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Mentaiko Spaghetti Is Creamy, Briny, Rich and Spicy

Good morning. Tarako is a Japanese word meaning “children of cod.” It describes the salt-cured roe sacs of Alaskan pollock, a fish in the cod family, and it is a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It’s found in Korean cooking, too, as well as in some French and Russian dishes: salty and rich with umami, tasting more of the sea than of, like, fish. You can find it at big-box Asian supermarkets, packaged in frozen trays alongside its spicier marinated cousin, mentaiko, a word that translates a little more directly, as “children of Alaskan pollock.”

The two ingredients are worth seeking out this weekend, the mentaiko in particular, so that you can make J. Kenji López-Alt’s new recipe for mentaiko spaghetti (above) on Saturday night and whipped cream cheese with mentaiko for breakfast on Sunday, to spread on your favorite bagels.

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I get it if that’s not in the cards for you, particularly if it’s hard to find tarako or mentaiko where you live. Glorious ingredients abound right now, across the nation: strawberries for spoon cake; asparagus to grill with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then serve under chopped hard-boiled eggs; wild-caught salmon with green goddess dressing, new potatoes and snap peas.

But, hey, whatever’s for dinner on Saturday night, whatever you eat for breakfast on Sunday, I think it would be stellar if the last meal of the weekend could be fried chicken, a meal my father made at least one summer Sunday a month when I was small, and which never failed to make me feel as if the season could last forever.

The possibilities are endless: adobo-fried chicken; Nashville-style hot fried chicken; Korean fried chicken; Indiana fried chicken; even a tofu-fried tofu that’s a worthy simulacrum of the kind made with bird. Serve with potato salad or macaroni salad, with coleslaw, with biscuits and strawberries and cream.

There are many thousands more recipes for the weekend and the week that follow waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. You need a subscription to read them, as I’ve noted before. Subscriptions support this work that we love to do. I hope, if you haven’t done it already, that you will subscribe today. thank you!

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Now, it’s nothing to do with Boursin or tamari (and I’m late to it to boot), but if you haven’t read Anthony Doerr’s 2014 novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” you ought to and soon, before it comes to Netflix as a limited series this fall. Those Pulitzer judges were on to something.

I’ve been mesmerized by a weird new cookbook from the film and television company A24, “Scrounging.” The recipes take their cues from classic films — and then take them in strange directions, a few toward the classically delicious. So a baked potato dipped in crushed Vicodin, inspired by “The Martian.” Libby Mae Brown’s chicken wing with half a Marlboro red, a nod to “Waiting for Guffman.” I’m still puzzling it all out, and there’s enjoyment in that.

Yes, of course, “The Bear,” on Hulu.

Finally, here’s Alex Lahey’s “You’ll Never Get Your Money Back,” which you should listen to real loud while you’re cooking. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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The Hennessy Paloma: National Cognac Day

Did you know June 4th is National Cognac Day? Well you do now. We celebrate all holidays around here and especially alcoholidays that give us another excuse to drink. Traditionally Cognac is more of a warm weather spirit, so it was a bit surprising to find out its being celebrated in June, a Summer month we usually associate with tequila, rum, or even gin. But we’re all for it. And to show how versatile it can be, we’re sharing a recipe courtesy of Hennessy cognac that puts a cognac spin on a popular summer cocktail that traditionally uses Tequila, the Hennessy Paloma. Made with Hennessy VSOP, this easy to make cocktail is light and sparkling, with a refreshing touch of grapefruit. It’s the perfect sip for brunch, at-home gatherings or anytime.

The Hennessy Paloma

The Hennessy Paloma Cocktail

  • 2 oz Hennessy VSOP
  • 0.75 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz Soda water
  • 0.25 oz Agave syrup
  • 1 Slice of grapefruit for garnish

For more cocktails and recipes, be sure to visit or check out some of our previously featured cognac, and summer cocktails.


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Jennifer Garner Made a Cooking Video, But Everyone Cared About Was Her Portable Light

jennifer garner, jennifer garner kitchen

Shop Jennifer Garner’s Go-To Lantern ASAPGetty Images

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  • Jennifer Garner recently posted another one of her “Pretend Cooking Show” videos on Instagram—and that’s everything.

  • This time, the 51-year-old star made brown butter and sage paste—with the aforementioned sage hailing from her garden. And as she walked out to harvest them, eagle-eyed fans noticed that she didn’t use a beat-up ‘ol flashlight.

  • Instead, she used a swanky-looking portable LED lamp. And I know just where to find it—plus some more affordable dupes.

