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Pipenta

The Better Fruitcake: Baking Stollen at NYC's Bien Cuit Bakery

I am not keen on marzipan eaten straight out of hand, but it is dreamy when you bake with it. Yes, yes, yes, as filling in a stollen. But also, swap out a sheet of it for the top crust on an apple pie. It makes beautiful latticework and it tastes delicious!

Black Garlic From 'Bar Tartine'

Are rice cookers and slow cookers safe to leave on for weeks at a time? I don't believed they are designed for it. I would think this would be a terrible fire hazard.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

That short paring knife, with classic blade, I just want to add, is amazing. It is the cutlery equivalent of a Mazda Miata. It's cute, functional and fun to use. The roadster turns on a dime, a 2.5" classic paring knife will pivot on a molecule. I get behind of the wheel of the Miata and I smile, every time. I pick up the little paring knife and it makes me happy to use it. Good design is a beautiful thing.

I don't understand why only the 3.5" versions are commonly available. They just don't pivot for sh*t!

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

I would add some sort of colander or basket strainer to that list. I learned on a stainless hybrid cleaver, instead of a chef's knife. I'm no pro, so what the heck, I will soldier on with my decade's long bad habit there. But it spares me the need of a bench scraper because I use the cleaver blade to transport the chopped stuff. Also I would certainly add a paring knife to the list. I have an old 2.5" that I adore. For small hands, it's much better than the larger ones. It has a straight blade instead of a birdbeak, the closest thing I see around like it is the Wusthof Classic 2-3/4" fluting knife. I can skip the blender, thanks. And if I am camping, I very much like one of those light flexible cutting surfaces.

The Food Lab Turbo: Why You Should Really Be Grilling Your Cabbage

I'm a cabbage freak, always have been. I get teased about it. It's a peasant food that never had the popular affection that, say, potatoes do here in the USA.

I love grilling. I love grilled vegetables.

Grilled cabbage? GRILLED CABBAGE! OMFG, why has this never occurred to me?

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

/runs outside to start the fire

Cheese 101: Why Imported Italian Mozzarella Isn't Always Better

In North Haven, Connecticut, Luizzi has been making top-notch motz for years. They also have a terrific selection of imported cheese (and other goodies) and make a wicked sandwich. But if you live in New Haven, you probably know this. I suspect that Luizzi cheese may play a role in the excellence of the local pizza.

How Korean Cuisine Got Huge in America (And Why It Took So Long)

@ Bill Woods. I'm thinking that's a typo. The fifth is savory/umami.

Coffee Science: How to Make the Best Pourover Coffee at Home

You want the foam to be light colored. If the crema is a dark brown, your water is too hot.

Behind the Scenes: Making Edible Blown Glass at Aureole, NYC

Neato. Now they need to get all Dale Chihuly on it.

The Problems With Cinnabon's New Salted Caramel Center of the Roll Start With the Name

Ask the Food Lab: What's the Point of Bay Leaves?

During childhood summers spent on Block Island, RI, I learned that bayberry leaves (Myrica sp.)can be used in much the same way as bay leaves (Laurus nobilis). The flavors are not exactly the same, but they do add a background note that I like to use in chowders. There's something pleasing about using a plant I associate with childhood beach days to season seafood.

Most people know the plant for candles traditionally made from the waxy berries. If you've smelled those candles, you have an idea of the flavors. It could probably be infused to good effect. I'm waiting for someone to introduce a New England martini.

And although the plant grows in temperate zones, its preferred seaside habitat means the sturdy salt-tolerant leaves take to drying very well. Best of all, from my broke-ass point of view, the bushes are common so this ingredient is FREE.

What Happens When You Add Olive Oil to a Cocktail?

Walnut oil isn't flavored oil, at least not in the sense that a flavored oil has flavor added. Walnut oil is an oil with flavor.

This makes me want to play with bottle of hazelnut oil in the fridge. And if you want to talk about flavored oils, howzabout those truffle-infused oils, eh?

Market Tour: Slodycze Wedel is Greenpoint's Go-To for Polish Candy

Europol Deli & Gifts in Derby, CT has a pretty rockin' selection of candy. This reminds me, I have to skitter down there to load for the offspring's Easter basket because nobody does Easter goodies like the Poles do!

My Polish grandmother always had a selection of fruit candies in various fancy glass jars and dishes in her dining room. My favorites were shaped like raspberries and had soft centers. YUM!

There's a Spanish Chain Called Taste of America and This is What They Sell

It doesn't look like they do stock maple syrup. It looks like they stock maple-flavored high fructose corn syrup.

