Category Archives: General

You Need Char Siu Yams In Your Life

Grilled sweet potato wedges that taste just like Chinese barbecued pork. Who can resist?
Grilled sweet potato wedges that taste just like Chinese barbecued pork. Who can resist?

Imagine the smoky, sweet, star-anise warmth of everyone’s favorite Chinese barbecued pork.

Now, consider those same devilishly delightful flavors enveloping sweet potatoes instead.

That’s exactly what’s in store for your taste buds with “Char Siu Yams.”

This clever, addictive recipe is from “How to Grill Vegetables: The New Bible for Barbecuing Vegetables over Live Fire” (Workman Publishing) by one of America’s great grill meisters, Steven Raichlen.

In his myriad of grilling cookbooks, Raichlen has always included vegetables. But this book, of which I received a review copy, represents the first time he’s put the entire focus on them.

Learn how to grill, wood-smoke, cedar-plank, hay-smoke, and fire-blister veggies to add flavor and depth. The recipes span the gamut from “Smoked Hummus with Sesame Grilled Pita Chips,” “Rotisserie Brussels Sprouts with Turmeric Oil and Curry Leaves,” and “Nashville Hot Cauliflower” to “Cedar-Planked Eggplant Parmigiana,” ” Smoked Deviled Eggs with Wasabi,” and “Hasselback Apples Grilled on Cedar Planks.”

To make “Char Siu Yams,” you’ll need a disposable aluminum foil pan, plus wood chunks or wood chips (pre-soaked) for even more smoky flavor.

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Binging On Ted Lasso Biscuits

The Brits say "biscuits.'' We say "shortbread cookies.''
The Brits say “biscuits.” We say “shortbread cookies.”

What irreverent witticism will Ted unleash now? Whom will Keeley choose? Will Roy ever wear a bright color? And just what fate awaits Nate?

If you’ve succumbed to the clever charms of “Ted Lasso,” then no doubt you’re in suspense about all of that and more.

Tonight on Apple TV+, we’ll all hopefully get some answers — along with a belly-full of chortles.

To make this appointment-TV complete, bake a batch of “Ted Lasso Biscuits.”

Yes, the ones our intrepid coach used to win over AFC Richmond soccer team owner Rebecca Welton from day one.

Ted might not know soccer. But he knows his biscuits. Or rather, shortbread cookies, in this case.

Nope, these biscuits are not the layered Southern staples that you split and slather with butter to nibble alongside fried chicken. British biscuits are actually cookies.

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Sponsored Post: Honeycrisp Apple Cake With Rosemary

Welcome fall with this apple-licious treat.
Welcome fall with this apple-licious treat.

Fall means sweater-weather, new TV programs to binge, leaves turning a kaleidoscope of colors, and all things absolutely apple.

Indeed, few things beat biting into a fresh, sweet-tart, crunchy-as-can-be apple.

But apple cake just might.

So when samples of just-picked Honeybear Honeycrisp arrived on my porch, I eagerly set some aside to bake into fragrant, moist “Apple Cake with Rosemary.”

I am all about crackling-crisp apples. The ones that give when pressed gently with a thumb? They have no place in my life — or kitchen. With Honeybear Honeycrisp, there’s never a worry with that. Whether eaten out of hand or baked into a sweet treat, these apples live up to their name. They are delightfully crisp through and through, hold their shape well when cooked, and have a subtle honey note.

Now's the time to enjoy Honeybear Honeycrisp apples.
Now’s the time to enjoy Honeybear Honeycrisp apples.

Grown in Northern Washington alongside the Columbia River, and in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, these large, dappled apples are at peak season now through December. Load up on them at Safeway and Albertsons stores.

Then, turn up your oven and get ready to bake.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 37

Butter & Crumble's lavishly layered Cinnamon Brown Sugar Almond cake.
Butter & Crumble’s lavishly layered Cinnamon Brown Sugar Almond cake.

Butter & Crumble, San Francisco

After being furloughed during the early days of shelter-in-place, Chef Sophie Smith thought she would pass the time by baking cakes for fun.

Little did she know that it would turn into a sweet new business that set her on an entirely new career path.

As she started baking cakes for her nascent Butter & Crumble, she wondered if anyone in the world would want an entire cake while stuck at home.

Turns out loads of people did.

She now runs her baking business out of bar in the Marina District of San Francisco that has a full-fledged kitchen. That’s where customers can pick up their pre-ordered cakes, too.

On an outing to San Francisco recently, I decided to to try one, myself.

The lofty, 4-inch-tall, 6-inch-diameter, three-layer cakes can serve 8 easily. They are priced at $45 on up, depending upon the flavor. There are usually at least nine different ones available, including Lemon Ricotta Pistachio, Chocolate Ganache Toffee, and Chai Creme Brulee.

I went with the Cinnamon Brown Butter Almond ($48). Styled after the “naked cakes” made famous by Milk Bar, Smith’s creations also sport unfrosted sides that reveal every layer clearly.

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A “Spam” Musubi That’s Vegan

A musubi that's not quite what you think it is.
A musubi that’s not quite what you think it is.

It looks exactly like everyone’s guilty-pleasure Hawaiian snack food.

Only this musubi is vegan.

Indeed, this one spotlights a new plant-based version of Spam.

To the growing list of faux “beef,” “chicken,” and other proteins now comes OmniPork.

Designed to mimic pork, it’s made from a blend of non-GMO soy, peas, shiitake mushrooms, and rice. It was developed in Canada by food scientists for Hong Kong-based food innovation company, Green Monday, which owns OmniFoods.

It’s available in three forms — OmniPork Ground, Strips, and Luncheon, each for $5.99 per package. All three can be found in the freezer cases of Sprouts; while the Strips and Ground are carried by select Whole Foods.

When I received samples of all three, I went straight for the Luncheon first, curious to see how it would compare to the familiar stuff in a can. The verdict? Quite impressively.

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