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Articles: food

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Company Potluck Haiku
Friday, 2009 November 20 - 4:26 pm
Company potluck;
when engineers cook you get
nine kinds of meatballs.

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Posted by Ken in: foodfunnyhaha

One Thing About Me (Beef Edition)
Sunday, 2009 February 22 - 2:07 pm
While I was doing the 25 Things About Me meme, it occurred to me that each item could almost have been its own blog post. So now, rather than posting another 25 things list, I'm just going to talk about one thing in excruciating detail. I'm an old-school bloggah, yo.

The One Thing for today is this: I know a lot about cuts of beef. This knowledge comes in handy in three situations:
  • one, when you're at a butcher or abattoir and you need to order beef;
  • two, if you're in the audience when David Letterman has his "Name Your Cuts of Meat" quiz; and
  • three, if you were on "Hell's Kitchen" last week and you had to correctly label the parts of a cow with the corresponding cut of beef.

For the uninitiated, here are a couple of tips. First, although a lot of restaurants seem to make a big deal about sirloin steaks, the typical bottom sirloin cut isn't all that great for steaks. It's a lean cut, meaning that it doesn't have a lot of fat marbling, and therefore it doesn't carry as much flavor (compared, say, to a ribeye). It's also somewhat tough. If you can find something specifically labeled top sirloin, that's a better cut than your standard sirloin. But it's also usually more expensive; you might as well get a ribeye or strip steak instead.

If you're looking for a less expensive but still flavorful steak, I'd recommend two things. One is the flank steak, which comes from around the belly area of a cow. It makes for a somewhat chewier steak than your top cuts, but it has great flavor, and if you slice it across the grain, it's easy to eat. It also takes marinades very well.

The other is the flat-iron steak, which comes from the blade (shoulder). Normally the blade has a tough piece of connective tissue running through it, but if you cut the meat lengthwise (like you're filleting a fish) and cut out that tissue, you end up with two tender, well-marbled steaks. You won't always find flat-iron steaks at your grocery store, but if you happen to find a "top blade" roast, you can fillet it yourself to make the steaks.
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Posted by Ken in: food

Succumbing to Marketing
Monday, 2009 January 12 - 12:54 pm
After being bombarded with ads for Burger King's "Angry Whopper" yesterday, I finally succumbed and tried one today. I'd characterize it as more of a "Mildly Annoyed" Whopper. On a scale from 0 to 5, with 0 being "not at all spicy" and 5 being "ridiculous to the point of not being able to taste anything else", it rates just a 1.

By the way, can someone who's worked in the fast food industry answer a question for me? Are the hamburger buns squashed on-site at each franchise location, or are they shipped from the factory that way?
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Posted by Ken in: food

International House of Festivus Latkes
Friday, 2008 December 26 - 11:53 am
Merry Christmas to my Christian friends, happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends, and Yuletide greetings to my pagan friends. I suppose should add Kwanzaa to this list, but it's hard to recognize the legitimacy of a holiday that was invented in the 1960s. If you're gonna adopt a recently-invented holiday, I think Festivus is the better choice (which, by the way, was invented in 1966, ten months before Kwanzaa). Festivus is truly an American holiday: it's all-inclusive, not tied to any particular religion or race, and it's fittingly neurotic and weird.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Learn Something Every Day
Monday, 2008 March 31 - 11:17 am
Today's factoid: Fructose melts at 104°C (219°F). Dextrose and glucose melt at 146°C (295°F). Sucrose melts at 186°C (367°F).

The reason I'm interested in this is because I'm trying to figure out if the slow-cooking process I use for beef ribs will, in fact, allow me to use add barbecue sauce during the cooking phase. The sweetener in most bottled barbecue sauces is high-fructose corn syrup (a mixture of fructose and glucose). So presumably, if the cooking temperature reaches the melting point of fructose, you'll start to get carmelization in the sauce, and that will destroy the flavor.

Cooking at 200°F should be low enough to avoid that. But I think I may have to experiment with it before trying it out on my rib-loving friends.

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Posted by Ken in: foodinteresting

Learn Something Every Day
Wednesday, 2008 March 26 - 10:27 pm
In the course of surfing the Internet (and researching answers for Yahoo Answers), I do several dozen Google searches a day. (There you go, a plug for both Yahoo and Google in one sentence.) And I find that I learn a few interesting things every day. So I'm gonna try a new regular blog feature: "Learn Something Every Day". I'll try to post at least one random fact I discovered or looked up that day.

Today I looked up a bunch of stuff about the cost of the Iraq war and the cost of U.S. energy consumption, but I covered most of that in my last post. So instead of those facts, I'll tell you about potatoes.

Did you know? Potatoes are very good for you. They're loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, and dietary fiber. They kind of have a bad reputation as a starchy food with empty calories, but a potato has half the calories of a serving of rice, and considerably more nutrients. So, enjoy that potato! Just go easy on the butter.

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Posted by Ken in: foodinteresting

Restaurants: London Fish and Chips
Sunday, 2008 January 20 - 1:23 pm
There's a new fish-and-chips place open in Cary, London Fish & Chips. (British folks would call this place a "chippie", which is kind of funny to me, because here in the Colonies, a "chippie" is a prostitute.)

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Not As Advertised
Friday, 2008 January 18 - 12:42 pm
This looked a lot more appetizing in the picture on the box.

Palak Paneer


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Posted by Ken in: food

Christmas in January!
Tuesday, 2008 January 15 - 8:37 am
Well, not really. It's just that I'm finally getting around to blogging about some of the stuff I got for Christmas.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlifetechwatch

Today's Recipe
Tuesday, 2007 November 20 - 7:03 pm
Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, with Bacon and Shiitake Mushrooms

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Posted by Ken in: food

Restaurants: An, Jibarra
Saturday, 2007 November 17 - 10:22 am
Two relatively recent upscale additions to the Triangle dining scene.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Food News
Saturday, 2007 November 10 - 10:38 am
New restaurants in Raleigh.

