Posted: November 10, 2010 in more articles

Video: OK Go’s New Music Video Animated on Toast

from Serious Eats by Erin Zimmer


Best known for their “treadmill video” as well as other impressively executed ones, the band OK Go has come out with their latest music video for their single Last Leaf. This time, it involves toast. Many, many pieces of toast. They designed images on each slice with laser cutters, which makes for a pretty entrancing stop-motion animation. And you might crave toast after. Watch the video after the jump.

OK Go’s New Music Video Animated on Toast


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9:38 AM (21 minutes ago)

A Recipe to Replace Corn Syrup: How To Make Cane Syrup

from The Kitchn by Emma Christensen

2010-11-10-DIYCaneSugarSyrup.jpgWe’ve been searching high and low for something to replace the corn syrupcalled for in some of our favorite baking recipes. Something less processed, and ideally, easy to make at home. We’ve finally found it.

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9:38 AM (21 minutes ago)

7 Easy Ways to Decorate the Table with Burlap

from The Kitchn by Regina Yunghans

Burlap is an inexpensive material that at once lends a seasonal color and texture to the holiday table. If you’re entertaining for Thanksgiving and are looking for some ways to add layers to the tabletop without spending a lot of money, check out these ideas:

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8:57 AM (1 hour ago)

Cooks Source (Sort Of) Issues Weirdest Semi-Apology Ever Food News for Wednesday, November 10

from The Kitchn by Faith Durand

2010_10_04-FoodNewsJournal.jpgIn today’s food news, via our friends at Food News Journal: A wrap-up (sort of) to that Cooks Source debacle from last week. Plus, states consider banning alcoholic energy drinks, Publisher’s Weekly lists their top cookbooks of the year, and Italy re-brands their tap water.

Read on for more news of the day via Food News Journal.

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8:48 AM (1 hour ago)

Holiday Wawa: The Turkey Gobbler

from Serious Eats by John M. Edwards

2 people liked this


[Photo: Carey Jones]

They say you know you’re from South Jersey if you’ve ever slept behind a Wawa. The convenience store staple, beloved by many a New Jersey or Pennsylvania native, gets into the season with Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches.

The greatest thing about the Wawa is its computer ordering system—there’s something very satisfying about the droplet sound as you punch in your sandwich an condiments. (I think it’s the same sound as the old Macintosh LC II computers.) Punch in a “Gobbler,” and you get a turkey sandwich with gravy, stuffing, and cranberry juice, on their squishy hoagie loaf. Thanksgiving on a roll.

20101109wawa2.jpgTheir stuffing, which takes over some bites, is more salty than it is delicious—soft and barely spiced, it’s reasonably moist but not terribly tasty. The turkey isn’t bad, though, thick-sliced and not dry in the slightest. The gravy adds even more savory saltiness, but the jelly-like cranberry sauce helps cut through it. It’s sweet and distinctly fruity, though lacking the tart punch that a cranberry sauce should have.

Overall, the sandwich is a good total package. It’s a bit light on meat; the one I had could have used a lot more turkey to balance out the hefty dollop of stuffing. Other than that, though, it’s a reasonably tasty holiday classic. Like most of the sandwiches at Wawa, it’s nothing you’d go out of your way for, but it’s totally satisfying and just a little better than it has to be.

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8:44 AM (1 hour ago)

The Sifty Fifty Thanksgiving List

from Diner’s Journal by By SAM SIFTON
Ideas about where to eat your Thanksgiving dinner and about what you yourself might cook at home.
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8:44 AM (1 hour ago)

What We’re Reading

from Diner’s Journal by By THE NEW YORK TIMES
An aggregation of links from the reporters and editors of Diner’s Journal.
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8:44 AM (1 hour ago)

Reviewing Lavo

from Diner’s Journal by By SAM SIFTON
This week Sam Sifton reviews Lavo on East 58th Street.
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8:39 AM (1 hour ago)

15 Days Until Thanksgiving

from Serious Eats by The Serious Eats Team

Today’s Thanksgiving Planning Tip: Make a plan for how you will execute the meal. Decide what can be made before T-Day, like cranberry sauce (or will you buy it?) and boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes. Figure out how long it will take to cook things on the holiday, and what you can prep in advance.

