Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich
Recipes Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich

This savory little treat is overdue, but tasty nevertheless… and since it’s an ideal choice for New Year’s Eve appetizers, I think now’s the right time to unveil it. Behold! Snazzy grilled cheese as done by Anne Saxelby, charming monger of the Essex Street Market. This video was captured at this year’s NYC International Pickle Festival, back when short sleeved shirts and light summer dresses were appropriate attire. (Oh, how I pine for the sun!

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Dear Miss Ginsu: I Need A Brine for Pickling Green Beans
Recipes Dear Miss Ginsu: I Need A Brine for Pickling Green Beans

Dear Miss Ginsu, We have a huge bean harvest — got any recipes for pickled beans? Yours, — Swimming in ‘em Dear Swimmer, Oh, how I loove pickled green beans! They’re so very tasty. And texture-wise, I think I may even prefer them to pickled cucumbers. In fact, I hope there are still some CSA or farmers’ market beans on the way. Now if I can only keep from boiling and eating them straight away, I’m inspired to get some into jars.

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A Divine Brine for Ramps, Scallions or Shallots
Recipes A Divine Brine for Ramps, Scallions or Shallots

Around these parts, you’ve got to get up pretty early to get your hands on ramps. Even then, you’ll be going elbow-to-elbow with the chefs, sous-chefs and epicureans who understand just how short is the season, how tasty is the plant and how brief is our dance with this coy forest onion. The number-one question among the vegetable groupies hanging around the ramp bins is, of course, “What do I do with them?

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If I only had a brine…
Recipes If I only had a brine…

Why is it that we nationally celebrate Christopher Columbus (a man generally acknowledged as a less-than-stellar individual), and not the pickle? I’m wondering, of course, because yesterday was International Pickle Day on the Lower East Side. People enjoyed informational displays, samples, cucumber-green balloons for the kids. It’s an annual celebration of all things pickled. Bread & Butters. Kim Chi. Chutneys. Sauerkraut. Oshinko. The good old kosher dill. How great is that?

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Make Your Own Maraschino Cherries
Food facts Make Your Own Maraschino Cherries

Now that cherry season is in full swing, let’s take a gander at this fruit’s twisted doppleganger… the unnaturally red, uniformly flavored maraschino cherry. Like tiny Stepford Wives, maraschino cherries begin life as juicy tree fruits but are turned soulless through a process of bleaching, dying and sweetening. A bit creepy, right? A little background: “Maraschino cherries, the kind most often used in drinks and on ice cream sundaes, are made from sweet cherries.

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Hotlisted: Fermented Cabbage

Thanks to the news that kraut and kimchi are the new keys to virility and immortality I predict the ancient art of cabbage fermenting becomes the hot new hipster hobby, replacing crocheting, roller derby, kickball meets and scooter gangs. Yes, that unmistakably sulfurous odor that comes only from stirring a bubbling vat of stinking crushproof vegetable will be our nation’s newest aphrodisiac. Mark my words, people. The time to buy up cabbage futures is now.

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Pickle Confessional

I’m an unabashed pickle junkie. From wild kimchi frenzies to Patak’s spicy lime pickle kicks to the tiny little cornichons I eat by the quart, I’m a bit surprised my blood tests don’t come back with elevated levels of brine. Not a fan of the New York-style half-sour, I need ‘em full-flavored, fully brined and boldly spiced, thanks. My favorite pickles (aside from mom’s, of course) are the ones Chef Floyd Cardoz makes, with anything from lotus roots, to spring ramps, green mangoes or watermelon rinds.

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Recipes A Passion for Kimchi

Through pure happenstance (or was it fate?), I bumped into an old love today. Having missed my train stop, I ended up walking past my favorite Korean grocer (Hana Food, 534 Metropolitan Ave in Brooklyn), and there in the deli case, was my forgotten obsession, flushed with a healthy crimson glow. I clamored stupidly forward and we were reunited in a scene worthy of epic poetry. How could I have lost touch after all the good times we’ve shared?

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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