• Baking
  • POLL: How Do You Like Your Sandwich?

    Ham SandwichHere at Food Network, sandwiches go well beyond your basic ham and cheese — and we bet the same goes for your kitchen. That’s why the editors of Food Network Magazine want to know how you build your ultimate sandwich. What’s your cheese of choice? How do you slice it? Do you pile it high with all the fixings? Answer these questions (and more) below, then see how your favorite sandwich stacks up against others’ in a future issue.

    Cuban Sandwich

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • Taco Bell Will Launch Fried Chicken Shell Tacos Nationally This Month

    By Lauren Haslett

    Okay, so, technically, Taco Bell’s newest menu item is called the Naked Chicken Chalupa — but if you ask us, that doesn’t quite describe the crispy fried chicken-taco hybrid accurately.

    The Naked Chicken Chalupa — which has already been tested in some specific markets in California and Kansas City, Missouri, to “buzzworthy” results, according to a company press release — will launch nationally on January 26. Before you give up on all your New Year’s resolutions and run out to get a taste of this creation, here’s what you need to know about this new-fangled creation.

    It’s called “naked” because this chalupa doesn’t have anything resembling a normal taco or chalupa shell; the shell is the big disc of fried chicken, folded in half to create a taco shape to hold the usual toppings, like shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato, plus a semi-exciting-sounding avocado-ranch sauce. Unlike some of the chain’s previous attempts at innovation, this new menu item — the company stressed this part in a recent press release — contains only all-white-meat, antibiotic-free chicken, so you can be hopeful that the rather large chicken shell is, at least, of higher quality than the mystery meat you might remember from late-night taco runs of years past.

    According to Eater, this isn’t the first time Taco Bell has tried molding crispy chicken patties into interesting shapes in order to woo customers. It also apparently revealed triangular fried chicken “chips” recently, and served with a dipping sauce, of course. (Although we haven’t yet seen these on a T-Bell menu, we’d guess they’re basically triangular chicken nugget bites.)

    The Naked Chicken Chalupa will sell for $2.99, or $5 if you opt for the combo box that also includes a Doritos® Locos Taco, a Crunchy Taco and a medium-sized beverage.

    Would you try the new Naked Chicken Chalupa? Tell us in the comments below.

    Photo courtesy of @tacobell

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • GPR
  • Using GPR techniques in Subsurface Surveying

    Ground Radar

    Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-destructive detection technique that uses high frequency radio waves to evaluate natural or manmade features buried deep in the ground.

    The mining and archaeological industry has long been using this geophysical technique to probe for deep objects and resources underneath the ground surface. Despite the current GPR profiling up to around 300 meters, many new techniques and applications have been discovered particularly in the site investigation field. Some of these new applications include concrete scanning and investigation, locating cables and pipes in urban areas, military use (detecting landmines and buried explosives) and many others.

     

    So, how exactly does a GPR work?

    The Ground Penetrating Radar technique passes high frequency radio waves through an antenna into the ground. The GPR antenna is pulled by hand or with an ATV or vehicle along the targeted location as it records reflected waves from different objects below the ground surface. Data from reflected waves is recorded in a digital control unit as color bands.

    The GPR shows a cross-section profile from the ground surface to the deeper subsurface materials up to certain depths. The depth of a GPR’s profile will vary according to frequency, which ranges from 200MHz -1.5GHz. Objects located beneath the ground surface have varying reflections and since the device records each reflection with a distinct color, a nice 3D visualization can as well be extracted from the data.

    GPR is a good technique especially in underground investigations. It can detect buried non-metallic objects such as water pipes and fibre-optics as opposed to some radioactive techniques. The GPR shows, with high accuracy, the exact location and depth of buried objects.

    Technology can be very useful, in this case in locating underneath objects. Ground Penetrating Radar has advanced subsurface investigation to a better position, providing people easy and non-destructive methods of identifying underground objects and resources.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.scanconcrete.com.au/concrete-scanning/ground-penetrating-radar-services

    http://geomodel.com/methods/ground-penetrating-radar/

    http://www.lasersurveys.co.uk/services/underground/ground-penetrating-radar-gpr-surveys/

  • Baking
  • Chefs’ Picks: Sushi Omakase, Los Angeles

    Sushi Omakase from Hanare
    Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

    Spicy tuna rolls, salmon nigiri and California maki are popular bets when it comes to satisfying sushi cravings, but sticking to the old reliables isn’t exactly the most exciting way to experience the artistry and stunning simplicity of sushi. For those looking to expand their options, omakase is an ideal choice. Meaning “to entrust” or “I’ll leave it up to you,” omakase gives the chef total control, letting the master surprise you with his or her choice of prime seafood. Generally, that means a meal of hand rolls, sashimi and nigiri that go well beyond the usual suspects. Here, Los Angeles chefs divulge their favorite Southern California places to indulge in omakase.