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8:22 AM (1 hour ago)

Ma’amoul Cookies and a Beet Gratin with Gruyére & Thyme Delicious links for 11.10.2010

from The Kitchn by Faith Durand

1 person liked this

2010_11_10-Slinkage.jpgPlus a cute tea-towel and a silverware spinner.

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8:12 AM (1 hour ago)

Hidden Gems: Smoke Jazz Club in NYC

from Serious Eats by Erin Zimmer

2 people liked this
This post is part of our Hidden Gems series, which is brought to you by Basil Hayden’s bourbon. Spicy, unexpected, and full of potential. Just like your plans tonight.20101110-smokejazz4.jpg

[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

People don’t usually go to jazz clubs for the food. “It’s almost as if they intentionally make it bad to make you appreciate the music more,” Ed said in his previous review of Smoke Jazz Club. Of course there have been exceptions, and we still think Smoke Jazz Club uptown is one of them. You don’t even need to drink more bourbon to make the food taste better, though they do have a standard selection of bourbons, and will make a classic Mint Julep or BNG (Bourbon ‘n’ Ginger). Monday through Thursday is an especially good deal: a two-course dinner for $29.95. And if you go on a Monday night, there’s no cover charge for the music (Jam Session Nite!).


Start with the Caesar Salad, which you’d expect to be forgettable, but it actually made us wonder, why don’t we eat caesar salads more? The romaine is fresh and bright, the cheese shreds are sharp, the white anchovies add briney, salty slivers, and the creamy dressing brings it all together with a garlicky punch.


If you’re feeling like meat orbs instead, get the seafood meatballs.Something about seafood meatballs doesn’t usually turn me on (ground-up shellfish with mystery filler?) but these aren’t that. They’re fluffy and light, and packed with underwater creatures: scallops, shrimp, and clams. They come in a white wine parsley broth with an insanely buttery toast stick hanging out.


Now onto the black truffle coq au vin. How many jazz clubs do you know stock truffle oil in the kitchen? The platter has a lot of deep, earthy flavors. The braised chicken is in a shallow lake of red wine, black truffle oil, pancetta, and mushrooms. Another entree, the New York strip steak, had a charred crust and juicy interior (we ordered it medium rare and they cooked it just right) served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach.

For dessert, nothing is too out of left field. There’s a chocolate option, a fruit one, and a cheese platter, and all of ’em disappeared from our table.

You might not suspect chef Patricia Williams‘s food to be all that much underneath the snappy beats, but it’s as impressive as the music.

Smoke Jazz Club

2751 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 (map)


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8:02 AM (1 hour ago)

Brown Bread Ice Cream

from David Lebovitz by David

3 people liked this

brown bread ice cream

When I was in Ireland, after a wonderful dinner at an old country inn, I was served a big bowl of Brown Bread Ice Cream. I had heard about this unusual ice cream quite a while back and like Grape-Nuts Ice Cream, which is something apparently enjoyed in New England (although I was born and live there for eighteen years and never saw or tasted even a lick of it), I was intrigued by the idea of bits of dark crunchies embedded in scoops of cool, creamy ice cream.

One bite, of course, and I was hooked and wanted to make it when I got home. I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it, and I sent a message to the inn inquiring about the process, but after a few weeks of checking my Inbox every three minutes, I just couldn’t wait any longer and decided to come up with one on my own.
Continue Reading Brown Bread Ice Cream

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8:00 AM (2 hours ago)

What Can I Make With Preserved Lemons? Good Questions

from The Kitchn by Faith Durand

1 person liked this

Q: On my weekly trip to the local deli I decided to buy a jar of preserved lemons on a whim, but I’m having trouble finding a variety of recipes to use them up.

Hoping you could offer some suggestions?

Sent by Jemma

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7:42 AM (2 hours ago)

This Week in ‘New York Times’ Food News

from Serious Eats by Hannah Howard

From Serious Eats: New York

Smoked Birds: Greenberg Smoked Turkey, founded in 1938, will sell about200,000 turkeys this season.

Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing: Turns out Marilyn was a confident cook.

Thanksgiving Wine: For your Thanksgiving feast, 10 “wines that will be in it for the long haul.”

Chef’s Thanksgiving Tips: Helpful Turkey Day advice–for example, roast turkey breasts and braise the legs separately.

Recipes for the Big Meal: How to whip up sweet potato, pumpkin and apple puree, or dry-brined turkey.

