Food Republic http://www.foodrepublic.com Where Food, Drink & Culture Unite Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 10 Salads For The Best Olive Oil You Can Find http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/19/10-salads-best-olive-oil/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/19/10-salads-best-olive-oil/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:00:35 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174145 When it comes to a final drizzle or homemade dressing for that special salad, only great-quality extra-virgin olive oil will do. Beyond the health benefits associated with olive oil consumption, the nuances and flavor notes in the best olive oil you can find will make your vegetables sing the kind of song everyone can enjoy: the […]

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When it comes to a final drizzle or homemade dressing for that special salad, only great-quality extra-virgin olive oil will do. Beyond the health benefits associated with olive oil consumption, the nuances and flavor notes in the best olive oil you can find will make your vegetables sing the kind of song everyone can enjoy: the song of deliciousness.

Recipe: Communal Salade Niçoise

I have loved salade Niçoise for as long as I can remember. My version is less traditional — I’ve swapped fresh tuna for the meaty pink Italian kind that comes packed in olive oil; I’m partial to substituting roasted tomatoes if fresh aren’t truly in season; and I suggest creamy green olives instead of the traditional black — but the communal concept is the same. Everyone gets a little bit of everything with only one plate to wash.

shaved cauliflower salad
(Photo: Mei-Chun Jau.)Looking for a new way to serve cauliflower? Grab your mandolin and get slicing!

Recipe: Shaved Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower has very earthy, hearty properties, so I thought a nice bright acid like fresh lemon juice would be great, with that acidic of a dressing a nice plumped sweet golden raisin would help balance the acid and toasted pistachios would round out the dish and give it another layer of flavor. I have been extremely surprised on how well received it has been. Most months it outsells our Caesar salad, and in a Italian American restaurant, that is unheard of.

Photo: Erin Kunkel
Photo: Erin KunkelAdd some color to your salad blues.

Recipe: Chard Salad With Artichoke Hearts And Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette

Artichokes are essentially two vegetables in one. In this recipe we use the heart, which is tender with a texture somewhere between a really creamy potato and a roasted turnip. But you can also eat the bottom part of the leaves; dip them into some homemade lemon aioli or melted butter with lemon juice mixed in. Serve the leaves as a snack while you’re getting the rest of the meal ready. It’s like the Tootsie Pop of vegetables. As Lil’ Kim once said while singing about artichokes: How many leaves does it take to get to the center?

Radish And Kale Salad
This colorful salad is a welcome pairing to grilled chicken or fish. Dig in!

Recipe: Lemony Fennel, Radish And Kale Salad

I receive one twinkly-eyed question nearly without fail whenever I share the name of my website: Do you eat kale and caramel together? I’m left to confess that not only do I never combine the two, I’ve never even wanted to try. The name for the blog came to me one night, mid-dishwashing, as my friend and mentor Rebecca was urging me to create a digital home for my food and writing. But what would I call it? I lamented. I summoned to mind the two foods I could think of that I loved most: Kale. And caramel. And thus the blog was born. At the risk of sounding too heady, it was more a concept than a suggestion for a new flavor combination.

octopus (1)
Make this tender octopus plated with all its favorite things as an impressive first course or a hearty lunch.

Recipe: Octopus Salad With Potatoes, Capers And Olives

Octopus — cooked slowly until it is meltingly tender — is wonderful to eat, and its long, languid, purple-colored tentacles have a striking appearance on the plate. Scattered with capers and olives, and accompanied by nutty young potatoes and cima di rapa, it tastes perfect at room temperature. As a rule, I am averse to the use of frozen food, but this cephalopod is an exception — octopus that has been frozen first gives a much more tender end result.

Purslane Salad
Liven up a plate of roasted marrow bones with a verdant purslane salad.

Recipe: Purslane Salad With Roasted Marrow Bones

Purslane, known as pourpier in France, is a wild green succulent that grows in vineyards and gardens. During spring and summer, it can sometimes be found in the open markets in France and at farmers’ markets in the United States. At my house in California, it comes up every year in the garden, along the edge of the lawn, and in the grape arbor. Farmers consider it a weed, but we cooks love the slightly tart, lemon flavor of its leaves, which makes an ideal counterpart to rich bone marrow. If you can’t find purslane, use wild or baby arugula mixed with watercress.

rainbow carrot salad
Heap this sweet and tangy tangle of carrot salad next to a lucky piece of grilled meat or fish.