    Hanare
    Executive Sushi Chef Jiro Kobayashi is known for his own six-course omakase at ROKU, so you can be sure he keeps his standards high when searching out a spot to dine on sushi during his downtime. When Kobayashi wants excellent raw fish without slicing it himself, he travels to see Chef Atsushi Yokoyama at Hanare in Costa Mesa, California. “His presentations are beautiful and the way he puts together his ingredients is very well balanced,” says Kobayashi, adding that the chef himself is “very humble and laid-back.”

     

    Sushi from Shibucho
    Shibucho
    Costa Mesa is also where Top Chef alum Brooke Williamson heads when she has omakase on her mind. Shibucho is the first sushi spot where Williamson experienced this style of dining and she remains a loyal fan all these years later. “I’ve always loved their ability to blend unexpected ingredients,” says Williamson, who is co-chef/co-owner of Hudson House, Playa Provisions, The Tripel and Da Kikokiko, as well as co-owner of the culinary boutique Tripli-Kit. “It’s also the first omakase restaurant I can remember going to and being blown away almost 20 years ago, so I think for that reason it holds a special place in my heart.”

     

    Sushi Gen and Q Sushi
    Sushi Gen and Q Sushi
    Executive Chef Angelo Auriana and restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi are self-proclaimed Japanese food fanatics. And though they prefer two different omakase spots, neither strays too far from their own downtown Los Angeles restaurants, Officine BRERA and The Factory Kitchen, when it’s time to step out for sushi. Auriana regularly visits Sushi Gen, where the chef personally serves his omakase menu. Ferdinandi’s preferred place is Q Sushi, particularly because Chef Hiroyuki Naruke’s Edo-style dishes remind him of Tokyo. “From the rice to the fish, the quality of the ingredients and craftsmanship is unmatched,” says Ferdinandi.

     

    Shunji
    Shunji
    The siren call of seafood holds a powerful sway over native New Englander Andrew Gavalla, who is chef de cuisine at Craft Los Angeles. When he gets an omakase craving, he heads to Shunji on the Westside of Los Angeles. “Not only is the sushi excellent; you can [also] opt for unique dishes from the kitchen,” Gavalla says, noting that marinated baby eel and black cod milt have been among the items he has eaten here. “If you go in with an open mind, you will truly be rewarded. If your palate runs more on the safer side, they have no problem tailoring the omakase to your food preferences.”

     

    Jinpachi
    Jinpachi
    With sushi powerhouse Nobu Los Angeles among the lauded restaurants on Chef Miles Thompson’s culinary resume, he obviously knows a thing or two about raw fish. Thompson, who currently helms the kitchen at Michael’s Santa Monica, calls Jinpachi in West Hollywood his favorite SoCal omakase spot. “Taka-san, who is the sushi chef, is very kind, warm and generous with his talent,” says Thompson. “The nigiri are either very classic and pristine or slightly modified — for example, a salmon nigiri with a compound chile oil and chives.” It’s this subtle approach that appeals to Thompson. “I enjoy that it is not trying to change too much about a classic sushi meal but applies modern techniques and flavors to excellent rice and fish.”

    Photography courtesy of Hanare, Shibucho, Q Sushi, Shunji and iStock

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • Eating on the Cheap Doesn’t Have to Be Sad

    Pot Roast Stir-Fry

    Yes, the yearly effort to make you a better “you” might involve making yourself a little thinner, but you don’t want that same goal to apply to your wallet. For many of us, 2017 is the year we’re finally combating our ever-thinning wallets. With a few of our simple tips on your side, you’ll find that it’s actually easier to eat on the cheap (and to eat well) every day of the week.

    Stretch your proteins.

    Structuring your meals around a big hunk of meat and a little helping of everything else is a custom that’s falling by the wayside. Instead, use our tips to stretch one protein of protein into four satisfying dinner servings by boosting meat with other ingredients and not making it the focus of the meal. Take this Pot Roast Stir-Fry (pictured above), for example, which gets its heft from eggy noodles, veggies and a hearty sauce.

