The Key to Perfectly Cheesy, Melty Omelettes

Here’s a perennial omelette problem: You want the cheese in the center to be warm and melted, but by the time the cheese melts, the eggs are overcooked. Conversely, you can have perfectly tender curds of egg, but barely melted cheese. What’s the solution?

The trick is to give the cheese a head start in melting by mixing it with hot ingredients.

Source: The Food Lab: A Quick Guide to Stuffing Omelettes

I’ll try this, but the best thing I ever did was learn how to make an omelette, French style, from old Julia Child videos on YouTube:

Why Do We Have Standard Eating Times (IE Breakfast, Lunch)?

Back in the day, every single meal had to be prepared from scratch. To feed large families, staff and/or communities more effectively there was division of labour.  A few people cook, others do different work and show up at given times to eat together.

A proper schedule is essential when many people have to physically live and work together in the same space and time.  It has nothing to do with biology, and everything to do with economics and practicality.  Also, don’t forget the benefits of the bonding that takes place when people gather for a meal. It makes for a stronger family/community.

Imagine a tribe where everyone ate at random, different times. Nothing would ever get done. Imagine a job that takes two people such as pulling a felled tree through the forest. You’re pulling it back to the tribe. Suddenly the other person decides he is hungry and goes and eats. You sit down for an hour and he gets back. You pull the tree some more then now you’re hungry. He sits down for another hour while you go off to get food.

You can see how this changes from region to region. Different places can have different appropriate times for lunch or dinner.  In Chile I’d have lunch at 1-2, but in Mexico most people have it at around 3-4, while in Canada I see them eat at noon. It’s not weird, but those times can be dictated by environment – the closer to the equator, the less likely things will be happening at noon.   Your job would also be a big factor; miners would probably just eat whenever they were hungry as there’s no sun to follow and timekeeping methods would be expensive to use (e.g candle clocks) while sailors would probably eat whenever they weren’t busy with other time sensitive jobs (e.g. fishing).  But it’s the industrial revolution and the mechanization of society that cemented concrete times for meals based on breaks and start/ends of shifts.

Stick to Your Diet by Offering to Bring a Dish to Dinners and Parties

If your diet has certain restrictions, it can make accepting invitations to dinners or parties complicated when the host isn’t aware of your diet’s ins and outs. Here’s a simple, and polite, way to safely stick to your diet and still enjoy the gathering.

Source: Stick to Your Diet by Offering to Bring a Dish to Dinners and Parties

A note about the etiquette around this: it’s polite to offer to bring a dish. It’s not polite to insist upon bringing a dish if the host declines, or to bring a dish without asking.

  • Your host may have a special meal planned down to the last detail. Or she may have dietary preferences your dish doesn’t match. So don’t insist.
  • If you bring a dish without asking, it’s a host/ess gift, and the host/ess is not obliged to serve it. So don’t bring your grain salad without asking unless you never want to see it again.

Here is How Dinner Changed Over the Last 100 Years

At three minutes long, it’s not going to show a lot.  There’s no narration either.

Though it’s only one meal per time period, 1915 suggests the simplicity due to probably both resources (food and kitchen).  The TV dinner makes an appearance, and towards the end – multiculturalism becomes apparent with tacos and sushi after that.  We’ve known for a while about tortillas and salsa are outselling previously popular fast food like burgers

Keep Your Mashed Potatoes Warm and Ready to Eat With These Three Tricks

Recap:

  1. Put them in a slow cooker, on low heat. They’ll stay warm for an hour or more without overcooking. You can use the same trick for other side dishes, like macaroni and cheese.
  2. Reheat your mashed potatoes in a bowl over a simmering pot of water.  What’s the difference between a simmer and boiling?
  3. If your potatoes start to dry out, you can keep them creamy with a little warm milk, broth, or water – just add a little bit at a time.

That Plastic Thing Inside Your Pizza Box Was Invented 30 Years Ago

If you’re one of the 7 billion humans on this planet who enjoys getting pizza delivered to your door, you have a piece of plastic to thank. A piece of plastic? Yes, that circular plastic thing that goes in the middle of a pie to prevent the pizza from sticking to the top of the pizza box. It’s called a pizza saver. And it was invented 30 years ago on February 10, 1983 when Carmela Vitale got her patent issued for that piece of plastic.

Source: That Plastic Thing Inside Your Pizza Box Was Invented 30 Years Ago

I remember them, but haven’t seen them in years.

Are Rabbits the New Super Meat?

By all appearances, rabbit could be the food of the future. Touted for years by food activists including Michael Pollan, these fluffy herbivores eat alfalfa instead of energy-intensive soy or fish meal, grow quickly and thrive in clean, disease-free conditions. Plus, while their reproductive prowess may be clichéd, California farmer Mark Pasternak and his wife Myriam can’t build rabbit barns fast enough to keep up with demand.

Source: Are Rabbits the New Super Meat?

Even though notoriously reproductive – agriculture currently can’t produce rabbits on an industrial scale.  There are better alternatives, like invasive species.  Or insects…

Cooking: Doesn’t ‘Burn Off’ The Alcohol In Food

If you’re worried about getting boozy in front of your fiancée’s parents over the holidays, it’s not just the eggnog you should be watching.

As it turns out, many popular foods prepared with wine or liquor never have the alcohol completely cooked out. New Scientist deputy editor Graham Lawton tried it out for himself by eating several dishes sautéed, flambéed, or baked with booze. After each plate he consumed (an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert), Lawton measured his blood alcohol content.

Source: Cooking Doesn’t Actually ‘Burn Off’ The Alcohol In Food

There’s a handy chart in the article to compare how much alcohol content is retained in certain foods using various cooking times and methods.  A previous post covers non-alcoholic substitutions.

Recipe: Thanksgiving Burrito

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla wrap
  • Turkey (veganize as you see fit – tofu?  Tofurkey?)
  • Mashed potato
  • Stuffing
  • Corn
  • Optional: Cranberry sauce (shown), gravy, salsa

Thanksgiving Burrito

  • Yes, the picture includes black olives
  • Replace the tortilla with lefse and you got a tasty burrito
  • Butter the tortilla, crisp in a panini grill

How Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Meals

In time for the holidays, artist Hannah Rothstein has taken pictures of a Thanksgiving meal – plated by various well known artists. She’s selling them, and 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the SF-Marin Food Bank.  The following is Piet Mondrian:
Piet Mondrian
I got the Pollack one.