September 22nd, 2014

PUT A EGG ON IT #9!!

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Put A Egg On It #9 is stuffed! America Eats, a WPA-era survey of how we cook and eat; Etang Chen’s cinematic exploration of Taipei’s night markets; and the eerie landscapes of New York City’s take-out Chinese restaurants photographed by Lauren Zaser. Bonnie Pipkin creates a 35-course birthday meal at midnight, Paul Gerard insists on the vital importance of timing and Asza West suffers lonely romantic nights in Shanghai. This issue offers tasty tips, working lunches and recipes full of great epiphanies! Pre-order NOW! 

September 3rd, 2014

Walk-Ins Welcome

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Moving out ranks right along with laundromats and Dum Dum lollipops as my most loathed things.

It does have its perks though.

I always remember the food from moving out. When I left Charleston a year ago, my brother and I sat on my mattress (everything else was in the truck) and ate take-out from Kickin’ Chicken, my go-to college bar. The thick blue cheese and iceberg lettuce got a spear stuck through them. Kickin’ Chicken’s proprietary “smokin’” sauce brought far more tears than anything else in college. I haven’t been able to eat a buffalo chicken salad since.

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August 27th, 2014

The Duck Stock

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The scent of duck stock lingered in my apartment all day last Sunday. I spent that morning simmering a pot of fried duck bones for a few hours until the clear soup gradually turned into the white soup. It was my first time making duck stock but I was quite confident it was going to be good because, though I never consider myself as a good cook, I pride myself in making stocks. I have made pork stock, chicken stock, and beef stock and they all came out well. It should be the same, that’s what I thought when I decided to try the duck.

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August 15th, 2014

Recipe: “Stray Dog”

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Still taken from Akira Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel

Sake’s not something I’m used to having a lot of, so in this gin-based cocktail, it’s being used like you’d use dry vermouth, a milding agent that tempers the main spirit and is delightful with plum, mint, and lime.

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Deno’s Wonder Wheel by Tommy Werner

My previous associations with Coney Island were these: the yellow vacuum-sealed Nathan’s Hot Dogs (imported!) I saw as a kid in South Carolina and a scene from Big when Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins go to the amusement park for one of their first real dates. It’s a turning point in the movie, when Hanks has come to terms with being a grown-up. By now, he’s still a 12-year old trapped in a 30-year old’s body, but the tension isn’t what drives this scene. He’s not fighting his adulthood while out on this date. His inner secret shows when he’s gleeful on the rides, and his innocence is all there when he wipes a blob of mustard off of Elizabeth Perkins, but he treats her like a peer, not a grown-up. Since moving to New York, I’ve put a lot of my experiences in the context of Big; Coney Island isn’t an exception.

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Even though Food Network is experiencing some lower ratings, you could say we live in a golden age of food broadcasting, where a daily task has been elevated to a glamorous spectacle. Can you imagine an entire network, or even an entire show, devoted to some other reasonably manual task, like, say, cleaning a bathroom? Food television created a new cult of personality around TV hosts, destroyed a few professional careers, and lifted the lives of certain home cooks into gastronomical icons. I have a number of favorites.

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July 23rd, 2014

Yelp vs. Waiter, Part 2

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A few weeks before my road trip from upstate New York to Minnesota with my friend Jay, who is Yelp’s faithful audience, I came up with the idea to find out who would recommend us better dishes between Yelp and waiters. I would be on waiters’ side, ordering anything recommended by them. Jay would be on Yelp side, checking reviews before making her decision.

Briefly, we decided to turn our 800-mile trip into a tasty and friendly competition of what I believe it is fun and what Jay believes it is good. To my delight, the waiter won the first round at the contemporary sushi place in Chicago. But the next morning, Yelp scored the point.

Two more meals left here.

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July 18th, 2014

Recipe: Turnt-Ups

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Turn down for what? Not for these braised turnips. I’ve been a little exhausted with mushy vegetables, shriveled reminders of limpid freezer fries and wanted to make some vegetables with attitude, something “turnt to the ceiling.” With a quick braise in brandy, these root veggies get cooked just enough to be tender throughout, but also have some bite, both texturally and tastewise. Because even with the braising liquid, vegetables should still taste like vegetables. The scallions, tarragon, and vinegar add some sharpness, and this would go nicely with a fatty main course like grilled beef.

Get TURNT.

Braised Turnips with Scallions and Tarragon
Serves Two

1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 lb. white turnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into rods
3 scallions, whites and greens cut on the bias
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, diced

Heat a saute pan over medium heat for about a minute. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. Heat for another minute. Add the scallion whites and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook the scallion whites in the oil until aromatic, about two minutes. Add the scallion greens and cook all scallions until browned, about another four minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.

Increase pan to high and add turnips and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until all sides begin to color, about four minutes. Add the brandy and mustard. Stir to combine and “baste” the turnips with the liquid. Using a spoon, scoop liquid from the bottom of the pan and pouring it over the turnips. Add the chopped tarragon. Decrease heat and put a lid on the pan. Cook until the brandy has mostly evaporated, about six minutes.

Add the reserved scallions back to the pan and cook for about a minute, melding the flavors. Add the sherry vinegar and most of the shallot, keeping some for the final plating. Cook until flavors have blended and shallot is aromatic, about one minute. Garnish finished vegetables with reserved shallot and tarragon sprigs. Serve immediately.

All recipes and photography by Tommy Werner

July 16th, 2014

Yelp Vs. Waiter, Part 1

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If I can pick only one friend to travel with me in the states, Jay would be the first name I think of because we have a lot in common. Places I would love to visit are usually on her list as well. Let alone the funny fact that we often get hungry at the same time when we are together. However, when it comes to choosing where to eat and what to order, we are on different ends of the spectrum.

While I enjoy picking restaurants randomly and have fun with finding new surprising favorites, Jay heavily relies on Yelp. For her, new places worth trying are places that have earned more than four stars. Her reliance on the site usually expands to what she orders, too. “According to Yelp…,” is a phrase commonly heard over our meals. While, on the other hand, I like to ask waiting staff first to see what they recommend. So when we were planning for our road trip from Cooperstown in upstate New York to Rochester, Minnesota, I came up with an idea that both of us could stand on our end of the spectrum and still enjoy the food.

“Hey, why don’t you just order dishes recommended on Yelp and I will order dishes recommended by waiters? Then we will taste both dishes, compare the food we get, and see who is gonna win each meal? Our meals would be something like mini yummy competitions between the Internet, well, human on the Internet, and human working there.”

I told Jay the idea and she was in.

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Previously, we promised an experiment with the Polyscience smoking gun, so without further ado, here’s an cocktail we made using the device, which is every bit as fun as it sounds. Yes, it is scientifically possible to smoke a liquid. Using an airtight container and the hose attachment, it only took a little bit of time to imbue this liquid with hickory smoke. 15 minutes was more than enough time to infuse tequila with a smoky flavor that goes nicely with citrus and sweetener.

Using a DIY chipotle syrup and grapefruit, this is a smoky and long-sipping spin on the Paloma.

Watch this video for a blazing gun demo and cocktail assembly.

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