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ulinarian

food as science

Volume II | Issue I | Winter 2014-2015

get the story behind

Taste

learn why not to count

Calories

maximize your harvest from the

Barnard CSA

food trends interviews recipes reviews and much more


Photo & Cover by Minh Tam Nguyen


ulinarian

a food magazine at columbia

EDITORS Features

Isabel Genecin (CC `15) Katja Lazar (CC `15)

Reviews

Zoe Baker-Peng (BC `16) Bethany Wong (SEAS `17)

Recipes

Matthew Tsim (CC `16) Lizzy Wolozin (BC `16)

EXECUTIVE BOARD Meena Lee (CC`15) Jenny Xu (CC`15) Minh Tam Nguyen (CC `15) Joanne Raptis (BC `16) Rachel Hsu (BC `18) Amy Fu (SEAS `15) Alex Nguyen (CC `17) Amelia Rosen (BC `15) Isabel Genecin (CC `15)

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Photo Director Art Director Design Director Business Director PR Director Events Director Secretary

SENIOR DESIGNERS Rachel Hsu (BC `18) Tiffany Ong (CC `15)

DESIGNERS

Audrey Crane (BC `17) Danielle Deiseroth (SEAS `18) Caitlin Harrington-Smith (BC ‘16) Rowan Wu (BC `18)

BUSINESS TEAM

Gabriella Belnavis (BC `18) Claudia de Lavalle (CC `17) Hannah Liu (CC `17)

PR TEAM

Gauri Bahugana (CC `17) Kelsey Burns (CC `16) Lilli Schussler (CC `17)

BLOG EDITORS

Ashley Mendez (CC `15) Arianna Winchester (CC `16)

WEBMASTER

Sandya Sankarram (SEAS `15)

STAFF WRITERS

Crystal Ang (CC `15), Tanvi Bahaguna (TC `16), Daisy Chaussee (CC `17), Caroline Chen (`17), Monica Chen (CC `18), Mercedes Chien (CC `18), Claudia de Lavalle (CC `17), Quincy DeYoung (BC `16), Danielle Deiseroth (SEAS `18), Amelia Edwards (CC `17), Madeline Ehrenberg (CC `18), Janice Fong (CC `17), Emma Guida (BC `16), Jessica Gruenstein (CC `18), Omar Halawa (CC `16), John Hao (CC `18), Caitlin Harrington-Smith (BC `16), Wallace Kalkin (BC `18), Carolyn Kang (CC `17), Pooja Kathail (CC `18), Nia Judelson (BC `18), Andrew Joseph Marotta (TC `15), Tara Mohtadi (CC `17), Cole Neuffer (BC `16), Ilina Odouard (BC `18), Andre Paiva (SEAS `15), Sophia Rouze (BC `18), Lilli Schussler (CC `16), Eliza Solomon (BC `18), Hannah Sotnick (CC `15), Ana Vargas (CC `16), Coco Weng (CC `17), Megan Wilcots (CC `18), Arianna Winchester (CC `16), Jenny Xu (CC `15)

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS

Aku Acquaye (BC `18), Daisy Chaussee (CC `17), Mercedes Chien (CC `18), Brandon Chin (CC `18), Audrey Crane (BC `17), Emily Daly (CC `18), Amelia Edwards (CC `17), Bridget Jackson (BC `18), Carolyn Kang (CC `17), Katherine Lin (CC `17), Tara Mohtadi (CC `17), Minh Tam Nguyen (CC `15), Ravipa Ramyarupa (BC `18), Rafaella Schor (BC `17), Coco Weng (CC `17), Megan Wilcots (CC `18)

STAFF ARTISTS

Rachel Hsu (BC `18), Wallace Kalkin (BC `18), Joanne Raptis (BC `16), Allison Scott (CC `15), Wanlin Xie (CC`18)

who is a culinarian? The magazine was started by Amanda Tien (CC `14) and Manon Cooper (BC `14) in the fall of 2012 as an endeavor to create professional content, and celebrate eating and drinking in New York City. Under the leadership of this year’s executive board, Culinarian has strove to both uphold and expand on these objectives, placing an emphasis on using food to start conversations. The Culinarian team of over 60 students, united under a common passion for food and drink, has responded with enthusiasm, using their talents and interests to contribute high-quality writing, photography, art, and design, as well as innovative business, PR, and event planning strategy to expand the magazine’s reach both on and off campus. Visit our website to apply to become a part of our staff, check out our previous issues, and read more articles from the current issue as well as our Spring issue, Food as Art and Culture. We hope you enjoy this issue of Culinarian. culinarianmagazine.com


letter from the editor Whether it be sharing stories about your day at the family dinner table, catching up with a friend you haven’t seen for two whole hours over lunch at John Jay, or arguing politics with the uncle you see only once a year at Thanksgiving dinner, meal times have always been prime time for conversation. But food is a conversation starter in more ways than one. Besides being a pleasing and re-energizing backdrop to engrossing discussions, food is a topic on which everyone can contribute a word or two. We can break down what exactly makes pie the most perfect dessert ever (I wholeheartedly agree with writer Omar Halawa’s obsession with pie, see page 31 for his review of Williamsburg’s Pies ‘n’ Thighs, though admittedly I’m more about the fillings), but we can also use the topic of food--simultaneously a display of complex scientific processes, artistic expression, and rich cultural history--to discuss our interests in a way that everyone can relate to. Applications of abstract concepts to something as appealing and comforting as food makes learning about unfamiliar and maybe even intimidating subjects seem a lot more approachable. To a third grader, learning division suddenly becomes more interesting once dividing pizzas amongst friends is involved; I know that the amount of readings I completed for a Global Core class saw a sharp uptick once chewy noodles and fancy French cuisine entered the conversation. There’s nowhere better than Columbia to take advantage of food’s ability as a form of science, art, and culture to bring people of diverse interests together. The hope of this year’s issues, starting with Food as Science, is to encourage our staff to talk to their professors, engage with students they might not normally interact with, reach out to alumni working in industries of interest, and explore New York City--in other words, to put Columbia’s innumerable resources to good use--and share their interests in a delicious way. Flip through these pages and browse through our blog at culinarianmagazine. com, and you’ll find Carolyn Kang’s illuminating piece explaining why eggs become rubbery when they’re overcooked, Lilli Schussler’s investigation into how a standardized unit of measure completely changed the way we eat and look at our bodies, and Jenny Xu’s interview with Professor John Glendinning uncovering how processed food companies use sensory physiology to get you hooked on Flaming Hot Cheetos, among other great articles examining the intersections between food and science. As always, the issue also contains delicious recipes and restaurants to try, as well as positively mouthwatering photography and art. Happy reading!

