Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lobster Corn Cakes

Maine lobster, sweet corn, scallions and parsley in a fritter batter of fresh cream, sprouted flour and pastured egg.  Seasoned with sea salt and lemon pepper, served with red chili paste and fresh lime..

Makes 4-6 4-inch Cakes (basic fritter batter based on a recipe by Michael Ruhlman)

1 cup lobster meat, blanched, cooled and coarsely chopped
1 cup organic sweet corn (no GMOs here!)
2 fresh scallions, slivered
1-1/2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, rinsed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup sprouted flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 ounces fresh cream
2 ounces lobster stock
1 egg
oil for frying

Stir lobster, corn, scallions and parsley together in a bowl.

Combine flour, salt, pepper and baking powder together in another bowl.

Whisk together cream, lobster stock and egg in a third bowl.

Pour flour mixture into cream mixture and whisk until smooth (batter will be very thick).

Pour just enough fritter batter over the lobster mixture to hold it together. You may not need all of the batter.

Heat 1/4-inch of oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet until a flicked drop of water pops, then carefully drop quarter cupfuls of batter around pan, flattening slightly with the back of a spoon.

Shallow fry cakes until golden brown on both sides, then transfer to a side plate to drain for a moment before serving hot with your choice of condiments (I like red chili & lime).

Chili Verde

Locally pastured pork butt and chopped yellow onions are browned in a bit of pure leaf lard, then slowly simmered for hours in a base of homemade chicken stock with roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, poblanos and garlic.  Seasoned with toasted cumin & coriander, Mexican oregano, sea salt and cracked black pepper..

Chili Verde may be served with any number of toppings or accompaniments; grated cheese, diced onions, and sour cream are common toppings, as are broken saltine crackers, corn chips, cornbread or rolled-up corn or flour tortillas, though I often just serve it as-is alongside of pot of Frijoles charros.

Oyster and Andouille Gumbo

While “there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks”, one of my favorite preparations includes freshly-shucked gulf oysters and hand-made andouille sausage from LaPlace, Louisiana along with the usual suspects of chocolate-brown roux cooked down with onions, garlic, green pepper and celery.  There’s some fresh okra and tomato in there, with plenty of cayenne, fresh thyme and oregano as well.

I like to use sprouted brown rice instead of the traditional white rice, adding in the salty-sea liquor from the oysters in place of some of the water..

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Grassroots Alliance for Labeling GMOs in Austin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DIVERSE ALLIANCE IN AUSTIN TEXAS SEEKS LABELING OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS

Contact: Wendy Darling
media@occupyaustin.org

 

AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 14th, 2012 – Two weeks ago, a grassroots alliance of consumers, food manufacturers, politicians, public health and environmental organizations delivered a letter to the Austin City Council asking for swift passage of a resolution requiring labeling for genetically engineered foods within the Austin city limits.

The resolution would require foods which contain more than 1% genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), to be clearly labeled similar to other nutritional labels currently required on packaged foods. A national survey conducted by MSNBC showed that 96% of over 45,000 people believe genetically modified foods should be labeled.

Austin-local chip manufacturer Beanitos strongly supports labeling of all GMO foods, and all of their products are Non-GMO Project verified. CEO Doug Foreman explains, “It’s simple really – you walk into any grocery store and can read a label to determine if your food contains gluten, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fats or MSG . We want GMO food to be labeled so people can choose – and can make an informed decision about what they eat.”

“Our concern is the risk that these novel, genetically engineered proteins [GMOs] present to the health of all children, particularly those with food allergies,” says Robyn O’Brien, a TEDx speaker, native Texan, author and founder of the Allergy Kids Foundation, “common popular foods in the United States contain chemicals and toxins that have been linked to alarming recent increases in food allergies, ADHD, cancer, and asthma in our children.”

The GMO corn made by Monsanto is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as an insecticide, yet Americans eat this “insecticide” present in 70% of all corn production in the USA. The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that 80% of food in most grocery stores contains genetically modified ingredients. GMOs have been shown to cause severe allergic reactions in humans, increase the number of allergies present in the environment, create antibiotic resistance in plants and humans, create immune suppression, and are linked to organ failure and even cancer.

In a recent example, an independent Canadian study found that a toxin from GE corn was present in the bloodstream of 93% of pregnant women, as well as in 80% of their fetal cord blood. The biotechnology industry and FDA claim these toxins are completely broken down by the human digestive system before entering the bloodstream, and the FDA supports their claim with both the lack of labeling and regulation.

On both sides of the aisle, experts agree that mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods is a prerequisite to providing a critical method for tracking the potential health effects of consuming genetically engineered foods.

Over 17 states across the nation have GMO labeling initiatives currently stalled “in committee.” Despite wide-spread political, business and voter support, stalling has been the most successful tactic used nationally to keep this issue silenced for over ten years. Swift action is the only acceptable response to over ten years of national in-action on this urgent health and safety issue.

