Archive for the ‘Recipe’ Category

Speaking of coffee…

Coffee

A handy dandy chart found on swissmiss. Enjoy.

Batali vs. The Big Mac

Batali Wind-Up

Gourmet food is about indulgence and eating well, not necessarily healthy, but well. Chefs use high quality ingredients in order to prepare food that tastes good. But does the average person question restaurant food the same way they do fast food? Do people calorie count when they eat a meal prepared by Mario Batali or Thomas Keller? For the most part, no. But the Wall Street Journal decided they’d do just that.

What’d they find? Well, although restaurant food (especially that prepared by Batali or Keller) is about indulging, a lot of these gourmet meals are higher (or close to the same) in calorie content and fat than McDonald’s.

It’s not just fast food that’s making us fat. Temples of fine dining are known for using heart-stopping amounts of butter, not too mention artery-clogging delicacies like foie gras and chocolate truffles.

American adults buy a meal or snack from a restaurant 5.8 times a week, on average, according to the National Restaurant Association. So we have ceded control of a significant part of our diets to professional cooks, who have no incentive to whip up healthy meals in modest amounts. They want to appease your piggish appetite, so they send out gargantuan pieces of meat with several garnishes.

So how did the WSJ test this? They chose a dish from Batali and one from Keller and compared it to a Big Mac.

For Mr. Batali, we chose his pork loin alla porchetta with “mirto,” a myrtle-spiked roulade of sausage-stuffed, butterflied pork loin. Mr. Keller’s breast of veal with yellow corn polenta cakes, glazed vegetables and sweet garlic was the dish he cooked at home for his staff a week before the French Laundry opened in 1994.

Both recipes are (just) feasible for the home cook, down-to-earth but with extra spins that send them into a higher orbit than a regular pork loin (the elegant rolling and stuffing, plus the myrtle) or veal breast (the cutting of the elegantly braised veal into circles to stack with the polenta circles).

We took the ingredient lists of both recipes and ran them through the sieve of the USDA nutritional database to get a rough idea of calorie count. Since both chefs advise you to skim off excess fat, these estimates are undoubtedly higher than a full-scale laboratory analysis would have given. But they are still lower than plenty of fast food meals.

A single portion of the Babbo pork loin totaled 558 calories in our estimate. That’s only 40 calories more than a Big Mac and way lower than the 740 calories you ingest with a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese. Mr. Keller’s veal breast and polenta clocked in higher than either McDonald’s item at 1,143 calories, though it still comes in below a Double Quarter Pounder with large fries (1,310 calories).

Although both chefs do aim to satisfy their customers’ indulgences, you’re still better off eating one of their dishes over Mickey D’s.

Oh, and if you want to give either of these recipes a try at home, head over to the original article at the Wall Street Journal.

Photo from Flickr.

What’s Healthy – What’s Not

Beet

Trying to eat healthy? Well make sure you’re doing it right.

Both Men’s Health and AOL chime in on foods that can be healthy but usually aren’t.

They both agree that you should stay away from granola bars.

Most granola bars are simply candy bars in disguise, with very little fiber, lots of processed carbs, and a ton of sugar. You’re better off making your own healthier version from raw oats, chopped almonds, coconut flakes, raisins and a dollop of raw organic honey.

AOL says there’s no need to hold off on the yolk in omelette’s.

No yolks in your omelette’s? That’s just utterly unnecessary. The yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are crucial for eye health. Egg yolks are also an important source of phosphatidylcholine, a nutrient that boosts brain health. Worried about your cholesterol levels? Consider this: Half the fat in the yolk isn’t even saturated.

And if you think farm-raised salmon is good…

You’d think eating penned salmon would be the healthier way to go, but the farm-raised fish are pumped full of antibiotics and are lower in nutritional value than their wild relatives. In addition, wild salmon get their red color from an antioxidant in their natural food source, krill. Farmed salmon get their color from dye.

Sugary cereals are obvious bad, but make sure you’re buying the right ones.

