Thursday, July 31, 2008
Serrano Chiles Join Do Not Eat List
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Good Pancake Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3 TBS. sugar (reduce to 2 TBS. if using a sweet syrup)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 1/8 cup milk
- 2 TBS. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Put butter and milk into microwave-safe container and heat until butter melts. Heat large pan or griddle over high heat.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. In another medium bowl, lightly beat egg yolks until mixed.
- Add milk and butter mixture to egg yolks, mixing constantly.
- Add milk and egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and gently mix until completely combined.
- Folk egg whites into batter, taking care not to deflate the whites.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Red Espresso: Better Tea Than Coffee?
If you are a tea drinker, and you do not drink coffee because you don't care for the taste, red espresso may appeal to you. I drink a lot of tea and a considerable amount of espresso. I have no objection to coffee or caffeine. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say I need a cup of coffee a day. So, for me, red espresso brewed to take the place of espresso joins that list of stuff that doesn't hit my taste buds well, such as Postum, lite mayonnaise, Diet Coke, NutraSweet, Lactaid Milk, nonalcoholic beer, and "yogurt" made from tofu.Supposedly the person who invented this did so because he found himself drinking six shots of espresso a day. Good lord.
If I were brewing tea, though, I'd probably stick to a fuller cut leaf and not something pulverized. That would be like using a cheap tea bag.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Strange News from the Food Front (7/28/2008)
- Professor of Pistachio One of the world's largest ice cream equipment manufacturers runs Gelato University outside Bologna, where it teaches 6,000 would-be professionals a year. (Financial Times)
- Going Against the Whole Grain Sara Lee, General Mills, and others, get smacked for claiming "whole grain" when products are mostly refined white flour. (Businessweek)
- Briber Works ... Ah, Worked An English school used chocolate bars as bribes for good behavior - and it worked. But higher officials chided him for not using healthy food. (Financial Times)
- That Metallic Taste Coca-Cola lovers in Hong Kong will be getting 25ml less of the drink per can as the company is shrinking the size of the container to save money on the cost of aluminum. (MarketWatch)
- The Big Eatsy For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Times-Picayune is again reviewing restaurants. (NYT)
- Brain Food The head of the World Trade Organization has suggested to his staff members that they eat bananas to keep them going through difficult negotiation sessions. (Reuters)
- Ho, Ho, Ho The 51st annual world Santa convention included a focus on exercising, not dieting, to get those jolly guys more easily down chimneys. (AFP)
- Keeping His Sunny Side Up A French waiter who threw an egg at the car carrying Nicholas Sarkozy during his visit to Ireland said that he'll be ready with "more than a dozen" should the president of France return. (AFP)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Product Review: New Amsterdam Gin
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Passing on the Mold
Some molds can cause strong allergic reactions, including respiratory problems, in susceptible people. And in some varieties, the threads produce toxic substances called mycotoxins, which can make people very sick.Eww, not good. If you're really feeling adventurous, go for a "safe" mold: blue cheese.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Strange News from the Food Front (7/21/2008)
- Bam - You're Insulted In a new British television show, Eating with the Enemy people prepare their favorite home dishes and food writers try to out-snark each other. (The Observer)
- The Naked Video Game Jamie Oliver is star of a cooking video game with recipes and as it runs on a portable Nintendo DS, you can bring it to the grocery store and have it manage your shopping list. All without calories. (Press release)
- No Take Out for You and You and You An anti-immigrant group in Italy is pushing for a law that would let cities bar ethnic restaurants "incompatible with the historical context." Is any part of Italy not historic? Oh, right, that's the idea. (Reuters)
- Self-Cutting Sandwich A New York man is claiming in a lawsuit that a Subway shop put a 7-inch knife into his sandwich. (Reuters)
- Good Thing He Didn't Ask for Doughnuts A Florida policeman was fired for trying to get free coffee and tea from a Starbucks. Didn't anyone tell him that it's over roasted? (AP)
- Golden Ticket A French woman found a candy wrapper in the trash and, with it, a winning number for a contest where the prize is a flight into space. (Reuters)
- Single-Handedly Keeping Breweries in Business An Australian man, convicted of a seventh DUI charge, was spending almost $1,000 weekly on beer. (Reuters)
- Uh ... Surprise Police say that a pizza restaurant clerk didn't know that her parents and her husband were planning to rob the establishment. (AP)
- He Deserves a Break Today A man who was convicted of robbing a McDonalds in 1994 is among the finalists in a contest to write a new jingle for the chain. (AP)
- Financial Decline of Wine Shrine A Napa Valley food and wine museum is in the financial dregs, and California citizens could get stuck with the tab. (Sacramento Bee)
- Free Willie Some Canadians are bidding to get a New Brunswick restaurant to free a 100-year-old lobster. (AFP)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Product Review: The Bull BBQ Sauce
Monday, July 14, 2008
