Homemade Ramen

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We have a sad state of affairs here in the US of A. It is widely accepted that ramen, which in reality is a tasty treat that punches you in the face with savory goodness, is a packaged POS loaded with sodium and MSG. Oh sure, some clever folks will take the noodles, toss the “flavor packet” (ie, poopie pouch), add some julienned carrots and various vegetable florets, and call themselves the next Emeril. And this is appealing because that fleeting mistress Time beckons everyone to do other things in life, rather than spend a few more minutes crafting a meal that’s actually worth eating.
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Kosheri: Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice

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I am in the throws of an intimate relationship with Ottolenghi. I take it to bed, fall asleep with it in my arms, and think about it when I’m strolling through my day. As much as I hate the use of this word to describe anything related to food–it sounds so damn pretentious and snobby– the book is approachable (ahh, there it is. And now you can hear the local sommelier going on some preachy diatribe about approachable tannins and relatable mouth feel..blah blah blah). But in all seriousness, Yotam Ottolenghi & Co simply deliver recipes and techniques from an unfamiliar culture to me in a way that excites and delights. So frequently I find cook books to be an exclusive conversation between a chef and his mirror, an arrogant array of feel-good notes about how great that sourdough starter was one time at band camp. I do not like that.
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Caramelized Bacon Chutney

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I disagree with hipster folk on most things. Their garb (the ironic floral patterns that look like Aunt Mildred’s couch); their stupid obsession with musicians that have names like “Furry Fire Ants” or “Gassy Lampshade”; all that damn plaid. But one thing I can share an enthusiastic fist bump with them over is artisanal, fancy as hell foods that were originally designed to be simple and straightforward. Hipsters have taken them all to a ridiculous level of detail and made them wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am delicious. Linguica corn dogs, julienned beef cheek, pickled brussel sprouts doused in a locally produced IPA, etc etc. They’re crazy, but I’ll take it. With a side of duck fat potatoes.

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