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Hand-Pulled Magic

by in View All Posts, February 20th, 2009

To do our jobs, we have to be a little obsessed with food—okay, maybe a lot. My latest obsession is all things Chinese, especially hand-pulled noodles. This amazing process turns a lump of supple dough into ethereal noodles in a matter of minutes, just by repeatedly pulling and stretching the dough by hand. I eat them as often as I can. Bob goes a step further; he tries to make them at home!

Recently, with the introduction of Michael Gray, a Sinologist friend, we were invited into a Fuzhou noodle shop, Eastern Hand-Pull Noodles, at 28 Forsyth Street (formerly at 27 Eldridge Street) in New York’s lower Chinatown.

Mrs. Gao, the co-proprietor, and Mr. Wong, the cook, demonstrated the technique: it’s a magical combination of taffy pulling, towel snapping, and lasso twisting. As often as I watch this, it’s impossible not to be awed. Mr. Wong stretched and slapped the dough until it miraculously turned into 128 noodles in less than 3 minutes. While Mr. Wong manipulated the dough, Mrs. Gao prepared the pork, beef, and vegetable toppings. The noodles were divine, but as delicious was the generosity of these talented cooks sharing their craft. Even though we didn’t share a language, the noodles gave us a common ground.

Katherine Alford, VP, Test Kitchen

Sound Off with Mr. Music

by in View All Posts, February 20th, 2009

Have you ever been surprised when you find out your work friends (the friendly people you have water cooler time with) have a life outside of work? I really don’t like the work phrase “in my prior life,” but sometimes you run across those rare peeps that really had an interesting prior life. Neil Perry, FN Sound Designer/ Music Composer, is the perfect example of this.

Click ahead to see what celebs Neil HASN’T worked with.

New Experiment at the Novatt House

by in View All Posts, February 19th, 2009

We’re trying something these days called “Will my 4 year old eat it?” — closely followed by “Will my 1 year old eat it?”

Last night’s first installment: Collard Greens.

4 year old: she loves bacon and she’ll eat spinach, so I gave it a go with collard greens and bacon. She was really into cooking it. She put it in her mouth and chewed 3 times. It ended up in a napkin.

1 year old: ate the greens, spit out the bacon. After about 10 bites he threw his plate on the floor.

Jill Novatt, Executive Culinary Producer

Camera Crews and Corn Nuts

by in View All Posts, February 19th, 2009

Here’s a little tip for any viewers out there that might someday have an opportunity to screen test for the Food Network: Pick a demo recipe that includes corn nuts as one of the ingredients.  Today, we were all huddled in Studio B for talent tests, freezing and hungry, and running behind schedule. 

As luck would have it, our test subject whipped up a delicious salad topped with those crunchy golden nuggets of corn goodness.  And I discovered that no one can resist corn nuts!  The extra tub of corn nuts that we wouldn’t need for the shoot was gone within minutes, as everyone tried their best to crunch quietly in the background.  Ah, corn nuts, the ultimate in studio mood elevators.

Of Foie and Fairness

by in View All Posts, February 18th, 2009

There’s a fantastic, and balanced, piece in today’s Village Voice about foie gras — the author, Sarah DiGregorio, visited Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the nation’s largest foie gras farm, to make up her own mind about the process; she’s also interviewed veterinarians and advocates on either side. She brought a photographer along with her to document the process as well; a slideshow of his findings can be found here.

Of course meat is controversial, and of course there are ways of both raising meat and choosing meat conscientiously. DiGregorio’s piece is impressive in its fairness to all involved; if you’re a foie fan (and I am), I completely recommend reading the whole thing.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

by in View All Posts, February 18th, 2009


I met Alex Guarnaschelli from The Cooking Loft at a recent Food Network event, and I was amazed by how warm, personable and funny she is. When she breaks out her deadpan punch-lines, she seems more like a stand-up comic than a chef.
More Alex dish and tasty meatloaf here.

317 days to go….

by in View All Posts, February 17th, 2009

Christmas_Decorations

‘Tis the season to put away your Christmas decorations. However, a select group of Food network employees are either gearing up for the 2009 holiday season, or they just can’t seem to part with the Christmas spirit of ’08. Honestly, I think it’s charming that (inadvertently or not) these guys have chosen to keep the festivities going year-round here at the Food Network offices. Come to think of it….why does society tell us that we’re allowed to eat Christmas cookies only around the holidays?… Eureka!
Get to the cookies here.

Squirrel Chips Redux

by in View All Posts, February 16th, 2009

You're Looking Quite Deipnetic These Days

by in View All Posts, February 16th, 2009

Let it not be said I am one to back down from a dare:


From: Alford, Katherine
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 12:01 PM
To: Bhattacharya, Rupa
Subject: FW: today’s wwftd is… deipnetic

I dare you to get that in the blog!

—– Original Message —–

From: wwftd master

To: wwftd minions

Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2009 10:33 PM

Subject: today’s wwftd is… deipnetic

the worthless word for the day is: deipnetic

[fr. Gk deipnon, the principal meal + -etic]
obs. rare : pertaining to dinner; fond of eating

from time to time folks come to wwftd searching out really
obscure words – imagine my surprise! this week I’ll reveal
five more of these. (I have no way of knowing exactly who
does these searches, so I’ll just have to say thanx all.)

“Of peculiar interest in connection with the present study
is the mimic letter which occurred in the “deipnetic” or
banquet literature of Chaerophon…”
- Reinhard Becker, A War of Fools (1981)

“She was an opsophagist, coenaculous and cuppendous -
pabulous commesations were an ephialtes for the deipnetic.”
- Kate Burridge, Blooming English (2004)

-tsuwm
http://home.comcast.net/~wwftd