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#foodbeast Cravings FOODBEAST Recipes Video

We Turned Mac & Cheese Into CHILAQUILES and CHEESECAKE Recipes

In what has become a fun exercise of our kitchen creativity, Foodbeast personalities and friends have been cooking up themed recipes for the past weeks. Shelter at home has really left us with some prime time to think up some Foodbeast-worthy recipes such as Elote Ramen and Pancake Mix Funnel Cakes! In this next round of quarantine cooking, we’ve set our hearts on the warm, cheesy comfort food that is mac & cheese.

Tapping into our fond memories of what mac & cheese mean to us, we came up with a collection of recipes that are easy to make at home and mouthwatering. Pushing the culinary boundaries this week are Bacon-Wrapped, Mac & Cheese-Stuffed Pasilla Peppers, Macaroni Chilaquiles, Quarantine Casserole, and a Mac & Cheesecake. Sheesh, this week’s roster of recipes are definitely worthy homages to arguably one of the greatest comfort food dishes ever.

Check out the video above and stay tuned to what ingredient we’re focusing on in the next round up of recipes!

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Banana Bread Is Quarantine’s Unlikely Hero

The unspoken hero of this quarantined time is the humble oven. Since most of the world went into hiding, people have taken solace in one of the few acts that is productive, comforting, and time consuming: baking banana bread.

Cookies, brownies, muffins, all have been given shine on social media these past couple weeks. But, nothing has made the rounds more than banana bread. Not a day has gone by in the last week in which a load didn’t touch down on my timeline. 

The phenom even made its way to the cream of the crop of Twitter, with Chrissy Tiegen taking to the platform to offer a loaf of her famous banana bread in exchange for romaine lettuce, which she eventually found.

We decided to join in on the hype, and started with the very bread seen in Tiegen’s exchange, which can be found in her recipe book, Cravings. Check out the video above to see the process and our delicious results.

Now, I wasn’t satisfied with just the bread, I wanted answers. Why on Earth has banana bread taken ahold of our collective mind as we all sit, bored as hell, in our homes?

I sent up a signal. I posted on my Instagram story, asking people to DM me if they’ve made banana bread while pent up. To those who DM’d me, I simply asked, “Why?”

I expected to be able to make this into a quick, heartwarming story with the responses, one that hopefully alluded to banana bread being a childhood favorite to many that, in turn, is providing comfort in a time of need. And while some responses did support this theory, I overwhelmingly received two specific sentiments:

“I saw it on TikTok/YouTube,” and “I had rotten bananas.” 

After digging around a little, I found multiple TikTok’s showing recipes for banana bread, some with hundreds of thousands of views, while some in with millions. 

Also, apparently, a lot of people panic bought bananas. And, no one actually ever remembers that they bought them, so there were a lot of rotting bananas out in the world.

The trend seems to have been borne out of virality and necessity, as is everything in this day and age. Hell, most of my meals in the past few days can be sourced from the same ideals, too. 

And it seems like for the next few weeks that frame of mind will dominate the kitchen. People will continue baking, using whatever they have in their kitchen. Maybe keeping something from exploding in the oven will distract from the world seemingly exploding around us, who knows. 

But, hey, until it does, keep making that scrumptious banana bread.

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Recipes

5 Delicious Ways To Cook With Bacon Fat

Confess! Are you committing the cardinal sin of throwing away your bacon grease after frying a large batch or washing the pan immediately? Well, stop it right this instant! Because bacon grease is an amazing treasure you should take advantage of every day. It’s simple and fun to cook with bacon fat, so let’s get started immediately.

Warning: The following article might make you want to cook bacon more frequently, just to gather up even more bacon grease for your pleasure. But that’s ok, since fried bacon is tasty, and crispy, and can be incorporated into so many dishes! But what to cook with bacon fat? Well, let me tell you, the possibilities are endless. And even desserts are on the table when you want to cook with bacon fat!

