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Recipe: Creamy green gazpacho, from 'Eat Your Vegetables'

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Here's a recipe for Creamy Green Gazpacho, from Joe Yonan's "Eat Your Vegetables," featured in today's Buffalo News.

Creamy Green Gazpacho

  1 medium tomato, cored and cut into quarters

  1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into large chunks

      Flesh from 1/2 avocado, cut into large chunks

  3 large basil leaves

1/2 jalapeño (optional)

3/4 cup lightly packed watercress or baby spinach leaves

  1 small celery stalk (optional)

  1 clove garlic, crushed

  1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste

  1 tablespoon honey

  2 ice cubes

      Filtered water (optional)

      Kosher or sea salt

      Freshly ground black pepper

  1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Reserve one-quarter of the tomato, two cucumber chunks, two avocado chunks, and one basil leaf. Combine and finely chop for garnish.

Stem and seed the jalapeño half and reserve the seeds. Cut the jalapeño into several pieces. Combine one or two pieces of the jalapeño with the remaining tomato, cucumber, avocado, and basil and the watercress or spinach, celery, garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, and ice cubes in a blender or the bowl of a food processor; puree until smooth. Add 1/4 cup or more water to thin the mixture, if necessary.

Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if needed. If you want the soup spicier, add more of the jalapeño, a little at a time, as well as some of the seeds if desired, blending and tasting after each addition. Refrigerate until cold, then pour into a bowl and top with the reserved chopped tomato, cucumber, avocado, and basil and a drizzle of olive oil, and eat.

(Reprinted with permission from Eat Your Vegetables by Joe Yonan, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. You can buy it here or at other booksellers.)

Nickel City Chefs offer James Beard showcase menu in Sept. 22 rehearsal dinner

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

The Buffalo chefs who are presenting dinner at Manhattan's James Beard House in October are giving local fans a chance to enjoy the menu here first - and help raise money for their trip to the Big Apple.

The Buffalo dinner, at 5 p.m. Sept. 22 in the Mansion on Delaware, will preview an Oct. 16 meal featuring the work of leading Buffalo chefs at one of New York City's premier culinary showcases. The chefs are the home team on Nickel City Chef, the popular live cooking contest.

"The evening features hors d'oeuvres and courses from chefs Jennifer Boye of Mansion on Delaware Avenue, Adam Goetz of Craving, Brian Mietus of Bacchus, and JJ Richert of Torches, plus a signature cocktail from Jon Karel (The Revelry, Vera), and wine pairings from Michael DePue," the release said.

Tickets are $170 including tax and tip, the same as the Beard dinner. Tickets to the Sept. 22 Buffalo dinner are available here. Information about the Oct. 16 James Beard House dinner is here.

The menu:

  HORS d’OEUVRES, “A nod to our past”

~Presented by chefs Brian Mietus and JJ Richert~

Beef on Weck – Crispy Beef Demi-Glace with Dehydrated Horseradish on Caraway Crackers

Pierogi – Tasso Ham–wrapped and Pan-fried Miniature Foie Gras Pierogi with Loganberry Gastrique and Sauerkraut Powder

Sausage and Peppers – Fennel-Scented Sausage Forcemeat with Broth, Onion–Pepper Jelly, and Charred Bread Crumbs

-Jon Karel’s “Wooden Nickel” bottled cocktail: Lockhouse Distillery vodka, Smoked Bacon Fat-washed Campari, Punt e Mes vermouth, Natural Spring Water-


~Chef Jennifer Boye~
Bibb Heart Salad with Carrot Greens, Nasturtium, Roasted Wild Mushrooms, and Pickled Carrots
-Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, Steampunk Cider-

~Chef Adam Goetz~
Corn Agnolotti with Pork Broth, Pickled Chowder Vegetables, and Potato Foam
-Silver Thread, Gewurztraminer, 2012-

