Canning and cocktails

Written by Rebecca Sodergren on . Events

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Pittsburgh Canning Exchange and Wigle Whiskey team up to present "Canning for Cocktails" at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse on Spring Garden Avenue in the North Side.

You can learn to make apple jelly, get your hands in on the jelly-making process, sip a few cocktails made with said jelly, get your canning questions answered and take home a jar of jelly for your toast -- or for whipping up a few cocktails of your own.

The Canning Exchange quartet -- Gabe Tilove, Chelsea Burket, Sara Blumenstein and Rob Burrows -- dropped off some samples of the apple jelly at Wigle, and Wigle created two cocktails (see recipes below) that will be featured Wednesday.

Penn State Master Food Preserver Susan Marquesen will be on hand to answer any tough canning questions.

Mr. Tilove said his group has been hoping to team up with Wigle for awhile because they like the way the distiller supports local agriculture. The Canning Exchange tries to do the same, obtaining produce for its events locally. When we talked to him, he was on his way out to the East Liberty Farmers Market in search of apple cider for the jelly.

He also mentioned that he hopes this event will teach people that canning isn’t only about drudging your way through a bushel of tomatoes -- it can also be about making a small batch of something and having fun.

Tickets for the event are $25. To order, click here.


THE DANDY APPLE

1 tablespoon apple jelly

1/4 ounces simple syrup

3 ounces Earl Gray tea (cold)

1/4 ounces lemon juice

1 ounce Wigle Aged Rye whiskey

Aggressive dashes of mole bitters

Serve in a rocks glass over ice.
-- Wigle Whiskey


SKY-HIGH APPLE CHAI

1 tablespoon apple jelly

5 ounces chai tea (warm)

1/4 ounce simple syrup

1 ounce Wiggle Aged Wheat Whiskey

Aggressive dashes of pomander orange bitters

Dash of cinnamon

Serve in a rocks glass warm.
-- Wigle Whiskey

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Chuck's Eat the Street, Pittsburgh edition, airs Thursday

Written by Melissa McCart on . Events

chuckseatthestreet"Chuck's Eat the Street" filmed in Pittsburgh a few months ago and their findings will air at 10 p.m. Thursday on the Cooking Channel. 

Hosted by Montreal restaurateur, Chuck Hughes, "Chuck's Eat the Street" focuses on unusual dishes in cities around the world. Season three includes the Hudson Valley, Minneapolis, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, Portland and Vancouver among others. In his Pittsburgh stop, he visits Meat & Potatoes, Penn Avenue Fish Co., Bar Marco and Salt of the Earth

Penn Avenue Fish Co. is celebrating the show tomorrow night at the Strip District location starting at 10 p.m. 

Cooking Channel graphic

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Spaghetti for breakfast

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

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Spaghetti breakfast?

That's one of Pittsburgh's quirky food traditions, now in its 31st year, started by the late KD broadcaster John Cigna.

The NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast will be served from 5 to 9 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 19, at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza at Sixth and Liberty, Downtown.

KD's Larry Richert and John Shumway will be broadcasting the morning news, which will be leavened with entertainment, including Jimmy Sapienza and his band. Other KD personalities and local celebrities will be serving the public free plates of penne pasta, sausage and bread.
 
If that doesn't sound like breakfast fare, Mr. Shumway points out that plenty of people take it back to their offices and have it for lunch.
 
And its not only hungry Downtowners who benefit. The Little Sisters of the Poor will be collecting donations of canned food and cash at the breakfast. They'll also get the proceeds of an auction of three prints by South Side artist Johno -- Johno Prascak -- including the lovely "Tomatoes," a copy of which graces the Post-Gazette food room. 09172014tomatoes
 
You can read more about the breakfast and its sponsors here.

KDKA photos

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A Prince of Porc Pig-Out

Written by Melissa McCart on . Events

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Last night Justin Severino of Cure hosted a Cure'ated dinner at his Lawrenceville restaurant, part of a series that incorporates the cooking of guest chefs from around the country.

Washington, D.C., chefs, Scott Drewno of Wolfgang Puck's The Source and Top Chef season 6 contestant Mike Isabella of the Italian-inspired Graffiato and the Greek-inspired Kapnos, displayed their cooking styles and humor throughout the night.

