Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tomato Concassé

Smitten Kitchen has a recipe up about a fresh tomato sauce using those cheap ugly tomatoes you'll see for cheap at farmers' markets (or perhaps your own garden)... the key to which is making tomato concassé (that is: peeled and seeded diced tomatoes). I've posted this video before (though I didn't see the value at the time), but it's a good thing to know how to do, especially at the height of tomato season:

Obviously you could just use a food mill and skip all those steps, but c'mon what's the fun in that!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It is a different game

I'm still in the first half of Man City vs. Liverpool replay from a week ago... but... the competence difference is shocking. I guess regularly playing together matters. Huh.

Friday, August 27, 2010

All Eggs Taste The Same, Cont.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt adds more scientific rigor to the egg debate. Once again showing that what kind of eggs you buy is an ethical choice, not a culinary one.

Still Alive

But not feeling particularly bloggy this week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two Pizzas

Last year... wow, has it really been a year!? Jeebus, I guess so... time flies. Regardless... last year... I made a batch of Peter Reinhart's pizza dough where we put it all in the freezer with the idea of getting in the habit of making pizzas every week.

Obviously that didn't happen.

We made the batch and learned a lot about making pizzas, but never got to keeping pizza dough in the freezer at the ready. But it's still a great idea! Frozen pizzas are really the only processed food I eat anymore, and I eat more than I'd care to admit. While homemade pizzas aren't nearly as easy as frozen... e.g., defrosting the dough, letting it warm up, shaping, etc... they're not all that labor intensive, and they're pretty cheap when it comes to ingredients.

So, with the idea of getting into the habit of pizza making for reals this time, I made a batch of Reinhart's dough this weekend... leaving two dough balls in the fridge and putting the other four in the freezer.


The first pizza was pretty standard, as the Swiss Chard Anna planned to use for something more exotic had gone bad (whoops!). Luckily, we had a big container full of slow roasted tomatoes to use, so we used chopped the tomatoes up to use as our sauce... then threw on some fresh mozzarella, dollops of ricotta, and fresh thyme. You could do something similar with sun dried tomatoes if you rehydrated them first, but the slow roasted tomatoes taste far better in my opinion. This was not a spectacular pizza, but it was quite good and I'd certainly make it again. I was most pleased by how well the tomatoes worked in it... I'd gladly use them as the base for any sauced pizza.

Now on to the superstar of the evening:


Yes, that's right: fruit on pizza. Trust me, it's not that weird... most people have had pineapple on their pizzas by now... so there's no reason to think that other fruits couldn't work just as well. For this, we followed the recipe for "Nectarine Pizza with Fresh Basil and Reduced Balsamic" posted at alexandra's Kitchen... substituting a peach for the nectarine. Goat cheese is key here to balance some of the sweetness of the peach/nectarine, but I was surprised at how mild that sweetness was overall... less sweet than the tomato based pizza above, in fact. It was really quite delicious and I highly recommend it... don't skimp on the reduced balsamic though! That's a key element that adds another dimension to the flavors. Note that I followed the directions for Reinhart's pizza not hers... so I can't vouch for the crust... but everything came out great.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vegan Las Vegas?

I guess Steve Wynn has mandated that the restaurants in his hotel casinos offer vegan dishes. Especially interesting if you consider how Vegas has risen in prominence in the food world... and how it wasn't that many years ago when most chefs probably didn't even know what a vegan was, let a lone have a dish on their menu that was meat and dairy free.

Peter Reinhart's English Muffins


I don't have the Reinhart's book handy, but you can find the recipe at peter bakes! (different Peter). It's a pretty straightforward recipe (for weights remember that Reinhart does 4.5 ounces per cup of flour) except I kind of screwed up with the milk... adding the entire 1 cup, instead of starting at 3/4 and gradually moving up. I ended up with a dough that was too wet to handle and had to add a bunch more flour to get it to a reasonable consistency to be able to knead... and I think I ended up making it too dry. In retrospect I would add the 3/4 cup, then as I kneaded I would add in more, a bit at a time, and try to push the limits of what I could work with.


