Friday, May 29, 2009

Coffee Crusted Roast Beef Tenderloin

1 4-lb. beef tenderloin roast
¼ cup finely ground coffee
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp rubbed sage
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Trim and tie tenderloin. Combine dry ingredients. Rub half over entire surface of the roast, covering generously. Let meat rest 15 minutes and then rub with remaining mixture. Place meat in roasting pan and roast on center shelf until the internal temperature reaches 135ºF (for medium rare). Remove roast from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into ¼-inch slices and serve immediately.

Congratulations To Class 54

Congratulations to Class 54 of the Second Helpings Culinary Job Training Program, who graduated on May 29, 2009.

Pictured (Front Row, Left to Right) Sunil Deo, Cynthia Carter, Junia Isaac, Carrie Canter, Wynette Nance, Darcy Staser, Jim Zollner; (Back row) Chef Conway, Craig Wade, Benjamin Camp, Bryant Polk, Brian Felix,Alex Abram, Wayne Brown, Henry Cheeks.

Don't Just Visit Europe, EXPERIENCE It!

By Rick Steves

(Tribune Media Services) -- Many travelers tramp through Europe like they're visiting the cultural zoo. "Ooh, that guy in lederhosen yodeled! Excuse me, could you do that again so I can take a picture?" When I'm in Europe, I become the best German or Spaniard or Italian I can be.

I consume wine in France, beer in Germany, and small breakfasts in Italy. While I never drink tea at home, after a long day of sightseeing in England, "a spot of tea" really does feel right. So on your next trip across the pond, resist the urge to look at Europe through a lens, and find ways to really be there.

One of the best ways to connect to the culture is to play where the locals play. That means choosing destinations busy with local holiday-goers but not on the international tourist map. For instance, while tourists outnumber locals five to one at the world-famous Tivoli Gardens, Bakken, Copenhagen's other amusement park, is enjoyed purely by Danes.

Disneyland Paris is great. But Paris' Parc Asterix amusement park is more French. Hang out in a city's fairgrounds and parks, which are filled with local families, lovers, and old-timers enjoying a cheap afternoon or evening out. Or visit one of Europe's wonderful public swimming pools, called a "leisure center" in Britain.

Once you figure out where the locals hang, check out where they live. Ride a city bus or subway into the suburbs and then wander through some neighborhoods to see how residents live when they're not wearing lederhosen and yodeling. Visit a supermarket. Make friends at the launderette. Or mill around area schools and universities, checking out the announcement boards and eating at the cafeteria.

Be alert and a little bit snoopy. If you stumble onto a grade-school talent show, sit down and watch it. You can even visit a university's English-language department and ask about hiring a student (who's learning English) as a private guide.

Even if you're not a regular churchgoer, consider attending a European worship service. An hour in a small-town church provides an unbeatable peek into the community, especially if you join them for coffee and cookies afterward.

I'll never forget going to a little church on the south coast of Portugal one Easter. A tourist stood at the door videotaping the "colorful natives" (including me) shaking hands with the priest after the service. You can experience St. Peter's by taking photographs, or you can do it by taking a seat at Mass.

Walking is big in Europe. Across the south, in countries such as Italy and Spain, communities have a paseo, or stroll, in the early evening. Stroll along. Join a Volksmarch in Bavaria to spend a day on the trails with people singing, "I love to go a-wandering" in its original language. Visit a hiking center. Many areas have alpine clubs that welcome foreigners and offer organized hikes. Hikers enjoying staying at the many mountain huts and "nature's friends" huts across Europe, which are filled mostly with locals.

Keep indulging your interests and hobbies while you're abroad. If you belong to a service club, bridge club, professional association, or international organization at home, make a point to look up your foreign mates. If you like games or sports, seek out locals for a battle of brawn -- or brains.

Campgrounds are filled with Europeans in the mood to toss a Frisbee with a new American friend (pack along a lightweight nylon version). In Greece or Turkey, drop into a local teahouse or taverna and challenge someone to a game of backgammon. Watch as the gang gathers around, and what starts out as a simple game becomes a fun duel of international significance. You'll instantly become the star of the local cafe or bar scene.

Wherever you go, don't just be a spectator. Join in. When you go to the town market in the morning, don't just browse -- pick up some daily produce for breakfast or lunch. You can stand by and watch the pilgrims drinking the healing water at Lourdes -- or you can volunteer to help wheel the chairs of those who've come in hope of a cure.

If you're traveling through the wine country of France during harvest time, offer to pitch in and become a local grape-picker. Get more than a photo op. Get dirty. That night at the festival, it's just grape-pickers dancing -- and you're one of the gang.

