Ding Baozhen (1820-1886) was a governor of Sichuan province during the Qing dynasty. The emperor bestowed upon him the title Gōng Bǎo - "palatial guardian". He supervised the reconstruction of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System. But he achieved immortality through the dish named for him: Kung Pao Chicken. [more inside]
Ice Cubes - A Recipe. The comments offer many helpful tips.
Tomorrow would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday. To celebrate, PBS Digital Studios offers: Julia Child Remixed. They also have created a celebration page, complete with an infographic, recipes, quotes, videos and more. [more inside]
Buffalo chicken wings were invented by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Americans will eat 25 billion of them this year - not a few of them at the 10th annual National Buffalo Wing Festival. Some people eat nothing else. Alton Brown steams his. But will any of them be more delicious than these Sriracha Garlic Wings?
"Legalizing pot would, in addition to engendering medical miracles and rendering moot a large sector of illegal-drug-related crimes, allow quantum leaps in the world of cooking. Maybe if we all pray really hard to Jah, pot will one day infiltrate snooty haute cuisine and local artisanal eateries alike, all over America." GQ reports on some incredible edibles. [more inside]
Drive 8.7 km (5.4 miles) west of the municipality of Roses in Catalonia, Spain, and you'll get to the gates of the renowned avant-garde restaurant, El Bulli. Run by Ferran Adrià since 1987, the restaurant closed in 2012 due to Adrià and his partner Juli Soler losing a half million Euros a year on the restaurant and Adrià's cooking workshop in Barcelona. Slate's Noreen Malone wrote an article on the history of the "I Ate at El Bulli" piece, giving an overview of tropes that you could expect in an IAaEB piece, and you can browse images tagged "elbulli" on Flickr for snapshots of personal experiences. But for an extended look into what went into making the ever-changing 35-course taster's menu, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (Trailer on YT and Vimeo) is a 109 minute documentary on the preparation and implementation of the 2008/9 season, an "extreme fly-on-the-wall vérité, with only the barest context provided." If you're looking for recipes, Molecular Recipes has a few listed under the El Bulli tag. [more inside]
Now I agree that to some people using half a kilo of chocolate to make 12 biscuits may seem excessive. But I can tell you I don't put a price on alleviating human suffering. - Nigella Lawson [more inside]
For Super Tuesday, sardonic food writer Michael Procopio presents an excellent Rick-Santorum-themed cake recipe. [more inside]
In [the USA], buying a good over-the-counter nasal decongestant requires picking a card from an empty spot on the shelf, taking it to the pharmacist, handing over your driver's license, and getting it from behind the counter. Only the larger drug stores bother. Meth, on the other hand, is apparently easier to come by. So here (PDF), from the the wonderfully named Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry, is a paper on how to make Sudafed® from Meth.
A Cephalic Infusion
Take dry Peacocks dung (the white part) 4 ounces; Millepedes alive bruised 1 ounce; black Cherry water, white Wine, each 1 pint and half; let them stand cold 24 hours, then having clarify'd it, by often passing it through a Flannel bag; add Langius's Antepileptic water 3 ounces; Spirit of Lavender compound 1 dram and half; Oil of Nutmeg 3 drops; Syrup of Piony compound 6 ounces, mix.800 medicines from Thomas Fuller's Pharmacopeia Extemporanea, 168 from William Buchan's Domestic Medicine and 11 from The Reverend Twigge's Notebook - indexed and fully searchable.
It cleanses out the Meatus of the Brain, when choak'd up and grown unpassable, by reason of muddy Feculencies, roborates its Tone when flaccid and suck, and defecates the Animal Spirits, when clog'd and incens'd with an heterogeneous Copula, refreshes and invigorates them when feeble and fainting; discusses the Mists and Clouds of the Head, and procures Serenity and Sun shine. Therefore we employ it with happy Success in an Idiopathic Head-ach, Vertigo, Scotomy, &c. giving a quarter of a pint Nights and Mornings.