As it is, I don't think I got quite the open crumb (i.e. "nooks and crannies") that I would have with a more judicious approach. Still good though... and easy to make. While it takes several hours of rising time, I was still able to be finishing them up when Anna got home from an exercise class for a late breakfast. Worth making on a Saturday or Sunday morning where you can freeze the leftovers for the rest of the week,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walken Cooks

A weird series of thoughts led me to realize I've never posted this video of Christopher Walken cooking a chicken:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sage Brown Butter Sauce

No picture, but I made Mario Batali's Sage Brown Butter sauce last night for some Dave's Ravioli... and thought it was both easy and delicious. The only part that could be a little tricky is browning the butter if you've never done that before... but I find that process kind of neat. Note that you can not brown margarine. Also I wouldn't use whole sage leaves but a chiffonade.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anthony Bourdain and The French Laundry

via Ezra Klein:

Having read Ruhlman's description of The French Laundry and Thomas Keller in The Soul of a Chef, I found this particularly neat to see. It's also kind of cool to see a little of "A Cook's Tour"... a series which I completely missed... and experience some early Bourdain. That he brings a couple of other celebrity chefs with him and they all practically weep like babies at Keller's awesomeness is the cherry on top.

Akimenko Meats?

From this, kind of grumpy, post about the term "artisan" and it's relation to butchers by Ruhlman... I see there is a new butcher coming to Cambridge. Of note to me, Vadim Akimenko apparently managed both the Cambridge and Boston Locations of Savenor’s Market... and yet his goal is:
...to make local and sustainable meats available year-round to all members of the community. Akimenko Meats does not believe that eating with an ethical conscience should be a privilege that only the wealthy can afford.

Something I think it's hard to say about Savenor's.

From what I can tell they've raised the money to secure the spot for the shop which is good news obviously. I'm following them on Twitter now, so hopefully won't miss whenever the shop opens.

Alton Brown's Slow Roasted Tomatoes


Anna brought home a bounty of fast ripening tomatoes from the garden in Maine this week, that we really had no time to use before they would start to go soft. The solution? Slow roasted tomatoes... something we've done a bunch of times over the years, but that I've never blogged. You really only want to do in the height of tomato season when they're cheap... and it's especially appropriate if you have a garden producing so many tomatoes you've run out of ideas. We made the mistake of doing it in the middle of winter with supermarket tomatoes, and while it was still delicious, the cost was exorbitant and I felt a kind of stupid after. However, because we like this recipe so much, we now set aside some tomatoes for it every summer.

This works best with cherry tomatoes in my opinion, but you can also cut larger tomatoes into wedges or perhaps slices... though I think the skin is important and wouldn't want to minimize it. These are the measurements Alton Brown provided in I'm Just Here for the Food, but I wouldn't take them too literally... just as a starting point, that you adjust based on how many tomatoes you have and how big they are:

Ingredients
  • 20 ripe tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, minced (oregano, sage, and rosemary is what I used)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper

Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature (170-200 degrees F).
  2. Get a baking sheet (preferably with a rack) and put all the tomatoes on it skin side down.
  3. Drizzle or brush the oil on them. Sprinkle with sugar, herbs, salt, pepper... in that order... though I imagine the fabric of space time will not rip if you change things up.
  4. Put the baking sheet into the oven for 10-12 hours. I prefer to put them in 7-8 ish and take them out before I go to work, but I know sleeping with the oven on freaks people out... so just do it on a lazy Sunday morning.
We usually make a tomato soup with them that I might blog later (also by Alton), but they are quite delicious on bruschetta... or really any dish you'd use sun dried tomatoes in. They're much more moist and deliciously flavored than any sun dried tomato I've ever had though, so you'd probably want to feature them more prominently. According to Brown they'll last about a month in the fridge or essentially forever if you freeze them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All-Clad vs. Tramontina

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has an interesting piece comparing an All-Clad skillet to Walmart's own Tramontina brand (which costs 1/3 as much). Cook's Illustrated has run these tests as well... with a similar conclusion... but they don't generally get down to the nitty gritty of the tests they run... only discussing them in broad strokes. Bottom line: If you want a clad skillet (and if you like cooking you should want one of these) for a fraction of the cost, head to Walmart, not Williams Sonoma. For example, this 8 piece Tramontina set costs less than my single All-Clad skillet did... and would perform as good or better than my exorbitant pan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Fall of French Cuisine or the Fall of Michelin Three Star Restaurants?