Meena Lee Editor-in-Chief


►Table of Contents

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20

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08 Features 12 | The Egg

At once humble and complex

18 | Battle of the White Coats She’s a chef, scientist, and student

20 | The Sixth Sense

Sweet, Salty, Savory, Sour, Bitter, and... ?

opinion 16 | Calo-riots

How one unit of measure has changed society

recipes

22| Farm to Dorm Recipes

You have a CSA subscription... now what?

38 | Ingredient Profile: Quinoa

Six ways to use this talked-about grain

43 | Quick Dorm Room Dinners

Delicious and fast. Dreams do come true!

38 reviews

08 | The Gelato Experiment

The secret behind Il Laboratorio del Gelato

10 | Intriguing Flavor Pairings around NYC Where to find avocado where you least expect it

15 | Eat Me

A night of experimentation with the Miracle berry

28 | A Taste of Southern Cuisine in Harlem Chicken and waffles a hop-skip away

32 | Confessions of a Pastry Fanatic Let’s talk about pies

34 | Shebas and Sheikhs in Williamsburg Absinthe, waistcoats, and oysters, oh my!

42 | Dinner in the Dark

A dining experience unlike any other


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review

The Gelato Experiment For owner Jon Snyder, a childhood passion for ice cream and a trip to Italy developed into his Manhattan gelato shop, Il Laboratorio del Gelato. At Il Laboratorio, they use the words gelato and ice cream interchangeably since, as Snyder puts it, “Gelato is just the Italian word for ice cream.” Despite the literal translation, there are some key differences between gelato and ice cream. These differences stem from the ingredients used, the texture, and the temperature. When it comes to ingredients, gelato typically has more milk and less cream, and thus a lower ratio of butterfat. Snyder explains: “Butter tends to mask flavors, whereas with less cream and less butterfat, the flavor really comes through.” Another aspect that contributes to Il Laboratorio’s increased intensity of flavor is the density. According to Snyder, “The Italian equipment was developed to be very slow-spinning. The machinery churns the ice cream slowly, which has the effect of incorporating less air.” 8

Il Laboratorio offers not only a deviation from American ice creams, but also a fresh twist on the Italian methods that inspired Snyder. What sets Snyder’s product apart is that he makes and serves it much colder than most gelatos. He pushes the limits of his equipment to achieve a balance between Italian gelato and American ice cream—to achieve a product with Italian density and flavor, without losing the texture “you can bite into” found in American ice cream. But achieving this balanced consistency and density poses difficulties, as Snyder recounts, “Our challenge is freezing the ice cream and taking it out at the perfect moment, where it has the least amount of air in it. That’s the science of the temperature—the colder it is, the more frozen it is; the molecules are contracting and pushing the air out, creating a denser product.” The optimal temperature to serve their ice cream, they discovered, is anywhere between zero and eight degrees Fahrenheit. But does the science hold up to human taste buds? The flavor of everything I tried was very intense.


The Salted Caramel was silky, salty and sweet, while the Dark Chocolate Cinnamon was like eating hot chocolate in gelato form. Maple was also a standout for its subtle, lingering sweetness. The sorbets were equally delicious—the watermelon, red plum, and Fuji apple flavors taste authentically like their eponymous fruits, not the artificial flavoring I’m used to sampling. Boasting an array of over 200 flavors—including the shockingly original Thai Chile Chocolate, Avocado, Basil, and Pink Peppercorn—all concocted by Snyder himself, Il Laboratorio del Gelato offers something delicious for everyone. The making of these cold treats is scientific, but do yourself a favor and head down to the Lower East Side to test Snyder’s gelato-ice cream hybrids for yourself. Il Laboratorio del Gelato is located on 188 Ludlow St. For more information, please call (212) 343-9922 or visit laboratoriodelgelato.com

Text and Photos by Daisy Chaussee 9


review

Intriguing Flavor Pairings Around NYC With so many snack options around the city, shops will often try to create a signature dish to differentiate themselves from their competitors—leading to some pretty odd food combinations. Check out some of the most adventurous flavor combos that actually work!

s

The OddFellows Ice Cream Co. specializes in creating flavor combinations that are unexpected. Think miso ice cream mixed with sweet cherry chunks. Just as you think you’ve been handed a scoop of vanilla, the savory miso hits your palate. The soft and sugary cherry lumps balance out the salinity of the miso without being overpowering. The OddFellows are constantly concocting new and quirky flavors, such as burnt marshmallow and olive oil, all of which are well worth the trek to Brooklyn. The OddFellows Ice Cream Co. is located on 75 E. 4th St and on 175 Kent Ave., Williamsburg. For more information visit http://www.oddfellowsnyc.com.

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s

Macaron Parlour offers conventionally flavored macarons, like your strawberry or hazelnut, and then some that get a little more creative. Cheeto macaron, anyone? With their dusting of orange powder, these little treats may look like the popular fluorescent snacks, but the cheesy flavor is far less pronounced—they taste more like vanilla with a side note of cheese. If you’re looking for the flavors of breakfast in a macaron, try the candied bacon with maple cream cheese. These cookies strike the perfect bacon to maple syrup ratio. Unlike other bacon macarons that use bacon grease to capture the salty, porky flavor of bacon, Macaron Parlour’s candied bacon macarons use an actual wedge of bacon, packing in a purer punch of meat. The Macaron Parlour is located on 111 Saint Marks Pl. For more information visit http://www.macaronparlour.com.

Text by Cole Neuffer; Photos by Bridget Jackson

s Kopi Kopi is an Indonesian coffee shop and restaurant. Their signature item is the “Es Alpukat,” an iced coffee drink lined with avocado cream at the bottom. Followed by a layer of bitter espresso, topped with milky froth and drizzled chocolate, the espresso’s acidity complements the sweet smoothie-like consistency of the avocado. A specialty imported from Indonesia, the “Es Alpukat” is a great chance to shake up your coffee order. Kopi Kopi Espresso NYC is located on 68 W. 3rd St. For more information, please visit http://www.kopinyc.com.

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feature

The Egg

The Science Behind One of Mankind’s Indispensable Foods

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! izzle! k ! c k a c r C S What seems like a mundane Cra morning breakfast routine is in fact an incredibly

fascinating and beautiful process that involves culinary magic (and science) at a molecular level. Humans have been cooking the chicken egg since prehistoric times—according to Egyptian and Chinese records, fowls were laying eggs for humans as early as 1400 B.C. Today, the U.S. food industry produces approximately 75 billion eggs per year, and the chicken egg has secured its spot in everyday dishes. From scrambled to fried to poached, to delicate soufflés and melt-in-yourmouth meringues, the egg has become a most versatile and indispensable food in quite a few of our common recipes.

