Making rack of lamb for the holidays? Here are three ideas for what to put on top.
I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: About 10 minutes
Unless you’re at work, please forget about microwave popcorn. It doesn’t compare to the real thing (especially if you don’t store the kernels forever), which takes at most twice as long. And popcorn takes brilliantly to real butter (instead of that artificially butter-flavored oil), cheese, and many other seasonings.
This is a fantastic take on rack of lamb with persillade (and the pimenton-garlic bread crumbs are almost a dead ringer for crumbled chorizo.)
Skillet Pork Chops, Eight Ways
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
The essential sear-and-simmer technique that leaves you with any number of excellent pan sauces (see the variations).
Other cuts and meats you can use: bone-in chicken thighs (which will require more cooking) or pork medal- lions cut from the tenderloin (which will cook more quickly). Check out the new How to Cook Everything iPad App
“The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said people in America are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. They want to give all the power to the federal government to force you to eat more fruits and vegetables. … This is socialism of the highest order!” – Rep. Paul Broun, Georgia
Over at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick takes a humorous look at Republicans’ fear of vegetables, particularly the idiotic idea that the government will force people to eat vegetables if we don’t nip socialism in the bud.
Lithwick speculates that conservatives’ fear of vegetables (which is somewhat ironic, given all the lip service they pay to “the American farmer”) stems from their personal dislike of vegetables and their latent fear of women, especially their mothers. And while she has a lot of fun lampooning those who equate the government’s encouragement of healthy eating with a socialist takeover, she doesn’t mention another reason conservatives’ arguments are ridiculous: The government already encourages Americans to eat certain foods by subsidizing crops.
By Freya Bellin
In making this recipe, I was reminded to never underestimate the power of fresh herbs. I went with a mix of pretty much every herb listed below (parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, tarragon, thyme), and despite my concerns that the flavors might clash, everything came together. The leeks and herbs made my kitchen smell like a garden, and the color is gorgeous. Cannellini beans make a great base for this dish. They’re very creamy but relatively neutral in flavor, so they take well to the herbs and leeks. The result was earthy and fresh—not to mention quite versatile. As noted below, you could serve this dish with fish or chicken (you may want a chunkier, hand-mashed consistency for that), or you can puree it and use it as a topping for crostini, as I did. And I will admit to just eating it by the spoonful as well.
After a quick taste-test, I decided to add just about a tablespoon or 2 of lemon juice (about 1/3 of a fresh lemon) to the mixture. The citrus really brightened up the flavors and gave it a nice zing at the end. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.
The just-released How to Cook Everything iPad App is spectacular (and I can say that since I didn’t develop it!). It’s something neither I nor anyone else could have dreamed of when I was first working on the book in the mid-90s.
To celebrate the launch I’m officially kicking off “The 12 Days of How to Cook Everything,” a countdown of the 12 most-voted-for HTCE recipes (based on an ongoing voting feature embedded in the App), one-a-day until new year’s eve.
It’s fascinating to me to see the recipes that people search for and come back to again and again: If you have any all-time favorites, post them in the comments section below, or just vote for them on the App.
Jim Lahey’s No-Work Bread
Throwing a holiday party sometime soon? Forget store-bought crackers and try these.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 30 minutes
Excuse the superlatives; this spin on a Spanish tapa is my favorite, and everyone I serve it to loves it. The shrimp juices infuse the oil, and the sum is beyond delicious. It’s good with bread, over rice, tossed with pasta, or stuffed into tacos.
Other seafood you can use: similar-sized scallops (or larger, though they’ll take longer to cook). Recipe from How to Cook Everything.
This week the Wall Street Journal and James Knickman, President and CEO of the New York State Health Foundation, weighed in on a potential soda tax. WSJ cited research which suggested that while a 40% levy on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages would raise $2.5 billion annually, it would “only” result in an average weight loss of 1.3 pounds per person, per year (most of that weight being lost in middle-income households.) The article goes on to paraphrase one of the primary authors of the study:
If the goal is obesity prevention, taxing only sugary drinks may not be the most effective way to go. . . Targeting the sugary and fat-laden foods with the lowest per-calorie cost would actually suggest going after candy rather than soda, he says. A soda tax might have its biggest effect on obesity not by reducing consumption, but by raising money to put towards prevention or other anti-obesity efforts.