Why is it that pasta is the go-to “pantry raid” dinner of choice? Sure, pasta just seems so effortless and satisfying. But here’s a fun fact: so is risotto.
Arborio rice. Stock. Some aromatics. The vegetable of your choice. Cheese. That’s pretty much all you need to have on hand to get dinner on the table.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Wild Mushroom Risotto with Honeyed Mascarpone
Airline food. Those two words conjure up images of nearly edible meals served in plastic trays that you just try to force down your gullet as you watch that one Adam Sandler movie where he plays his own twin sister. In other words, the only James Beard award it would win would be the coveted “managed not to blow chunks on the way to New Mexico.” Well, here is a company that delivers airline food right to your door so you can manage not to blow chunks on the way to your living room as well.
The pun-loving folks over at Air Food One will fill your home with the delicate aromas of off-gray turkey and biscuit cookies. It works a lot like Fresh Direct and other food-on-demand services. You simply sign up and, like nearly palatable magic, once a week you’ll be staring down a piping hot plate of something that is sure to give you calories and technically prolong your life.
The good news? All of this can be yours for the low, low price of $12 a week. The bad news? It’s only available in Germany, for now. Looks like you’ll have to make due with simply leaving your food out on the counter for a couple of days before eating it.
I love pie, all pies, but this one stands above the rest. I’m not even a huge blueberry fan, but when they are baked up in a pie shell, with just a bit of lemon, some sugar and pats of butter, I could eat the whole thing. I prefer to use fresh wild blueberries. They tend to be smaller, are just a bit tart and have a more intense flavor, but the larger variety works as well and I’ve baked this pie using frozen berries with great success.
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 60 minutes
Yield: One 12-inch pie
Continue Reading Bake a Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie
So, you’ve got your measuring cups ready and your sugars on standby, but you just can’t figure out what to bake? Cupcakes or pies? Truffles or trifles? Cookies or bars? Stop fretting over your stand mixer — the answer to this sweet dilemma is simple: Make a mash-up.
It was this “what do I make” predicament that led Dorothy Kern, creator of the blog Crazy for Crust, to write her new book Dessert Mash-Ups (on sale September 30). Kern, an avid baker and lover of all things flaky and light, was tired of only baking pies when she decided to test a recipe for an over-sized shortbread cookie in a pie pan. When Kern filled her “Pookie” with chocolate ganache and served it as a pie-cookie hybrid, the idea for her new baking concept was born.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Dessert Mashups
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
Shakshuka doesn’t translate to “ultimate breakfast for dinner meal,” but it probably should (because that’s exactly what it is). The traditional Middle Eastern dish, which has recently developed a fan club throughout the US, combines garlicky tomato base with a large dollop of harissa for some heat. Slowly poach eggs in the sauce until they’re set (but still runny in the center) — aka perfectly cooked for max bread-sopping opportunities. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and a few grinds of black pepper, then enjoy for dinner, for breakfast or whenever.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Shakshuka
Ever since making chorizo for Super Food Nerds several months ago, we haven’t stopped wondering how sausages are made. So, over the summer, we began debating doing a deep dive into the making of either sausage or hot dogs. We decided to let a poll on Facebook determine our fates, and the people spoke loud and clear: They wanted sausage. So we reached out to the proprietor of butcher shop Hudson & Charles, Jason Fox, who had visited our offices a few years ago to teach us how to break down pigs. The newly opened shop, named for the corner it’s on in New York City’s West Village, is co-owned by Jason and partners Kevin Haverty and Adam Gale.
The day we came by, Ian Halbwachs, their in-house charcutier, was making a batch of one of their best-selling sausages: the sweet Italian. It’s a combo of classic Italian seasonings (Parmesan, garlic, parsley and white wine) and classic pork seasonings (juniper, caraway and bay leaves). His go-to cut is pork shoulder, but because Hudson & Charles is a whole-animal butcher shop, he often ends up using trim. His main goal is to make sausages that are about 30 percent fat: “People want to cook sausages all the way through, and at about 30-percent fat ratio is where it stops feeling like overcooked hamburger.”
The steps he demonstrated reflect the basic tenets of sausage-making: Keep everything super-cold (if it’s not cold, the fat smears and the sausage gets crumbly and fatty), dice the meat into chunks, pass it through the grinder, mix in the seasonings and knead it well in a stand mixer until the salt and proteins in the meat start to bind together. Ian describes the binding as the most important step: “This is what makes it a sausage; more than the casing, more than the seasoning. If it’s not bound, it’s not a sausage.” And he’s been doing it for long enough that he can just hear when the meat hits the appropriate consistency. If you (like us) don’t have the professional charcutier’s ear, you’ll know sausage meat is ready when you grab a handful of meat, turn your hand upside down, and the meat continues to stick to your hand. That would also be the perfect time to fry a little test patty and taste it to check the seasoning.
Continue Reading Super Food Nerds: The Making of Sausages
Nowadays, Yelp holds a whole lot of sway over the restaurant industry. All it takes is a few bad reviews to throw your entire percentage out of whack. Pretty soon the only customers you’ll see will be tumbleweeds and skateboarding bozos looking to use the bathroom. Can restauranteurs fight back? One California Italian eatery is certainly trying.
San Francisco’s Botto Bistro is sick and tired of being pushed around by the digital overlords over at Yelp. Their solution? Screw up their page on purpose. They offer customer’s discounts on their meals for writing purposefully negative reviews. The end result is an absolutely ridiculous page where up is down, dogs and cats play together and nothing makes any sense.
Yelp isn’t taking this laying down, however. The web giant has sent Botto Bistro a cease and desist letter. Apparently they can’t take a joke.
The air may still be summery (and, in some places, record-breakingly warm), but the bounty of vegetables turning up in farms and gardens can only mean one thing: It’s harvest time. And that is cause for celebration. Ideally, you’d get the whole neighborhood together and do a full-on pig roast, but even for a smaller gathering you can cook up a stellar dinner to showcase the harvest. Craft your own harvest dinner by choosing a dish (or two) from each of these categories:
Continue Reading The Great Harvest Dinner
One of the most frustrating things in life has to be when you demand ice cream right now at this very second but, when it’s taken out of the freezer, it’s simply too frozen to enjoy. How dare those pesky laws of thermodynamics ruin instant gratification party 2K14. You are then faced with two choices: get down and dirty in that tub, chipping away at it until you have something resembling a scoop, or do the unthinkable and put it on the counter and wait. Now there’s a third option and it may be the best one of all. A magic spoon!
A company called 15% has just unveiled a line of ice cream spoons that are designed to simplify the scooping process. They are made from aluminum which, if you didn’t know, is a mighty fine conductor of heat. The end result? Your body heat ends up raising the temperature of the spoon to a nice even “melt the dang ice cream so I can eat it all” degrees. It’s a simple concept but the science is sound.
Now the downside. These ice cream spoons clock in at around $30, which is around the price of six pints of high grade ice cream. Oh well. You could always just wrap your regular spoons in aluminum foil and hope for the best.