You want your meat board to be a statement of your ambition. Not as a cook, but as an eater. If you can avoid it, don't just let this be a venue for a dinner plate. You want a board that seems deliberate and larger than life. Wood is good. But so is slate or stone or anything smooth and safe for food. In this moment, when you are putting together a board, you are not a chef, nor even a cook. You are an artist in front of a fresh canvas, but your paints are going to be the foods that you most love.
I remember when the cheese lovers started telling me what was "real" cheese and what was "fake." I remember taking them seriously because they were talking about cheese cultures (ha. pun!) I knew to be important: Italian, French, Swiss, Spanish, etc. "Cheese is alive!" these experts insisted. And anything that was not the product of natural fermentation and cave-aging was unacceptable. Eating the rind was important. The worship of bacteria in the process was expected. The presence of insect larvae was not necessarily a negative. Out of a world that had room for Cheeze Whiz, handi-snacks, and this bit by Mitch Hedberg, the celebration of authentic, non-adulterated cheeses was completely legitimate.
With spring in the air, it's time to start thinking of long nights on the patio with food friends, and a bit of vino. Nothing goes better with that bottle of wine than the cheese plate, and here's a handcrafted cutter that looks as good as it works.
No matter which team you rooting for this weekend, or whether you care about football or the Super Bowl at all, I think we can all agree on one thing: nacho are amazing. They get our vote for the ultimate TV-centric party food; whether watching the game or French La Nouvelle Vague cinema, they beat out wings (but just by a hair), cause you can do most of the prep work ahead of time, and they don't involve big, messy pots of scalding hot oil while trying to cook for a crowd. Deep-frying doesn't mix with beer consumption very well, either...
This recipe to make a gooey, crunchy, grilled cheese sandwich is the exactly the kinda thing we want to eat on an early spring Saturday. Or, um, any day.
I wish I hated Velveeta. I really do. I mean, I hardly ever eat it but, man, when I do... See, I have lots of really good memories from childhood. Growing up, we didn't consume it often, so when we did: guaranteed special occasion. Holidays...mom outta town and dad has the kids for the weekend. That sorta thing.
Here's the other thing: I really like nachos. I love Latin flavors in general, but I particularly have a problem with nachos. Probably for the same reason as above, but for me, there's no better comfort food than the crunchy-then-saturated topping-covered corn chips. And sure, you can shred your own cheese and melt it atop, but that's not anywhere near the same, now is it?
We're nearing August, and the whole northern hemisphere is well into prime grilling season. By this point, your grilling game is at its peak - you're well seasoned, and so are you grates. You've been trying a few recipes you've never done before, learning how to better control your fire, so now it's time to revisit a classic, and perfect the burger.
If you're gonna go through the effort of making burgers at home, make them amazing. Here's how:
Recently, chefs all over the United States have been turning back to the classics and dressing up comfort foods - duck confit macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits with circulator-poached eggs and radish kimchi, braised short ribs on everything.
And now, chefs take on the ultimate home cooked comfort food classic:
I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's the obvious contrast between a childhood favorite meal and a very adult beverage, or just the pure curiousity of seeing whether a cocktail can not only taste like a savory food, but a complete meal, but I'm gonna do everything I can to make a grilled cheese and tomato soup martini.
As a child, my favorite kid-friendly food was grilled cheese and tomato soup. It was one of the few days I bought lunch at school, and it always hit the spot after a snowball fight, or when at home on a sick day. It was even the first meal I learned to cook, around age nine.
As an adult? My favorite kid-friendly food is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Kids today can keep their chicken fingers and mac and cheese triangles, I'll stick with this combo of classic flavors.
My buddy Adam works at an awesome farm, and through all his deliveries and CSAs and interactions, he comes across all kinds of local goodies. So, sometimes he'll show up at my door with a box of veggies, some artisinal foodstuffs, or the best - a gallon of fresh, non-homogenized milk. It's usually stored in some random container, not the packaged stuff the dairy sells in the store. and though I have no idea if it's raw or not - since it's illegal in many places, including where I live - it doesn't taste like it taste when I buy the same product at the market. So, let's just assume it's as minimally processed as possible, which is fine by me. It tastes amazing - it's sorta grassy, but creamy, and basically...tastes like milk should taste.
So, this isn't the kind of thing you wanna just pour on your cereal, or dunk your cookies. It deserves something special.
Like homemade queso fresco, the ultimate expression of fresh farmer's cheese. If you don't have access to special milk, don't worry; it's still delicious to make at home, and way less expensive that buying it in the store. Here's how:
Most of us wouldn't admit it freely, but American cheese is awesome. No, it's not the ultimate expression of what milk and time can do, but you can't deny it's uniqueness and nostalgia. It's likely the first cheese that many of us in the U.S. ever tasted, and you can't deny its melt-ability on a burger or grilled cheese.
But, it's not quite cheese...that is, innoculated and pressed milk. "Instead, it’s either a blend of cheese and additives, or it’s a highly processed mixture of ingredients such as water, milk, milkfat, milk protein, whey, food coloring, flavorings, and emulsifiers."