Rendering the bacon fat

Before we get to the bacon-infused menu, let’s talk a little bit about rendering the bacon fat. It sounds fancy, but it’s not a complex and trying technique. It basically refers to how to cook your bacon to crispy perfection while at the same time you allow the fat to melt and end up at the bottom of your pan. From there, it will hopefully end up stored in beautiful mason jars, awaiting use.

Rendered bacon fat looks like a greasy paste. In fact, it looks quite similar to lard when it solidifies and reaches room temperature. And you only need one teaspoon to make some delicious food with a smoky pork-like flavor. So how do you work with it so that you can store it in your pantry? You’ll need a larger than usual quantity of bacon. So maybe do this when you’re cooking with a full house. Or you could just make a lot of bacon for yourself, which I selfishly do.

Waste Not, Want Not: What to Cook with Bacon Fat
You need a lot of bacon to collect its fat. But that only means more tasty bacon to eat.

Start with a cold pan

If you want to get the most fat from the bacon you’re frying, it’s best to start with the cold pan because that way the fat will be eliminated slowly and surely. And most importantly, it won’t burn. Also, set the stove to a medium-low temperature. That means you need some patience for the task, but thankfully, bacon is thin and cooks easily even with low temps. Also, you should use a cast-iron skillet with a heavy bottom. It will take about 10-12 minutes.

A standard pack of bacon you buy at the store will probably yield about half a cup of solidified bacon grease. Make sure that the bacon doesn’t have any flavor. Because that will limit the potential uses of the fat in the future.

Strain the fat to eliminate impurities

After you’ve cooked the bacon, use a fine mesh sieve to strain the bacon grease in your jar, before it goes all solid on you. You need to remove all those brown black bits that are just burnt bacon meat. And end up being impurities in the grease. Do the straining directly over your container. Use a jar with a wide mouth, so that it will be easier for you to scoop it out when you use it in the future. Whatever you do, don’t use plastic because it might melt and ruin everything.

The jar of bacon fat lasts a long time in the fridge, about a month. But it probably won’t because you’ll be using it frequently.

Waste Not, Want Not: What to Cook with Bacon Fat
Bacon fat looks just like bacon lard. Especially after you’ve strained the impurities.

How to cook with bacon fat

This you need to remember: to use bacon fat, you have to heat it, because it’s no good to you at room temperature, in a solid manner. So you can’t use it instead of vegetable oil to dress a salad. You need to heat it first and then use it however you choose.

There are some cases of recipes that require room temperature or even cold bacon fat. It’s mostly used as the fat in all manner of doughs, including pie crust and cookie dough. Yeah, you read that right.

What to cook with bacon fat

1. Coat vegetables with it

You can make a sheet pan of your-choice roasted vegetables using just one tablespoon of your magical bacon fat. Just heat it up and drizzle it all over the baking sheet. Or you can saute the veggies in the bacon fat. The recipe is similar. Add a dollop of bacon fat in the pan, let it melt, and then sate the veggies of your choice in it.

Waste Not, Want Not: What to Cook with Bacon Fat
You can saute vegetables in bacon fat (and why not add some pieces of bacon in there with them?)

2. Use it to roast meat

Pork fat on other kinds of meat equals love? Why yes, it does. The thing is to rub the bacon grease, lightly melted, over the whole chicken you’re popping in the oven, the drumsticks, or the full cut of pork you are planning on turning into a roast. But attention! In most recipes, the idea is not to use too much extra salt, because the bacon is already pretty salty.

3. Bake with bacon grease

There are so many dessert ideas out there that borrow the smoky, pleasant flavor of bacon. You can make some fatty and fluffy brownies. You can execute some pretty killer biscuits or cookies. Use it as the fat in your pancakes and the fat that cooks your pancakes in the pan. You can use it to pop your popcorn and have the greatest flavor for your movie time snack.

Waste Not, Want Not: What to Cook with Bacon Fat
Give your popcorn a smokier flavor by popping it in bacon fat.