Broad-based Support for GMO Labeling

These organizations and individuals are in favor of manufactures labeling products that contain GMOs

  • Grocers: Whole Foods, Fresh Plus, Wheatsville Coop, Natural Grocers, Ingredients, SFC Farmer’s Market
  •  Non-Profits: Allergy Kids Foundation, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Sustainable Food Center, Institute for Responsible Technology
  •  Political Organizations: Texas Senator Kirk Watson, Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Texas Representative Donna Howard, Sierra Club (National and Texas Chapter), Austin City Council member Mike Martinez, Austin City Council candidate Laura Pressley, Austin Earth Day, Liberal Austin Democrats, Bastrop County Commissioners Court, Texas Nationalist Movement, Justice Party of Texas, Million Musician March for Peace
  •  Food Producers: Earth Balance, Zico Coconut Water, Beanitos Bean Chips, Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms, Windsor Park Community Gardens, Austin Permaculture Collective
  • Health Practitioners: Natural Health Center of Texas, Excelon Health LLC, Austin Yoga + Parental & Faith Organizations: Central Texas ‘Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies’ Coalition, Occupy Austin Interfaith Working Group

City of Austin Council-members Current Positions on the GMO labeling issue

Mike Martinez is the only council member to make a public statement in support of GMO labeling. Council member Martinez has a history of endorsing pro-farmer resolutions. However, his office has done nothing since January 31st, when Occupy Austin delivered their letter asking for him to address the issue.

Bill Spelman‘s office has begun legal research into municipal GMO labeling resolutions such as in Boulder, Colorado and over 40 cities across California. However, they have refused Occupy Austin’s offer to provide legal assistance on the issue.

Chris Riley‘s office acknowledged that they received Occupy Austin’s letter, but have taken no action and declined to make a public statement about GMO labeling.

Kathie Tovo and Laura Morrison‘s office would not confirm that they received the letter and have not returned several phone calls over the last two weeks.

About the Educated Austin Alliance

The EduAustin Alliance represents educated consumers and citizens in Austin Texas. Dedicated to transparency and the urgent and innovative belief in people. EduAustin’s first goal is to create a unified stand against Genetically Engineered food and make Austin a GMO-free zone.

https://twitter.com/#!/EduAtx

About Occupy Austin

Occupy Austin is an occupation and peaceful protest that began on October 6, 2011 at City Hall in Austin, Texas, vowing to end the moneyed corruption of our democracy. It is affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York City, and also with the “Occupy” protests in the United States and around the world.

https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyAustin

Occupy Genetically Engineered Foods!

An action alert from the Center For Food Safety

Sen. Boxer and Rep. De Fazio wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter which went public February 8th, urging U.S. legislators to support the labeling of GE foods. This is the first initiative of its kind in Congress and is a great opportunity to urge your Congressional representatives to sign on to the letter and support mandatory labeling!

click to enlarge

Please call or email your legislators over the next 2 weeks (close date is Wednesday February 29th) and ask them to support the labeling of GE salmon and foods. Please especially target the key individuals listed below if you are in their State or District..

Charlie Bass (R-NH) 603-226-0064 Scott Brown (R-MA) 617-565-3170
Mary Bono Mack (R-45th CA) 760-320-1076 Sen. Begich (D – AK) 907-271-5915
Keith Ellison (D-5th MN) 612-522-1212 Sen. Collins (R – ME) 207-780-3575
Chris Gibson (R-20th NY) 518-306-5450 Sen. Leahy ( I- VT) 802-863-2525
Raul Grijalva (D-7th AZ) 520-622-6788 Sen. Murkowski (R – AK) 907-456-0233
Richard Hanna (R-24th NY) 315-724-9740 Sen. Murray (D – WA) 206-553-5545
Doc Hastings (R-4th WA) 509-452-3243 Sen. Sanders (I – VT) 802-862-0697
Walter Jones (R-NC) 800-351-1697 Sen. Snowe (R – ME) 207-874-0883
Ron Kind, (D-3rd WI) 715-831-9214
Tom Latham, (R-4th IA) 515-232-2885
Chellie Pingree, (D-1st ME) 207-774-5019
Reid Ribble, (R-8th WI) 920-380-0061
Kurt Schrader, (D-5th OR) 503-588-9100
Heath Shuler (D – 11th NC) 828-252-1651
Fred Upton, (R-6th MI)  269-385-0039
Peter Welch, (D-At Large VT) 888-605-7270
Don Young (R – AK) 907-271-5978


For more information, please visit the Center for Food Safety

Choux de Bruxelles Gratiné

Tender baby Brussels sprouts get the royal treatment.. pan-roasted in bacon fat with onions and lightly drizzled with champagne vinegar, then bathed in seasoned Béchamel and topped with shredded Cantal entre deux, hickory-smoked bacon and fresh breadcrumbs with parsley..

For the Béchamel

2-1/2 cups fresh, whole milk
2 ounces cold roux blanc (recipe follows)
a pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg
fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan until simmering, then whisk in bits of roux one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next.  This will help to ensure that the sauce is creamy and without lumps. Add the nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

For the Roux Blanc

3 ounces organic flour (can use soaked or sprouted flour if desired)
2 ounces clarified butter or ghee

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat then whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking until past the raw flour taste and completely smooth in texture, maybe 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

For the Brussels Sprouts

1 pound baby Brussels sprouts
6 thick slices uncured, hickory-smoked bacon
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

Rinse the Brussels sprouts in cold water, then peel off the outermost layer of leaves and trim off the stem. Split the larger sprouts in half lengthwise, leaving the smallest ones whole.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet until well-browned and crisp, then transfer to the side to drain and pour of all but about 1 tablespoon of the the fat.

Add  the Brussels sprouts and butter to the pan and cook until the cut edges begin to brown.  Add the onion and continue to cook, stirring often until the onions are brown and the Brussels sprout are crisp/tender, maybe 8 minute. Remove from heat, add vinegar and toss to coat.

Use a slotted spoon the transfer the cooked vegetables to a casserole dish and pour the béchamel over the top.

Add a layer of shredded Cantal, then arrange bacon pieces over the top.

Add a light layer of fresh breadcrumbs and chopped parsley.

Place casserole in a 375 degree oven and cook until brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.