Eat consciously. Eat joyously. Eat well.
August 21st
6:52 AM EST

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The test kitchen’s favorite cooking magazines (in alphabetical order):

…Anything foreign. Even if we can’t read the text, magazines from different countries are fascinating. The different ways food is presented, the volume of text dedicated to instruction (usually surprisingly little compared to the US), how “ethnic food” in the magazine’s home country is approached, and advertising are all incredibly interesting.

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Garden & Gun. If you’re not familiar with this lifestyle magazine it is like chic Southern version of Country Living. Wonderful editorials, luscious photography and fantastic regional food and cocktail features. 

Martha Stewart Living has really stepped up its culinary game over the past few years. Beautiful photography and food styling, interesting seasonal recipes and, as always, Ms. Stewart’s love of cocktails.

Saveur celebrates authentic cuisine by applying a journalistic approach to its content. Think National Geographic rebranded as a cooking magazine. Stories typically feature an author’s personal journey and stand on their own as literary essays. Consequently, these stories provide rich cultural context for the accompanying recipes. Digital content is also excellent. By far our favorite journal of the bunch.

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…No Longer On Our List: Bon Appétit promotes smoking, the leading cause of preventable death, by regularly advertising cigarettes in its pages. The magazine has also become somewhat of an uninspired recipe clearinghouse. Needless to say, we haven’t renewed our subscription.

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August 20th
6:23 AM EST

Know Your Ingredients: Charoli (चारोली)

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The seeds of an evergreen tree (Buchanania lanzan), Charoli (Hindi: चारोली; Marathi: चारोळी; Gujarati: ચારોળી), also known as Chironji (Hindi: चिरौन्जी; Urdu: چرونجي), have a lovely almond flavor. Grown primarily in northwestern India, they are added to various desserts (e.g., chironji ki barfi) and batters but are also used to thicken and lend richness to savory sauces. Like pine nuts, which they bear a striking resemblance to, charoli can be eaten whole but their flavor improves when lightly toasted.

Charoli are available at larger Indian grocery stores (we buy them at Jersey City’s Apna Bazar).

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August 19th
8:00 AM EST

College Sandwiches, Lobster Farci & Pineapple and Cucumber Salad from Enfranchised Cookery: An Offering from the Enfranchised Women Whose Names Appear Within To the Committee on Arrangements for the Forty-Seventh Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, December 14-15, 1915 / May Bartlett Shawhan Hoar, editor.

Source: Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

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August 18th
6:58 AM EST

Spicy Pickled Carrots With Thyme

Spicy Pickled Carrots with Thyme (500 Tasty Sandwiches)

Putting up a large batch of Pickled Carrots with Thyme & Garlic is a great way to ensure you’ll have tasty veg through the fall and winter. We preserve whole peeled carrots which not only look beautiful in the jar but retain their delightful crunch. Commercially grown carrots, bred to be uniform in shape and gargantuan in size, will not work in this recipe. So, if there are no carrots in your victory garden, head to the farmers’ market to pick up the carrots your grandparents would have recognized.

If you don’t use a water-bath canner to preserve your pickled carrots for the long haul, that’s perfectly fine. Refrigerated, they will last a month or so. However, if you would like to learn more about canning or just need a refresher, visit the website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation (http://nchfp.uga.edu/). Eventually the 500 Tasty Sandwiches’ test kitchen will come out with our own guide but happen to like the NCHFP’s simple, no-nonsense approach. Ok, let’s start…

•    3 cups white wine vinegar
•    3 cups white vinegar
•    2 cups water
•    1/2 cup canning salt
•    2 tablespoons sugar
•    4 garlic cloves, smashed
•    Approximately 5 lbs small carrots, peeled
•    For each pint jar: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 6 black peppercorns, 1 large or 2 small sprigs of thyme
•    6-7 one-pint canning jars

Prepare the Carrots
If you are to prepare the carrots with just a bit of their stem remaining you will need meticulously scrub them after peeling. If this makes you nervous simply chop this part off. To get an idea of how many jars and how much pickling liquid you’ll ultimately need to prepare (you can increase the volume of ingredients proportionately), trim to fit and place the carrots in as many jars as you need. There should be about a half-inch between the tops of the carrots and the rim of the jars.