    Potato Basil Frittata

    Own eating eggs for dinner.

    Cracking a few eggs into a pan might sometimes gets the rep of a sad fallback dinner, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Using eggs as an inexpensive source of protein can actually be a bit refined, especially if you’re scrambling a few to make Ina’s 5-star, filling Potato Basil Frittata.

    Succulent Braised Pork

    Have a little patience.

    Go for a budget cut and cook it low and slow. Though pork shoulder is a notoriously humble, fibrous cut, giving it a lot of love will transform this inexpensive cut of meat into fork-tender, crowd-pleasing Succulent Braised Pork.

    Fish and White Bean Tostadas

    Extend protein with beans.

    While the ingredients for a a fish dinner can often rack up your grocery bill, stretching pricey seafood with inexpensive beans can keep a meal satisfying yet sensible. Melissa d’Arabian pairs white fish filets with sauteed white beans for crunchy, fresh Fish and White Bean Tostadas.

    Arroz con Pollo

    Be the butcher.

    Rather than paying the premium for pre-cut meat at the grocery store, do it yourself. Breaking down a whole chicken at home for one-pot Arroz con Pollo means a lot of chicken for not a lot of money. Watch how to do it here.

    Musts for a Budget Pantry

    Make your pantry ready for anything.

    Stocking your kitchen on a night-by-night, recipe-by-recipe basis is sure to make your grocery bills soar. Instead, stock up on versatile pantry staples — using these 14 must-haves as your guide — before you need them to prevent any frivolous trips to the store.

    Get more ideas for budget-friendly dinners right here.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • Science Tells You the Best Way to Get Ketchup Out of the Bottle

    Science Tells You the Best Way to Get Ketchup Out of the BottleWe all have our talents. I will confess that one of my own few (maybe only) gifts is the ability to get ketchup out of a bottle when others have struggled to do so to no avail. I’ve sat across the table from fry-eating friends as they’ve shaken, tapped, struggled, sighed and sneaked delicate peeks inside to see if progress had been made, and, finally, in frustration, they’ve reached for their knives to try to move things along. At that point, if not before, I offer help, taking hold of the glass bottle and giving a confident tap just below where the neck of the bottle expands into the wider part. Voila! Ketchup. That’s the sweet spot, people. I am telling you, it works every time.

    Yet science now says there’s a better way. Anthony Stickland, a senior lecturer in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering who has researched solid-liquid separation and suspension rheology (an area of physics that contends with the deformation and flow of matter), has suggested that his field of study provides the key to getting ketchup to flow perfectly from the bottle with nary a splat or sputter.

    “Suspension rheology explains all the phenomena seen in [ketchup] bottles and provides the answers to the perennial sauce question, which can be tackled in three main steps,” Stickland recently said in a university release.

    Stickland broke down these three scientifically proven steps to get ketchup flowing at just the right rate:

    First, with the cap firmly on, shake the bottle to reunite any solids that have separation from the liquids in your ketchup and to remove any “plugs” in the neck of the bottle and avoid that gross watery stuff that can accumulate at the top.

    Second, still keeping the cap on, turn the bottle so the neck is pointing down, shaking and whacking it to get the ketchup to the opening.

    Third, remove the cap and tilt the bottle toward your intended target (burger, fries, hot dog or what have you). If you keep tilting and tilting until the bottle is, essentially, upside-down and the ketchup still doesn’t move, you need to offer “some sort of encouragement, like tapping, slapping or whacking,” Stickland said, but you don’t want to whap it so hard it splats out all at once.

    “You need to find the ‘sweet spot’ of force needed to move it towards your burger,” Stickland advised. “Start by pointing the open end of the bottle toward your food at an angle of around 45 degrees with one hand around the bottle neck, and the other delivering gentle but firm taps on the bottom of the bottle. Increase the force of the taps until you balance the force applied with the mechanical strength of the sauce in order to get it to flow.”

    Personally, I’ll eschew science and stick with my method. I am telling you, once you find that spot on the body of the bottle, just below where it meets the neck, and give it one swift hit with the heel of your hand, you’ll be good to go.

    Photo: iStock

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • 6 Things You Never Knew About the Red Solo Cup

    6 Things You Never Knew About the Red Solo CupLast month, Robert Hulseman, the inventor of the Red Solo Cup, that picnic and party staple, died at the age of 84.

