re the first true spring ingredients to start popping up. From David Kampe, author of The Food Snob’s Dictionary:
“The ramp is not a salad green, but it is a green vegetable, and it is the first legitimately green thing that appears from the ground in April, a month that, in terms of farm yield, is otherwise an extension of winter. For food snobs, therefore, ramps are overcelebrated and overly scrutinized, like the first ballgame played in April, even with 161 more games ahead.”