Measuring Carrots (500 Tasty Sandwiches)

Prepare the Pickle Juice
Combine the vinegars, water, salt, sugar and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Maintain boil for several minutes then fish out the garlic, remove the pot from heat and cover it with its lid.

Prepare the Canning Jars
Place the crushed red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, thyme and carrots in each jar. Note: if you have especially small carrots use half-pint jars instead and adjust the volume of spices accordingly.

Pickle Time
Pour pickling liquid into each jar leaving a half inch of headroom between the liquid and the jar’s rim. Tap the jar to remove any air pockets, wipe the rim clean, secure the lid and process for 10 minutes.

Peeling Carrots (500 Tasty Sandwiches)

First peel the carrots then trim it to fit the jars. If you keep a bit of the green as pictured above you must very carefully scrub the carrots to remove any dirt.

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August 15th
7:00 AM EST
Title: Macaroni Seller, Naples, Italy (photochrom print)Date: Between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900Notes: Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J—foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.Part Of: Views of architecture and other sites in Italy (DLC) 2001700650

Title: Macaroni Seller, Naples, Italy (photochrom print)

Date: Between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900

Notes: Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J—foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Part Of: Views of architecture and other sites in Italy (DLC) 2001700650

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August 14th
6:33 AM EST

BBB (Blueberry, Buckwheat, Buttermilk) Sourdough Pancakes

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Who doesn’t love pancakes? Light and fluffy, a bit decadent but decidedly humble, they are the ultimate breakfast comfort food. Our recipe for Blueberry Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes requires sourdough starter which we realize is an ingredient not everyone will have – and it is not something you can purchase at a grocery store (but you can order it through retailers like King Arthur Flour). So this is a bit of an elitist recipe and we apologize for that because these pancakes are epic.

Sourdough not only gives the pancakes a nice zing but also helps break down the gluten in wheat flour, making the pancakes easier to digest. Buckwheat flour gives the pancakes an earthy, nutty flavor and nice chewy texture. The tang of buttermilk balances the sweetness of maple syrup but also lends a pleasant richness to the pancakes. We all know blueberries are great in pancakes but feel free to swap them out for bananas, chopped peaches, crushed pecans or whatever else your heart desires.

Finally, two notes on cooking pancakes. We mix our batter in a pitcher rather than a bowl so we can pour it directly onto the skillet with ease. Speaking of skillets, there is no better way to cook pancakes than in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. If you have one, use it – if not, consider getting one. Once you reach the medium-high heat sweet spot, pancakes cook effortlessly and you will find yourself refreshing the cooking oil much less frequently.

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Pancake Sponge (PM)
• 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup buckwheat flour
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2-2½ cups cultured buttermilk*
• 1 cup sourdough starter

*Add more buttermilk for thinner, crêpe-like pancakes.

The night before you pancake breakfast, whisk together the sponge ingredients in a large pitcher and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Leave unrefrigerated and undisturbed overnight. Note: Use starter that you have not yet fed so it will be more robust.

Pancake Batter (AM)
• all of the overnight sponge
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup vegetable, canola or peanut oil
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda

The next morning beat together the eggs and oil; whisk into the sponge. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the sponge and give it another whisk. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before cooking the pancakes.

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Yes, buckwheat batter is a little grey but it cooks up nice and brown. We recommend mixing and storing the batter in a large pitcher from which you can later pour the batter from directly onto the skillet.


Pancake Time!
• 1 pint blueberries
• Vegetable, canola or peanut oil
• Maple syrup

Place a baking sheet in your oven set to its lowest temperature. This will enable you to keep your pancakes warm as you cook them in batches.

Next, set a non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot pour about half a cup of batter per pancake onto the pan (the number of pancakes you can make at once will depend on the size of your pan). Move the pan so the batter spreads a bit, forming nice circular pancakes. Drop blueberries into the uncooked pancakes. When bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes, flip them and cook for about a minute or until no longer raw. Transfer pancakes to the warm oven and continuing making pancakes until you run out of batter. Add more oil as needed. Serve pancakes with maple syrup.

