LG Appliances

Suffering From Appliance Envy, Courtesy of LG!

by Anne Maxfield on October 22, 2012

Accidental Locavore and Sandra Lee

Do you ever watch black town cars whisking people around and wonder who’s inside? Last week the Accidental Locavore was one of those people, courtesy of LG Appliances. In between eating some wonderful food at Empellon and Meatball Madness, LG had asked me to take part in a friendly competition to promote three of their new refrigerators and benefit Share Our Strength. When I signed on for it, I knew there was going to be some serious appliance envy, especially since I’m constantly battling overflow in the fridge!

The event pitted three of us “food influencers” (such a much better phrase than foodie, don’t you think?) in a competition to show off the features of these new LG refrigerators. Sandra Lee was responsible for the recipes and LG was donating $25,000 to Share Our Strength in the winner’s name. My theme was “ease” and my fridge was the one with a door-within-a-door so you can grab things like drinks without opening the whole door, a great idea if you’re constantly popping in for the same things. My recipe was Sandra Lee’s version of chicken parm, super easy to toss together.

Accidental Locavore LG Mega-FridgeThe competition, Sydney Kramer of Crepes of Wrath and Annie Dolce of Daily Meal, had the mega-capacity and blast chiller models of refrigerators. For the mega-capacity fridge (truly the one I coveted…miles of shelf space and a freezer drawer that changed my mind about having the freezer below), Sydney was charged with making sliders for a crowd and Annie had to make pasta before the blast chiller on her model, chilled a bottle of white wine (8 minutes).

This all took place in a model kitchen (or three) that LG put together just for the event. Too bad we were under time constraints, because it would have been lots of fun to put some of the appliances through their paces (like the induction cook-top, which I’d love to see how fast it really does boil a pot of water). I was only slightly distracted by a candy apple red washer and dryer behind my set-up. But before we knew it, we were off and cooking. Sandra Lee came by to check on our progress and chat (she’s really nice and a lot of fun) and then it was time for the judging. We were all declared winners with Share Our Strength getting the $25,000 donation from LG. Then Sandra showed us how she likes to eat cake (everyone dive in with a fork) and we were once again whisked off in our Town Cars.

Accidental Locavore Sandra Lees CakeIf you’d like an easy way to contribute to Share Our Strength, LG has created an online game. Click here and vote on the refrigeration feature best suited to feeding a holiday crowd. For every vote cast, LG will donate $1 dollar to both Share Our Strength and Food Bank for New York City—up to $15,000. It’s a fun way to learn more about the product (maybe not as fun as the way I got to learn about the products, but…) and support the charity.

I’ve told you which fridge I’d like to have in my house, what about you? Mega space, easy access door or blast chiller? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks to LG for the photos with Sandra Lee!

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A Trip Into Meatball Madness

by Anne Maxfield on October 15, 2012

Accidental Locavore Veal Meatballs

You know this to be true:  there can be too much of a good thing.  But like most people, the Accidental Locavore occasionally needs to be hit over the head to drive this point home. Such was the case at the Wine & Food Festival’s Meatball Madness event, essentially an all-you-can-eat frenzy of spherical food. Just imagine, in various kitchens around Manhattan, chefs (or more likely the commis) spending countless hours rolling out balls of ground meat, prepping sauces and condiments and rolling it all to a huge event space in SoHo. Then add ridiculously tall, skinny, black-clad models with trays of Pellegrino, the roster of Food Network “stars” and hordes of hungry-for-meatballs New Yorkers along with the prerequisite decibel-shattering music (after all, why talk when you can text?). I was a guest of LG, one of the sponsors, with whom I had earlier done a demo for their new refrigerators. 

Surely you would think the lesson about eating too much from a single food source was learned from multiple trips to the Chocolate Show, or more recently the Cheesemakers Festival, but no! Armed with a fork, napkin and a petite bottle of Pellegrino with a straw (quickly swapped for a similarly petite bottle of Prosecco), I started to work the room. First stop, The Meatball Shop, where the guys, wearing “eat my balls” t-shirts, were kind enough to point out the folly of my own apparel, a white tee-shirt…oops. At least I had an orange jacket over it, in case of accidents*. Their offering got the night off to a good start, spicy pork meatballs with a spicy tomato sauce. Not too hot, just a nice kick with a tender, flavorful meatball.

Accidental Locavore Lamb Meatballs With YogurtBecause you don’t really need a ball-by-ball accounting, let me just cover some of the more interesting hits and misses. Most disappointing? The trendy Il Buco Alimentari’s lamb and ricotta meatball. Very dense (read tough) and not worth the effort. Since I just made some lamb meatballs (recipe coming soon), I’m wondering if lamb is just leaner than pork or beef or it just needs more egg, milk, bread, to give it moisture. Sirio Ristorante’s fried meatballs also suffered from toughness and too much breadcrumb filler.

On a higher note, after a week of discussions as to why there are no good places to eat around Madison Square Garden, Lugo Caffè impressed with their fois gras cappuccino (yum!) and a great classic Italian meatball. Kristina was great and I’m looking forward to checking out the restaurant.

My “neighbor,” Loi Restaurant, and its enthusiastic owner, Maria Loi, had a delicious Yemisto, or stuffed meatball. If it was lamb, it was definitely lamb done the right way! And Maria promised me that if I voted for her, I’d get a treat when I’m at the restaurant. So in the spirit of eating local, I did!

My absolute favorite of the evening? An unassuming-looking meatball bursting with so much flavor that I think I did a double-take! It was made with pork belly and pesto from Corsino Cantina down in the Village. The chef, Tomas Curi, laughed when he saw the look on my face, yes, it was that good! We chatted for a few minutes and I told him I’d eaten there this summer with some friends and was prepared to hate it (noisy, no seating until the whole party is there, no space at the bar, no space to wait…) but the food was so good, we all left smiling and happy!

Figuring, I would leave on a high note (and being just on the brink of never wanting another meatball), I thanked all my new buddies at LG, grabbed a couple of truffles from Godiva (still spherical) and headed off into the night.

*which amazingly, never happened.

 

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