4. Use it for sauces

What is mayonnaise made from? Fat, as in oil, and eggs, right? Well, you can make amazing mayonnaise – some funny people on the internet dubbed it baconnaise. Once again you need to liquify the bacon fat to do this, but then you mix it in the yolks, and something delicious and audacious appears. Then take this mayo and turn it into any mayo-based sauce you want!

5. Soup up!

You can make some bacon grease-improved cream soup, by cooking the veggies you want to put in there in bacon fat and then blend everything together. Or else, in any kind of soup that requires oil and fat, you can add some bacon fat while cooking, so that it melts while the soup is cooking.

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Culture Features Hit-Or-Miss Now Trending Opinion

I Spent Seven Days Cooking Like Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain passed away June 8 2018, leaving behind a legacy of acceptance and adventure. He also left us some badass recipes.

Anthony Bourdain Appetites Cookbook

When I think of Anthony Bourdain cooking in authentic Bourdain fashion, I think of him surrounded by fellow badass, pirate-esque characters that use foul language, tell dirty jokes and likely have a hip flask hiding somewhere in their aprons. So when I asked my big brother Jake if he’d spend the week making Tony Bourdain recipes with me and he jokingly replied, “We goin’ old school Bourdain and gettin’ some blow?” I knew I’d picked the right man for the job.

Although we adore all versions of the beloved bad boy chef, rather than the Kitchen Confidential, illicit drug-partaking, sword-wielding Tony, we decided to go with the more recent version — the one we all watched fondly as he traveled the world and taught us that cuisine we’d never tried could be delicious and people we’d never met could be fascinating and neither were anything to fear, but to welcome and seek out with enthusiasm.

Anthony Bourdain adventured to nooks and crannies all over the world — he wandered into hole in the wall dives, enjoyed fine dining prepared by Michelin-star chefs and he was a guest in the homes of local families from nearly half of the countries on Earth. Well, this week, he’s in my family’s kitchen — we’re going all out and trying to master or at the very least muster, recipes from his Appetites cookbook. From goulash to lobster rolls to Osso Bucco, here goes nothing!

 

Day 1: Sausage and Pepper Hero  

Sausage and Pepper Hero, Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

Inspired by Tony’s many walks of shame to the sausage and pepper vendors that were a constant at the New York street fairs, these sandwiches felt like a simple start to the intimidating week that lay ahead. One pan, extra virgin olive oil, a few peppers and onion, some sweet Italian sausage, some hot Italian sausage, and hero rolls — a very simple grocery list that rang in at less than 25 bucks. The whole prep time from start to finish was 25 minutes and the end result? Tasty.

This recipe was super easy — almost too easy. It made me feel like I was half-assing the cooking. I’d recommend it as a great dinner when you’re low on time and want to throw together something that isn’t much hassle but still delivers. I’d encourage anyone who does try this one to get their hands on some decent bread, maybe from the local bakery because the store bought French rolls were total nonsense. I also recommend having some condiments handy like mustard or my personal favorite, Mexican crema. We paired this dish with some Brooklyn, NY RESIN, Six Point Ale because a cold beer seemed the most appropriate complement to a messy street fair hero.

Cost: $24.74

Prep time: 25 minutes

Level of Difficulty: 1 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 3.7 / 5

Pro Tip: Buy decent bread and condiments.

 

Day 2: Goulash

Goulash, Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

In Season 5, Episode 6 of Parts Unknown, Bourdain travels to Budapest where he visits the home of a singing gypsy, with impressive cooking chops. This recipe is inspired by that trip. I honestly had no idea what goulash was when I first came across this recipe, but it seemed attainable calling for beef chuck and veggies that you can find easily at your local grocer (to say finding ingredients for some of these recipes has been tricky is a monumental understatement). Oil, spices, a variety of vegetables chopped and chopped — then chopped some more — and some beef chuck, throw it into a pot and voila! Well, not exactly, it took two adults who admittedly did not chop at optimal efficiency several hours to prepare all the ingredients to throw into said pot.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but we began prepping our goulash at 6:15 P.M. and did not sit down to eat it until 10:30 P.M. That’s correct, it took us over four hours and four bottles of wine to master the goulash, but master it we did! I think we were pleasantly surprised because while we of course trusted Chef Bourdain’s master recipes, we were skeptical about the size of some of our vegetables. My fiancee was going on and on about the gigantic parsnip and I’ve heard that produce is bigger in California, i.e. giant grapefruit sized onions. And we did use nearly an entire container of paprika. We were adamant though, about sticking to the recipe exactly as we read it and good God, I’m glad we did. Because when we finally sat down with our millionth glass of Hungarian wine and bowls filled with piping hot goulash, a dollop of sour cream and a slice of rye bread to mop up any remnants, it was heaven.   

