T. Susan Chang http://wfae.org en These 10 Summer Cookbooks Will Make The Good Life Even Better http://wfae.org/post/these-10-summer-cookbooks-will-make-good-life-even-better Toss out the china and pick up the picnic basket! Summer cookbooks are fanciful creatures — high on whimsy and shamelessly devoted to making a good life better. For some, that means lingering in the farmers markets or gardening with the kids. For others it's indulging in some usually forbidden pleasures — the fried, the icy sweet, the charred and meaty. And for some, it means crossing oceans to sample less familiar fare — without ever leaving the porch. There's something for everyone, but all go just fine with bare toes and a sun hat. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:18:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 52545 at http://wfae.org These 10 Summer Cookbooks Will Make The Good Life Even Better Sous Vide Makes Its Way To The Home Kitchen http://wfae.org/post/sous-vide-makes-its-way-home-kitchen <em>Sous vide.</em> Not that long ago, it sounded so exotic — or, at least, so <em>French</em>. It was a phrase that belonged in restaurants, amid white tablecloths and flower arrangements and hushed conversations. Alternatively, it was a word that belonged to the modernist kitchens just beyond the swinging doors — kitchens filled with gleaming dehydrators and transglutaminase "meat glues" and spherification siphons and more.<p>I first heard it in the kitchen of now-famous Wylie Dufresne's first restaurant, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, where I was a clueless intern in the spring of 2000. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:18:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 49066 at http://wfae.org Sous Vide Makes Its Way To The Home Kitchen Oranges: Secret Agents Of The Food World http://wfae.org/post/oranges-secret-agents-food-world For me, the citrus fruits of winter have been bright spots in a long, frost-bound season. The lemons, the oranges, the sweet little clementines, the tart, brawny grapefruits — they glow like miniature suns on the grayest afternoons. As we — finally — turn the long, slow corner in the spring, I love them all the more for knowing they will soon be gone.<p>The flavor we love in the flesh of a citrus packs even more power in the zest. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 04:13:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 47233 at http://wfae.org Oranges: Secret Agents Of The Food World Valentine Hearts That Are Meant To Be Broken http://wfae.org/post/valentine-hearts-are-meant-be-broken In first grade, my heart was stolen by Mark, who sat next to me and had an advanced phonics book (which I also craved). Then there were Peter, Eddie, Raja and Michael. These serial crushes continued right on up through my early 20s, at a rate of approximately three a year. Boys. I fell for their incipient mustaches, their bad attitudes and foul mouths, their poor poetry and bass guitars, their careless humor. I saw their swagger for what it was, but I loved it anyway.<p>When you're a kid, conversation hearts, waxy chocolates and powdery-smelling carnations are the currency of Valentine's Day. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 08:41:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 44880 at http://wfae.org Valentine Hearts That Are Meant To Be Broken The Stars Come Out For Holiday Bakers http://wfae.org/post/stars-come-out-holiday-bakers As a young woman, I had an attack of nostalgia for a possibly imaginary cookie. It was prompted by a walk up New York's Third Avenue, where I saw in the bakery case of a local delicatessen a stack of small round cookies, covered in the tiny rainbow sprinkles known as nonpareils. Wed, 18 Dec 2013 08:03:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 41352 at http://wfae.org The Stars Come Out For Holiday Bakers Roasted Tomatoes, The Perfect Accessory For Summer Dishes http://wfae.org/post/roasted-tomatoes-perfect-accessory-summer-dishes At this time of year, we all love tomatoes. Many of us claim we'll "take a big juicy tomato and bite into it like it's an apple," although you won't often see that happen in actual fact.<p>Yet, even people who love a juicy fresh tomato also are likely to enjoy it with all the juice sucked out, as in sun-dried tomatoes and — especially — roasted tomatoes. It's the way the process acts on flavors, caramelizing what's on the outside, concentrating what's on the inside. It's true even for a soulless, pale-pink January tomato. Wed, 28 Aug 2013 04:08:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 34165 at http://wfae.org Roasted Tomatoes, The Perfect Accessory For Summer Dishes Wandering Appetites: Hunting The Elusive Noodle http://wfae.org/post/wandering-appetites-hunting-elusive-noodle <em>On the Noodle Road</em> is one attempt to answer an old chestnut: Did Marco Polo really bring noodles from China to Italy? If not, where did they really come from? Or — to put it another way — from what point along the storied byways of the Silk Road did that humble paste of flour and water first spring into its multifarious existence?<p>This is the second outing from Asian-American food writer and Beijing cooking school proprietor Jennifer Lin-Liu. In her first, <em>Serve The People,</em> Lin-Liu chronicled her education in traditional Chinese food ways. Sat, 03 Aug 2013 10:25:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 32603 at http://wfae.org Wandering Appetites: Hunting The Elusive Noodle Buttermilk Makes Everything Taste A Little Better http://wfae.org/post/buttermilk-makes-everything-taste-little-better It started happening about 15 years ago. I'd be paging through a new cookbook or browsing through recipes online, and I'd suddenly stop. "Mmm, buttermilk biscuits. Doesn't that sound good?" I'd bookmark the site or dog-ear the page. The next week I'd see a recipe for waffles — buttermilk waffles, as it happened. What a splendid idea. Out came the yellow stickies.<p>Then it was fried chicken, first bathed in buttermilk brine. Buttermilk pork chops and buttermilk cornbread. Buttermilk ice cream and buttermilk panna cotta. Buttermilk <em>okra</em>. Wed, 31 Jul 2013 04:03:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 32373 at http://wfae.org Buttermilk Makes Everything Taste A Little Better Scape Velocity: Green Garlic Takes Flight http://wfae.org/post/scape-velocity-green-garlic-takes-flight If you've never grown garlic, here's how you do it: On a bright cool fall afternoon, before the ground has frozen, you pry an ordinary, unpeeled clove of garlic off the bulb. You plant it in the ground, about 4 inches down and pointy side up. Maybe you cover the soil with some straw to protect it from extremes of heat, cold and drought.<p>Then comes the easy part — you forget about it. Thanksgiving comes, and a procession of seasonal holidays in which a lot of garlic is eaten, but none is given much thought. Wed, 10 Jul 2013 04:03:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 30993 at http://wfae.org Scape Velocity: Green Garlic Takes Flight Feast For The Eyes: 3 Cookbooks Just For Looking http://wfae.org/post/feast-eyes-3-cookbooks-just-looking I'm a cookbook reviewer, which means that every night I try recipes from far-flung cuisines or idiosyncratic food bloggers or test-kitchen perfectionists. I've always made a point of steering readers towards practical, thoughtful cookbooks that they'll use every week and hand down to their kids. But privately, there are some cookbooks I never cook from at all: frivolous books full of whimsical sugar art, devoid of nutritional value, and really, best eaten with your eyes. Sun, 23 Jun 2013 10:01:00 +0000 T. Susan Chang 29951 at http://wfae.org