Recipe: Rainbow Carrot Salad

Beautiful rainbow carrots have recently been showing up at farmers’ markets, and chef Martinez uses them in this bountiful and refreshing salad — a tangle of vibrant yellow, orange, and purple carrots drizzled with tangy orange vinaigrette and tossed with hunks of sheep’s milk cheese, pickled raisins, capers, piquant chilies, and sunflower sprouts; it’s all topped with fresh herbs and toasted sunflower seeds.

Arugula And Wheat Berry Salad
Let your garden bounty shine in this healthy, satisfying wheat berry salad.

Recipe: Quick-Roasted Beet, Arugula And Wheat Berry Salad

In my garden, strawberries begin to ripen about the same time the first beets are ready to harvest. One day I realized that the sweet, citrusy acidity of my Ozark Beauty strawberries would be the perfect foil for the earthy nuances of beets, and that both go well with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Because wheat berries also love maple and balsamic, I had found the perfect pairing for a beautiful and tasty salad. (Cook your wheat berries ahead of time, or if you need a quicker-cooking grain here, use farro.) The cool flavors of arugula and goat cheese add the perfect contrast, but you could certainly leave out the goat cheese for a vegan version. Ideally, use a large platter or two smaller platters for this salad, which gets a whimsical character from scattering and layering the ingredients rather than mixing them in a deep bowl.

salad (2)
A verdant plate of Portland, right in your kitchen at home.

Recipe: Radish, Mâche And Arugula Salad

This salad pairs sweet mâche with peppery arugula and radishes in three hues for a vibrant taste of spring. Chinese green radishes are shaped like a daikon, but with bright-green flesh. Watermelon radishes are green on the outside, with striking magenta flesh, and are also related to daikon. The idea here is to make your salad colorful, so Easter Egg and French Breakfast varieties are options too if green or watermelon radishes aren’t available.

halloumisalad
Crisp fried halloumi, smooth avocado and crunchy vegetables. Now that’s a happy salad!

Recipe: Fried Halloumi And Avocado Salad

Fried cheese doesn’t really need an introduction. You know you’ll like it. Serve as a salad or stuff in a pita bread.

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What Does “Drinkability” Mean? http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/19/beer-drinkability/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/19/beer-drinkability/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:00:35 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174122 What makes a beer “sessionable”? Award-winning brewer Jennifer Talley lays it down for beer nerds of all levels in her latest book Session Beers: Brewing For Flavor And Balance. Learn everything you need to know about session beers, from what they are and their history to how they should taste and even recipes straight from the breweries. […]

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What makes a beer “sessionable”? Award-winning brewer Jennifer Talley lays it down for beer nerds of all levels in her latest book Session Beers: Brewing For Flavor And Balance. Learn everything you need to know about session beers, from what they are and their history to how they should taste and even recipes straight from the breweries. In this excerpt, Talley gets down to the nitty gritty about what “drinkability” means, how harmony fits into the equation and if glassware and how the beer looks affects its drinkability.

Reprinted with permission from Session Beers: Brewing For Flavor And Balance

BrewersPublications_SessionBeers_Cover

Defining Drinkability

In the early 1990s the Utah brewing scene used the term drinkability when describing lower-alcohol beers produced with light to moderate hopping profiles. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines drinkability as “suitable or safe for drinking.” Clearly, this is not how brewers have been using the term drinkability, and sessionability is not even in the dictionary (yet). Regardless, both terms are used often when describing beers that are pleasant to drink and warrant repeatability if the situation allows.

Defining exactly what drinkability is in a beer is an arduous task. According to a paper published in Brauwelt International, drinkability “implies a special harmony and balance, as well as an incentive to drink more of the [beer]” (Gastl et al. 2008, 148). Many different components make up whether a beer is highly drinkable or not. Factors affecting drinkability range in scope, from the taster’s sensory experience and cognitive influence, to the ingestion and absorption traits of the beer (Gastl et al. 2008). In the realm of sensory evaluation, quality is the most important facet of a beer. Off flavors that detract from the beer’s overall harmony should not be present. For instance, high levels of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) have been associated with a negative sensory impact; in addition, diacetyl in the aroma is o#en perceived and interpreted as a heavier-bodied beer (Gastl et al. 2008). Other sensory components that either positively or negatively influence the taster are carbonation levels, the ratio between sugar and pH, beer style, hop bitterness and aroma, phenolic and ester compounds, protein levels, and alcohol content.