Cost: $46.77

Prep time: 4 hours and 15 minutes (It should only take half this time if that.)

Level of Difficulty: 2.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.5 / 5

Pro Tip: Chop your vegetables wisely, make your friends help you.


Day 3: New England Lobster Rolls

Lobster Deal Appetites Cookbook, Anthony Bourdain

Lobster rolls, a Cape Cod classic with just a handful of ingredients: lobster, mayonnaise, celery, some seasonings and bread — no biggie right? Wrong.

Okay, remember how I was talking about drinking all that Hungarian wine while I made goulash? Well, while drinking said wine, I decided to place an order for lobsters. I was excited, I was drinking wine, I was multitasking prepping goulash and texting my lobster connect (yes, I have a lobster connect). Somehow, I managed to confuse $17 a pound with $17 a lobster and I ordered six lobsters. The recipe called for six lobsters. Well, these lobsters were gluttonous, radioactive, ginormous alien-like monsters that weighed several pounds each. When I arrived at the pre-established meet spot, my seafood dealer showed me the goods and I nodded in approval.

“Thanks for coming through my man.”

Then he shut the box, looked up at me and in slow motion said,” That’ll be $300.”

“Hahaha, for sure, no really how much?” He stares at me blankly. “Wait, you’re serious?”

“Yes, I’m serious, they’re like three pounds each.”

“Ummm, can I only have three?”

“No, you pre-ordered them, they’re alive, you have to take them.” I nodded sadly, forked over the dough and grabbed my nearly 20-pound box of live lobsters. It was a long shameful walk back to the car. The same almost thirty-year-old who still drives to her mom’s house so she doesn’t have to spend money on food just spent $300 on lobster. I called my brother, “We’re going to need to invite some people over tonight, I have enough lobster to feed 15 people.”

So, a New England Lobster Roll party ensued. We invited friends over and drank Cape Cod cocktails through to the wee hours of the morning. Everyone stood around and watched in horror as we threw the live lobsters in the pot. (I learned later there are more humane ways to do this). When all the lobsters were done, Jake and I retrieved all the usable meat (we watched a Gordon Ramsey YouTube video to learn how to do this best). No one talks about this part of cooking lobster by the way, because preparing lobster is atrocious: there were lobster guts, the pregnant lobsters had this blackish red goo that oozed and flung everywhere and there was lobster poop, not like the cute little vein that shrimp have, but really graphic lobster excrement.

Once the lobsters were cleaned, we chopped them up, threw them in the mixing bowl with the celery, spices and mayonnaise (we had to use store bought because we tried and failed twice at making Bourdain’s version) and then packed the delicious mixture into a hot dog bun. We passed the lobster rolls around to our family, friends and even the neighbor who’d wandered over to see what all the ruckus was about. They were a hit! Despite the murder, the guts and the gore, New England Lobster Roll Night was a success — one for the ages and with all things considered, worth every penny.

Cost: $336.41

Prep time: 4 hours-ish (Again, doesn’t need to take so long once you know what you’re doing.)

Level of Difficulty: 3.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.2 / 5

Pro Tip: Do not drunk dial your lobster connect.

