The Burr Coffee Grinder Showdown

Our weekend breakfast ritual usually includes a carefully prepared cup of coffee made with freshly ground coffee beans. The first coffee grinder I ever purchased was a pretty cheap $20 USD grinder from Krups (this one), which I used mostly for French press or single-serve pour-over. The Krups was quick and compact but the result was always inconsistent.

Eventually my husband and I switched to a six-cup Chemex. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we wanted to graduate up to a grinder that could produce a more consistently coarse grind. But we weren’t quite ready (nor did we want to shell out the cash) to go all-in on an electric counter top grinder. So in early 2015 we upgraded from the Krups to a hand-crank Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill (100g), which retails at a reasonable ~$40 USD.

The Hario Skerton was a vast improvement over the Krups. The grinds are much more consistently sized, but man can the thirty minutes of hand-grinding put a damper on an otherwise lazy Sunday morning. It took two years of (un)happily hand-grinding before we decided to upgrade again. Continue reading

Crispy Oven-Fried Jamaican Jerk Party Wings

Like others who enjoy the Sunday NFL ritual, we have been in pursuit of the perfect chicken wing for a while now. We’ve had great results with Kenji Lopez’s recipe for The Ultimate Extra-Crispy Double-Fried Chicken Wings (first confit, then crisp ’em up). But for an alternative to frying, we’ve discovered a recipe that yields wings as crispy as fried without the fuss of a pot of hot oil.

Alton Brown’s recipe for Buffalo Wings are steamed, chilled, then baked to a crisp. We were somewhat skeptical with the process since we’d never had baked wings that were actually crispy, but the steaming of the wings renders the fat & prepares the wings for a good crisping in the oven.

Instead of the traditional Frank’s hot and butter mixture for buffalo wings, we used a mixture of our favorite Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning and butter. These were crispy, spicy, salty, delicious jerk wings. Enjoy!

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Ramen_Lord’s Tonkotsu Ramen with Shoyu Tare

We have a mild obsession with Tonkotsu ramen. A few months back, we made our first ramen broth at home using the David Chang/Momofuku recipe – the one from his book, not online or Lucky Peach, which calls for 5 lbs meaty pork bones and 4 lbs chicken. After a weekend of boiling bones and roasting chicken backs, and cleaning an endless stream of dishes, it was a let-down. It didn’t have anything special going for it; it just sort of tasted like chicken, and the veggies were far too prominent. The tare that went along with it was just sort of fine, but seemed only to exist to mask the inadequacy of the broth, as opposed to enhancing it or adding another dimension to the bowl as a solid tare should do. I’m glad we tried it, but we won’t be making that again. Continue reading

Happy New Year! Bonjon Gourmet’s Vegetarian Miso Ramen

You do not need to be a vegetarian to love this miso ramen. When combined with a miso taré, the dashi in this recipe delivers richness and satisfying flavor with minimal effort. Just gather a few pieces of kombu, a handful of dried shiitakes, and slice up a couple ‘coins’ of ginger (put away that peeler!), and steep in boiled water for up to an hour. Spend some time at the supermarket picking out a quality miso with a flavor profile you’re looking for—sweet, or salty—and you’ve won half the battle.

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