If you don’t use the right potatoes, the right oil, and the right fryers, well, you get french fries. And that’s the reason you don’t find Belgian fries anywhere. [more inside]
Chef Sanjay Thumma (vahrehvah.com) wants to teach you how to make pretty much any Indian dish you can think of.
NPR's food blog gets wordy: for the origins of "pie," look to the humble magpie. Though the etymology of pie doesn't present one clear path, the possibilities are fascinating. English surnames point to pie and pye as a baked good in the 1300s, with a Peter Piebakere in 1320 and Adam le Piemakere in 1332. Chaucer referred to "pye" as both a baked good and a magpie (Google books). Or perhaps the fillings were like a magpie's collection of bits and bobs, similar to haggis. You know, like the French "agace," or magpie (Gb), and similar to chewets, those baked goods, or another name for jackdaws (Gb), relative of the magpie. [more inside]
Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is an Italian pasta dish based on eggs, cheese (pecorino or parmesan), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. [more inside]
By now we all know how to pimp our grilled cheese sandwiches, but maybe that's just not your style. Maybe you're like me, and enjoy the simple pleasure of a melts-just-right Kraft Single, but don't like the long list of unpronounceable ingredients. Well, today is your lucky day: America's Test Kitchen comes up with a recipe for DIY American Cheese.
Henry's Kitchen is a cooking show unlike any other: it is unpretentious (he's no arrogant, trained chef), dramatic in a unique way, and has some information that one doesn't find anywhere else. Henry's Anytime Chili for One is a classic. There's also Killer Oven-Baked French Toast, Spicy Shepherd's Pie, and Delicious Nutty Chocolate Truffles.
Ever wanted to eat those nachos in the gas station but been too scared? This recipe for Filling Station Nachos will help you out. Thanks to the Milwaukee Public Library's Historic Recipe File you can make that dish, Three Hole Cake or a Milwaukee Man's Crepe. A "fascinating glimpse into the local and ethnic foods that were popular in Milwaukee from as long as 50 years ago." Making Taters Polish Pride or President Washington's Rice Waffles With Honey-Maple Syrup might take you a while. And while there are no bees in Bee Cake, the Barbecued Coon is a different story. [via]
Do you find yourself envious of the perfectly staged photos accompanying recipes? Are your drawing skills better than your culinary skills? Recipe Look is a collection of user-submitted illustrated recipes, some with pictures fit for a magazine, others a bit more casual. See also: Drawn Butter, an illustrated recipe blog (via Johnny Wander's Ecto-Cooler Smoothie); Pictoral Recipes from Oregon State University (in English and Spanish); and two recipes from comic artist Lucy Knisley (via; Knisley prev, prev).
Food should be delicious, cooking should be fun, and people should feel good about what they eat. This blog is all about making that happen!
Writer Harry Mathews' epically challenging recipe for Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Farce Double) in text and audio form.
Dutch Winter: Kasper Bak shoots handheld video on skates on frozen Netherlands waters. If you feel cold after watching that, try warming up with some great Dutch winter food.
19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas. [more inside]
Faggot. Michael Procopio, food writer, chef, sometime waiter, makes mincemeat out of his least favorite word.
Want to make eggnog weeks ahead of time? You might try this recipe, courtesy of The Rockefeller University's Dr. Rebecca Lancefield (PDF biographic article). In this 2008 video, her colleagues demonstrate how to make it; they suggest starting it now, tasting it at Thanksgiving, and drinking it at Christmas. In their 2009 follow-up video, they intentionally add Salmonella to the recipe as they make it, to see if the added liquor kills off the infection. Videos courtesy of Science Friday. (BONUS LINK: if you missed last year's Puerto Rican Nog celebration, get ready for the 9th annual NYC Coquito Contest!)
