I’ve been pretty into hard cider for a while, so for this latest installment of Super Food Nerds I wanted to meet some people who could shed some light on the fermentation process. Through the magic of the Internet I found Hayley Jensen, the beer sommelier at Manhattan’s Taproom 307 who, along with her husband, Stephen Durley, the taproom’s chef, is an avid, multiple-award-winning homebrewer and has been making cider at home for a few years.
Jensen suggested we meet at her home instead of the restaurant, which we understood upon arrival: Their small spare bedroom is tricked out with racks and racks of professional-grade brewing equipment and hundreds of gallons of various brews, including Candy Crush, a caramel-apple-inspired “city cider” made from store-bought apple cider.
The couple started making city cider after a trip to Jensen’s sister’s farmhouse, where they’d made cider entirely from scratch. Durley explains: “It was a big process. It took basically a full day to juice all the apples, wash them and take them to the press. Then you have to grind them, press them, get the juice and bring it home. We really liked it, but I was like, ‘Wait: Can’t we just buy some apple juice and have some fun?”
Continue Reading Super Food Nerds: Make Hard Apple Cider from Scratch (Sort Of)
Meatballs are one of those dishes that seem to make everyone smile (sorry, vegetarians). They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat — what more could you ask for? A bigger meatball, you say? A jumbo meatball?! Good call.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Jumbo Stuffed Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce
You know what they say: “The road to hell is paved with bad mustaches.” In other words, mustaches are these weird things guys sometimes put on their faces for dares or to capture the spirit of the 1970s or something. They aren’t comfortable. They don’t really look good and yet, the band plays on. Now there is a bar in Vegas that encourages these facial appendages through the power of discounted beer and snacks.
The appropriately named Sin City Brewing Co. is offering massive discounts throughout the month of November, if you have the stache for it. The discounts range from 10 percent for a dinky lil mustache to a whopping 50 percent for one of those Fu Manchu jobbies. Ladies are also not left out in the hairless cold. They can take photos with finger mustaches to receive similar discounts.
Of course, as stated above, this is only for the month of November so you had better stop shaving and book yourself a plane ticket pronto. Don’t worry! That mustache is sure to look ‘great’ on you.
Bacon, fried chicken, chocolate, cheeseburgers — all classics, all exceptional. But here’s something that will surprise no one: They’re also all exceptionally unhealthy.
Sure, it’s a bummer. But there’s a silver lining, and its name is Dish Do-Over. The brand-new cookbook from author Joanne Lusted, host of Cooking Channel’s Compete to Eat, focuses on creating comfort food favorites that are completely guilt-free. Even better news: The book features over 125 creative recipes that promise to keep you on track from breakfast through dinner (there are even a few good-for-you desserts).
What’s Lusted’s secret to cleaning up rich dishes? Savvy ingredient swaps (think Greek yogurt instead of sour cream) and simple cooking techniques that are big on flavor but light on fat (like baking bacon instead of frying it). Basically, these are win-win recipes that are actually completely satisfying.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Dish Do-Over
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?
It’s go-time. The Thanksgiving countdown has officially begun, which means that right now is the time to take out your casserole dishes and sharpen your knives, not to mention, test drive a few holiday recipes before the big day arrives.
These tender, breadcrumb-stuffed artichokes are both elegant and homespun, making them a lovely addition on any Thanksgiving table (or in front of the TV on a weeknight). If you’ve never turned an artichoke before (a.k.a. prepped it for cooking), this video should give you the basics to get started. Try this simple recipe tonight and, by Thanksgiving, you’ll be ready to make it for your crew.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Stuffed Artichokes
Last year you may remember a piece running on this blog about Foodini, a 3D printer that prints plates of food instead of plastic knickknacks. The release date was up in the air back when that piece was written, but now it looks like the printer’s creator, Natural Machines, is prepping to unleash their magical piece of tech upon the world.
If this is your first time reading about the Foodini, the printer uses plastic caplets of food ingredients to create dishes like pizza, cookies, pasta and a whole lot more. However, the creators have noted that this first iteration of the device will still need you to cook the food in your own oven after it is assembled. Future iterations will also do the cooking. Finally, humanity can lounge around and do nothing, just like in that inspirational documentary Wall-E.
Natural Machines hasn’t announced an actual release date, per say, but reports indicate that it will be within the next few months, which gives you just enough time to save some coin. The Foodini is expected to cost $1,000.
AKA Get Stuffed
Six years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease just days before Thanksgiving — the most glorious, gluten-filled holiday on the calendar. While I was relived to know what had been making me so sick for so long, the timing couldn’t have been worse. In my family, Thanksgiving has always been all about the stuffing. Sure, we love turkey, mashed potatoes and the other obligatory vegetables, but stuffing is the centerpiece of our meal. It isn’t anything fancy or special, just simple Pennsylvania Dutch-style bread cubes, onions, celery, stock and herbs. Crisp on top, a little mushy inside. People like to offer advice on what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, but that was one item on our dinner table that was never left over. We’d devour it and fight over the last bits of the crunchy edges.
Continue Reading Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Stuffing for Thanksgiving
Ice, as many people can attest, is usually made by pouring a bunch of tap water into a plastic thingamajig. Sure, you can make a case for using purified or filtered water, especially if you are planning to cool down some drinks. However, one company is betting people are willing to go a lot further than that. Introducing homemade, artisanal ice.
Favourite Ice, in addition to preferring the King’s English, was founded by a bartender at the W Hotel when he discovered that subpar ice was ruining expensive cocktails. Thus, a brand new industry was born. The company will hand-cut cubes of frozen water and deliver them to bars and restaurants. The company explains their ice is better than your ice because of, uh, air bubbles or something. Also, their cubes are big, which means they’ll stay intact for even the slowest drinker in your entourage.
So far the company is doing well and many high-end eateries have been taking them up on their offer of high-end ice cubes. Good on them.
Ready or not, we’re careening into the holiday season, with a battery of meaty roasted centerpieces fitting of a Norman Rockwell triptych (or a cholesterol commercial).
Whether you’re meat-averse or preempting the onslaught with some healthy vegetables, Aglaia Kremezi has an idea.
The Greek cooking expert has a new book, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, featuring 150 simple, flavor-packed meatless recipes. Like a tastebud vacation to Santorini, the recipes showcase light, bright ingredients like olives, lentils, herbs, yogurt and spices.
Arm guests’ taste buds for hearty winter stews with a light orange-olive salad with baby leeks and a tarragon-lemon dressing. Or swap in a quick 25-minute “Lazy Woman’s” cheese pie for the usual grilled cheese to serve with tomato soup.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts