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Plat du Jour at the Labyrinth Cafe

How to Store Fresh Figs So They Really Last

Fresh figs are luxury items: they’re so delicious, so expensive (in my neck of the woods, Peapod.com is selling them for $1.17 a piece) and so tragically short-lived. All too often, in my experience (Is it me? My refrigerator?) after I’ve decided yes, I will plop down the cash for a tiny basket of these purply wonders, my hopes are dashed when I discover, sometimes the very next day, that they are covered in mold.

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Upon arriving in Japan in January, we quickly learned that we were there during peak sperm season. Sorry, I’m just being honest—almost everywhere we went, fish milt was on the menu, usually from either cod or blowfish. The codfish milt comes in smaller, frilly sacs with a brain-like shape, while blowfish milt is larger, smoother, and firmer, allowing cooks to slice smaller portions off for cooking. Editor’s Picks: The Best Things I Ate in Japan 

Clockwise from top left: seared blowfish milt at Harutaka in Tokyo; grilled blowfish milt (with some blowfish meat) at Ichinomatsu in Fukui; fried codfish milt at Flatt’s in Noto; and poached codfish-milt soup at Den in Tokyo.

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There’s no arguing that pie is the most noble form any summer fruit can assume, but there are times I want a fruity dessert that doesn’t require the heating of my oven (or kitchen). In such moments, I turn (once again) to booze, and make some stupid-easy but still sophisticated-tasting wine-soaked fruit.

RTWT at: Soak Your Summer Fruits in Booze Because Life Is Short 

Other universal add-ons include:

  • Savory dishes: Hot sauce or chili powder for heat; fish sauce for saltiness and umami; MSG (if you agree that it’s safe) for umami
  • Sauces: Pinch of sugar to balance tartness
  • Rice dishes: Sesame oil to deepen flavors
  • Mexican/South American cuisine: Lime (as a climate-matched alternative to lemon)
  • Vegan dishes: Nutritional yeast for nutrients and umami; smoked paprika for a bacon-like smokiness

Yakitori menus present you with a page full of distinct chicken offerings that reflect a radically more advanced level of chicken butchery. You can get just the knee cartilage. You can get one of several muscles from the thigh, each prized for its particular taste and texture qualities. You can eat the skin and the deboned neck muscles, the breastbone, the oyster, and the tail.

RTWT at: Editor’s Picks: The Best Things I Ate in Japan | Serious Eats

New Orleans–style red beans and rice is mind-bendingly delicious: smoky, spicy, hearty, and supremely comforting. But, for a dish so complex in flavor, the preparation and ingredient list are pretty simple.

RTWT at: The Food Lab: How to Make New Orleans Red Beans and Rice | Serious Eats

In the southern USA, “tea” means Sweet Tea. People usually make a couple of quarts at a time. Delicious.I have been a fan of Sun Tea since I first had it in Montana. It’s usually made a gallon jar at a time. Keep the top on or ants will come, and keep in direct sunlight for 5-6 hours.

RTWT at: Cold Teas: Sweet Tea and Sun Tea – Maggie’s Farm

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MMinLamesa July 5, 2017, 11:45 AM

    4(or more) good size garlic cloves, 1 tin of anchovies in olive oil, a good sized hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 raw egg yolks, the juice of 1 lemon and enough first pressing olive oil to make it the consistency of cold molasses when you run it in your food processor. I lightly saute french bread cubes in butter, salt and garlic powder, takes about 45 minutes, until they are golden brown. I add thinly sliced red onions to my romaine and toss it with the dressing, then add the croutons on the plated salad. Sprinkle on a little freshly ground black pepper and you’re rocking.

  • Jewel July 5, 2017, 2:42 PM

    I rinse my jasmine really well, let it dry for 20 minutes, add a little salt, coconut oil and ghee to the water, stir, boil, reduce heat, cover, and steam for 20 minutes. You cand add the juice and zest of one lime if you like.

  • Snakepit Kansas July 5, 2017, 8:01 PM

    Kale. Yuck. Give me a bone in pork chop, and a side of rye, with two ice cubes.

  • Snakepit Kansas July 5, 2017, 8:14 PM

    Don’t rinse the Jasmine. I love steamed Thai (or Japanese) rice, but that crusty afterbirth from unwashed rice is the best part of the bowl.

  • Vermont Woodchuck July 6, 2017, 4:16 AM

    Snortable chocolate? I’ll bet that does wonders for the lungs. Why not add a tablespoon of whatever is in the vacuum cleaner bag for volume. What’s next, used cat litter?

  • Nori July 6, 2017, 7:15 AM

    Anyone who’s had an indoor cat has experienced inadvertent litterbox dust snort. You need to wear a hazmat hood.
    Picked the last of the cherry tomatoes a couple weeks ago-the heat has been so brutal they won’t set fruit again till October,if I can baby them thru July/August. The local markets are selling “Heirloom” tomatoes,for 2-3 times the price of the tasteless red baseballs they normally carry. Out of dozens I’ve tried,only a couple were really good. But at least the commercial growers are trying.

    Blowfish milt? There’s a joke in there somewhere,but I’m afraid to try it.

  • Vanderleun July 6, 2017, 9:54 AM

    I’m gonna try that jasmine rice recipe.

  • Brian J. Hoskins July 6, 2017, 4:14 PM

    Sounds like a culinary tip for Obama.

  • CC July 7, 2017, 6:02 AM

    We’ve been getting a pretty good crop of figs from our dwarf tree the last two years, somewhat neglected this year due to being laid up for a while with a new knee , with major bird carnage because I didn’t get my net over it in time. Going out in your backyard to pick & eat right off the tree?
    They don’t come any sweeter at any store.
    I’m planting 2 more this year. If they can tolerate your climate, plant one – or more.