Most supermarket cereals are fiber lightweights and are also loaded with sugar. The best cereals are old-fashioned oatmeal, and a few standouts like Fiber One and All-Bran. Check the labels and choose cereals that have fewer than 5 grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of fiber per serving.

Careful when drinking bottled drinks, like apple juice.

It’s sweet, refreshing and a favorite among kids. But most apple juice is nothing more than sugar water with apple flavoring. One cup of apple juice has no fiber, 117 calories and 27 grams of sugar. And most people consume way more than a cup at a time. Stick to fiber-rich apples and skip the juice.

Men’s Health also advises to stay away from things like baked beans, and suggests red kidney beans packed in water.

Beans are packed with fiber, which helps keep you full and slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. The baked kind are typically covered in a sauce made with brown and white sugars. And because the fiber is located inside the bean, it doesn’t have a chance to interfere with the speed at which the sugary glaze is digested. Consider that 1 cup of baked beans contains 24 g sugar: That’s about the same amount in 8 ounces of regular soda. Red kidney beans, packed in water. You get the nutritional benefits of legumes, but without the extra sugar. They don’t even need to be heated: Just open the can, rinse thoroughly, and serve. Try splashing some hot sauce on top for a spicy variation.

You think yogurt with fruit at the bottom is a smart breakfast? Just pick the right one…

Yogurt and fruit are two of the healthiest foods known to man. Corn syrup is not. But that’s exactly what’s used to make these products supersweet. For example, a cup of Colombo blueberry yogurt contains 36 grams (g) of sugar, only about half of which is found naturally in the yogurt and fruit. The rest comes in the form of “added” sugar — or what we prefer to call “unnecessary.” Opt for Dannon Light ‘n Fit Carb & Sugar Control Yogurt, which has 90 percent less sugar than regular yogurt does.

And watch out for fat-free salad dressing.

Cutting out the fat reduces the calories that a dressing contains. Sugar is added to provide flavor. But perhaps more important is that the removal of fat reduces your body’s ability to absorb many of the vitamins found in a salad’s vegetables. Ohio State University researchers discovered that people who ate a salad dressing that contained fat absorbed 15 times more beta-carotene and five times more lutein — both powerful antioxidants — than when they downed a salad topped with fat-free dressing. Choose a full-fat dressing that’s made with either olive oil or canola oil and has less than 2 g carbs per serving.

And for another list of the 10 worst foods (like a Starbucks Venti Caffè Mocha) and the 10 best foods (like Uncle Ben’s Microwaveable Brown Rice) click here.

Pretty bummed by now? Well try some suggestions from Men’s Health for the best foods you aren’t eating, such as beets, cabbage, guava, Swiss chard, cinnamon, pomegranite, goji berries, dried plums and pumpkin seeds. All of these are packed with nutrients. They even suggest an Asian Slaw Salad:

  • 4 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha, an Asian chili sauce you can find in the international section of your grocery store
  • 1 head napa cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1/4 cup toasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Whisk together the oil, lime juice, and sriracha. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss with the dressing to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving. The slaw will keep in your fridge for 2 days.

Photo from Flickr.

Pasta with Chicken, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts

Sundried Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

Last night’s dinner. I found this recipe on epicurious.com and decided to alter it a bit and make it mine own. It’s a really quick recipe and a simple one.

Here’s how I changed it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (2 tablespoons oil reserved)
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves 5 sweet chicken sausages (meat squeezed out)
  • 1 pound gnocchi pasta or medium shell pasta 1 box whole wheat penne
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil reserved from tomatoes in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage to skillet and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken sausage to plate and cool; do not clean skillet. Then do the same with pancetta. Cook, and transfer to a plate with the chicken sausage.
  2. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon tomato oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes, chicken sausage and pancetta (both already cooked), basil, broth, cheese and pancetta to skillet and bring to boil.
  4. Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts and serve.

Taste the dish before seasoning with salt. The gorgonzola and pancetta might be enough. It was for me.
Even with my roommate and I having about 3 bowls each, their is still a ton left over. It’s a delicious dish that looks impressive and should keep for at least a few days.

Photo from Flickr.

