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Posts in "Food"
January 6, 2015
Having already posed for the obligatory pictures, placed their hands on the good book and weathered a nail-biter of a leadership challenge (Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, voted for … himself! Newcomer Curt Clawson, R-Fla., endorsed … Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul), the members of the 114th Congress dove right into what #ThisTown does best: schmoozing.
Six-term Sen. Charles. E. Grassley wandered across the Capitol to greet incoming delegation member Rod Blum, but just missed his newly minted colleague.
“I’m going to go find out where my boss is right now,” a Blum aide assured the senior Iowa Republican. Full story
December 31, 2014
From food to Janet Jackson and mic drops to outer space, Heard on the Hill presents the best gaffes, insults and soundbites from Capitol Hill you just had to see one more time.
December 15, 2014
With holiday jet fumes in the air, Congress spent its final full week of 2014 on “The Colbert Report,” strategizing for bar fights and telling their favorite Dick Cheney quail hunting stories.
December 11, 2014
Homeward-bound members and congressional staff can get a jump on holiday festivities Thursday by ducking into the Senate’s Mike Mansfield Room for a taste of Jewish food, fun and fraternity.
The annual Capitol Hill Chanukah Celebration, a seasonal gathering hosted by the Capitol Jewish Forum, is scheduled to take place in S-207 from 4:45 to 6 p.m. Anyone with a valid congressional ID is automatically in; non-staffers must RSVP either by phone (202-332-5600) or email (email@example.com) in order to secure a spot.
“Hanukkah doesn’t begin until next week … but we thought we might get our friends into the spirit a little early,” Rabbi Levi Shemtov, executive vice president of American Friends of Lubavitch, said of the preemptive strike.
Attendees can look forward to latkes, doughnuts, live music, menorah kits and, more than likely, huddling with the congressional leaders that stop by to pay their respects each winter.
December 10, 2014
Unlike those who tried to distance themselves from President Barack Obama ahead of last month’s power-shifting elections, HOH social media Hall of Famer Steve Cohen wants everyone to know how much he loves hanging with the commander in chief.
The Tennessee Democrat provided a play-by-play of their recent whirlwind tour of the Volunteer State in a series of giddy tweets and gushing statements. Full story
An early Wednesday morning scare could have sent Indigo founder Dinesh Tandon’s hospitality dreams up in smoke. Luckily, things were brought under control before the budding restaurateur was forced to switch careers.
“Yes, sir, a small fire broke out,” Tandon said of the minor skirmish that compelled first responders to swing by his NoMa outpost.
“A washer/dryer that we use for aprons and other rags used in the kitchen,” Tandon explained. Full story
December 9, 2014
A cadre of Turkish-American organizations are returning to Capitol Hill Thursday to campaign for their independence-seeking, European-bound brethren — and the group is bringing a host of regional delicacies to help sweeten the deal.
Turkish Cypriot Day on the Hill is scheduled to swoop into the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Assembly of Turkish American Associations is spearheading the annual reception. Full story
December 8, 2014
Congress kicked off the final month of the year brining turkeys, plugging favorite movies and crying on the House floor.
Pull up a seat, friend. Let me share the tale of how a half-baked scheme to whip up a handy guide to the most interesting places to grab a bite around #ThisTown was kneaded, chopped, seasoned and lovingly molded into the “Nom, Nom, Nom-nibus.”
As the resident food scribe here at Roll Call, I pride myself on ferreting out local establishments worthy of your hard-earned dining dollars.
Whether that search leads me to a smoke-belching truck idling along some random curbside, or forces me to elbow my way through a throng of high-rollers in order to claim the last bar stool at the latest hot spot matters not.
For my money, it all comes down to what winds up on the plate.
From handcrafted snacks to house-aged steaks, I weigh them all against what I believe our devoted readers would consider a pleasurable experience at a fair price. Which is why I’m as comfortable sending folks out to feast on half-smokes (D.C., represent!) as I am directing traffic toward a Michelin star-worthy outpost.
This forthcoming e-book dining guide — available soon for download at rollcall.com — aims to do just that, shining a light on novel eats from across the culinary spectrum. Some of the recommendations might be perfect for dazzling discerning palates. (Exotic nibbles at The Source! Mouth watering barbecue at DCity Smokehouse!) Others might help advance your career. (Hobnobbing at Johnny’s couldn’t hurt.) A few — such as the Indian carry-out favored by a certain civil rights champ — you may want to keep to yourself.
Need a drink? Sample the sip selections.
Craving comfort foods? Dig into the specials.
Jonesing for sugar? The sweet section runs both hot (doughnuts!) and cold (gelato, yo).
Mind you, this is just the first bite of the apple. There’s plenty more exploratory eating to be done. And I, for one, can’t wait to continue savoring everything the District has to offer.
December 1, 2014
Medium Rare fried up more than 175 turkeys and spread holiday joy throughout the Barracks Row community this past holiday weekend.
Underestimating the popularity of the annual fried turkey service Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher has put together since 2008, this HOH contributor and his party quickly realized our poor planning left us needing an alternative way to cook our bird, as turnout was massive.
