Saturday, September 25, 2010

Camaraderie: Mom's Love The S. Kitchen

Below is a post from Jason's, The S. Kitchen catalyst, mom, Debbie Wyman, who recently visited San Francisco and attended The S. Kitchen presents...Sing for Your Supper.

Recently, I spent a few days in San Francisco. One of my trip highlight's . . . . The S Kitchen!

If you are ever lucky enough to find that special invitation has landed in your in-box . . . attend! Do NOT pass go. Do NOT collect a million dollars. GO directly to the S Kitchen! The S Kitchen is the most creative, fun way to learn about current issues/causes/events that are happening in and around your local area. All while experiencing great cuisine, conversation and friendship.

I had the privilege of attending The S. Kitchen presents . . . Sing for Your Supper. Everyone brought a dish to share (a very inexpensive way to entertain) around the theme Sing for Your Supper. What exactly did that mean? We all brought a couple of tunes from our favorite genre of music along with an appropriate dish . . . I LOVE country music, and having traveled 1,585 miles to attend this special event, I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (well, actually I didn't have a kitchen with me), so I made good 'ole Country Time Lemonade! Returning from a recent trip to Germany, and a fondness for German music, a German cabbage soup was most palatable! And, to top off the afternoon and most appropriate for Sing for Your Supper, we were serenaded by the sounds of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir! Truly amazing! The S Kitchen is THE way to go for entertaining ideas that offer so much more than just food. It's a connection between food for the body, and food for the mind.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cuisine: Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

This is a recipe I crafted for Sing for Your Supper.

The potluck guidelines for this The S. Kitchen event were to bring a dish inspired by your favorite music. I thought and thought and thought about what my favorite music actually is. I like so many different types of music that picking just one is really, really difficult. Then, I thought about what I really wanted to make and to see if there was a musical genre that spoke to it.

Having been to Berlin to visit my dear friends Dan and Tomas last April, German food and German music were still swirling in my head. I started looking up different types of classic German food. But the problem with classic German food is that I hate classic German music. I do, however, love German electro.

So my husband scoured our cd racks to find German electro music to help inspire the cuisine. As I listened to the music and let Germany seep back into my blood, I found a recipe for pork chops. I knew it would be good because it included being cooked in milk with lots of cheese. In order to make it my own, I decided to kick up the seasonings because German food is not all that seasoned.

This is what was created. It was the hit of the ball and everyone loved the Parmesan crust.

You Will Need:
14 1/3 inch cut pork chops, trimmed of fat
1 pint buttermilk
1 jalapeno, cored and seeded and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
6 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 tsps sweet paprika
2 tsps hot paprika
2 tsps fine German pepper
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps garlic powder
2 TBSPs salt
2 containers grated Parmesan cheese

What To Do:
Mix the buttermilk, jalapeno, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt together and let sit for about one hour.

Pound each pork chop with a flat meat tenderizer of a small sauce pot until about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.

Beat 1/4 tsp salt into the 6 eggs until frothy. Sift remaining dry ingredients together.

Grab four containers that are large enough to lay a pork chop in without it being crowded. They could be baking dishes, flat bottomed bowls, etc. In the first container, pour in about half the buttermilk mixture. In the second one, pour in about 1/4 of the flour. In the third one, pour in the beaten eggs. In the last one, pour in about 1/4 of the Parmesan.

To assemble the pork chops: dip the chop in the buttermilk ensuring it gets fully coated. Then, dip both sides in the flour. Make sure that the flour adheres all over the pork. You may need to pat it down into the flour. Then, dip both sides in the egg. Finally, dip it in the Parmesan. The last coating will be really messy. Make sure it is covered fully otherwise it doesn't get the right flavor at the end. Finally, place it in a prepared pan. You will need to continually refill the flour and the Parmesan containers. The buttermilk and egg should be fine.

Make sure to not crowd the pork chops in the baking dish. This recipe will fit into two large aluminum trays (seven in each).

Cover the trays with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Take the trays out of the refrigerator and uncover. Pour the remaining butter milk in both trays and recover. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Then, remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes ensuring that the breading browns.

Serve and enjoy!

Dark City

RSVP here.