A very interesting review of Au Revoir to All That: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine by Michael Steinberger in the London Review of Books. Most of the discussion is about fine dining, and frankly flying to France for a $400 dinner is not something I'll be doing unless I suddenly strike it rich... but it's still really fascinating, and I thought these stats about French home cooking were noteworthy:
The statistics tell much of the story: in 1960, there were 200,000 cafés in France, now there are about 30,000, an average of two closing every day; the French home meal a generation ago took 88 minutes to prepare, now it’s 38 minutes; the great majority of French cheeses were unpasteurised in the 1950s, now only 10 per cent are made from raw milk; French family-owned wineries and farms have been going out of business at an alarming rate, and the proportion of the labour force employed in agriculture has dropped from 20 per cent in the 1960s to about 5 per cent today.

The "time in the kitchen" trend mirrors what's happened in American households... though it's 27 minutes from about 60 for us. According to the review, Michael Steinberger apparently thinks the crisis in French fine dining is due to entirely too much equality and social justice in France... not enough hedge fund managers I guess. It may be my political leanings, but I'm a bit skeptical of Reaganomics and Thatcherism being responsible for the foodie revolutions in the US and UK... but it seems like any "Death of French Cuisine" book really has to engage the Le Fooding movement doesn't it? Presumably Steinberger has no interest in a restaurant without three Michelin stars, but for the rest of us it seems important to note that there is a movement highly capable French chefs trying to bring three star food to the masses for reasonable prices... especially when the foodie revolutions that have occurred elsewhere aren't really about $400 dinners.

Mezcal

The New York Times does a pretty nice piece on the new "it" spirit, Mezcal:
Of course, the most basic questions are: What is mezcal? And how does it differ from tequila?

Both are distillates from the fruit of agave plants. Tequila is a form of mezcal that by law can be produced only in several designated areas centered on the state of Jalisco in western Mexico. It is made from the blue agave, and while the law requires only that tequila be 51 percent agave, all good tequilas are 100 percent blue agave.

Mezcal comes from the vicinity of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. While mezcal can be made from any number of varieties of agave, the vast proportion uses the espadin agave. Oh, by the way, the legend that a bottle of mezcal always contains a worm is simply colorful marketing shtick.

Tequila is mostly produced in factories, but most if not all good mezcals are essentially handmade in small family operations. The agave for tequila is generally roasted in large ovens. For mezcal, the agave is usually roasted in palenques, or rock-lined pits, accounting for its characteristic smokiness.

I'm not a huge tequila fan... though good 100% agave tequila is pretty nice... so I don't know I really need to try its much more expensive cousin, but I guess it's something to keep an eye out for. These stuffed poblanos sound pretty good though.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Batali goes Veg

A Mario Batali vegetarian cook book is on the way. I've not eaten at any one of his 14(!) restaurants, but apparently he's been doing "Meatless Mondays" at them for a while now. In addition, in his own diet, he's trying to do no meat before dinner and no meat at all on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Kindle Kind of Christmas?

Farhad Manjoo predicts a $99 Wi-Fi Kindle for the Holidays. I briefly toyed with the idea of the Kindle DX many moons ago, but when the iPad came out I had sort of decided that I was out of the dedicated e-book reader market. I would wait and see what happens in the tablet market and get a more multipurpose device when ever the price and feature set seemed right... but for $99? Hell, it's only $139 right now. What makes it seem worth it is that it looks like Amazon's e-book marketplace is here to stay... and will be available on every future tablet device... so I wouldn't be wedded to the Kindle forever. I admit to being very tired of trying to find places to put new paper books.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

LED Light Bulbs

Jonathan Chait reminisces about the great conservative freak-out regarding Big Government's intrusion into our lampshades... their oppressive regulations yoking us to CFLs and denying us the soft and full luminescence of incandescent lighting. Good times.

