You did it! Another week down!
We're putting up a post very much like this one every Friday afternoon, to celebrate the fact that the week is done. Down with Monday-through-Thursday! Up with Friday-through-Sunday!
We think of this series as something of a send-off for the week, giving you the option of a brief interlude for your Friday afternoon. Of course, if your work week is just starting, or if you're still in the thick of it, think of this as a pick-me-up for your personal hump day, or as a nice way to kick off your weekend shifts.
We hope to provide a short mix of mostly silly, mostly food-related, mostly entertaining things to look at, listen to, and read, and we hope you'll find it amusing, and maybe, sometimes, edifying and enlightening. We also see it as an opportunity to go over some of what's new on the site, which you, dear readers, may have missed.
If you have feedback, or if you run across any interesting/oddball/totally crazy stories/podcasts/images/videos during the week that you think may be appropriate for this little collection of miscellany, email us! We can't guarantee that we'll use it, but we will 100% appreciate the effort.
What's New on Serious Eats
You can, of course, browse all our content in reverse-chronological order. But for you, on this day, some highlights:
- We kicked off the week with the inaugural installment of Chef Jenny Dorsey's soup series; this one focuses on the Lao noodle soup known as khao piak sen.
- Daniel updated our guide to prepping Brussels sprouts, because it's peak season now. Yeah, right now!
- Sasha offered some tips for troubleshooting your mashed potatoes, because before you know it, peak mashed-spud season will be upon us, too.
- And, to round out an SE culinary team trifecta of seasonal cooking suggestions, Stella forked over her "hack" for making apple cider doughnuts taste especially amazing: apple cinnamon sugar made with blitzed freeze-dried apples.
- Rien Fertel took us on a local's tour of where to eat and drink in New Orleans, a city with a well-deserved reputation for its vast and varied cuisine.
- We also got a brief, opinionated rundown on the best treats to eat during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, from Mithila Phadke. (And there are recipes, too!)
- And, finally, speaking of holidays, we dug up (from the grave?) Stella's tutorial on how to make a gingerbread haunted house. Remember, Christmas gingerbread houses are for normies and Victorians; Halloween gingerbread houses are what the cool weirdos make. (They also make it easier to hide mistakes.)
Our Favorite Comments of the Week
From our Rob Roy recipe:
I love this drink, but only partly because of the taste. I’m very proud of my Scottish heritage and I share a surname with the great man himself – Rob Roy McGregor!
His story is incredible. It seems you have to be a fairly bloody minded individual before you get your own cocktail!
This contributes nothing to the discussion of mashed potatoes, but it’s worth noting that a good potato ricer isn’t a total unitasker!
It’s a good way to make the jelly in che banh lot, which I recommend everybody try if they haven’t already. I actually bought my potato ricer exclusively for the purpose of making che banh lot. So, if you’re hesitant about buying something that only does one thing, don’t worry – potato ricers do at least two, and they’re both delicious!
From a commenter on Facebook, in response to our old how-to on water-velveting:
I do this as part of meat processing/meal planning. Velvet multiple batches of chicken then vacuum seal meal sized portions and toss in the freezer. I didn’t find a noticeable difference between the freshly velveted vs the frozen when doing a stir fry. While it takes a while to get through a large batch of chicken, the time/mess saved doing it and the resulting juicy chicken pieces definitely make it worthwhile.
A Brief Book Break
The Russian kitchen...The pitiful Khrushchyovka kitchenette, nine to twelve square metres (if you're lucky!), and on the other side of a flimsy wall, the toilet. Your typical Soviet floor-plan. Onions sprouting in old mayonnaise jars on the window-sill and a potted aloe for fighting colds. For us, the kitchen is not just where we cook, it's a dining room, a guest room, an office, a soapbox. A space for group therapy sessions. In the nineteenth century, all of Russian culture was concentrated on aristocratic estates; in the twentieth century, it lived on in our kitchens. That's where perestroika really took place. 1960s dissident life is the kitchen life. Thanks, Khrushchev! He's the one who led us out of the communal apartments; under his rule, we got our own private kitchens where we could criticize the government and, more importantly, not be afraid, because in the kitchen you were always among friends.
From Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich, translated by Bela Shayevich.
Food Numbers, News, and Hijinks
- 76: Number of New York City restaurants that received little asterisks this year.
- 108 out of 191: number of votes Qu Dongyu, China's candidate for the top position at the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), received. The US-backed candidate received 12 votes.
- $62,000: amount the restaurant La Rosa Náutica, in Lima, Peru, was fined for "handing a gold menu void of any details on what the fish ceviche or seared scallops might cost to women who are dining with men." Men were provided with a different, blue menu, with prices.
- Identity theft: not just for Equifax victims.
- A phantom latte, for Halloween. (But only for Europeans.)
- Desserts, salads, cakes, plagiarized...what can't jelly be?
- Like Terminator, but with rats, and vehicles made out of what's in your recycling. Don't do it, science!
- The street-vendor ban in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens is bad.
Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!
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