The awesomeness of the grilled cheese sandwich is not only confirmed internationally, as nearly every culture that eats bread and cheese has a version in their tradition, but also scientifically. University of Wisconsin food science professor Scott Rankin says,
Some anthropologists argue that just one dominant feature separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom: we use fire and heat to cook our food. Like salt, smoking has long been a means of preserving food, and over time, we've learned that it also tastes pretty awesome as well. Those flavors are why we're still willing to use the grill and light fires when we have access to electric heating elements: the taste just can't be matched.
Many drinks and spirits come with smoky qualities - lots of teas, coffee, beer, and whiskeys. But you can also smoke entire cocktails or mixed drinks to add a whole other level of flavor and complexity. As my friend Mike remarked after trying one of my smoked Old Fashioneds, "I don't know if I can ever drink a regular one again."
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web. This
Michelle Newman created this amazing moving portrait of her 89-year-old landlady lip-synching to her favorite song. It is the best video you'll see all day, I promise.
Recently, I was invited by DIY and creative lifestyle site Brit + Co to create an introduction post for those who were interested in learning more about tasting and enjoying whiskey, but never quite knew where to start. Since Brit + Co has a largely female readership, I wrote it in the style of "a woman's introduction to whiskey" (hence the lipstick), but it works equally well for any novice who'd like to have a little more info.
It's hard to go wrong with a sandwich. Quality ingredients stacked up properly and mixed with other good stuff can lead to something greater than the sum of its parts.
I love hot sauce as much as anyone...except my wife, who eats it on bread. We keep plenty around, particularly since I work from home and it helps transform my mishmash of fridge leftovers and pantry staples into a flavorful, work-at-your-desk breakfast and lunch (see also: smoked salt).
But, most are a variation on a theme: chiles, vinegar, spices. Some add a bit of garlic, or smokiness, or additional sweetness but most of the
At ManMade, we're big fans of cast iron cookware, particularly the must-own skillet, which you can use from everything from cooking your breakfast bacon and eggs to cornbread to setting on your grill or an open fire for a safe, efficient way to cook outdoors. A 10" or 12" skillet is one of our ten items every man should own, and in my opinion, one of the best $20-30 anyone can spend.
My friend and collaborator Capree sent me this recipe for whiskey and sriracha-flavored homemade candies, with the comment, "some sorta ManMade somethin'." I was seriously intrigued, and followed up with "even though they're heart-shaped?"...mostly just to see what she'd say. I expected some kinda Valentine's Day comment, but she came back with:
There are few things in life I have trouble resisting...and barbecue potato chips are on the very top of that list. Bad ones are awful, but great bbq chips have a perfect blend of salty, smoky, sweet, and savory, all bound in a great crunch. I'm a total sucker...
If you've ever forked up the dinero for a great steak at a high-quality steakhouse, and noted how much better it tastes than the ones you whip up on your own backyard grill, you're probably right. And it's not cause they're all that much better at cooking it than you are. It's because they likely started with another piece of beef altogether: a dry-aged steak.
Ready to feel old? The Nintendo Game Boy was released almost twenty four years ago. Nearly a quarter of a century. To pay homage to the obvious best Game Boy game experience ever (except maybe "Kwirk"), Francois came up with a technique to make these tasty, colorful, and grid-able iced cookies.
"For something that has almost unlimited potential," argues "The Minimalist" Mark Bittman, "the sandwich has become staid and unimaginative...mostly because we’ve allowed sandwich-making to become something that is either done by someone else or a task to be squeezed in between breakfast and taking the kids to the bus."
Candida introduces this inspired/totally crazy how-to thusly, and I couldn't say it better myself. "Bacon Pixie Stix are the perfect combination of insanely awesome, and totally wrong. They are, as advertised, pixie sticks - with bacon. Make these award-winning treats for your next social occasion, and surprise your friends with a sweet, tart, bacon-flavored boot to the head." Done!
Whether you're trying to uphold a resolution for 2013 or just need a little more swear words as you check out the nutritional value of various foodstuffs, you should check out "Should I Eat This $#!*"
Just So You Know, Roasted Chestnuts are Totally Delicious, and You Should Make Some this Holiday Season
I've never had a sugarplum, and I'm still not totally sure what figgy pudding actually is, but of one traditional holiday treat I'm convinced: roasted chestnuts are amazing. And not like in that quaint, old timey "I could see why people thought these were tasty before we figured out how to make more delicious things" (like hard candy or [in my case] jelly beans), but in a "this things are awesome no matter what century it is."
Got an open fire? Go for it. But since most of us aren't quite used to heat control with a giant blazing inferno, roasting chestnuts in the oven is more than an okay way to go. If you've never had one, the trick to
As far as hot chocolate fans go, I'm among the biggest. Especially during December. I like it all kinds of ways - thick Mexican drinking chocolates with a churro, the powdered milk-cocoa mix from the stand at the holiday light show at the zoo, and the fancy versions from my local coffee shop. And marshmallows? I'm for 'em.
Especially if they're homemade. Like lots of food crafts, the difference between a who-knows-how-old factory made 'shmallow and the pillowy complexity of a homemade version are simply incomparable. And while I like storebought marshmallows just fine, I love a homemade one. Especially when it's infused with holiday
Hands down, stovetop popcorn is my favorite make-at-home snack. It's relatively healthy (whole grains, right?!), can be diverse and customizable, and I simply never don't want some. I've become a proponent of the pop-in-a-stainless-steel bowl method, but after discovering this tips from our buddies at America's Test Kitchen, I might be converted.