At virtually the same time last night, both Bravo's Top Chef and Fox's MasterChef crowned winners, and both victors defied the odds to take home the top prize. See who won and our thoughts on both, after the break.
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- PETA has some words to say about Lady Gaga's raw meat dress. — TrèsSugar
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- Find out what Miss USA eats. — Grub Street NY
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- Everything you need to know about the Italian dessert budino. — The Epi-Log
- Yesterday, chef David Chang celebrated his 33rd birthday. — Eater NY
At his sous vide seminar in Aspen, Momofuku chef David Chang urged us not to fear the buttermilk. "Buttermilk is just cultured milk!" he exclaimed — at which point I realized that I knew very little about the stuff.
Although they are both rich, creamy dairy items, the term buttermilk refers to two different products. There's old-fashioned buttermilk, which is the thin liquid left over after the natural process of butter being churned. It's acidic and often has flakes of butter still floating in it. Then there's cultured buttermilk, the thick and creamy fermented milk product that Chang was referring to, and what's typically seen sold in cartons at the supermarket. Sometimes called artificial buttermilk, it contains no butter. It is created by adding a lactic acid bacterial culture to dairy to ferment it, resulting in a tangy flavor and a thicker consistency.
Buttermilk is a popular ingredient in biscuits, scones, and fried chicken batter. (Chang likes to make a buttermilk dressing.) Since it typically has a longer shelf life than regular milk, buttermilk can be a good investment. However, in a pinch, one can make acidified buttermilk, a product made by adding acid such as lemon juice to regular milk. Do you use buttermilk?
Source: Flickr User jeffreyw
At his sous vide demo in Aspen, chef David Chang talked about his affinity for cooking with gojuchang. Gojuchang (pronounced "go-joo-chong") is a Korean red pepper paste. Usually fermented, it contains dried chile peppers and an emulsifying sweetener such as molasses. The paste is used sparingly for marinating, cooking, and as a condiment for marinated beef, mixed vegetables over rice, noodles, and other dishes. It can be purchased at most Asian markets.
Have you ever tried gojuchang?
Source: Flickr User joyosity
Chang, who was a Best New Chef himself at the 2006 Classic, showed his version of vacuum cooking. "Sous vide cooking will be more popular in the next 10 to 20 years," he declared. Although he recommended a water immersion circulator for home cooks ("they didn't pay me to say this, but PolyScience is the best one out there"), he demonstrated a similar, more affordable technique that he refers to as "sandbagging" or "ghetto sous vide."
He made fun of his jury-rigged concept, but I think it was classic avant-garde David Changian. With a large vat of water, the chef used an instant-read digital thermometer to gauge the temperature at about 140ºF, or 60ºC. Then he inserted a vacuum-sealed piece of meat for about 45 minutes, until the protein was just barely, but uniformly, cooked through. For more about what the Momofuku maestro had to say, read on.
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- Why you should eat peanut butter and jelly. — The Atlantic
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- Treat your valentine to homemade conversation hearts. — Serious Eats
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- Get your Guy Fieri signature framed sunglasses while they're hot! — Eat Me Daily
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- Details from a discussion with Rachael Ray, Mario Batali, and David Chang. — Grub Street NY
- Cherry coconut bars are perfect for holiday baking. — Serious Eats
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