As far as I’m concerned, Jennifer Garner can do no wrong. Until nearly a week ago, when the 51-year-old star and mother posted a video of herself quite literally foraging fresh ingredients for a homemade pasta recipe, we simply thought of her as an actress. Now, she’s basically a chef, gardener, and storyteller. (Just be sure to listen to her Instagram with sound.)

Here’s the thing: I love a good bowl of freshly prepared pasta as much as anyone. But, as a design editor, I was paying as much attention to her kitchen and garden as we were to the spaghetti twirl. As any pasta aficionado knows, the dish isn’t complete without fresh herbs, and for Garner’s creation, she opted for straight sage from her garden. It was quite dark out when Garner headed to her greenhouse, so she used a portable lantern to light the way, and, let us just say, I wasn’t the only one who felt like I needed it too. The comments were full of fans asking where they could find one of their very own. A little design detective work has me pretty darn sure it’s Menu’s Carrie Portable LED lamp.

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I may not be using one to cut herbs in my greenhouse while I cook freshly prepared spaghetti, but a portable light does come in handy—especially now that summer is around the corner and backyard gatherings extend late into the night. A lamp like this is much more stylish than a flashlight or the traditional lanterns you may remember from childhood camping trips in the woods. The only potential issue is the price; a Menu similar to the lamp Garner’s holding goes for $269.95. If that’s not in your herb-foraging-tools budget, you may not be out of luck!

There are quite a few more affordable options that look as good as their light is bright. If you want to get ready for summer in style, peep a few of our picks below, find a favorite, and let there be light.

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Review #125: Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond

I can only judge from the pictures, as I’ve yet to visit in person, but visually, Heaven Hill is a weird place. The distillery sits amidst more than a dozen MASSIVE, 7 story “rickhouses,” conjuring less the image of a “family run” distillery, and more the image of a Soviet apartment block, albiet with grass vs. frozen tundra between each building.

Heaven Hill is one of the world’s largest distilleries. By volume, they’re the United States’ seventh largest distillery, and the largest independent bourbon distillery. They’re based in Bardstown, near the center of Kentucky. Heaven Hill is near Jim Beam, and the two distilleries have a shared history. Heaven Hill was founded by a businessman who immediately enlisted members of the Beam family to help run the distillery.

Even if you haven’t heard of Heaven Hill, if you’re a drinker, you’ve no doubt sampled some of their brands. Henry McKenna, Bernheim Original, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville Rye, Elijah Craig, Mellow Corn, and Evan Williams are part of their stable. Heaven Hill used to release a 6 year old Bottled in Bond bourbon only in Kentucky. In 2019 the company started releasing a new Bottled in Bond whiskey, now aged for 7 years, and no longer at the ridiculous $12-$15 price point it used to command in KY.

Tasting Notes

Nose: rich oak, cinnamon, cigar, vanilla.

Palate: caramel molasses and bourbeny goodness, vanilla, toffee, butterscotch attack on start. Some smoky quality on the back palate. Smooth fade into caramel.

Finish: unsweetened cocoa nibs

Quick overview of our scoring system

Additional Information

About Heaven Hill

  • Heaven Hill is home to a number of brands, including: Henry McKenna, Bernheim Original, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville Rye, Elijah Craig, Mellow Corn, and Evan Williams.
  • Located in the middle of Kentucky in Bardstown.
  • Originally started in 1935.

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30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents

They say if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. But the same can be applied to kitchens. Learning your way around the pots and pans takes a great deal of time and effort, and it’s much easier when there’s an expert to guide you. Like your dad. Or grandma.

Recently, Reddit user u/OoopsieWhoopsie made a post on the platform, asking everyone to reveal their most prized family cooking tips. And some people agreed to do it; sharing really is caring. From getting the most out of your leftovers to adding an extra boost to your dishes, keep scrolling to check them out!

