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The New Mousse

Just wanted to throw a belated photo up on here of the mousse I made for Choice Eats last week. This is Acorn Squash Mousse with Maple Smoked Butternut Squash and Curried Pumpkin Seeds and this may be the last time I make it for a while because it’s incredibly labor-intensive.

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Mousse

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It is pretty, though.

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Spring Vegetables are here!

I feel like I should be building an ark, but the one thing that’s kept my spirits up during this deluge is the arrival of spring vegetables.

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They’re so colorful!

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And so cute! Look how small these baby carrots are:

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200 – 195 Family Meals

Last week’s family meals, as promised, in all of their glory.

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Tuesday: keeping it simple with some grits and broccolini and broccoli stems cooked with smoked tofu.

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Wednesday: looking simple and stylish with an omelette and salad with potato and sweet potato gratin.

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Thursday: I was being attacked by dogs while taking this picture, hence the blur. Nevertheless, it’s cheesey risotto (beige blur) with broccoli and mushrooms (greenish blur).

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Friday: welcome to FancyLand. Barbecued tofu, coleslaw, homemade fries and eggplant ribbons. I’m not sure why we all wanted a big bowl of eggplant ribbons, but they look good.

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Saturday: this photo project has ensured that our family meals are getting more photogenic every day. Here we have caramelized onion, sundried tomato and olive pizza with  raspberry banana smoothies and the inevitable salad.

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Voice Choices: the Aftermath

Last year’s Village Voice Choice Eats was a lot like that scene in GODZILLA where everyone is screaming and running away from the giant angry lizard as it stomps Tokyo, only in this case they screaming and running away in New York City and they kept stopping at my table for food.

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This year: more of the same. Only we were prepared. Still, how do you prepare for the Foodie Apocalypse? Answer: you try not to die. Pictures, shout-outs and a new Dirt Candy finger food fresh out of the lab – all after the jump.

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Last Week’s Family Meals

So exhausted from Choice Eats today but, as promised, here’s last week’s family meals in full color after the jump.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Family Meals Format Change

Chronicling our family meals has become a full-time job. Getting the photos up here and edited takes a lot of time and so I’ve decided to change the format. I still believe that Dirt Candy customers deserve to know the kind of sticks and stems and grass clippings we eat behind the scenes, but from now on each week’s family meal posts will go up on the following Monday. So on Mondays expect a family meal chronology from the previous week’s meals. Hopefully this will keep the family meal posts from overwhelming the blog and they’ll give me a little more breathing room to get them up, rather than having to find the time to post each day.


DOH Ratings and DC in the news

There’s a really nice piece about Dirt Candy up at one of my favorite blogs, Serious Eats, one of the few bigtime food blogs that’s 100% food and 0% gossip. I’ve read it for years and the people who run it are so sincere and honest in their devotion to food that they sometimes make me feel shallow and facile. Plus: how did they get those pictures? They snapped those pics in a few minutes at their tables while they ate and they look like the result of a five hour Vogue shoot around the pool at an Italian villa.

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Then NBC’s food site, Feast, rounds up reactions to the new Department of Health restaurant rating system. Previously, health inspections got a numerical grade, with points taken off for violations. Now they’re going to get a letter grade that have to be posted in the window. A lot of chefs are irritated by this, but to be honest it’s going to be hard not to get an A (I have obviously just jinxed Dirt Candy and ensured we receive an F). Not only do grades below an A get a one-month grace period to fix their problems followed by a re-inspection before the final grade is posted, but if you get below an A the second time you can appeal the decision and get another chance. If you’re still getting below an A after your second chance, then you might have some real problems.

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“Where’s the A+, young lady?”

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Of course, given my luck, the Health Department will show up on a day when some disaster has befallen us and I’ll get a C.

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Feast rounds up some reactions and most chefs seem pretty ambivalent about it but no one seems downright outraged. Most of them feel a bit like I do: another thing we have to post? I’m running out of room! I was surprised to see one chef repeat the common stereotype that Chinatown kitchens are dirtier than other kitchens (I’m not sure how many Chinatown restaurants even let outsiders into their kitchens to judge their cleanliness levels, anyways, but maybe this chef knows something I don’t). Another chef seems to think that everyone has iPhones – how elitist! Oh, wait, I have an iPhone….okay, not so elitist after all.

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In all my life I have only seen two restaurants

across the continent with less than an A.

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Finally, the folks at MindBodyGreen have a nice piece about vegetarian restaurants where vegans and carnivores can lie down together in peace and we’re included. Yay! Dirt Candy: where absolutely no one is allowed to eat vegans.

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Spring is Coming

After surviving the deluge last week, it looks like Spring is actually on its way, which means that the Dirt Candy menu is changing. We don’t have them perfected yet, but here’s a sneak preview of a couple of new dishes that should be showing up soon. Keep watching this space.

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Buns

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PeaSoup

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205 Family Meals

Here’s last Saturday’s family meal.

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Grits with tomato and a salad of broccoli stems and mushrooms.


206 Family Meals

Last Friday’s family meal: smoked tofu, black bean and corn salad. On the side are peanut brittle scraps. These are always around (we make peanut brittle for the Red Pepper Velvet Cake) and everyone here snacks on them incessantly. They’re a little bit like crack: not very nutritious but extremely addictive and easily available.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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