The Anatomy of the Egg The egg’s anatomy is rather simple. A semi-permeable calcium carbonate shell surrounds the egg’s inner and outer membranes, which are protective barriers that prevent harmful bacteria from making its way in. The golden sun of the egg—the protein and fat based yolk—is suspended in the very center of the egg by opaque “ropes” of egg white (chalazae), which anchor it in place. The rest of the egg’s interior is filled with albumen, or egg white, which consists of around 40 different proteins and water. At the bottom of the egg is an air cell, the pocket of air which leaves a ring when the egg is hard boiled.

The Science of Cooking an Egg When we cook an egg, a series of chemical reactions and changes occur in protein structure that account for the changes we see between a raw egg and a cooked one. Eggs are made up of many different proteins, which are essentially chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Proteins are distinguishable by the way their chains fold upon themselves, and the precise way of folding determines their chemical function. They are held in place by weak non-covalent bonds that denature, or break, under heat. Thus, when you add heat to an egg, you are essentially breaking apart the bonds between parts of these amino acid chains and unfolding the protein structure. However, with enough heat and energy, stronger covalent bonds start forming between other protein molecules, instead of within their own chain. These bonds start making up a web of proteins that trap the water from the proteins and hold them in this interconnected network.

This explains why eggs become harder as you add more heat, and how adding heat for too long creates too many bonds and leaves you with a rubbery piece of egg. It should also be noted that the egg yolk and white begin to cook, or gelify, at different temperatures. Contrary to what we might normally think, egg yolks actually cook, on average, at a lower temperature than egg whites. Yolks begin to solidify at around 63-70°C, whereas whites solidify at around 60°-80°C. In theory, egg yolks would cook faster than their white counterpart, but in reality, egg whites are usually exposed to heat longer based on their physical spatial arrangement, and thus gelify first. It is commonly thought that cooking an egg (or anything, for that matter) is an irreversible process. Once the proteins are denatured and rebonded, they stay that way. However, French physical chemist Hervé This proved this to be wrong. Specialist and researcher in molecular gastronomy and co-founder of the resulting culinary movement, This discovered that in order to unboil an egg, the protein molecule network needs to be detached. According to This, adding a chemical product such as the reducing agent sodium borohydride (or vitamin C for those at home) will detach the proteins from each other, essentially undoing the cooking process and liquefying the egg. Although uncooking an egg is not particularly practical or useful, it is certainly groundbreaking to undo a seemingly irreversible process.

“It is commonly thought that cooking an egg is an irreversible process.”

Text by Carolyn Kang; Photos by Brandon Chin

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Whites vs. Yolks What is beautiful about the egg is its ability to be separated quite well into two distinct parts—the yolk & the white. Because of their differences in composition, they each serve unique functions in creating different types of dishes. Egg yolk contains extra fat content and is often used as an emulsifier, which is why it is a key ingredient in mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce. Lecithin is one essential emulsifier found in the yolk. As a phospholipid, it contains a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. When it comes in contact with a combination of water and oil, which normally separate, the hydrophobic tail arranges itself into the fat or oil, and the hydrophilic head arranges itself into the water. Essentially a supporting bridge is created between the two and allows them to mix evenly—this is how the smooth consistency of a creamy hollandaise sauce is achieved. The yolk is also used in many other ways, such as richening custard or thickening the sauce for your car

bonara. Arguably more well known is the use of the whipped egg white in various recipes for cakes, soufflés, and other light and airy pastries. Beating and whipping raw egg whites is essentially incorporating air into its structure—similar to how heating denatures proteins, adding air bubbles actually unfolds the protein as well. The hydrophilic parts of the protein stay nestled in water whereas the hydrophobic parts of the protein are positioned into the air bubble. The unfolding of the proteins when the egg whites are whipped also creates a strong network that securely captures and holds these air bubbles. When carefully folded into a macaron or pancake batter, a whipped egg acts as a leavening agent as the gas inside the bubbles expand and rise. The chicken egg is such a simple, affordable, and incredibly versatile ingredient that it is difficult to imagine everyday cooking without it. Cheers to the humble egg!

The Perfect Poached Egg: Ingredients Fresh eggs 1 tablespoon white vinegar Dash of salt Water Utensils Straight sided skillet or saucepan Small bowls Slotted Spoon Paper towel

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Method Fill the skillet or pan with 2-2½ inches of water. Make sure your eggs are fresh and that the yolks are not broken. Crack each egg into a small bowl. Add vinegar and salt to the water. The acidity of the water will help the egg coagulate and retain its shape. Simmer at medium heat, then gently stir the water with your spoon to create a whirlpool. Take a bowl with an egg and gently release it into the center of the whirlpool. The circular motion will help the egg whites stay together. Close the lid and leave the egg for 4-4½ minutes. When the time is up, use the slotted spoon to gently scoop the poached egg out of the water, and dab gently on a paper towel to dry off excess water. Serve warm.


REVIEW

e M t Ea

New York dining is a wonderland for those who love to eat, but unfortunately for would-be Alices, it does not yet include drinks that reduce you in size or cakes that make you grow. The miracle berry, however, is whimsical without posing the risk of you literally outgrowing your dorm room.

The miracle berry and its accessible tablet form consists of a protein called Miraculin that latches onto and suppresses the tongue’s sweet receptors. When tart foods and beverages are added to the mix, the protein overstimulates these receptors rather than muting them. Sour foods become sweet snacks. Certain obstacles, such as suspected sabotage from the sugar and artificial substitute industries, reined in Miraculin’s mainstream use. Therefore, the

taste transforming berry is largely sold to those seeking the thrill of “flavor-tripping.” Experimenting with the miracle berry played with my expectations for staple foods. Pucker-inducing lemons and limes approximated artificially sweetened lemonade and lime-flavored candy. Vinegar turned into a tangy, sweet, syrupy drink, and green grapes provided a delicious burst of sweetness devoid of their usual sour notes. Accustomed to putting sugar on your strawberries? The miracle berry eliminated my desire to do so, as strawberries tasted exactly like their sugared version. Candy lovers will be thrilled by these fruits’ sweeter alternatives. As one who prefers savory foods or subtle sweetness, however, I found that the real treats were the subtly transformed items. Tomatoes kept their delicate flavor yet held a strong note of sweet-

Text by Hannah Sotnick; Photos by Coco Weng

ness, while Greek yogurt moved a step closer to frozen yogurt in flavor. Although some bloggers report pleasing shifts in the flavors of goat and cream cheeses, as well as greens including celery and pickles, I perceived no difference. I hoped that vodka would lose its mean bite, yet the effect was negligible. The berry did lessen the edge of Tabasco and Sriracha’s spiciness. These condiments were more smoky and reminiscent of barbecue sauce. Miraculin only coats the tongue so be wary of the spice’s effect on the roof and sides of the mouth. The miracle berry is strongly recommended for a night of culinary experimentation—bring a sliver of Wonderland to Columbia for a playful, low key night with friends. The berry’s tablet version can be ordered online or purchased for $14 in a pack of ten at the Garden of Eden in Union Square.

