February 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
Much has been written about the arts of wine and chocolate tasting (both of which I indulged in over the weekend). However, the most refined palates simply must learn the required method of sampling an exquisite fromage grillé. Please, allow me to guide you into the world of toasted cheese as you’ve never experienced it before.
Tasting always begins with the eyes. Note the color of the bread. Is it golden or a deep bronze? Is it completely burnt? Does the butter give the bread a wet sheen, a just-kissed gloss or a saturated spongy soppiness? What of the cheese? Is it peeking from the edges, bubbling softly or is it rolling like magma onto the plate? Lastly, pay attention to the cut. Whether your sample is a square, triangle, circle or star, it has been specifically crafted that way for a reason.
Aroma: Get your nose right between the slices and into the sandwich. What do you notice? (Did you burn your nose? Wipe that cheese off.)
The Crunch: Sink your teeth into it. A good toasted cheese sandwich should have a signature crunch. A great sandwich boasts a thin, yet substantial topical crust with soft bread and cheese blending in the center. Some prefer a harder crunch throughout the bread juxtaposed by the soft meltiness of the cheese center.
Meltiness: This is a crucial factor in tasting grilled cheese. Is the cheese melted properly? There’s nothing worse than partially melted or still-solid chunks of cheese interrupting an otherwise enjoyable experience. Keep in mind, different cheeses and/or combinations of cheese melt differently.
Bread to Cheese Ratio: There should not be too much bread. Likewise, there should not be too much cheese. This is a delicate balance. In the case of stronger cheeses, toasted-cheesemongers may use less cheese with a combination of fillers like spinach, ham, mushrooms or other additions that will compliment the cheese without overpowering the sandwich.
Flavor: You should already know your cheeses, of course, so pay attention to the notes in cheese combinations. If there are any additional ingredients like vegetables, sauces or meats, identify them and ruminate on what they bring to the overall experience as well as how they blend individually.
Pairings: If your sample comes with a pairing, try it. With wine, sip after each bite. If it’s a shot of soup, try both dipping the grilled cheese into the soup and sipping the soup after a clean bite. If the sandwich is topped with a relish or other pairing, do not remove it. When in doubt, ask the server how the sample is intended to be tasted.
Hungry? If you’re ready to put your newly acquired tasting skills to the test (you’re welcome, by the way), try some of the best grilled cheese shops in New York and Philadelphia.
February 1, 2012 § 1 Comment
Breakfast is the most delicious meal ever, but eh. Who wants to go through all the hassle of whisking, cooking, flipping, and then cleaning all the syrup off of everything… Blah! This may be my laziest recipe yet!
You will need:
1) Toast bread.
2) Apply butter
3) Dip in syrup.
December 19, 2011 § Leave a Comment
If you’re a Lazy Girl like me, you probably have no clean dishes or forks. This can pose a problem when you’re craving pasta. Luckily, I have a solution that doesn’t involve cleaning!
You will need:
1) Boil water.
2) Throw in some noodles and let them boil until they look more like noodles than sticks.
3) Heat up the sauce.
4) Mix sauce and noodles together.
5) Put them in taco shells and call it a Mexican Italian fusion.
September 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Yes, the father of flavor-dusted fingers has gone to the big mostly-air-filled bag in the sky.
[Arch]West, the Father of the Dorito, died last Tuesday of natural causes at the age of 97 in Dallas’s Presbyterian Hospital. A graveside service is planned for the morning of Oct. 1 at Restland Memorial Park… where [his family members] plan on tossing a few Doritos in along with the dirt that will cover his urn. [via Gawker]
Boy, that makes this Super Bowl commercial a little awkward.
Of course, this crunchy news begs the question: What do I want to be buried with?
When I die, bury me next to Ole Reliable, my lifelong love. Cover my grave with parmesan Goldfish crackers so birds will visit me and I won’t be lonely.
Bury me with the following:
A spoon (just in case)
A copy of Keeping Things Whole by Mark Strand
A photo of Jake Gyllenhaal with no shirt on circa the filming of Prince of Persia
My sad banana bracelet
A bottle of half decent whiskey
All of my Moleskine Citybooks
A thing of those light green tic tacs
August 31, 2011 § 2 Comments
When was the last time you had a bagel pizza? The answer should be, “5 minutes ago” or, “I’m eating one right now.” Otherwise something is wrong. SO preheat that oven to 350 ° and get ready for your tastebuds to be begging on their knees.
You Will Need:
Some spaghetti sauce
1) Did you preheat the oven yet? I’ll wait.
2) Spread some sauce on both halves of your bagel.
3) Sprinkle some cheese on that sauce. Little more. More. Good.
4) I found leftover turkey meatballs in my fridge. Aww Yeah! But you can put whatever you want on top. Or just more cheese.
5) Place those puppies on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.
6) Enjoy with a glass of Cab Sauv because we are classy bitches.
August 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
First, buy a food scale because converting grams into cups & teaspoons did not happen nicely. Be prepared to eyeball the lines between ounces a lot.
Disclaimer: All measurements and temperatures were converted. They are approximate and likely wrong.
You need to make the cookies in 3 parts- mixture, meringue and filling. Clear your schedule. Macarons are more about technique than knowing how to bake. They’re easy to mess up, hard to fix and these particular ones probably won’t taste good anyway. Feel free to scratch this now and invest in a tube of Tollhouse.