101 Easy Recipes: Mark Bittman suggests dishes to prep ahead of time, like onion jam with bacon and bourbon.

No Stars: Lavo, a new restaurant on East 58th Street, set above a nightclub, isall style and no substance.

Hill Country Chicken: Great fried chicken, plus pimento cheese and free-flowing strawberry lemonade.

The Harrison: Jimmy Bradley, the restaurant’s owner and original chef, returns to the kitchen after an absence of many years.

Food Stuff: Uplands Cheese introduces the satiny Rush Creek Reserve, agooey cheese; Anthi’s on Amsterdam Avenue sells flaky spanakopita and sweet pastries; LuLu Cake Boutique is a new Chelsea bakery worth a visit.

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7:29 AM (2 hours ago)

Autumnal Recipe: Roasted Squash and Arugula Salad with Pecans, Bacon, and Goat Cheese

from The Kitchn by Dana Velden

1 person liked this

2010_11_10-squash.jpgThis salad, with its deep flavors and rich ingredients, is a perfect example of autumn’s most delicious offerings. In fact, it would almost be too rich if it wasn’t for a bright splash of sherry vinegar and the light, spicy green of arugula. Bring it to a buffet, pot luck or serve it as a light supper on its own.

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7:13 AM (2 hours ago)

Slyce: Chicago’s New Coal Oven Pizza Champion

from Serious Eats by Daniel Zemans

3 people liked this

From Slice

Serious Eats Chicago contributor Daniel Zemans checks in with another piece of intel on the Windy City pizza scene. The Mgmt.

20101110 Slyce Outside 2.jpg

[Photographs: Daniel Zemans]

Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Company

127 North Main Street, Wauconda, IL 60084 (map); (847) 469-8840;
Pizza Style: Thin
Oven Type: Coal
The Skinny: The best coal oven pizza in Chicagoland.
Price: 12″ pies range from $12 to $15.50
Notes: Dinner only; closed Mondays

A little over a month ago, I got an email from a concerned Slice reader named Tyler S. to encourage me to check out a brand new place called Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Company in Wauconda, a small town 45 miles away from downtown Chicago. Tyler wrote because he was excited about the pizza but concerned about its future:

Honestly, I am quite worried it could leave me as unexpectedly as it arrived. In the city, these types of places stand a fighter’s chance, but in the far suburbs, I think much of the passion put into these disc-shaped delights is lost on the local audience.

I prefer to let places work out kinks so I didn’t head out there right away. I figured early customers and reviewers would point out any flaws and the restaurant could adjust. I have no idea if this place started on top of its game, or if there are particularly insightful customers in Wauconda, but this place is putting out some seriously excellent pizzas. I’m a fan of Coalfire (reviewed here) and Castel Gandolfo (reviewed here), but based on my first experience at Slyce, there is a new coal oven champion in town.

20101110 Slyce Oven 2.jpg

Slyce is a creation of the team behind Lindy’s Landing, another Wauconda restaurant, but the pizza passion flows from General Manager Gary Bougie. Bougie began his pizza career at 14 when he got a job with now-defunct local chain Jake’s Pizza. He continued to work at pizzerias through college and even while in culinary school. After a few fine dining stints around the country, he made his way back to Illinois where he eventually met up with the owners of Lindy’s.

20101110 Slyce Sausage Whole 2.jpg

The menu offers ten red pizzas, five white pizzas, and a build-your-own option that starts with a base that includes tomato sauce. For my first pizza, I chose a custom pie topped with sausage and fresh mozzarella. Everything about this pizza was outstanding. The creamy house-made mozzarella and the fennel-heavy sausage (currently brought in, but soon to be made at Slyce) were both top notch. The rich, lightly tangy and sweet tomato sauce sang with flavor that comes from mixing four different types of canned tomatoes. And fortunately, that wonderful combination was served on a worthy crust.

20101110 Slyce Upskirt 2.jpg

I loved Coalfire when it opened but over time I’ve noticed an increasing predilection for serving undercooked pizza. I can’t be certain, but I suspect that came about after too many people complained about “burnt” pies. As I headed out beyond the suburbs to get to Slyce, I was expecting a pie that would suffer similarly. I could not have been more wrong. This magnificent crisp and chewy crust, made from a blend of high protein flours, had a great rustic flavor that was complemented by a gentle kiss of carbon that left no doubt as to the heat source behind the pizza. The only “flaws” were the slight wetness of the crust and the use of shredded basil, but these are really minor complaints.