Leftovers
Pancakes freeze very well. Let your leftover pancakes come to room temperature then wrap bundles of 4-6 pancakes in tin foil and place in the freezer. To reheat, place the bundles directly from the freezer, unopened, in a 350° F / 175° C oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until nice and warm.

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August 13th
9:17 AM EST

Know Your Ingredients: White Pepper

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Pepper, as in “freshly ground black peppercorn,” is the fruit of a flowering vine (Piper nigrum). Remove its dark-colored skin and you have white pepper. It’s as simple as that. White pepper is less pungent and less complex – but slightly hotter – than black pepper. White pepper is also the preferred form of peppercorn in many Asian cuisines where flecks of black pepper are thought to look unrefined. In Europe it is used primarily in haute cuisine but is also common in Swedish cooking.

Chinese: 白胡椒 (bái hú jiāo)
Japanese: 白コショウ (shiro koshō)
Korean: 흰 후추 (huin huchu)
Swedish: Vitpepper
Thai: พริกไทยขาว (phrik thai khao)
Vietnamese: Tiêu Trắng / Hạt Tiêu Trắng

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August 12th
3:00 PM EST
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Hungry for more? Follow 500 Tasty Sandwiches on Facebook and Twitter!

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August 11th
6:46 AM EST

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Larb Kai Yang (ลาบไก่ย่าง) describes the amalgamation of two dishes: larb, a salad of minced meat and fresh herbs, and kai yang, grilled chicken seasoned with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and spices. 

To prepare the dish we brine (in a pinch you can skip this step) and marinate the chicken before roasting it for fantastic flavor. Separately we put together a number of sauces and fresh vegetables and herbs to accompany the lettuce wraps. It is a bit of work to put it all together but your efforts will be well rewarded! Larb kai yang is not only healthy and delicious but also fun to eat.

Brine

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 10 cups warm water
  • 5 or 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • A thumb-size hunk of unpeeled ginger, coarsely sliced against the grain
  • 1 large lemongrass stalk, cut into 2-inch lengths and bruised
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • Half the stems (and roots, if available) of 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 3 whole star anise pods
  • 3 whole scallions, roughly chopped


In a large food-safe container whisk together the ingredients until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved. Allow the water to cool to room temperature or cooler then add…

  • 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked

Submerge the chicken, weighing it down with a heavy plate if necessary. Refrigerate overnight.

Dry Marinade

  • 1 large lemongrass stalk, cut into 2-inch lengths and bruised
  • Peeled cloves from 1 head of garlic, smashed 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Half the stems (and roots, if available) of 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (approximately 1/2 cup)

The next morning drain the brine, reserving the solids (garlic, peppercorns, etc.). Return the chicken to the container you used to brine it. Evenly distribute the dry marinade ingredients over the chicken and return it to the refrigerator. Allow the chicken to chill, pun intended, uncovered, for 4-12 hours.

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Wet Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla, น้ำปลา)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai light/thin soy sauce (se eew kao, ซีอิ๊วขาว)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water

Whisk together wet marinade ingredients. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and pour the wet marinade over it. Return the chicken to the refrigerator. After 1 hour turn the chicken over. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes then transfer the chicken to the counter where it will marinate for another 30 minutes (cooking chilled meat is never a good idea). When you have about 10 minutes to go preheat your oven to 400°F / 205°C.

Roasting

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1/2 cup Thai crispy fried shallots (hom daeng jeow, หอมแดงเจีย)

Combine the olive oil and honey in a microwave safe dish (or measuring cup, coffee mug, etc.) and microwave for about 30 seconds, just long enough to make whisking the two ingredients easier. Fold in the crispy fried shallots.