    Hulseman’s son Paul told the Associated Press that his father, a man dedicated to his work, his wife and 10 children, and his Catholic faith, had no idea the beverage cup he invented for family picnics had become a tailgate and keg-party icon and didn’t quite know what to make of Toby Keith’s cheeky country-music homage to his creation, “Red Solo Cup.” (Keith tweeted his condolences to Hulseman.)

    He “never fully understood how massively popular the large red plastic cup became in pop culture,” Paul Hulseman told the AP.

    It turns out that sentiment is mutual. There’s a lot the culture at large probably didn’t understand about the Red Solo Cup (which the Washington Post has hailed as a “marvel of modern engineering”) and the man who invented it. Here are six things to know:

    1. Hulseman, who began working to produce disposable cups, plates and bowls with his father (who invented the cone-shaped paper Solo Cup) in 1936, introduced the red Solo Cup in the 1970s.

    2. He originally made the cup in 5-, 7- and 9-ounce sizes, for use in the kitchen and at family picnics. The keg-friendly 16-ounce plastic Solo Cup came later. “Nobody was drinking 16-ounce beers at that point,” his son Tom told the Chicago Tribune.

    3. Hulseman’s kids helped him pick the colors for the original Solo Cups. They opted for red, blue, yellow and peach — but the peach one didn’t stand the test of time.

    4. Red was not Hulseman’s favorite Solo Cup color. “Truth be told,” Paul told the Associated Press, “Dad liked blue the best.”

    5. Hulseman also helped to invent the little plastic cups you get ketchup and sauces in when you go to restaurants and, in collaboration with Jack Clements, the Solo Traveler coffee cup lid. “The Traveler lid was on the top of every Starbucks cup,” Paul Hulseman told the Tribune. “You probably looked past it every day.”

    6. The Traveler lid is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which describes its iconic design as follows: “Instead of sitting flat on a paper cup, the Solo Traveler Coffee-Cup Lid features a domed configuration designed to make sipping more comfortable by accommodating not only the lips, but also the nose. In an unintended bonus, the Solo Traveler can also accommodate the foam of the cappuccinos and lattes that became popular in the United States in the late 1980s, when it was introduced. Its success was rapid and universal, and in the cutthroat world of coffee-cup-lid production, imitations soon followed.”

    So let us all raise our cups and tip our lids in appreciation of Hulseman’s life-improving creations.

    Photo: iStock

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Teff

    10 Reasons to Get Excited About TeffAnyone who has eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant has probably eaten teff. Flour made from the iron-rich grain is, traditionally, a key ingredient in injera, the spongy, slightly sour, fermented flatbread that is the basis of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. In fact, it’s the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritria.

    But recently, teff is stepping into the spotlight here in the United States, elbowing quinoa out of the way, and taking its bows as the new hot super-grain.

    Here are 10 reasons why everyone’s suddenly all excited about teff:

    1. Teff is gluten-free, so it’s a good alternative for people who avoid gluten but are tiring of quinoa.

    2. Teff is a very small grain — no bigger than a poppy seed — but it’s packed with protein and other nutrients. It contains calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber, iron, thiamine, vitamin K and zinc, among other vitamins and minerals.

    3. It has a flavor that is often described as “mild” and “nutty,” making it a pleasant companion to a host of stronger, spicier foods.

    4. Teff flour can be used in a variety of baked goods, which makes it a great choice for gluten-free brownies, cookies, breads, piecrusts, pancakes, muffins, cakes and waffles.

    5. As a whole grain, teff is versatile enough to be served as a side dish or a main dish, steamed, boiled or baked, prepared in porridge or polenta — or even in a vegan stuffing on Thanksgiving.

    6. While teff is mostly grown in Ethiopia and Eritrea (more than 90 percent of the teff in the world is grown there), it’s adaptable to different climates and also grown in places like the state of Idaho.

    7. Farmers in Ethiopia have grown teff for thousands of years, and about 6.5 million small farmers still grow it today. It is used in the injera bread eaten at almost every meal at the country.

    8. Fearing export of the whole grain would affect domestic supply and pricing, the Ethiopian government banned the export of raw teff in 2006. In 2015, thanks to investments and improvements in farming techniques and equipment, which boosted yields by 40 percent, the government eased some export restrictions.

    9. Teff is now catching on around the world and is being used in packaged goods like mixes, pastas and snack bars. Sales of teff in the U.S. climbed 58 percent in 2014, the New York Times recently reported, citing data from the market research firm Packaged Facts.

