Thursday, July 22, 2010

Here's afunny storythat happened some years ago when I first started to shoot food.

I was called on by an editor of some popular "rag sheets" that you find at the checkout counters in the supermarkets. They wanted to do a story about frog legs and asked if I had any in stock. I didn't but living here in South Florida at that time provided no problem .

A local fish market had a supplier who hunted frogs in the Everglades, big ones too and that afternoon I got some of the best. I prepared them myself, some I had to eat of course...and photographed them as well. Sending up the film..(ah the good old film days when I wasn't in front of the computer all day for every thing I now do, when I dropped off my film,had lunch with others while we waited the 3 hours or so,had food,beer/wine and talked about everything, about being and having a HUMAN touch ).. excuse me I digress... anyway, they selected this and a verticle shot as well to see how it would lay out.

I had asked about the story but they were vague, she was simply the photo editor doing her research etc... about a month later I am in a local super market and I spot my shot very nicely reproduced with all appropriate bylines, and paid for of course, under the headline.. " Scientists have found why the French make such great lovers" semi quoted here...why ,the story asks..because they eat Frogs legs and frogs have been found to feed on flies, the aphrodisiac ones that they pass on in their meat.Since the French are known to eat them...VOILA..cum eere ma cheri!!! Now I may be French and on occasion eat a couple, I always thought it was my je ne sait qua ...

Now a couple of months go by and I am at the photo show in NYC at Javits. I go to a local market and there in another newspaper I see the shot again, this time..." Man sues famous restaurant in France over a heart attack, when his diner of frogs legs gets up and dances in his plate." wow...Fred Astair and Kermit rolled into one...

Both stories in separate papers used this image, created in my kitchen supplied from the Everglades. Now, I know about freedom of the press and artistic license but this was absolute parody or should have been.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Noodles for Breakfast

Like most of us, ham,eggs,pancakes,toast are bill of fare in the morning but that's here,not in China.

I learned many things on my trip to Zhoushan that added to my life experiences but one of the best things that added to my palate was noodles for breakfast. Yes it took a while to get used to it, but I learned of a new way to start the day and not only found energy but with accompanying side dishes of melons,fruits and other dishes, actually helped in the weight department.....

Boiling water...cup of Chicken Stock
about a quarter circumference size of Shanghai Noodles( in a way Chinese spaghetti but from rice)
a few slices of firm Tofu sauteed in peanut oil with a dash of Sesami oil
a few steamed Bok Choy
one egg
half a handful of dried seaweed

Drop dried seaweed in boiling water with chicken stock, 2 minutes, add noodles for 5 minutes , crack egg in water stir to break up egg, and continue 3 minutes...while all is cooking steam Bok Choy for 4-5minutes if small, larger ones chop up,either buy fried Tofu or slice up firm Tofu and saute in pan 2-3minutes in peanut oil...(can be done ahead if time and stored in container for other dishes or salids).. drain noodles,add Tofu and Bok Choy and add a few drops of Sesami Oil to taste...mmmmm...

You can also make a larger batch that can can be saved and nuked...just add the Tofu last after nuking...
for images of China..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We all scream for ice cream

I got a new client.He had a challenge, 50 flavors of Italian Ices. He said, " what can you do with ices? " The real trick however was that you had to shoot them within 2 hours before his store opened as well as bearing in mind that it is for his web/brochure and it would take some consistency.

I love challenges. They have a way of bringing you up to new level or getting you hooked on aspirins and vodka!

Step one ..establish an overall lighting setup on a neutral background. Step two...really believe this is going to work and not change course. Step three...aspirin and Vodka..


Backdrop created,logo downloaded,colors blended,(changes of color optional) product added.. Vodka emptied...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cookies..baking for a Cure

Goodness comes two ways...things we earn, things we're given....

Judy makes cookies.She didn't start that way.Her cousin, Jani got sick . She didn't start that way either. When Jani was diagnosed with cancer, Judy brought her homebaked cookies to the hospital for all the doctors and nurses and anyone else who needed the comfort and treat. Jani got cured. Judy launched a sucessful business.

Cookies for Jani, is in the process of re-design on her website. After discussing several visuals and getting a feel of what she had, I proposed a bright and colorful approach to eye catch and show off her product. The worst part of this shoot is the amount of cookies I ate! Who could help it..too bad images couldn't have a scratch and sniff because besides the taste, my entire place was filled with delicious home-baked scents that warmed me as much as her story did.

Today, she donates a portion af every sale to the University of Miami for Cancer Research.
It was a pleasure to have done work for her , both she and Jani have earned and received something good....real good..