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opinion

calo-riots Has any measurement ever been as misunderstood as the ubiquitous calorie? The calorie developed concurrently with the metric system in the 18th century and had fully emerged in the popular Western lexicon by the 19th century. Though calories are units as seemingly empirical as grams, ounces, and meters, their effects are altogether more ambiguous. In setting out merely to measure, the calorie has done far more—it has changed how we consider satiation, nutrition, eating habits, the way we consider the body, and as a consequence, American culture.

The Origin of the Calorie

According to most accounts, the word “calorie” as a unit of heat was coined by a French scientist, Antoine Lavoisier, in 1784. The nutritional calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. The original device used to calculate the number of calories in a given substance was a bomb calorimeter: food was completely burned, and the resulting rise in water temperature measured. Whether human digestion can be approximated to incineration is debatable at best—after all, this method doesn’t factor in the energy expended during the processes of digestion and elimination. In recognition of this problem, Wilbur Olin Atwater developed the standard Atwater system, in which total caloric value is calculated by adding up the calories provided by different nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol, and subtracting those derived from fiber.

Text by Lilli Schussler

spurt. That people digest differently is obvious at the observational level—but remarkably, the 200-year old calorie makes us forget the science we have intuited from thousands of years of eating. Atwater’s system also obscures the different digestibility of macronutrients. And again, our intuition is attenuated; we know that not all foods are digested in the same way. One feels differently after eating a candy bar than an apple of the same number of calories. But to this the calorie, and therefore much of our consideration of nutrition, is blind. As long as I stay within my allotted “calorie count” for the day, I can obtain all of those from soda, right? Never mind the inevitable sugar high and crash. Indeed, calories have extensive utility in justifying the consumption of agricultural subsidies such as sugar and corn. I won’t attempt to reiterate the points of Omnivore’s Dilemma, Fast Food Nation, or any of the newly emerging food documentaries on the institutionalization of food. The point is that in being able to literally compare apples to oranges, we are forgetting how to eat.

The Calorie Rises

So what convinced us to follow this primrose path? The careful control of food, using the calorie as a proxy for nutrition, started during World War I in 1917. Atwater was appointed to the FDA to help calculate the most efficient way to deliver the necessary energy intake to soldiers. Energy-dense foods such as butter, fat and sugar became staples in the soldier’s diet, and accordingly the subject of restriction among civilians. Several critiques have been levied against this system. Reserving these foods for troops became the new meaOne is that digestion and the extent to which calories sure of patriotism. This point also marks the beginning are absorbed vary from person to person, depending on of fat-shaming. The overweight population, previously one’s age, weight, gender, and other factors. Examples of accepted and in many cases admired for their access to this abound: a decrease in food intake results in a low- ered metabolism, and people with Crohn’s disease or Ir- Restriction began to walk hand in hand with notions ritable Bowel Syndrome tend to absorb fewer nutrients. of citizenship, allowing calories to find their métier: weight loss. In 1918, Lulu Hunt Peters published Diet You may also recall eating about half your body weight and Health: With Key to the Calories, advocating carewhen you were going through puberty or a growth ful attention to calories as the best form of weight loss 16


and maintenance. Peters offered the ideal package of women’s health: self-control, supplemented by “Watch Your Weight Anti-Kaiser” classes and women’s suffragist rallies. In a similarly patriotic work published by John Harvey Kellogg, Battle Creek Sanitarium Diet List, the author gleefully asserts: “Dietetics has at long last come to be a science. The properties and values of foods have been studied by the same methods which have determined the qualities and values of soils and ores.” At long, last food could be stripped of all romance and seen as precisely equal to the sum of its measured parts. Counting calories became as American as apple pie.

indicate that the risks associated with obesity can be significantly reduced if one engages in regular physical activity, even if no significant weight loss is achieved. According to Blair, weight loss should not be ignored but a greater focus should be placed on physical activity and good nutrition. The powerful moniker of “obesity epidemic,” however, not only renders obesity in the language and moral panic of “traditional” epidemics, such as influenza and plague, but also places emphasis on the weight aspect of the problem, instead of the root causes of the significant health issues. Besides the terms of its discourse, American obesity is further treated differently from other health problems, and this is due in large part to the calorie counting that Caloric Consequences Peters, Kellogg, and others have exalted. When food and Excess weight is touted as the hallmark problem of America, associated with a plethora of health problems weight become matters of mere self-discipline, we hold the overweight and obese accountable for their health not the least of which include cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, Paul Ernsberger, a professor of issue, unlike those who have diabetes or cancer. Mental nutrition at Case Western Reserve University, has been health, thyroid problems, and other possible causes of obesity are often considered secondary to eating habits. conducting research since the 1980s that has led him Hence the rise of the diet food industry. In an attempt to assert that obesity is not the cause of ill health, but to generate profit, food producers sell both the probrather a byproduct of sedentary living and poor nulem causing agent of our addictions—and the perceived trition, which are the real causes of these health probcure. In an informal survey I conducted of 25 young men lems. In other words, the morbidities associated with and women, not one reported achieving satiety by conobesity are not an effect of obesity itself, but rather of suming a 100-calorie snack pack, and of the 15 that had various deficiencies. Another researcher, Steven Blair, dieted at one point using “weight loss foods”, all reportdirector of the Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research ed a brief decrease in weight followed by a compensatoin Dallas, Texas, has co-authored several studies that ry if not excessive gain. And instead of directly treating illness, whether it be mental or a hormonal effect of the foods we consume, we are sidelined, somewhat understandably, by that which is purely visible: excess weight. The allure of the quantifiable has led us down this path. As long as nutrition is relegated to experts and considered beyond the scope of what we intuitively know, calories will continue to fuel an era of unprecedented fat-shaming and malnutrition. We need to be conscious but not calorie conscious, and understand limits but not become obsessed with deprivation. In the short run, we can focus on content rather than calories; many foods are both healthy and delicious. But this approach still does not address how the calorie has changed—perhaps irrevocably—the way we understand our bodies. In the long run, we have a bit more work to do.

“We can focus on content rather than caloriesmany foods are both healthy and delicious.”