    10. Home cooks can use it to make their own injera, gluten-free brownies and a host of other foods.

    Photo: iStock

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • At Last, a Wipeable Onesie for People Prone to Pizza-Sauce Spills

    At last, a Wipeable Onesie for People Prone to Pizza-Sauce SpillsHere’s one for the “products you never knew you needed until someone invented it” file. A tomato-sauce-stain-resistant wipeable onesie — purportedly the world’s first — made especially for those who want to scarf down pizza in their PJs and emerge unscathed. (Well, at least as far as their clothes are concerned.)

    Domino’s has announced that it will offer its limited-edition pizza-proof loungewear — targeted to the 73 percent of Brits who change into PJs the second they get home — at a number of its U.K. locations. (Don’t worry, United States pizza-and-pajamas fans. Your time may come.)

    Both fashionable and functional, the zipper-front onesie combines a stain-resistant outer fabric, printed with pepperoni-pizza slices floating against a fetching blue background, and a velveteen interior that is pleasing to the touch.

    Created by Charlotte Denn, who took 13 hours to perfect the PJ prototype, it also features extra-deep side pockets “to store dips and drinks, letting pizza lovers to ‘dip and sip’ with ease,” according to a press release.

    Domino’s says it will donate the proceeds from the sale of the onesies, which come in a pizza box and retail for about £25 ($30.81 U.S.), to several charities, including the Teenage Cancer Trust.

    Photo: Copyright Domino’s Pizza Group Limited. All rights reserved.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!

  • Baking
  • 8 Kid-Friendly Slow-Cooker Meals

    Slow-Cooker Pot RoastWhen it comes to family meals, I’m always looking for three things: wholesome ingredients, simple preparation and kid-friendly flavors. You really can’t beat the slow cooker for the second one; just throw your ingredients in, and that contraption politely cooks dinner for you all day long. These are the crowd-pleasing recipes I’ve made over and over again. Every one of them is full of fresh ingredients and kid-tested.

    Slow-Cooker Pot Roast (pictured above)
    This is the meal my mother-in-law makes every time we gather for a special family meal. Pot roast may be my father-in-law’s favorite, but this dish has other things going for it too: All the veggies cook right along with the meat (one pot!), and every bite is so tender that even our two-year-old can dig right in.

    Not-Too-Spicy Chicken Tikka MasalaNot-Too-Spicy Chicken Tikka Masala
    If your family isn’t quite ready for curry, this is the starter dish for you. In fact, my soon-to-be three-year-old once asked to have this for his birthday dinner. Now that he’s 4, he still asks for it — and the rest of the crew does too.

    Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle SoupSlow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
    If there’s one thing my kids have fallen in love with this winter, it’s a big bowl of hot chicken noodle soup — and this slow-cooker version makes it so easy. Tip: Dish up the soup in two quick steps. First, a ladle for the broth, chicken and veggies, and then use tongs to pluck out just the right amount of noodles for each bowl.

    Easiest-Ever Pulled Pork
    There is simply no easier way to feed a crowd than throwing a pork butt or shoulder into the slow cooker and letting it do its thing. While you’re putting the rest of your meal together, the pork quietly transforms into the moistest and most-flavorful meal you — and your guests — have had in ages.

    Slow-Cooker Pork TacosPork Tacos with Mangoes
    This idea’s a twofer: Either cook the pork according to this recipe, or use the leftovers from the pulled pork option above. (I love one meal that you can service twice, in two totally different ways.) Either way, pair the mouthwatering pork with tangy bites of mango in soft flour tortillas.

    Shredded Chicken Tex-MexShredded Chicken Tex-Mex
    There’s something about corn that kids love. I use it as a bridge food all the time — something familiar served along with something new — and the technique works well almost all the time. (I say almost because we’re dealing with four small kids at my house, so …) Serve this instant hit over rice or between tortillas, or use the leftovers again later in the week and do both.

    Slow-Cooker Whole ChickenSlow-Cooker Whole Chicken
    Did you know you could cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker? You can bet that the flavors of the spice rub work their way into the bird until the whole thing is soft and tender, practically falling off the bone.

    Fully Loaded Baked Potato SoupFully Loaded Baked Potato Soup
    There are only two things you need to know about this recipe: There’s no need to peel the potatoes, and my kids love, love, love it. Tip: Let your little ones sprinkle all the toppings on themselves.

    Charity Curley Mathews is the creator of Foodlets.com, a site full of recipes and tips for teaching kids to love good, fresh and simple food.

    This article was originally posted on the Food Network and can be found here!