20101110 Slyce White Whole 2.jpg

If you were only going to get one pizza at Slyce, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you missed out on the tomato sauce. And frankly, the sauce is so good that I’d recommend all pizzas be red. But for readers allergic to tomatoes or with severe cases of acid reflux, I can assure you that the white pies are made with as much care and served on every bit as good of a crust as the ones. I went with a pizza with mozzarella, gorgonzola, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

20101110 Slyce Side 2.jpg

The blend of tangy and creamy cheeses along with the extra kick from the garlic and extra tang from the sun-dried tomatoes was really a great combination that was smoothed out pretty nicely by the generous pour of olive oil. If I was going to be extra picky, I’d say that I would have preferred this pizza with the added creaminess that fresh mozzarella brings, but the same thing can be said about virtually any thin crust pizza made with commercial mozzarella.

The restaurant industry is tough these days, and I have no idea if Slyce is going to make it. But if the kitchen consistently puts out pizzas like I had last week, I think there’s a good chance that the owners will follow through with their plans to open additional locations. I only hope that one of those new places is significantly closer to my house.

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6:51 AM (3 hours ago)

The Food Lab Thanksgiving Special: Ultra-fluffy or Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

from Serious Eats by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

3 people liked this

More tests, more results! Follow The Food Lab on Facebook or Twitter.

During Thanksgiving, that most divisive of holidays, mashed potatoes are perhaps the most divisive side dish of the lot.

I like mine to be rich, perfectly smooth, and creamy with plenty of butter and heavy cream, loaded with black pepper, maybe some chives if I want to feel extra fancy. Somewhere between a dish on its own and a sauce, it should have the consistency of a pudding, slowly working it’s way across a tilted plate. I like to pick up a piece of turkey and swirl it in my gravy-covered potatoes so that they coat it, their buttery richness working into the cracks in the meat. Sounds good, right? Who could possibly want it any other way?

My sister. That’s who.


For Pico (yes, that’s her real name*), mashed potatoes are fluffy and thick enough to stand up under their own weight, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind-style. These are the kind of mashed potatoes that can hold their own on the plate. The kind that you want to turn into a TV commercial with a pat of butter slowly melting on top. I’m not talking about the uber-lumpy skin-on kind that more whimsical chefs might refer to as “smashed potatoes” or even “smashers” on cute and clever family-restaurant menus. I’m talking smooth, but light and fluffy.

So how do you arrive at such two different results with the same starting ingredients?

It’s all got to do with starch.


For our purposes, potatoes can be thought of as basically three different things. First, there are the cells. The little microscopic bubbles that all living things are made from. These cells are held together with pectin, a sort of natural plant glue, and the walls of the cells are where starch is concentrated.

Now starch molecules—a type of carbohydrate—come bundled up in tight granules. As potatoes cook, pectin breaks down, and individual cells expand and separate, releasing starch granules into the outside environment. These starch granules absorb water like little balloons, eventually popping and releasing sticky starch molecules. The concentration of this released starch that makes its way into the final mashed potatoes to a large degree determines their consistency.

To put it simply: for lighter, fluffier potatoes, the goal is to incorporate as little starch as possible in the final product.

So how does one go about recognizing starch molecules from quite a long ways away? There are a number of factors that determine this.

  • Potato type plays a huge role. Mealy russet potatoes have cells that readily fall apart from each other, meaning you don’t have to cook them or work them too hard to get them to a relatively smooth consistency. Less working means less burst starch granules, which means fluffier mashed potatoes. Waxier Yukon Gold or Red Bliss require longer cooking, and must be worked fairly hard to separate their cells, making for creamier mashed potatoes.
  • Mashing method can drastically alter your end results. Carefully pressing a potatoes through a tamis, ricer, or food mill will separate the cells with minimal shearing action to break up the starch. Throw potatoes in a food processor, and an avalanche of starch gets released, turning your potatoes the consistency of melted mozzarella cheese. Whipping the potatoes in a stand mixer will develop some starchy creaminess, but still keep the potatoes creamy.
  • Soaking and/or rinsing the potatoes can help you modify the amount of starch that remains on them. Cutting potatoes into smaller pieces before cooking and rinsing them under cold water will wash away much of the excess starch. Cooking them in their jackets, on the other hand, will help retain all the starch in their interior.