Kai-pee-reen-yah

Caipirinha

Don’t call it a mojito. Cause it’s not. It may look a bit similar, but if you use the authentic ingredients you’ll see (and taste) why this drink stands on its own.

It’s a caipirinha and it’s the perfect summer drink AND it might be the easiest drink you’ll ever make.

You can use vodka (known as a caipiruska) or rum, but it’s not authentic if you don’t have a bottle of Cachaça (ka-SHA-sa). I just picked up my first bottle…it’s a totally different taste than rum or vodka, hard-hitting, but lite and delicious. It’s strong enough for a man, but sweet enough for a woman.

I went to my local liquor store and picked up a bottle of Leblon. It’s a clear, nice looking bottle, with lime green mountain silhouettes (symbolic of the Leblon, Brazil mountains). Mine came with a muddle, which I was in need of, so I was sold.

Here’s some background info on the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.

The national drink of Brazil, the Caipirinha gained its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s on the beaches of Rio and Sao Paulo State during the days of Jobim and Bossa Nova. To the non-Brazilian, the Caipirinha has similarities to its muddled cousin the Mojito and the lime-based Margarita. To us, the Caipirinhas have become a whole new cocktail platform for muddling fruits and other ingredients into exciting creations. (from Leblon)

The city of Paraty gave its name to the drink: parati is a synonym for cachaça. Other words for it include: pinga, caninha, branquinha, malvada. There are tours of distillers in the state of Minas Gerais, much in the same way as you’d tour vineyards in Sonoma Valley or in France, with the added bonus of their famous regional cuisine. Cachaça is also notorious for brands with pornographic labels…they’re hilarious!

You can also make a pitcher of caipirinha. Figure out how many people and multiply amounts. If you can’t find cachaça where you live, use a good vodka. The drink will then be called caipiroshka. No vodka? Use white rum and you will have a caipiríssima. Caipirinhas made with sake are all the rage in Rio now!

You can use cachaça to flambé bananas and other food; add it to hot chocolate and even to coffee; marinate pork loin and pork chops, etc. (from Maria’s Cookbook)

It might be tough for you to find a bottle of Cachaça, but if your liquor store carries it, I highly recommend picking up a bottle of the Leblon brand. If your store doesn’t carry it, try bevmo.com. I didn’t know much about it before buying the bottle, but after tasting it and taking a look at their site, turns out the stuff is pretty legit.

Leblon Cachaça was awarded a Double Gold Medal at the 7th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It was one of only two spirits in its category to receive the Double Gold Medal, and Leblon was also named “Top Cachaca” by a judging panel of the most influential spirits industry professionals in the U.S. The category with the largest growth was Cachaca – which went from three entries in 2006 (when it was introduced as a new category) to 16 entries in 2007 – making it equal to the Gin category for number of entries.

The recipe is simple enough:

  • 2 oz Cachaça (or vodka or rum or sake…)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lime
  • crushed ice
  • muddle

And the directions are super quick:

  1. Rinse your lime, then dice it (roll it a bit to release the juices first). Once diced, toss in the sugar. Then, using a muddle, smush the sugar and lime til it turns into a sweet syrup. If you don’t have a muddle, a wooden spoon should work.
  2. Next, fill the remaining space in the glass with crushed ice.
  3. Finally, pour in the liquor. A shot or two will do.

Still confused? Here’s a step by step lesson in caipirinha-ing (I made that word up by the way…) and there’s also a video that can help.

Be sure to snoop around their site (liveloveleblon.com) for Leblon party invites, Brazilian music downloads and streaming radio, recipes and a ton of other interactive features.

Although this drink is good all year long, it’s especially refreshing in the summer, so get out those muddles and get to work. You don’t have much longer.

Photo from Flickr.

The Science of Menus or How Red Lobster Became Classy

menu

Think they just toss some items on a menu under their appropriate categories? Think again.

There’s an actual science behind where each item is placed on a menu in order to get you to spend the most money.

Here’s some of their secrets. You can check out the entire article on Forbes Traveler.

