All Posts By Food Network Kitchen

Didn't Know They Were That Discerning

by in View All Posts, April 20th, 2009

Any lingering doubts about the theory of evolution appear to have been laid to final rest by a new study from two Scottish psychology professors and a panel of bonobo food critics.

Klaus Zuberbuhler and Zanna Clay, studying the gastronomic proclivities of the bonobos, found that these simian sybarites rate foodstuffs on a system of 5 vocalizations that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever visited a sports bar: from bark (awesome!) to peep-yelp (aahrrrmph!) down to grunt (self-explanatory)—a system, it seems, actually superior in nuance to a NYTimes restaurant review and only marginally less articulate than a Zagat’s guide.

Listen here. And bark if you love figs!

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

It Came From the Library 5: Special All Meatpaper, All the Time Edition

by in News, April 17th, 2009

“If the taboo on pork was a divinely inspired health ordinance, it is the oldest recorded case of medical malpractice.”

Anthropologist Marvin Harris, quoted in the latest issue of the absolutely brilliant San Francisco quarterly Meatpaper. We strenuously recommend you get your hands on a copy, better yet a subscription. The current issue offers, amongst other things, the most intelligent analysis we’ve yet encountered of one of the dominant trends of recent years: the fetishization of the pig, or ‘the burgeoning school of pig worship.’

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Just Another Day at the Office

by in View All Posts, April 15th, 2009

For me and Ashley:

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

It Came From the Library: 4

by in News, April 10th, 2009

The recession may be walloping the fine dining and casual dining sectors, but somewhere in between there is a small but thriving niche where the upmarket and downmarket meet. In this midmarket enclave, familiar, fast, dare-I-say ‘comfort’ foods such as burgers and pizzas are approached with a sense of craft and artisanship and an obsession with ingredients imported from the world of fine dining. The new establishments fitting this mold tend to be tightly focused on doing one thing and doing it exceptionally well. By drawing on the best of the upscale and the downscale, the gourmet and the populist, these new spots wear a sort of double halo: they are simultaneously democratizing and aspirational.

Thus far this month a deafening media buzz has hovered over a number of new artisanal pizzerias in New York and LA that very much fit this mold. The focus has largely been on Jim Lahey’s much anticipated Co. But Co. is just the latest — though perhaps best, despite what a gustatorily-challenged pencil-pusher at the NYTimes might think — of the city’s new pizzerias, joining a crowded field of newcomers including Motorino, San Marzano, and Artichoke.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Easter Cupcake Update

by in View All Posts, April 10th, 2009

Some users of our Easter cupcake recipe package have been complaining that the cupcakes fell, flattened and were slightly burnt around the edges. As a result, we decided to re-test and see what was happening. Here’s what we found:

We realized that it’s crucial to process the batter for the extra 2 minutes indicated in the recipe. While the batter will be smooth before this step, processing it for those remaining 2 minutes makes it looser, smoother and pourable.

When testing the cupcakes both with the 2 minute step and without, the results were dramatically different. The unprocessed batter fell and became flat and messy. The processed ones were had a lovely dome shape and were light and fluffy in the center.

See photo below, with unprocessed on the left; processed on the right:

We apologize to anyone who had difficulty with the recipe. We assure you, that if the recipe is carefully followed, you should have excellent results and a very happy Easter cupcake indeed!

Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer
Leah Brickley, Test Kitchen Associate

In Season: Fresh Chickpeas

by in In Season, April 9th, 2009

These are fresh chickpeas. We found them in the market downstairs from us for $1.99/pound, so we thought we could afford to experiment with these delicious and nutritious spring legumes. Here’s what we learned:

First start by shelling them (the pods aren’t edible) and then have some fun. They’re good tossed raw into a salad, or steamed for your favorite hummus recipe, or steamed and tossed with butter and parsley, or sautéed with some pancetta and onions and served over pasta with pecorino, or used anywhere you’d use fresh peas. If you like edamame, toss these in good quality extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, then eat them straight out of the pod.

Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week — they do dry out quickly, so it’s best to eat them while fresh.

Claudia Sidoti, Recipe Developer

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