So just knowing these factors now, we should be able to determine the best way to get both styles of potatoes.

Cream Of the Crop

Ultra-creamy mashed potatoes are really more of a French thing than an American one, and if you want to be fancy, you can call them pommes purées.The goal with them is to get them ultra rich, yet not heavy or leaden. This requires some careful cooking to allow just enough starch to be released to give it the right texture, but not so much that it’s gluey. The best way I’ve found to do this is to boil medium-waxy potatoes (like a Yukon Gold or Russian Banana fingerling) just until tender enough to be poked through with a cake tester or paring knife with no resistance. Starting them in cold water helps them cook more evenly, as well as helping to strengthen some of their pectin, which keeps them from falling apart.


I tried several methods to puree the potatoes, including pressing through a tamis (lots of work), throwing them straight in a stand mixer (they never get smooth), and using the food processor (really really bad idea). The best and easiest method was to just pass them through a ricer directly into the bowl of a stand mixer. You don’t even need to peel them.

After that, I whisk them on high speed with the paddle attachment, adding melted butter, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. If I’m not serving vegetarians, I also like to add a bit of chicken stock, which gives it an intensely savory quality (don’t give away the secret). On to the second variety.

Fluff Enough?

Getting potatoes light and fluffy is a little bit trickier. One thing is clear: you want to start with mealy russets that fall apart with minimal proddingand release starch in an easy-to-rinse-off manner. At first I thought that simply rinsing away as much starch as possible before cooling would be the key.

To do this, I made three batches of potatoes. The first I cut into large chunks, the second into 1-inch dice, and the last I grated on the large holes of a box grater. All three batches I rinsed under cold water until the liquid ran clear. By collecting the drained milky liquid from each batch of potatoes and comparing it, it was quite clear that the grated potatoes released far more starches than either of the other types of potatoes. Let’s see how it translates down the line.

Turns out that another weird phenomena occurs when you try and cook grated and rinsed potatoes: they simply don’t soften. I boiled those grated potatoes for a full 45 minutes to no avail. Even after forcing them through a ricer, pebbly, hard bits remained. What the heck was going on?


It’s got to do with that pesky pectin. Turns out that when exposed to calcium ions, pectin cross-links, forming stronger bonds that are resistant even to prolonged cooking. As it happens, potato cells are full of calcium ions just waiting to burst out. By grating the taters, I ended up releasing so much calcium that the pectin gets strengthened to a point where it never softens.

Of the other two batches—the large chunks and the small dice—both formed a moderately fluffy mash, but to get the potatoes even fluffier, I found that rinsing the boiled potatoes of excess starch both before and after cooking was the key. A quick pass through the ricer and a little bit of lubrication provided by some butter and whole milk gently stirred in with a rubber spatula, and my sister’s potatoes were ready for sculpting.

With both potato cooking methods in order, my sister and I can finally get back to fighting over really important things like who gets to play the guitar part on Beatles Rock Band.

So which type are you? Are you a creamy purée type or a light and fluffy potato-eater?

*sort of



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6:44 AM (3 hours ago)

Supermarket Survival: Tips for the Self-Checkout Lane

from The Kitchn by Anjali Prasertong

1 person liked this

2010_11_08-self-checkout.jpgI’m a fairly technologically savvy person, but I have a real aversion to self-checkout stations at the grocery store. I seem to either get held up by someone in front of me struggling with a scanning error, or run into problems myself. But after reading the Washington Post’s tips for error-free self-checkout, I might be ready to face the dreaded scanner again.

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6:44 AM (3 hours ago)

Bulgur for Breakfast, Anyone?

from The Kitchn by Emma Christensen

3 people liked this

2010-11-10-BulgurBreakfast.jpgSpeaking of hot breakfasts for cold mornings, what do you think of bulgur for breakfast? We’re thinking this super-quick-cooking grain would be perfect for busy mornings this fall and winter.

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5:29 AM (4 hours ago)

Entertaining Shortcut: Trader Joe’s Stroopwafels

from The Kitchn by Stephanie Barlow

4 people liked this

2010_11_10-Stroopwafel2_edited.jpgDessert is always the last thought in my entertaining plan. I can handle appetizers and cocktails, but I always seem to decide on making dessert a few hours too late in the game. But no one is ever disapointed when I break out these Dutch cookies.

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