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BATTLE OF THE White Coats comparing the science lab to the restaurant kitchen 18

Text by Arianna Winchester; Photos by Ravipa Ramyarupa

feature


I own five white coats. Excessive, some might say, but I’d retort that five is just enough. I’ve obtained three of those white coats from science labs I’ve worked in—two professional labs and a chemistry lab class at Columbia. One white coat is a stunning jacket I picked up during Zara’s biannual sale. And the last white coat is the newest addition to the family: a chef jacket from Community Food and Juice, the restaurant conveniently situated two blocks from campus where I’ve begun to work, despite having zero formal training. The uniform is not the only thing which unites cooking and science. Cooking is highly scientific in every sense of the word. Only after working in both environments did it strike me how deeply similar the restaurant kitchen is to the science lab. For one thing, the physical workspace allocated to the scientist and to the prep cook are analogous in terms of organization and spatial allocation. Both have a row of supplies at the far end of a larger workspace, with shelves and drawers covering the surrounding walls to hold other items that are used less frequently. In the kitchen, all the prepped food must be ready for immediate assembly once the order tickets start rolling in, so each ingredient is separated into its own small container, labeled and lined up with its neighbors in an orderly fashion. This is mirrored in the lab, where all of our solvents, reagents, and supplies are categorized, identified, and separated. In both cases, the bench must be meticulously clean, lest you ruin your experiment or give an unlucky customer food poisoning. The process of assembling those ingredients is strikingly similar too. Within each discipline, there exists a set of accepted methods invented and perfected over the years to achieve industry-wide ideals. In science, these ideals may be to accurately measure the size of DNA fragments; in cooking, to brown a rib-eye steak to a perfect medium rare. Whether you’re running a gel electrophoresis to check for the size of DNA fragments present in a sample of purified genetic material or cooking meat, the only way to get anywhere near a level of “correctness” is to perform each step exactly the same way each time. These basic processes can then be compounded together creatively into a thorough description of a biological system after you prove your hypothesis, or a complete dish composed of multiple well prepared elements. Familiarity comes naturally after years of practice, but with one slight falter in the basics, the entire composition can come crashing down. Just think of how bland a bowl of spaghetti would be if you forget to salt the pasta water!

Creativity is obviously an important part of cooking—innovative restaurants and flavor combinations keep the industry constantly changing—but somewhat less obviously, it’s a part of science as well. You must come up with new hypotheses to explain weird experimental results, create experimental methods, and break down old scientific theory to posit your new one. All of that takes a lot of courage and a lot of creativity. The professional hierarchy in the lab also mirrors that of the kitchen. As an undergraduate in my lab, I work directly under a graduate student. That graduate student is pursuing a thesis which falls under the umbrella topic which the whole lab researches. The lab is led by the director, also called the principle investigator (PI). He’s the guy whose name gets engraved on the door, and is credited on every paper researched by the multiple graduate students currently working in his lab. The PI trains a graduate student who works on a solo project until he or she publishes a paper documenting that work. Afterwards, the graduate student then chooses to move on to another project at a different lab, or to remain. Put simply, I work on a subproject of my graduate student who works on a subproject of my PI. My PI serves as a mentor to us all—he has hands in every project all at once and anything that has the name of his lab on it must be thoroughly supported by him. Within the kitchen environment, I work on the salad station with another chef who has been there longer than myself. She trains me while she in turn works for the chefs on the hot station, who fire all the entrées and dishes that need more intricate work. They answer to the head chef who has hands on all the dishes before they go out, making sure they have his stamp of approval. Scientific papers nourish the mind and food nourishes the body. Lab work and cooking are two realizations of the same principle: precisely prepared materials must be combined in original ways so we can achieve new understandings. Just don’t try to eat any of my DNA samples—I have a suspicion they wouldn’t be very delicious.

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interview

{ The Sixth Sense: Beyond Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter and Umami I’m going to tell you a scary story. It’s the start of sophomore year and Haley Joel has just come off the meal plan. He’s cut free at last from Wilma’s apron strings, but he’s on a budget. Here’s where Crackdel’s Spicy Specials swoop in. In exchange for fivers, he can get spicy ham, bologna, mysteriously named ‘tropical cheese,’ and white sauce on a hot ridged hero. And that’s the only thing he ever eats until graduation. What is it about the taste of a Spicy Special that lures so many to their dooms? We bring in Professor John Glendinning, a sensory physiologist at Barnard who studies how physical sensations are converted into neural signals, to investigate. There is more to your taste buds than sensing saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and umami. Taste is a multidimensional concept. When you bite into a Spicy Special, your tongue will experience some saltiness and umami, but, of course, the overwhelming effect will be spiciness. But spiciness is not one of the five tastes, right? Here’s where Professor Glendinning enlightens us about the trigeminal senses: nerve endings in your mouth that 20

detect temperature, or the level of spice in your food. “It turns out that capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili peppers) actually does stimulate the taste cells in your taste buds…but when you ingest a chili pepper, the capsaicin diffuses through your skin…the receptors the capsaicin bind to are the same receptors that respond to heat. These fibers are referred to as NO receptors, which are pain receptors [in your brain].” We’re not just sensory masochists. Our love of spices may actually have been an evolutionary advantage: “Most of the spices we use have antibiotic properties… the most commonly used spices have the strongest. You put chili pepper on a dish infected with lots of bacteria, all the bacteria die.” This may be why there is higher spice usage in countries with hotter climates where spoilage is a greater problem.

“You put chili pepper on a dish infected with lots of bacteria, all the bacteria die.”


The trigeminal system also incorporates the tactile property of mouthfeel, the “[resistive pressure] when you close your teeth” that makes the slick feel of the ham and the smooth fatty white sauce in contrast to the crunch of pressed bread so satisfying. But there’s more to taste than what goes on in your mouth. “All the taste receptors in our mouth are also expressed in your gut. You actually taste foods twice but the second tasting is unconscious. Our evidence indicates that the second tasting, gut-taste, may be more important than oral taste in driving people to over-consume foods,” said Glendinning. Keeping this in mind, processed food companies create formulas in coordination with sensory physiologists to render their wares as addictive as possible. Will Haley ever escape the clutches of Crackdel? I’d suggest a gradual rehabilitation, perhaps beginning with a few H16s from Milano. Pickiness, at least, is one spook that can be exorcised with exposure.

Intrigued? Here are a few more mysterious phenomena that Professor Glendinning is currently investigating:

Chemotherapy and taste: “Food tastes awful, even water…you get taste distortions where food becomes completely disgusting in every way…we know this is a problem but we don’t really know what’s going on. We’re trying to see...if we give rats chemo drugs, will they develop these taste distortions? Physiologically what’s happening?