If you're hunting cultural peacocks, remember they spread their tails best for people, not cameras. Once you take Europe out of your viewfinder, you're more likely to find it in your lap.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Children, Meet Your Vegetables

Baltimore chefs donate their time to program that introduces kids to the joys of healthful eating

By Jacques Kelly

May 26, 2009 - The third-graders at a Catonsville elementary school recently took a break from the usual cafeteria fare of corn dogs and pizza to sample organic, field-grown salad greens mixed with black olives, apple cider vinegar and oil, Maryland strawberries and honey.

And they became chefs for a day, mixing their own salads and making their own dressing.

Their experience last week was a culmination of a three-morning seminar, called "Days of Taste," which teaches children about what's produced on Maryland farms, tells them about non-processed foods and encourages them to grow a little more adventurous at mealtime.

The program is offered at 17 Baltimore city and county schools, and the instructors who donate their time are some of Baltimore's best-known chefs, including John Shields of Gertrude's, Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen, Galen Sampson and Christian DeLutis of Dogwood restaurant and local chef and baker Ned Atwater.

"You can really see the light bulbs go off when some of the city children have never eaten a fresh, raw vegetable and they taste it in a salad," said Atwater, who has been teaching the classes for nearly a decade.

"Over the years, we've probably been to half the public schools in Baltimore," he said.

Last week, he took his aluminum salad bowls and non-iceberg lettuce to the Westowne Elementary School on Harlem Lane in Catonsville.

"Our program is different because we have real professional chefs and professional farmers," said Riva Kahn, a cell biologist who lives in Timonium and helped develop the program. "It opens the eyes of these kids to different career possibilities. Our angle is to let them discover that healthy food and good food are not mutually exclusive."

While not every plate at Westowne was completely clean at the end of the lesson, most were fairly empty.

"I like olives," said Samuel Cushman, 9, who explained his grandmother likes to put them in salads.

JanayaWilson, who said she likes to cook - and makes her own salad dressing - is not a fan of red peppers. "I've never liked them," she said, leaving an unconsumed section of them of her paper plate.

As part of the experience, the students boarded buses for One Straw Farm in White Hall in northern Baltimore County. They saw lettuce being started in the greenhouse and the growing fields. (Other suppliers include Brad's Produce in Churchville and Calvert's Gift Farm in Sparks.)

"I learned that compost is banana peels and leftover foods," said Kye McMath, who also said he now knows what part of the tongue are associated with sweet and sour.

Atwater led a post-salad discussion on whether the foods tasted salty, sweet, bitter, sour or "umami" - a Japanese word meaning savory.

"We put in things you wouldn't think would go in a salad - like strawberries - and they tasted really good," said Vivian Montgomery-Walsh, a 9-year-old. "Going to the farm was really cool because we learned how a seed turns into veggies and fruit."

The Westowne food and cooking class attracted a number of parents as helpers and faculty members as observers.

"The math and the science are great, then you can ... look at it as a health class," said Westowne's principal, Patricia Vogel.

"Days of Taste" is a project of the American Institute of Wine and Food, a nonprofit educational organization founded by television chef Julia Child, wine maker Robert Mondavi and others.

"It was a program that originated in French schools," said Atwater, who worked with Kahn and food writer Cynthia Glover to tweak the mini-seminar for local school children.

Members of the Baltimore AIWF chapter gave $14,000 for the school events last year.

All the chefs donate their time to teach the students.

Other chefs in the program include Nona Nielson-Parker of Atwater's, Michael Marx of Rub Barbecue, Barry Fleischmann of Innovative Gourmet, Vicky Barkley from The Classic Catering People, John Walsh of Chef's Expressions and Marc Dixon of Bistro Blanc in Glenelg.

"Over the years, I've seen food become more and more processed commercially," Atwater said. "I want to teach kids about a balanced diet and where the food they eat comes from."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Daniels Urges Graduates to "Live for Others, Not Just Yourselves."

INDIANAPOLIS (May 10, 2008) - Governor Mitch Daniels today challenged the graduating class of Butler University not to stand on the shoulders of the Baby Boom generation but to instead follow "The Butler Way" and lead lives of humility, unity and thankfulness.

Daniels encouraged graduates to, "live for others, not just yourselves. For fulfillment, not just pleasure and material gain. For tomorrow, and the Americans who will reside there."

The full text of the governor's speech is included below:

Butler University Commencement
Remarks by Governor Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
May 9, 2009
Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

In a job in which public speaking is an occupational hazard, there are two categories I try my best to evade: eulogies and commencements. The thoughts of the audience are likely to be elsewhere, and the chances of saying anything remotely original or memorable are, well, remote.

But, now and then, an invitation proves irresistible and, for me, Butler's was one of those. I have long felt as strongly about this school as a non-alumnus can, for many reasons. I had so many good friends who went here. The first love of my life went here. And then there is Butler basketball.

