Linda Huang: The Hummingbird’s Kitchen

Linda Huang: The Hummingbird’s Kitchen

Today is all about Chinese food. I’m joined by Linda Huang of The Hummingbird’s Kitchen, where she teaches folks in Bozeman how to cook authentic Chinese food and hosts pop-up dinners. Today, Linda and I talk all things Chinese cuisine – from how she got her start in Bozeman, to the regional differences of the cuisine, to stories from Linda’s childhood of how her family ate in the days before refrigeration, and the best breakfast she ever had.



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Links:

Check out Linda’s website and sign up for a cooking class: https://www.thehummingbirdskitchen.com/

Music:

http://purple-planet.com

Thanks for listening! Do you ever get hangry? You know, the thing that happens when you’re really hungry and your lack of food makes you angry?! I am well acquainted with this phenomenon, and I want to hear your stories! Send me your hangry stories, telltale signs of hanger, or prevention tips either in the comment section of this episode, or submit your story on the contact page. You may hear your story featured anonymously on a future episode of Simmer! Speaking of which, you can use this contact page to submit all kinds of things like inquiries about being on the show or comments and suggestions for future episodes.

The Noodle Project: Lasagna

The Noodle Project: Lasagna

Enjoy as Merrill Warren, dedicated lasagna lover, and I talk about her history with lasagna, learn together how to make lasagna noodles from scratch, and test out a new twist on the lasagna making method.



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Welcome to the third episode of the Noodle Project. Today I’m with my friend Merrill, and we’re venturing back to Italy to learn how to make lasagna noodles.

I asked Merrill to give me five words that reminded her of lasagna, and she said: home, mom, burnt edges, and family. I think a lot of us can relate.

Lasagna is a common household dish in many American families, so it’s not surprising that Merrill has such strong ties to it. The origins of lasagna are largely contested, with some claiming that it originated in Great Britain in the 14th century, while others trace the word “lasagna” from the Greek word “laganon” which they consider the first known form of pasta in Ancient Greece. Laganon was similar to lasagna only in that it was a layered pasta dish, and it didn’t use many of the traditional italian ingredients that we usually associate with lasagna, such as tomatoes. Regardless of who originally created it, it has since become a global dish. I asked Merrill what is typically in her mom’s lasagna.

After discussing Merrill’s family ties to lasagna, we set out to make the noodles for our own lasagna. Today though, I had a trick up my sleeve: grilled lasagna. We laid out all the layering ingredients on the kitchen table and formed a circular assembly system, moving around the table in circles together. We grilled each lasagna packet on a medium-hot grill for ten minutes, then topped with ricotta and a mixture of chopped tomato and parsley.

Links

How to make lasagna noodles

Grilled lasagna

Sources:

https://mybravoblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/the-history-of-lasagna/

http://plaza.ufl.edu/amrauwc/history.htmlhttps://www.thepauperedchef.com/article/the-disputed-origins-of-lasagna

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Italian_Eritrean_cuisinehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asmara

Music:

http://www.purple-planet.com

http://www.pond5.com

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A Spicy Quest: Nithin Coca and His Chili Pepper Journey

A Spicy Quest: Nithin Coca and His Chili Pepper Journey



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A few weeks ago on Simmer we talked about where the chili pepper comes from and how it spread around the world. If you haven’t listened to the chili pepper episode, I’d recommend heading over there for a listen before continuing – it’s pretty short and sweet. When I was doing my chili pepper research, I came upon a website called A Spicy Quest. The website’s creator, Nithin Coca, was just as shocked as I was to learn that chilies came from South America rather than Asia, and decided to dig deeper into the story. I got in touch with Nithin and he’s joining me today to share the story of “A Spicy Quest” – a global, multimedia project to discover the untold story of the chili pepper and it’s unprecedented spread around the world.

Nithin’s Website

Listen to the Simmer chili pepper episode here

Music: http://www.purple-planet.com

Tammy Czapp: Stella Goods

Tammy Czapp: Stella Goods



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Today I have Tammy Czapp on the show, owner of Stella Goods in Bozeman, MT. With the dream of someday opening a bed-and-breakfast, she taught herself how to make jam and started Stella Jams – a small jam operation that she sells in local farmers markets around the area. Tammy arrived at a career in food a rather roundabout way, and her jam business is only the start.

Stella Goods

Music:

http://www.purple-planet.com

www.polkamadre.com/ Recorded on Rob Weisberg’s show 9/6/2008, Licensed under Creative Commons nc-sa-3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

3.0

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Freak_Fandango_Orchestra/Love_death_and_a_drunken_monkey/06_-_La_Polka_Del_Amor_live_at_ScannerFm

The Noodle Project: Thenthuk

The Noodle Project: Thenthuk

Welcome back to The Noodle Project! Last time, Adam and I used a pasta roller to make very precise tagliatelle noodles with a thickness of 3/8th of an inch. Today I’m with my friend Heidi Rogers, and we’re going back to the basics and the opposite side of the spectrum with a hand pulled Tibetan noodle dish called Thenthuk.