Still here, really? Ok…
The almond mixture:
5oz powdered almonds
5oz powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 oz red food coloring
5oz granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1. Sift together powdered almonds and powdered sugar. Add one set of egg whites and food coloring, but do not stir them together for some reason.
2. Grab a saucepan and a candy thermometer. Cook the granulated sugar and water to 240°F. Whip the whites in a mixing bowl until they form “soft peaks” or until they at least stand up on the end of the mixer because we’re making cookies, not doing a Bob Ross landscape. Once the syrup hits a skin grafting 245°F, pour it over the remaining egg whites and keep on whipping.
3. Whip, whip, whip the whites until the temperature drops to 120°F.
4. Fold in almond mixture.
5. Using a pastry bag with a plain tip, pipe 3.5cm rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Once piped, let the rounds sit for 30 minutes to develop a crust.
6. Pre-heat the oven the 350°F. I forgot until just now.
7. Bake the macarons for about 12 minutes, during which time, Lebovitz says to “rapidly open the door twice.”
According to Lebovitz:
The instructions said to Laissez cuire 12mn en ouvrant rapidement 2 fois la porte du four, which seemed to be right before they’re done.
What the hell, French chefs? Is it really necessary to take a heat blast to my face and startle the poor cookies?
8. Remove from oven. Once cool, remove cookies from baking sheet. Keep them out of reach of the dog while you make…
1.5oz cornichons (French for Gherkin… pickles. The cookie recipe wants pickles.)
3 sheets of gelatin
2.5 cups Heinz ketchup
4-5 drops hot sauce
1. Rinse pickles and pat dry. Dice pickles into tiny cubes.
2. Soak the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the gelatin and melt it in a saucepan over low heat or zap it in the microwave until just until melted. Mix in 1/4 of the ketchup. Now add the rest. Stir in the pickles and a few drops of hot sauce, to taste.
4. Pipe filling onto one macaron cookie and sandwich another on top. Give it a little twist to seal it nicely.
5. Chill for an hour, until the filling is set.
You should get something that looks like this:
Lebovitz said he “could imagine these as a savory-sweet hors d’œuvre.”
I can imagine them as super pretentious dog treats or one of those foods you run up to your friends raving about and then film them spitting the cookies out all over each other.
July 12, 2011 § Leave a Comment
When I saw you lying there, hot and sizzling, I knew I had to have you. I had to have a taste and I just couldn’t get enough. You really know how to fill a girl up! I loved your meat. I probably enjoyed it more than any other I’ve had. It was thick, juicy and so satisfying.
Even so, I was surprised when you called me the next day. Then you called the day after. On Tuesday, you called twice and I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. I thought you understood what this was. It was a birthday party. I just wanted some good, high quality meat that night. I’d had a few beers…
I expected to run into you again in the future for the occasional flip in the flames, but I’m not ready to commit, especially when you’re so far away. Long distance rarely works and Nebraska is too far from the ocean for me.
So it’s ok. You can stop calling morning, noon and night. Enjoy yourself. Don’t worry! When I’m craving a thick, succulent steak that satisfies like no other, you’ll be the first one I call.
May 25, 2011 § 2 Comments
1) Spend 5 minutes picking the “right” banana.
2) Try not to think about other banana shaped things.
3) Wrestle the chosen banana from the Mega Stem that cements the entire bunch together in a fist of banana solidarity.
4) Wrench the stem stub back and forth in an attempt to break the peel seal.
5) Explain to whoever just walked in that you’re just trying to open the banana.
6) Counter the impending dirty joke with more lewd gestures.
7) Finally crack the peel seal.
8) Pull down to expose banana meat.
9) Repeat step 8 as needed.
10) Realize you don’t actually want the banana because
- your mind has warped and ruined the banana.
- someone else is in the room and there’s no clean, unsexy way to eat a banana.
- you’re alone and it almost seems dirtier to eat the banana without the awkward commentary.
11) Throw banana away and grab a peach.
12) Fuck. This fruit looks like a butt and/or cleavage.
April 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
How Gouda you to melt
so perfectly between toast
slices. Abertam your pardon,
Bougon and stole my heart
(and taste buds). Let’s
Remedou over coffee and Jack
in a Roquefort by the sea.
I’ll warn you, I can be a real Munster-
melting you, sandwiching you, burning
your delicate edges. Quite a Saga!
But I’ll always Lappi you. Please,
Brie my lunch every day!
A cheesy poem for National Grilled Cheese Month!
February 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Yummy, creamy style!
Glamour has teamed up with Krispy Kreme in the UK to celebrate its 10th year as England’s favorite rag (that’s British for magazine, right?). A take on the classic Krispy Kreme, these doughnuts look like they were iced with glittery, glossy nail lacquer. Mmmmm!
According to Krispy Kreme:
GLAMOUR Glaze is our most stylish and glossy variety yet. Based on the signature Original Glazed doughnut, these limited edition treats are finished with a sparkling glaze in shades of hot pink and purple; satisfying the taste buds with a delicious hint of strawberry and blackcurrant.
Available in all Krispy Kreme UK stores and in store cabinets for a limited time only. GLAMOUR Glaze is the perfect accessory to satisfy all tastes and styles.
Doughnuts are this season’s MUST HAVE accessory for Londoners. Clearly the magazine that’s been telling Americans not to eat for much longer than 10 years wants to fatten up the Brits.
I’d love to see what their Body by Glamour program looks like!