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Some desserts evoke a visceral reaction in me. Namely, hunger.

There are few dishes that make you appreciate a dark roux better than a nice scratch-made batch of seafood gumbo. The “holy trinity” of Creole cuisine—onion, green bell pepper, and celery—are all in evidence, as is spicy Andouille sausage (or tasso ham), crab, shrimp, and briny oysters.

Satay is one of the most-loved Thai dishes this side of the Pacific—coming in a close second behind Pad Thai. And why not? Who doesn’t love marinated beef, chicken, or pork, skewered and licked by flames until charred around the edges?

Capturing the flavor of fresh basil in baked goods is not easy or obvious. Certain herbs have strong, lasting aromas that lend themselves to cooking--rosemary and thyme are good examples. But others have fugitive flavor compounds that are all but lost during the cooking process--namely, basil.

 

Is cornmeal a southern thing? It totally is, isn't it?

I mean, I suspect people use it almost anywhere corn is grown, but the South seems to have a special relationship with corn.

Corn has acquired something of a bad reputation in recent years. It's one of the few genetically modified food crops, and a huge percentage of the nation's corn crop either goes into the mouths of feedlot livestock or into processed foods. Additionally, it is usually farmed in monoculture, and it requires vast amounts of water, pesticides, and herbicides to do well.

We spent the past week eating very, very well. And to be perfectly honest, I'm sick of it. I'll go ahead and acknowledge that I'm not cut out to be a restaurant reviewer. After a short while, the extravagance of it would wear me out.

There's nothing wrong with fine dining. It's just not my scene.

I'm really into thrifty cooking. There are few things I love as much as stretching ingredients or using up the bits and pieces that usually get thrown away. This is less out of a desire to save money (although that's never a bad thing) than it is an almost hereditary urge.

Let’s face it: Buffalo wings are awesome, but dousing them with the same old butter-hot-sauce mixture gets a little old after awhile.

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Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to www.joyofcookingapp.com. Don't forget to review the app!