The other day a friend took me to a sushi spot, tucked-away in a nondescript strip mall. Before opening the door, he made me promise not to tell ANYONE about the place with absolutely zero jest in his tone. It was a straight-up threat and the right to enter seemed contingent upon my compliance. Being hungry, I promised that I'd keep it in the vault.
Between the to-die-for scallops and the slightly seared white salmon, I started thinking about the concept of telling restaurant secrets. There are those who cannot wait to share the address of their favorite taco truck with the triple-fried tortillas or people who shout from rooftops the name of a new slimming smoothie shop, but for some, trading restaurant secrets can feel like a game of Russian roulette. On the one hand it's thrilling to be able to hook someone up with a great find, but on the other hand it's trouble if they have a big mouth or write a food blog. If word gets out the repercussions can include long waits, required
Blog Posts by Maggie Nemser, Shine staff
- Maggie Nemser, Shine staff | Shine Food – Thu, Jul 17, 2008 11:07 PM EDT
The other day a friend took me to a sushi spot, tucked-away in a nondescript strip mall. Before opening the door, he made me promise not to tell ANYONE about the place with absolutely zero jest in his tone. It was a straight-up threat and the right to enter seemed contingent upon my compliance. Being hungry, I promised that I'd keep it in the vault.Read More »from Question of the day: Should you keep your hidden gem secret?
I'm obsessed with condiments and to be honest, a lot of this love is due in part to my sub-par cooking skills. Poor some tapanade over grilled fish and voila, you're Thomas Keller. Well maybe not, but let's face it, without condiments it would be a bland, bland world out there. Here are some terrific toppers that I'm pouring on these days and neat ways to use them.Read More »from Cuckoo for condiments: 5 must haves
Wasabi, for more than sushi.
Try it with meat, fish and chicken, on burgers, in dips.
Wasabi salmon burgers
Worcesteshire sauce: for more than just steak.
Try it on fries, in homemade bbq and cocktail sauce, in bloody mary's, for meat and chicken marinades, and in other tomato based sauces.
Sauteed worcestershire chicken
#3. Caponata: for more than just the sexy ring-to-it factor.
Great for spreads, sauce, on sandwiches, a dip, over grilled meats, fish or veggies.
Grilled eggplant with caponata salsa
#4. Olive tapanade, for more than just bread.
Try it with fish, chicken, sandwices, steak, and pasta.
I typically don't dig looooong menus that try to be all things to all people. They stress me out and I'm skeptical of the jack of all trades, master of none syndrome. I may need to get over my slight hang-up however, as more and more restaurants are doing the global tapas, pizza meets sushi meets short-ribs type of thing.
Just last night I grabbed a bite at Hidden, a "new for LA" (less than 1 yr) swank lounge cum resto serving eclectic small plates. The menu is super duper long and knee deep in an international identify crisis, but I think i may like it? Not the crazy $60 dollar porterhouse steak situation (come on guys) but if I'm jonzing for sashimi and my friend wants a margarita pie, it's kind of cool that we can kill 2 different cravings with one restaurant. What do you think about the all over the map menu trend? Thumbs up or down?
Not on the menu at the olympics: dog
The hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie
Read More »from Should restaurants stick to one shtick?
Would you shell out $83 dollars for a watermelon in the shape of a square? Well, people in Japan are shelling out 10,000 Yen which is equivalent to approx $83 US dollars for one of these puppies. Outrageous? Yes, but before judging think about the novelty factor and watermelon is the new viagra so why not mix it up with a square shape? If you're wondering how one grows a square watermelon, check out toxel.com for the full scoop.Read More »from 83 bucks for a square watermelon. Any takers?
[-pic from toxel who got it from snopes and bbc (Anyone, Bueller, anyone?)]
Skinny summer smoothies
Twelve ideas for warm-weather cocktails and mocktails
Dizzy Dee went for the gold when she combined cake flour, sugar, cocoa, an egg, 3 tablespoons of milk, and 3 tablespoons of oil into a mug and nuked it for three minutes on high. I'm pretty sure that I think this is gross but there's a small part of me that likes the nostalgia a la the memories of childhood concoction craziness. What do you think - thumbs up or down on Dizzy Dee's 5 minute chocolate cake?
4 Tablespoons cake flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
Mix flour, sugar and cocoa . Spoon in one egg. Pour in milk and oil and mix well. Put in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power (1,000 wat) Wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug. Tip contents out of mug and into saucer and enjoy! [-dizzy-dee.com]
Food deprivation doesn't work as a diet
5 ingredients to avoid
Read More »from The five minute chocolate cake?
