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Correction: Queen City Roller Girls chili cook-off set for Feb. 4

The Out to Eat article on the Queen City Roller Girls chili cook-off had the incorrect date. It's set for Feb. 4, at 6 p.m.

The corrected article is below:

Women’s roller derby skaters thrive on competition —it’s no accident a popular bumper sticker among skaters proclaims: “I Hit Girls.”

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the battle goes from the rink to the kitchen, with a chili cook-off involving members of the Lake Effect Furies, the all-star travel team of Buffalo’s Queen City Roller Girls.

Carolyn Storms, a Brockport State College sociology professor who skates as “Stormie Weather,” says the chili smack is already being slung. “There’s already under-the- table bets taking place,” she said.

Will an all-organic or vegan chili have an edge in one of the awards categories? “Everyone is trying to figure out what everyone else is doing, what their secret chili angle is going to be,” Storms said. “It’s exciting.”

Get in on the chili action from 6 to 10 p.m. at Appliance Associates of Buffalo (200 Amherst St.). For $5 at the door, people can taste 12 chili competitors’ work —and even sample some Flying Bison beer ($2 for more). Proceeds aid the travel team’s efforts to compete nationally in Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) sanctioned bouts.

agalarneau@buffnews.com

Hot ticket: Top Buffalo chefs launch farmer benefit today

A posse of chefs, led by some high-profile cheerleaders for locally raised pork, vegetables, fruit and dairy products, have planned a thanksgiving dinner of their own. Dubbed "A Big FUSS," it's Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6 to 8:30 p.m., at Artisan Kitchens & Baths, 200 Amherst St.

The night's stars include Steven Gedra of Bistro Europa, Adam Goetz of Sample, Jim Guarino of Shango Bistro, Kate Elliott of Merge, Ross Warhol of Chautauqua's Athenaeum Hotel, Bruce Wieszala of Carmelo's in Lewiston (and Coppa Artisan Cured Meat). They wanted to give back to their partners in culinary excellence, the farmers, organizer Christa Glennie Seychew said.

They'll be using donations from local vegetable and meat producers, including Promised Land CSA/Oles Family Farm, Unfinished Farm, Painted Meadows and T-Meadow Farm.

Lloyd's Chris Dorsaneo and Pete Cimino will be serving tacos, too, suggesting folks can find their high and low cuisine needs satisfied in one place. Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, and Tuscany on Main will pitch in too.

Tickets are $30, limited to 300, and might be gone quickly. Proceeds, including the take from the cash bar, and an auction, will benefit a local farmer who's dedicated effort to supplying local restaurants, said Seychew.

The recipient isn't being named, to spare them embarassment and further harm to their business, Seychew said. Like a local Farm Aid concert, A Big FUSS is expected to be an annual event, she said.

More on Buffalo's fine coffee choices, and photo gallery

Two weeks ago I knew little about the fine coffee business in Western New York. Now I know a little more: cupping, crema, "pulling shots," Chemex and pour-over have all been added to my mental dictionary.

All those moments in coffee excellence are ably illustrated in these compelling images from Spot Coffee and Elm Street Bakery, taken with care by News photographers Sharon Cantillon and Robert Kirkham.

My education continues, with the help of coffee fiends everywhere. The list of local sources of small-batch or micro-batch roasted coffee (scroll to bottom) is not nearly an exhaustive, definitive directory. Please send additions or suggestions to agalarneau@buffnews.com, and I will be updating the list after I confirm information.

 

Recipes: Roasted Tomatoes with Orange and Cardamom, and Waffles, from 'Intolerant Gourmet'

Here's two recipes from Barbara Kafka's "Intolerant Gourmet," featured in today's Buffalo News. Her waffles are pretty straightforward, except for the flour substitutions to make them gluten-free. But orange and cardamom with cherry tomatoes? "An unusual set of seasonings, but the tomatoes seem to enjoy them," Kafka writes. "I do."

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Orange and Cardamom
(Serves 4 to 6)

2 pints stemmed cherry tomatoes (ample 4 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
5 strips orange zest, each 1/4 inch wide and 3 inches long
5 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and each cut lengthwise into 4 pieces
10 cardamom pods, hit with the flat of a knife to liberate about 2 teaspoons seeds

Heat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the center.

Put the tomatoes into a shallow 9-×-13-inch roasting pan. Add the olive oil and roll the tomatoes in it until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle with the salt. Roast for 10 minutes.

Shake the pan to turn the tomatoes around. Add the orange zest, garlic, and cardamom pods and seeds around the tomatoes so that they are resting on the pan. Roast for 15 minutes.

 

Waffles
(Makes eight 5-by-6-inch waffles)

The author writes: "These are so good that my husband ate the entire batch covered in maple syrup while I was out of the kitchen fixing my computer.

They are light and elegant and could equally well serve as a dessert if topped with Raspberry Sauce (page 199) or Chocolate Sauce (page 199). If your friends love these, make double or triple the dry ingredients and store until you’re ready to make a batch.

It is true that the variety of flours may be new; but today most of them are available at markets, and in health-food stores or on the web."

1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup white rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups coconut milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon safflower oil
Turn a waffle iron to high.

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk the coconut milk, eggs, and 3/8 cup of the oil together. Then whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until well combined.

Evenly brush both the top and bottom of the hot waffle iron with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil. Pour 1/2 cup batter for each waffle (the iron we used makes two waffles at a time; if yours is much smaller, use 1/3 cup batter) and close the waffle iron. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the waffles are crisp and golden brown (the waffles are crisper when less oil is used to grease the waffle iron).

