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Monday
Oct162017

A Time for Comfort Food

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

In San Francisco, smoke hangs heavily over our city from the wildfires raging in Northern California. Aside from our air quality, which has at times been as bad or worse than Beijing, we are unaffected.

But the smoke is a daily reminder of the tragic events that are unfolding daily, resulting in a staggering loss of life, loss of homes and personal possessions, loss of businesses, loss of jobs, and loss of the area’s natural beauty. So much is blackened, scarred or obliterated.

If you have ever driven past sun-drenched vineyards, toured wineries and participated in wine tastings, you know how magical the experience can be—it translates into a multi-billion-dollar tourist industry.

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Monday
Oct092017

Make Mine with Miso

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

As a child, I never much cared for eggplant. Now I like eggplant, but rarely think to add it to my shopping list.

Recently, I’ve seen some very nice Japanese eggplants at our farmers’ market so I decided to cook it the way my mother did, with miso.

Sweet and salty, high in umami from fermentation, miso has a way of making everything taste better. Unlike some other fermented foods, this bean paste has a pleasant fragrance. Of the two main types, white miso is sweeter and smoother; red miso is saltier and more intense. Refrigerated, miso will keep a year.

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Monday
Oct022017

Ground Meat to the Rescue!

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

What would we do without ground meat? It’s the hands-down, most versatile choice for that last-minute, what-to-cook dilemma. Whether you use ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey, there are infinite ways to turn this dinnertime staple into quick, delicious meals.

Here are some ground beef safe storage and handling tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

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Monday
Sep252017

From Noodle Bowls to Banh Mi Sandwiches

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

When I was a magazine food editor years ago, one timesaving strategy we promoted was what we called planned overs. Unlike leftovers, which could be an unexpected boon or curse, depending on how you felt about eating something twice, planned overs were exactly that: something you cooked more of, with a plan for using the remainder in a second meal.

Today, most home cooks can’t count on planned overs because few people seem to plan meals ahead of time these days. And even if you meticulously plan ahead, with everyone’s busy schedules, unforeseen things seem to happen to make the plans go awry.

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Monday
Sep182017

A Vietnamese-Inspired Noodle Bowl

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I don’t know about you, but chicken is our go-to meat and it gets boring. Recently, I was mulling over what to do with some chicken thighs.

What did I want to eat? What kind of flavor would excite me to cook?

I started thinking Vietnamese—something with high flavor and a different taste profile from what I’d been cooking over the past few days.

So, I boned the thighs, marinated them and Steve grilled them when he came home from work.

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