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Miguel writes, "I tried to replicate an ancient Egyptian bread, starting with the right kind of wheat, the grinding and the baking... I also made a modernized version inspired by Egypt."
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Unreal lab-grown oysters from "The In Vitro Meat Cookbook," a glorious exercise in recipes as design fiction from Next Nature. More over at re:form.
Burger King has launched a black burger in Japan made from black peppered-beef, buns and cheese darkened with bamboo charcoal, and a topping of garlic sauce blackened with squid ink. Read the rest
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James Brown hawks Nissin Miso Soup in a TV kitchen that BB pal Jim Leftwich noticed is a close reproduction of Graham Kerr's The Galloping Gourmet set from the 1970s!
I bake a lot of pizza. I have a seven year old daughter. I'm also a type A obsessive personality, and I work hard, obsessively so, to perfect what I cook. This week I've been trying Caputo tipo "00" superfine flour to make my pizza crust thin and crispy with just the right amount of chew.
Please enjoy Mr. Hamiham's cooking show! I like the looks of these sandwiches that he prepared for last year's Persian festival of Sizdahbedar, and his celebratory dances between recipes. If you're impatient, fast forward to around 1:46. And don't miss the Sizdahbedar 2014 episode either! (Thanks, UPSO!)
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Sheryl Canter's post on the science of cast-iron pan seasoning is a fascinating and practical tale of flaxseed and kitchen chemistry. It's a long process -- you need to season the pan six or so times, each time taking a couple of hours -- but the science is sound and the proof is in the hard, nonstick coating your pan will have when you're done.
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Tom Fassbender says: "The last time the family went on a camping trip, we made Breakfast in a Bag. We always like to have a cooking adventure when we camp, so this time we baked chocolate cake in oranges. The results were predictably delicious."
Tom Fassbender went camping with his daughter and cooked bacon and eggs in a paper bag set over campfire coals. He says it was a "mixed success" but the results look tasty!
Leo Kent of Humans Invent writes about a new free service in Sweden that uses Instagram to find out how to make Asian food.
Ask CT Food is a new service people can use through Instagram to find out the ingredients and methods of cooking Asian food. If you’re at a restaurant and want to know how to make the Sushi that you’re about to eat, you can take a photo of the dish and CT Food will tell you how. We will then see the picture and, based on what the question is, reply as quickly as possible Luong Lu, who, along with co-creative Farnaz Sajadi and web developer Nikola Romcevic, created this concept for CT Food, says, “It is a very personal, almost 24/7 customer service right in your pocket. Everytime you have a question about an Asian dish at a restaurant you just snap a picture and then put in our username @askctfood. We will then see the picture and, based on what the question is, reply as quickly as possible.”
OK, seriously, I have no idea whether the output of this "cook a perfect tubular egg-thing-on-a-stick" thinggum is anything remotely edible, but the production company that made it is basically staffed with evil geniuses who made me vibrate with desire within about ten seconds. Also, there's something weirdly compelling about a device that appears to get a boner while it cooks for you.
I'm going to be cooking a dinner featuring locally-produced honey at canelé restaurant in LA next Tuesday, February 19. The restaurant has a program called "Friends Cook", where they invite neighborhood pals to cook a special menu at the restaurant. Here's how they describe it:
Every so often on a Tuesday night we share our kitchen with some special folks for our popular "friends cook at canelé." These pals, ranging from experienced chefs to absolute newbies, conceive, prep, and cook to order a 3 course prix-fixe menu with the advice and assistance of our chef, cooks, and servers.
Here's the menu:
with dates, toasted walnuts & Stilton, and a honey vinaigrette
SMOKY HONEY-CURED SALMON*
slow roasted and served with white beans & cavolo nero
SPICY GINGER/HONEY CAKE WITH HONEY GELATO
Feral Honey gelato from Pazzo Gelato in Silver Lake
* Vegetarian option: pasta with white beans & cavolo nero
I'll be curing the salmon next Sunday morning, then cold-smoking it with alder wood that night. We'll slow roast it to order at Canelé on Tuesday. It's a long process, but with a super-delicious result.
It'll be really fun and a great opportunity to watch me burn myself. I'd love to see you there if you happen to be in LA!
Our pal Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life, is joining MAKE executive editor Stett Holbrook for a live video hangout on Google+ at 2pm PST today.
(Photo of Tim Ferriss by Susan Burdick)
In today's XKCD What If?, Randall Monroe answers the question, "From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground?" posed by Alex Lahey:
At supersonic and hypersonic speeds, a shockwave forms around the steak which helps protect it from the faster and faster winds. The exact characteristics of this shock front—and thus the mechanical stress on the steak—depend on how an uncooked 8 oz. filet tumbles at hypersonic speeds. I searched the literature, but was unable to find anything to help me estimate this.
