Eating noodles is a regular part of my kitchen life, and not just pasta. Japanese noodle dishes, especially soba noodles, are one of my favorite treats. I love eating cool and refreshing zaru soba in the warm weather months, and I have included my favorite hot noodle recipe as well. Making them requires having a few pantry items like dashi, (bonito fish and kombu—seaweed—stock) on hand. Any of the specialty items can be obtained at your local Asian market. SEE RECIPE »
It's been another exciting week for F&W on Instagram. Assistant digital editor @jksterling followed a rainbow to our test kitchen and found the next best thing to a pot of gold: associate editor Justin Chapple pouring a potful of soft polenta on our tabletop for editors to dive into (photo by Kirsten Stamn). New to the F&W team, I (@jamespomerantz) foolishly tried to out-lobster executive wine editor @rayisle. A recent dispatch from Ray's vacation in Maine had all of us here a little worried about his lobster consumption. Thankfully, the team from Filicori Zecchini shared some of their coffee products with us, including an affogato in a chocolate-lined, ice cream cone, espresso cup. Once the caffeine wore off, we all slept like happy panda cubs dreaming of the finer things in life.
The Internet is a black hole for strange, weird and wonderful things—especially when it comes to food. Rather than dive in yourself, let F&W do it for you. Here, five of the most absurd food items we saw this week.
Ice Cream Toilet Dish: Taiwan may have a chain of toilet-themed restaurants, but Japan is home to the toilet ice cream dish. It’s called Ku-Sofuto, which is a play on the Japanese words for soft serve ice cream (sofuto) and s&*@ (kuso). Just in case that wasn’t unappetizing enough, you can get it with little paper bugs sticking out of it.
Martini Glass Rattle: As long as babies are going to shake things, why not put them to work shaking mommy's martini? It’s that kind of Mad Men-inspired thinking that led to the Martini Time Baby Rattle. It’s a mini martini glass with a plastic pimento-stuffed olive that rattles around when baby shakes his glass, demanding your attention—presumably to request more olives because who orders a martini with one olive?
Hot Dog Legs: In just a week, this Tumblr has taken the Internet by storm by posing the question: Is this a picture of legs or hot dogs? If you look through enough of the images, everything blurs. There are no hot dogs. There are no legs. There are only hot dog legs.
Spaghetti Burger: Philadelphia’s answer to New York’s ramen burger is the spaghetti burger. Available at the burger joint PYT, the creation consists of a mozzarella-stuffed meatball patty topped with tomato sauce and sandwiched between two crispy disks of garlic butter-soaked, very al dente spaghetti.
Belgian Frites Vending Machine: The Belgians love their frites (we won’t call them french fries out of respect). Here’s proof: A new vending machine in Brussels takes just 90 seconds to turn out beef fat-fried frites with ketchup or mayo (both plain and harissa-flavored). Fingers crossed for our very own AFM (Automated Fry Machine) in Times Square.
F&W food editors apply their incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
You may have recently begun to see caramelized white chocolate listed on dessert menus, in sauces and glazes, in puddings, and in truffles and other bonbons. On its own, it is rich and creamy, with toasty hints of caramel, dulce de leche and browned butter. We’ve made it a few times in our Test Kitchen; it takes a long time to get the chocolate just right, and it needs to be watched carefully at the very end. Thankfully, for home bakers and pastry chefs alike, Valrhona has done the work for us with its new signature version called Dulcey. They’ve named the category “blond chocolate” and it’s available in 3-ounce bars and baking pastilles. The chocolate is delicious on its own, but it makes amazing barks, truffles, sauces, puddings, and ganache fillings and frostings. The other night I chopped some and added it to blondie batter for a creamy hit of caramel flavor, then sprinkled the rest over the top of the hot blondies for an awesome instant glaze.
On September 23, twenty-four of New York’s top women chefs will cook at an event benefitting SHARE, a non-profit offering free support to women with breast or ovarian cancer. This is the 10 anniversary of the event, called A Second Helping of Life. Participating powerhouses include Annisa's Anita Lo (one of the original masterminds), Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter, Alex Raij of La Vara, Porchetta queen Sara Jenkins and Prune's Gabrielle Hamilton. While the chefs’ dishes have not yet been announced, we do know one that will be there for sure: Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar will be serving her signature lobster roll, which she’s been making for the event every year. Tickets for the event, which is being held at Chelsea Piers, start at $300 and can be purchased here.