Welcome to Super Food Nerds, a column written in alternating installments by Rupa (Food and Beverage Editor, Culinary Staff) and Jonathan (Research Librarian, same place). Each installment will be dedicated to a particular topic – how to DIY something you don’t normally DIY, how to perfect a dish usually taken for granted, plus best techniques, underlying chemistries and a handful of inexplicable preferences. Basically, if they can overthink it, they’re on it.
Cured fish is basically my favorite food. Smoked eel, pickled herring, kippered whitefish, weird dried squid snacks you eat in Russian saunas — I’m all about it. But it’s expensive, and I’m on a budget, so I wanted to see if I could make it myself.
There are a few ways to go about curing fish: brining and cold-smoking (at a temperature of about 100 degrees F), like most smoked salmon you see sold with bagels; brining and hot-smoking (so it’s flaky and rich, mostly done with trout); and gravlax, a dry salt cure, which gets you the silky texture of cold-smoke without the smoking part.
Gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian way of curing fish — it translates literally to “buried salmon,” since the fish used to be buried in the ground to cure. Now the fish gets buried in the dry salt-sugar cure, and since it’s the quickest, easiest way to get the fish from zero to my mouth, that’s the method I picked.
Continue Reading Super Food Nerds: How to Make Gravlax
After spending a recent (and most delicious) weekend in Washington, D.C., I’m dedicating this week’s Dinner Rush! to my father-in-law. For those who don’t know Ype Von Hengst, he’s an amazingly talented and accomplished chef who’s well-known for his multi-unit restaurant concept in the Mid-Atlantic region. One of his most-popular menu items (and also one of my personal favorites) is his Grilled Wasabi Salmon Sliders. These things fly out the door of his restaurant!
While not the exact recipe (he keeps his secrets closely guarded, that guy), I think I netted out pretty successfully in re-creating them at home. One definite thing revealed through my frequent tastings of Chef Ype’s sliders is that he uses the thicker part of the salmon, so make sure when you’re at the fish counter that you ask them for the center cut of the fillet (save yourself the time and have them skin it for you while they’re at it, too).
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Salmon Teriyaki Sliders
We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating with FN Healthy Eats on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag. Are you up for the challenge?
You’re one smart cookie for carrying a lunch sack like this one from Dabbawalla. It’s small enough to fit inside your work bag — or grab it by the easy-to-grip handle on top — yet large enough to keep your lunch and snacks intact. It houses an interior mesh pocket, plus another pocket for an ice pack. Find it here.
Continue Reading Today’s Lunch Box: Smart Cookie