Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’



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Produce from the 23rd Street Farmers Market

Hello from Baltimore Maryland. Home of the Star Spangled Banner, the USA, National Anthem. Home of the Baltimore Ravens NFL team, who are right now playing the Carolina Panthers and winning in the 3rd quarter 20 to 3. Go Ravens.

Think what I could do cooking in one of those elite corporate boxes? If you own or control such a box click here. HERE

Baltimore is home  to a lot more than the national anthem and the Ravens. Baltimore is a great city and the food here is really quite good. Good food of course comes from good chef’s but it takes more than a good chef to create good dishes that excite the palate, the nose and the eyes. Really good food, the kind that I create takes amazing ingredients. Well, it is late November 2010. Summer has come and gone. Autumn is almost over and the harvest took place weeks ago, didn’t it?

Mary and I have been traveling around seeking out the best places to find the best ingredients and Baltimore has quite a few. Unlike restaurants that typically use one or two large commercial suppliers, BDHD has no commercial suppliers that roll up in a large truck Monday morning and unload the menu for the week.

We go to the producers and the best place to find producers is the local Farmers Markets. We purchased a virtual treasure trove of vegetables, fruits and herbs on Saturday at the 23rd Street Farmers Market which is a year round market.

The photo shows most of the items. All local and all fresh and just picked. The growing season in Maryland is much longer than Western New York and outside of the city there are a lot of farms.

Crudo.Red Shrimp, Branzino, Monkfish and Tuna with an avocado-wasabi cream with pickled onions and candied lemon zest.


When you find the best, freshest ingredients you hardly have to cook them at all in order to enjoy them. One of my dishes I created and prepared for my final exam at ALMA was a crudo dish. Crudo is a really popular dish in NYC right now and of course it has been popular in Italy for many, many years. I hate it when people call crudo, Italian Sushi or Italian Sashimi. While both are very good when the chef and the fish are very good Italian is nothing like Japanese. Not the language, the culture or the raw fish.

Last night I prepared a crudo dish at home that came out quite nice. Wild Coho Salmon and Ahi tuna.

Chef Calle's Crudo.


The tuna (dark red) is seasoned with pink fine Himalayan salt, Monini Extra Virgin  Olive Oil with lemon and finely chopped Rosemary.

The Salmon is season with Borgo de’ Medici Sale Spezie, (sea salt flavored with saffron, Mosto Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva, non filtrato from L’Acropoli di Puglia, then sprinkled with a few fresh thyme leafs.  Since we were eating at home I left the plating quite natural but the taste was awesome.

I am friends on Facebook with Antonella Ricci a chef and restaurant owner from Pulia who I wrote about in a prior post some months ago. https://italiancookingschool.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/from-puglia-guest-chef-ricci/

foccichia on the planet. I hope she has subscribed to my blog.

I need to end with a very personal admission. Do you want to here it? Well, I am a closet meat eater and I can also cook meat quite well. Take a look!

Roasted chicken rubbed with fresh sage and Pulian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh ground Himalayan Salt.








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Mary and I have been in Baltimore for 10 days. Since arrival I have been on a mission to find the most authentic Italian market in Baltimore. A place were the Baccala’ is fresh, fresh being a relative term because dried cod can’t really be considered fresh but some Baccala’ is no doubt fresher that other Baccala’ and where the choices of OLIO EXTRAVERGINE di OLIVA are plentiful and not too expensive like at Williams Sonoma.


And I found it. Of course the place, Di Pasquales’ Market is all the way across town from Federal Hill where we live and is no where near Baltimore’s “Little Italy” neighborhood which is aptly labeled “little” because it is about the smallest “little Italy” you could imagine. But OMG the Baccala’ was right there in the open air in a wicker basket and at only $12.99 a pound. So my choice was wild Sockeye Salmon, really fresh at the World Famous Lexington Market for $11.99 a pound or particleboard like dried cod from who knows where since who knows when at $12.99 a pound.

Well, I have never really developed a taste for dried cod even though I have been eating it in the Swedish incarnation named Lutfisk since I was in diapers so I passed on the Italian version for now but it was great to see that it was available if someone wants to pay me to prepare it. Now the selection of Olive Oil was a bit more exciting. Many different brands at a decent price. They also have red wine vinegar, really fresh parsley, Prosciutto de Parma, some Italian cheese, Lemoncello, some Italian wines, and some salami hanging from the ceiling.

I bought some Prosciutto and some pancetta to eat over the weekend. Look in the middle of the photo to the right of the meats. Hanging in the middle appears to be, in another form, more dried cod, but these are whole.


For this weekend I did buy a whole 2 pound Rockfish. Rockfish is something I must master in the Baltimore market because it is the Maryland State fish and is caught in the Chesapeake Bay and is also known as Striped Bass. They get quite large and they are fresh in most seafood markets for $5.99 a pound. I am going to cook it tonight roasted in salt like Bronzino so I will report back on that but it should work great. Some seafood markets here sell what they claim to be wild caught Greek Bronzino but they look awful. Small, glassy eyed, slimy things that “I wouldn’t eat to save my life.”

Short crust tart with a brown sugar - cream cheese filling and Italian plum marmalade.

That idiom was inserted for Giulia because I know she is a regular fan of this blog. And thanks Giulia and her mother for the marmalade.It was amazing.

There are a lot of things you can do with a fine Italian marmalade. To the right is my tart. Awesome!


Over Gelato.



Or perhaps just on toast.  Thanks Giulia!

Toast. Plum marmalade on pumpernickle.


Well that’s all for now.       Frustino Tart.






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