Thenthuk is a noodle soup that comes from high up on the Tibetan plateau enjoyed by nomads and other Tibetan communities to keep warm during the long winters. The word thenthuk translates from Tibetan as “hand-pulled noodles”, with “then” meaning pull, and “thuk” meaning noodles. This dish attracted me because of its simplicity – the noodles are literally torn strips that are quickly tossed into noodle broth, and it reminds me of the comfort food that is chicken noodle soup because every family has their own unique recipe and way of making it. When Heidi came over to make noodles on a grey March evening, the simplicity of tearing noodles by hand coupled with the warm comfort of soup was exactly what I wanted.

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Table for One: Things I’ve Learned About Dining Solo

Table for One: Things I’ve Learned About Dining Solo

I have recently become a person who travels for work from time to time. This means I often find myself in a new city or country, hungry, and, more often than not – alone. I feel lucky to have willingly traveled alone in the past and have gotten to the point where I revel in the idea of a meal out by myself. However, I have not always been this way. The thought of taking a solo lunch break between classes in college or taking myself on a dinner date used to instill a type of anxiety reminiscent of the cafeteria scene from the movie Mean Girls. Although I never got to the point of eating my sandwich in the bathroom stall, there have definitely been times that I have foregone a meal or resorted to protein bars to avoid the hostess’ look of pity as she asks, “Is it just you today?”. Humans are inherently social, and there are few things more telling of this than the popularity of dining out. We do it for dates, as families, or to catch up with a group of friends. We often think dining out is not worth the time or money if we do it alone, and in many ways the restaurant simply serves as a place to meet up – enjoying a meal together is an added bonus.

Eating alone at restaurants is sometimes unavoidable, but I want to be the first to say – I’m all for it! There are many advantages to eating alone, from better service and unexpected interesting conversation, to giving a meal your undivided attention and enjoyment. Whether you are traveling by yourself or simply want some “me” time, eating alone doesn’t have to be awkward and scary. While I love sharing good food with great friends, going out to eat alone has its own unique appeal. Here are a few tips, tricks, and things I’ve learned from dining solo.

Solo selfies can be awkward

Take baby steps

Walking into a sit-down restaurant with a “Please wait to be seated” sign when you are by yourself can feel like your own version of hell at first, but that doesn’t mean you have to doom yourself to take-out and delivery. Start with somewhere that has walk-up service; it’ll feel similar to a coffee shop and be more natural to be by yourself. If you find the most intimidating part of dining out to be interacting with the staff, this type of restaurant will limit your interactions with other people – reducing the feeling that you are drawing attention to yourself. If you are feeling a little more bold, seek out sit-down places with “Please seat yourself” signs; sometimes the scariest part is having to announce to the host/hostess that you will be dining alone.

Be ready for the “Just one?” question

After you’ve eaten alone at some more casual places, you’ll soon be ready to move to the full service sit-down restaurant. Try not to be intimidated – the only main difference between here and “Please seat yourself” places is in the first 30 seconds of your experience. Be ready for the host or hostess to ask you “Table for one?” or “Just you?” – once you get used to replying yes with a smile you will begin to be able to say it with more confidence. If the hostess is tactful enough to remove the “just” at the beginning of their question, give them a little telepathic pat on the back (or thank them out loud if you want!) for wording their sentence in a more welcoming way. I found this interaction to be the hardest to get used to, but it’s helpful to remember that even though it’s “just” you, you deserve to be there as much as the next person. Breaking social norms can feel bizarre at first, but I find it really satisfying to be confident about eating alone.

Look for places with community or bar seating

When I first started regularly dining solo, I would frequent various pho restaurants in Seattle. Besides finding pho delicious, I chose these restaurants because they have large community tables at which many solo diners will sit together. There is no pressure to converse with your table mates if not desired, and for for me it curbs the awkward feeling of sitting at a table by myself. In addition to community tables, bar seating is also a great option. Whether it’s a sushi bar or seating at the bar of an open kitchen, these seats are ideal for solo diners, and watching the food being prepared is a great source of entertainment!

Put your phone down

It’s tempting to let a meal alone turn into a date with your phone. Try to resist the urge! Treat the time as if you weren’t alone and put your phone down. Just because you aren’t in continuous conversation doesn’t mean you should spend the whole time staring at your device, and it’s a great exercise to break the habit of impulsively checking your phone – giving yourself time to unplug.

You’ll get better service

I have a theory that solo diners get better service than those in groups. The main reason for this is that instead of the server feeling like they are interrupting the group every time they come by, they can feel more at ease knowing they aren’t disturbing you. The other day, I was eating by myself at a ramen restaurant and while exchanging pleasantries with the server, we fell into a conversation about how our day was actually going. It was quite refreshing.

You might learn something

Whether sitting at a community table or at your own table in a crowded restaurant, the opportunities for people watching abound. Freed from giving your undivided attention to your dining partner, you can observe the scene around you to your heart’s content. As a solo diner, you also become more approachable to people. Similar to receiving better restaurant service, you are more likely to strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger.