Now, make no mistake: CFLs suck. We have one over where we eat and chose to eat by candlelight rather than dine in its harsh glow... but, lo and behold, the magic of free markets has brought us LED light bulbs. $20 is a lot of scratch for a light bulb, but allegedly they last for 30+ years. It would be the first light bulb I'd be planning to take with me when I move... a Brave New World!

The (Beginning of the) End of Factory Farming?

From the New York Timesan article about the recent agreement between farmers and animal rights advocates in Ohio:
The surprise truce in Ohio follows stronger limits imposed by California voters in 2008; there, extreme caging methods will be banned altogether by 2015. In another sign of the growing clout of the animal welfare movement, a law passed in California this year will also ban imports from other states of eggs produced in crowded cages. Similar limits were approved last year in Michigan and less sweeping restrictions have been adopted in Florida, Arizona and other states.

Hoping to avoid a divisive November referendum that some farmers feared they would lose, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio urged farm leaders to negotiate with opponents, led by the Humane Society of the United States. After secret negotiations, the sides agreed to bar new construction of egg farms that pack birds in cages, and to phase out the tight caging of pregnant sows within 15 years and of veal calves by 2017.

Seems like a pretty unambitious timeline... but then I guess it's better to strike a deal and get a gradual phase out rather than have a protracted acrimonious struggle over many years that still ends in a gradual phase out.

Anyway, some good news (for a change) for your Thursday morning.

photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk used under a Creative Commons license

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quality Mass Produced Food?

Frank Bruni, inspired by recent food world cloak-and-dagger tale of an (alleged) attempt to steal the secret to Thomas' English muffins' "nooks and crannies", notes that not all mass produced foods are bad:
But it's probably good to remember, at a time when we're exalting all things artisanal, that "mass-market" isn't always and necessarily awful. At least not from a gustatory (as opposed to ethical) perspective. Like Hellman's mayo and Heinz ketchup, Thomas' muffins are mighty impressive for what they are. And like Hellman's and Heinz, they engender fierce, fierce loyalty. That was one of my thoughts as I read the Times piece, and it was another prompt for this post.

While I'm not sure I agree about the Hellman's... I only recently started liking mayonnaise after making it at home... it seems the general point is true: it's easy to become obsessed with the concept of small batches and hand crafting, when the final product might not be better (but is vastly more expensive). Certainly I can't imagine spending $6 for 8 ounces of artisanal ketchup... but who knows? Maybe I'd think it was worth it if I had it (doubtful).

However, what interests me the most about this "nooks and crannies" secret squirrel stuff... is that I've been wanting to make homemade English muffins for quite some time. Will I be so disappointed in my efforts that I swear off non-Thomas' efforts forever and wonder sadly why I ever thought to challenge their genius? I suspect not, as my guess is that the majority of secrets in Thomas' formula relates to making those nooks and crannies consistently and cheaply on an industrial scale... and since I'm only going to make a dozen or so, I'm not sure this knowledge will be so useful. I guess we'll see.

photo by Flickr user naughtomaton used under a Creative Commons license

The Contradiction of Restaurant Week

The ubiquitous Restaurant Week that's, in fact, at least two weeks everywhere participating and, yes, even a month some places... is starting up here again on the 15th... and has it's fair share of critics (I'm not quite so down on it). But apparently Tim Zagat... yes that Zagat... was one of the originators of the concept in New York City and has this to say about why, in many cities and towns, it's being even more expanded this year:
There's little doubt that many restaurants are struggling in the aftermath of the recession. We know from surveying hundreds of thousands of customers that they are eating out less and generally being far more price-sensitive in choosing where and what to eat. They're also cutting back on things like appetizers, desserts, and alcohol: those fancy bottles of wine sold at juicy markups are largely things of the past. All this amounts to an erosion of revenues and profits.