~Chef JJ Richert~
Whitefish with Beer Batter Spaetzle, Duck Egg Tartar, and Crispy Olive Oil Frites with Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar Powder
-Dr. Konstantin Frank, Pinot Gris, 2011-

~Chef Brian Mietus~
Herb-Crusted Veal Tenderloin with Potato Chips, Leek Confit, Charred Tomato Demi-Glace, and Herb Gastrique
-Onabay Vineyards, Merlot-Cabernet Franc Blend, 2007

Dessert Trio
~Presented by chefs Jennifer Boye and Adam Goetz~

Chèvre Arborio Pudding with Wildflower Honey and Lavender

Apple Frybread with Gjetost and Salty Butterscotch

Dark Chocolate Madeleine–Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwich with Turkish Coffee Sauce

-Coffee service-




After Mike A's, Chef Ed Forster planning to pop up in area kitchens

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Chef Edward Forster, who was responsible for many of the creative dishes at Mike A's at the Lafayette, is talking about the next meals he's serving in Buffalo. In an interview with's Nick Mendola, the North Tonawanda native says a series of pop-up dinners, one-night culinary stands in local restaurants, are his next step.

Meanwhile, plans for a restaurant called The Workshop are gestating.

Get all the details here.

Photos: Flavors of Shanghai, Sichuan at Amherst's Miss Hot Cafe

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Here's a pictorial guide to some of the dishes I got to explore at Miss Hot Cafe (3311 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, 832-3188,, the Chinese restaurant I reviewed in today's Buffalo News.

Here's "Big Dish" ($14.95):

Miss hot 026
This cauldron of Sichuan broth, assorted proteins, vegetables and noodles looks wickedly spicy, but if you ask for it mild it's no worse than a medium hot chicken wing.

Miss hot 025
This is the cold appetizer of ox tongue and tripe in chile oil ($7.25). Seriously hot, and seriously tasty.

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Fish with sour cabbage, ordered “without soup” ($13.95) and its accompanying crullers.

Miss hot cafe 063
"Chicken in Chongqing Style" ($11.95) is chile-laced chopped chicken, fried once to set the coating then wok-fried with aromatics. The peanuts put it over the top. I didn't mention this delight in the review for lack of room.

Miss hot cafe 056
Marinated sliced beef ($7.95) is sweet braised beef shin with a smooth texture, aromatic with star anise and rich with gelatin. A terrific cooling dish to pair with fiery ones.

Miss hot cafe 044
Shanghai style smoked fish ($7.95) was sweet and faintly smoky, but all the little bones put me off.

Miss hot cafe 023

Here's the mushroom and chive buns ($2.75), puffy pan-fried sweet dough stuffed with savory vegetables.

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A summer dessert special, cold coconut soup with fresh mango and tapioca.

A Chinese restaurant with dessert. If you go on Saturday or Sunday, when you sit down ask if they still have the egg tarts.

Dinner 2 002

At $1.60 a throw, Miss Hot Cafe's egg tarts are homey, simple, sweet little custard pies. They're homely but the crust-filling ratio is just right.

Chef Guo Lin presents Barbecued Fish at Miss Hot Cafe

(Photo Charles Lewis / Buffalo News) 

Meet Chef Guo Lin, the head guy in the kitchen. I haven't had the pleasure of talking to him, but I strongly suspect somebody back there is classically trained. Check out the little delicate carrot flower on the left of the fish. There's also a cute little bunny fashioned out of a grape tomato that turns up perched on plates.

Post your own Miss Hot Cafe dishes to #misshotcafe on Twitter, where I am @buffalofood.

Beef on weck beats pastrami for New York sandwich crown, Zagat says

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Zagat, the survey-based guide to restaurants in the U.S. and select international cities, has named the beef on weck New York State's specialty sandwich.

Ben Tsujimoto of has the rundown here

He notes that the pastrami on rye was not triumphant. I wonder if that's because the "best pastrami" debate rages from coast to coast among lovers of Jewish deli cuisine. 

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