Credit: “Excerpted from The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten & Lactose by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2011. Photographs by Johnny Miller.

 

NoNoo Ramen scores rave review with Japanese noodles, comfort food

Mike Andrzejewski's Cantina Loco has generated more questions and interest directed my way than any other recent Buffalo restaurant openings, but NoNoo Ramen Bar, by ex-SeaBar cook Chris Van Every, has been a close second.

It's the first dedicated Japanese-style noodle soup emporium in town, and Buffalo.com's Ben Tsujimoto has given it a rave review, with lots of pictures. Donnie Burtless and Alli Suriani at Buffalo Eats confessed to being "pretty impressed" in their review.

Besides the soup - a million times better than the cheap, artificially-flavored bricks that fuel college students - there's Japanese comfort food like okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) and crispy chicken katsu (cutlet) with Japanese curry gravy and rice.

Having worked though its "soft" opening, NoNoo is now open for lunch Thursdays and Fridays, its site says.

Full menu, liquor, bigger servings start Friday at Cantina Loco

When Cantina Loco opened with takeout in November, some of the first online customer reviews were lousy, with numerous complaints about too little food for too much money.

Chef Mike Andrzejewski took the feedback seriously, and when his Mexican-inspired place opens for real Friday, with an expanded menu, table service, and liquor, customers will see the difference, he said.

"We listened to the legitimate criticisms, and I think some of them were pretty valid," he said, "and we responded to make the food a little more value conscious, portion and pricewise."

For instance, customers get two tacos instead of one, except for the fish and Koreatown marinated steak, which are much bigger, he said. The expanded menu, starting 4 p.m. Friday, will include tamales ($6), tortas ($7), enchiladas ($7) and daily specials like mole or barbacoa.

More than 25 tequilas, and at least eight different mescals, headline the liquor selection, which will include specialty cocktails. The restaurant, at 191 Allen St., received conditional liquor license approval Wednesday, he said.

Video: Making Spanish chorizo and chickpea stew

This week's Elements column features Spanish chorizo, the cured sausage that's flavored with so much chile powder it colors every dish it's simmered in. Garbanzos con chorizo is relatively simple and rewards the beginning cook with a dish fit for dinner.

Spanish chorizo can be dulce, sweet, or picante, hot. Use whichever your palate prefers.

Here's the recipe, and the cooking video. Buen provencho.

Live chat with News food writer Andrew Galarneau at noon

The snow is flying on and off, the Sabres are making me sorry I bought tickets and Paula Deen got a corporate sponsor for her announcement that she has diabetes. At least there's eating to look forward to. Join me here at noon for a live chat on things foodish - cooking, restaurants and more.

Recipes: Date-Stuffed Phyllo Cigars, Cognac Glazed Apricots with Cinnamon Yogurt

When Cook of the Month Scott Akdogan made a Turkish-inspired dinner to share with News readers, he made an appetizer and a dessert that we couldn't fit in the newspaper.

Here's his recipe for the Date-Stuffed Phyllo Cigars featured in the large photo on today's Taste cover, typically served as an appetizer. For dessert, he made Cognac Glazed Apricots with Cinnamon Yogurt, faintly exotic, and not too sweet - a delicious change of pace.

Feta Walnut Date Wraps (Date-Stuffed Phyllo Cigars)

6 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces

6 ounces crumbled feta (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons; patted dry if wet)

2/3 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

1 (1 pound) package phyllo dough (roughly 17- by 12-inch sheets), thawed if frozen

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Pulse cream cheese, feta, walnuts, and dates together in a food processor, stopping occasionally to scrape down side of bowl, until nuts are finely chopped and mixture is combined well. Quick-chill filling by freezing until cold (to make it easier to handle), 15 to 20 minutes in freezer.

Stack 8 sheets of phyllo and cut stack crosswise into 4 strips (each about 12-by 4-inches), reserving remaining phyllo for another use.

Stack phyllo strips, then place stack between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap (to keep phyllo from drying out) and cover with a kitchen towel (to help keep the paper or plastic wrap in place).

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle.

Place 1 sheet of phyllo with a short end nearest you on a work surface (keep remaining sheets covered) and brush with butter.

Roll a scant tablespoon of filling between your hands into a 3-inch-long log and place log in center of phyllo sheet, parallel to short end. Fold phyllo in half, enclosing log, and brush with butter.

Starting at log end, roll up pastry to resemble a cigar. Transfer, seam side down, to a lightly buttered baking sheet.

Make more rolls, leaving 1/2-inch of space between cigars on baking sheet. Bake until phyllo is golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cognac Glazed Apricots with Cinnamon Yogurt

Yogurt

3 cups plain Greek yogurt or drained plain whole-milk yogurt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Apricots

1 tablespoon finely slivered orange peel (orange part only)

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 pound dried pitted whole Mediterranean-style apricots (about 3 cups), halved crosswise

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice

1/3 cup Cognac or other brandy

Toasted natural unsalted pistachios

Slivered fresh mint

For yogurt:
Stir yogurt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

For apricots:
Cook orange peel in boiling water 5 minutes. Drain and reserve peel.

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Whisk in sugar. Add apricots; toss. sauté until beginning to brown in spots, about 8 minutes. Add 1 cup orange juice and reserved orange peel. Simmer uncovered until juice is reduced to thick syrup and apricots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.

Add Cognac to simmering apricots; ignite with long match. Let flames subside, shaking skillet occasionally. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice and simmer 1 minute, stirring.

Spoon chilled yogurt into 6 dessert dishes. Spoon warm apricots and syrup over. Sprinkle with pistachios and mint.

Find a photo gallery here.