Strange News from the Food Front (7/14/2008)
- The Stress of Dealing with a Food Crisis At the G8 summit, world leaders prepared themselves to deal with the issue of a food crisis by having a 19-course dinner prepared by 25 chefs. (The Guardian)
- Yes, We Have No Bow-wowersBeijing officials have called on restaurants and hotels to stop serving dishes containing dog during the Olympics. (Financial Times)
- Cocoa Chanel An Ivorian fashion designer makes outfits from jute sacks used to ship cocoa from the Ivory Coast. (Reuters)
- World's Hottest Curry Title? A London restaurant took at shot at serving the world's hottest curry and is waiting on the Guinness Book of World Records to confirm this. Every diner had to sign a disclaimer. (AFP)
- Iron-Rich Diet A Peruvian doctor had to pull 17 metal objects - including nails and a knife - from the body of a patient who ate them. (Reuters)
- Curdled Carriers Thousands of liters of sour milk, sent by farmers protesting low dairy prices, are clotting the EU's main sorting center. (Reuters)
- Cooler Armor A Connecticut man used his lunch cooler to protect himself from the gunfire of two would-be robbers. (AP)
- Some Strong Tea A Japanese calmed down a knife-wielding robber by serving him tea. (Reuters)
Monday, July 07, 2008
Strange News from the Food Front (7/7/2008)
- I'll Drink to That The Museum of the American Cocktail returns to its home in New Orleans on July 21. (Organization web site)
- Shaken, Not Whirred Japanese beer company Asahi unveiled its new robot bartender. (Engadget)
- Hops Go the Brewers Craft beer companies are facing "rapidly rising commodity prices, industry consolidation, and a slowing economy" and trying to figure out how they're going to make money. Oh, wait - we'll pay more. (Businessweek)
- Life's a Bowl of Cherry Pits A son out spat his father to take his seventh International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship. (AP)
- Battle of the Courses A restaurant in a part of Beirut controlled by Hezbollah is war-themed, with a bullet-shaped menu and chefs working in military fatigues. (Reuters)
- Hot Dogging An American successfully defended his world title in Nathan's annual hot dog eating competition. (Reuters)
- No Starch Decision A UK court ruled that Pringles are not a potato snack, and so not subject to a tax. (AP)
- Hope They Are Red An international body has adopted a standard for tomatoes. (AFP)
- No Restaurant for You Three retired family members have at least temporarily lost a 50 year battle for a top Paris restaurant valued at $110 million. (AFP)
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Technique: Using a Pommade in Burgers
In this case, a good pommade is simply bread (one slice per pound of meat) soaked in enough milk to make it soggy, then rubbed into a paste. Mix the pommade with the ground meat, add in salt and any other flavorings you like (a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce per pound of meat is a touch I like), and then make patties without packing the meat in. Cook as you normally would, watching for over cooking.
If you're used to feeling the burgers on top for how well done they are, remember that the pommade will make them feel squishier, therefore less done. I'd use a thermometer the first time or two using this technique. At least, I would have, had I thought ahead. Last week I tried it and the burgers came out medium well, rather than the medium rare most of my family prefers. Guess I'll have to try it again - and not spare the digital readout.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Starbucks: We're Adding Products! Doing Great! Oh ... and Closing Stores
In addition, in Southern California, we will introduce a refreshing, indulgent cold iced beverage. Steeped in Italian heritage, it will be an exclusive product that our customers can only find at Starbucks.Sure, other companies will probably call it something else once they lift the concept. But then came the bad news - under performing stores would close, full- and part-time employees would lose their jobs. At least they say they'll be offering employees either a position at a nearby store (though once you're out of major cities, heaven knows what "nearby" will mean) or some severance. And given how they have benefits even for many part-time workers, I can't fault them. The chain simply expanded faster than its audience.
I even have some sympathy for CEO Schultz. Clearly he's been torn between the business becoming enormous and wanting the atmosphere of a cafe with comfortable seats for deliberate loitering over a cup of coffee and the smell of freshly ground beans in the air. But you can't be big and neighborhood at the same time, which shows that even success doesn't mean that you'll be happy and free of conflict.
Now, if only they'd stop over-roasting their beans.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Don't Fear Mayonnaise - Unless You're a Water Spot
One prominent study published in The Journal of Food Protection found, for example, that in the presence of commercial mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad either slowed or stopped altogether. As the amount of mayonnaise increased, the rate of growth decreased. When temperatures rose to those of a hot summer day, the growth increased, but not as much as in samples that did not contain mayonnaise.However, summer brings another danger - cold drinks and condensation that can leave water marks. Luckily, mayonnaise can bring a solution. You smear mayonnaise over the spot, leave it overnight (or even a day or more), wipe it off, and the spot is gone. There are a number of sites online that describe this technique; I know about it because my wife read it in some book, tried it, and was delighted to find that it worked. No, adding bacon, lettuce, and tomato is not necessary.