Fetal alcohol acclimatization: “It turns out if mom has as many as three to four drinks during pregnancy, the chances that her children’s risk of abusing alcohol as adolescents is increased by four to five times. The reigning hypothesis is a social hypothesis. Our idea is that there may be a biological factor contributing. By experiencing alcohol in the womb, babies become more accepting of it as adolescents…on a more subtle level our research indicates you’re making alcohol taste better. It’s an acquired taste, it’s tough to just drink a straight eighty proof liquor. You have to condition a preference…it never really tastes good but through fetal exposure it tastes less bad.” Text by Jenny Xu; Photos by Minh Tam Nguyen; Art by Joanne Raptis

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rECIPES

22


T

he Barnard College Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) connects Barnard students with Bushwick’s Rancho La Baraja Farms for weekly installments of organic produce. Students sign up in groups of two to five to receive delivered groceries for ten weeks, with Sunday pickups outside Barnard Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If five friends split the $235 fee, the cost is $47 per person, or $4.70 per week. For college students on a budget, the CSA is a cost efficient way to support sustainability on campus. CSA farmers do not use pesticides and minimize the amount of fossil fuels used to harvest and transport their crop. Often, typical grocery produce travels an average of 1500 miles before reaching your plate, and farmers receive only 10 cents for every retail food dollar. The CSA addresses these issues by curbing travel and packaging costs, eliminating the middleman, and supporting fair treatment of farmers. Each of the following recipes involves at least two CSA items from one Sunday delivery, involve minimal effort, and put each vegetable to use—even the kohlrabi! 23


Sunday’s Delivery One acorn squash one bunch of radishes one bundle of cilantro one cauliflower three tomatoes two ears of corn one bunch of scallions two Sicilian eggplants

Mushroom and Quinoa Risotto Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Method

1 tablespoon butter 1-2 small cloves garlic, chopped ½ yellow onion, sliced 2 portobello and 2 shitaake mushrooms, or 4-5 mushrooms of choice 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 cup cooked yellow quinoa Chopped cilantro ¼ cup traditional hummus Optional: spinach or kale 1 cup white quinoa, cooked ½ fresh lemon Pepper and fresh grated parmesan to taste

Sauté garlic in butter over low heat for two minutes. Add onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Combine with chopped mushrooms. Cover and let simmer for two minutes, adding water or butter if mushrooms become dry. Add balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Cover and let simmer until mixture reaches desired consistency,about 4-5 minutes. Add quinoa and chopped cilantro,as well as chopped kale or spinach if desired. Stir in hummus. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over dish. Serve warm topped with parmesan and pepper.

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Acorn Squash Soup

Adapted from “Blogging Over-Thyme” Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Method

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small clove garlic, chopped 3 small carrots, chopped 1 small yellow onion or ½ large yellow onion 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced 4 cups vegetable broth ¼ cup coconut or unsweetened almond milk ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon curry powder Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes, then add the carrots and onion for four minutes. Combine with squash, sweet potato and vegetable broth. Add nutmeg, ginger and curry. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for about 25 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Add coconut or almond milk, and spices. Purée the soup with a blender or immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Serve with plain Greek yogurt for added tanginess.

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Lime, Corn, and Bean Salad Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Method

1 ear corn, boiled and kernels sliced off 1 can black beans, drained and washed 2 scallions, chopped 1 small tomato, chopped ½ avocado, chopped ½ cup cilantro 3 tablespoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice Salt and pepper to taste

Combine corn, beans, scallion, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro into a large mixing bowl. Combine olive oil, garlic powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Whisk ingredients with a fork to create a dressing. Either layer the salad ingredients in a mason jar or toss in a large bowl to evenly distribute dressing. Serve cold.

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Text by Quincy DeYoung; Photos by Bethany Wong


Pickled Radish and Kohlrabi Ingredients

Method

¼ teaspoon coriander seeds ¼ teaspoon peppercorn 2 teaspoons salt ¼ cup water ¼ cup granulated sugar ½ cup vinegar 1 bunch radishes 1 kohlrabi Optional spices: 1 bay or sage leaf, or 1 teaspoon cloves

Combine all ingredients except for radish and kohlrabi in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice radishes and kohlrabi (be sure to remove the skin from the kohlrabi). Place sliced vegetables into a mason jar, filling the jar two-thirds of the way. Pour liquid from saucepan into the jar to completely cover vegetables. Let cool for 20 minutes. Seal and let sit for 10 more minutes. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve in sandwiches, on veggie burgers, or atop Polenta and Parsley Crusted Eggplant!

Polenta and Parsley Crusted Eggplant Adapted from Food52 Serves 3-5

Ingredients

Method

1 eggplant ½ cup unsweetened almond milk 1 cup polenta ¼ cup chopped parsley ¼ teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon garlic powder Salt Pepper Optional topping: Sundried tomato hummus

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thinly slice eggplant. Sprinkle salt over individual pieces and leave out to dry for 5-7 minutes. Pour almond milk into one wide rimmed bowl. Place polenta, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika and parsley into another wide-rimmed bowl. Toss well. Dip eggplant slices in almond milk, being careful to cover both sides. Dip eggplant in polenta until fully covered. Place on parchment covered or nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the eggplant over after 15 minutes. Once finished, the polenta should look tan and crisp. Serve immediately, topped with hummus if so desired.

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review A Taste of Southern Cuisine in Harlem Amy Ruth’s boasts a menu of Southern classics including fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, and their signature dish: chicken and waffles. “The Rev. Al Sharpton” is a classic combination: crisp fried exterior, tender chicken, and buttery waffle, all topped with maple syrup. And it’s all a mere 15 minute walk from campus. Amy Ruth’s is located on 116th St. & Malcolm X Blvd. For more information, please call (212) 280-8779 or visit amyruthsharlem.com.

