Nancy Leson returned from her London vacation telling tales of the wonderful hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian restaurant her son Nate had found. It's been a while since I've had Ethiopian food, so I thought it would be fun to make my own dinner, including own home made injera. Injera, a sour flatbread/crepe/pancake kind of thing made with teff flour and used to scoop up the food, is central to Ethiopian cuisine. The recipes I found online looked straightforward enough. What could go wrong?
When I travel with my family — as I did this month to London — we dine out a lot, but never make restaurant reservations ahead of our trip. Instead, we try our best to act like the locals: making ourselves at home in our (rented) apartment, checking out casual neighborhood joints, and honing in on the ones that suit our tastes.
(Nancy Leson's in London this week. We had hoped to do a "Live from London" show but the Spirit of Technical Difficulties has intervened. We'll catch up with Nance about her London trip, what she had to eat there, and the gift she received from 400 of her closest friends on the airliner, in next week's installment. Meantime, in response to a suggestion from listener Tab, who thinks Nancy and I are well qualified to discuss fruitcakes...)
Nancy Leson has resolved to do things differently in 2019. "I'm gonna try really hard this year to cook ahead. I'm one of those people who loves to to shop every single day and decide what I want on any given day." But recent happy discoveries in her freezer made her realize that sometimes it's fine to just defrost some leftovers. Especially if they're leftovers she and husband Mac love.
This encore Food for Thought originally broadcast May 3, 2017 Nancy Leson and I love to share cooking and eating tips and tricks, but we don't always see things the same way. Nance says we agree to disagree. I say we each agree to think the other wrong and say so.
With the gift-giving deadline closing in, Nancy Leson and I offer our suggestions for the cooks on your list. I thought it would be a goof to start with some of the most exorbitantly priced items around. But don't worry, we've got lots of ideas for normal budgets, too.
I have shed blood in the performance of my Food for Thought duties. After foolishly attempting to use a mandoline cutter without its safety pusher, I whacked a quarter-inch divot from my finger. And this right after I'd mopped the Food for Thought test kitchen floor. As I told food commentator Nancy Leson, "It looked like there'd been a sword fight in there." Ironically, this carnage happened in pursuit of vegetarian lasagna.
In this episode, Nancy Leson explains the difference between broth and stock. I share some of my stock (or is it broth?) tips, and brag to her that — two weeks after the event — DeGroot and I finally managed to use up all the Thanksgiving leftovers.
Kevin Alexander's Thrillist article naming Portland's Stanich's the best burger in America seemed a blessing. Then the food tourist mob decended. Long lines. Five hour waits. Until Steve Stanich, the second generation owner, shut the place down.
If "strategies" means running out and buying mass quantities of every kitchen staple in sight at this time of year, that's Nancy Leson's strategy. Nance claims all that stuff pictured above is cheaper this time of year. In this Thanksgiving week FfT we discuss that, as well as my final decision on vegetable peelers, our hoped-for demise of pumpkin spice everything, the relative virtues of rolled versus flat parchment paper, Wondra versus roux, and how to avoid political topics at holiday...
I claim that the number one job of a Thanksgiving roll is to soak up gravy. "And butter," Nancy Leson added. Here are our two favorite roll recipes. Both have the virtue of being started the night before, giving already harried TG cooks a head start on Turkey Day.
It's getting to be soup season, and both Nancy Leson and I have our favorites. In this week's Food for Thought, Nance and I trade favorites from childhood, our go-to's at restaurants, and the homemade must-haves.
I've always thought it would be fun, not to mention cool, to make my own paprika from peppers I grew myself. Call me a kid with a crazy dream, but last weekend that dream came true. Last spring while leafing through the Territorial Seed Catalogue, I came across their blurb for Alma Peppers . "Grow your own paprika seasoning!" it gushed. "Alma is one of the best paprika-type peppers for drying and grinding." I had to try it.
Even if I'm going to cook boneless chicken thighs, I always buy the bone-ins and bone 'em out myself. They're less expensive that way, and I get to save the bones in the freezer until I have enough to cook up some chicken stock. But up until, now I've never attempted to debone an entire bird. Surprise: It was way easier to do than I expected and a lot of fun, too.
I thought I was getting fancy when I replaced my all-metal 20-year old Ecko straight-bladed veg peeler with the cushy-handled Oxo. Then I started hearing about "Y" shaped peelers. Food writer Daniel Gritzer, among others thinks it's the only way to go . I decided to get a "Y" job and see how it stacks up against my old reliable. Sure, I was putting $1.97 on the line for this experiment but felt I owed to Food for Thought listeners to take the risk. My conclusions?
When Nancy Leson 's husband, Mac, didn't get her a new toaster for their 21st anniversary, she bravely hid her disappointment. But it all worked out better than okay when he took her to dinner at their new favorite restaurant.
I suppose knowing they're the life form most likely to survive a nuclear war is what makes them so bold. But unlike Don Marquis' correspondent Archy , the cockroach with the soul of a vers libre poet, the bug scuttling across our restaurant table had no literary pretentions. As far as I know, the only thing he ever got down on paper was himself when I squashed him into a paper napkin. As Archy wold have observed, "Transmigration of souls is a great game if you don't weaken."