 

Day 4: Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy, Appetites Cookbook, Anthony Bourdain

Meatloaf sounds so 1950’s, so old-school “all-American family” — something I imagine June Cleaver preparing for Ward, Wally and Beaver for Sunday evening supper. Apparently, it originated in Germany and German immigrants brought the meat mashing recipe with them to colonial America. Since then, it’s graced the dinner tables, retro diner bar-tops and cafeteria trays of Americans from coast to coast.

I’ve never made meatloaf before and I’ve only tried it twice. The recipe wasn’t too daunting but the shopping list was more difficult to get through than one might think. Tracking down ground veal and even more scarce, veal stock, is no easy task. Jake was able to score some ground veal at a butcher shop a couple towns over but I was searching high and low for veal stock to no avail. “Make it yourself,” they said, but that’s a ton of cash that I already spent on lobster, so, after calling 50 places within a 50-mile radius I gave up and ordered some from Amazon.

We paired the meatloaf with Bourdain’s mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes and I must say, I was sincerely taken aback by how delectable and savory this was. The mushroom gravy itself was mouth-watering kind of good — addicting even. The secret to fantastic restaurant-grade cooking, Bourdain has said, is butter and shallots, and this recipe is ample with both. As for the likeliness of Jake or I making any of these dishes again, this one tops the list, along with the goulash.

Cost: $50.41

Prep time: 2 hours-ish

Level of Difficulty: 2.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.8 / 5

Pro Tip: Pre-order your veal stock online so you’re not stuck searching for hours.

 

Day 5: Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie, Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

Jake and I, like our three other siblings, likely inherited our initial intrigue and inevitable adoration for Bourdain from our mom. She read Kitchen Confidential and passed it around, insisting her children read it too. She waited in line to have him sign her Les Halles Cookbook beaming and blushing while posing for a photo with him. Her eyes still well up with tears at the mere mention of him since his tragic passing last June. After decades of tirelessly preparing our family home-cooked gourmet meals, it seemed only right we invite her over and for us to do the heavy lifting this time around.

 Poaching chicken was a foreign concept to me but once I got past my own skepticism and lowered my eyebrow, I just followed the recipe exactly as I read it, and chicken really does cook while sitting in a covered pot removed from heat. The chopping wasn’t nearly as demanding as the goulash and our mom arrived just in time to stop me from ruining the crust with an itchy over-blending compulsion I’m currently dealing with.

Jake repeatedly instructed me to handle the crust, “Get going with the crust… Dude, make the crust!” But, I thought I should make it just before we rolled it out and laid it over the top. This was incorrect and has taught me to read an entire recipe from start to finish before each culinary endeavor. The crust dough needs to rest in the fridge for an hour before it is rolled out and placed over the pot pie’s savory goodness. This added unnecessary time and we didn’t eat until after 9 p.m. Apologies.

When we did sit down to eat the chicken pot pie, I was so excited for my mom, who can be appropriately characterized as a chicken pot pie connoisseur, to try it. I took dozens of photos of her taking bites of the dish, which was driving her nuts because who wants to be repeatedly photographed while eating, but landed us with this gem of a photo that will immortalize chicken pot pie night and serve as one of my favorite and I think most fitting photos of our fabulous and funny mom.  

Cost: $41.57

Prep time: 3 hours

Level of Difficulty: 3.5 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.4 / 5

Pro Tip: Make the dough ahead of time so it can rest in the fridge, do not over blend your dough and invite your mom over and feed her for once!

 

Day 6: Mutant Quesadillas: Chorizo and Duck

Duck and Chorizo Quesadillas Appetites Cookbook Anthony Bourdain

We chose this recipe because we wanted a good excuse to pair something with margaritas. These are not chorizo and duck quesadillas like I initially assumed, they are duck and goat cheese quesadillas and then chorizo and Monterey Jack cheese quesadillas. Two separate types of quesadillas with some yummy homemade pico de gallo on the side. Which one was better? It’s difficult to say because they were like apples and oranges, both delicious but completely different.

The duck had to be purchased at the butcher shop a couple towns over and salted the night before we made them. The prep on the day of wasn’t overly intensive, they were actually relatively simple to make and the duck was ridiculously tasty. Paired with the goat cheese, it felt like quite the decadent quesadilla.