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Text by Pooja Kathail; Photos by Minh Tam Nguyen

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review

Text by Andre Paiva; Photos by Minh Tam Nguyen

the burger trials The minimalist interior design of Umami Burger draws your attention to the restaurant’s sole decoration: a large portrait of a nondescript, elderly Japanese man. This is Kikunae Ikeda, the Japanese scientist responsible for the discovery and coinage of “umami,” the savory flavor that makes up the fifth taste on our palates. Back in 1908, Professor Ikeda experimented with kombu seaweed until he succeeded in extracting glutamates, salts of an amino acid, and the source of the savory taste he sought to identify. More recent research has confirmed that the interaction of

30

these glutamates with ribonucleotides releases an assortment of (quite literally) mouthwatering flavors for our consumption. Now fast forward to 2009: one Adam Fleischman spends a month trapped in his secret basement kitchen, tasting one awful concoction after another until he finally emerges with a supposedly “industry changing” blend of umami-enhancing sauces to be used in his soon-to-be burger chain. But does this calculated approach really mesh with one of America’s most timeless and ultimately rather simple recipes? The taste of Umami’s burgers are a little more cohesive than


its competition’s—instead of producing a nice mixture of different tastes (say from tomatoes, pickles, mayo, onions), the ingredients of their productions coalesce into a single note (which, to be honest, feels more like a symphony). Unlike most burger joints, Umami offers over a dozen different sandwiches, but don’t panic: all are crafted with the umami flavor in mind, and if our sampling was anything to go by, all are solid choices for burger lovers. The bun, stamped with the chain’s bold, tell-tale “U,” is ever so slightly sweet, and the medium-rare patty is a charred but juicy centerpiece for each umami exhibition. The Manly Burger earns its name perhaps a bit too well: the flavorful mixture of bacon, cheese and onions overpowers the special umami flavor. This might make it more familiar to fans of bacon in their cheeseburgers, but the greasiness is a tad overwhelming, even for a burger. The Truffle Especiale, on the other hand, provided savory umami purity. The oozing fried egg might seem over the top at first glance, but the truffle-infused butter and arugula create a more subtle arrangement to complement the juicy patty. This wasn’t just the better burger: it was Umami precision at its best, delivered to our table of skeptics. For those simply in search of a lighter sandwich, the Ahi Tuna Burger proved a solid alternative to the beef selection. The tuna patty is pleasantly tender, and its flavor was much lighter than that of the meat-based burgers. Our burger, however, had effectively no trace of the wasabi supposedly among its ingredients. Ultimately, no one really needs science to understand Umami Burger—your tongue alone will suffice to testify to the goodness of Fleischman’s test kitchen. Umami Burger is located on 432 Avenue of the Americas. For more information, please call (212) 677-8626 or visit http://www.umamiburger. com.

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review

Confessions of a Pastry Lover

Text by Omar Halawa; Photos by Brandon Chin


After poring over recipe after recipe for pies of all shapes and sizes, I have come to know a thing or two about pie pastry. Traditionally, American pie shells are lined in a deep dish to hold a lot of filling, and come out flaky and crisp when baked. They are made by cutting cold fat (butter, vegetable shortening, or a mixture of the two) into flour, sugar, and salt. Just enough cold water is added to bind the mixture together. The process of cutting fat into the dry ingredients is essential. If the fat is not completely blended with the flour, it causes sheets of pastry to separate when baked, creating the desired visible layers in the crust.

The bourbon chocolate pecan pie was less successful in achieving balance. Though the sweet chocolate added depth to the gooey molasses flavor of the pecan pie, the bitter bourbon overpowered all the other flavors in this slice.

When I ventured to Williamsburg, Brooklyn with my photographer Brandon one beautiful Friday afternoon, I had one clear goal in mind: to judge the pie crust at Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a small Southern comfort food joint famous for their fried chicken and pies. The waiter recommended the apple pie, the sour cherry and pear pie à la mode, and the bourbon pecan pie off the dessert menu. We ordered all three.

Pies ‘n’ Thighs is located on 166 S. 4th St., Brooklyn. For more information, please call (347) 529-6090 or visit http:// piesnthighs.com.

Though I’m still combing the city’s restaurants, diners, and pie shops for a crust that meets both my textural and flavor ideals, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, with its enticing smells of Southern comfort food, did win me over. I will most certainly be back to find out what makes their fried chicken so crispy...could it be the buttermilk?

I took my first bite off of the edge of the pie slice, where the crust is thickest. Texturally, the crust was brilliant. It was crunchy, crisp, and so flaky I could have sworn it was a piece of flattened puff pastry. Yet the rich, satisfying taste of butter that I love about pie pastry was notably missing. Perhaps the lack of buttery taste was meant to direct our attention to the finely-tuned fillings of these flaky shells. In the apple pie, the apples were moist and sweet, and held their shape very well. The pie was served atop a couple slices of cheddar cheese, which cut through the richness of the pie nicely with its salty, sharp bite. The sour cherry and pear pie was also very balanced. The mellow pears toned down the characteristic sourness of the juicy cherries.

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review

Shebas and Sheikhs in Williamsburg Text by Jenny Xu; Photos by Minh Tam Nguyen

Still holding onto your glad rags from that Gatsby party? Bring them out for Maison Premiere, a cocktail and seafood restaurant with the air of Golden Age solar. Pop by for Happy Hour (Monday-Friday, 4p.m.-7p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 11a.m.-1p.m.) for dollar oysters served upon elegant salvers. If you’re still hungry, partake in a light dinner followed by fascinating absinthe cocktails as night falls and waiters set out charming potrtable gas lamps.

Maison Premiere is located on 298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. For more information, please call (347) 335-0446 or visit maisonpremiere.com.

There always seems to be a dapper young waiter in a waistcoat behind the nearest fern, prepared to cater to your whims.

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M

From L-R, counterclockwise: Drip Pontarlier absinthe, Casablanca, Imperial Opal

l Variety of oysters ranging from New York to Prince Edward Island

Uni pasta

Pork Belly, squid, squid ink and parsnip puree

e

Madeleines and canneles 35


Photo by Tara Mohtadi


Ing

rECIPES

f i l o e r : P t n e i d re

Quinoa Text and photos by Tara Mohtadi; Art by Joanne Raptis

Quinoa is more than just another health trend. It’s full of protein and fiber, and is quick and easy to make. Take 15 minutes on a Sunday to stir up a big batch of this hearty grain, and you can make a week’s worth of meals in no time at all. 38


Basic Quinoa Serves 4-6, makes 6 cups Toasting the grains adds extra flavor and removes some of the natural bitterness of quinoa. Ingredients

Method

2 teaspoons oil 1½ cups quinoa 1 teaspoon salt

Over medium high heat, heat the oil in a medium-sized pot. Add quinoa carefully (it may splatter) and stir for 1 minute, or until grains are slightly toasted. Add 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and keep covered. After 5 minutes, uncover and stir lightly with a fork. Serve warm, or store in the fridge for leftovers throughout the week.

Quinoa Pancakes Serves 1-2, makes 3 pancakes Healthy and filling, these can even be made the night before. Ingredients ½ cup cooked quinoa ¼ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon cinnamon Pinch of salt 2 teaspoons sweetener of choice (brown sugar, honey, maple syrup) 1 large egg ¼ milk of choice (skim, soy, almond) ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract Butter or nonstick cooking spray Optional: ¼ cup chocolate chips or berries

Method In a bowl, whisk dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla. Add wet mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. Stir in ¼ cup of chocolate chips or berries at this point. In a skillet over medium heat, add enough butter or cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom. Fill a ¼ measuring cup with batter, and pour into skillet, leaving room between pancakes. Cook until bubbles appear on top and around edges, and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, about 1 minute. Serve topped with fresh fruit, maple syrup, honey, whipped cream or peanut butter.

