Month: January 2018

What to Do With Leftover Vanilla Bean Pods

What to Do With Leftover Vanilla Bean Pods

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] The best part about the years I worked as a pastry chef was, hands down, the unlimited supply of vanilla beans I got to play with every day. There’s nothing quite like the distinct, if extremely niche, pleasure of sinking a paring […]

Special Sauce: Jenny Allen on the Joy of Eating a Turkey Burger All by Yourself

Special Sauce: Jenny Allen on the Joy of Eating a Turkey Burger All by Yourself

[Photograph: David Welch. Corn casserole photograph: Vicky Wasik] Here’s how the delightful and brave Jenny Allen describes the food at her family table in Part 2 of her Special Sauce interview: “Such bad food…and so little of it.” As that quote can attest, you can […]

Our Favorite Blender Is on Sale for Under $100

Our Favorite Blender Is on Sale for Under $100


[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

We recently did an in-depth review of the best blenders under $200. After numerous tests, we found Cuisinart’s Hurricane blender to be the clear winner for blasting through ice, emulsifying mayo, puréeing soup, and producing the smoothest smoothies. Today, that blender isn’t just under $200, it’s under $100.

Along with its excellent blending power, the Hurricane blender is intuitive to use. There’s a dashboard with preset tasks, like smoothie and ice-crush, plus high-speed and low-speed buttons. There’s also a timer that can count up as you blend or count down and shut off after a set amount of time.

Once you get this baby home, might we suggest whipping up some frozen cocktails? Piña Coladas for game day sound really good to us.



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Bollito Misto: The Biggest, Baddest Pot of Boiled Meat in the World

Bollito Misto: The Biggest, Baddest Pot of Boiled Meat in the World

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] I’m hatching a plan as I type. I want to be inducted into a secret society dedicated to boiled beef. I’ve got my eyes on two right now. One of them, La Confraternita del Bollito—The Brotherhood of Boiled Meat—appeals to me because […]

Italian Salsa Verde With Parsley and Capers Recipe

Italian Salsa Verde With Parsley and Capers Recipe

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik] This bright green sauce made from parsley, olive oil, and garlic is thick and rich, with a briny kick thanks to anchovies and capers. A hard boiled egg helps emulsify the sauce, and adds a savory depth that’s hard to beat. It’s […]

Italian Salsa Rossa (Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce for Boiled Meats) Recipe

Italian Salsa Rossa (Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce for Boiled Meats) Recipe


[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This bright orange sauce is perfect as a condiment for boiled meats or spread on a sandwich. Flavored with tomatoes, a roasted red pepper, and sautéed aromatic vegetables, it’s thickened with a panade made from bread and vinegar, and enriched with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.



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Bollito Misto (Italian Feast of Mixed Boiled Meats)

Bollito Misto (Italian Feast of Mixed Boiled Meats)

The ultimate meat-lover’s feast, Northern Italy’s bollito misto is not an affair to be taken lightly; it will take some effort to procure all the meat and requires quite the appetite on the part of the diners. With long, slow cooking, the result is delicately […]

Bengali Rice Porridge With Lentils and Chicken Recipe

Bengali Rice Porridge With Lentils and Chicken Recipe

4. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until foamy. Add turmeric, ginger, and red chili and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rice, lentils, and chicken stock. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then […]

Savory Bengali Rice Porridge Is the Epitome of Comfort Food

Savory Bengali Rice Porridge Is the Epitome of Comfort Food


[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

When I was growing up, whenever I was sick, the first thing my mother would do was get a pot of rice, lentils, and water simmering away for porridge. It was considered to be potent stuff, with the power to cure everything from the flu to a short temper. I often suffered from the latter, so the hum of rice gurgling on a stovetop was the soundtrack of my life.

In our house, it was called gulaothi, but there are countless variations on rice porridge, with almost as many names—kanji in India, congee in China, and so forth. It can be as simple as water and rice, or it can be simmered with milk, flavored with chilies and spices, or topped with different accoutrements. This is the version I grew up on—bright from plenty of turmeric and ginger, with a pungent hit of mustard oil and a garnish of spicy green-chili chutney.

To make it, I start by rinsing aromatic jasmine rice. When the water runs clear, I cover the rice with fresh water and allow it to soak. Meanwhile, I prepare the ginger and fresh turmeric, both of which have stubborn fibers that run vertically along the entire rhizome, making them tough to chew through. By thinly slicing them crosswise before cutting the resulting coins into one-eighth-inch matchsticks, I get spicy, tender bites throughout the porridge.

After a few minutes, when the rice has barely swelled, I drain off the soaking liquid and gently crush the grains with a pestle or rolling pin. The goal is to have some finely crushed pieces—roughly as small as cornmeal—along with larger grains that are just cracked. When cooked, the fine grains dissolve into the water or stock, giving the porridge body, while the larger pieces remain distinct and add texture.

That’s pretty much all the prep that’s required. I sauté the ginger and turmeric in butter or ghee, along with salt and Kashmiri red chili powder, until aromatic, then add the crushed rice and rinsed red lentils. I top it all off with a generous glug of chicken stock, but you could opt for water if you want to keep things light and simple. When the liquid comes to a boil, I reduce the heat to a bare simmer.

Meanwhile, I prepare the chutney by finely mincing Thai green chilies and cilantro. This verdant mosaic is mixed with sharp mustard oil, fresh lime juice, and salt into a loose, chimichurri-style salsa. The fiery chutney perks up the muted flavors of the porridge, adding striking color and flavor to every bite.

Once the rice and lentils are completely tender—after about 30 minutes of simmering—I toss in peeled and diced potatoes, along with a couple of chicken thighs. Then I let it all bubble together for roughly 30 minutes longer, until the chicken is cooked through and much of the rice has melted into the broth. At this point, I remove the chicken thighs and, once they’ve cooled enough to handle, dice the meat into small, bite-size pieces before returning it to the pot. Adding the chicken and potatoes at the halfway point keeps them tender and distinct in the creamy porridge.

To serve, I ladle the porridge into bowls and top it off with squiggles of mustard and cilantro chutney, plus a big handful of crispy fried shallots. Whether this rice porridge has the power to heal the flu is still up for debate, but it’s undeniable that this wholesome bowl of comfort is a delicious way to feed a cold and fill your belly.



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Know Your Citrus: A Field Guide to Oranges, Lemons, Limes, and Beyond

Know Your Citrus: A Field Guide to Oranges, Lemons, Limes, and Beyond

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik] It’s winter—that is, cold season—and we’re all chugging orange juice to get our vitamin C, right? Well, it turns out all the OJ in the world won’t help prevent or treat the common cold; the ascorbic acid in citrus fruit just isn’t […]