One of the reasons the tabs are going up is because of something you probably don’t realize. Then again, you’re not supposed to realize it: the secret science of menu psychology. Smart chefs (or their menu consultants) know that when most of you open a menu, your eyes go right to the top of the page on the right side. And, armed with that knowledge, chefs place the menu item that will give them the most profit at the top of the page. Hence, it soon becomes their biggest seller. Then, your eyes normally drift to the center of the page. That’s where many chefs place their absolutely most expensive item. They do that not because they expect you to buy that item, but because the psychology of menus indicates you’ll probably then look at the items immediately above and below the high ticket item and order one of those. Again, those two items rank second and third for generating profits.

There’s also a psychology to how menu items are priced.

• Not surprisingly, there is a migration toward higher price points. People buy brands, and food is an easy indulgence. That’s why we buy $4 Starbucks over fifty cent convenience store coffee.

• Price rounding psychology only works with lower-priced items: Someone will buy a $1.99 taco, but not one sold at $2. On higher priced items at upscale restaurants, it’s all called hip, minimalist pricing, and items are rounded up. That big steak in the fine dining restaurant isn’t $38.95, it’s $39.

• What’s the price barrier? $20 is the tipping point for casual dining restaurants. You won’t see many items at PF Changs or Cheesecake Factory above $19.99.

• Restaurants have also learned that pictures sell food, but pictures also pull down the perception of overall quality. Denny’s and IHop use pictures, but Red Lobster is becoming more upscale and stopped using photos last year. Their price points – and their profits – went up.

Not only has Red Lobster stopped using pictures, but they’re totally reinventing their restaurants.

A few weeks ago, the seafood chain, owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, launched a marketing campaign designed to highlight an expanded fresh fish menu and other new culinary creations.

Sensing that some consumers associate Red Lobster with frozen seafood and dining rooms cluttered with fishing memorabilia, executives have been tweaking its look and feel.

Several months ago, Red Lobster introduced a daily rotating menu of fresh fish selections.

The chain also tested a sleeker restaurant design — meant to evoke the Maine coast — that it says will be used as the model for new restaurants. (from the Orlando Sentinel)

And on a related note, Red Lobster actually won an award for the Best Menu Revamp in 1999, but after reading the above you can probably tell that didn’t work out so well.

Lets just hope they keep that delicious cheesey wine biscuits on the tables. In case you haven’t tried them, or if you just want to make it at home, here’s the recipe.

Photo from Flickr.

Watermelon Steak

Watermelon Steak

As you may have read on an earlier post (scroll down a few posts) certain steak cuts are becoming sparse, as prices are rising and availability is decreasing.

Maybe steakhouses should take note of this recipe and add watermelon steak to their menus.

I saw this on the Boston Globe’s food section and did some investigating.

Turns out watermelon steak is a dish served at 51 Lincoln in Boston. It’s been on the menu for some time now and gets rave reviews.

Chef and owner Jeffrey Fournier adds a confit of tomatoes, eggplant chicharrones, and French feta to the dish. “We sell out of it most nights,” says the chef. His general manager Eric Cross adds, “It’s a great conversation piece.”

Slashfood also had a mention of this saying…

This is something that’s actually growing in popularity. You cut the watermelon into slices (removing the rind) and cook it in a roasting pan (350 degrees) with sherry, butter, and salt and pepper.

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil (for brushing)
  • 1/4 large watermelon
  • 1/4 bottle cream sherry
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have a large roasting pan on hand. Oil a piece of parchment paper about the size of the pan.
  2. Discard the rounded end of the watermelon. Cut the watermelon into 4 even slices, each at least 1-inch thick. Remove the rind.
  3. Place the slices in the roasting pan. Pour the sherry over them and dot with butter. Sprinkle with salt, and very lightly with pepper. Cover the watermelon with the parchment paper, then cover the pan tightly with foil. Roast the slices for 2 1/2 hours or until charred around the edges.
  4. Place watermelon on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. Strain cooking juices. Serve watermelon with juices spooned over, and feta cheese.

Adapted from 51 Lincoln (from The Boston Globe).