Going to Ikea anytime soon? Stop by the kitchen section pick up their new baking cookbook, Homemade is Best, for free! (Limited time offer, only available in Sweden.) Try a game of guess-the-recipe and look at all the pretty pictures. [via]
For the more visually-directed chef: CookBlast - a search engine for cooking and recipe videos. [via mefi projects]
Carrot Bacon. More or less exactly what it says. [Single Link Flicker Set]
A newspaper story about cooking testicles, featuring Chris Onstad, writer of Achewood. Also featuring an excerpt from his new Achewood cookbook, in which everyone's favorite Appalachian serial killer teaches us how to easily cook fried chicken. (Perfect fried chicken, previously on metafilter)
Need some dessert ideas? The Pentagon has recipes for brownies and oatmeal cookies. (26 page pdf)
Celebrity chef Beppe Bigazzi upset viewers and his host with his recipe for "cat casserole", and has been suspended from the program [Italian]. Inhabitants of Northern Italy, particularly those of Vicenza, are still nicknamed "magnagati" ('cat eaters') as a derogatory term in Venetian. Taking a clue from the Aboriginal population, cooking feral cats has even been proposed in Alice Springs, Australia, to curb the out-of-control feral population. [more inside]
Button du Jour. A charming semi-daily imaginary vignette featuring food, fashion, music, and an exotic location -- all inspired by a beautiful button.
Ellie Krieger is a well-known registered dietician and author of The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life. Her bio says she was "director of nutritional services at the prestigious La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine for several years where she worked with a team of physicians, psychologists and fitness specialists to create a multi-faceted obesity treatment program." She's also the host of "Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger" on the Food Network. With this kind of pedigree, you'd assume her recipes would be the paragon of nutritious, healthy eating, right? Wrong. [more inside]
Beer Calculus is a freely available homebrewing recipe generator, which allows you to easily create, save and share your own beer recipe(s). The calculator includes hundreds of malt, hop and yeast varieties, adjuncts and other ingredients, different mash processes, and fermentation and storage variables, and can toggle between US and metric units. Also, if you associate your recipe with a BJCP-recognized style, the calculator will give you guidance regarding your recipe's adherence to the style's guidelines. Homebrewers, have at it!
Happy Thanksgiving, MetaFilter! If you have friends from different parts of the U.S., you might have wondered why they consider certain dishes to be an essential part of a Thanksgiving feast, when you've never even thought of them as remotely Thanksgiving-related. Now you can see what dishes were popular searches on allrecipes.com in various states thanks to a series of infographics in the New York Times.
Ask Recipe Labs is a cooking-related question and answer site, based off of the Stack Overflow structure (prev). Ask Recipe Lab is the newest part of collection of recipe-based sites, which includes Recipe Puppy (an ingredient based recipe search engine, prev. from MeFi Projects), Cook Thing (how to cook anything, by picking a dish and the ingredients you wish to use), and Recipe Labs (social recipe repository, allowing quick tweaks to existing recipes). [via mefi projects]
Bittmanfilter: 101 Head Starts on the Day-- "The Minimalist" gives us a hundred and one Thanksgiving dishes that can be prepared in advance.
For your Halloween party this weekend, creep out your guests by serving them a Meat Hand.
Friday Frivolity. We use only the finest baby frogs, dew-picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in the finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate envelope, and lovingly frosted with glucose. A recipe for the infamous Crunchy Frog. No frogs were killed in the making of this recipe. (via Neatorama)
Barbecued Ribs, Roast Beef, French Toast, Twice Baked Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, French Onion Soup, Rye Bread, Corned Beef, Brownies. [more inside]
When the 'secret' of the Colonel's blend of herbs and spices was revealed, The Guardian had to test the recipe - and then see if it could be bettered ... (video)
Ice cream sundaes are good, but what if you could eat the bowl? On a suggestion from his son, Michael Ruhlman, food writer and critic, figures out how to make a chocolate chip cookie ice cream bowl... and tells you how to do it too.
It's Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the day before Lent is celebrated in the UK by events such as football matches, races, and the consumption of mountains of pancakes. Perhaps you celebrated by running a pancake race, like the famous one in Ripon? Or, perhaps, you made some lovely pancakes of your own?
Mutton pie. An Orange organisation. A portrait size. A delicious confection Desired the world over. The true meat of this post – Inns and taverns of old London. [PDF]