Foodsite Magazine

Bread Baking for your Bucket List
Marty Martindale

Do you secretly admire those who make bread?  For them, understanding yeast and kneading dough is no problem. It’s not complicated to turn yourself into a bread baker.

BE SEEN WITH YEAST IN YOUR OWN CART. You are becoming a bread baker! 

Think of your yeast as a friend, one you must not harm with great heat and one who will get very disinterested in you if you don’t keep him comfortably warm. Under these conditions, he will froth for you, once you’ve tickled his palate with a little sugar or honey. He likes to be stirred. There’s more. Continue reading

Chickens are Complicated
Marty Martindale

We already know it’s important to coddle chickens after we buy them. Keep them refrigerated, use very soon and do not wash in your sink or on your counter. If you do, and the chicken is with disease, it’s then all over your kitchen. Not good. Next, when seemingly cooked, we know the dangers of any pinkish fluids in their joints when examined. After we seemingly successfully challenge all these hurdles, it’s time to consider the rest of the meal, serve it all and then sit down and enjoy eating it. 

In our travels we ran across a link to the CHICKEN GLOSSARY put out by the Raising Chickens Organization. 

Take a look at it. Chickies are complicated little critters, and we eat an awful lot of them. 

Beer Jelly – Beer Jam, Basic or Your Way
Marty Martindale

Beer jelly is fun, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it jiggles, it contrasts, it complements, it surprises, it glazes, it dresses and it borrows craft genius from some amazing brewers. No buzz, tho.

Also called beer jam, beer is usually one of only four ingredients: beer, sugar, pectin and lemon. The buzz may be gone, but the delicacy intended by its brewers comes through nicely – a purist’s joy of joys.

Food Republic in an article titled “Spreadable Beer Jelly Could Be The Next Big Thing,” Tiffany Do states,”Potlicker Kitchen makes a slew of different varieties of the stuff, including Black India Pale Ale, Hefeweizen with Orange, Oatmeal Stout and something called the Heady Jelly made with Alchemist Brewery’s Heady Topper. Each jar is made with a different beer and includes a suggested food pairing. We’re already thinking about trying out the Apricot Ale with some bacon sticky buns.”

For those who care to elaborate on “perfection,” they contrive savory concoctions by adding tomato, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, shallots, Parmesan cheese grated, rosemary, olive oil or something you choose. For sweet experimentation some add vanilla bean, lemon, star anise, sugar, allspice, cloves, orange zest, or again, you think create! Continue reading

Brown Butter (on purpose!)
Marty Martindale

 

You have made, or many times almost made, unintentionally, France’s revered, warm gourmet sauce, Beurre Noisette, or brown butter as we call it in this country.

Serious brown butter is an art and one you can make on purpose to achieve a nutty, near-caramel, toasted, almost hazelnut-like flavored butter with countless uses. It is the careful cooking of unsalted butter just long enough to cook away the water found there, then medium-toasting the butter’s milk solids, which makes your highly-sought-after, delicious brown butter sauce.

There are three popular ways to process butter for different cooking needs. All butter is composed of fat, milk solids and water. The Indian culture uses a lot of Ghee-processed butter, and clarified butter is used frequently for seafood sauces by all cultures. These processes separate the water from the butter then strain the milk solids away from the butter. They are usually made in larger batches than brown butter.

How to make BROWN BUTTER
Total time about 5 to 7 minutes.

• 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter cut into uniform, smaller chunks

• Choose a stainless-steel skillet or saucepan to show contrast between browning milk solids and the pan bottom. Continue reading

Bento Box Joy
Marty Martindale

You are all gussied up. You look great. It’s even a fine hair day. Grab that lunch and get going. It’s so crushed, even recent spots on the bag. Oh well.

Ditch that sack. Get a bento box!

A bento box, these days, is an update on a plain lunch box. And, it looks better, makes you look better and is a better way to do lunch. Bentos have a floorplan with separate compartments allowing you to take more interesting leftovers, doggie bag contents or a refrigerator raid concoction. There’s also separated places for snacks, veggies, dips or little salads. Maybe even something for the commute.

Never underestimate the great, great taste of almost anything when you are away from all food sources and you’re feeling true hunger. This is when a carefully-packed bento contains true happiness.

Remember when mom used to say, “This will taste better on the second day?” A leftover from the night before in your bento box
IS
in its second day!

Continue reading

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