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Dean Chopped from Food Network

I can’t say I am surprised Paula Dean was dropped by the Food Network. I thought she was over when she lied about having diabetes for three years, while presenting her over the top fatty and sugary food.  She then announced that she will be the spokes person for a diabetes drug.

Her new scandal, she said the N-word and then somehow tried to justify it. I am not sure the advise her handlers gave her, but I assume it should have been to say, “I AM SORRY” as big and as sincere, and to as many people who will listen. Just say “I am sorry” and repeat it a million times.

And you have to mean it and you have to change your ways and be a model of good behavior.

But Dean did none of that. Instead she held this out until court and put herself on the record about saying the N-word and upped the ante by implying she also says other off color joke about other groups.

From: Food Network Drops Paula Deen, NYT

She also stated that “most jokes” are about Jews, gay people, black people and “rednecks.”

I am not sure where this was coming from with Dean. Did she think that she is a redneck, so this is all OK?

But lets not forget how this all started.

From US News and World Report

…not only did Deen admit to using the n-word, but also making anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic jokes, as well as having planned a “southern style wedding” in which she hired black waiters to take on the appearance of slaves

She was supposed to come on the Today Show to explain herself, but cancelled, which sent the message that she either could not really explain her behavior or she did not have the courage to answer potentially tough questions.

Will she make a come back? Will her supporters say the folks who agree that most JOKES are about those OTHER PEOPLE who are Black, Jewish, Gay or Redneck, give her another chance?

Will the PR wing of her empire do their magic and keep the Paula Dean “Gravy Train” rolling?

I’ll be curious to see this play out. Food Network dumped her, but she also has a magazine with a million subscribers, cookbooks, endorsements, restaurants etc….

I can’t imagine advertisers be excited to support a magazine with her picture on the cover especially if boycotts are started against the advertisers and products in protest. 

Also foodie tourists to Savannah who were once excited to go to Dean’s restaurant will avoid it especially Northerners.

I love Savannah. And I Love the South, which is not a given for a suburban Jewish kid from New Jersey. Yes, a Jew who is among the four groups of people who all jokes are about according to Deen.

When I was in Savannah last, I met a group of folks from New York who were doing a  food tour of the town. They had stopped at this cupcake place, Back in the Day, the best cupcakes in the world.

There was a sign picture of Paula Deen on the wall of the place.

The food tour stopped at Paula Deen’s.

Seeing these folks gave me the impression that the New South had arrived if New York City Jews were now flocking their for tourism, that the old racist South persona had finally faded away and we Northerners could embraces our Southern brothers around a plate of ribs and corn bread.

In no small part Paula Deen had lead the charge that the South was friendly and welcoming and that food brings folks together. Diabetes be damn, pass me another red velvet cupcake please!!!!

The irony here is that Dean who is known for her over the top friendly Southern hospitality and an ambassador for the South, the New South is now the face of old school Southern racism.

No one knows how this will play out. Maybe enough people who either buy her apology or side with her off color humor/attitude, to keep her food empire going.


Or Maybe not.

Maybe America and the South deserves another cook to represent them. Maybe the Food Network can build up another Southern Chef who does not make off colored jokes about slaves and the old South.

Southern American food (and food in general) is supposed to bring people together.

Maybe the Lee Brothers

Detroit 48 Hour Film Project: Team Midnight Oil


48 Hour Film Project 2013 Team Midnight Oil

I am going to be doing a 48 hour film this year. It is kind of improv for film makers. You get a theme and then you have to write, shoot, edit and hand deliver a film in 48 hours.

It is truly an amazing feet.

Our team is currently doing a fundraiser to help support the project.

48 Hour Film Project 2013 Team Midnight Oil 

Most of the money I am told goes to help feed the some 20 person crew.

I figure that I will be the crew chef as well as video crew and maybe even act and write. I really never thought about the food element of film making.

Please help out if you can. We are 1/3 towards our goal.


Southern Comfort Food

Ann Arbor Food

Big Bob Gibson the best ribs ever

Here is a quick pic take of my trip down south (Alabama, Knoxville, and Chattanooga  Tennessee, and Ashville, NC.

This year was a little different because I am off of gluten, which for the south mean no biscuits and some fried foods. But BBQ is gluten free.

Food notables of American Southern Food:
Cornbread, grits, creamed corn
Collard Greens and Turnip Greens
Sweet Potato
black eyed peas
Boiled Peanuts
Sweet pickles

Ann Arbor Food

Big Bob Gibson BBQ Full Rack of Pork Ribs

Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, AL

Fresh Pecans at road side stand Ann Arbor Food

Fresh Pecans at road side stand

Mojo Burrito, Chattanooga
Great hippie burrito joint, better than a chipotle and they serve bear, located near the Incline railway



House that nature is taking back a common site in Northern Georgia and through out the south

Breakfast Burrito at Tomato Head in Knoxville

Breakfast Burrito at Tomato Head in Knoxville

Tomato Head, Knoxville, Tenn
(located in the historic square, great brunch spot with an omelette station, fresh baked goods and pizza)

Yee-haw Industry Print shop
(We are fan’s of a Knoxville printing house that does really fun prints of Southern themes. Find out the downtown shop had closed do to a marriage break up, but a store around the corner carried a good supply of prints.







Latke’s The Festival of Frying

Ann Arbor Food Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Latkes

I know Hanukkah is over for the year, but the holiday kind of blends all together with Christmas and vacations, so i made my Latke celebration dinner tonight.

