New Orleans sweet rice fritters (calas) – Francis Lam – Salon.com

A cala is a New Orleans treat that is similar to a beignet, but made with rice. New Orleans sweet rice fritters (calas) – Francis Lam – Salon.com.

Beer and . . . oysters?

At least two breweries have begun making stout that incorporates real oysters. The Flying Fish Brewing Co. simmered oysters in the barley broth used to create its Exit 1 Bayshore Oyster Stout, and Harpoon Brewery adds one and a half oysters per barrel of Island Creek Oyster Stout Beer and . . . oysters? – washingtonpost.com.

Better Bread With Less Kneading

Master food scientist Harold McGee tested variations of the same recipe to find out whether less work can make a better bread. Results: wet dough does not benefit from kneading, through dryer doughs improve with a few minutes of kneading to mix the flour evenly with the smaller amount of liquid.The Curious Cook – Better Bread With Less Kneading – NYTimes.com.

The Grossest Packaged Foods Ever (PHOTOS)

Who wants some jellied eels or pork brains in milk gravy?  Yum!  Via The Grossest Packaged Foods Ever (PHOTOS).

Teaching Kids to Eat Healthily: School Food in France – TIME

The variety on the menus is astonishing: no single meal is repeated over the 32 school days in the period, and every meal includes an hors d’oeuvre, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert.

Read more at: Teaching Kids to Eat Healthily: School Food in France – TIME.

Operation Porchetta: How Sara Jenkins Fed the Marines in Afghanistan — Grub Street New York

Operation Porchetta: How Sara Jenkins Fed the Marines in Afghanistan — Grub Street New York.

How to make the perfect savory British pie

The British are known for their wonderful savory pies, but often store-bought is disappointing and not worth the calories. The solution? Make your own pie crust; it’s easy! Includes recipes for roast chicken and leek pie, celeriac, bacon and cheddar pie, and chard, broccoli and roast onion pie. Passion of the crust: How to make the perfect pie – Features, Food & Drink – The Independent.

Roast Chicken: the secret is to start with a good bird

Roast chicken is pure pleasure, and the perfect bird a cook’s true challenge.

via Simply delicious … but so tricky to perfect | Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/18/2010.

A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking

This guide attempts to distill the science of sous vide cooking to provide anyone with the tools needed to safely realize their creative visions. Part I discusses the techniques and safety concerns of sous vide cooking. Some prototypical recipes are explored in Part II. The mathematics of sous vide cooking are detailed in Appendix A. Finally, Appendix B discusses the specialized equipment necessary for sous vide cooking.

via A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking.

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls

After buying a half gallon of whole buttermilk (which WalMart carries but regional chain Harris Teeter does not, go figure), I came across the usual quandry of what to do with the remainder after using some to make Cook’s Illustrated Best Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping. I read my usual recipes that include buttermilk and rejected one after the other: pancakes, waffles, more muffins (ugh), fried chicken (not in the mood, if that’s possible).

Then I went to one of my favorite food writer’s blogs, Michael Ruhlman, where I saw his post about Buttermilk Cluster Rolls. He found the recipe in Saveur magazine, and wanted a “soft, comfort-food, James-friendly dinner roll, the kind of Parker House roll that’s slightly sweet and yeasty and soft as a pillow.”

I made the recipe and found the rolls to be a bit more dense than the intended result, but great comfort food just the same.

I used my trusty Salter scale to weigh everything.

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls

28 ounces/800 grams AP flour (5 1/2 cups if your scale is broken but no guarantees!)

20 ounces/570 grams buttermilk, room temp or microwaved for 40 to 60 seconds to take the chill off it

1/4 ounce/7 grams (1 package) active dry yeast

1/2 ounce/14 grams kosher salt (1 tablespoon)

1.5 ounces/40 grams honey (2 tablespoons)

vegetable spray or butter for greasing a springform pan (can use 9-inch cake pan but may be hard to remove rolls)

1 egg

1 teaspoon poppy seeds (or as desired)

1 tablespoon melted butter, optional (good for photos!)

Combine the flour, buttermilk, yeast, salt and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on medium till the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (See this post on Bread Baking Basics for more info on mixing and rising.)

Cover and let rise till doubled in volume (dough shouldn’t bounce back when you press a finger into it). This will take at least two hours, maybe three or more depending on the temperature of your dough and the temperature of your kitchen.

Turn the dough out onto your counter and give it a good knead. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (about 4 ounces each). Form each into a tight boule by rolling it on the counter. Spray or butter a springform pan. Fit the boules into it, cover it with a towel and let the dough rise for an hour:

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls - before pan rise

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls - before pan rise

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F./190 degres C. Whisk the egg till it’s uniformly yellow.

When the rolls have risen again:

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls - after pan rise

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls - after pan rise

. . .brush them with the egg wash, sprinkle them with poppy seeds and bake them for 40 minutes (to an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F./90-93 degrees C. Let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving:

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls

I used black sesame seeds because I had no poppy seeds, and they turned out just great.

Note: Since some other people have made the recipe and commented, Michael decided he would scale back the dough to 25 ounces and 18 ounces buttermilk.

Jelly Belly – Free Valentine’s Gift Box

Feature Valentine's Baskets. Offer - Spend $39+, get a 10-flavor Valentine Gift Box free.

You Say “Mo-Jai-Toe,” I Say Mojito – Atlantic Food

Common mispronunciations of cocktails, wines, and spirits. You Say “Mo-Jai-Toe,” I Say Mojito – The Atlantic Food Channel.

Cooks pick the smartest and dumbest kitchen tools

Cooks pick the smartest and dumbest kitchen tools | FOODday – OregonLive.com.

Sous Vide Supreme Countertop Immersion Circulator

Cook proteins at low temperatures under a vacuum seal (sous vide) with no risk of overcooking or drying them out. Read more at Sous Vide Supreme Countertop Immersion Circulator | Wired.com Product Reviews.

Scientists With Cocktail Shakers – NYTimes.com

More cocktails developed in the last 10 years than probably any decade since Prohibition; some of them have emerged as modern classics.

via Scientists With Cocktail Shakers – NYTimes.com.

Molecular gastronomy becoming more commonplace

Meat glue, xanthan and liquid nitrogen — hardly the ingredients that make mouths water. But you’d be surprised how often they can be found in the fancy meals you order in New York restaurants and how terrific they make those meals.

Read more at Elements of the table – NYPOST.com.

Quinoa: The Story of a Cursed Crop – The Atlantic Food Channel

Quinoa traveled a rough road from the Andes across the Rio Grande and into America.

via Quinoa: The Story of a Cursed Crop – The Atlantic Food Channel.

10 techniques every bartender must know

Techniques to know:

— Measuring

— Shaking

— Stirring

— Straining

— Muddling

— Making a citrus twist

— Using herbs

— Rimming glasses

— Chilling glasses

— Rinsing glasses

Read more about each bartending technique at How to be a superstar bartender.

Some of the Best Places to Eat in Tokyo – WSJ.com

Sea urchin, soba and a melt-in-your-mouth omelet—on a stopwatch

via Some of the Best Places to Eat in Tokyo – WSJ.com.

On the Trail of Spain’s Acorn-Fed Iberian Hams

The Ancient Secrets Behind Spain’s Finest Ham, pork from Iberian pigs,
Journeys – On the Trail of Spain’s Acorn-Fed Hams – NYTimes.com.

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