'Regina Schrambling' on Serious Eats

Gastropoda Pulls No Punches

Regina Schrambling's blog Gastropoda is a viciously entertaining read. Here's the least vitriolic (but still pointed) item from today's line-up: At least once a day a news item makes me think of that old saying, "Figures lie and liars figure." The latest was the "study" correlating the incidence of obesity in different cities with the recipes run in local newspapers. I admit I have a dachshund in this fight, but really, can this actually be true at a time when everything you read says newspapers are going the way of the Walkman? Somehow I suspect fast junk, microwavable garbage and the obsolescence of walking have had more of an iPod impact than the most calorific concoction ever printed under my... More

Love Song to a Hand Blender

I've long been a fan of Regina Schrambling's Gastropoda, which is refreshingly acidic when many food blogs are nothing but saccharine, so I got an extra big kick out of reading what is essentially a paean to her newly-purchased immersion blender in the LA Times. She cops to immediately "going as crazy as a Martha Stewart groupie who has just discovered the glue gun"—she "[whips] through pesto, tapenade, asparagus soup, red pepper purée and hummus, while also grinding walnuts into flour and converting a hard roll into fluffy bread crumbs" in a mere forty-five minutes after ripping her blender out of its box! Schrambling points out that you can easily drop a few hundred dollars on blenders graded for... More

New Career Options in the Food Industry

Regina Schrambling of the Los Angeles Times says job options in the food industry are booming like never before: "Careers are evolving that were unknown a decade ago, or at least before the Food Network brought out the inner Emeril in so many Americans and food became not just sustenance but entertainment, politics, culture, artisanal opportunity, and national obsession. Other industries may face downsizing, but the business of eating and drinking has never seemed more vibrant. Dinner cannot be outsourced to India." People are either choosing to specialize in new niches, like the beer sommelier she spoke to, or they escape the traditional restaurant kitchen by starting their own businesses doing things like giving culinary tours or selling reheatable meals.... More

The (Unnecessary) Big Chill

In Salon this morning, Regina Schrambling is frustrated by how we refrigerate so many things that would do just fine on the pantry shelf: In an informal e-survey of roughly 20 friends in six states, some of whom eat for a living, I found the same pattern. A number did know what foods go rancid in the pantry: nut and olive oils in particular (only corn and sesame oils have never turned on me) and fresh peanut butter (salmonella is not the only threat). They knew real maple syrup can go moldy at room temperature, and that true grits, cornmeal, wheat germ and other grains susceptible to spoilage actually benefit from the cold.Still, all but one refrigerate scores of other... More

Eavesdrop On Cutting-Edge Chefs at Diálogos de Cocina

Today in the LA Times, Regina Schrambling recommends you eavesdrop on cutting-edge chefs at Diálogos de Cocina next Monday and Tuesday: The forum itself — Kitchen Dialogues, in English — is ambitious enough, with one entire afternoon devoted to "other ways" of seeing, thinking, understanding and cooking. The chefs ramrodding it are the Ferran Adriàs of San Sebastián, which itself is the mecca of the food world right now because of its concentration of wildly adventurous, highly praised kitchens: Pedro Subijana of Akelare, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, Juan Mari Arzak of Restaurante Arzak and Martín Berasategui, whose restaurant bears his name. And the speakers they have lined up cover the food spectrum, from Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow... More

LA Times Food Section Roundup: Cooking For Two, Crème Anglaise, and Fast Food

Regina Schrambling, on tricks to cooking for two: "The best thing about dinner for two is that you can brave dishes that would be too labor-intensive and time-consuming for a crowd. You can fry up little corn cakes to top with smoked salmon and crème fraîche, or skillet-roast a whole duck cut in half, or sauté two skate wings that can go from skillet to plate without waiting for four or six more to be cooked. But when you want a night to remember, you can pull out more stops and spend a little more money. In polling coupled friends on their ideal menu with wine but no cliché roses, I found the ingredients and dishes always differed, but the... More

LA Times Food Section Roundup: Crepes, Ice Cubes and a Chef's Conference

Regina Schrambling on the third Identità Golose, The taste of things to come: At a most unusual chefs' conference, great ideas trumped pomp and pretention: "There were chefs quoting Kandinsky and Lars von Trier as comfortably as they evoked Escoffier. There were chefs filling balloons with spices to pop over dinner plates, and chefs demonstrating how to flavor the bread crumbs so ubiquitous in Italian cooking with lime zest and syrup. They were using all the new-wave toys — agar-agar and sous vide and digital thermometers and no end of Pakojets — but they were also sharing discoveries as basic as this: Baking butternut squash or sweet onions on a bed of rock salt will concentrate the flavor and texture."... More

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