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

These mushrooms might not make you high but you will surely heighten your gourmet experience from this recipe.

On my last visit to France, in a small town outside Paris, my wife and I stopped for a lunch in a small bistro. Knowing that we wanted to cover ground, we opted for a bowl of soup rather than the full course plat de jour. I love mushrooms, yeah I know but you can,t get those in France...

Chock full of chopped mushrooms,thick and creamy,needless to say,I brought it home...

*Half lb. chopped mushrooms(white)
*Quarter lb of chopped wild mushrooms (Whole Foods carries them)..
( you can even mix of Shitaki/Oyster/BabyBell..if you can't find a wild mix)
*4-5 Tblsp. butter..
* 1 small sweet onion(Vidalia if available...) can also be made with half a Leek chopped
*3-4cups of Chicken Broth
( DON'T GET LAZY HERE--the can crap has way too much salt )
easy made chicken broth= quarter lb.chicken parts(necks or leg,backs etc...2 celery chopped,half onion quartered,2 sliced carrots,4oz white wine,quart of water,2 Tblsp butter, salt/pepper/crushed clove of garlic..garlic...set on low temp and cook till done...strain and save can double this amount or triple and save the rest for other recipes.)
* 1 cup of Heavy Cream
1 0z of dry Sherry
1/4cup flour
*1/8 tsp of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Warm Chicken Broth in pot....
Cut some of the white mushroom in slices and chop all of the rest . In a large saute pan,melt a little butter and saute the slices,set aside...melt rest of butter,add the onions and chopped mushrooms,stir and cook on medium,add Sherry and saute till done to a soft consistency,a light brown.

Add Flour slowly to mix and stir until smooth.Add Broth while stirring, simmer until thickened and add Heavy Cream...simmer DO NOT BOIL,,,season with Nutmeg..salt and pepper to taste..

If you want it thicker, mix a tsp of flour with 4-5 oz of warm water and add in slowly while stirring over warm heat..

Spoon into bowls, top with sliced mushrooms ...and of course a hearty French or Italian Bread
(coated with rich butter,maybe sprinkled with a little parmesan..who cares about fat anyway,if you really do then just lick it)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mussels (not the one from Brussels)

We know all about the "Muscles from Brussels" but these mussels are from the ocean where in Honfleur France I learned two ways to make them..... filling myself as much as possible, making sure I would'nt forget them..

Moules Mariniere..the classic

2-3 tbls. butter..unsalted
1-2 tbls. olive oil..EVO
1 yellow onion chopped
1-2 cloves garlic..minced

4-6lbs of shiny
mussels,debearded..any open discard.

2 cups of a decent white wine(Charddonay does well)
2-3 tbls chopped parsley
pepper to taste

..heat butter and olive oil. When hot add onions to a nice translucent color,add garlic,pepper,mussels ,wine and parsley.Turn down heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 min. uncover to be sure all are now open,stir and serve with a great French or Italian crusty bread.

These are normally served and made with white wine, BUT I had it with Cider that came from the region as well......mmmmmm!!!

Now My favorite is:
Moules a la Creme..
Normandy Style
2-3 tbls. butter..unsalted
1-2 tbls. olive oil..EVO
1 yellow onion chopped
1 cloves garlic..crushed
pepper to taste
1 zucchini chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 large leek sliced thin
4-6lbs of shiny mussels,debearded..any open discard
2-3 tbls chopped parsley
2 cups of a decent white wine(Charddonay does well).
16 oz. of heavy cream or less ..3/4cup grated gruyere cheese or swiss

Saute all the veges together in butter and oil first.remove half.. add wine,parsley and mussels,cover 10-min. on low heat till all are a separate sauce pan bring cream with half the veges to almost boil add cheese stir till melted and add to mussels...stir let sit 1-2 min.
serve with a crusty bread any who cares...try serving it with the cider
*Here is great way to clean a pot of cold water enough to cover them, stir in 3 tbls of mustard or dry powder mustard. Swish them around and let them site for 10 minutes...Rinse and pull off the beards,( those stringy things hanging out of the shell)..dscard open ones.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rosy's Corner ..Cranberries

From their farms to your table, cranberries can be used for more than just turkey. Here is one idea from "Rosy's Corner"....

and for more coverage on cranberries...

Cranberry Pastry

Frozen Pastry shells baked according to directions
1 bar of soft cream cheese
1) cup of chopped frozen cranberries
3) tablespoons of sugar (more if sweeter desired)
pinch of orange zest

top with some chopped cranberries