Blog Posts by bon appétit magazine

  • New: good beer comes in cans

    Back in 2002, Oskar Blues was the first U.S. microbrewery to make craft beer and offer it in an aluminum can only.


    Yes, a can.

    Turns out high-quality craft beer doesn't have to come in brown bottles. Bon Appetit staffer Heather John debunked that myth in January; read Beer Can Revolution to find out why aluminum (well, aluminum with a water-based polymer lining) is actually better for both your guzzling pleasure and for Mother Nature. Oskar Blues is celebrating that, and around fifteen other breweries that have hopped on the can bandwagon in the past eight years, with a festival they're calling Burning Can. Here are the details:

    What: A festival of craft beer, live music, and beer-infused food
    When: Saturday, June 26th 2010, 1pm to 4pm
    Where: Oskar Blues Brewery at Sandstone Park in Lyons, Colorado
    Why: Because canned beer is tops! All proceeds go directly to the Colorado Brewers Guild
    How to buy tickets: Visit the Oskar Blues online store

    If you can't make it to Colorado for

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  • 10 Awesomely Crazy Burgers

    Memorial Day grillfests are behind us, but what charred, meaty treats are you planning on serving this summer? Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas Barbecue Sauce, maybe? Or Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli? To give you some inspiration (and to shake you out of any burger rut you may be in), we turned to Canadian barbecue expert Ted Reader, dubbed "the crazy Canuck barbecue kingpin" by GQ magazine. His new cookbook, Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Burgers, written in collaboration with Napoleon Gourmet Grills, has tips for everything from grinding meat to shaping burgers to BBQ etiquette. And while it includes a recipe for the "Great American Cheeseburger," it's Ted's more, shall we say, creative burger creations that caught our attention. Here are ten of the most awesomely crazy burgers ever, courtesy of Ted Reader.

    --Julia Bainbridge
    Photos Courtesy of Mike McColl

    The Spam Burger

    King of the Q Burger You never thought a Bundt pan would see the grill, did you?

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  • What Makes Bourbon Bourbon?

    The Kentucky Derby just was, summer will be soon--bourbon is on the brain. Not much is better with charred meats than a sweet but sturdy spirit that's as good served neat as it is after ice cubes have slowly folded into it. So I stopped by Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn to see how it's made.

    Bourbon made outside of Kentucky is not bourbon, you say? Not true. Kings County co-owner and Master Distiller Colin Spoelman (who hails from Kentucky) showed me the federal code, in fact. I won't bore you with the five or so pages of statutory mumbo jumbo, but here's the section that lays down the law on what makes bourbon bourbon:

    "Bourbon whisky", "rye whisky", "wheat whisky", "malt whisky", or "rye malt whisky" is whisky produced at not exceeding 160 proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored at not more than 125 proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of

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  • The Best Fried Chicken Ever

    My mother and others who live below the Mason Dixon line might not be happy with this, but the best fried chicken I ever ate was at the Redhead in New York City. (Props to my mom, though, for mixing Old Bay into her flour coating.) If you has asked me for my favorite two years ago, I would have said I found it being produced out of a wok-turned-deep-fryer in the streets of Bangkok, but I hadn't tasted Redhead chef Meg Grace's chicken then. Grace, who comes to Manhattan by way of New Orleans, brines the pieces of meat in a mixture of water, salt, brown sugar, garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and black peppercorns, then submerges them in buttermilk, tosses them in spiced flour, and deep fries them until super-crispy. Served alongside cornbread and a salad of spinach, strawberries, and almonds, this might just be my pick for last meal on earth.

    Bon Appetit readers feel just as passionately about the subject. We posted the question, "What's the best fried chicken you ever ate?" on Facebook

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  • The Secret to Perfect French Fries

    Before I went to culinary school, I thought the procedure for making French fries went something like this: soak potatoes in water, pat dry, throw into sizzling hot oil, drain, eat. (And if all else fails, make a run for McDonald's.) I had the basic idea, but then I started classes at the French Culinary Institute. If culinary training has taught me anything, it's that a little technique can elevate the most basic food from ordinary to extraordinary.

    In addition to taste, what separates a so-so French fry from a superb one is its texture. A properly made fry must hit the oil twice--once at a lower temperature, and then again at 350 degrees Fahrenheit--to get the perfect creamy interior and crunchy exterior. Before all that, though, the secret is to briefly poach them in boiling water (or "blanch" them) before they go into the hot oil. This ensures that the fries are cooked all the way through before getting crisped up in the fryer.

