October 28, 2004

Stop that sprinkling!

Hungary has banned the sale of Paprika (and recommended people get rid of what they have in their home).
News article here

This is either reactionary, or a secret ploy to get everyone to buy new Paprika, due to this excellent line: "Aflatoxin could be dangerous to people if they consumed more than 1 pound of paprika a week." Okay, I think if I consume that much paprika per week, I probably have other additional health problems.

Posted by dowdy at 09:51 AM

October 26, 2004

IMMB 9 - Terrines

Crap. I swore up and down I would be in on this one, and had plans, and a new camera, and everything.

Alas, events conspired against my entry into the mainstream insanity of Is My Blog Burning. So, I point you to Derrick, the "author" of this event: IMBB 9: Terrines and invite you to check out web chefs both more creative and motivated than myself.

Posted by dowdy at 07:47 PM

October 10, 2004

To every season

Okay, so I'm sure I am going to get some nasty emails about this. The whole issue of "seasoning" pans is probably going to generate opinions on each side.

Black Pan

Here's what happens when you put a brand new 12" Iron Clad pan into my hands. I decided that I'm going to "season" the heck out of this one, which basically means burning oil onto the surface until it becomes quite black and slick. 30 minutes before this photo was taken, the pan was a pristine stainless steel color.

I am fairly certain that I am insane. But this is supposed to be the correct way to go about this. One thing for sure, the surface is currently slick as a pig. Gross looking, yet effective. This is what pans end up looking like eventually -- seasoning is really just sort of speeding up the process. I don't do this to all of my pans, and I'll probably leave the 14 inch alone for now, but I wanted to get this one up to speed quickly.

This is one of two new pans showing up at my house in prep for the holiday party. I've been meaning to get some new fry pans, and well, here one is. Or was.

Posted by dowdy at 12:21 PM

October 08, 2004

Super Sized Me

Last night I watched Super Size Me, a movie about a person who eats nothing but Junk Food for a month. While it has some good things to say about the state of eating in America, and also some valid points about corporate greed and industrial production of food, often the movie becomes stunt film making. I suspect that people who are worried about such things already know them, and those that do not will probably not watch the movie.

If you like your information in paper form, I recommend Fast Food Nation. The author provides much more detail than could be in a movie, and attempts (for the most part) to remain factual. The author, Eric Schlosser, was also interviewed for bonus footage on the DVD. He came across very even handed and concerned about food and eating.

I threatened my coworkers that I was going to get a whole bunch of french fries to eat while watching the movie, but actually ended up with delivered Chinese. I did get General Cho's chicken, however, to make sure that I had something deep fried.

Posted by dowdy at 09:36 AM

October 02, 2004

Down by Two

Smallest Molten Chocolate Cake -- Evaaar!

2 oz dark chocolate
2 oz unsalted butter
shot-o-flavor (ie, vanilla, etc)
1 egg
1/8 C sugar
2 tsp flour

Okay, you can't get much more reduced than this -- I'm down to 1 egg. Anyway, you actually can make the molten chocolate cake in this small amount. This makes two medium/small (6 oz) or 1 medium/large (10-12 oz) ramikin. Certainly serves two, but if you are tossing extras, you are not wasting much.

What suprised me about this is that I was actually able to push to ribbon (in a 5qt Kitchenaid) with only 1 egg and 1/8 C sugar. I used the horrible awful and yet learned at school method of "bumping" up the bowl to scrape the bottom while the mixer is one. Over time, this messes with the springs on the mixer and you may need to have it adjusted/repaired. Screw it. Chocolate cake for one!

Posted by dowdy at 05:23 PM

October 01, 2004

On Food and Cooking

Harold McGee has a new edition of his classic work On Food and Cooking coming out. I've got mine on order already.

This is, if I'm not mistaken, the 4th copy of this book that I bought. One went out on loan to never return, one was lost on a plane someplace, and my current copy is well thumbed on the bookshelf.

McGee writes about food, history, lore, and the process of food preparation from the mind of a scientist rather than an "artist." This is almost a complete re-write of the original (which I will be keeping) and in addition expands it by 2/3s!

If you are or know someone into food (especially if they are also into science), great Christmas List fodder.

Posted by dowdy at 07:58 AM