Plate It or Hate It

Recent food world discoveries the ES crew is loving and hating

Plate It: Flashlight Grill Tongs

Problem: 60-degree February days means grilling season has started six months early, but it still gets dark outside at 5pm. Solution: Put a light on it! Available from

Hate It: Cup-a-Cake

Problem: You need to carry a single cupcake around with you all day, but just hate how the frosting gets all over everything in your purse. Wait, no…Really? Did this need to be invented?

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Fart Without Fear

We don’t hype a lot of cookbooks here at ES because, well, they’re all so boring. In fact, if I get one more press release along the lines of Learn to Cook Family Favorite in 20 Minutes or Less! I’m going to barf all over my laptop. But once in a blue moon we get one that actually sounds like our style. Clearly, Fart Without Fear falls into that category.

Now this is not your run of the mill anti-farting cookbook. FWF is not here to tell you to forgo the black bean nachos or the macaroni and cheese pizza. Come on, we wouldn’t do that to you. Nor do they share instructions on how to make these fatty foods flatulent-free. We all know that’s not possible. No, this is much more complex that that. Instead, Fart Without Fear promises a more attainable goal — 70 comfort food recipes that the book’s authors swear result only in the less offensive kind of farting, i.e. weeding out the ingredients that result in “bad flatulence (a. k .a. smelly farts, silent but deadlies, air biscuits, backdoor trumpets, poots, etc.)” They promise their recipes will show readers how to:

Reduce the pungent, eye-tearing, sulfur-laden farts from recipes for breakfarts, loaded lunches, oop soups, sneaky snacks, appetooters, side splitters, dangerous dinners, and deadly desserts…Decide which ones to prepare using the authors’ very own scientifically based and politically incorrect rating system, the Original Boston Baked Bean Odor Index.

Finally, a cookbook that actually wants to help.

How to Boil an Egg


As the year comes to a close we are starting to get inundated with best ofs, top 10s and most popular lists. I stumbled upon Yahoo’s 2010 Year in Review – Burning Questions list, which lists the most commonly asked search engine questions. Amongst the how to lose weight, how to write a resume and which city has the best water (cough cough DC)… There, sitting at #10 was “How to Boil an Egg.” Seriously America, how to boil an egg?

So, purely in the interest of education, here is a quick guide on how to boil an egg. Whether you like it soft, medium or hard boiled, the instructions are after the jump.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


Lindsay has some thoughts about eating while pregnant:

Do you know if its a boy or girl? considering your wife’s craving for fruit, i’d have to guess girl. supposedly “meat” cravings lean towards a boy in the belly.

Is this true??? I’d like to hear some scientific back-up.

Eick piles on the backlash to the cheese backlash:

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Don’t Stop Sous Vide-ing


One last sous vide post for ‘ya!

When we last left our humble SousVide Supreme machine, we had learned that cooking sous vide is not quite as revelatory as Top Chef had led us to believe, although it is pretty darn impressive for cooking meat exactly perfect through every bite. Now you know we weren’t gonna send this bad boy back before finding out how it can handle an egg.

And once again, the answer is “perfectly…if you’ve got all day.”

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A Half Baked Idea: Sous Vide Cookie Dough

cookie dough

You crazy ESers asked for it, and you got it. After playing around with my SousVide Supreme and being rather underwhelmed cooking just meat and veggies, I asked you for some crazier ideas. My partner in crime gansie had a stroke of genius:

What about cookie dough? But don’t cook it long enough where it actually turns into a cookie, just so it heats through and kills any harmful crap. so it could be one gooey, warm, doughy, chocolaty, gushy thing. (Confession – i used to heat up purchased cookie dough in the microwave).

Hmmm…what about cookie dough? Honestly, I can never resist the temptation to lick the bowl, salmonella or not, but it does always scare me a little bit, and I know I really shouldn’t be doing it. So could we use the SousVide to cook the dough to just high enough temperatures where it would be safe to eat but still gooey and delicious? Well, we could certainly try…

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Steamy Kitchen


Now that I’ve got your attention with that amazing looking chef sauce, I’d like to tell you about a recent trip I made, to Scottsdale, AZ. I was invited by Thermador to check out their test kitchen and in particular, the new Thermador Steam and Convection Oven.

Having not grown up in America I was never exposed to the Thermador line of appliances, and those of you who live in DC probably have GE in your cookie cutter apartments, so I haven’t yet come across it here either, although it was the kitchen of choice for The Brady Bunch and Julia Child.

Being in a test kitchen with a personal chef for the day (above: Chef Kyle) I knew I’d be treated to some five-star cooking — a perfectly uniform beef tenderloin, salmon wellington, tomato jam, creme brulee and pears in red wine were just a sampling of what was prepared using this new style of oven — but in true ES fashion, this is not what I wanted to know. I wanted to get down to the nitty gritty; what can this oven do for me in an everyday capacity? After all, at $3k I need to get my money’s worth.

Keep reading to see how I tested the oven the Endless Simmer way.

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