As a 10-year-old, new to Indiana, Butler basketball was about the only entertainment our family was able, or at least willing, to purchase for me. On countless frigid evenings, someone's dad would drop us off in the Fieldhouse parking lot, and someone else's dad would pick us up, after watching the Bulldogs either beat or scare the pants off some big-name larger school. I might stumble over my own college's fight song, but I still know yours by heart.

And I'm still an avid Butler fan. I love the style of play, the homegrown teams, and, of course, the incomparable venue that is Hinkle. But most of all, I love the soul of Butler basketball, the ethos, the philosophy espoused by Coach Hinkle so long ago, but still alive. It comprises simple and timeless principles: humility, unity, thankfulness. There's not a word about athletics in it. We can bet that, if Tony Hinkle had been the Dean of Business or the Chair of the Pharmacy Department, he'd have laid down the same guidelines. Rightly, you call it "The Butler Way."

If you're like I was, and most college graduates I've known, you will soon look back and say "Wow, I got out of there just in time." It's a very human tendency to conclude that one's high school or college went straight to hell right after they left. It's typical to recall these years with increasing fondness and nostalgia, to think of them as special, and to imagine your class as the greatest the school has seen.

On the record so far, you are. Your entering SAT scores, and the difficulty of many of the courses you've just taken, surpass any in Butler history. But the record of your class has only a first chapter; what counts is what you will do with your education, and your lives, starting - that is, commencing, tomorrow. Years from now, when you are addressing commencements or attending them as parents, people will review that collective record, and pronounce you either a good, an ordinary, or, who knows, maybe a great class. Of course, what really matters is what you do or don't achieve individually, but prepare to be lumped together in various ways and assessed as a group.

Among the grossest and most arbitrary of such lumpings is the idea of a generation, a generalization at war with the obvious reality that any age cohort is widely diverse, containing heroes and villains, angels and devils, geniuses and fools. The parents here today are wonderful people, who have loved you, sacrificed for you, and taught you well. Neither you nor they would be here, if that were not so. But many of their peers made very different choices.

Even though the whole notion of a "generation" must be discounted as the loosest of concepts, within limits it is possible to spot the defining characteristics of an age and the human beings who create it. Along with most of your faculty and parents, I belong to the most discussed, debated and analyzed generation of all time, the so-called Baby Boomers. By the accepted definition, the youngest of us is now forty-five, so the record is pretty much on the books, and the time for verdicts can begin.

Which leads me to congratulate you in advance. As a generation, you are off to an excellent start. You have taken the first savvy step on the road to distinction, which is to follow a weak act. I wish I could claim otherwise, but we Baby Boomers are likely to be remembered by history for our numbers, and little else, at least little else that is admirable.

We Boomers were the children that the Second World War was fought for. Parents who had endured both war and the Great Depression devoted themselves sacrificially to ensuring us a better life than they had. We were pampered in ways no children in human history would recognize. With minor exceptions, we have lived in blissfully fortunate times. The numbers of us who perished in plagues, in famine, or in combat were tiny in comparison to previous generations of Americans, to say nothing of humanity elsewhere.

All our lives, it's been all about us. We were the "Me Generation." We wore t-shirts that said "If it feels good, do it." The year of my high school commencement, a hit song featured the immortal lyric "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today." As a group, we have been self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and all too often just plain selfish. Our current Baby Boomer President has written two eloquent, erudite books, both about..himself.

As a generation, we did tend to live for today. We have spent more and saved less than any previous Americans. Year after year, regardless which party we picked to lead the country, we ran up deficits that have multiplied the debt you and your children will be paying off your entire working lives. Far more burdensome to you mathematically, we voted ourselves increasing levels of Social Security pensions and Medicare health care benefits, but never summoned the political maturity to put those programs on anything resembling a sound actuarial footing.

In sum, our parents scrimped and saved to provide us a better living standard than theirs; we borrowed and splurged and will leave you a staggering pile of bills to pay. It's been a blast; good luck cleaning up after us.

In Christopher Buckley's recent satiric novel Boomsday, the young heroine launches a national grassroots movement around the proposal that Boomers should be paid to "transition", a euphemism for suicide, at age 75, to alleviate this burden. That struck me as a little extreme; surely 85 would do the trick. Buckley meant his book for laughs, of course, but you'll find nothing funny about the tab when it comes due.

Our irresponsibility went well beyond the financial realm. Our parents formed families and kept them intact even through difficulty "for the sake of the kids." To us, parental happiness came first; we often divorced at the first unpleasantness, and increasingly just gave birth to children without the nuisance of marriage. "Commitment" cramps one's style, don't you know. Total bummer.