Author Jennifer Talley
Author Jennifer Talley

A drinker’s sensory experience can be greatly influenced through several criteria. Ingredient quality, storage, and handling can help increase drinkability; yeast strain selection and proper yeast management is also crucial when producing a highly quaffable beer. In chapter 3, I dedicated a large section, “Development of Quality Hop Character,” to the pursuit of quality bitterness for the very sake of drinkability. To reiterate the main point here, bitterness is not just one-dimensional. Hop variety, quality, and placement in the brewing process all greatly influence a beer’s drinkability. Researchers at the Department of Brewing and Beverage Technology at the Technical University of Munich’s Weihenstephan campus performed both analytical and sensory trials using a taste sensor (an “electronic tongue”) alongside a human sensory panel (Gastl et al. 2008). Their goal was to further study the factors associated with drinkability and the results of the electric tongue versus those from a sensory panel. Since bitterness is such a huge component of a beer’s drinkability, it was studied first. Alcohol, pH, and dextrin composition were manipulated in conjunction with varying iso-alpha acid levels. One of the most interesting results, especially with regard to session beer, is that elevating the ethanol content leads to a weakening of the bitterness signal. The study also indicated that both pH and ethanol content have a “distinctive effect on bitterness impression (bitterness intensity) and astringency.” Although this study could not possibly cover the full range of factors that influence drinkability, the results do indicate that quality bitterness and astringency in particular can be affected negatively by changes in pH and alcohol level (Gastl et al. 2008).

When discussing quality in the quest for drinkability, both ingredients and process must be considered at every level. For example, a common process misstep that negatively affects drinkability is the astringency extraction from malt tannins toward the end of runoff when the pH rises above 5.8. The importance placed on both ingredient quality and process should never be underestimated when pursuing high drinkability in one’s final beer, especially a session beer.

So much is involved when exploring how one experiences a beer. Flavor is a major aspect, quite possibly the most important, but flavor does not tell the whole story. Japanese researchers closely studied how a beer is enjoyed in relation to the ingestive and absorptive effects of beer. They discovered that as the stomach becomes fuller, the person becomes more satiated, and the less appealing beer becomes (Nagao et al. 1998). A person’s cognitive and emotional state of being also play a role in how beer is experienced. Time of day, age, culture, social status, gender, and drinking habits are all at play as the pint glass moves toward the consumer’s lips, intermingling to form an opinion on drinkability. Optical aspects, such as foam and head retention, temperature, and glassware can have a big impact on whether the consumer decides a beer is highly drinkable. The brewer has their greatest influence on drinkability when focusing on quality and brewery procedure. This does not mean that breweries don’t also try to influence the cognitive experience of the consumer through marketing and other means.

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When Extreme Weather Hits, Creative Cooking Methods Emerge http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/19/extreme-weather-creative-cooking-methods/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/19/extreme-weather-creative-cooking-methods/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:00:23 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174136 Extreme weather can leave people in challenging positions when it comes to cooking. Areas in Florida are still feeling Hurricane Irma’s after-effects, and many homes still don’t have power restored. Which is forcing gastronomes to get creative, using propane grills to prepare everything from cherry pies to hushpuppies, according to NPR. One family with fewer resources resorted to more […]

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Extreme weather can leave people in challenging positions when it comes to cooking. Areas in Florida are still feeling Hurricane Irma’s after-effects, and many homes still don’t have power restored. Which is forcing gastronomes to get creative, using propane grills to prepare everything from cherry pies to hushpuppies, according to NPR.

One family with fewer resources resorted to more out-of-the-box methods. Tara Gatscher tells NPR that her 14-year-old son made an impromptu grilled cheese sandwich by wrapping bread and cheese in foil and setting it on a metal shutter lying on the ground. Five sun-soaked minutes later, lunch was served. The Gatschers had used the metal shutters to protect their windows from Irma.

Earlier this summer, heatwaves in Arizona drove residents to attempt the comical cooking of an egg on a sidewalk. The Phoenix New Times stepped in as a voice of reason and urged readers not to consume those street eggs. While yes, temperatures reached 120°F in June, concrete only reaches a maximum temperature of 145°F. Eggs need to be cooked at 158°F for safe consumption. If left out at under the appropriate cooking temperature and above 90°F, the egg becomes a hotbed of bacteria and could lead to food poisoning.