The James Beard-nominated chefs have both competed and won the D.C. title, "Prince of Porc," for Cochon 555, a ten-city tour that's a pimped out pig roast competition in which chefs show their skills through a multitude of dishes and wild thematic displays.

Their titles inspired Mr. Severino, with his pig-centric focus, to invite them to cook at his restaurant. Mr. Isabella invited Mr. Severino to cook in his Graffiato kitchen last year. 

The course above is a crispy pig ear from Mr. Isabella, with green tomatoes, pickled eggs and kale in a burnt-honey vinaigrette. 

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Bartender Colin Anderson's drink called The Brazil, with dry sherry, dry vermouth, absinthe and angostura was served with Mr. Severino's salumi board, below.

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The salumi course was served alongside Mr. Severino's baked Wellfleet, with nduja, giardiniera and pecorino Romano, below. 

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After the pig ear course, Mr. Drewno served a series of dumplings, one of many dishes that have earned him acclaim, paired with a Hitachino White Ale.

The first was a seared pork dumpling abd the second set was filled with pork and shrimp siu mai and "strange flavor eggplant," pictured. The third dumpling was a purse of boiled pork and crab wantons with a chili-shallot sauce.

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Dumplings were followed by a char siu pork bao, paired with a 2011 Trimbach Gewurtztraminer. Here's my before plate.
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A formidable pork crepinette from Mike Isabella was served as the savory finish, with sunchoke puree, grilled escarole and mostarda and a 2011 Domaine du Pas Saint Martin La Pierre Frite. 

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Dessert was a decadent, shared number, a prune and maple-braised bacon tart with bourbon paw-paw custard, paired with NV Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Boston Bual, a memorable Madiera. 

Melissa McCart photos

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Taste the season's bounty at Chatham

Written by Rebecca Sodergren on . Events

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Amber Webb (class of 2015) and Brittany Thorp (class of 2014) at work on Chatham University's Eden Hall campus.  

Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus will present a “Harvest Tasting” dinner featuring produce from its own fields and other local foods at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20.

Google Pittsburgh Executive Chef Lee Keener and Chatham Executive Chef Daniel Dooley are planning a five-course menu.

The menu is still in development as the chefs assess which vegetables will be most plentiful that weekend. But Mr. Keener is definitely planning to prepare a selection of house-made charcuterie, including cured meats, rillettes, terrines and other items made from local organic pork and chicken.

A master’s degree student who harvests the wheat on campus will prepare bread for the dinner, and local wine and beer pairings will be offered, as well.

Faculty and students in Chatham’s sustainable agriculture program grow more than 200 types of vegetables and flowers at the Eden Hall campus. The produce typically supplies Chatham’s Shadyside campus cafeteria and a food bank, but some of the season’s bounty will be culled for this fundraising dinner that will benefit Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability scholarships.

The farm’s harvest is abundant this year. A recent week’s delivery for use at the Shadyside campus included 150 pounds of organic and heirloom tomatoes, more than 10 pounds of heirloom cherry tomatoes, three cases of sweet peppers, a 25-pound case of red cabbage and a 50-pound case of green cabbage.

About five faculty and 20 students maintain the extensive fields, which Harvest Tasting attendees will be able to tour at the event. They will have access to parts of the campus that are not usually opened to the public, allowing for a comprehensive look at how the sustainability program works.

Dinner will be served in a large barn on campus, and a musical group will perform. Tickets are $100. To register, go to chatham.edu and click “News & Events,” then “Campus Events,” and search for “Farm-to-Table: Harvest Tasting” under Sept. 20.

Annie O'Neill photo for Chatham University







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It's a Mega Challah Bake!

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Events

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We love that Barb Segel, development coordinator for Chabad of the South Hills, sent us a heads-up about this cool event, because it's fun to say "Mega Challah Bake."

That's what girls and women from all over Pittsburgh will be doing at Beth Shalom Congregation's Ballroom in Squirrel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 18. The event, called "Loaves of Love," starts at 6:30 p.m. with participants mixing, kneading and shaping two challahs -- the braided Jewish egg bread that is special for the Sabbath and holidays. 

When the event is over all over, they'll have one loaf to take home and one to give to a friend as a mitzvah ("which means good deed," as Ms. Segal explains). If you don't have anyone to give your extra one to, we here at The Forks would be happy to take it.

Tickets are $18 in advance or $25 at the door. You can reserve at megachallahpgh.com or by calling 412-860-4390. 

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