If you’re looking for something simple to prepare, inexpensive yet flavorful, and have a large group of people to feed, go for the chorizo quesadillas. If you’re feeling a tad pretentious, don’t mind the extra effort (and the added expense) and have a smaller group of friends to impress, go for the duck and goat cheese. If you’re feeling like Anthony Bourdain — make both! These quesadillas were easy peasy, certainly gratifying and turned out to be an excellent excuse for margaritas.  

Cost: $67.78

Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Level of Difficulty: 2 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.2 / 5

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re prepared and buy the duck ahead of time so you can salt the night before.

 

Day 7: Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto

Osso Buco with Saffron Risotto, Anthony Bourdain Appetites Cookbook

We saved the fanciest dish for last. Osso Bucco calls for veal shanks, which we scored only one town over at a little Italian market, Claro’s. We also grabbed the carnaroli rice for the risotto there. Salt, pepper, a little flour and then we plopped the veal into some hot oil to sear both sides. Afterwards, we threw it into the pot of wine and veggie brew and let it simmer for three hours. We prepared the risotto a ladle full of saffron stock at a time and for the first time in my life, I seemed to have timed it perfectly —  both the risotto and the braised veal were ready to be served at the same time.

I’m not sure if by day seven we were such cooking pros that we could conquer any recipe Bourdain threw our way or if making Osso Bucco isn’t nearly as challenging as I assumed it would be, but it was pretty easy! Time-consuming, sure, but really quite simple. We paired the Osso Bucco with negronis because they were one of Bourdain’s favorite cocktails. The first few sips were bitter and made me shudder a bit, but they grow on you.

When we sat down to eat our last Bourdain recipe, after an exhausting but very special seven days of cooking, we clinked glasses with our negronis and dug into a very lavish, fall-off-the-bone, fabulous dish of Osso Bucco and saffron risotto.

Cost: $104.95

Prep time: 3.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: 2.2 / 5

Level of Deliciousness: 4.6 / 5

Pro Tip: Pair this dish with negronis and pour some out for our man Tony Bourdain.

 

The most valuable thing I learned throughout this cooking-like-Bourdain endeavor is that cooking doesn’t have to feel so intimidating. For regular people who usually just throw together a mediocre meal for their family, like me, it can be daunting and overwhelming to peruse a cookbook. The ingredient list may look too long or the steps too intensive, but once you do it, it’s miraculous how it all seems to come together in the end. Not to mention the pride and satisfaction that comes with your family providing a soundtrack to your dinner filled with “mmmm’s” and “aaah’s.”

 

A note from my big brother and crucial cooking partner-in-crime Jake:   

Bourdain showed us that food has the power to bring countries and cultures together if we are brave and open-minded, but it will also bring families together. The time we’ve spent cooking and doing this adventure has been such a blessing and so much fun.  Our kids play and our spouses complain while we bond and cook in the kitchen, and when it’s all said and done, we all sit together and enjoy the food. It’s not just exploring the world, because you can explore relationships and experiences in new ways as close as your own kitchen, enjoying the ones you love the most.

Anthony Bourdain Appetites Cookbook

To follow more adventures and see more pictures, please follow Emily on Twitter @MissEdSullivan or Instagram @edsullivan2 and Jake on Instagram @jakex3g.

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Recipes

3 Unique Ways To Cook With Lavender

It has (maybe) the best smell out there and it can liven up any room. It has calming properties and a very pleasant color. But did you know that some people use it in food? If you’re interested in cooking with lavender, then we’re here to help you learn.

I am obsessed with lavender. Every year I eagerly anticipate what I call lavender season, hoping for June to come sooner and bring with it all of the women (and sometimes men) who sell it on street corners. I can feel the scent a mile away and I cannot wait to bring the fragrant bouquets to my lair, where I hoard them. I have lavender from the past three-four years, arranged in glasses and vases, in every room. It is said to keep mosquitoes away and help you have a better sleep.