Dark City
Friday, October 22, 2010,
3 hours after moonrise

Costumes expected

Cuisine: Hearty Cabbage Stew

You will not find an easier recipe. It is truly one of those, "Set it and forget it" varieties. I made this for The S. Kitchen presents...Sing for Your Supper, and it definitely was a smashing success. I kicked it up a notch, as I have to do with German food, by adding a few key spices I was able to turn this from drab cabbage into a stunningly complex stew. Enjoy!

You Will Need:
1 head green cabbage, shredded
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 head fennel thinly sliced
3 carrots, cubed
5 potatoes (red are best), cubed
1 jalapeno, cored and seeded and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds (or caraway seeds if you don't have ajwain)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp finely ground pepper
7 saffron threads
1 TBSP and 1 1/2 tsp vegetable base
8 springs Italian parslet
2 bay leaves
6 cups water

What To Do:
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Simmer covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve.

Cuisine: Creamy Mushroom Soup

I racked my brain for what kind of cuisine to make for The S. Kitchen presents...Sing for Your Supper as we were supposed to make food inspired by music. So I thought I should probably start with picking the music and then the food. After a couple of weeks spinning different cds and shuffling of my ipod, I settled on German music, and not the German music of yesteryear. No, I wanted the pop/rock German music of Kraftwerk and Nena Hagen and Marlene Deitrich.

Then, I wandered around German food blogs. Having recently traveled to Berlin to visit my dear friend Dan, I knew that there would be an additional challenge to this cuisine: how to stay true to the German palate, which is incredibly dull, while bringing in a little kick, which I have to have in all my food. I ended up making a mushroom gravy called Scwammerl So├če. I made it exactly as the recipe was written. It turned out good, but I wanted it to be better.

Then, I crafted this recipe. Needless to say, there wasn't a single drop left.

You Will Need:
4 TBSP butter
2 onions, finely diced
2 lbs fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp bittersweet paprika
1/4 tsp hot paprika
1/4 tsp lemon zest
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fine ground pepper
3 cups water
2 cups cream
3/4 cup flour
vegetable base to taste

What To Do:
Wash and quarter the mushrooms. Put the quartered mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until the are finely diced. Melt the butter in a dutch oven. Add the mushrooms and onions and fry for 10-15 minutes or until they are releasing their juices and starting to brown.

Combine the cream and the water. Add three cups of this mixture to the mushrooms and onions. Add the paprikas, lemon zest, salt, and fine ground pepper. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

Whisk the flour into the remaining cream/water mixture until it is smooth. Cook for about 15 more minutes or until it thickens into the consistency you want. Taste and add vegetable base if needed.

Thanks for a Fabulous Sing for Your Supper!

The S. Kitchen presents...Sing for Your Supper was a HUGE success thanks to wonderful host Dee Mendoza and talented guests from the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. Food was shared including tasty German pork chops, creamy mushroom soup, and hearty cabbage stew by catalyst Jason W. and a to die for spongy Kahlua cake by Dee. Guests brought great music to share including country with Country Time Lemonade, a retro macaroni casserole with classic 70s rock, and a chocolate cake with German polka!

Please take a stroll through the photos below and enjoy the performances from the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

Up next:
Cooking with Jason, a The S. Kitchen Fundraiser on Thursday, October 14th at 6:30pm
Dark City, a The S. Kitchen event on Friday, October 22nd 3 hours after moonrise
Slowly Growing Green Field Trip to Urban Sprouts on Sunday, November 7th at 1pm
The S. Kitchen presents...TBA on Sunday, November 21 at 4pm with host Al Wong
Sing for Your Supper Field Trip to the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir's Holiday Show on Saturday, December 4 at 7:30pm
Check Current Events for more information!

Recipes coming soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Camaraderie: Dirty Martinis and Good Friends

by: Cybil S.

I RSVP’ed to Dirty Martinis for a Dirty Gulf because of a friend who I missed, Daniel. He introduced me to Jason and John. What I found at the cocktail party was the same illuminating factor that was so attractive in my dear friend who now lives abroad: conversation that is entertaining and at the same time therapeutic. It is clear why my friend holds this group close: they exude his same sparkle.

On a more universal note, the S Kitchen dinners not only bring friends and acquaintances together, the soirees add awareness to issues that demand attention from society. Even if no action is taken, simply allowing yourself the opportunity to consider what’s happening outside your individual bubble is critical.