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Posted by Ken in: food

Restaurants: Stripsteak
Thursday, 2007 November 8 - 7:47 pm
A high end steak place at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

State Fair
Tuesday, 2007 October 23 - 10:21 pm
Otherwise known as the Artery Clogging Food Fair.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Things You Don't Want to Eat
Tuesday, 2007 August 28 - 11:30 pm
Seriously.

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Posted by Ken in: foodfunnyhaha

Today's Recipe
Tuesday, 2007 August 28 - 10:13 pm
Churrasco con salsa chimichurri, y gallo pinto.

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Posted by Ken in: food

Fourth of July
Saturday, 2007 July 7 - 12:43 am
A brief recap.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Catching Up
Sunday, 2006 August 13 - 6:06 pm
Must... blog... can't... wait... any... more...

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Changing the Routine
Tuesday, 2006 July 25 - 10:36 pm
I'm faced with having to make a lifestyle change.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Chinese Cooking
Friday, 2006 March 31 - 9:59 am
I need products. Oh, that's what wedding registries are for, right?

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Posted by Ken in: food

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
Friday, 2006 February 10 - 1:37 am
I MUST figure out this recipe.

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Posted by Ken in: food

Things We Need
Wednesday, 2006 January 25 - 11:56 pm
After tens of thousands of years, we're still using the same old utensils.

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Posted by Ken in: foodfunnyhahainteresting

Return of the Meat Wallow
Monday, 2005 December 12 - 12:51 am
The tradition lives on.

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Posted by Ken in: foodfunnyhaha

Salty Snack Update
Monday, 2005 August 8 - 10:36 pm
In order to survive this diet, I'm definitely going to need some beer.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Biggie-Size Me
Friday, 2005 July 15 - 11:28 pm
A lunchtime observation.

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Posted by Ken in: commentaryfood

Quick Followup
Wednesday, 2005 July 6 - 11:34 pm
... concerning last night's boozing, and today's electricity cutoff.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Buried In Crap
Monday, 2005 June 20 - 10:39 pm
And it's all my own damn fault.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

No, Don't Eat That
Saturday, 2005 June 18 - 11:59 pm
Today I found out I can't cook South American food.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Today's Cheese
Saturday, 2005 May 21 - 10:43 pm
More mind-numbing minutiae.

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Posted by Ken in: bloggersfoodlife

Cheese Sandwich
Thursday, 2005 May 5 - 12:49 pm
Hopefully this entry won't be too insipid.

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Posted by Ken in: bloggersfoodlife

Yeah, I got nothin' this evening.
Monday, 2005 May 2 - 9:52 pm
A long and meandering tale just so I can talk about sporks.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

A Grumpy Day
Tuesday, 2005 April 19 - 11:49 pm
Today I was Grumpy McGrumperson.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlife

Quick Random Notes
Monday, 2005 April 4 - 9:11 pm
I have to rush through these last few thoughts, because the NCAA basketball championship is starting.

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Posted by Ken in: foodlifesports

Tapas: Zely and Ritz
Monday, 2005 March 21 - 10:31 pm
Zely and Ritz is one of the latest restaurants to jump on the tapas bandwagon. It's in the spot formerly occupied by the Cockeyed Chef on Glenwood Avenue.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

American Restaurants: City Beverage
Saturday, 2004 October 23 - 12:38 pm
It sounds like a place where frat boys buy kegs, but it's not.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Vietnamese Restaurants: Lotus Leaf Cafe
Sunday, 2004 September 26 - 11:34 am
I was enthusiastic about the prospect of a new Vietnamese restaurant in Cary. Tucked away in the corner of a strip mall, the Lotus Leaf Cafe had its ups and downs.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Tapas: Tasca Brava
Wednesday, 2004 March 10 - 10:46 pm
Whenever I say there's a tapas place in Cary, people ask, "there's a topless place in Cary?" After many months of telling everyone I was going to try it out, I finally made it there a couple of weeks ago.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Italian Restaurants: Valentino's
Wednesday, 2004 March 10 - 10:35 pm
Valentino's in Chapel Hill serves up good, if ordinary, Italian fare.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Seafood Restaurants: Rockfish Grill
Saturday, 2004 January 24 - 12:24 am
This is an unpretentious, down-to-earth seafood joint with great food at a reasonable price.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Chinese Restaurants: Ma Ma Wok
Monday, 2004 January 5 - 1:11 pm
Finally, a place to get dim sum in Cary. Very good, but it wasn't quite what I expected.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Asian Restaurants: Big Bowl
Thursday, 2003 November 27 - 12:44 pm
Big Bowl lives up to its name with large servings and a big, arena-like atmosphere. The pan-Asian cuisine is tasty, though not brilliant.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Chinese Restaurants: Pao Lim
Thursday, 2003 November 13 - 12:56 am
Pao Lim serves up a slightly different Chinese restaurant experience.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Chinese Restaurants: Five Star
Monday, 2003 November 3 - 12:36 am
Raleigh's Five Star restaurant is a welcome change from the ubiquitous mass-produced Chinese buffets and take-out joints.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Italian Restaurants: Vivo
Wednesday, 2003 October 22 - 10:14 pm
The newcomer to the Glenwood South scene, Vivo seems destined for trendiness, if they can just get over themselves.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews

Japanese Restaurants: Waraji
Wednesday, 2003 October 8 - 9:45 pm
Waraji has some of the best sushi in the Triangle and a decent selection of other traditional Japanese fare.

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Posted by Ken in: foodreviews


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