On the other hand, bargain prix fixe menus are always a lure for customers, especially now. They mean you can walk in and out of a restaurant with dignity, at a price that you know in advance is acceptable. Of course, once in the door, patrons very often go à la carte, add an extra dessert, or celebrate by buying wine with their meal. The amount actually spent is thus usually far more than the prix fixe price, especially since drinks, coffee, and tip are all extra.
So yeah, people do it to save money at fancy restaurants... but then end up spending a bunch more anyway, because they don't factor in the wine etc. This, of course, is the primary argument against it... besides the crowds and difficulty getting a table. It's not that great of a deal, especially if you're not a dessert person, if'you're not careful. I still think it can be, if you do your homework, but it is worth mentioning the obvious: restaurants aren't doing this to save you money.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Three Words: Deep Fried Butter

An impressive description of what I believe the kids call "extreme food" on display at the Indiana State Fair... now I grew up on the east coast just like the author, but we still had State Fairs... but I'm pretty sure the food didn't get much more unhealthy than funnel cake. Apparently things have changed... or maybe it is specifically a Midwest thing? I kind of doubt it though... seems like a new trend that probably would be welcome at any State Fair... as disturbing as that may be.

UPDATE: So more information on Deep Fried Butter for the morbidly curious:
“I mean, butter by itself does not taste good,” Gonzales said. “Nobody just grabs a stick of butter and eats it. That would be gross.”

So here’s what Gonzales does: He takes 100 percent pure butter, whips it until it is light and fluffy, freezes it, then surrounds it with dough. The butter-laden dough balls are then dropped into the deep fryer.
Yes that's right... he made eating sticks of butter less gross by deep frying it.

The Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory

How a story about the deleterious effects of chronic stress turns into a government plot to zombify the populace with a brain eating vaccine! Sometimes the internet is depressing. More here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Yes, even tigers love catnip

via Scalzi's place:

I feel like this needs some "Dude I am so high right now" thought bubbles. Especially the leopard.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Manual Froyo Update for Motorola Droid

If you're too impatient for the "over the air" update you can follow these instructions to run the update manually. I downloaded this file from Google directly to my phone, then renamed the file "Update.zip", and moved it to the main sdcard directory (using ASTRO)... then just followed the linked instructions for recovery mode and installation.

Seems to have worked.

Fraudulent Olive Oil?

A closer look at that study that showed that 2/3rds of the imported olive oil they tested did not pass the test for "Extra Virgin" as their labels claimed. The author notes a possible conflict of interest in favor of the California oils (which did better - 1 out of 5 oils failing) and that the imported oils were more industrial (e.g. Bertolli) rather than smaller estate based operations like the California oils chosen. She then notes what she thinks is the real culprit:
Everyone who writes about olive oil for consumers stresses the need to keep it in a relatively cool (65ºF.) dark place. Never, we say, purchase olive oil in a clear glass bottle; and never purchase olive oil from a shop where it is exposed to light -- not just sunlight but even shop lights can do a terrific amount of harm. The Davis test confirms that we are all too often preaching to deaf ears. What is not always clear to the oil-buying public is that even the finest extra-virgin oils can and do deteriorate with poor handling or just with the passage of time, losing intensity of color and flavor, even turning rancid, so that they no longer qualify as extra-virgin.

I guess maybe this is true... but how exactly is a consumer supposed to know that an oil has been properly handled? I'm only supposed to shop at poorly lit stores? It seems that the data still indicates that buying California olive oil... that presumably is going through fewer hands (at least in California)... is likely to get me oil that's been better treated. I've also often heard that we're supposed to buy those industrial oils for cooking since they're cheaper, and save the expensive stuff for vinaigrettes and the like where you're not subjecting the oil to heat... but this suggests I shouldn't even bother with "extra virgin" for cooking since it's unlikely to be treated well enough to remain that way.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bummer

Wired:
Motorola Droid users better not get too excited by Android 2.2, also known as “Froyo.” While Verizon Wireless is set to push out the latest version of the Android operating system to Droid users starting this week, two key features will be missing: tethering and Wi-Fi hot spot capability.

I was in fact looking forward to those capabilities... which it looks like Verizon is keeping off the Droid in an effort to convince me to buy a new phone. I can't say it's working.