You can enjoy your meal like never before

This deserves undivided attention!

Have you ever been out with a group of friends and the conversation stops the minute the food arrives? This is usually a sign of good food, and when eating alone you have the opportunity to lose yourself in your meal. No feeling guilty about neglecting your eating companions or absentmindedly going for another bite during an intense conversation only to find you have cleaned your plate. Is this one just me?

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the advantages of dining alone, and there can definitely be some drawbacks as well – the first thing that comes to mind is the tragedy that is trying to eat family style meals like dim sum! Whether you are curious about giving it a try, find yourself alone in a new place, or are wanting to try a new restaurant but no one will go with you, dining solo isn’t as scary as you might think!

I hope this list was helpful. What are your favorite things about dining solo? I’d love to know if you have any other tips or things you’ve learned!

The Noodle Project: Tagliatelle – E3

The Noodle Project: Tagliatelle – E3



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Let’s talk about noodles. With the winning combination of flour and liquid at the core of every noodle, they show up in countless cuisines around the world. From the dozens of pasta varieties in Italy to rice noodles of Vietnam, to the soba and ramen noodles of Japan, it’s a wonder how something with such humble ingredients could take so many different forms! I recently read the book “On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta” in which author Jen Lin-Liu travels along the Silk Road, searching for the evolution of the noodle from east to west. After salivating at the turn of every page, I had an idea. What if I made 2017 my year noodles and learned about this versatile culinary creation in its many different forms? Better yet, what if I learned about and made each type of noodle with a different person?!

Welcome to the Noodle Project. In this series, I will arm myself with a new noodle recipe each episode, invite a friend over, and we will learn about and make the noodles together. Simmer was created to discover the connection between food and people, and this year, The Noodle Project will explore the connections we have with each other and the world around us.

For the first noodle, I wanted to start with something simple and relatively familiar. I decided on tagliatelle, a long egg noodle about a quarter to a third of an inch wide that originates in the Bologna region of northern Italy.There’s something so sexy about the rich yellow color and the silky texture of this type of pasta, and I was excited to try my hand at making it.

I invited my friend Adam Paccione over to make tagliatelle with me. Adam is originally from New York state, but he moved to Bozeman a few years ago and now co-owns a popular pizza joint called Red Tractor.

To learn more about Red Tractor go to http://www.redtractorpizza.com/

On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pastahttps://www.amazon.com/Noodle-Road-Beijing-Rome-Pasta/dp/159448726X

Tagiatelle Recipe:  http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-fresh-pasta-from-scratch-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-

Bolognese Recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Anna-Nannis-Ragu-alla-Bolognese

Sources:

http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/16/id/20/7

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2016/oct/11/spag-bol-and-other-crimes-against-ragu-alla-bolognese

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagliatelle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolognese_sauce

Music: http://www.purple-planet.com

Steve Kuntz: Feast Raw Bar & Bistro – E2

Steve Kuntz: Feast Raw Bar & Bistro – E2



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Welcome back to Simmer – Stories to chew on! I’m your host, Allison Howe.

Each episode of Simmer will highlight a different story or theme centered around food, because food connects us all and everyone has a story.

Today we’ll hear from Bozeman restauranteur Steve Kuntz about his journey in the restaurant world and why he loves what he does. From bringing oysters and other quality seafood to Bozeman, Montana, to the endless quest for creating the perfect ceviche, Steve shares his thoughts on what food and eating mean to him.

Steve is the co-owner of Feast Raw Bar and Bistro that opened up in Bozeman a little over a year ago. He’s on the podcast today to share his own food story in the restaurant world.

Check out Feast here!

Music: http://www.purple-planet.com

Welcome to Simmer – E1

Welcome to Simmer – E1



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Hi everyone, welcome to Simmer – stories to chew on. I’m your host, Allison Howe.

In this podcast, we’ll showcase different stories about food every episode, because food connects us all and everyone has a story.

Thank you for joining me on this first episode of Simmer. I’m so excited to be starting this podcast! When I first came up with the idea to start a podcast, I knew I wanted to create a space to talk about what I love: food! I love cooking, eating, and the connection that comes with sharing food.

The other night, I was having dinner with some friends and I challenged them to think of a popular food that they don’t particularly care for, in other words, what food that is considered objectively delicious in your culture do you dislike? My answer was salad. To be fair, I’ll eat salad, but I usually won’t eat it at home, and I definitely need a hard sell to order it at a restaurant. I always get a pretty strong reaction when I announce my tumultuous relationship with salad, and I started to wonder why that is.

Food choices can be incredibly polarizing, whether we’re engaging in a vegetarian versus meat-eaters debate, or when the news of an allergy shocks us. Today, I wanted to start off by chatting with my good friend Kelly about this topic. My hope for Simmer is to start conversations about things that are of interest to me or that I’m curious about with regards to food. Kelly and I sat down the other night and managed to dig up some perspective on this question. Enjoy!

Music: http://www.purple-planet.com