The Best Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

I get the link to this palm oil recipe in my email and right next to it is a message from the Union of Concerned Scientists about how palm oil is one of the most environmentally destructive crops on the planet.

Especially bad news for orangs, ook ook ook!

Drinking Traditions From Around the World

Speaking of protein flavoring, I've heard of a Newfoundland Screech rum tradition that entailed smooching a dead codfish. Not sure if this is still done since cod have been extirpated from the Grand Banks.

Staff Picks: What's Your Recipe Deal-Breaker?

Any recipe that relies on lots of butter and/or cream or cheese and you lose me right there, that is unless I can swap it out for olive oil. There are other flavors I want to taste and I don't dig the domination of butterfat. And I've reached the same point with chocolate, I'm sick of it. It reminds me of that old New Yorker cartoon, "Not my favorite again!". Give me fruit or spice or something, not chocolate in every damn sweet recipe. I haven't ordered things chocolate or cheesy or butterfatty when I've been out for years, so I have certainly lost interested in cooking them. There are so many other possibilities!

And yeah, I don't deep fry. I don't do recombinant cuisine. And I never, ever sprout!

The 25 Best (and Worst) Fast Food Items We Ate in 2013

So many sorry, sorry burgers. I admit I stopped eating burgers from restaurants the day it became dangerous to eat them rare (cuz E. coli), so I'm not a booster at the best of times, but really, they look disgusting. So you have your fecal contamination, the antibiotic overload and the now the poor cattle suffer the agony of dissolving hooves because of some drug they're fed to bulk them up fast. Even if you don't give a hoot about how the animals are treated, do you really think this agro-agribiz stuff is worth eating? It's about as appetizing as tumor sandwiches. I'll just have an order of those Shake Shack fries and you all can have the rest.

Supermarket Sweets: We Try the New Gingerbread Twix and M&Ms

Gingerbread flavoring? Bleh! There's an XOXOX bar that has crystalized ginger in it and is delicious. If I am going to have a treat, I want to make it count, not just take on board the calories for fake food.

In Praise of Nubbins

Ah, what did our mothers say to us when we whined about getting the broken cookie?

It all goes down the same!

Cod Shortages, Hurricane Relief Efforts, and More in Food Policy This Week

I think a better word than shrinking would be collapsing when you are talking about fish populations. When numbers shrink below a certain level, many species can't find mates. It's a big ocean out there and we are STRIPPING IT BARE!

Deep-Fried, Meatball-Stuffed, and More: 3 Ways to Play With Your Matzo Balls

Years ago I made tiny matzoh balls, about the size of eyeballs, three variants with extra ingredients chosen for flavor and color. One third had chopped onion & garlic, one third had chopped parsley, one third had chopped carrots, so the balls were white, green or orange. Some chopped beets (just a bit) would have made fun pink balls, I didn't think of it. It was fun and tasty and easier on the digestion than chicken skin (Which I would totally eat, but then totally REGRET!)

Ever Tried Peanuts in Coke?

I'm thinking this pairs well with sour pickles cured in Kool-Aid and maybe a Frito-Pie? Gah!

Watch Jon Stewart's Epic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Rant

Real pizza has thin crust.

Some places in NY, they make a damn good pie.

But the best? New Haven. Sally's FTW!

Show and Tell: Your Favorite Novelty Mug

Far and away my favorite mugs are cups, skull cups and cat cups, made by artist Michael Corney. I have half a dozen I've collected over the years and they all please me no end. I've neither a camera nor the mug at hand, but do a Google image search and you'll get the idea.

ROIA in New Haven

My mom's birthday is coming up and I'm looking for a place for a small family get together. ROIA (where Hot Tomatoes used to be in the Taft hotel) has been suggested. The reviews are all over the place. The NYT loved ROIA, a fair number of yelpers, not so much.

What say you Serious Eaters of the Nutmeg State? Anyone been to ROIA and have any opinions on it?

Acqua Tonica from San Pellegrino

I've been in mourning for those cute little bottles of Sanbitter soda that no one seems to carry anymore. But I stumbled across a San Pellegrino Acqua Tonica at Stop & Shop of all places. Comes in a six pack of glass bottles. Price closer to Schweppes than the boutique four packs at the natural foods places. I liked it. Was lovely with Mt. Gay. Not sure how it would hold up with Tanquerey, as it was a gentle sort of tonic water. Has anyone else tried it? I don't see it on the company's website, but maybe I just didn't look that hard.

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