Friday, December 2, 2011

Knobby Versatile Tuber: Jerusalem Artichoke or Sunchoke

The winter months can bring a less varied selection of fruits and vegetables especially if you eat mostly locally grown produce. Of course we are abound with tubers and root vegetables. All kinds of squash (butternut, kabocha, spaghetti, acorn etc.), turnips, radish, parsnips, parsley root, rutabaga and so on. I for one really enjoy roasting a selection of root vegetables at the same time for a contrast in flavors and texture.
But if your purchase was determined on looks and familiarity you probably will skip the knobby brown little tubers Jerusalem Artichoke, also known as Sunchokes. It is a vegetable that is high in potassium, iron and fiber and is said to reduce cholesterol and act as a preventative of colon cancer. It is also very versatile and holds up well in all cooking techniques or raw.

Neither from Jerusalem (it was first cultivated by Native Americans but became popular in the Middle East) nor an artichoke (its flavor is reminiscent of artichokes) it is great raw, peeled and shredded or julienned in salads (soak in cold water and drain first), sliced and used in stir fries as you would water chestnuts, and roasted like you would a potato. When roasted it takes on a nutty flavor and creamy texture. Here is a recipe I recently came up with for a Middle Eastern themed dinner:

Carrot and Jerusalem Artichoke Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

3 large Jerusalem Artichokes, scrubbed and peeled
2 Medium Carrots, scrubbed and peeled
1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion
Pomegranate seeds, scooped out from less than half pomegranate (refrigerate leftover)
3 to 4 tablespoons of Pomegranate Vinaigrette (see below)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Small handful parsley, minced (should have about 1/4 cup)optional


1. Julienne (thinly cut sticks preferably with a mandolin) the Jerusalem Artichokes and Carrots. You can soak the artichokes sticks in cold water for a few minutes while preparing the salad and then drain.
2. Mix the Jerusalem Artichokes, carrot, red onion, and pomegranate seeds in a bowl. Add salt and pepper and the vinaigrette and toss again. Garnish with parsley if using.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Pom or other pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (add more if you prefer tart)
3/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (or less)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste


1. Place pom juice in a small saucepan and boil until more than half cooks out and you are left with a syrup. Be careful not to burn and when the bubbles start to get really big take off heat and see if it has thickened to a syrup. If not heat again for a few more seconds and check again.
2. Mix the pom syrup with the red wine vinegar and white pepper and salt. Slowly drizzle the evoo while whisking until it is blended thoroughly.

*image borrowed from

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Goorin Brothers Hat By Many Names

Jill and Jack bought me a gift certificate for my birthday to the Goorin Brothers Hat Shop on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, recently opened in Park Slope and the mini-hat that Spencer is wearing came with the gift certificate in a small box . The Goorin Brothers have been making hats since 1895, originally in Pittsburg Pa selling from a cart, then they moved to San Fransisco in 1949.

I have always had an infinity for hats since I was a kid. When I was little I used to have a few hats that matched my favorite tv shows and would wear them while watching. My dad always wore hats as others from his generation did. If you see film clips of baseball games from the 40's and 50's everyone was dressed up (seems odd by today's standards)and wore hats. I believe it was President Kennedy, probably the first President to not wear a hat,that changed the fashion of wearing hats baseball hats not included. Funny because his wife Jackie had the opposite affect on women, remember the pillbox?

Fast forward to later in my life and I reconnected to the love of a good hat. For awhile I was wearing a pork pie hat, a la Lester Young, that I bought from an old hat store on Delancy (sorry forget the name). I basically wore it out and recently sent it to old hat heaven. But now with the thoughtful gift from my family I get to choose any hat I want.

I have yet to go to Goorin Brothers store to view the hats but I have been on the website. The hats look great and some of the names are really cool. So if you were choosing by name alone which one would you go for? Here are some of my favorites: Vinny The Brains, Wiley Cutter, Tommy Goldfingers, Whiskey Pete, Butterfingers, Left DeCarlo, Old Gulph, and Mortimer.

Little Buddy Biscuit Company to Miss Its First Holiday Season

Regrettably this will be the first holiday season that Little Buddy Biscuit Company will not be able to offer gift boxes to all our customers, due to no current space available for baking. We thank all our loyal customs for prior support, some of whom have been ordering gift boxes for 6 years, and apologize for any inconvenience this might cause this year.

On the positive side there is a very good chance that we will be back baking our treats in early 2012 and if so we will plan on offering gift boxes again in the near future. We will keep you posted as soon as we have more details.

Once again thanks for staying in touch with us and please continue to do so in the future. Happy Holiday Season to all.