Bucher said the line started around 8 a.m. for the culinary assistance scheduled to take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.. When he opened the doors at 9 a.m., a full two hours early, he was met with enthusiastic fans. “We were greeted by an 89-year-old grandmother, who was using a walker, who took a bus 45 minutes to have her turkey deep fried. She had received a free turkey from the Marion Barry turkey giveaway, and had nowhere to cook it,” Bucher said, noting that they tended to 19 Marion Barry turkeys this year.
Many more visitors gathered to have the turkeys fried to a golden brown, including a number of wheelchair-bound veterans. Once there, they mingled with doctors, lawyers, and even some local politicians all while being filmed by a TV crew from ABC7.
Per Bucher, visitors traveled from as far as Leesburg to have their turkeys cooked for them. Once inside, patrons chatted with one another while enjoying complimentary coffee and hot cider.
There were a few mishaps. Bucher said one turkey hit the floor of the restaurant and another was picked up by someone who did not drop one off. There was no need to worry though, as Bucher had a few extras ready to go.
As always, the event was free to the public, though Bucher was accepting donations for DC’s “Ready, Willing and Working” charity. And for those wondering when they need to line up next year, Thanksgiving in 2015 is Nov. 26.
November 26, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner has helpfully shared his favorite recipe for Thanksgiving turkey brine. Interestingly, the Ohio Republican says in his YouTube video that he cooks his “bird to about 160, max.”
We at HOH are assuming he is referring to the bird’s internal temperature. To each his own, but may we suggest the USDA’s advice? In a series of tweets, the Agriculture Department has provided some tips about safe Thanksgiving meals, including how to handle and store a turkey, as well as the temperature at which harmful bacteria is killed.
— USDA Food Safety (@USDAFoodSafety) November 25, 2014
Also of note, the speaker says he rinses off his turkey, which is apparently unnecessary, according to USDA. That’s mostly because that splashes bacteria all over the place and cooking is the only way to kill all the harmful bacteria.
Regardless of which temperature you settle on, government recommended or no, here are the basics of Boehner’s brine:
8 quarts water
6 bay leaves
2 cups Kosher salt
3 tbsp peppercorns
1 head of garlic
16 oz pure maple syrup
Bring the brine close to a boil, then let it cool. Put a bag in a five-gallon bucket. Wash the turkey and remove the insides. Put the turkey in the bucket. Pour the brine over to cover the turkey. Keep the turkey submerged. Let it stand overnight in the refrigerator or outside if it is cool enough. After 24 hours, take it out and rinse it off. At that point, it’s ready to be cooked.
The Illinois State Society is throwing down on Dec. 3 in the Capitol Visitor Center for Illinois Statehood Day. And any Land of Lincolners looking to get their Prairie State on are welcome to partake.
Illinois Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk is expected to host the reception, which is scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in HVC 201.
Cmdr. Jess Porter, future skipper of the USS Illinois — a nuclear submarine in the making — is slotted to be the guest of honor. Kirk is a former Naval reservist himself.
If you hail from the state, or work for someone who does, register now (via the Illinois State Society page) to enjoy free food and drink.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Heard on the Hill takes a look at the times lawmakers simply could not get food off their minds.
November 25, 2014
Capitol Police Officer Terry Heffernan told HOH he caught the acting bug while in college.
If only the theater crowd could see him now.
While he spends most of his time keeping the congressional campus safe, Heffernan has also been actively pursuing any and every opportunity to perform since the 1990s. “Being a police officer is my favorite way to support myself being an actor,” he quipped.
That lifelong dream has led him to blending in with the thousands of freezing cold extras seen huddled around the National Mall in that iconic scene from “Forrest Gump.” It compelled him to take a shot in an almost Doritos ad. And it inspired him to create the demented instructional series, “Three Sheets Chef.”
“It came to me while I was ruthlessly hung over, sitting on my couch watching the Food Channel,” Heffernan said of the “a-ha!” moment that led to his satirical side-gig.
The extremely low-tech series debuted in late 2011. Since then, Heffernan and a rag tag crew — including a fellow Capitol Hill cop who handles editing duties — have cobbled together just over a dozen installments of horribly misguided culinary instruction.
“We haven’t really figured out what the purpose of the show is yet, but I’ll tell you this, we’re really hoping to get on HBO. And I have a feeling the best way to do that is for me to say ‘cocksucker’ about every three minutes,” Heffernan, channeling his perma-tipsy counterpart, explains in episode one.
Sure enough, the wheels come off each time. Full story
November 19, 2014
Square meals, schmare meals. Rep. Mark Pocan is more interested in circular arguments.
The Wisconsin Democrat expressed his love for kringle, an oval-shaped sweet, on social media, declaring the regional treat a “staple of any well rounded Wisconsin diet.”
A Scandinavian baking tradition that’s been carried on by Danish transplants to the Badger State, kringle features overlapping layers of flaky pastry dough historically stuffed with fruit or nut fillings. Modern versions include frosted rings run through with everything from caramel-drenched pecans (want) to peppermint-spiked chocolate cake (need).
Pocan told HOH he’s most fond of strawberry flavored kringle, though he’s open to trying new things.
“There are some good seasonal flavors like pumpkin caramel,” he said. Full story