Ironically, two days before publishing this anti-egg-on-a-sidewalk piece, the New Times ran a story about cooking a frozen pizza on the hot asphalt. After literally baking in the sun on a sheet of aluminum foil for two and a half hours, the pie tasted like “gas station breadstick,” according to a reporter.

Back in 2011, another New Times writer attempted baking cookies in his car on a 105°F day. The internal temperature nearly reached as high as 200°F and the cookies were done in an hour and a half.

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What’s The Deal With Food Slime Videos? http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/18/whats-deal-food-slime-videos/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/18/whats-deal-food-slime-videos/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:00:51 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174100 Last we heard, folks were super into ASMR food videos. That’s where people record themselves noisily eating huge meals. So what’s the deal with the food slime videos we also keep running into on YouTube? It’s a subgenre of food ASMR that doesn’t involve people eating — rather, they artfully craft realistic-looking food from squishy homemade gelatinous mixtures […]

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Last we heard, folks were super into ASMR food videos. That’s where people record themselves noisily eating huge meals. So what’s the deal with the food slime videos we also keep running into on YouTube? It’s a subgenre of food ASMR that doesn’t involve people eating — rather, they artfully craft realistic-looking food from squishy homemade gelatinous mixtures known as “slime.” They sculpt macarons, waffles, pizza, cookies and milk, ice cream sundaes and other crowd-pleasers. Then they squish, pull, poke, stretch and crush their creation, whimsically dissolving the illusion and making a variety of noises extremely pleasing to ASMR fans. Some of the materials crackle, others squeak (remember Nickelodeon Gak and Floam?) You can find recipes for just about any texture or sound you want to see or hear.

What’s the appeal? Many of the videos include “most satisfying” in their title, which should be self-explanatory, but if you want to get a little psychological, who among us wouldn’t take satisfaction in watching something intricate be squished into oblivion in seconds? Take this pie, for example, which must have taken a lot of time to craft:

There’s even butter slime, which “spreads” on “bread” in a way that really just serves to make you appreciate the consistency of real butter.

So while it’s difficult to nail down exactly why these videos are so relaxing, pleasing and satisfying to watch, it’s safe to say you’ll probably be watching a few more. I mean, that fruit and yogurt bowl.

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Watch The Hypnotizing Assembly Of 13 Global Sandwiches http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/18/13-global-sandwiches/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/18/13-global-sandwiches/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174097 Ready for some advanced sandwich knowledge? Check out these 13 global sandwiches (plus one Reuben) from YouTube channel Food, People, Places we’ll surely be making in the future. We were actually pretty shocked at how few of these sandwiches we’d ever heard of, let alone eaten. And if you think we weren’t broiling up hot, melty, […]

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Ready for some advanced sandwich knowledge? Check out these 13 global sandwiches (plus one Reuben) from YouTube channel Food, People, Places we’ll surely be making in the future. We were actually pretty shocked at how few of these sandwiches we’d ever heard of, let alone eaten. And if you think we weren’t broiling up hot, melty, egg-topped Portuguese francesinhas in the test kitchen right after watching it, you’ve got another thing coming. How many of these have you heard of?

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Burgers, ASMR, Podcasts: 10 Hot Topics On Food Republic http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/burgers-asmr-podcasts/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/burgers-asmr-podcasts/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:00:41 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174084 The seasons are changing and the old’s getting traded for the new. We launched a whole new podcast in collaboration with Talkhouse, rounded up our favorite root vegetable recipes and checked out H&M’s new kitchenware line. We also wondered if it was time for the chef-y burger to take a break, if Swiss chard will […]

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The seasons are changing and the old’s getting traded for the new. We launched a whole new podcast in collaboration with Talkhouse, rounded up our favorite root vegetable recipes and checked out H&M’s new kitchenware line. We also wondered if it was time for the chef-y burger to take a break, if Swiss chard will get as popular as kale and why people are so obsessed with videos of people eating. All that and more on this week’s Hot Topics.