Norumbega Hike

Norumbega Mountain - Goat Trail to Lower Hadlock Loop


Plan your trips with EveryTrail Mobile Travel Guides

The major hike we did this weekend... not a tough one... but a nice one nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Potato Facts


From the Atlantic:
To an experienced potato person, the fact that all small potatoes are NOT new is a given. But to most 21st century Americans, "new," as Rodger pointed out, has come to be considered a size instead of what it ought to be, which is a real-time adjective that refers to the newly dug potatoes that come out of the ground only at the start of the summer season. The problem is that, although size might matter slightly in terms of eating experience, the main draw to new potatoes is how good they taste, which is very different from matured potatoes that have been stored for many months.

...

What makes the difference between these new potatoes and those small-in-size-but-not-new potatoes we get the rest of the year?

I asked Molly Stevens to explain for me since she wrote a whole book on potatoes and she knows a lot more than I do. "The most important point to make," she wrote back, "is that new potatoes should be treated the way you would any fresh-from-the-market perishable produce. Because of their high water content, they spoil and wilt the same way a fresh tomato or summer squash would. I make the connection between green, spring onions and papery storage onions." Makes sense and it's true. Really working with new potatoes is an entirely different potato experience than we get the other 10 or 11 months of the year.

New potatoes are awesome. I can also testify to the short storage time... the new potatoes I bought a little while ago (pictured above) started getting soft almost right away. Boil and eat them as soon as you can.

Quiche Semi-Fail

Tried to make a poblano and monterey jack quiche based on this recipe from Epicurious last night, but had a mini-disaster trying to get the quiche out of the ring mold and off of the sheet pan. Before I get into that, I should detail the recipe itself... which I think worked pretty well, though I haven't fully tasted it yet, so I can't be sure... but early indications are good... I basically only took the proportions of the garnish from the Epicurious recipe... that is, a pound of poblanos, 8 oz of monterey jack cheese, and a couple tablespoons of grated white onion... and then used the same recipe for the pastry dough and filling as in my mushroom, shallot, and Gruyère Quiche. However instead of leaving everything raw, I roasted the poblanos on a burner and let them steam in a plastic bag for 15 minutes before taking off the skin and slicing them into 1/4" strips. I also used a minced shallot instead of grating an onion, because grating an onion for a couple of tablespoons seems wasteful and stupid... but probably that's just me.

Regardless, the disaster came when putting the quiche in the oven... a bit of the liquid sloshed out on to the cookie sheet underneath. Not a big deal, right? I mean, that's what the pan is there for. At least, that's what I thought... but unfortunately it was a big deal. The liquid seeped underneath the quiche itself and essentially welded the pie crust and ring mold to the pan.

Let's just say the resulting product was not quite photo worthy... though in retrospect, failure is often more instructive than success... so maybe I'll document said FAIL for posterity when I get home.

And if it tastes good, how can I really complain? Next time I do the final bit of filling once the pan is already in the oven... and wipe up any spills.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Focaccia


Made Peter Reinhart's focaccia recipe again up in Maine this weekend. I didn't have Bread Baker's Apprentice with me, so I followed VeganYumYum's poolish version to the letter... except that, not only did we did we not have any bread flour (all purpose, gah?), we didn't even have a scale. I know, right? Shockingly, as OCD as I usually am about those kind of details... I was pretty sure that this recipe is so incredible that it's basically impossible for such things to make much of a dent in the final product. I was quite pleased to be proven right on this score... it was just as delicious as our first attempt.

This really is an awesome recipe that basically needs to be tried by anyone who even remotely likes bread.

ATT vs. Verizon - Maine Edition

My Droid has full on 3G in the Bucksport area whereas Anna's iPhone was on "The Edge Network"... my 3G service continued up the coast into Ellsworth, but as we got a bit closer to Mount Desert Isle/Acadia I lost it. No internet whatsoever in Bar Harbor... and pretty poor cell phone service.

Interestingly, the GPS/Google maps navigation from Bucksport to our hike in Acadia worked great... but when we finished the hike and I wanted to get directions to Bar Harbor for dinner it was at a total loss. The GPS aspect knew where we were fine, but it doesn't appear Google maps can work without a data connection. So I guess that's one solid advantage a stand alone GPS unit has on an Android phone... it always has its maps.