Miss Ginsu: About/Bio


Pizza on a Flat-Bed Trailer

I cooked with Dave Sclarow at Tabla back in the day. He was always a pretty handy guy and a solid cook (he's now running the kitchen at Lunetta in Brooklyn), but he recently got in the NY Times and various other publications for what essentially amounts to a novelty act: he built a wood-fired pizza oven on a flat-bed trailer.

Voila! It's porta-pizza!

Dave Sclarow and his Pizza Oven

Pizza Moto

Dave Sclarow and his Pizza Oven

Now you can catch him at the Brooklyn Flea on Sundays. Mom and I were there for the first pie outta the oven a couple of weekends ago. Here's the quick and dirty how-to video:

I swear I'll someday feature something other than cheese-based foods in my food videos.

Miss Ginsu

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FoodLink Roundup: 11.10.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, Cupcake was called out (by everyone, seemingly) at a Gotham Girls Roller Derby home game. So, where in the world is Cupcake this week? Yeah, I know this one's a softball, but be a peach and post a guess in the comments anyway.

Feds try to get students to eat fruit and veg
"Not to brag or anything," 10-year-old Harrison Saling said, "but I've always been pretty good about my fruits." Hilarious...

'Clean-up' bees could save endangered hives
Scientists tinker with bees in the hope of saving agriculture. Go, Scientists, Go!

Purple Reign
Snapdragons + Tomatoes + Genetic Tinkering = more flavonoids?

When Money Is Tight, Eating Healthy Can Be a Struggle
Newsflash... healthful eating is a class issue!

Pizza From Scratch: First, Bricks and a Trailer
My friend Dave rocks the outdoor oven for the Times. Woot!

New food links — and another postcard from Cupcake — every Monday morning on missginsu.com

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FoodLink Roundup: 08.04.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, Cupcake was spotted in the Tuillerie Gardens in Paris. Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post your guess in the comments.

In a jam
Summer in a jar... faster.

Six of a Kind: Pizza / Slice of heaven
Six best pizzas in the bay area? I'm a bit far afield. Anyone have intelligence on this one?

I'll Take the Manhattan
Mmmmm. You can't argue with the classics...

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FoodLink Roundup: 07.28.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, Cupcake took a break in the Central Park Sheep's Meadow. (Fine spotting to the Beast and Hazard both.) Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post your guess in the comments.

Apizza Scholls: Top Five Pizzeria in America
Slice puts its hands on one of America's best pies. You can bet I'll be stopping by the next time I'm in Portland.

Reviving the Ramapo
"The market is ripe for the return of the Ramapo because there is a sizable group out there that wants their tomato to taste good." It's like finding something useful up in the attic.

Slideluck Potshow
A surprise hit in cities around the world, simply local folks sitting around watching slides and eating potluck food.

A Locally Grown Diet With Fuss but No Muss
And now, friends, we return to an era of surfs raising premium crops for the lords...

I Hate Cilantro Haikus
Wow... I had no idea this was a haiku genre.

Some good visualizations of individual ingredients in the Nutrition Search widget.

Italy's creative microbrew movement gets noticed
"Outside of the U.S., Italy probably has the most exciting brewing scene in the world," says Garrett Oliver. And yes, he's talking about beer, not wine. That's just crazy.

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Seeking Out the Heavenly Slice

We came, we saw, we ate pizza.

That's how you roll in Rome. Carb-heavy. Pasta with every meal. Pizza on every corner. But if you're lucky, you'll find slices that are worth the trip and the caloric load.

Not far from The Beehive, where we stayed, we discovered a good neighborhood pizzeria on Via Merulana. (I was a bit tired at the time, but I believe the place in question was Cecchini Vincenzo E C (SNC), Via Merulana 203.)

Offering indoor and outdoor seating, the traditionally light Italian beers (including a local brew on draught) and a variety of by-the-slice options which made a tasty introduction to a commonplace local pizza style; unlike crisp Neapolitan pizzas, Roman slices are thicker and more like topping-covered foccacia.

Hearty slices and beers at the Via Merulana pizzeria
Pizza with tuna and spinach at the back, sun-ripe tomatoes in the foreground

Via Merulana pizzeria ingredient pig
Shouldn't every pizzeria have an ingredient pig?

Via Merulana pizzeria upskirt
The Via Merulana pizza gets the trademark "upskirt" treatment, a la Adam Kuban's pizza blog, Slice

I spent a jetlag-y second day at Vatican City, a place that requires its visitors to pay their 12 Euro admission and move through the place with quiet, efficient fluidity. A perfect alignment, actually, since exhausted tourists are mostly only capable of bumping along like mute cattle.

The art at Vatican City? Stunning. Slices at the Vatican City pizzeria? Eh, not so much.

The Vatican slices are bready and limp. The cheese is bland. This pizza may somehow be blessed by virtue of its proximity to the Pope, but it's desperation food, not manna from heaven.

Angel Meets Farmer at the Vatican
Angel meets farmer on the gorgeous Vatican ceilings

Harried staff at the Vatican pizzeria
Harried staff at the Vatican pizzeria

A heavenly pie?
A heavenly pie? Maybe not.

To find the a slice that could properly be deemed "heavenly," you'll need to go farther afield. You'll need to walk the streets of Rome's student neighborhood in San Lorenzo.

As superb as they are, the slices at Come Manna del Cielo don't get a lot of press. Do a Google search, and you'll find the place gets almost no press at all. That's probably because you'll find none of the standard tourist attractions in San Lorenzo. It's a bit run down as a neighborhood, and the old man who runs Manna creates his art within a spare, closet-sized stand.

And for what may just be the tastiest slice in all of Rome, you'll likely have no wait at all. You'll probably even score one of the three plastic chairs out on the curb.

