My favorite food-related obsessions, learnings, and media from the past month.
What I’ve Learned
- Skip the butter and oil and fry your eggs in cream. Check out why it works.
- Ever wonder what the difference between white and orange cheddar? Not much it turns out – what really matters is the age.
- Ever ended up with gluey mashed potatoes? With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Food52 tests 11 methods to find out how to make the perfect mash.
- Read up on Everything you need to know when it comes to soy sauce according to The Woks of Life
- Stella Parks at Serious Eats explains why a silicone mat may be the reason your cookies aren’t turning out.
- We’ve all been there – ready to start baking only to realize a couple of the ingredients need to be at room temperature. Check out Bon Appetit’s guide to bringing ingredients to room temp quickly.
- I LOVE MAYO and any excuse to use more of it. J. Kenji López-Alt advises smearing your meat with the fatty condiment before cooking for amazing results.
Ina Cheat Days
My favorite non-Ina recipes of the month
This month has been all Ina-all-the-time in preparation for some upcoming travel. But I was able to sneak in one non-Ina recipe and it was PHENOMENAL: Okonomiyaki-Style Brussels Sprouts, Sarah Jampel, Bon Appetit.
Talk about an umami bomb. Inspired by okonomiyaki (a Japanese savory pancake) this recipe takes seared Brussels sprouts coats them in a sweet, spicy, ginger glaze made of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, honey, rice vinegar, ginger, and shichimi togarashi. You then top with Kewpie mayo, bonito flakes, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions. The layers of flavor hit you in the face … I nearly polished off all two pounds of Brussels sprouts by myself in one night!
Can’t live without
OXO Good Grips Spring-Loaded Poultry Shears: Although these are poultry shears, they are my all-purpose scissors in the kitchen. Sharp, comfortable and (like any good kitchen shears) they come apart for easy cleaning. When a recipe call for chicken, I usually just buy a whole one and break in down – and these scissors make it a cinch!
The American Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook. When I was first learning to cook, this book was my bible. Whether, like me, you are a beginner or just wanting to improve your skills this book has nearly everything. And every recipe I’ve made from it has been a hit because the recipes are tested time and again (as would expect from America’s Test Kitchen) Each recipe has a section on common mistakes, what that will lead to, and how to prevent it. I still refer to this often when questioning myself on something in a recipe. Buy it here.
Some of my favorite recipes:
- Meatballs and Marinara, page 170
- Herbed Baked Goat Cheese Salad, page 497
Who I’m loving
While I had been to Momofuku Noodle Bar, Fuku+ and Milk Bar and love each of my visits, I didn’t know much about restauranteur David Chang until the release of his Netflix series, Ugly Delicious in 2018. I was expecting a dude-bro but instead got a funny, thoughtful exploration of the meaning, history, and culture surrounding each dish explored in the episodes. Reminding us that food is never just food. I particularly love the home cooking episode with his mom. It’s a series I’ve rewatched multiple times in the intervening 2 years. He also has an amazing podcast The Dave Chang Show that explores how food intersects with nearly every aspect of life from art to football and climate change to political cartoons.
Where you can find David
- We celebrated my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary with a prix-fixe lunch at Danny Meyer’s newest restaurant, Manhatta! Situated on the 60th floor in the Financial District, the views are phenomenal and the food was perfection. The menu changes with the season and if you don’t want to do a prix fixe, you can order a la carte at the bar. As with his other restaurants, this has a no-tipping policy.
- If you happen to find yourself in Irvington, NY (maybe for the Halloween celebrations in nearby Sleepy Hallow) make a pitstop at Revenge BBQ. Everything was mouthwatering. My favorites were the Triple-Threat – a pulled-pork sandwich with cheese, slaw, chips, and sauce; smoked potato salad; and custard corncake. The pickled onions are the perfect side that cuts through the fatty dishes.
- Suraya – We came to this Lebanese hotspot for brunch, and I will be back for dinner the next time I’m in Philly. It’s one of the most talked-about restaurants in the city for a reason. Favorites: Za’atar, Labne, Olive, Cucumber, Tomato, Mint Man’oushe; Baba Ganoush; Crispy Chickpea Hummus
- Weckerly’s Ice Cream – Our Lyft driver said we had to stop here and I’m so grateful. The Apple Toasted Oat Ice Cream Sandwich was out of the world.
- Perla– This BYOB Filipino spot in South Philly is known for its Wednesday and Sunday evening Kamayan family-style dinner. Since we could only go on Saturday, we ate a la carte. Our favorites: Pancit, Bagnet, and Sinangag.
- South Philly Barbacoa– We originally planned our trip to Philly after watching Christina Martinez’s episode of Chef’s Table. After hearing her story and seeing her food we knew we needed to check it out. Only open Monday, Saturday and Sunday the place is typically packed. We order the barbacoa, veggie and pork tacos as well as lamb consomme. The barbacoa and pork taco were tasty, but the veggie really stood out to me. And on the grey overcast day, the consomme warmed us up.
Podcasts, TV shows, listicles, and short articles I loved this month.
- At long last, Julia Child will get the big-screen biopic she deserves (The Takeout) The directors of RBG are taking on Julia Child as their next documentary feature!
No, There Won’t Be a Second Season of “Salt Fat Acid Heat” on Netflix, Says Samin Nosrat (The Kitchn) So we’re not getting a second season, BUT we are getting another food show of some sorts – release date TBD.
David Chang returns to Netflix with Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (Eater) While I didn’t love this series as much as Ugly Delicious, I did enjoy it – especially the Kate McKinnon episode.
- Michelin’s 2020 Cheaper Restaurants List Is Here (Eater) I just added about 60 restaurants to my bucket list from this list!
- The Essentials of Filipino Cuisine – Had me dreaming about my friend’s chicken adobo.
- The Secret Behind A Popular Soup In Bangkok – A soup that been simmering for 45 years. Going to try to get a taste when I’m in Bankok later this year!
- Can a Burger Help Solve Climate Change? – Tad Friend, The New Yorker
- We’re Pulling Tuna Out Of The Ocean At Unprecedented – And Unsustainable – Rates – Clare Leschin-Hoar, NPR
- “They go to work, come back, and starve”: Why immigrant families are avoiding food assistance – Elizabeth Hewitt, Civil Eats