Food for Thought
 The Slow Food Orange County Newsletter
   May, 2009
Welcome to the May issue of "Food for Thought."   We're so glad you've chosen to receive our newsletter. While you will find the most current information about our chapter in this newsletter, be sure to visit our website.  There you will find a list of local restaurants and markets that exemplify the Slow Food philosophy.  You will also find opportunities to become more active in our chapter.
In This Issue
Our Next Events
Our Last Event
Culinary Tours
Recommended Reading
Recommended Recipe
What is Slow Food?

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

For more information, visit their website.

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We welcome additions to and comments about this newsletter. Please send us an email

campfire Our Next Events:
May 30 & June 28 

May 30th 
Slow Food Orange County Bar-B-Q  in Bommer Canyon, Irvine
This event is sold out.  No tickets will be available on-site. 

Slow Food Orange County will hold its first BBQ in Bommer Canyon, in the City of Irvine, at One Bommer Canyon Road. The BBQ is an event for the whole family and will focus on awareness of good, clean and fair food.  In addition, our special guest, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, AG Kawamura, will discuss the future of California agricultural policy.

A one-mile hike, appropriate for adults and children, will kick off the event at 3:30 pm.  The one hour adventure will be led by an Irvine Ranch Conservancy docent.  The BBQ will begin at 5:00 pm. Food will be prepared by Chef Thomas Ryan, Executive Chef of the Big Canyon Country Club, Slow Food volunteers, and culinary students from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. The main course will be chicken from Mary's Organic Free-Range Chickens in Fresno, CA. 
Prizes will be given in a raffle: a personal cooking class by Haley Nguyen, owner and chef at Xanh Bistro (an excellent Vietnamese restaurant in Westminster); two seats at an October Simultaneous Supper.  These dinners celebrate Slow Food principles and are prepared by Slow Food members.
The event is graciously sponsored by Slow Food Orange County, with Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's as contributing sponsors.
Proceeds will benefit our non-profit involvement in Monkey Business Café, a project of Hart Community Homes foster care kids training program.

Directions to Bommer Canyon.
June 28
 Summer Canning Workshop and Potluck
2 ~ 6 pm
(Potluck begins at 4 pm) 
Summer is fruit time. Make good use of fruit from your own backyard or your local farmer's market by canning.  Richard and Diane Stein will demonstrate how to preserve that fresh, summer flavor.  You may bring your own bounty or use the homegrown Santa Rosa Plums provided by the Steins.*  Sip slow martinis, or a beverage of your choice (BYOB), while we JAM and CAN.  Potluck dinner will follow.  Canning and potluck will take place at 8 Colonial in Irvine, CA. Please RSVP to *If interested in canning, please bring your own jars.  For the jarring particulars, visit our website.

April 26th Event: Cheese Making Workshop by Heather Stoltzfus 

At the workshop, Heather made a 30-minute mozzarella and a fromage blanc.  Attendees rolled up their sleeves to help while nibbling on an aged parmesan, also made by Heather.  Aged cheeses, Heather warned, are not for the faint of heart.  Unlike their fresh counterparts, aged cheeses require considerable skill, time and patience.  Heather's mozzarella-making method was learned from the renowned cheesemaker and cookbook author Ricki Carroll.   The 30-minute mozzarella recipe may be found in Carroll's cookbook titled, "Home Cheese Making" (see Recommended Reading below).
After the hands-on demonstration, workshop attendees socialized and ate the freshly prepared cheeses.  The 30-minute mozzarella was used in a caprese salad (see Recommended Recipe below).  The fromage blanc, seasoned with  sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic or herbes de provence, was spread on freshly baked baguettes.  These appetizers were accompanied with a white bean soup, prepared by Sharon McErlane.
Chef HaleyA Taste of Vietnam:
Monday July 13th and Monday July 20th 6:00 p.m.
Vietnamese Cooking and Market Tour

Tour Vietnam Without Your Passport --this Slow Food OC culinary tour will take you on a journey to a Vietnamese market in Westminster  where you will learn more about the produce, live seafood, and cookware that embodies Vietnamese cooking.   After shopping, participants will head to Xanh Bistro to prepare a delightful multi-course dinner with Chef Haley Nguyen. To see the event schedule and slated menus (the July 20th menu is vegetarian), schedule visit our website. 
Cost: $75.00 per class (includes market tour, cooking class ,dinner, tax & gratuity but does not include alcoholic beverages)
Purchase Tickets Online
Xanh Bistro Website:
VietnamA Cultural & Culinary Tour to Vietnam and Cambodia: Early 2010
Want to experience Vietnamese cooking first-hand?  Slow Food OC is coordinating a two week tour with Chef Haley Nguyen for early 2010. During this trip, you will explore the history, poetry, music, dance and food of Vietnam.  For more information, contact Haley at or 714-369-0030. 
 Recommended Reading from the Cheese Making Workshop:
Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll 

The classic home cheese making primer has been updated and revised to reflect the increased interest in artisanal-quality cheeses and the availability of cheese making supplies and equipment. Here are 85 recipes for cheeses and other dairy products that require basic cheese making techniques and the freshest of ingredients, offering the satisfaction of turning out a coveted delicacy. Among the step-by-step tested recipes for cheese varieties are farmhouse cheddar, gouda, fromage blanc, queso blanco, marscarpone, ricotta, and 30-minute mozzarella. Recipes for dairy products include crFme frafche, sour cream, yogurt, keifer, buttermilk, and clotted cream.
There are also 60 recipes for cooking with cheese, including such treats as Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup, Cream Cheese Muffins, Broiled Pears and Vermont Shepherd Cheese, Prosciutto and Cheese Calzones, and Grilled Vegetable Stacks with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Profiles of home cheese makers and artisan cheese makers scattered throughout the text share the stories of people who love to make and eat good cheese. Plus information on how to enjoy homemade cheeses, how to serve a cheese course at home, cheese tips, lore, quotes, cheese making glossary, and more.
About the Author
Ricki Carroll
The co-founder and owner of New England Cheesemaking Supply in Ashfield, Massachusetts, Ricki Carroll learned cheesemaking in England. Her company has been supplying home cheese makers since 1978, with the goal of providing people with all the equipment and information needed to enjoy this most delicious of hobbies. Ricki teaches cheese making workshops around the country for beginners and advanced hobbyists alike, leads cheese making tours to Europe, and is a member of the American Cheese Society

 Recommended Recipe:  Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad
 2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

Use your new cheese making skills to prepare this salad with fresh mozzarella. Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.
Become a Member

We invite you to join the Slow Food movement!  Slow Food OC is working hard to preserve
and protect local foods and food traditions.  Our convivium plans events and programs in
places across OrangeCounty-anywhere from community gardens, taste education dinners,
and farm tours-join the network and become active in planning and participating in these diverse initiatives. 

Click here for Benefits of Membership. Send us an email if you have any questions.