The Paul Giamatti of the Culinary World

SPAM

A recent article on NPR had me wondering what Spam really is.

Spam is the Paul Giamatti or John C. Reilly of the culinary world, an everyman food that lacks the charisma or looks of a leading ingredient, but consistently makes all other ingredients taste better. (from NPR)

Spam luncheon meat is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The labeled ingredients in the Classic variety of Spam are: chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite.

Varieties include: Spam Black Pepper, Spam Less Sodium, Spam Garlic, Spam and Cheese, Spam with Bacon (Hormel bacon), Spam Spread, Spam Fritters, Spam Lite (containing pork and chicken), Spam Golden Honey Grail (named after “Spamalot” and Monty Python’s Holy Grain, Spam Hot and Spicy (with Tabasco sauce), Spam Hickory Smoked, and Spam Oven Roasted Turkey – the latter is a halal food, meaning that it is permissible under Islamic law, and is especially popular in Muslim markets.

Introduced on July 5, 1937, the name “Spam” was chosen in the 1930s when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name Spam was “Shoulder of Pork and hAM“. According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president. At one time, the official explanation may have been that the name was a syllabic abbreviation of “SPiced hAM”, but on their official website, Hormel denies this and states that “Spam is just that. Spam.” The fact that the originator was given a $100 prize for coming up with the name, however, still appears on the site’s Spam FAQs.

According to Hormel’s trademark guidelines, Spam should be spelled with all capital letters and treated as an adjective, as in the phrase “SPAM luncheon meat”. As with many other trademarks, such as Xerox or Kleenex, people often refer to similar meat products as “spam”. Regardless, in practice, “Spam” is generally spelled and used as a proper noun. (from Wikipedia)

But what can you make with SPAM that actually tastes edible, perhaps, even good? Here are a couple that sound good, both from NPR.

Photo from Flickr.

—————————————————–

SPAM MUSUBI

More Spam is consumed in Hawaii than any other state in the U.S. By far, Hawaiians’ favorite dish is Musubi, a ready-to-eat Spam snack that resembles a large piece of nigiri sushi. In Hawaii, you can buy Musubi in nearly any convenience store or grocery store for between $1 and $2. This is adapted from a recipe on the Hormel Foods Web site. (Makes 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce can Spam Classic
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cups cooked white sushi rice (found in the Asian section of supermarket)
  • 1 package hoshi nori (Japanese dried seaweed, available at Asian markets)

Directions

  1. Slice Spam lengthwise into 8 equal pieces.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine garlic, ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce. Place Spam slices in the mixture and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove and pat dry.
  3. In a medium-sized skillet, fry the marinated Spam slices over medium heat, 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  4. Moisten hands and mold rice into 8 thick blocks with the same outside dimensions as Spam slices. (You can get a perfect block shape by using a special plastic Musubi mold found online or in specialty stores in Hawaii.)
  5. Cut nori into 8-1/2 inch strips. Place Spam slices on rice blocks and wrap individual nori strips around each middle.
  6. Moisten one end of nori slightly to fasten together. The remaining marinade may be used as a dip.

—————————————————–
Or for the really gourmet SPAM enthusiast…

Lobster Thermidor Aux Crevettes with Mornay Sauce, Truffle Pate, Brandy, Fried Egg and Spam

Don’t expect to earn your third Michelin star with this dish. But any diners who are also die-hard Monty Python fans will be delighted. (Makes 4 servings)

Ingredients 

  • 4 lobster tails
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, scalded
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 12-ounce can Spam Classic
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can truffle pate (found in gourmet food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Place lobster tails into large pot of boiling water. After 3 to 4 minutes, add shrimp. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes until lobster and shrimp are done.
  3. Remove from pot. Drain and rinse under cold water. Using kitchen shears or carefully with a knife, remove but save lobster shells. Cut lobster meat and shrimp coarsely into 1/2-inch pieces.
  4. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute about 4 minutes, until translucent. Add flour and stir, cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Whisk in brandy, then hot cream.
  6. Remove from heat and add Gruyere and half the Parmesan cheese, stirring frequently. Add lobster, shrimp, paprika, salt and pepper.
  7. Arrange lobster shells in a casserole dish. Pour lobster shrimp mixture over shells and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Broil on high until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. While waiting for the dish to broil, slice Spam into 8 pieces. Fry eggs over medium heat, then remove. Fry Spam slices until light brown.
  9. To serve, place each lobster shell on a plate. Top with one or two slices of Spam and then a fried egg. Serve truffle pate on the side.