Come Manna dal Cielo
Come Manna dal Cielo (Like Manna from Heaven)... And it really is

Manna Upskirt
A Manna slice gets the upskirt shot.

Zucchini & red pepper paste alongside covered slices of broccoli pesto with sweet sausage
Zucchini & red pepper paste alongside covered slices of broccoli pesto with sweet sausage

If you go, you'll find that the public's loss is your gain. Made with the most basic ingredients, this crust is perhaps the lightest, finest cracker I've ever experienced.

Toppings range from standards of the highest quality (buffalo mozzarella, artisanal provolone) to innovative delights (whitefish & orange; zucchini & pepper paste; broccoli pesto & sweet sausage; anchovy & squash blossom).

Fellow customers will take you aside and whisper that what you've found is no ordinary pizza. This place is special. This man is an artist. These simple slices are infused with a divinity that can only be bestowed by one of pure heart and generous intent.

Like bedazzled pilgrims, we hungrily returned for heaven-sent slices each day for the rest of the trip. I wish my fellow Roman travelers similar good fortune.

Cecchini Vincenzo E C (SNC)
Via Merulana 203
Rome, Italy

Vatican City pizzeria
Musei Vaticani
Rome, Italy

Come Manna dal Cielo
Via del Latini 68/70
Rome, Italy
(Tel: 06-44362242)

Meanwhile, if you missed the previous Italy entries, you'll find the Quick Bites Rome rundown here and the joys of Italian cheese-making here.

Ciao for now!

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FoodLink Roundup: 07.07.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, as surmised, Cupcake was enjoying the Day of the Dead festival in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post your guess in the comments.

Pizza Loses Favor as Italians Turn to Pasta
I'm in Italy right now and have seen no evidence of this trend. But maybe National Geographic knows something I don't.

A bottle of Coke tracks change in Africa
An interesting illustration of change. Too bad there's no infographic.

The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating
Beets, cabbage, sardines, turmeric, cinnamon? I'm all over that.

The original Kentucky fried chicken
Might not be on the Healthiest Foods list, but it's sure worth a try...

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FoodLink Roundup: 06.16.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Happy Bloomsday! Last week, Cupcake was located in Chinatown, NYC, just south of Canal on Mott Street. (Another win for Mr. Hazard.) Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post a guess in the comments.

US Tomato Industry in "Complete Collapse"
Gosh, wouldn't it be great if we had accurate paper trails on our produce crops? Of course, I couldn't help notice the x-treme price-jump effect this news produced in the grape tomatoes at my local market... see here for the evidence at Flickr.

Triple whammy
As with many things mythical and natural, it seems that three is a magic number in the kitchen.

Tasting the Grape, Among Other Things
A conference to taste those wines that "you would not, of your own volition, spend an entire weekend drinking"

Japan, Seeking Trim Waists, Measures Millions
Can you imagine the uproar this would cause in the US?

10 paths to painless pizza-making
Smitten Kitchen does up a very liberating guide to the art of making pizza at home.

Peak-Season Produce Map
An excellent use of the internet. Thanks, Epicurious!

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Recession-Proof Recipes: Lamejun

As long as there's been flour, there's been flatbread. And about as long as there's been flatbread, there's been folks tossing sauces and tidbits atop their flatbreads. Much later of course, such things were called "pizzas," (there's really no point in denying the lengthy, pre-Italian pizza history...) and now, pretty much any old cracker, bagel or tortilla with sauce on it is freely referred to as pizza.


But let's not forget those tasty flatbread precursors in our current age of pizza mania. Pizza, or pide or paratha or any of the other tasty members of the flatbread family are, at heart, basic peasant foods.


Anya Von Bremzen's book Please to the Table features a pizza/pide cousin she spells as lachmanjun and refers to as an Armenian pizza. I believe the more popular spelling is lahmacun or lamejun, but however you spell it or say it, this dish makes for a tasty, economical meal.


My version of lamejun is based around Von Bremzen's. I reckon you could probably use a food processor to chop the veggies if you felt like it and you could make it with beef (or no meat at all) if you feel some sort of aversion to lamb. I'd serve it alongside a rich red and a crisp bowl of dressed greens or a tomato-cucumber salad, myself.
Lamb Lamejun (Turkish Pizza) (Serves 8)

For the Crusts:
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
+ Extra flour for kneading

For the Toppings
1 lb ground lamb
2 medium onions, minced
1 red or green bell pepper, minced
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Aleppo pepper (or substitute 1/2 tsp sweet paprika and 1/2 tsp hot paprika)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp parsley or mint, chopped (for garnish)
2 Tbsp crumbled feta or mild goat cheese (for garnish)

1. Combine the yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl and let stand about 5 minutes. 2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil and the salt.
3. Add the flour, about a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Transfer the dough to a work surface. Coat your hands with some of the remaining oil and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, adding just enough of the remaining flour to prevent sticking.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining vegetable oil and coat the dough. Drape with a vaguely moist linen kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place about an hour or until it doubles in bulk.
5. Meanwhile, make the topping in another large bowl. Simply combine the lamb, onions, diced peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, spice and salt and mix well.
6. After the dough has risen, divide into eight equal balls. Place on a floured surface and let rest, covered with a towel for 10 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 450°F and lightly oil two large baking sheets.
8. Using a floured rolling pin, flatten out each ball of dough into a circle about 4 inches across.
9. Divide the topping into eight portions, and spread one portion across each circle.
10. Arrange the dough circles on the prepared sheets and bake until the crust is crisp and the topping is browned, about 15 minutes.
11. Serve immediately as is, or sprinkle with chopped parsley/mint and cheese before serving.

Feel free to halve it or to freeze some of the dough balls for later use if you're only serving two.


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