Last week my friend Thoryn invited me over for some BBQ, and I asked him what I should bring. I was thinking he'd say hot dog buns or beer, but instead he surprised me with a question: "Which country?"Read More »from Global grillin': 20 recipes
Say what? Never in a million years would I expect my crazy-partying friend, who actually managed to make a career out of DJ-ing, to get all Martha Stewart on me and throw a globally themed BBQ-or that he'd give me the opportunity to choose the featured cuisine. I opted for Mediterranean, hoping I'd get some nice grilled fish after having tucked into a serious steak the night before. I really dug Thoryn's idea, so I pulled together 20 great recipes from 5 different countries to help you get your grillin' globetrot on. FYI - I ended up bringing olives and a bottle of Retsina, a refreshing Greek wine that truly tastes like pine.
Grilled salmon with orzo salad
Grilled shrimp and pitas with chickpea puree
Lamb souvlaki sandwiches with Greek salad and tsatsiki sauce
It's smoothie season but it's also time for seriously beach body-friendly eats. Beware of the seemingly innocuous fast-food chain smoothies that pack in serious calories and try these 5 satisfying summer smoothies that will cool you off and keep you in summer-savvy shape.Read More »from Skinny summer smoothies
Apricot Smoothie - 181 calories, 0 grams of fat.
The Mixed Berry "Wake Up" Smoothie - 231 calories, 1 gram of fat.
Mellon-Ginger Smoothie - 136 calories, 0 grams of fat.
Berry-Banana Smoothie - 126 calories, 0 grams of fat.
Protein and Fiber-Rich Smoothie - 391 calories, 2 grams of fat.
Banana-peanut chocolate smoothie
Is watermelon the new viagra?
8 foods to get your brain going in the morning
Haven't started planning your 4th of July BBQ? Worry not, here's a little cheat-sheet roundup of the top 4th of July Shine posts to help save you time.Read More »from The ultimate 4th of July food guide
Make sure you've got a grill, the essential tools and some basic grilling skills.
Don't have a grill? choose from one of these great grills for every price range.
Take a refresher course with Steve Raichlen's top grilling do's and don'ts.
If you're a newbie, first make sure you have the essential grilling tools and if you can already grill a mean steak, up your grilling game with these nine more advanced tools.
Plan your menu.
1.Choose a traditional side dish or check out this great list of guilt-free bbq sides.
From texas ranch to lobster corn, pick one of these top 10 potato salads.
Corn on the cob
Great recipe and tips for grilling up the perfect corn.
Either go for the traditional slaw or try this updated version.
2. Name your main(s)
From classic comfort
I stopped into the Hudson News at the airport this weekend to grab a few magazines for a flight. I couldn't avoid grabbing the Bon Appetit BBQ issue with the serious burger porn on the cover. As I was paying, the cashier winked at me and said "I'm coming to your house for dinner!" I don't typically get winked at by women who are my grandmother's age so to normalize the situation I smiled and said, "Oh yeah? What are you making this 4th?" I figured that I should get some market research out of the deal. "Honey," she said, "I'm makin' fried chicken that would make you cry" I immediately needed to know more and she revealed her secret, "One word, baby: beer."Read More »from Fried chicken 8 ways
It's amazing to see how serious, heated and slightly bazaar people get when talking about fried chicken.
If you're a fried-chicken lover and don't have a recipe that would make someone weepy, here are 8 variations on the southern favorite. Let me know if you get tears out of anyone. And If think you have a recipe for the best fried
The 4th of July is about celebrating independence and when I'm cooking for hours, I don't exactly feel "free." If you want to enjoy a stress-free fourth, burgers are a great choice. But If you don't have the basics down, like how adding water, for example, will "make any burger sing" or that timing is everything when it comes to the salt n' pepper, even the greatest recipe in the world won't produce a good burger. Before you start grilling, check out Vogue Magazine's Jeffery Steingarten's top 8 steps to hamburger perfection. Now that you're a pro, it's time to choose the burger(s) that screams "flip me" from these top burger recipes.Read More »from The ultimate burger lover's guide
Mini prime cheese burgers with remoulade and aged cheddar. Wolfgang wasn't kidding around when he concocted this high-rolling mini cheeseburger combination. It's the perfect party snack if you're just doing drinks and appetizers.
Inside-out cheeseburgers. The cheese oozes from the inside of this burger and it's made with lean meat. Need I