- Doc Willoughby on country-style pork ribs
- Vegetable broth concentrate from America's Test Kitchen
- Paladres- Cuba's private restaurant scene
- Adam Rapoport on The Art of the Sandwich
- Is brunch hell? Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano explain
What is a country-style rib and why does Doc Willoughby love this underappreciated cut? He and Francis Lam disucss.
Try Doc's recipe for Soy-Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs.
Francis Lam: You are super into country-style pork ribs.
FL: I have to admit, I'm a little confused because every time I've seen country-style pork ribs, there doesn't seem to be a rib involved, and I'm like, that's how you do it in the country—there are no ribs in our ribs. That's how you do it out here?
FL: And so, the loin chops are the classic, beautiful pork chop we typically think of…
FL: Right on. Well, thanks for this little lesson in meat cutting and meat marketing.
Elle Simone of America's Test Kitchen talks with Joe Yonan about the secret of vegetable broth concentrate- a space saving solution for having homemade vegetable broth at the ready. Try ATK's recipe for Vegatable Broth Base to have this handy staple ready in your home.
Joe Yonan: I love making homemade vegetable broth, partly because the store-bought stuff is truly awful. I have not found any that I like. Every couple of weeks I make it from trimmings of things that I'm cooking. But I still have to pour it into ice cube trays and put it in Ziploc bags, which takes up all this space in the freezer. You guys have figured out a much better way which is to make a concentrate.
JY: Amazing. How do you make it?
JY: That's smart.
JY: I love salt, but that sounds like a lot.
JY: Of course. It's also diluted, so there's that.
JY: When I saw the video of you making it, I thought it was an amazing moment. It's magic; it scoops out like a vegetable sorbet. That's just because of all the salt in there?
JY: I see. That's why you have the onion flakes instead the fresh onion, et cetera.
JY: So when you're ready to use it, you just re-hydrate it in water?
JY: Great. How long can I keep it in the freezer, Elle?
JY: I love it, I love it. Elle, this is fantastic. Thank you so much for coming and sharing it with us.
Anya Von Bremzen, author of Paladares: Recipes from the Private Restaurants, Home Kitchens, and Streets, explains the underground private restaurant scene of Cuba.
Try these recipes from Anya for the paladares experience: Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera (Chicken and Rice), Tamal en Cazuela (Cuban Polenta) and Trucha al Vapor con Salsa Negra (Trout with Black Bean Sauce).
Melissa Clark:Anya, what is a paladar, and did I say that right?
MC: Paladar, and what made you want to write a book on Cuban restaurants and Cuban cuisine?
MC: Now you are Russian, you are living in New York. What is the connection with you and Cuba other than the Soviet connection? Is there something else?
MC: What was that like, to be there and to see the shortages again and to really be immersed in this culture that was similar to how you grew up, or was it?
MC: The shortages are obviously a big issue. How do the restaurants run when they don't know if they're going to be able to get salt or butter or onions?
MC: Right, so you use it.
MC: What are they serving at these paladares? What kind of food is this new Cuban cuisine?
MC: Now who goes to these paladares? Is it only tourists or are there locals that can afford it?
MC: And you can make a reservation, just calling them up?
MC: Anya, thank you so much!
Sandwiches are the work horse of lunches everywhere, but not always memorable. Adam Rapoport of Bon Appetit helps turn this work horse into a work of art. Check out his tips, then try his recipe for Green Goddess Tuna Salad Sandwich, a beautiful melding of tuna, greens and herbs.
Francis Lam: So, you and the magazine put together this enormous package on the A to Zs of the art of sandwich making.
FL: And so, from those conversations, which I would imagine are typically friendly, but the way you're characterizing them maybe are not so friendly conversations --
FL: I would love to hear some of the letters of your sandwich alphabet.
FL: Oh, my goodness.
FL: And half of it is soggy because the jam is water-based.
FL: Very smart. So there's a barrier philosophy. I feel like when you put mayonnaise on a sandwich, it almost always feels like it needs to go on both sides, both pieces of bread for the same reason. If there's lettuce or tomato, the mayonnaise will act as that barrier. You want to protect the bread.
FL: Although I'm also a firm believer that if you only put it on one side, the mayo has to go on the bottom piece of bread, meaning the one that is going to hit your tongue, because when you have mayo on the top, like on a burger bun or something, I feel like you never taste the mayonnaise because you have to fight through everything else before you get to it. And let's face it, the sandwich, to me, anyway, is at least 49% of the time a vehicle for mayonnaise.
FL: I want to get to this idea of the thin-sliced meat thing. When I was a kid, my folks worked in New York City. They worked in Chinatown, and Little Italy is right next door, and they would go to the delis in Little Italy, and no matter what they got, they would always come back super, super thin-sliced. Like you said, they're almost like filament thin and it would be such a difference.
FL: Clubbing you in the head.
FL: It's more about the combination.
FL: I have to ask you about one of your letters. D for diagonal.
FL: I'm going to look forward to having this conversation with you again four years from now, when plating trends are all rectangles, and you'll be like, no, obviously, you have to slice the sandwich down the middle so you have two perfect rectangles.
FL: Totally. That's like, oh, if you have beautiful French fries or friend chicken, you don't put the lid back on, you don't put the cover on it.
FL: Just directly on the seat.
FL: I've got to save the crispness. Okay, what are other letters that you love?
FL: Okay, let's get out of here, I've got to get a sandwich.
FL: Thanks, Adam.
As hosts of the public radio show, The Dinner Party Download, Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano helped listeners learn how to "win your dinner party." They have now authored the book "Brunch Is Hell: How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party." They talk to Francis Lam about why you should opt for a dinner party, not brunch (unless you are a new parent.)
Francis Lam: Brendan and Rico -- thanks for joining us.
FL: So, I love your book, but I have to say I take an exception to the title, Brunch is Hell. Because I'm the father of a daughter that has to be in bed by 7:30 p.m. I don't get to go out to dinner anymore. Don't take my brunch away from me. That is all I got man.
FL: Alright fine, Brendan and Rico. We are here to talk not about brunch, but about dinner parties and how to throw them. In your mind, what matters when you're setting up your home for people to come over?
FL: How do you like to get into the mode? I want to be present with people.
FL: OK, so if we are at the table we are doing our best to keep our hands off our devices.
FL: Unless we're using the long knives and forks and spoons. And everyone wants to be a gracious host and host the lively conversation where we touch up on the issues of the day with wit and candor, but sometimes it's awkward and I will make an excuse to go back to kitchen.
FL: So how do you get people talking?
FL: Oh, I love that!
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