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.
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 workweek 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 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 here are just a few highlights:
- Daniel got another lesson from Fuchsia Dunlop about Sichuan cuisine, this time about "strange flavor."
- Chef Sunny Lee gave us the great and glorious gift of this gamja bokkeum recipe, which translates into English as "ridiculously, ridiculously delicious potatoes." (Okay, not a direct translation.)
- Nik Sharma offered up an ingredient guide for mustard oil as well as a simple cucumber salad that showcases how to use its wasabi-like zippiness to great effect.
- Sasha, fresh off his Big Duck Project, has begun making his case-in-recipes for why you should always have 'nduja, the spicy, funky, spreadable salame in your refrigerator. First up, using 'nduja to jazz up beans and greens.
- Tim Chin changed the wok-cooking-at-home game with his blowtorch method for approximating "wok hei," the inimitable smoky flavor of properly wok-cooked food, and offered a couple of recipes that showcase the method (don't sleep on the stir-fried cucumbers with mushrooms—they're revelatory).
- Daniel also came up with a pressure cooker version of his fan-freaking-tastic braised brisket recipe, for when you want slabs of tender, tomato-rich beef on the table in less than four hours.
A Glimpse Inside Serious Eats HQ
Our Favorite Comments of the Week
Yes! My favorite Chinese cooking channel recommended Mustard Oil to sub for a Canola-like oil that is a flavor component in Sichuan cuisine. We were deterred by the “External Use Only” label but now will pull the trigger!
Ewww, would not recommend. Made this for my grandson with Lox cream cheese since that’s his favorite and it did not taste good at all. Even capers, which he calls sea nuts, could not save this recipe.
Next time I would recommend providing a [list] of flavors of cream cheese that work with the recipe.
From commenters on Facebook, in response to "Hei Now, You’re a Wok Star: A Fiery Hack for Stir-Frying at Home":
I was wondering whether my husband would be more inclined to save the house or me after I tried it.
Ok, but I’ve gotta teach the cat how to dial 911 first.
A Brief Book Break
What does it mean, anyway, to live in a country? I wouldn't know; I go to the store and shop for the avocados that feel like they might ripen in a few days because I harbor a deep distrust of immediate satisfaction. I keep telling myself that naming everything that I've eaten will convince various juries that I am not guilty. Raspberry, cherry, coconut, santol, passionfruit (dislike), apricot, lychee, mango, blueberry. So many different centers. Some that you can bite right through, some that you can drink, and some that will crack your teeth apart. Writing about seeds means also to write about permission, which could be pretty revolutionary if you think about it.
Excerpted from "A Brief History of Fruit," a poem contained within A Brief History of Fruit, a wonderful new collection by Kimberly Quiogue Andrews.
Food Numbers, News, and Hijinks
- 25: percent by which consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks dropped in the 18 months after sweeping anti-obesity legislation was passed in Chile.
- 40: Number of pizzas “Papa” John Schnatter lied about eating in 30 days.
- 50: Approximate number of handwritten Mexican "manuscript cookbooks" the Special Collections Librarian at the University of Texas at San Antonio has digitized and made available for readers online.
- 95: percent of plastic foam that's just air.
- 420: Amount in milliliters of 3D printing resin that can be created from 1 liter of used McDonald's fry oil.
- 527: Number of calories per day the average person wastes.
- You can make bread out of anything.
- Elazar: "One of the more confusing and interesting cooking videos I've seen."
- We linked to the longlist, so here's the shortlist for the Art of Eating book prize. Come on, The Whole Fish Cookbook!
- Why don't more Americans eat blood?
- Bees know best.
- "Hungry for human flesh, they came crawling ashore." Crabs!
Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!
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