New App Aims to Predict Your Next Favorite Beer
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Soon, when you’re ordering a beer at a bar or restaurant, you won’t need to ask your bartender or server for a recommendation. Neither, when you’re scanning the store shelves in search of a six-pack perfectly suited to your taste, will you have to make a split-second decision based on label alone.
We’ve all had memorable instances when we’ve plunked down our hard-earned money for a beer that sounded cool but left us cold. But there’s a new free app in the works that will take the guesswork out of beer buying.
A Wilmington, N.C.-based company called Next Glass is currently putting in the legwork to scientifically map the DNA of every single kind of beer sold in the United States in order to scientifically determine — based on beer you’ve liked in the past — what beer you’re likely to enjoy next. The app’s tagline: “It used to be subjective. Now, it’s personal.”
“It really doesn’t matter if it’s a stout or an IPA because, if it has a similar DNA, I can guarantee you’re going to like it,” Next Glass spokesperson George Taylor recently told KOIN 6, in Portland, Ore.
In order to sniff out even the most-esoteric craft beers, the app maker has sent two of its employees on a cross-country beer-buying binge. These guys are snagging (though, alas for them, not tasting) as many different beers as they can find, in what the company is calling a Beer Census – loading them into a refrigerated truck and bringing them back for scientific analysis. They’re hoping to get every single bottled or canned beer sold in the United States: about 40,000 of them.
Once the beers’ DNA has been analyzed, “… if you give us, like, three to five suggestions on things you’ve tried, whether you liked them or not …,” Taylor told KOMO/WWAY/CNN, in Seattle, “we can tell you exactly what you are going to like.”
And you’ve got to like that.
Tailgate Chili — Down-Home Comfort
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
The Southeastern Conference is home to some of the best college football in the country, and with it, some of the most-fervent fans and most-passionate tailgating. Football in the South is a bit like religion. People get really worked up; I mean really worked up. And, to that end, tailgating in the South is extreme as well. At the University of Alabama, fans are allowed to start tailgate setup at 6 p.m. the Thursday before the Saturday game — and dismantled as late as noon the day after! At my alma mater, the University of Georgia, there is Bulldog Park; a luxury RV tailgating facility offers the owners access to a wide range of amenities plus game-day shuttles to the stadium! Foodwise, there’s everything from LSU, where folks have big pots of meaty gumbo bubbling on a propane cooker, to The Grove at Ole Miss, where folks are super-fancy and serve dishes of hors d’oeuvres that you might be more accustomed to seeing at a ladies’ luncheon. (The real reason the food is so ladylike is that there’s a limited amount of electricity, and open flames and propane are prohibited — something that might not be a bad idea, considering the amount of alcohol consumed while tailgating!)
Personally, I prefer less work when I get to the stadium, and I suggest slow-cooked dishes prepared ahead of time. The best dishes are those you can cook at home and then add the finishing touches to at the stadium. I think the perfect tailgate food just might be chili. It works well in the fall, because it’s hearty and warms you up in the cool weather.
There are many different kinds of chili. Some recipes use ground beef, and others cubed beef. There are white chilis made with turkey, and chilis made with beans as well as those made without them.
Undoubtedly, one essential ingredient in chili is chili powder. There are two kinds. Chili powder is a seasoning blend made from ground dried chiles and an assortment of other ingredients, such as cumin, garlic and oregano. There is also the kind of powder made solely from dried chiles without any additional aromatics. I most often prefer to use pulverized dried chiles and separately add any other seasonings. A great chili is more than just heat, and those supporting seasonings rounded out the flavor, complementing the peppers without dominating or distracting from them.
Chili is an all-American dish with a rich culinary tradition. The one thing that can be agreed upon is that anyone who loves making chili thinks that theirs is the greatest. Well, that and that their team is the best.
Bon Appétit, Y’all – and Go, DAWGS!
Get the Recipe: Tailgate Chili
Georgia-born, French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has cooked lapin Normandie with Julia Child in France, prepared lunch for President Clinton and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. A Southern food authority, she is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, among others. Follow her continuing exploits at VirginiaWillis.com.
5 Smoothies to Kick-Start Your Day
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Fight the urge to add every healthful ingredient into your smoothie. First, it may not come out as tasty as you’d like. Second, it may cause calorie overload. Instead, divide and conquer. Choose one or two superfoods to toss in your morning smoothie each morning.
Large glasses lead to larger portions than you might realize. Instead, use no larger than 12-ounce glasses for your morning drink.
Fruit adds many antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals. But there are several other food groups you should be tackling in the morning. Balance the fruit in your smoothie by adding a source of protein like peanut butter, low-fat or nonfat milk or a healthy fat like avocado.
Too much fruit juice, maple syrup, agave, or even honey can quickly spike the added sugar and calories. Add sweetness with fruit like banana, mango, or dates. If you choose to go the added sugar route, then aim for about two teaspoons per serving.
Although tossing healthy ingredients into a blender can make a fabulous go-to breakfast, there are common mistakes folks make that can sabotage their morning shake.
Super Smoothies To Try
With all the super ingredients you can add to your morning smoothie, it can get overwhelming. Here are five smoothies that are the perfect balance of delicious and healthy.