Separately, spread half of the solid marinade ingredients evenly across a foil-lined baking sheet (preferably one just large enough to fit the spatchcocked chicken). Add the chicken (breast side up) and pour over remaining marinade solids and any liquids that remain. Pour the honey mixture over the chicken.
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Place the whole lot in the oven. After 30 minutes flip the bird and baste with pan liquids. Roast for another 15 minutes (total roasting time: 45 minutes) then flip and baste again. After another 15 minutes (total roasting time: 60 minutes), remove the chicken from the oven. Place aluminum foil around the bird and allow it to rest for 10-30 minutes.

Larb Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 head of large leaf (e.g., Romaine, Boston) lettuce
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly ground white pepper (phrik thai kao, พริกไทยขาว) 
  • 1-2 tablespoons Thai chili pepper flakes (phrik ki nu, พริกขี้หนู)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh Thai holy basil leaves (kaphrao, กะเพรา)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh sawtooth herb (phak chi farang, ผักชีฝรั่ง)
  • 2 limes, halved and quartered
  • 4 cups prepared jasmine or sticky rice

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots. Continue to whittle down the carrots with the peeler, creating a mound of shaved ribbons. Place carrots and other ingredients on a large platter or in a series of separate bowls.

Putting It All Together
Larb Kai Yang is a build-your-own lettuce wrap affair. There are no right or wrong ways to enjoy the assortment of goodies put forth. While the chicken can be sliced in the kitchen before bringing to the table we like to present the chicken whole accompanied by a steak knife for tableside carving. Place a bit of rice and chicken on a lettuce leaf, add any combination of larb ingredients and either spoon sauce over the wrap or dip the wrap in one of the sauces.

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Tamarind Dipping Sauce: Nam Phrik Makham Piak

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla, น้ำปลา)
  • 1/4 cup prepared tamarind pulp/paste/concentrate 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili peppers flakes (phrik ki nu, พริกขี้

The microwave comes in handy when preparing this sauce. Combine the sugar, tamarind paste and water in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk to dissolve sugar then refrigerate until room temperature. Stir in the fish sauce and ground Thai chili peppers. Adjust sourness (tamarind), saltiness (fish sauce) and spiciness (chili peppers) to taste.

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Thai Chili Dipping Sauce: Nam Phrik Pla

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2½ tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla, น้ำปลา)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely minced fresh Thai chili peppers

Whisk together ingredients and adjust to taste.

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Fermented Soybean Paste Dipping Sauce: Nam Chim Tao Jiao

  • 4 tablespoons garlic-ginger paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha (ศรีราชา)
  • 1/3 cup Korean fermented soybean paste (doenjang, 된장)
  • 1/4 cup Thai dark/sweet soy (si eew dum waan, ซีอิ๊วดำหวาน)
  • 1/4 cup Thai light/thin soy (se eew kao, ซีอิ๊วขาว)
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar

Whisk together ingredients and adjust to taste.

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Sweet Thai Chili Sauce: Nam Chim Kai

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons pickled peppers, finely chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Again, the microwave is helpful for dissolving the sugar in water. Combine sugar and water and microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk to dissolve and refrigerate until room temperature. Whisk in the vinegar, pickled peppers, garlic powder and salt. Use and equal amount of finely minced garlic if garlic powder is not on hand.

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Roasted Peanuts & Crispy Fried Shallots: Tua Li Song Khua Hom Daeng Jeow

  • 3 parts roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1 part Thai crispy fried shallots

In a dry pan set over medium heat, toast the peanuts until they become fragrant and begin to change color. Immediately transfer the peanuts to a work surface to prevent them from burning then crush them slightly. Place the crushed peanuts in a bowl and mix with shallots.

Comments
August 9th
5:01 PM EST
Original Title: Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E. N. Clopper.Photographer: Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940)Date: August 1908Notes: Title from NCLC caption card. Attribution to Hine based on provenance. In album: Street trades. Hine no. 0084.Part Of: Photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee (U.S.) 2004667950 Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Original Title: Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E. N. Clopper.

Photographer: Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940)

Date: August 1908

Notes: Title from NCLC caption card. Attribution to Hine based on provenance. In album: Street trades. Hine no. 0084.

Part Of: Photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee (U.S.) 2004667950 
Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

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