  1. The demise of the burger may be nigh.
  2. Braise your short ribs and make awesome dumplings.
  3. Vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli celebrated the launch of H&M’s kitchenware line by making breakfast.
  4. Fall’s just around the corner and we’re very excited to cook with these root vegetables!
  5. Why are people so into these ASMR food videos?
  6. This one New York restaurateur thinks kale is on its way out and Swiss chard is taking its place.
  7. Do you know the different regional cuisines of India?
  8. How do you turn a food blog into a book? Megan Giller lets us in on a few secrets.
  9. Vertical produce growers, AeroFarms, was awarded a research grant.
  10. We just launched the first episode of our podcast produced with Talkhouse! Chef Andrew Carmellini and rapper A$AP Ferg sit down to speak about a variety of subjects.

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Garage Gourmet: How To Cook Spaghetti With Power Tools http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/cook-spaghetti-power-tools/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/cook-spaghetti-power-tools/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:00:52 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174012 Sure you could boil dried pasta and pour jarred sauce over it, but where’s the fun in that? The cooking team from YouTube channel This Is Mythical decided, as they’ve done with panini and chocolate lava cake, to cook spaghetti with power tools, hardware store supplies and good old-fashioned know-how. And just like that, a caulking gun […]

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Sure you could boil dried pasta and pour jarred sauce over it, but where’s the fun in that? The cooking team from YouTube channel This Is Mythical decided, as they’ve done with panini and chocolate lava cake, to cook spaghetti with power tools, hardware store supplies and good old-fashioned know-how. And just like that, a caulking gun is a noodle extruder and a weed whacker is a (very fun) immersion blender.

Check it out in action below, and if you’re going to try this out at home, make sure that plastic wrap on the “sauce bucket” is sealed nice and tight.

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Oktoberfest, Earthquake And Hurricane Relief: This Week In Food Events http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/oktoberfest-earthquake-hurricane-relief/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/oktoberfest-earthquake-hurricane-relief/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:00:07 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174077 Early fall means Oktoberfest, and equally important, the return of fall TV. Shake Shack is celebrating the much-anticipated return of Will & Grace while New York’s gearing up for the great beer fest. Meanwhile, chefs and bartenders across the country are still raising funds to send help to hurricane and earthquake-affected areas. Here’s how you can help. […]

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oktoberfest
It’s time to break out the lederhosen. (Photo: wolfworld/Flickr.)

Early fall means Oktoberfest, and equally important, the return of fall TV. Shake Shack is celebrating the much-anticipated return of Will & Grace while New York’s gearing up for the great beer fest. Meanwhile, chefs and bartenders across the country are still raising funds to send help to hurricane and earthquake-affected areas. Here’s how you can help.

  • Coffeemania Restaurant in New York is donating $2 for every burger sold to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey until Sunday.
  • Oktoberfest officially starts in Munich on Saturday, but Treadwell Park in NYC is jumping the gun to start festivities a day early. The kick-off celebration party today will host stein-holding competitions, ceremonial cask-tapping, a live band and more at both the Battery Park and Upper East Side locations.
  • Today also marks Mexican Independence Day. Hotel Americano is celebrating by hosting chef Sabina Bandera, known for her street food-based style. Proceeds from the dinner’s ticket sales will benefit Project Paz, a New York-based non-profit that has joined El Paso Community Foundation to raise funds for earthquake relief in Mexico.
  • New Yorkers can celebrate all the Gramercy neighborhood has to offer this Saturday at the fifth annual Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood. Local restaurants like Maysville, Burger & Lobster, Beecher’s Handmade cheese and more will be dishing up classics. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to healthy meal programs at the neighborhood public school P.S. 40 and School of the Future. Leftover food from the day will be donated to Bowery Mission, an organization that helps feed the homeless. Tickets can be found here.
  • Shake Shack is teaming up with NBC to celebrate the return of Will & Grace with two themed milkshakes. The Will & Grace Shake combines cinnamon marshmallow frozen custard with Shack fudge and is topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar. Jack & Karen’s dedicated shake features strawberry frozen custard, prosecco, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and raspberry dust. For every of these shakes sold, NBC and Shake Shack will donate $2 to GLAAD. The shakes will be available starting Monday, September 18 through Sunday, October 1 at select NYC and LA locations.
  • Tickets for NYC Loves TX & FL are now on sale. Organized by New York bartender Lynnette Marrero and Houston’s Alba Huerta, as well as journalist Jenny Adams, the event on September 24 will feature multiple tasting rooms from local bars and restaurants including Porchlight, The Dead Rabbit, Llama Inn and more. All proceeds will go to the John Besh Foundation, which is focusing on those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. There will also be a silent auction of vacations, helicopter rides, cocktail crawls and more that will benefit the Foundation. The John Besh Foundation was formed after Hurricane Katrina to offer post-storm crisis relief, scholarships and financial aid.

