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Brews with a view Sat. at Museum of Science

Brews with a view will be on tap Saturday, July 23 as the Buffalo Museum of Science presents Star Lights, the event where wineglasses and spyglasses - OK, telescopes - go hand in hand.

Participants can enjoy food, beer and wine from 23 sources on the museum's first and second floor. Then they can head up to the roof and take a turn at a telescope, checking out the stars. Weather permitting, of course - it's a rain or shine event, and the beverages will flow inside either way.

Tickets are $40, which includes 10 tasting vouchers. They're available at the museum, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, or through its website. Members $5 off with I.D. number.

Video: Making bulgoki, grilled Korean beef

Bulgoki, Korean-style grilled beef marinated in sweetened soy sauce, garlic, scallions and sesame oil, is probably my favorite way to eat lettuce.

That's because you wrap morsels of beef, crispy around the edges, in greenery before devouring them. Boston lettuce is a favorite because of its tenderness, but any butterhead lettuce will work, or even romaine, if you don't mind dealing with the ribs in each leaf.

After shooting the Elements cooking video we created for the dish, I decided to change the recipe, to use much less scallion. If you follow the recipe that was in today's article, it'll be excellent. But the marinade will not be greenish, as in the video. 

Review chat with News Food Writer Andrew Galarneau

Stop by for a live chat on the homepage at noon. It's easy to sign on, and lasts about an hour. What do you eat to beat the heat? If you don't have air conditioning and you have to feed a family, what do you do?

Salad and sandwiches? Spend the evening in a fast food outlet, dawdling through the dollar menu? Or take advantage of one of Western New York's festivals and fairs for al fresco dining?

Share your ideas, ask questions about restaurants and food, or reccomend incredible edibles from around the region.


CSA recipe of the week: Arugula salad

This week's recipe comes from Christine Collins, Porter Farms subscriber and July Cook of the Month, featured in today's Buffalo News.

She served this simple, bracing Arugula Salad with her Savory Summer Beet Tart, a winning combination for a summertime dinner.

Arugula Salad

6 cups Arugula

1 lemon, halved

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 green onion (diced)

Salt and pepper to taste

In the bottom of a large salad bowl, squeeze the juice from one whole lemon and zest the lemon rind. Add olive oil and diced green onion. Salt and pepper liberally, tossing in arugula.

CSA recipe of the week: Cucumber salsa, salad and soup

Porter Farms has a few well-tested suggestions for using some of the cucumbers that are starting to show up.

Here's the Elba community supported agriculture farm's cucumber recipe suggestions, with marinated cucumbers, a fresh cucumber salsa, and a creamy buttermilk cucumber soup. It doesn't say to chill the soup, but I sure would.

Recipe: Homemade soft pretzels

Here's a recipe from "Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: And Other Kitchen Projects," by Karen Solomon, featured in today's Buffalo News.

Soft Pretzels

Makes 12 pretzels

Time commitment: about 4 hours

6 cups (1 pound, 13 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more 
as needed
1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 egg

Instructions: In a food processor fitted with the dough blade (or a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook), whirl together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. With the motor running (at low speed for a stand mixer), drizzle in the oil, then 2 cups of the water. The dough will come together and grab onto the dough hook.

Dust a countertop with flour and knead the dough, pushing it in from the sides and then over from the bottom, for 7 to 10 minutes. It will become less sticky, more cohesive, and slightly shiny, and it will have the texture 
of an earlobe to the touch. (If it doesn’t, add more flour, 
1 tablespoon at a time.)

Lightly oil a large bowl and dampen a clean kitchen towel. Heat a cup of water in the microwave and remove it. Roll the dough into a ball, transfer to the oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with the moist towel. Move the bowl into the microwave and let it sit for 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a countertop lightly dusted with more flour. Stick your finger directly into the center to make a small hole. Use your fingers to widen the hole and work the dough, hand over hand as if you’re pulling on a rope, into a large O-shape about 2 inches thick.

Cut the dough into a long rope and then into 12 equal pieces. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll into a 22-inch-long rope and fold into a pretzel shape: first, make a tall, skinny U shape, then cross the ends down and across each other to the opposite sides of the U. Pinch the pretzel to hold its shape. Form the other pretzels and let them rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring the remaining 6 cups of water and the baking soda to a rapid boil in a wide-mouthed Dutch oven or other large pot.

Boil the pretzels, one at a time, for 30 seconds each. Don’t skip this step: it’s what sets a pretzel apart from a doughy roll. Remove the pretzels from the water with a slotted spoon and hold them over the pot to drain well, then place them on the lined baking sheets. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush the pretzels with this egg wash and sprinkle with salt to taste.

Bake both sheets of pretzels for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and swapping their places in the oven halfway through. When they’re done, the pretzels will be golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for a full 30 minutes—really: this sets their texture.
How to Store It: The pretzels are ready to eat immediately, and they are best eaten within a day. Alternatively, they can be frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 3 months.

Can It Bottle It Smoke it cover

The book can be ordered here.

Reprinted with permission from Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: And Other Kitchen Projects. Copyright (c) 2011 by Karen Solomon, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Angie Cao.




Here's the 2011 Taste of Buffalo you missed

Huge crowds took advantage of the sunny Saturday and Sunday to cruise the offerings of more than 60 restaurants and wineries. The award-winning restaurants were announced Saturday (at bottom of story).

If you missed the Taste, by choice or happenstance, here's some stories and pictures from participants.

They might make you hungry, but you don't have to worry about getting trapped behind a double stroller while a kid spills gumbo on your shirt.

At Buffalo Spree, Christa Glennie Seychew has oodles of pictures and the results of the Nickel City Chef culinary competitions, including Battle Taco, for which I was one of four judges. We were burdened with the task of evaluating a taco of grilled marinated skirt steak and buttered lobster versus a taco of lobster with fresh mango salsa. Tough job.

Don Burtless of Buffalo Eats got into the action as well, getting viewers inside the job of Taste of Buffalo judge in this video. As judge, this ambitious eater has to try everything from multiple restaurants, a "kid in the candy store" dream.

Natalie Eats Buffalo offers pictures and reviews of some dishes, with raves for Papi's roast pork and Chester's Cajun Grill.

New Amherst seafood restaurant giving away free crab

Joe's Crab Shack, a national seafood chain, opens its first Western New York store at 11 a.m. Monday, July 11.

How do you make sure you have customers waiting on your first day? Give buckets of free snow crab to the first 100 people in line. That's what the Joe's management is promising in a news release.

The place is at 4125 Maple Road, the former Pizzeria Uno location.

Flying bread, tornadoes of tea: Amazing food vendor videos

Asian food vendors have found that adding eye-catching moves to their routines of breadmaking, tea-brewing and other street food creations help nab customers.

Poster nickyskye at Metafilter has collected some of the most jaw-gaping samples here.

Watch a guy fling paratha flatbread probably 30 feet without looking to his griddling partner, every three seconds. The whirling-dervish moves of a Thai tea vendor who somehow ends up with a full cup - and more.

Warning: may induce cravings difficult to satisfy in Buffalo, N.Y.

Video: Make rhubarb strawberry pudding cake

It's easier than pie and rich enough that you might actually consider skipping the whipped cream. For everyone who wants strawberry-rhubarb pie but doesn't want to push through their crust-o-phobia.

Check out the video and the recipe here. 

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