When I was a child my grandfather would sometimes barbecue a whole hog to mark the end of summer. He was a honest-to-goodness country boy and knew what he was doing with a pig and a pit. The huge beast was split and slowly cooked on a metal grate set over a pit of gray cement blocks above glowing embers. My grandfather would make a basting mop out of a bent pecan branch and white cotton rags, patiently basting the pig with a potent broth of vinegar and salt, letting heat and smoke slowly transform that pig into our Labor Day feast. My sister, the cousins and I would run around in the nearby yard, begging to stir the coals or add split pieces of oak, absolutely anything to be near this unusual scene that utterly transfixed us. To this day, I can close my eyes and hear the sizzle of the fat as it dripped on the white-hot coals.
Pack your bags and grab a fork, because this week you’re heading on a trip around the world with Kim Sunée’s new book, A Mouthful of Stars. Part travel diary and part cookbook, A Mouthful of Stars covers a vast and intriguing amount of ground in its pages. It also offers up an impressive and delectable selection of food from Sunée’s favorite destinations.
The chapters are broken down into location themes, but you won’t simply find the usual suspect destinations in A Mouthful of Stars. Instead, Sunée takes you on what really feels like a personal guided tour of her favorite international (and a few domestic) food spots. Chapter one takes you to Seoul; chapter two whisks you off to North Africa, India and Mexico.
Basil plants everywhere else have grown wild this summer and now you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do with the rest of your abundant supply.
Your first instinct is probably to make a boatload of pesto. Do it. One can never have too much pesto. But once you’ve tired of pesto, it’s time to branch out with your basil options. The beautiful thing about basil is that it’s naturally sweet, so adding it to desserts (pair it with strawberries and ricotta) isn’t too much of a stretch.
Hey, Kids: Do Try This At Home
Parents encouraging kids to reach for fruits a...
Let the glory that is the modern food mash-up wash over you like a nice tall glass of lemonade-spaghetti. First there was the Cronut, then the Ramen Burger and then, well, a billion other things. Newest mash-up on the Franken-circuit? This ramen noodle lobster roll.
Created by food blogger Joy of The Cooking of Joy, this lobster roll is heavy on the lobster and not so heavy on the roll. It’s essentially a bunch of lobster salad wedged between a ramen tortilla of sorts. The salad consists of lobster, toasted sesame oil and Japanese mayonnaise. The ramen is prepared by chilling and then pan frying the noodles, then shaping them into something that can play house with Maine’s greatest treasure.
For this Labor Day weekend, Food Network has a great selection of grilling and barbecuing episodes starting with The Pioneer Woman and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on Saturday morning. Afterward the co-hosts of The Kitchen share their best grilling tips with HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins.
On Sunday morning Giada De Laurentiis gets a tour of Korea Town in Los Angeles from the king of Korean barbecue. On Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Bobby focuses on grilling sausages, including beer-glazed bratwursts. On Sunday evening tune in for a new episode of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off in a sandwich-themed episode with guest judge Jeff Mauro. Then watch food truck rookies race into Austin as they try their luck selling to singles on The Great Food Truck Race. On Cutthroat Kitchen Alton Brown auctions off an Italian scooter, which will turn into one chef’s creative vehicle, literally.
Aside from the regional pizza wars that periodically flare up like the flames of a brick oven and the occasional eating-method controversy, most of us probably don’t pause too often to carefully consider our pizza. We just enjoy it. But a research team has recently taken a good hard look at the various cheeses with which we may top our pies in an attempt to pinpoint — with scientific precision — which of them performs best during baking.
In a new study published in the Journal of Food Science, chemical and materials engineering professor Bryony James and her team at the University of Auckland in New Zealand evaluated the performance of seven different cheeses — mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere and provolone — in terms of composition and functionality, using a new technique to assess differences in the way they browned and blistered when baked on pizza.
Bologna is coming back. Not even ironically. I know this because when I say “bologna sandwich” within earshot of my colleagues*, a lot of feelings come out. And nothing goes better with feelings than garlicky, pink meat circles.
A recent bologna poll I conducted** yielded nearly unanimous “yays and a bunch of exclamation points.” One colleague said “aw,” as if spying an infant hamster sleeping in a sugar bowl. But just because bologna gives us a distant expression and makes us talk in past tense doesn’t mean it’s stuck back there.
With the backyard barbecues, shoeless picnics and pool parties of the Labor Day long weekend comes the realization that summer is, all of a sudden, coming to a close. Soon enough, we’ll be trading sandals for socks, summer camp for school and iced coffee for the hot stuff. Rather than wallowing in the end-of-summer blues, think of it as an excuse to end the season on a sweet note with Food Network’s collection of Labor Day desserts.
While we’re still hauling blueberries home by the crateful, spare two cups for Food Network Magazine’s Blueberry Cheesecake Galette (bottom right). Coupled with a smooth, slightly sweet cream cheese layer, juicier-than-ever berries burst open with pent-up lusciousness when they’re popped into the oven.
On this week’s Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, Sandwich King and The Kitchen co-host Jeff Mauro stops by to judge the kids’ creations, which have been inspired by some classic sandwiches. As the sandwich expert, Jeff knows a thing or two about what makes a good handheld meal: the ratio of bread to filling, the flavor, the ease of eating, etc. Now he’s looking to see how they’ve translated that to the plate. But will the kids be able to meet his high expectations, or will they let their nerves get the better of them?