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Five Fun Food Finds April 2013

Spring grilling – need a few more coals on the fire.

(I wrote this last week. Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston.)

Every spring, grilling fever strikes. I’m tired of snow, cold, gray days. I want to be outside…cooking every meal over live fire. I’m scanning the weather for days with less than a 50 percent chance of rain. (Fifty percent…that means I still have a chance!)

While I wait for the showers to pass, here are five fun food finds from across the web.

1. American meat industry moving to uniform, simplified naming standard

…what once was called pork butt – and actually does not come from the pig’s nether region – will now be called a Boston roast and be described as a bone-in pork shoulder.
[J.M. Hirsch, AP News: Meat industry to reboot labels to help consumers. h/t Lisa Abraham, Ohio.com]

I’m sad my beloved Boston butt is going away. “Boston roast” doesn’t make me giggle like an eight year old have the same ring to it.

But, this also means a t-bone now describes the same cut of meat from a cow, a pig, or a lamb. It makes too much sense.
Of course, expecting this to jump-start meat sales seems like a reach.


2. Maggi seasoning

Suddenly, Maggi seasoning! Sure, I’d see it at my local Asian grocery stores, but it was a once in a while thing. Then Charlie at the Ingredient List mentioned it on his blog. Now, every time I turn around, I see a bottle. I bought one the other day; still haven’t used it. I’m waiting for a soup that needs extra umami.
[h/t Charlie, TheIngredientList.com]

3. Weber Gourmet BBQ System – Korean Barbecue insert

Weber made new inserts for their Gourmet BBQ system. The Ebelskiver Pan seems like an insert too far – do I really want to grill Danish pancakes?

The Poultry Roaster looks good, if you want to roast a chicken beer butt style. It’s wide, stable, with solid handles – there’s a lot less chance of the chicken flopping over and dumping beer everywhere. Even so, I’d rather use a beer can. I can fit two beer butt birds on the grill, maybe three if I squeeze them in there. What can I say? I like to live dangerously.
And? I told you I like saying “butt”. I’m really going to miss my butt roasts. giggle.

Then there’s the Korean Barbecue insert. It’s styled after the domed charcoal braziers used at Korean barbecue restaurants, where diners cook thin slices of meat at the table. This one fits in the the middle of the Gourmet BBQ system grill grate. Do I need this for Korean barbecue? No, of course not; I can grill it on the regular grate. But it is intriguing enough to be on my wish list.
[Source: Weber.com]


4. The iSpoon

Speaking of silly…

I use my iPad all the time in the kitchen, to check recipes and play some tunes while I cook. Someone had the bright idea of replacing the handle of a wooden spoon with a tablet stylus. When I first saw this, I laughed. Would I buy one? Of course not.

And yet…and yet…every time I have to clean my hands to swipe the iPad, I think about it. If they made it with a flat edge, I’d be in trouble…
[h/t Charlie Sorrel, CultOfMac.com]

5. It’s Hard out there for an Individual Blogger

I still have to accept a fundamental truth: my traffic stats and my ability to reach new readers is increasingly out of my hands.
[Dan Koontz, The Current State of Individual Blogging, CasualKitchen.blogspot.com]

Preach it, brother! Sometimes, writing a one person blog feels like the scene in Van Halen’s Right Now video – “Right now, forces are aligning against you.”

So, what have you found recently? Share your food finds in the comments, below.

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  1. The problem with that iSpoon is that the second you use it for its primary purpose it becomes too messy to be practical. Imagine drops of tomato sauce or whatnot getting all over your iPad screen, or yourself, or the floor whenever you try to use the stylus end. No thanks.

  2. Charlie Lawton says

    Thanks for the mention! I appreciate it. Save that Maggi for when you’re feeling extra-super lazy; it magnifies the feeling of getting away with something.

    Also, that Korean barbecue insert, and the ebelskiver pan – really? There’s a market for that, but not one for a pizza stone that fits in the Weber barbecue system grill? I’m flabbergasted.

  3. Lynn says

    Hey, Mike, just wanted to let you know how much
    I appreciate you– and how much you’ve taught me. I have been a blogger myself, and felt like a voice crying in the wilderness–which is why I stopped. I didn’t have your stamina or passion.

    I consider myself a pretty good cook, with many “formal” cooking classes under my belt (or at least the results from them; it’s why I’ve had to buy a bigger belt). You have expanded my horizons in cooking at least as much as any of those classes. Please don’t get discouraged and please don’t give up. You do more good than you can possibly know. Thank you!

  4. Brian T says

    One problem I see with the poultry roaster is that with those small holes, cleaning it after cooking a chicken could be a real pain. If they made it with slits or just larger holes then it would be easier to clean.

    The Korean barbecue insert looks interesting. It would be nice for cooking steak for fajitas, etc. But I agree that you can cook that just as easily on the regular grates as well.

  5. kitsieb says

    Just started reading your blog, really enjoy it. I’m 53 years young (hahaha) and have never fixed prime rib ( a sin I’m sure) please in simple terms for us non-foodies….a fool proof turn out of meat fit for kings. (and of course queens too ) KDB

  6. Charlie Lawton says

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to this…but I have found that pizza stones require more preheating than you’d think. I did some pizzas on the grill on Sunday, and the stone didn’t hit operating temps (about 650F) until the third pizza. Maybe that was it?

  7. If anything, I had the opposite problem. The pizza was scorching on the bottom before the cheese on the top started to melt. My guess is it was the lid on the kettle – too much heat escaped whenever I opened the lid – but I’m just guessing.

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