Four years ago, F&W sent David Chang (then an F&W Best New Chef 2006, today a BNC All-Star) into a kitchen stocked with Thanksgiving leftovers. He emerged with a lineup of ultra-genius recipes that repurposed seemingly-uninspiring ingredients like cold potatoes and green beans into crispy, flavorful dishes like mashed-potato spring rolls. He even drafted Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi to incorporate leftovers into two stunning desserts. Here are the innovative recipes.
Brussels sprouts have come a long way. Once known primarily as the vegetable most detested by children, the sprout is currently enjoying the spotlight as a darling ingredient at top restaurants. Now, there’s even more reason to love brussels sprouts: They could cut down your holiday electricity bill. A team from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair recently created a battery that runs on brussels sprouts. It takes five energy cells (each of which is comprised of 200 sprouts) to power the lights on an eight-foot tall Christmas tree currently on display on London’s South Bank. Read more >
One day, there was a little jam company you loved, and the next day—poof! Disappeared, and gone from the shelves at your local store. But it was doing so well, right? People loved their products! Here, 3 traps that food businesses need to avoid. Read more >
Counter Culture, the obsessed-over Durham, NC coffee roaster whose beans are used in over 150 shops and restaurants in NYC alone (like Abraço, Smith Cantine, Charlie Bird and Maysville), opened its new training center in Nolita this month. Pros and enthusiastic amatueurs can take classes or attend public cuppings every Friday morning at the sunny state-of-the-art facility, which is outfitted with Modbar espresso systems (whose controls are located under the counter, so baristas aren't stuck behind bulky machines) and every immersion and drip brewing device imaginable, including the currently-trending Kalita Wave. Because of its flat bottom, some experts say the sleek Japanese device produces a more evenly-extracted, cleaner-tasting cup of coffee than a traditional cone-shaped brewer. Here, staff instructor Erin McCarthy offers his tips for the dripper, which he used to win the World Brewers Cup Championship in Australia this past May.
Don't rinse the filter. Because the Wave's filters are so thin, McCarthy says they won't impart a papery taste to coffee if you skip the standard pre-brewing rinse.
Dial in the perfect grind. The Wave's design allows water to drain slightly faster than a Chemex (whose thick filter slows the brewing time) but slower than a Melitta or Hario V60. This means your grind should be in between—finer than Chemex, coarser than other standard drip methods. If your coffee brews in 3 to 4 minutes, your grind is probably about right. (If it brews faster, try a finer ground; if it's slower, go a little coarser.) An ideal amount of coffee for the larger "185" size Kalita Wave is 30 grams, weighed on a scale.
Pulse your pouring. Heat 500 grams of water until it’s almost boiling and slowly pour twice the weight of the coffee (60 grams) over the grounds in a circular motion, which will agitate the coffee and let it "de-gas" (bubble up as it expels carbon dioxide). After about thirty seconds, pour more hot water in the filter until it reaches about an inch from the top. Let it fall an inch, then fill it back up to the line. Continue to do this until you’ve finished pouring the water.
Skip the stirring. Agitating the grounds with a spoon can be useful when brewing with a conical dripper, since the mixing motion can help evenly extract solids from grounds distributed in an uneven shape. But the grounds sit more evenly on the Wave's flat bottom, so stirring is unnecessary.
For F&W's September issue dedicated to all things chicken, TV star, philanthropist and New Orleans booster Emeril Lagasse interviews Martha Stewart about her famous birds.
Emeril Lagasse: My foundation helps support the Edible Schoolyard Project at an elementary school in New Orleans. What could my students there learn from raising chickens?
Martha Stewart: Every garden can benefit from a chicken coop and a flock of healthy birds. A little ecosystem can be developed that enables the chickens to eat all the vegetable scraps from the garden, and the owner to eat the eggs from the chickens. There's much to learn about backyard animal husbandry, and raising chickens is an excellent way to teach children the importance of good animal caregiving.
EL: If I were going to raise chickens, what breed would match my personality?
MS: I've always raised a variety of birds, finding that they are extremely interesting to look at and have different personalities. And the old saying that birds of a feather flock together is absolutely true. I think you should raise the big birds, like the Jersey Giants, the Buff Cochins, the Partridge Cochin and the Araucana.
EL: In New Orleans, we have some great chicken dishes. Do you have a favorite?
MS: One dish that I really enjoy is chicken-and-andouille gumbo, which happens to be the signature stew of New Orleans. It bears the imprint of nearly every ethnic group to have settled in the Crescent City. The gumbo includes the "holy trinity" of Cajun and Creole cooking: celery, onion and bell pepper. It must always be served over rice.
EL: What have you learned from raising chickens for so many years?
MS: That I can't possibly buy a store-bought egg. I can't bake or cook or eat anything but my own eggs. They are so good, so rich, so delicious and so nutritious when the chickens they come from are raised carefully and organically in your own backyard.
Chef Fredrik Berselius outside Aska, located inside Williamsburg's Kinfolk Studios. © Jasmin Sun
As one of the hallmarks of New Nordic cuisine, foraged ingredients are now trending in restaurants across America. But Swedish native Fredrik Berselius, chef at Aska in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been eating wild produce since he was a kid growing up in Stockholm. This afternoon, as part of Brooklyn’s Food Book Fair (which runs through the weekend), Berselius will take part in the show-and-tell Food + Foraging panel. “There have been a couple of scares, where I’ve been like, ‘Uh-oh, was that not so good to eat?’ But usually I’m more concerned with running into mountain lions.” »
Alex Guarnaschelli's philosophy for butter use—watch the clip to learn more.
Courtesy of Spicy Village
Mainstream Chinese food is often synonymous with a cheap and greasy meal, convenient whenever the idea of preparing dinner seems unthinkable. For chefs, however, Chinese means comfort food. It’s fast, flavorful and best of all: open late. In honor of Chinese New Year on Sunday, F&W asked some of our favorite Chinese food-obsessed chefs and restaurateurs for step-by-step advice on how to find restaurants that are authentic and delicious. »
© Wendell T. Webber
F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
For centuries, Southeast Asian cooks have relied on deeply savory fish sauce as a primary seasoning in many of their dishes. Here, in the past couple of years, fish sauce, like so many other uniquely ethnic ingredients, has wandered into the universal pantry and is now used as a seasoning in non-Asian dishes as well. Red Boat has been my favorite brand of fish sauce because it’s fresh tasting, vibrant and light, and unlike some brands, there’s actually nothing fishy about it. Now, Red Boat has teamed up with the artisans at Michigan-based Blis Foods: They start with Red Boat’s finest 40*N fish sauce, which has already spent a year aging in wooden barrels, and age it for another 17 months or so in proprietary bourbon barrels previously used to age Blis maple syrup. Between the smoke from bourbon and wood and the mellow sweetness from the maple, the fish sauce becomes a rich-tasting, deeply nuanced condiment that’s as delicious in aioli and vinaigrette as it is in the classic Vietnamese condiment called nuoc cham.
Here are some great ways to use it: