Spiraly goodness from Korea

Immediate disclaimer: I have never eaten this snack and can make no claims about its deliciousness. But damn, it just looks delicious. From the blog, Super Local:

totally forgot i had this until i was reminded by the lovely shezz. what a crazily amazing way to present (& cook) a potato!

came dusted with a fine cheese powder, a bit like the stuff you find on Twisties. quite yum, like a one super long deep fried crisp!

have seen it in Hongdae & Myeongdong but am it’s in loads of other places.

more food theatrics, please! ^^

Some people might be a bit concerned with the healthiness of the snack (Cory Doctorow, of Boing Boing fame). But I'm heartened. It's a whole potato, spiral cut and fried. My guess would be that it's dusted in front of you, and if you picked salt and pepper, you wouldn't get the weird hydrogenated oils that are in cheesey sprinklings. Whole, fresh food simply prepared can't be beat. Sure, you might be better off with a carrot, but you'd be worse off with McDonald's fries. And I'd guess the tornado potato gives fries a solid run for their money in the taste department.


Simple tips for healthier food shopping

Allrecipes.com (via LifeHacker) provides a list of tips and tricks to buying healthier food in the grocery store. The most helpful?

7. Buy in season. Sure, it’s tempting to buy strawberries in December, and once in a while that’s fine. But fresh fruit and vegetables are best when purchased in season, meaning they’ve come from relatively close to home. They often cost less, are tastier, and have less risk of pathogens such as E. coli.

It takes care of tips number 1 and number 2 in one fell swoop (and prevents E. coli). Though the easiest is probably 2. Shop the perimeter of the store.

Link: Ten tips for your grocery list.


The perfect grilled cheese sandwich

Grilled cheeseMany people are troubled by grilled cheese. Such a simple sandwich, yet the complaints are myriad: my cheese didn't melt. The bread burned. It doesn't taste as good as mom used to make. The simplest fix for grilled cheese woes? Lower the temperature and use butter. Lots and lots of delicious butter.

  • Set a pan over medium heat
  • Give it plenty of time to heat up
    • Meanwhile, get two thick slices of bread and your favorite cheese--rye and cheddar works well as does whole wheat bread, a slice of tomato and meunster cheese. For this particular sandwich, I used pumpernickle and swiss on my wife's recommendation. She was born in Wisconsin and knows a thing or two about cheese.
    • Slice your cheese thin and make the sandwich
  • Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan, and spread butter across the outside of one side of the sandwich
  • Lay the sandwich butter-side down in the pan, and butter up the other side (It's ok, you won't get burned. A good technique is to soften the butter in the microwave--15 seconds ought to do it)
  • After a couple minutes (your cheese won't yet be melted, but should just be turning translucent on the edges) flip the sandiwch and let it go for a few minutes more.
  • Serve with a small salad or tomato soup


Simply French

Simply FrenchMany people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Those people are right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, we're lucky if we have time to toss a handful of granola into a tub of vanilla yogurt during the week, and on weekends, no one wants to spend all morning in the kitchen. We have to do things, see people, or crawl back into bed.

French toast is a simple, delicious breakfast that can be decadent enough for weekend lounging but fast and easy enough for weekday mornings. Total prep and cooking time for recipe is about 15 minutes.

  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, separated
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • small pinch of kosher salt
  • Day old French bread baguette, cut on a diagonal to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 handful of blueberries (any berries will do. I like blue berries because they don't need to be sliced)
  • Syrup (corn, maple, or fruit), or honey

Set a pan on the stove over medium heat, and butter the pan with 1 tablespoon butter. You want just enough to coat the pan. While the pan is heating and the butter melting, mix the buttermilk, egg, salt and brown sugar in a shallow dish--a pie plate works perfectly. Pace the sliced the French bread into the buttermilk mixture and let it sit for 30 seconds on each side.

Buttermilk is important for this recipe. You could easily substitute whole or 2% milk, but the buttermilk provides a tangy contrast to the upcoming sweetness provided by the syrup.

Once you've soaked the pieces, they're ready to put in the pan. Gently set the bread pieces in your skillet and listen to the satisfying sizzle for 2 - 3 minutes. You want the custard mixture you've created to caramelize, but not burn. So check after 2 minutes. If it's not yet a golden brown, let it set a while longer, and then flip them, letting them sizzle away again for the same amount of time.

When they're done, pull the slices from the pan and set them in a flower pattern on a plate. Butter the pieces (you've got up to a tablespoon you can use, remember?), drizzle with syrup, and toss on a few of the berries.

What to pair it with?
Milk, fruit juice or coffee. (Whether or not the coffee has bourbon in it is entirely up to you)