I’ve been a big fan of Spencer Day since the first time I heard him sing in 2003 when he joined the cast of Gold Rush! a non-profit event I produced for the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center. Then as now, his passion for music and song is really hard to put into words.  Spencer is a modern jazz singer and songwriter who has released four albums. His latest release “Daybreak” has reached number 20 on the Billboard charts and is a tribute to music of the 60’s. He’s currently working on a concept song cycle album about Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Spencer Day

Spencer Day

TARC Benefit, 2003 Artwork  / Matthew Benedict

TARC Benefit, 2003 Artwork / Matthew Benedict

Spencer answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Really good chocolate mousse but I’m more of a savory/salty person.

What restaurant would you call home?

Probably Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY. Anytime I’m in Hudson I go there. The staff are great and super friendly.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

The first time I was in Cleveland I had a deep fried pickle. Not something you’d think of as inspiring but it was really amazing.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Definitely Captain Crunch.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

If it’s at a restaurant, truffle oil on fries. If I’m at home popcorn. Really, truffle oil on anything!

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Fried Chicken fixings.

Fried Chicken fixings.

 

The New Asterisk Magazine recently got into my kitchen and asked me a few questions about food. I’ve shared my fried chicken recipe with them – which I have been preparing for years. I prefer to drop these pieces into a deep fryer – but you can also do it in a cast iron skillet. Enjoy!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an executive decree banning the centuries old practice of aging cheese on wooden boards. But they have now backed down.

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Cheese maker Chris Roelli

“The FDA does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in cheese-making, nor is there any FSMA requirement in effect that addresses this issue. Moreover, the FDA has not taken any enforcement action based solely on the use of wooden shelves.

In the interest of public health, the FDA’s current regulations state that utensils and other surfaces that contact food must be “adequately cleanable” and properly maintained. Historically, the FDA has expressed concern about whether wood meets this requirement and has noted these concerns in inspectional findings. FDA is always open to evidence that shows that wood can be safely used for specific purposes, such as aging cheese.

The FDA will engage with the artisanal cheese-making community to determine whether certain types of cheeses can safely be made by aging them on wooden shelving.”

I recently got the new Cowgirl Creamery Cookbook  and can’t wait to create some of the recipes! 

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Carnitas

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into chunks
1- 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons lard
Water
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced
Sprinkle the pork with the seasoned salt.

Browning the pork shoulder

Browning the pork shoulder

 

Preheat the oven to 350* degrees.

Season the pork with the salt. Heat the oil in a dutch oven and cook the pieces in a single layer over fairly high heat until well-browned. You may have to do this in batches.

Once all of the meat is browned add it back to the pan with the cumin, bay leaves and garlic. Add water to the pan until about 2/3rd’s of the pork is submerged.

Place the pan in the oven and bake uncovered for about 3 hours. Most of the liquid should be evaporated.

 

Adding the spices and water to the pork shoulder

Adding the spices and water to the pork shoulder

 

Remove the pork from the pan and once it is cool enough to handle gently break it up into smaller pieces. Return the pork back to the pan, turning occasionally until the pork is crispy.

Serves 8

 

Pork carnitas taco

Pork carnitas taco


The perfect grocery store tote! The Jackson Tote is a 100% cotton canvas bag made in San Francisco and printed by Sports Basement. The proceeds from the bag go directly to AIDS Housing Alliance beneficiary for Juanita MORE!’s Annual Pride Party.  Artwork by #bulimiccannibal $20 + S&H

Jackson Tote

Jackson Tote

Tee hee!

This simple salsa was always on my aunts dinner table. I grew up comparing all other salsas to it.

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1 pound tomatoes

1 – 5 jalapeño, Fresno or yellow wax chiles (amount depends on your heat preferance), toasted

1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic

Cilantro

Sea salt to taste

Toast the chiles in a pan until blackened. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place in a blender with the toasted chiles,  onion and garlic – blend until desired texture. Add salt to taste and finish with chopped cilantro.

 

 

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