For the sake of this simulation, I assume that at lower speeds some type of vortex shedding creates a flipping tumble, while at hypersonic speeds it’s squished into a semi-stable spheroid shape. However, this is little more than a wild guess. If anyone puts a steak in a hypersonic wind tunnel to get better data on this, please, send me the video.
If you drop the steak from 250 kilometers, things start to heat up. 250 kilometers puts us in the range of low earth orbit. However, the steak, since it’s dropped from a standstill, isn’t moving nearly as fast as an object re-entering from orbit.
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the chief creative officer at the Serious Eats Blog, is a mad kitchen-science genius. Here at BoingBoing, we've posted about his past experiments demonstrating that there's no reason to waste money on expensive cleavers; that foie gras isn't necessarily evil; and that McDonald's hamburgers will, in fact, rot (under the right conditions).
Now, just in time for your Thanksgiving planning, Lopez-Alt puts turkey brining to the test, running a series of trials comparing the meat-moistening results of various brining solutions, dry salt rub, tap water, and a plain control turkey breast. His conclusion: Don't bother with the brine. Not because it doesn't work — brined turkey does produce nice, moist meat. But because it also produces meat that's kind of soggy. You'll get nearly as good results, without the texture problems, out of dry salt.
I particularly enjoyed this part, where Lopez-Alt explains why the results of brining with water aren't any different from the results of brining with broth.
There are two principles at work here. The first is that to the naked eye, broth is a pure liquid, in reality, broth consists of water with a vast array of dissolved solids in it that contribute to its flavor. Most of these flavorful molecules are organic compounds that are relatively large in size—on a molecular scale, that is—while salt molecules are quite small. So while salt can easily pass across the semi-permeable membranes that make up the cells in animal tissue, larger molecules cannot.
Additionally, there's an effect called salting out, which occurs in water-based solutions containing both proteins and salt. Think of a cup of broth as a college dance party populated with cheerleaders (the water, let's call them the Pi Delta Pis), nerds (the proteins, we'll refer to them as the Lamba Lambda Lambdas), and jocks (the salt, obviously the Alpha Betas). Now, at a completely jock-free party, the nerds actually have a shot at the cheerleaders, and end up co-mingling, forming a homogenous mix. Open up the gymnasium doors, and a few of those cheerleaders will leave the party, taking a few nerds along for the ride. Unfortunately, those gymnasium doors are locked shut, and the only folks strong enough to open them are the jocks. So what happens when you let some jocks into that party?
At Acculturated blog, Abby W. Schachter writes about "bobos," short for bourgeois bohemians, and evidence that big consumer brands are now marketing to them with highly mockable DIY gear that re-creates artisanal (or, depending on your point of view, obsolete) food production methods.
Case in point: William Sonoma's new upscale DIY kitchenware collection, called the Agrarian Guide, where one can purchase "a reclaimed rustic chicken coop for $759.95... a Warre beehive made from “untreated Western Red Cedar” that retails for $399.95, a vinegar pot for $90, an $80 fermentation pot to make “your own sauerkraut,” and a hand crank Burr grinder grain mill retailing for $675.95. The accompanying grain mill clamp will set you back another $105.95."
I vacillate between coveting everything in the catalog, and wanting to mock everything in the catalog. Either way, I cannot wait for the Portlandia sketch.
(via Virginia Postrel)
Mark and I are both big fans of Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body. Many things that Tim says about fitness, diet, work, and life-hacking have really resonated with me over the years. But beyond the subjects Tim writes about, it's his approach to learning that truly inspires me whenever we see each other or I read his stuff. Like many people I know (including me), Tim is a novelty addict. He's curious about most everything and when he wants to know something, or know how to do something -- like cook, salsa dance, kick-box, speak Japanese, or hold your breath for crazy lengths of time -- he seeks out the experts and immerses himself utterly and completely in the subject matter. That's why I'm excited to read Tim's new book The 4-Hour Chef, due out in a few weeks. I'm sure it has lots of great information about how to cook, but according to Tim it's really a book about how to learn anything. That's perfect because there's a lot I've got to learn. Listen for Tim on a coming episode of our Gweek podcast. Congrats, Tim!
The Leidenfrost Effect is a lovely sounding name for some very strange and nifty physics.
When you heat up a liquid, it will, eventually, boil away into a gas. Different liquids have different boiling points. But here's the weird catch: When you suddenly put a liquid in contact with something much, much hotter than its boiling point, the liquid doesn't instantly evaporate. Instead, it forms a little cushion of vapor between itself and the heat source. You can imagine it like a hovercraft moving over the surface of a lake. The cushion doesn't prevent evaporation—and it doesn't last long—but it does slow down evaporation enough that you can see the liquid moving around on the hot surface for little bit like everything is just fine and dandy.
This video was made as a promotional piece for Modernist Cuisine. The Leidenfrost Effect matters for cooking because it allows you to tell when you have successfully heated up a pan. If the temperature of the pan is above the Leidenfrost point, then you can sprinkle it with water and watch the droplets bandy about on the hot metal. In this case, though, they used liquid nitrogen.