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents My grandma would save the butter wrappers in the fridge and use the left over butter on them for greasing dishes when she baked. I can’t help but stockpile wrappers, it’s really so handy.

spottedsushi , sea_wave Report

Don’t hollow out a bread bowl; shove the inner bread down to create a thicker bottom. This will prevent leaks and sogginess.

jeff_the_nurse Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents Putting a little fish sauce into a stew or sauce that needs umami. It’s basically liquid anchovies.

gwaydms , jules Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents My Uncle Arthur’s tip is “clean while you cook!”, and he will not let you forget it, either.
Not really sure if its a tip but my Papa Searcy used to microwave bacon on old newspapers…it was always delicious! In hindsight it’s probably bad for you and you should never do it. I have weird memories of the smell of newspapers and bacon.

dickle_berry_pie , cottonbro studio Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents Add a pinch of nutmeg to anything with dairy in it, you won’t taste the nutmeg but it makes the dairy richer and tastes better.

llcucf80 , Brian Snelson Report

Cook them onions – cook them onions loooong n slow. Then add tomatoes, cook that tomato, cook that tomato loooooooong and slow.

niknikn Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents Sprinkle sea salt on cookies right before or right after baking. The extra salt brings out the flavors more and helps balance out the sweetness.

Darwin343 , Maria Petersson Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents Bacon always comes out better if you cook it in an oven, and it’s important to put the bacon in before turning the oven on; preheating the oven will make the bacon stick to the cookie sheet

bento8621 , Polina Tankilevitch Report

You’re probably using too much flour in your yeast dough. Many recipes say it shouldn’t be sticky. On the contrary, you want it a little yucky and sticky before you let it rest. That’s how you get yummy fluffy stuff that doesn’t dry out within hours.

Also, to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, don’t use flour. You use vegetable oil

Theawkwardmochi Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents Keep in mind I’m from a very Midwestern Scandinavian family. Cream of mushroom soup is kind of a universal solution for improving any dish.

batmanandboobs93 , Mike Mozart Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents If a dish feels flat it’s often the acidity that’s missing. Dash of White Modena vinegar is the secret to my red sauce for example, even though it’s inherently acidic.

highpsitsi , Ksenia Chernaya Report

My oma would add plain seltzer to her matzah balls… she said it made them fluffier.

jennenen0410 Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents Add citrus zest to enhance flavor and acidity, especially in sauces/salsas…desserts too!

Salt your water liberally when boiling pasta/potatoes, and blanching vegetables

nattydr3 , Nathan Lemon Report

Rub a lemon wedge on the inside of your mixing bowl when you’re making meringue. It works better than cream of tartar and you’ll get a more stable meringue.

TheLadyEve Report

I thought adding cocoa powder to chili was pretty common.

I like to add some apple cider to baked beans and a bit of cinnamon to chocolate cake.

Bluemonogi Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents MSG makes just about everything better. I add it to the salt mixture when I’m seasoning meats. It also helps make ripe tomatoes pop by accentuating the naturally occurring MSG, keeping that in mind when you’re making tomato salads and tomato sandwiches.

wreckyourpod , Douglas Muth Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents My family owns a catering business, starting from my grandparents who came to the states from Portugal. One thing I’ve learned that greatly improves my meals is to add butter to your noodles (for saucy pasta like Spaghetti)

OoopsieWhoopsie , Lisa Photios Report

Adding Worcestershire sauce, a bit of soy sauce, and Dijon mustard to your pan-fried chicken livers would ascend them into deity (not to forget the caramelized onions, chicken stock stock, garlic, and mushrooms).

aposhig Report

30 Priceless Cooking Tips That Were Passed Down To People By Their Parents, Grandparents, And Great-Grandparents A really good sharp knife and running the onion over water can help prevent the teary eyes. (Also holding a piece of bread in your mouth).

OoopsieWhoopsie , Ron Lach Report

Note: this post originally had 58 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

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The induction range may be a homeowner’s next big cooking upgrade

Boston, MA – September 20: Water boiling on a Wolf Induction cooktop. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston Globe | Boston Globe | Getty Images

As energy efficiency goals and financial incentives proliferate, more consumers are warming up to the benefits of induction cooking.

Induction is not a new technology, but US consumers, unlike their European counterparts, have been slow to adopt, according to Rachelle Boucher, senior lead of culinary events and experiences at the Building Decarbonization Coalition, a non-profit that seeks to remove fossil fuels from buildings. Popularity within the US is now growing, for several reasons, including consumers’ growing concern for energy efficiency and safety. Induction cooking is poised to become even more prevalent thanks to financial incentives that make adoption more compelling.

There’s a lot of confusion around induction, however, leaving many consumers wondering how and if it could work for them. Here are some things to know about induction cooking.

How an induction cooktop works

Induction cooking relies on electro-magnetic energy. A coil of tightly wound copper wire beneath the glass cooktop replaces the traditional gas or electric burner. Turning on the control knob sends electro-magnetic energy through the coil, making a magnetic connection with most cookware. This causes the pot or pan to heat up, which in turn cooks the food.