I won’t even tell you about the fact that I use lavender shower gel, soap, body cream, this weird dust that’s supposed to absorb the smell of smoke in my living room… Oh, wait. So, of course, when I found out about cooking with lavender, my ears pricked up and I was ready to learn how to do that. But first, I went and got a lavender iced latte, to celebrate!

Cooking with Lavender – A Fragrant Adventure
You can flavor your honey with lavender and then use it in your favorite recipes.

3 tips and tricks for cooking with lavender

1. Buy culinary lavender

Yes, there are more types of the plant out there and yes, there is a specific type that you should use when cooking with lavender. You will find it fresh and dried and the farmers’ market. Ornamental lavender is in no way produced to be used in cooking (even though it is not deadly or harmful). So, choose the culinary type, every time.

How are these types different from one another? Well, the oils in them are different in flavor and in potency. English lavender is usually used because it is the sweetest kind. But it also has multiple varieties, some sweeter, some tangier.

2. Don’t use it as is

You can’t just throw some lavender in your food while it’s cooking and then read a magazine until you taste some of the dish you’ve made and see that it’s not really that pleasant to chew through it. The key here is to use it as an infusion. Make a simple syrup, add some lavender and then strain it out before using it in your dish. You can also grind it with some sugar in a mortar or pestle and then add it to your baked goods.

Cooking with Lavender – A Fragrant Adventure
A lavender lemonade is a very simple way to cut your teeth cooking with lavender.

3. Don’t overdo it

You know this. It’s enough for a gust of wind to move your curtains and touch your lavender bouquet for that strong, amazing fragrance to be felt around your house. That means that the flavor of lavender is also strong in cooking. Don’t use too much of it, or you won’t feel any other flavor in your dish. When you’re starting out, use the exact amount mentioned in the recipe you’re using.

And another useful tip is to pair lavender with something that has a comparatively strong flavor. Lemon juice, for instance, because it’s brighter and they make for an interesting contrast.

What dishes should you use it in?

I’ve already mentioned that lavender goes great with lemon juice, so a lavender lemonade is the first thing on my mind during lavender season. Find other great lemonade ideas, here.

You can also use lavender to flavor honey and you will find that their pairing is one to cherish. You can add the flowers to honey and then warm it gently to infuse this flavor into it. Then spread it on buttered toast, like I do, or use that infused honey in whatever recipe you might want to.

Cooking with Lavender – A Fragrant Adventure
Use lavender to make martini or other refreshing and delicious drinks.

You can also flavor alcohol with lavender. Add it to a bottle of gin or martini, my next try is actually vodka! Then put the bottle in the freezer and take it out during the heated days of summer to create refreshing drinks and cocktails like lavender gin and tonic.

If you grind the lavender with sugar, then you can use the product of that in your baking. Make lavender macarons, meringue, or pound cake or, why not, a lavender glaze for a cheesecake.

And if you’re a fan of lamb, use lavender sprigs instead of rosemary (or a rosemary-lavender combo) for a dry rub before cooking lamb chops. Try to do that with chicken wings as well! The flavors will definitely stand out.

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Hit-Or-Miss Recipes

Salvador Dali Published A Cookbook That’s Full Of Intriguing Recipes

Photo: SoDelicious

If the kitchen routine has got you down, why not try a surrealist cookbook? It sounds like a surreal suggestion, but it’s not. The Salvador Dali cookbook has legitimate recipes that might make you fall in love with food all over again. 

For the first time in over four decades, we have a chance to take in how Salvador Dali saw meals. The book is called “Les Diners de Gala”, which in French means “Gala’s Dinners”. If you’re not up to date on your Dali trivia, then you should know that Gala was Dali’s wife and the two had an intense relationship over the years. I bet their dinners were something truly fascinating to behold.

The cookbook was first released in 1973 and reissued recently for the first time in decades. So what kind of things did Dali include in his cookbook? There are 136 recipes distributed over 12 chapters. The 10th chapter is devoted exclusively to aphrodisiacs and we certainly cannot argue with that. The Salvador Dali is an art piece in and of itself because the artist created plenty of strange collages and illustrations for it.

