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"If there's one thing that could improve the food of 99% of home cooks I've ever met, it's regulating acidity. Everybody knows that salt is key to bringing out the flavor in foods, but acidity is almost as important.
Try this: Season your lentil soup with salt and pepper, and take a sip. Now squeeze a couple lemons into it, whisk it up, and taste again. See what I mean? It not only tastes brighter and fresher, but somehow tastes more lentil-y as well, if lentil-y were a word."
Any chance we could get a Food Lab or Lite article educating home cooks on how to season and acidify their cooking properly? Tackling questions like:
- Which salt should I use for which type of cooking?
- How do I "season to taste" and how often, for different types of cooking?
- How do I know when to use fresh lemon, frozen squeezed lemon juice, lime, white vinegar, etc. to provide acid? How do I know when to use "a couple of lemons" vs 1/2 of one to provide freshness without providing acid taste? Should I use it on all meats, or just fish? All veggies? All stews/soups? What do I do with the leftover lemon to avoid waste?
Seems like a good baseline opportunity to teach folks how to improve all their cooking.
Maybe this was addressed in a previous "day in the life" column - but curious as to your office rules on the refrigerator, since it seems like you have lots of food either made or sent in. No name = fair game? What if Kenji was planning to eat that turchetta sandwich?
On photo #6, did anyone else think that someone was feeding old dead Jeff to Yuba?
Goat brain curry. Surprisingly tasty, kind of like fattier scrambled eggs.
We love mixing TJ's Heritage flakes with TJ's maple pecan granola. It's like our very own more-nutritious version of Honey Bunches of Oats.
- microwaved "baked" potato with a mountain of cheese and bacon bits, and a smoothie to healthy it up.
- cook some dry pasta and mix it with canned clam chowder (to act as the "sauce") and some black pepper. Cans of Progresso from Costco tasted the best.
- Kraft Mac & Cheese bulked up with regular macaroni and more cheese to make 2 meals' worth.
- Costco Tyson chicken nuggets were the easy protein to go alongside pasta or rice.
My wife and I grew up in the South Bay Area, went to school in Berkeley, and have done a few eating trips to NYC. A couple of food items in NYC that we miss and/or make repeat visits to when in NYC since they don't match it here:
- echo the foie gras recommendation
- echo the Russ & Daughters recommendation
- echo the deli recommendation
- Shake Shack - only In'N'Out and Five Guys + major chains here
- the halal chicken and rice cart
- NYC pizza (my wife loves John's Pizzeria)
- Momofuku Ssam Bar
We make smoothies frequently as it's the easiest and least fussy way to get our picky 2-year old boy to get a good veggie intake. We invested in a VitaMix 4 years ago off our wedding registry and it has gotten a great workout since then.
Thanks for the tip on the dates as sweetener. Some other tricks we do:
- Carrots make a healthy addition that doesn't affect flavor too much. Be warned though, our boy has ingested enough carrots to have a little bit of an orange hue to his skin tone so we're dialing it back a bit.
- Costco is an easy source for organic frozen fruit to throw into smoothies.
- In addition to spinach, kale doesn't affect flavor that much either so we pack it in.
- Non-dairy milks don't suffer as much when the smoothie is left out for a little while, and soy milk has more protein than almond milk, so we usually use soy. Sometimes we'll add kefir for additional protein punch.
- Smoothies made for an easy way to get rid of some older (but still good) baby food that our kids weren't eating any more.
The ribs and cornbread are pretty good for a chain - not real bbq, but tasty and tender enough. Never seen a reason to order other dishes.
@Kenji, regarding the microwave method - can you do more than one husk of corn, and if so, how much should the time be tweaked? Thanks!
So what did the liver taste like?
Sounds like you've taken the Holy Grail from Neta (http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2012/05/neta-sushi-japanese-casual-dining-review.html) and given it to Tanoshi?
Our family eats cereal most mornings. After trying just about every box available at Trader Joe's, we've settled on a mix of 1/3 box maple pecan granola with Heritage Flakes as our "virtuous cereal", followed by a bowl of "fun cereal." Fun cereal = Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. Our toddler son is partial to TJ's Honey Nut O's.
Can this process be combined with the "skillet-broiler" method to make easy home-neapolitan-style pizzas, using less dough?
My toddler son's armpit. He was sick!
Food-wise, some ribeyes.
@Kenji: Couple of questions about thermometer usage. I bought the CDN ProAccurate Quick Read on your recommendation because we couldn't afford the Thermapen, but I've had uneven results with it.
1) Is there an accurate place to take the temperature reading in the steak (smack dab in the middle?), and a more repeatable way to make sure the tip of the thermometer is not poking all the way through to the other side?
2) On the CDN, the temp reading doesn't seem to stabilize but instead keeps climbing 2 degrees each time it refreshes. Is there a better way to get a stable reading on the inside of the steak? Should the temp be taken with the steak out of the hot pan?
@plazmaorb Do you know where the full episodes can be viewed? Thanks!
The in-laws live in Hawaii Kai, so we visit annually and go to Ala Moana a few times during our trip, but we haven't bought much food there. Thanks for the list and please post another article with your favorite non-dessert food options!
Carey, you pretty much hit it on the head with your childhood story. If my wife and I were not parents, we'd rarely eat Papa Murphy's (or Costco pizza, the other most frequently-seen pizza at large gatherings here in the Bay Area). But with more and more get-togethers with kids present, it's much easier and economical to get Papa Murphy's or Costco since they're cheap, fills up the kids, and everyone can take a few slices home as leftovers.
Game changer: Da Michele in Naples. Hadn't had Neapolitan style before, and now it's my favorite style.
Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe: Tri-tip sandwich
Zachary's: Deep dish pizza
CREAM: Diddy Reese north, cheap ice cream sandwiches
Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen: Fried chicken
Maoz Vegetarian: Falafels
La Farine Bakery: Morning buns
Cinnaholic: Cinnamon buns
Crepes a Go Go: My wife is addicted to their savory crepes
Back in college I was sustained for many a meal by La Burrita. My friends used to collect their burrito foil wrappers and roll them into a huge ball. By the time we graduated that foil ball was the size of a volleyball.
Otherwise, nice list here.
This was most fun to read to find out where people went to school.
And I swore off Blondie's and Fat Slice after stopping in for a slice, seeing them take a pie out of the oven, then use what looked like a paint brush out of a can of oil to give it a sheen of grease before plopping it into the slice area.
One perhaps odd choice about and potential tweak to Mr. White's concept is that the pictures of the food, presentation, and restaurant ambiance are on the casual-nice side. Who are some of the most frequent patrons of chain pizzerias? Probably families with little kids. As a parent of a toddler, when we look for a place to eat out, we want a place where we don't have to be mortified when our kid screams suddenly or makes a minor mess, and this restaurant looks a little too nice for that. If Nicoletta wants to become a better class of chain, they might need to relax a bit on their atmosphere to pull those families away from the existing chains.
The wife and I are both into food and trying new dishes, so we share everything to get as many tastes as possible. Since you'd potentially be eating lots of meals with your significant other down the line, it's probably pretty wise that sharing similar eating sensibilities would be a deal breaker.
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