I Believe I Can Fry by Julia Moskin (NYT)
“ Many an ecstatic moment has been ruined by biting into hot fried chicken. It should never be eaten piping hot. When fried chicken comes out of the oil, the steam-cooking inside the crust needs to be completed, the juices need to redistribute and the volcanic heat of the crust needs to subside. ”
I Believe I Can Fry by Julia Moskin (NYT)
“ The essence of good espresso, of good coffee in general, revolves around three numbers: the amount of quality dry coffee used, the amount of time water flows through it and the amount of coffee that comes out the other end. When the ratio is right, the process extracts the best flavor. If it is wrong, the good flavor never surfaces or is watered down. A mistake in seconds or grams, I am coming to learn, is the difference between something wonderful and awful. ”
Learning to Create the Perfect Cup of Coffee by MATT RICHTEL (NYT)
“ If you bake a sweet potato properly … you will get a combination of textures that no other food can offer, and with no added ingredients: sweet stickiness, from the caramelizing liquid that oozes from the inside out; a little bit of crunchy chewiness, from the parts of the skin that this liquid helps brown; a soft, velvety yet slightly leathery skin, perfectly edible; and, of course, the meltingly tender, ultra-luxurious flesh, which can range from creamy white to familiar orange to deep red and even purple, and is perhaps best enjoyed with a sprinkle of salt. ”
All Hail the Sweet Potato By MARK BITTMAN (NYT)
“ Cooking isn’t creative, and it isn’t easy. It’s serious, and it’s hard to do well, just as everything worth doing is damn hard. ”
Christopher Kimball, in Cooking Isn’t Creative, and It Isn’t Easy, by ALEX HALBERSTADT (NYTmag)
Mark Bittman’s Dream Food Label:
All of this may sound like it’s asking a lot from a label, but creating a model wasn’t that difficult. Over the last few months, I’ve worked with Werner Design Werks of St. Paul to devise a food label that, at perhaps little more than a glance (certainly in less than 10 seconds), can tell a story about three key elements of any packaged food and can provide an overall traffic-light-style recommendation or warning.
“ Buffalo mozzarella is the apotheosis of dairy: the golden mean between yogurt and custard and cottage cheese and heavy cream and ricotta. ”
Go Ahead, Milk My Day By SAM ANDERSON (NYTmag)
“ In the hands of a chef who grasps the challenges and possibilities of the form, a tasting menu can yield a succession of delights that a shorter meal could never contain. At other times, though, the consumer of such a meal may feel as much like a victim as a guest. The reservation is hard won, the night is exhausting, the food is cold, the interruptions are frequent. The courses blur, the palate flags and the check stings. ”
Nibbled to Death By PETE WELLS (NYT)
Anatomy of a really good grilled cheese, via Petit Kitchenesse.
I have some pretty strong feelings about what a grilled cheese should be. And, at the risk of getting a bit up-on-my-soapbox-y, I’d like to share them with you. First: Butter that bread. No oils, especially if they’re “spritzed” on (good grief). BUTTER all the way! Second: Use a light, mild-flavored bread. Because the bread is just a crispy vessel that contains and delivers the delicious, melty cheese. Which brings me to my last, but most strongly-held belief: The cheese is the one and only star. I like a hot sandwich with cheese and other tasty things as much as the next person. But if you ask me if I want a “grilled cheese” and I reply, “yes!” (which I always will), I don’t want any of that extra jazz. No stringy greens smacking me in the face. No tomato chunks falling into my lap. And no, not even any delicious (but overpowering and tough-to-bite-through) slices of bacon. Just buttery bread and ooey-gooey cheese, please.
“ Another reason to add water is that it dilutes the yolk and opens up the complex matrix of lecithin and proteins it contains. The lecithin binds the oil droplets and the water in the yolk; that’s the essence of a mayonnaise emulsion. As long as they are bound together, the emulsion is stable. ”
Richard D. Ludescher, the dean of academic programs at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers, in Mayonnaise: Oil, Egg and a Drop of Magic by Melissa Clark (NYT)