Coconut Water Smoothie with Mango, Banana and Strawberries
The combination of fruit, including banana and mango, add a naturally sweet flavor and a ton of antioxidants. The mildly flavored coconut water contributes a boatload of electrolytes. With a total of five grams of fiber per serving, this smoothie will help keep you satisfied throughout your busy morning.
Green Morning Smoothie
Everyone’s on the green smoothie bandwagon. But making a green smoothie taste delish is a whole other story. The spinach in this smoothie is complimented with the sweetness of peaches and vanilla almond milk.
Peanut Butter Split Smoothie
Add protein to your morning by blending peanut butter into your smoothie. Combined with nonfat yogurt and milk, it gives this smoothie a whopping 13.5 grams of protein to get your morning off on the right foot.
Alton adds a splash of acai juice to this morning smoothie. Acai are nutrient-packed with vitamin A, iron, calcium, and several good-for-you phytochemicals like anthocyanins. Acai has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Ultra Creamy Avocado Smoothie
Blend the goodness of avocados into your breakfast. Avocados add a rich, creamy texture plus healthy, satisfying fat to your morning smoothie.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.
Beware of Oncoming Eviliciousness
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Chefs know that when they compete on Cutthroat Kitchen, they’re subjecting themselves to all manners of ruthless sabotages, but now it seems that even host Alton Brown will come face-to-face with eviliciousness. Check out the GIF above to see him try to outrun a rolling boulder, and tune in Sunday at 10|9c to see what challenges are in store on an all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.
How to Cook Everything Fast — Off the Shelf
FN Dish – Food Network Blog
Mark Bittman is back, and he’s about to revolutionize the way you eat dinner (again). In his newest cookbook, How to Cook Everything Fast, Bittman promises a better way to cook great food, and he certainly delivers.
The book starts with an introductory section and an overview (The Fast Kitchen) that is a culinary treasure trove of kitchen tips. It features everything from how to use to book to insights on families cooking together. It contains the last shopping list you’ll ever need, complete with details and notes on the ingredients and instructions for their proper storage. He also dispels the need (and the reasoning) for extensive mise en place right up front. The idea is to cook smarter and save yourself time by consolidating steps within the recipe.
Sound confusing? It really couldn’t be simpler to follow, thanks to Bittman’s new recipe layout. In easy-to-follow (color-coded) instructions, Bittman separates cooking actions and prep actions to keep you moving quickly and smoothly through each recipe, without clunky overuse of the word “meanwhile.” The book is broken down into sections featuring Main Dishes and Simpler, Smaller Dishes. Each Main Dish recipe gives suggestions for variations as well as immensely helpful suggestions for side dish pairings. And don’t be fooled; just because the recipes are simple doesn’t mean they aren’t absolutely mouthwatering. Bittman is known for his inventive, practical approach to layering flavors together, and one bite of the Broken Won Ton Soup, Skillet Meat Loaf or Broiled Ziti and you’ll see for yourself. Better yet, try the Fastest Chicken Parmesan at home (recipe below). The book is your one-stop shop for quick, easy, delicious meals, perfect for busy weeknights and activity-filled weekend days and busy families. How to Cook Everything Fast is on sale now, and you can order your copy here.
Fastest Chicken Parm
Time: Faster (30 minutes or less)
Makes: 4 servings
This take on the classic couldn’t be easier: Instead of dredging and panfrying, just stack the
ingredients in two stages on a baking sheet and broil. Done this way, the tomatoes get lightly
roasted and the bread crumbs stay nice and crunchy. (For eggplant like this, see the Variations.)
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium ripe tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
2 ounces Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated)
1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup bread crumbs
Turn the broiler to high; put the rack 6 inches from the heat. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and spread it around; put the baking sheet in the broiler.
Core and slice the tomatoes.
Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets for each breast. Press down on each with the heel of your hand to flatten.
Carefully remove the baking sheet from the broiler. Put the chicken cutlets on the sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the tomatoes, and broil one side only until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, rotating the pan if necessary for even cooking, 5 to 10 minutes.
Grate the mozzarella and Parmesan.
Strip 16 to 20 basil leaves from the stems.
Combine the bread crumbs, mozzarella, and Parmesan in a small bowl.
When the chicken is cooked through, remove the baking sheet from the broiler. Lay the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes, sprinkle with the bread crumb and cheese mixture, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Use sliced dill pickles instead of the tomatoes and Swiss cheese instead of the mozzarella. Omit the basil. Before putting the pickles on top of the chicken in Step 2, spread a little Dijon mustard on the cutlets. Instead of the Parmesan, mix 1/2 cup chopped ham into the bread crumb and Swiss topping.
Use Gruyère cheese instead of the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves instead of the basil. Omit the Parmesan. Before putting the tomatoes on top of the chicken in Step 2, spread a little Dijon mustard over the cutlets.
Fastest Eggplant Parm
Instead of the chicken, slice about 2 pounds large eggplant crosswise 1 inch thick. After the pan heats in Step 2, spread out the eggplant slices — but not the tomatoes — and turn to coat them in some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until softened and browned in places, about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the eggplant, then top with the tomatoes and proceed with the recipe from the end of Step 2.
HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING FAST © 2014 by Double B Publishing, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.