Why the Salvador Dali cookbook might be for you

Food is an inspiration to us all and you can see how much Dali loved food by the artwork. Especially since when he was six years old, one of the world’s most known artists planned on becoming a chef. The illustrations feature mountains of crawfish, eerie “progress” strips about slaying frogs (to make some Frog Pasties – one of the recipes) and also portraits with the artist and fancy chefs at the time.

The dinner parties Dali and Gala had were extravagant affairs where guests were meant to dress in outrageous costumes and live animals would wander around the tables.

So if you want to try to make some “Thousand Year Old Eggs”, “Veal Cutlets Stuffed With Snails”, and “Toffee with Pine Cones”, you now know what the best source for that is! Happy surreal cooking experiences!

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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How To Make ‘California Style’ Ramen

Those on the West Coast know that one of the best ways to get your fries is loaded up like a certain California burger chain’s secret menu. For those of you that don’t have a location nearby, or just want an easy way to get the taste of their legendary sauce at home, this inspired Top Ramen recipe is the way forward.

This recipe swaps out fries for Nissin Top Ramen to make it easier from both a cooking and accessibility standpoint. By using Nissin Top Ramen, everything you need to make the recipe is a pantry staple and requires little time to prep and cook.

You get the satisfaction of gooey, melted American cheese, sweet grilled onions, and the zesty sauce, just by adding ramen to the mix.

It’s a hearty and simple recipe that pays tribute to a California classic and can be whipped up in no time at all. Plus, it’s vegetarian if you use Nissin Top Ramen Soy Sauce or Chili flavor, which makes it enjoyable for both carnivores and herbivores alike.

You can view the whole recipe for this fast food-inspired Ramen below.

Ingredients
1 yellow onion, thickly sliced
1 package Nissin Top Ramen, without seasoning packet (Use Nissin Top Ramen Soy Sauce or Chili flavor to make it vegetarian)
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon “Dill Relish” (not sweet relish)
½ teaspoon white vinegar
2 slices American cheese

Servings: 1

Directions

Step 1
Heat an empty medium frying pan on high heat. Once hot, place onion slices face down onto the pan and sear until lightly charred. Set aside.

Step 2
Next, bring a pot of water to boil for your Top Ramen. Once boiling, add ramen and cook for 3 minutes.

Step 3
While water is boiling and noodles are cooking, assemble the sauce! Add mayonnaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, dill relish, and white vinegar to a bowl and stir until combined. Set aside.

Step 4
Drain water from Top Ramen noodles and transfer to a skillet. Pour your sauce on top and mix. Then add American cheese slices and grilled onions. Place a plate or lid on top of the noodles for 1 minute and allow the heat to melt the cheese. Transfer to a plate. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Created in partnership with Nissin Top Ramen

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Universal Cookbook Teaches You Recipes Without Any Words

James Beard once said that “Food is a common ground. A universal experience.” Whether or not you speak the same tongue, it’s safe to say that anyone can enjoy a well-cooked meal made from the soul.

As a innovative way to bridge communication barriers when sharing recipes, a Kickstarter campaign has begun for the Look Cook Book — the first cookbook created in a universal language.

The idea behind the cookbook is to be able to share recipes between anyone regardless of dialect through the use of minimalistic imagery and directions.

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Each recipe features an icon with the ingredient, its measurements, the action needed, and process time for that action. Honestly, it’s pretty quick to pick up — even at a glance. Recipes include Cheesecake, Risotto, Sesame Chicken, Paneer Saag, and Thai Chicken, with the dishes ranging across several levels of difficulty.

The recipes are also designed so that they can be made for under $1.50 a portion.

As of this writing, the campaign has reached $2,709 out of their $5,465 goal. If funded, the Look Cook Book will be available in both paperback and interactive digital form.

Those looking to fund the Look Cook Book can find out more information on the campaign page.