Wacky Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers

The diet days of the 1970′s and 80′s are long gone, but this site is still around and is still fantastic.

It’s a collection of Weight Watchers recipe cards circa 1974. These recipes are hilarious, creative and disgusting at the same time.

Some gems include “Cabbage Casserole Czarina,” “Fish Balls,” “Chicken Liver Bake,” “Frankfurter Spectacular,” and “Fluffy Mackerel Pudding.” Seriously, who doesn’t like mackerel and pudding? Now if only someone could make those two ingredients fluffy…

Oh, and be sure to note the props in each photo. Like the urn strategically placed in the “Chicken Liver Bake.”

According to the sites founder…

I found them while helping my parents clean out their basement a few years ago. They were neatly arranged in their own plastic file box. Plenty of the dishes seemed normal enough, but as I flipped through them, some of the recipes began to alarm me. And then I found the card for the Rosy Perfection Salad.

I fell over. Like I Iaughed so hard I started coughing and I fell back on the floor and I waved the card at my mom, who just rolled her eyes. “Can I please have these? Please?” I begged. “What do you want them for?” she asked. “To cook?” “No,” I said. She let me have them. I think they might have been my grandma’s, but she never copped to actually buying them. Nobody else did, either.

These cards mystify me. None of them have calorie or nutrition information of any kind, and in some instances it’s hard to tell what’s dietetic about the recipes at all, except that they’re unspeakably grim. And yet also, completely insane. They appear to be from a much kookier era of Weight Watchers. There’s a certain serve-it-at- your-next-key-party freakiness to a lot of these dishes.

Once upon a time the world was young and the words “mackerel” and “pudding” existed far, far away from one another.

One day, that all changed. And then, whoever was responsible somehow thought the word fluffy would help.

Oh, and eggs, too.

Cook with Christopher Walken

A lot of food blogs are linking to this 3 minute video of Christopher Walken cooking a turkey. Why? Because it’s Christopher Walken cooking a turkey.

He makes it look like a really simple process.

I embedded the video from YouTube but I’m not sure how long that’ll last. The actual clip is from a site called I’m Cooked (which I had never heard of before). I’m Cooked is a web community for video recipe sharing and their slogan is “Cook it. Film it. Share it.” Seems like a great idea. Here’s some more info.

Started by Joseph Leibovic in May of 2007, imcooked.com came out of a passion for cooking and desire to find new recipes. He found that although entertaining, a lot of the recipes found on cable television were simply way too “gourmet.” So after a little research online, Joseph was fascinated that tens of thousands of “homemade” recipes were up on video sharing sites. Although he had visited these sites on a daily basis he never thought to search for recipes.

After a couple quick searches – a pattern started to appear. The content was there, but because of the sheer volume of videos on these video sharing sites finding recipes became too much of a chore. A simple search under pizza led to search results that contained pizza recipes – but they had to be sorted out from videos such as someone eating a whole pizza in 2 minutes, someone throwing pizzas off a roof, a girl answering the door naked for a pizza delivery guy – so on and so forth. It seemed obvious, User generated content is what people want to watch and those searching for food recipes shouldn’t have to dig for them. The idea for imcooked.com was born. A community in which users can generate only food related content.

Now members can share their recipes with the world absolutely free. You can easily become a popular chef if you keep at it and upload new recipes all the time. The possibilities are endless and what you do with it is totally up to you. Imcooked.com does not in anyway supply the content for our site.

If that wasn’t entertaining enough, check out this clip of some guy prank calling a restaurant and pretending he’s Christopher Walken.

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