January 7, 2014 |
For generations, butter got a bad rap. It was thought to be cloying, fattening, dangerous for your arteries, and it took a creaming from oil-based substitutes like margarine. Now with the trans fats in those alternatives under fire, everyone from iron chefs to home cooks is reexamining butter's place on the refrigerator shelf. The yellow spread served at Joan Hemphill's Seal Beach home tastes like butter - because it is butter. "I use way too much," Hemphill concedes.
January 7, 2014 |
It turns out America's health fixation has been a boon for butter. Consumption of the creamy spread hit a 40-year high in the U.S. in 2012 as more Americans turned to natural foods and rejected products heavy in trans fats like margarine. “Consumers are changing their perception of food and looking for healthier alternatives. They're moving away from highly processed foods and artificial ingredients,” Anuja Miner, executive director of the American Butter Institute, said in a phone interview Tuesday.
December 21, 2013 |
At this very moment my neighbor, Cassy, is awaiting delivery of a 100-year-old cider press she bought on eBay. She, like many of us, has apple fever. I made an apple galette at least twice this week. And I'm dreaming of the apple hand pies I used to buy in frosty weather from the famous bakery Poîlane on Rue du Cherche-Midi in Paris. But even if you don't bake, you can get in on the apple frenzy at restaurants and bakeries. Now that we've got pumpkin desserts out of the way, inspired bakers are turning their attention to apples.
November 8, 2013 |
Thanksgiving is just days away, and it's never too soon to start planning your menu! Food editor Russ Parsons and I will be demonstrating videos of classic dishes on the blog every couple of days to get you in the mood. We're beginning with a Test Kitchen favorite: pumpkin-thyme dinner rolls. This recipe, from food writer Regina Schrambling, is a reminder that a well-made roll is something special. Crisp on the outside but tender at the center, and terrific enough to have been named one of our best recipes of the year in 2002, they adapt easily to even the most crowded holiday schedule.
November 2, 2013 |
A pristine oyster on the half shell, unadorned, fresh, cold and briny, is a near-perfect thing. A properly shucked littleneck clam, alone, or with a drop or two of lemon and Tabasco, will make you say mmmm, every time. But just because these shellfish are so good raw doesn't mean we shouldn't cook them too. Properly cooked shellfish is a wonderful thing. The cooking intensifies and transforms the flavor. Oysters especially change completely when cooked, seeming rich and fatty in the best way, while in the raw state they are anything but. You've got to be careful when cooking either type of shellfish, though.
November 2, 2013
35 minutes, plus freezing time for the butter. 24 clams About 1¾ cups (3½ ounces) fresh white bread crumbs About 1 cup (2 2/3 ounces) panko bread crumbs 2 cups, loosely packed (1 ounce) parsley leaves (stemmed, washed and dried) 1 generous cup, loosely packed (½ ounce) basil leaves (stemmed, washed and dried) Scant ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) butter, softened 24 middleneck clams (large littleneck clams can be substituted)