Friday Links: June 7, 2013

Salmon in Puff Pastry / Eat Your Greens

I’m doing some personal chef work this summer, which means I get to try out recipes I’d never normally make — like this Salmon in Puff Pastry with Dill Beurre Blanc. (Follow me on Instagram: anjaliruth.)

 

What I’ve been reading:

Men Are the Future of Cooking – Esquire

The numbers got me thinking about the differences between how we talk about cooking to men versus women today….It seems like the content we produce for men does a better job of capturing the joy, the physicality, the pleasure of participating in the act of cooking, while programming for women is more narrowly focused on saving time and cutting “work.”

 

I’m Biracial, and That Cheerios Ad Is a Big Fucking Deal. Trust Me. - Jezebel

This commercial is a huge step for interracial families like mine who want to be seen in public together and maybe eat some heart-healthy snacks. But it also validates the existence of biracial and multiracial people. Often we’re treated like exotic flowers, who should feel complimented when people say stuff to us like, “All biracial women are so beautiful” or “I would kill for your skin.”

 

DIY High-Fructose Corn Syrup by Artist Maya Weinstein – Bon Appetit

Mix 10 cups of Yellow Dent #2 corn extract with one drop sulfuric acid, one teaspoon Alpha-Amylase, one teaspoon Glucose-Amylase, and one teaspoon Xylose, strain through a cheesecloth, and heat. Then, once the slurry has reached 140 degrees, add Glucose Isomerase, bring to a boil, let cool, and enjoy!

 

White Lies: Is Brown Rice Really the Healthiest? – Details

Many nutrition experts demonize white rice, potatoes, pasta, white bread, etc. because it’s an easy rule to remember and grasp, but these foods are really only a problem if you overeat them, which usually happens when you slather them in salty, fatty, sugary sauces—also making them a vehicle for salt, sugar, and fat.

 

What I’ve been cooking (at The Kitchn):

Salmon and Black Sesame Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

Thai Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry (Gai Pad Khing)

Mango Cobbler with Coconut Whipped Cream

…and thinking about cooking:

Steel Cut Oats with Roasted Berries - Naturally Ella

Salmon Skewers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce – Sprouted Kitchen

Snapshots From Lebanon: Breakfast

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens
 Now that school is over for the summer, I finally have time to go through all my photos and notes from the press trip to Lebanon I took this spring with Taste Lebanon. I’m so happy to share this incredible trip with you. Up first: my favorite meal of the day, breakfast!

It wasn’t hard to fall in love with breakfast in Lebanon. Here is what is almost always on the table: a bowl with a thick swirl of strained yogurt called labneh, topped with a golden cap of local olive oil. A plate of tomato wedges, cut-up Persian cucumbers and sprigs of fresh mint. Olives, salty and strong. Slabs of brined feta cheese. Fresh flatbreads. Savory and satisfying but not heavy, it was pretty much my perfect way to start the day.

Especially when you start adding in some of the extras I got to try.

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

In Beirut we stopped at Ichkhanian Bakery for lahm b’ajeen, a sort of thin, crispy pizza topped with ground, spiced meat. It was a veritable lahm b’ajeen factory in there, with one man rolling out round after round of impossibly thin dough while another covered each round evenly in the meat mixture. A third lifted the pies onto a peel and thrust them into the fiery oven, then pulled them out when they were browned on top and crisp on the bottom. The youngest of the group squeezed fresh lemon juice over the steaming pies, rolled them up in a twist of white paper and handed them out under the watchful eye of the bakery’s matriarch. With a cool bottle of a slightly salty yogurt drink called ayran, they went down fast, and I can see why they are also a popular late-night, post-drinking snack.

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

One morning on our way out of town we dropped by a shop brimming with baklawa of all shapes, piled up like pistachio-studded jewels on big platters. But we were there for the knefeh, a semolina-crusted cheese flavored with sour cherry pits, served warm, stuffed into a sesame bread called ka’ak and drizzled with a little sugar syrup. It was sort of the Lebanese version of a bagel sandwich, but with the unusual, almond-like flavor of the sour cherry pits (mahlab).

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

One of my favorite breakfasts was at a bakery called Furn al Sabaya (“Bakery of the Ladies”), a little shop owned by three sisters who sweetly and deftly churned out an array of breakfast treats: a baked egg pastry that was like the delicious bastard child of a quiche and a pizza; flaky, palm-sized pastries stuffed with greens; a beautiful rolled pastry filled with walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and rosewater; and a simple flatbread breakfast wrap filled with labneh, tomatoes and mint. Sitting in their sunny patio decorated with flowered tablecloths and colorful curtains, sipping Nescafe and munching on perfect pastries made by three smiling sisters, I felt like I had stepped into a fairy tale. It was hard to leave.

It was hard to leave. If this trip had a motto, that would be it.

Breakfast in Lebanon / Eat Your Greens

Read more about my trip on The Kitchn:

Dreaming of Lebanon

2013_04_17-Lebanon01

I just returned from a dreamy week in Lebanon. It was exactly what I needed, but now I am madly catching up on work, school and sleep. Much more about the trip and all the adventures I had coming soon.

2013_04_17-Lebanon02

Smoked Paprika Popcorn

Smoked Paprika Popcorn / Eat Your Greens

I am a fiend for stovetop popcorn. That was how my mom made popcorn every Friday, popped in a heavy pot, poured into a big mixing bowl and covered with lots of melted margarine and salt, to be eaten with greasy hands while watching Full House and Just the Ten of Us. It was perfection.

I rebooted the stovetop popcorn tradition several years ago, after one too many bags of disgustingly salty microwave popcorn and its lingering stink in the office microwave. Stovetop popcorn is so easy and so good and it won’t give you popcorn lung. Win-win.

Smoked Paprika Popcorn / Eat Your Greens

When it comes to flavoring popcorn, I have two opinions: 1) you need it and 2) the sky’s the limit. I usually go for a simple combo of finely grated Parmesan and black pepper, or just really good olive oil and sea salt, but for a special film screening with friends on Saturday night, I decided to mix it up with smoked paprika, onion powder and a little walnut oil.

This combination, it turns out, tastes a little like BBQ potato chips.

In other words, it’s a keeper. { read more }

5 Rules to Make Bringing Lunch From Home Easier

5 Rules to Make Bringing Lunch From Home Easier

I am a master of bringing my lunch from home. My habit was born out of post-college poverty and nurtured by a series of jobs in offices without many restaurants nearby. Now it’s deeply entrenched, which is good because the food options at my school are really gross. (Think about a 15-year-old boy’s list of favorite restaurants and you get the idea.)

So yes. Bringing lunch is good, for both your health and your wallet*. But we live in the actual world where the start of Daylight Savings Time means we snoozed for an extra 30 minutes and now there is no time to even make a PB&J before leaving the house, so what now, Lunch Master?

Here are the 5 rules I live by when it comes to bringing lunch from home: { read more }