Cook’s Country senior editor Bryan Roof, left, gives test cook Nick Iverson a pretty intense look as he takes a taste of Nick’s preparation of shrimp pilau (a Southern dish of rice cooked in broth often served with seafood or game) during the early stages of recipe development for a future issue of Cook’s Country magazine. See more behind-the-scenes photos at: http://bit.ly/o0qi36
New Cardboard Carrying Case for Fast Food: Ever feel like there must be a better way to carry a burger, fries, and a drink than the flimsy paper bag fast food chains provide? You’re not alone: Rhode Island School of Design industrial design student Seulbi Kim came up with the TOGO BURGER, a streamlined carrier case, to solve the problem. The handy contraption seems like just what the industry needs.
Trying to Find a Use for Greek Yogurt’s Toxic Byproduct: Greek yogurt has been a hot health food item for a few years now. But did you know that a byproduct of its production, acid whey, is toxic? The thin, runny slop can’t simply be dumped because it robs oxygen from streams and rivers, a phenomenon which can turn waterways into “dead seas” by destroying aquatic life in large areas. Given that the market for Greek yogurt is now worth over $2 billion (and production in New York nearly tripled between 2007 and 2013), food scientists, Greek yogurt companies, and state government officials are scrambling to find a use for acid whey (and a way to make a profit off of the stuff while they’re at it).
Gin: When to Add Lemon and When to Add Lime: The twist is as much a part of the flavor profile of gin and tonics as the gin and tonic themselves, so do you put a lemon or a lime peel in your G&T? If you want something refreshing, Charles Rolls, co-founder of Fever-Tree Tonic, says go with lemon (or even an orange peel). Looking for something a little more tangy to go with your Tanqueray? “The tangy sharpness of lime makes it a perfect dance partner,” says Audrey Saunders, an owner of Pegu Club in NYC.
Boston-Area Restauranteurs Dish on Rude Diners: Some restauranteurs say customers are getting ruder these days. Restaurant consultant Ed Doyle, of RealFood Consulting, says that two trends have come together to make the perfect storm of an entitled customer: “You’ve got the dining consumer who is better educated about food than ever, or thinks he is,” he says, “and we live in a world where you can get customized everything.” That social media gives everyone a platform on which to complain also probably doesn’t help. Boston-area chefs and restaurant industry experts weigh in on the matter.
Cook’s Illustrated associate editor (and resident pizzaiolo) Andrew Janjigian carves a pair of pizzas into tasting-sized slices during a preliminary test of five different recipes for gluten-free pizza dough sourced from various websites and cookbooks. Andrew will use his findings from this test to pick a lane for developing his own recipe, due out in a future publication. See more behind-the-scenes photos at: http://bit.ly/o0qi36
Picture Cook: Illustrated Recipes from Katie Shelly: The visual designer Katie Shelly has one heck of a side project: She is the author of Picture Cook, a book of recipes that she has drawn out instead of written. Each one is illustrated in a flow-chart type format, and they are as visually pleasing as they are easy to follow (we’re particularly enthused about the recipe for carrot soup). Shelly says that some people find the recipes very helpful, especially if they are visual learners: “It’s just another way of slicing information…I think for people who are into it, if it works for you, then that’s awesome.”
NASA Backs Development of a 3D Food Printer: NASA just awarded a six-month, $125,000 grant to Anjan Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing. And no, he’s not working on printing state-of-the-art space shuttle equipment. He’s working on printing food. Contractor’s vision is one in which every kitchen has a 3D printer from which people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals built one layer at a time from cartridges of power and oils. He says his plan would mean the end of food waste, because the powder will be shelf-stable for 30 years. Each cartridge would therefore be fully used since the expiration date is so long.
Bucking Tradition: 25 Modern Wedding Cakes: Why stick to a traditional wedding cake when you can have an avant garde, modernist confection? POPSUGAR Food has put together a slideshow featuring 25 wedding cakes with geometric, eye-popping structures and designs. From “naked cakes” to ombre frosting, these towering treats are anything but boring.
Microgreens and Edible Flowers Pack Quite the Punch: Microgreens and edible flowers add a delicate touch to dishes, brightening up fatty cuts of meat and adding pops of color to thinly sliced sashimi. Boston Magazine recently published a beautiful photograph of the tiny plants that we can’t stop staring at. But these mini greens and buds are as flavor-packed as they are pretty, because, according to chef Carolyn Johnson of the Concord, MA, restaurant 80 Thoreau, they contain “all the energy of the plant trapped in a baby sprout.”
Test kitchen staff photographer Daniel van Ackere, left, gives Cook’s Illustrated test cook Dan Cellucci a hand arranging rings of raspberries atop a layer of pastry cream within an outer collar of sliced kiwi in order to keep things moving smoothly on a photo shoot for our Classic Fruit Tart. See more behind-the-scenes photos at: http://bit.ly/o0qi36
Calorie Bombs Hidden on Chain Restaurants’ Secret Menus: A man walks into Chipotle and tries to order the “quesarito” (a burrito wrapped inside a quesadilla). The woman behind the counter tells him she doesn’t know what that is and that it doesn’t exist, but if it did, it would be available between the hours of noon and 1pm. Welcome to the world of secret menus at chain restaurants: The corporate offices can deny their existence until they turn blue in face, but exist they do. Perhaps the most famous secret menu item is In-N-Out Burger’s “animal style” fries, which come with melted cheese, grilled onions, and a huge ladle of Thousand Island dressing. You won’t see these items listed anywhere, but if you ask in the right way at the right time, you might get lucky.