Tag Archives: Will Mooney

Special Cookbook Signing @Stockton Market; A Month’s Worth of Delicious Activities to Fight Breast Cancer; Rescuing a Burnt Pot

Author-Artist of 100% Hand-Illustrated & Hand-Lettered Latin Cookbook Coming to Stockton Market

Mi Comida Latina, by Marcella Kriebel (Burgess Lea Press)

Mi Comida Latina, by Marcella Kriebel (Burgess Lea Press)

On Sunday, October 11, Marcella Kriebel will sign copies of her gorgeous cookbook, Mi Comida Latina, and offer sample tastings of its contents at the Stockton Market. Times and details about this unique book and event in my post here at njmonthly.com.

Brothers Moon is the Month-Long Locus for Chefs, Farmers, and Cooking Teachers in Campaign to Fight Breast Cancer

Chef Will Mooney of Brothers Moon

Chef Will Mooney of Brothers Moon

Chef/owner Will Mooney of Brothers Moon has been doing the right thing since the day he opened his Hopewell BYO 15 years ago. He was, for example, a pioneer in sourcing local, sustainable ingredients. He supported our Central NJ Slow Food chapter from its infancy. He was the literally first customer for Shibumi Farm’s magnificent mushrooms.

For the remainder of October Brothers Moon will hold a series of dining activities to benefit Hope is in the Bag, a campaign to promote awareness about breast cancer and raise funds for those undergoing treatment at Capital Health’s Center for Comprehensive Breast Care. Some of my favorite folks – besides Will – are participating. Here’s the rundown:

October 9 through October 23 – Brothers Moon will sell pink cupcakes, the proceeds of which will be donated to Hope is in the Bag. The restaurant will also have specially marked menu items, of which 10% goes to the campaign.

Thursday, October 15 – Dinner with Jess Niederer of Chickadee Creek Farm. 10% of sales will be donated.

Friday, October 16 – Dinner with Alan Kaufman of Shibumi Farm. 10% of sales will be donated.

Friday, October 23 – Dinner with Dorothy Mullen of The Suppers Programs. 10% of sales will be donated.

Thursday, October 29 – Cooking with Allie O’Brien of the Garden State Community Kitchen. 10% of sales will be donated.

To sign up for any (or all!) of the special dinners, visit brothersmoon.com, or phone 609.333.1330 for details.

A Household Cleaning Tip That Really Works

Does anyone read the Hints from Heloise column, assuming it’s still around? Well, I gave up on it and its ilk years ago because in my experience very little of the advice ever panned out (pun intended).

Stock pot 002

So when I recently burnt – and I mean badly burnt – the inside bottom of my favorite, decades-old stainless steel stockpot (above), I came darn close to chucking it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to part with my old friend. As a last-ditch effort, but with little hope, I turned to the Internet. I’m not sure what made me trust this advice on ApartmentTherapy.com above all others, but I took a chance. It delivered – and exactly as promised, without any hard scrubbing and with a 100% restored pot. Thanks, ApartmentTherapy.com!

Restaurants: US 1 Fall Dining Issue; Review of Just in Old Bridge; Elements Special Dinner

Before I get to the restaurant stuff, I want to let you know you’ll be getting a second posting from me today. On Monday I composed and thought I had published a post on what restaurants are doing to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief. Somehow I forgot to press the “publish” button. I’m blaming that on Sandy. Although I was one of the lucky ones – only 3 days without power, no damage – I have noticed that I’m not multitasking as efficiently as usual. Have you noticed the same?

US 1 Fall Dining

Despite the soft economy, some veteran restaurateurs in Central NJ are adding sibling restaurants to their existing stable. Read my profile of them and their new and forthcoming restaurants in the 2012 Fall Dining Issue of US 1.

Among the restaurants: A second Osteria Procaccini, a second PJ’s Pancake House, North End Bistro, Masa Sushi, and Centro Grille. That last, btw, is from the current owner of Acacia in Lawrenceville.

Just: A Fine Dining Restaurant on Route 9 in Old Bridge

Read my review of this ambitious undertaking on an unlikely stretch of that roadway, from the November issue of New Jersey Monthly.

