Try These Tasty Additions to Classic Baby Food
As a child, you may have envisioned your adult diet as a buffet of your favorite foods like hot dogs and Oreos. Your tastes have probably ripened along with the rest of you, but the childhood classics still hit the mark from time to time. So that you can return to the past in the most delicious way possible, we have collected several updates.
As a kid, I ate my hot dogs, heated in the microwave until they exploded, and then rolled them into a piece of white bread and dipped in ketchup. I’ve gotten older and prettier, and although I rarely eat hot dogs, I really like them when I eat. To make sure you enjoy every hot dog, consider a few of the following tricks and additives.
First of all, did you know these guys can be pickled ? Snip them up (or the spiral, which we’ll look at in a minute) and let them soak in a bath with ketchup, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, chili oil, and Worcestershire sauce for at least eight hours. You get a super-flavored franc with a sweet and spicy frosting.
Slicing the hot dog in this way not only increases its surface area, allowing more delicious browning reactions to occur, but also creates convenient gaps for placing the filling.
Speaking of fillings, frankly, they are one of the most exciting aspects of the culinary arts of wine. Fancy mustards are good, but don’t limit yourself to squeezing bottles. Some other winners of the Wiener competition include:
- Enjoy : kimchi, sauerkraut, whole pickled peppers, pickled onions, pickles, Asian slough, hot mayonnaise, blue cheese.
- Get decadent : Cheese, Chili, Bacon, Potato Chips, Pasta and Cheese (two classics in one!), Nacho Cheese, Hot Honey ( DIY! ), Cotia Cheese.
- Prepare vegetables : tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, fried onions, salsa, guacamole,
Finally, don’t forget the bun. A soft white bun is great, but a pretzel bun, Hawaiian king bun, or Martin’s potato roll will make your dog an especially tasty resting place. If that’s not enough for you, you can always turn them into Disney princesses .
Get grilled cheese in your grill
I’ll always be satisfied with two slices of toasted Butterbread Wonder Bread on either side of a couple of American slices, but there are more mature (and delicious) ways to grill. The best grilled cheeses are filled with sticky, elastic, fully melted cheese, and some are more suited to the job than others. While each cheese has its own special time and place (this is my mouth), not all are perfect for making grilled sandwiches. Luckily science (bitch) is here to help you.
The key is in pH. Cheese that is too alkaline (for example, higher pH, not a fan of frappuccino and fall foliage) will not be able to stretch to these great fibrous strands, while too acidic cheese will harden and turn into a fat mass. The sweet spot is somewhere in the slightly acidic range of 5.3-5.5, which includes gruyere, manchego, gouda, and soft (but not pungent) cheddar.
If you’re a fan of spicier cheeses, this may sound like bad news, but all is not lost. To grill all that acidic spice, add soft, fresh cheese to the side . Spread it on the insides of each piece of bread, then finely grate the harder, spicier cheese. Soft cheese suspends harder cheeses and contributes to a smooth, creamy melting. Fromage blanc and fresh chevre work really well, but simple (or flavorful!) Cream cheese will do.
Of course, cheese is only half the battle. It is also worth paying attention to the bread. The choice of bread is a matter of personal preference, and challah, rye dough, sourdough, or trendy French boule are all good options, but garlic bread will really bring it home. Most importantly, avoid breads with a lot of holes. The holes lead to the loss of cheese, and the lost cheese is very sad. However, after you choose your bread, there is one thing you will want to do, no matter what: grill on both sides .
The best method I’ve ever seen for making the perfect grilled cheese comes from Adam Cuban . His secret? Fry the bread on both sides. Right. Toast two slices of bread in butter, turn them over so the browned sides are facing up, add the cheese and cover the sandwich so that the cheese is between the browned surfaces. This will not only improve the taste of the bread soaked in butter, but it will also give the cheese a great opportunity to become smoother.
Now you can keep the bread-cheese-bread format and no one can blame you. Why mess with perfection? But if you want your sandwich to be a little more substantial, there are a few add-ons you could consider. This may deviate from the traditional format and we may be in melting territory, but I’m not the type to let semantics get in the way of building a better sandwich. (One of my favorite cooking articles in 2014 was this impassioned rant against the abuse of the term “fried cheese .” Reddit user Fuck_Blue_Shells, where are you now?)
Some ideas to get you started:
- Plant parts : basil, spinach, hot peppers, pickled peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pickles.
- Spreads : Membrillo (quince paste), fig spread, any IKEA jams, chocolate spread (surprisingly great with brie), honey, pesto, olive tapenade.
- Fruits : apples, strawberry wedges, fresh tomatoes, avocado, pineapple.
- Proteins : Bacon (yes), salami, prosciutto, tuna, hummus, carnitas (Trader Joe’s has great pre-cooked options), buffalo chicken.
The return of the Mac (and cheese)
Perhaps the Holy Grail of children’s comfort food, macaroni and cheese, doesn’t need to be “improved.” I still buy a blue box from time to time, but this is more out of nostalgia than convenience, because making it at home is not difficult at all.
Choose a paste first. You’re looking for a cheese delivery system here, so go for something with folds, nooks and crannies. Elbows and macaroni shells (yes) fit the bill, but if you want to go outside and explore some exciting shapes, consider trying gigli (“lilies”), rigate or riccioli .
To skip a packet of orange powder and make a super creamy cheese dish, start by making a pasta with milk . Thus, the paste releases starch into the milk, creating a thick, creamy sauce. When the pasta is done, simply add the cheese and stir until it melts. Boom. You have the creamiest and lightest mac and cheese in your life.
Another, slightly more complicated but equally delicious method starts with making a dressing . If you’ve never cooked ru before, don’t be intimidated. This is an easy way to cook equal parts flour and fat, and it will open up a whole world of daring possibilities. Once the dressing is cooked, pour in some warm milk (eight times the butter and flour) and beat until the dressing is smooth, just boiled, and cover the back of the spoon. From there, you can pretty much control it .
Just throw things with wild zeal. Don’t grate the cheddar or worry; buy unusual cheeses there. The fresh chevre adds a pleasant herbal flavor, the crumbled gorgonzola adds a touch of funk, and my favorite Dubliner macaroni add a sweet nutty flavor. When your Mac is as crappy as you like, it’s time for some fancy add-ons.
- To make a meat dish : fried or shredded chicken, skirted steak, prosciutto, bacon, chorizo, pancetta, even lardo.
- To make it a little healthier : spinach (add at the end), cabbage (add a little earlier), caramelized onions, zucchini, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, fried garlic, olives.
- To take it a notch : hot sauce, cajun seasoning, zaatar , lemon zest, canned lemon, hot honey, Worcestershire nuts, nutmeg, basil, pesto, toasted pine nuts.
You can stop there and dig with a fork, or transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with delicious bread crumbs (and more cheese) and place under the stir-fry for a crunchy enough filling.
While the above may not be exactly what you had in mind as a young man, this updated classic children will satisfy your inner child, but it will not be at the same fragrant punch. If you do succumb to the bright orange call of the blue box siren, do not be discouraged, old habits die hard.