Latkes and other jewish holiday fare hold power over the non-jewish folk who are lucky of enough to have someone make the real thing for them.

The mere statement, “I am a little tire, I’ll make Latkes tomorrow,” can be met with epic pouts too down right addiction withdrawal.

And by all means, make enough of them.

Here is how I make them.

Latke’s Recipe: Makes 15 Large Latke (serves 4)

1 Five pound bag of russet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 large onion minced
7 large eggs
salt and pepper
Oil for frying, I use a combination of Safflower with some Olive OiL


After peeling and grating the potatoes, place them in a colander and salt them.

NOTE: Do not run your potato peels down your sink food disposal. The starch will gum up the works and you will need drain-o to fix it. Believe me I have done it before making Latke’s. Also run the sink with cold water when rinsing the potato starch of the colander and plate.

Place a plate under near and let the liquid and starch from the drain off.

Shake the colander to remove the liquid, then finally in small batches squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. One of these days I will get a press to speed up this process, but it is not a huge deal with a five pound batch.

Place the potato in a large bowl and add the minced onion. Mix and add the eggs and salt and pepper.

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latkes

Portion into balls and place on a plate to stage for frying.

Heat a pan with the oil until it is hot. Use a few strands of potato to test the oil. If the potato instantly floats to the top and dances around, it is ready.

Place the balls in the fry oil. Be careful to not get burned.

Then flatten them down with a spoon to 3/4 of an inch thick. Place as many was will fit in your pan. I make my Latkes large about the size of a large hamburger patty.

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latkes

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latkes

Cook them until they the are golden brown and flip them. (about 3-4 minutes per side, but it varies. Like pancakes, it seems the second side does not need as much time as the first side)

Drain on paper towels.

Add more oil between batches, wait a minute or two for the oil to warm up before adding a new batch.

NOTE: If you are making these more then one night of Hanukkah, filter the oil from the previous night and use it again. Fry cook experts will tell you that using some older oil helps with crisping. (not sure why)

Also the flavor from the odder oil is infused with onion. and potato. The fam swore that tonight’s batch was better then two nights ago probably because of the oil.

I cannot say, but Hanukkah is the holiday of the miracle of the oil.

After frying 12,  place them in a 350 degree oven to warm up while the last three are frying.

Serve immediately with apple sauce, sour cream, smoked salmon and sliced oranges.





Roasted Chestnuts

Ann Arbor Food Roasted Chestnuts

Ann Arbor Food Roasted Chestnuts


Lets talk chestnuts. These rich, sweet and creaming nut is a staple for fall and winter eats. It takes some effort to prepare them, but they are worth it.

One my favorite items from my macrobiotic days was sweet rice with chestnuts. It tastes like dessert.

So you probably seen the mess bag of mahogany color chestnuts in the grocer and wonder how to prepare them.

Well here is how.

The common wisdom is to cut an X into them. They even have chestnut X-er gadgets to do it. The thing is chestnuts are kind of slipper and smooth. So what I usually do is take a scissors and make one slit. No X required.

Next roast them in a pan in a 425 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.

Ann Arbor Food Roasted Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts

The picture above shows the chestnut shells busted open. The trick to peeling a chestnut is to peel it hot. I use the sleeves of my longs sleeves to work them and I rest the chestnut on a oven mitt.

Pressing the shells breaks the shells apart, which come off easy.

The real trick is peeling off the papery skins inside the shell. The hotter the chestnuts the easier they come off. I tooth pick helps. Squeezing the chestnuts usually works to loosen the skins.

If you are working a large batch, you will have to re-heat them as you go. I figure I can only peel about 5-7 at a clip before heating them up again.

Roasted chestnuts are great in stuffings and can be boiled and pureed to make a chestnut cream for desserts and baked goods.


Moving and Food

I just moved and that made me think about food.

Moving also includes foods. The food in the fridge, the food in freezer, the pantry, the spice rack and the entire kitchen including gadgets.

Like all moves, the best time to get rid of stuff is before you move and that means purging the stuff you don’t want or use.

But I say why wait till you move.

So in the name of Fall cleaning, I would like to inspire you to clean house (your kitchen).

Do you have gadgets you no longer use?
Do you have spices from the last millennium?
What about the cookbook, are you using all of them?
Did you buy all sort of supplies for that one time you made (Sushi, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Pizza, Pasta, Beer etc) or other food experiments.

If you are still using them great, but if you are not, there is probably someone who would love to have that pizza stone, pasta roller, tortilla press, slow cooker, bread machine, tart pan, wok  etc…

As for the other stuff, a two year shelf life for spices is pretty standard.



Batman Remembrance Ribbon

I have created a Batman Themed Remembrance Ribbon to Honor the Victims of the Aurora Colorado Shooting.

All Proceeds from sales will be donated through




cole slaw

cole slaw




New York Style Pizza Class

New York Style Pizza

I am teaching a pizza class tomorrow April 29th at Hollanders from 1:00-2:00PM (2:30ish)

Learn about making dough, sauce, toppings and more and sample three kinds of pizza

Click here to sign up 

New York Style Pizza with Brian Steinberg. Learn how to make a thin crust, New York style pizza, with Brian’s no fling method. You will see how to make and shape the pizza dough, and then bake on a pizza stone. Sample a variety of pizzas with different sauces and toppings. Class Fee: $16