Energy efficiency benefits

Conventional residential cooktops, which typically use gas or resistance heating elements to transfer energy, are roughly 32% and 75% to 80% efficient, respectively. That’s according to ENERGY STAR, the government-backed program that promotes energy efficiency. Residential induction cooking tops, however, transfer energy with about 85% efficiency, according to ENERGY STAR data.

In addition, because the cookware is a heat source, the cooktop surface stays cool to the touch, which means less heat is lost to the surrounding air. This offers an additional energy efficiency benefit — reduced workload for a home’s HVAC system.

Many pro chefs prefer it

While conventional electric ranges have often gotten a bad rap from cooks, professional chefs often favor induction cooking. For one, food cooks more quickly using induction versus gas or a traditional electric cooktop.

Everything else being equal, if a person boils water with a gas range it would take six to eight minutes, whereas it might take 12 to 15 minutes with traditional electric, said Christopher A. Galarza, founder and culinary sustainability consultant at Forward Dining Solutions, which develops and implements commercial electric kitchens. Using an induction cooktop, a person could accomplish the same task in 90 seconds to two minutes, he said. The taste of the food isn’t altered using induction, he said, and cleanup is quicker.

Another benefit to using induction: only the bottom or the sides of the pan get hot. “Heat transfer still happens, but there’s no food touching the handle, so the handle doesn’t get hot,” Galarza said.

Induction also addresses the safety and environmental implications of cooking with gas, Galarza said.

The health risks from cooking with gas stoves, explained

Costs can be high, but are coming down

An induction range typically costs more upfront than traditional electric or gas — retail prices run into the thousands of dollars — but consumers also need to consider safety factors and future energy efficiency savings, which can be hard to quantify, Boucher said.

What’s more, prices for induction units have been edging down and there are comparable options, said Sam Calisch, who leads technology development at Channing Street Copper Company, which sells a battery-equipped induction range.

Prices will vary depending on factors such as the manufacturer, burner output and other features. Current cooking setup, and whether a complete kitchen remodel is being done, are also factors. For a home that currently has an all-in-one unit combining cooktop and oven, the whole unit would need to be replaced with what’s called an induction range, which includes an electric oven (gas oven is not an option). If the cooktop is currently separate from the oven and there is no larger remodel underway, then it could be a less expensive upgrade, just the induction cooktop, which can range in price from around $800 to $2,700, based on features and quality and retailer.

Carbon Switch, which covers home energy, surveyed the best-selling all-in-one range models at Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy, and its analysis showed prices between $1,100 to $4,400 for popular models. Calisch said he is seeing lower-end induction range options for around $1,000.

Potential rebates and incentives can help

Rebates and incentives from federal, state and electric utilities can offset some of the cost, said Madeline Fleisher, an Ohio-based environmental and energy lawyer who runs a clean-energy website.

Notably, the Inflation Reduction Act — the massive climate, tax and health legislation enacted last year — includes $4.5 billion in funding for states and tribal governments to provide rebates for new electric appliance purchases, including ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. States are still setting up the programs, and the Department of Energy expects households to be able to access these rebates in much of the country later this year or early next, according to a rebate program FAQ. The money will be limited to low-and-moderate income households, but eligible consumers could save up to $840 on a new electric stove, cooktop, range or oven.

There are also income-qualified rebates for electrical upgrades that might need to be done in connection with an electrification project like switching to electric cooking — that can be up to $4,000 for a panel upgrade and up to $2,500 for electrical wiring.

Other considerations

Induction ranges are more precise than conventional cooktops, one reason why professional chefs often choose them. But it also takes time to learn to cook with induction because it’s more precise and responsive, Calisch said. It also doesn’t work with all pots. Aluminum, for example, won’t work with induction — unless it has a special coating — because of its magnetic and electrical properties.

A good test for whether your cookware will work with induction is to stick a fridge magnet to it. “If a fridge magnet sticks to it, it will work with your stove,” Calisch said.

Homeowners should check to see if their electrical panel is sufficient to handle the additional load induction requires and whether other rewiring may be necessary. Another option would be to consider a model that allows the use of induction technology with a battery, circumventing the need for electrical upgrades.

Consumers who are on the fence may have the option of trying out induction inexpensively by buying a single burner portable unit, or by borrowing or renting an induction hotplate, Fleisher said. A simple Google search may produce some viable options in your area.

Once consumers try induction, Boucher said they will not want to return to their previous cooking methods. “Would you go back to a rotary phone after using an iPhone 10?”

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