    After the jump, find my culinary school method for

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  • Supermarket standoff: Which brand makes the best ranch dressing?

    The ranch dressing lineup, just before Bon Appetit editors descended upon itThe ranch dressing lineup, just before Bon Appetit editors descended upon itBecause our lasagna taste test was so successful, we've decided to embark on an 8-month (possibly longer) taste test tour of your favorite supermarket items. We nibble, we score, and we share the results with you, in hopes that they might help you avoid the paralyzation that can come with Brand Choice Overload. Today's topic: ranch dressing, the most popular salad dressing offered in restaurants of North America, according to Mintel Menu Insights. (Who knew?)

    So how did we choose our test subjects? Some were easy--you can't think of the words Hidden Valley without Ranch attached--but some required more thought. So I took myself to an Associated Supermarket (a New York chain akin to Giant, Safeway, and the like), stood in front of the dressing aisle, and let my hand wander to bottles like the planchette on a Ouija board. Just kidding; this choice involved email discussions among colleagues and many a chat with grocers.

    Once I arrived back to the office, plastic bags in hand, we set

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  • The 6 Best Artisanal Ice Creams to Order by Mail

    Artisanal ice cream producers around the country are making some of the most delicious flavors available. And now, many of these local delights can be delivered to your door (packed in dry ice to prevent melting). To see what was worth shipping, we tasted more than 60 different flavors. Here's the creme de la ice cream:

    Humphry Slocombe's Secret Breakfast
    A mix of creamy (vanilla ice cream), crunchy (caramelized cornflakes), and boozy (Jim Beam). $8 for 1 pint; 415-550-6971;

    Dr. Bob's Strawberries, Sour Cream & Brown Sugar
    Tangy, with a touch of caramel-like sweetness. From $70 for 6 pints; 888-264-2226;

    Jeni's Salty Caramel
    This sophisticated ice cream has a delicious salty-sweet balance. From $48 for 4 pints; 614-488-3224;

    Capannari's Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache
    From the same base as chocolate frosting, with deep flavor that's not too sweet. $5 for 1 pint; 847-392-2277;

    Herrell's Malted Vanilla
    Malted milk

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  • The 20 Most Harmful Drinks and their Food Equivalents

    According to the excellent photography of the blog World of Mysteries, a Rockstar Energy Drink has a sugar equivalent (62 grams) of six Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts. Some commentors have denounced the accuracy of some of the blog's visual comparisons, but if the thought of devouring a half dozen deep-fried dough rings helps you to rethink slurping down a nearly 300 calorie beverage, then these are photos worthy of your time. There are healthier choices for your energy surge.

    Check out 19 more drinks to avoid.

    Try These Healthful Options Instead:

    More from Bon Appétit:
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  • Bartenders Flaunt Their Shaker Faces

    Thanks to Camper English's Alcademics blog, I recently discovered Shaker Faces, a site that pays homage to the great bartenders of this country by posting videos of them rattling, grimacing, and, sometimes, winking when serving up shaken cocktails. "Whether they're hard shakers or more musically inclined, our favorite bartenders all make faces when they shake," says the site. "So, we set out across this fine nation to capture a few of our favorite Shaker Faces."

    If the bartenders currently featured on the site were pop songs, the Fifth Floor's Jacques Bezuidenhout would be "Born to be Wild" and Jackie Patterson from Heaven's Dog would be "Smooth Operator." The most impressive, though, is Elixir owner H. Joseph Ehrmann (pictured) for his double "Pump It Up." Scroll through to the site's second page to see his sha-sha-sha-sha-ker face sha-sha-sha-ker face. (Sorry, I had to.)

    Don't miss Bon Appetit's tip on how to shake a cocktail, and try it out with our recipe for a grapefruit gimlet

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  • Cultural differences: Mixed meat bins at the supermarket?

    In American Walmarts, you can buy discount Toby Keith CDs, pleated chinos, and 16 ft. trampolines. In Chinese Walmarts, you can buy live frogs, dead crocodiles, and scores of mixed cuts of meat from giant bins (see left).

    Though I find the concept of mixed meats tremendously fascinating, I don't think it would ever pass in this country. Not only does it seem unsanitary and nauseating, but American consumers might not know a chuck cross rib from a bottom rump roast without a label. Maybe I'm too myopic. How do you feel about mixed meat canisters?
    Check out 15 other items they only sell at Chinese Walmarts.

    More from Bon Appétit:

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