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Here Are Five Reasons To Grill With A Pan http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/five-reasons-grill-pan/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/15/five-reasons-grill-pan/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=173943 Butter-basted steaks. Freshly opened mussels. Melty queso fundido. Smoky greens. A crust of perfectly browned rice at the bottom of your paella. There are many reasons to grill with a pan, but these five from our friends at ChefSteps are some of the tastiest. And then there are the practical reasons: Grilling your goods with a […]

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Butter-basted steaks. Freshly opened mussels. Melty queso fundido. Smoky greens. A crust of perfectly browned rice at the bottom of your paella. There are many reasons to grill with a pan, but these five from our friends at ChefSteps are some of the tastiest.

And then there are the practical reasons: Grilling your goods with a cast-iron pan gives you the best of both worlds — you get that signature smoky flavor with none of the limitations of a grate. Sear delicate seafood, baste your meat with butter and herbs or sauté veggies, all without smoking up the house or worrying about food falling onto the coals. And when you’re done, you can just stick your pan back in the kitchen to clean as usual, which means less time scraping and brushing and more time relaxing on the patio with that smoky seafood or crispy cheese.

Seriously, take your cast iron pan outside this weekend and give it a try. Before you know it, you’ll be coming up with reasons of your own to grill with a pan.

Check out the video below!

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Tech Bros Are Trying To Kill The Bodega http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/14/tech-bros-bodega/ http://www.foodrepublic.com/2017/09/14/tech-bros-bodega/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 18:00:14 +0000 http://www.foodrepublic.com/?p=174020 Whether you’re hungry after closing time or out for a beer run, the trusty neighborhood bodega (also known as a corner store or simply deli) has your back. Visit one enough and the friendly face behind the counter will remember your sandwich order. You’ll soon realize you’ve developed a special relationship that will last longer […]

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Whether you’re hungry after closing time or out for a beer run, the trusty neighborhood bodega (also known as a corner store or simply deli) has your back. Visit one enough and the friendly face behind the counter will remember your sandwich order. You’ll soon realize you’ve developed a special relationship that will last longer than any of those formed via Tinder. Largely owned by immigrants, bodegas bring business to neighborhoods and even keep them safeFast Company reports that two former Google employees are trying to wipe your life completely clean of this with something they call, wait for it, capital-B Bodega.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan have created “five-foot-wide pantry boxes,” as described by Fast Company, that house snacks and everyday essentials, is app-controlled and equipped with camera technology that senses when objects are taken and charges accordingly. It’s essentially a vending machine that looks like a TV stand, and it’s got investors from all the tech hits like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Dropbox.

The Bodega is as lousy of a bodega substitute as the cat logo is a stand-in for the friendly-enough bodega cat named something adorable like TuTu. It’s not enough. It will never be enough. You can’t pet a logo and then ferociously remind yourself to wash your hands when you get home. By the way, has anyone seen TuTu? She got out last night. Oh there she is, and look what she caught!

Fast Company reports that the concept has been tested throughout the Bay Area in dorms, apartment lobbies, gyms and offices and has just introduced 50 more Bodegas on the West Coast. When asked if repurposing the Spanish word for small stores could seem insensitive, McDonald said he’s not “concerned.”

“We did surveys in the Latin American community to understand if they felt the name was a misappropriation of that term or had negative connotation, and 97% said ‘no.'” Meanwhile, Frank Garcia, chairman of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is calling for a boycott of Bodegas. The Coalition also represents many Hispanic bodega owners.

McDonald goes on to tell Fast Company his findings after stalking a woman’s purchases over several days.

“One woman in a dorm stopped by the Bodega every day for a packet of microwave popcorn,” he says. “On day three, she picked up nail polish remover, and on day four, she picked up a cookie. This happened because she was coming into contact with these products every day.”

Sir, you’ve just mansplained the concept of a store. Any Walgreens, Target, corner store, vending machine, person in long trench coat with its inside lining open for business could have prided itself in the same series of mundane events. The Bodega doesn’t offer anything the world’s not already equipped with, nor would it provide any additional convenience to daily life an actual bodega already doesn’t. Most importantly perhaps, it clearly doesn’t serve sandwiches.

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