A defining book of our generation was Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which chronicled the exploits of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, practitioners of the drug-taking '60s counterculture in its purest form. On the last page of the book, in a pseudo-intellectual, LSD-induced haze, Kesey chants over and over the phrase "We blew it."

In that statement, if in no other way, Kesey and his kind were prophetic.

As time runs out on our leadership years, it's clear there is no chance that anyone will ever refer to us, as histories now do our parents, as "The Greatest Generation." There is no disgrace in this; very few generations are thought of as "great." And history is not linear. Many generations fail miserably at the challenges they confront, and their societies take steps backwards as a consequence. Consider Japan before World War II, or Americans in the decades before the Civil War.

And yet in both those instances and many others, the people who followed did great things, not only redeemed all the failings but built better, fairer societies than their nations had seen before. In fact, true greatness can only be revealed by large challenges, by tough circumstances. And your opportunities for greatness will be large.

Among the reasons I usually duck commencements is the danger of lapsing into clichés, and I'd bet that no cliché is more worn out on these occasions than the phrase "standing on the shoulders of giants." Like all such phrases, it was inventive and interesting when Sir Isaac Newton coined it, but centuries later it's overdue for retirement. In one commencement speech I read about, our current Secretary of State managed to use it twice in a single paragraph.

Today, if you are thinking about standing on the shoulders of the past generation, I'd say "Please don't." Of course, I don't mean for a moment that you should not appreciate profoundly the health, wealth, comfort, the great innovations, and the general absence of world conflict which make this age in this nation the luckiest that ever was. After all, "thankfulness" is a pillar of "The Butler Way."

What I mean to suggest is that you take into the world the values written on the locker room wall at Hinkle, which are not much at all like those associated with the Baby Boom. That you live for others, not just yourselves. For fulfillment, not just pleasure and material gain. For tomorrow, and the Americans who will reside there, not just for today. That song I mentioned ends with the refrain, "And don't worry 'bout tomorrow, hey, hey, hey." When it comes on oldies radio, please, tune it out. Do worry 'bout tomorrow, in a way your elders often failed to do.

And please, just to revise another current practice, be judgmental. Whatever they claim, people always are, anyway - consider the healthy stigmatization of racist comments or sexist attitudes or cigarette smoking. It's just a matter of which behaviors enough of us agree to judge as unacceptable.

As free people, we agree to tolerate any conduct that does no harm to others, but we should not be coerced into condoning it. Selfishness and irresponsibility in business, personal finances, or in family life, are deserving of your disapproval. Go ahead and stigmatize them. Too much such behavior will hurt our nation and the future for you and the families you will create.

Honesty about shortcomings is not handwringing. Again, this is a blessed land, in every way. Amidst the worst recession in a long time, we still are wealthier than any society in history. We are safer, from injury, disease, and each other than any humans that ever lived. Best of all, we are free. The problems you now inherit are not those of 1776, or 1861, or 1929, or 1941. But they are large enough, and left unattended, they will devour the wealth and, ultimately, the freedom and safety we cherish, at least in our thankful moments. So you have a chance to be a great Butler class, part of a great generation.

You're thinking, "Don't lay all that on me. My one life's plenty to take care of," and that's true. But if enough of you choose to live responsibly, for others, for tomorrow, the future will remember you that way, when it assesses you as a lump.

You are in fact off to a great start, provided, that is, that you absorbed a bit of the tradition around here. Here's a real, if apocryphal, story we were told at your age. It was said then that Butler recruiters would travel to high schools on the East Coast promising parents "Send your child to Butler and we will send them back the same person you raised."

Surely, if ever actually stated, that was never true. You are a very different person than you were on arrival, certainly wiser and more knowledgeable, which are two different things. I hope you are also more inclined to unity. To humility. To thankfulness. If so, you leave the lot fully loaded, equipped with all the standard features and the factory options, too. You're ready for the road.

And if enough of you drive carefully, and responsibly, one day on this hallowed wood floor some other soon-to-be-forgotten speaker will look back and say, "Oh, 2009. That was a great class. They were part of a great generation. They did it The Butler Way."

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Top 10 Things Celebrity Chefs Won't Tell You

The Cliff Notes version:

1. “I’m a celebrity first and a chef second.”

2. “There’s absolutely no reason to buy my cookbook.”

3. “Just because I have a cooking show doesn’t mean I’m a chef.”

4. “Sex sells, even with foodies.”

5. “I’m addicted to porn—food porn, that is.”

6. “The dishes I make on TV don’t always work so great at home . . .”

7. “. . . and sometimes they’re just plain gross.”

8. “It might be my restaurant, but that doesn’t mean I cook there.”

9. “My show is one long commercial for my cookbooks.”

10. “Bottom line: My celebrity status is great for business.”

All the details here.