Over the past month, we've run into a handful of tips, books and products that caught our eye. Here's a round-up of The Leftovers.
The Martha Stewart Living January issue was not only slightly revamped (it has five new features, including a new take on its long-running calendar and a new monthly "Make and Give" feature), it also featured two tips that we really loved.
The first was that if you're separating a bunch of eggs, you can crack them into a colander, and the whites will slip right through the colander's holes. If you're not concerned with keeping the egg whites, this sounds like an easy way to quickly separate a large quantity of eggs.
That said, we've often found ourselves separating eggs and discarding the egg whites, uncertain if they can be saved. Turns out, they can be frozen! In another tip about freezing leftovers, the MSL editors share a tip to freeze leftover egg whites, wine, chicken stock and juices in ice cube trays for later use. We've often frozen chicken stock, and we recently started to do this with leftover buttermilk. There's rarely leftover wine at our house (whoops!) but we hadn't before considered freezing egg whites. Have you done it? Let us know how it turned out.
New Books: Ideas in Food and Power Foods
There are two new food-related books that we've read over the last month and really enjoyed.
The first is called Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot.
We've previously recommended Michael Ruhlman's Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which focuses on the basic ratios of cooking. Ideas in Food goes one step beyond that to focus not only on why certain combinations are successful, but how you can bring truly unique ideas to old recipes.
Some of these ideas are unlike any others we've read before. Some of our favorites include how to make a Vanilla Salt for flavoring dishes, making your own Maple Vinegar, or Smoked Pasta Dough. One recipe we're especially enamored with is the one for Crispy Chocolate Mousse, which is baked for five hours at low temperature in order to achieve a mouse that has the texture of brownie edges.
The second half of the book is interesting but gets a little sciencey for us, as it focuses on more advanced techniques using items like Xanthan gum and carbon dioxide that we don't see ourselves using in our kitchen. Still though, it's interesting to learn why and how they're used.
We also recommend Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, by the editors of Whole Living Magazine (it's a Martha Stewart publication, if you're not familiar). This beautiful book's photographs were the first thing that caught our eye -- they're bright and each one makes you want to get to cooking. But we also love the approach, right from the introduction's "golden rules" that offer 10 tips to keep in mind that will help your family eat healthier.
Some of the "38 healthiest ingredients" are already likely staples in your house, but some are items we've never or rarely had in our kitchen, like papaya, flaxseed, and quinoa.
Products: Triple Crunch Mustard, Smoked Olive Oil and Golden Eagle Syrup
We always look forward to the Saveur 100 annual issue (which is, by the way, still available on newsstands) because we typically find loads of items we're interested in eating, reading or visiting. This year's issue -- featuring suggestions from chefs around the country -- is no exception, but two products really caught our attention that we want to try.
The first is Kozlik's Triple Crunch Mustard (picture right, photo from Saveur).
Saveur describes it as "basically vinegar, whole mustard seeds (white, brown and black), honey, and salt...it lightens dishes and adds crispness and mild acidity."
That. Sounds. Amazing.
We're huge mustard fans and we want to slather this on everything.
Have you tried it?
We have the same brand featured in Saveur, from Miguel & Valentino. It's an olive oil naturally smoked over pine cones. When you open the bottle, the smell is truly amazing and very smoky.
Some months ago, our friends Charlie and Scott showed up to our house with this olive oil in hand (olive oil = great host gift!). We were initially uncertain what to do with it.
You can read the magazine's take on Smoked Olive Oil at the Saveur 100.
Southern Living features Golden Eagle Syrup that's been made in Fayette, Alabama, since 1928.
The magazine describes it as a "sweet and mild combination of honey and corn syrup," and mentions that many people love it on pancakes.
So those are The Leftovers. Anything caught your eye this month that we should know about? Tell us about it in the comments.