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Quinoa Patties Serves 3 These quinoa patties are more than just your average veggie burger. They’re perfect inside a sandwich, next to a salad, or just on their own. Ingredients

Method

Patties: ½ cup cooked quinoa, at room temperature 1 egg, beaten ¼ teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper 1 lemon 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, cilantro, chives) 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons grated or crumbled cheese of your choice ¼ cup finely chopped red onion 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoons oil

In a bowl, combine quinoa, egg, salt, pepper, zest of half of the lemon, herbs, flour and cheese. Stir with fork until well combined, and set aside. Over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil to a pan. Sauté onions until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Stir onions and garlic into quinoa mixture. At this point, take a third of the mixture and try forming a patty. It should stay together, but feel moist. If it falls apart, sprinkle in a little bit more flour. Form into 1-inch thick patties and set on a plate. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Test if oil is ready by adding a pinch of the quinoa mixture. If little bubbles form around the quinoa, it is ready. Add patties to skillet, leaving some room between each. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until the bottom sides are browned. Lightly flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Serve warm or topped with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce : ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt 1 lemon 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped Freshly ground pepper

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers Serves 1-2, makes 2 stuffed halves Method

Ingredients 1 large red bell pepper, halved lengthwise 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste ¼ cup minced red or white onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1 large tomato, chopped ½ cup cooked quinoa 2 tablespoons chopped parsley Pinch of chili flakes ¼ cup grated cheese of choice

Preheat oven to 450° F. Remove the inside ribs of each pepper half with fingers or a knife. Place halves cut side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast until slightly darkened, and softened, 15-20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. While peppers are roasting, sauté onions in remaining teaspoon of oil. Cook until softened and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds. Stir in chopped tomato, cover and cook for 3 more minutes. Pour mixture into bowl. Add quinoa, parsley and chili flakes. Add additional ingredients like beans, cooked chicken or ground beef, or sautéed vegetables at this point. Once the roasted peppers are cool enough to handle, divide quinoa mixture between the halves. Pack in tightly with fingers. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Turn oven on broil setting, and place under broiler until cheese melts. Serve immediately.


Quinoa Bowls

Quinoa Cookies

Serves 1

Serves 5-10, makes about 10 cookies Make a batch of these cookies on a Friday to have throughout the weekend. They’re healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert.

Switch up the quantities and ingredients based on what you like and what you have on hand. Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients

Ingredients 3 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers 1 tablespoon chopped sundried tomatoes ¼ cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese ½ cup cooked quinoa 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon dried or fresh oregano ½ teaspoon dried or fresh thyme Pinch of chili flakes to taste Salt to taste

¾ cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup-cooked quinoa ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Optional mix-ins: ¼ cup desiccated unsweetened coconut, raisins, or chopped nuts

Method

Method

Mix roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, beans, feta and quinoa. Whisk together oil, herbs, chili flakes and salt and pour over quinoa. Serve warm or cold.

Preheat oven to 375° F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, mix butter and sugars together until creamy and light. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in quinoa, chocolate chips, and optional mixins. Place balls of dough onto baking sheet, leaving at least an inch of space between each. Bake until golden, 11-14 minutes.

Experiment with these tasty variations, adding ingredients to taste: Thai Quinoa Bowl Mix in cubed tofu or sliced chicken, chopped cashews or peanuts and chopped cilantro. Dress with lime zest, lime juice, soy sauce, dash of honey, dash of sesame oil. Tabbouleh Mix in chopped cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, fresh mint. Dress with extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste. Quinoa Burrito Bowl Mix in minced onion, black beans, chopped cilantro, defrosted frozen corn. Dress with extra virgin olive oil, pinch of chili flakes, chili powder, lime juice, salt to taste. Top with sour cream or Greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, salsa, or grated cheese.


review

Dinner in the Dark Good food, fine wine, and free massages…sounds good so far, right? Now kick it up a notch–you’re blindfolded. This is all part of a typical Dinner in the Dark, Camaje Bistro & Lounge’s $85 bimonthly, multicourse meal. Prior to entering the restaurant, diners are given a mini orientation about what to expect–except for what’s on the menu. In the first moments, expect glasses and utensils to fall. Once everyone realizes sight is no longer accessible, attention to smell is heightened. Diners dig in, slowly moving food around their mouths. The vegetal freshness of cucumber, pork seasoned with smoked paprika and the distinctive flare of cumin tap into the taste receptors on the sides and roofs of their mouths. For the more daring, Camaje certainly holds true to its style of fine dining with a unique twist. Camaje Bistro & Lounge is located on 85 MacDougal St. For more information, please call (212) 673-8184 or visit camaje.com.

Text by Janice Fong; Art by Wanlin Xie

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Spaghetti Squash

Quick Dorm Room Dinners

Text by Sophia Rouze; Photo by Rafaella Schor Serves 4

METHOD

Put away the pasta and jarred marinara. With almost as few ingredients and nearly as little prep time, you can make something satisfying and healthy for a quick and budget-friendly weeknight meal. A decadent ice cream is for dessert, no ice cream maker needed.

rECIPES INGREDIENTS 1 medium spaghetti squash Optional toppings: Âź cup Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon cayenne Or 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Grease or use a nonstick 9 by 9 inch pan. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out squash seeds and fibers and place into a separate bowl filled with water, allowing seeds to float to top. Collect seeds, wash thoroughly, and place on the pan. Place the two halves of squash next to the seeds and bake for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Let the squash cool for a few minutes before scraping vertically with a fork. The consistency of scraped squash should resemble angel hair pasta. For a healthy twist on mac and cheese, mix parmesan and cayenne in with the squash. For something on the sweeter side, add cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve garnished with roasted squash seeds. Serve warm. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Coffee & Donuts Ice Cream Text by Caitlin Harrington-Smith Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS 1 pint heavy whipping cream 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons concentrated coffee METHOD 1 cake donut, coarsely crumbled Refrigerate all ingredients for at least one hour before assembly. In a large bowl, beat cream on high with an electric mixer (or a whisk and elbow grease) until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in condensed milk, coffee, and two-thirds of the crumbled donut. Pour mixture into a freezer-safe dish and sprinkle top with remaining donut crumbs. Cover and freeze for six hours or until firm before serving.

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Art by Rachel Hsu

Profile for Culinarian Magazine

Culinarian | Volume 2 | Issue 1 | Food as Science  

Culinarian | Volume 2 | Issue 1 | Food as Science  

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