The unique quality of Wednesday’s presentation was that the “guest-sperts” spoke from their own perspective, bringing an internal voice to their experiences with the organizations they represent. The result was a candid, honest conversation about the issue of oil in the gulf and activism at large. The first speaker, Ivy discussed the challenge of assisting young activists. She had to balance the goal of training them to be effective grassroots organizations while fulfilling their sensationalist thirst for carnage, meaning visible destruction to the environment. Fuel to fodder the cause. She is teaching the shapers of our future to recognize those who do not see damage to the gulf and help them understand the severity of the problem even when they can’t touch or smell it.

The second presenter, left an impression with a single word: justice. If we are to be held accountable for actions that endanger or even inconvenience others (i.e. moving violations and parking tickets), so should the corporate giants. The young activist from the East Coast addressed the challenge of organizing in the Bay Area: everybody and their brother has a cause to rally for. I’m all for grassroots, but feel irritated by the throngs of petitioners at Safeway.

She also talked about breaking the activist hymen and getting thrown in the pokey. Mobilization for Climate Justice West has two rallies coming up. The first is a teach-in on August 29th, preparing activists for a nonviolent march. The big event that may land our friend in jail is on Monday 30th. Incarceration isn’t so bad. Let ‘em have it. If it is just an overnight stint, jail time can be an interesting observation of the justice system.

Another guest From New Orleans shared her worry for her hometown, being dealt a double blow. The city isn’t fully recovered from the devastation of Katrina and now suffers from a crippled seafood industry. The government say’s it’s ok to eat the seafood with “acceptable” levels or petroleum. Hmm? I will likely avoid even Atlantic seafood. Paranoid? Watch the documentary “Food Inc.” Though I occasionally succumb to the drive-thru at Mickie D’s, I have to squelch the knowledge that I’m eating an ammonia burger from Cowshitz off I-5.

Interestingly enough, a friend of Daniel’s sent a link to a Youtube clip of George Carlin where he laughs at the silly human notion that we can impact the planet: the idea that humans who have inhabited the globe for a fraction of its existence will have a permanent affect on its survival. “Save the Earth” is an absurd idea, says Carlin. Sure, his sketch was based in comedy, however he plays a great devil’s advocate making a point in referencing the timeline that encompasses ice ages, tectonic shifting, tsunamis, earthquakes and any other national disasters. I’m just saying...

Monday, September 13, 2010

The S. Kitchen presents...Sing for Your Supper

Click here to RSVP!

Everyone loves music! It can transform crappy days into sunshine or rain depending on the mood. It brings life, voice, and spirit in equal measure. Music is crucial to survival.

Music and the arts is also being slashed from education budgets across the nation. Filling the vacuum are struggling arts organizations trying their best to give voice to the voiceless. The arts need YOUR help to thrive.

The S. Kitchen presents...Sing for Your Supper is a tribute to music and voice and the food inspired by it.

As with all The S. Kitchen, it's a potluck with some guidelines. For this S. Kitchen we are asking that guests:

* Bring a dish inspired by your favorite song, album, band, or musical genre;
* Bring music (in the form of a CD or iPod/MP3 player) that inspired the dish.

Our fabulous host for this The S. Kitchen is Dee Mendoza. She is a fab youth worker and entrepreneur who lives in the fog belt known as the Outer Sunset. We are excited to part the fog and celebrate on Sunday, September 19 @ 2pm.

Our guest(pert) is Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, as seen on the The Wendy Williams Show and featured in "Two Legit" by MC Hammer. OIGC was founded originally by Rhythmic Concepts, Inc. in 1986. It's inspiration came as a result of a Gospel music workshop led by Terrance Kelly, at RCI's Jazz Camp West, and Kelly became it's co-founder and artistic director. OIGC went on to become an independent organization in 1991, and consists of 60 singers and 4 musicians, who represent a multi racial, multi- cultural, interfaith community of diversity. There is also a smaller ensemble group and a youth choir. Auditions are held annually.

At The S. Kitchen presents...Slowly Growing Green, we asked folks to bring their own plate, utensil, and cup to reduce waste and the amount our guests have to clean up. And IT WORKED!

* So we are also asking you to bring your own plate, utensil, and cup.

And remember....The S. Kitchen is all about cuisine, conversation, and camaraderie.

Hope to see you there!