Elements Collaborative Dinner Thursday, November 15

An interesting lineup of NJ chefs is cooking up a collaborative feast for a good cause at Scott Anderson’s elements in Princeton. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. Taking on one course each are David Felton of 90 Acres, Josh Thomsen of the highly anticipated Agricola, Gabby Carbone of the Bent Spoon, Will Mooney of the Brothers Moon, and Chris Albrecht of Eno Terra. The evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres at 6pm. For information and reservations click here.

Cafe Blue Moose; Epicurean Palette Highlights & Recipe; Got Goat?

“The nation’s only completely youth-run restaurant” proclaims the website of Cafe Blue Moose located on Mechanic Street in New Hope, PA. Owner/chef Skylar Bird began his professional culinary journey at the age of 14, when he formed a supper club in his parents’ home. Then it was on to culinary school and France, and now, at the ripe old age of 20, his sweet byob

employs only high school and college students – so expect to uncork your wine yourself. And then dig into Bird’s home-style fare. $20 gets you 2 courses – your choice of starter and main, or main and dessert, or starter and dessert. Another $5 and you’re good for 3 courses at this cash-or-check-only spot.

The menu changes frequently, but on a recent weeknight I and a friend enjoyed starters of butternut squash soup and a salad of mixed greens, goat cheese, apples, and walnuts:

Each table is hand-painted with a different free-form design that includes a blue moose. Freebies (freebies! even at these prices!) include hot buttered popcorn and soft country-style bread. On the way out we picked up homemade cookies – another lagniappe. Before that we had enjoyed housemade fettuccine with sausage and sweet corn, and short ribs with squash puree. We skipped dessert, although this description of Moose Tracks tempted: “Our signature chocolate sherry whipped cream cake.”
Cafe Blue Moose on Urbanspoon

Epicurean Palette 2012

About 1,000 people strolled Grounds for Sculpture last Sunday for what many agree was the best iteration yet of this food, wine, and beer gala that’s the sculpture park’s major annual fundraiser. Let’s start with the home team, Rat’s restaurant.

Here’s executive chef Shane Cash (he’s a distant relative of Johnny Cash, although he doesn’t tout it) tending the star ingredient of his Moroccan lamb with harissa oil. He cooked the lamb in a China box, usually used for barbecuing whole pigs.

Over at the Eno Terra table, Chris Albrecht and crew are clearly enjoying themselves dishing up hand-rolled garganelli pasta with pecorino Sarde and baby eggplant:

While Manuel Perez and the folks at Princeton’s Peacock Inn wow guests with ricotta gnocchi, which somehow I neglected to take a sample of!

Meantime, a typically intense Scott Anderson of elements forms countless quenelles of spicy short rib tartare. Short rib tartare? As meltingly tender – but more flavorful – than tartare made with high-end cuts. What sorcery is this?

At left, Scott Snyder (right) of Boulevard Five72 plates lobster roulade, while below, Nina & Jonathan White stand behind their Bobolink cheeses, literally and figuratively.

The Epicurean Palette would not be complete without two signatures: the chocolate rats produced by, well, Rat’s and the chocolate pots de creme of Brothers Moon. I devoured the chocolate rat bonbon before thinking to take a pic, but here is Brothers Moon owner/chef Will Mooney (on the right) and his assistant, Nicolas Angelus. Even better, here’s the recipe:

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO POT DE CREME FOR A CROWD
(
20 six-ounce portions)

3 tablespoons espresso powder
6 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1-1/2 pounds semi-sweet chocolate, chopped small
16 ounces egg yolks (approximately 24 eggs)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large heavy-bottom pot combine espresso powder, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder and heat until hot and all sugar is melted. Combine chopped chocolate pieces and egg yolks in a large bowl. Drizzle milk mixture slowly into the chocolate and yolks and then add the vanilla. Divide mixture among ramekins. Bake in a water bath in a preheated 300-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, overnight. If desired, serve with fresh berries, cookies, and/or whipped cream.

Sourcing Goat Meat: No Goat Left Behind

Did you know that goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world? Whenever I encounter it on a menu (thankfully more common than in the past) I never pass it up. I’ve cooked it at home, too, although I have to confess that, before the days of local, grassfed farms, I was always wary about its origins. Even now, fresh, local goat meat isn’t always easy to come by. So I welcome Heritage Food USA’s celebration of Goatober, which offers three different cuts and 2-day shipping. Now I just have to decide how to cook it: Italian, Jamaican, Indian….?