What’s for Dinner?

Home-cooked 3-course Western Dinner

The Menu

Cold Corn Soup


Beef Rump Steak and Sweet Potato

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Smoky Berry Sauce and Goat Cheese


1 tsp grapeseed oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1-1/2 cups raspberries
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp minced chipotle chili canned in adobo sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 lb organic ground turkey
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 cup finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 whole grain buns (optional)
2 cups spinach


  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and half of the minced garlic. Heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add raspberries, thyme, chipotle chili, lemon juice and pinch of salt to saucepan. Simmer until raspberries break down, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chia seeds and heat for 1 minute more. Set aside to cool and thicken. Reheat if needed before serving on burgers.
  4. Preheat grill on high heat for 10 minutes, and then lower to medium for cooking.
  5. In large bowl, gently mix together turkey, carrot, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, remaining minced garlic, salt and pepper. Form into 4 equal-sized patties. Place burgers on grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC) is reached in each burger.
  6. Remove burgers from grill and place bun halves, if using, on grill, heat just until toasted.
  7. Serve burgers on buns topped with Raspberry-chipotle Sauce and spinach.
  8. If not using buns, place spinach on plate and then nestle burgers on greens and spread sauce on patties.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Sage magazine

Make Summer Easy With Five Simple Grilling Recipes From Top Chefs

Kate Krader wrote . . . . . . .

We’ve said it before: Summer is the time when any cooking you do will hopefully involve the grill.

But as the hot weather months roll on, the excitement of cooking on a grill can fade. Whereas Day One of grilling season might entail dishes that take hours of preparation—handmade barbecue sauces, hours of smoking—by Day 55, it’s a different story.

In short, it’s a good time to master satisfyingly easy recipes. To do that, we turned to top chefs, who spend enough time crafting meticulous dishes in their day job. They still want to grill on their time off, but they want it to be as simple as possible. Josh Capon, of Bowery Meat Company in New York, breaks it down: “I work hard at my restaurant. When I’m off, I’m going to let my grill do the work.” His go-to recipe is a mess of chopped vegetables and cubed meat, tossed with olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Get whatever kids are handy, he recommends, and get them to put the mix on metal skewers. Grill on medium heat until the meat is done, and you’re ready to go.

Here, five other hard-wording chefs offer the dishes they make with no more than six ingredients that, on a hot summer day, provide maximum flavor for minimal effort.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Who Says? Michael Symon, Angeline at Borgata, Atlantic City, N.J., and co-star of the daytime TV show, The Chew

Lazy Fix: “This recipe is from my cookbook 5 for 5 for Every Season, and it gives everyone the chance to feel like buffalo chicken is a summer dish.

“Season 2 lbs. boneless chicken tenders with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss with ½ cup of hot sauce. Put the chicken on a grill over a medium hot fire and cook, covered, turning once, until charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total.

“In a bowl, combine 2 cups sliced celery with ½ cup crumbled blue cheese and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the salad on top of the chicken, and add more hot sauce if desired.”

Stuffed Burgers

Who Says? Joseph Johnson, Minton’s, New York

Lazy Fix: “My go-to recipe on the grill at home is cheese-and-green stuffed burgers; the beauty of them is that you get everything in one bite. For the burgers, I use a blend of chuck, short rib, and brisket. Shape the meat into slim patties. Top half of them with a mix of grated cheeses—I use sharp Cheddar and feta, plus precooked, chopped broccoli or whatever vegetable you like. Cover with another patty and seal the edges so the filling is enclosed. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium hot fire. Serve it on a potato bun (you probably want to toast it) with some spicy pickles, and BBQ sauce on top.”

Eat-With-Your-Hands Lamb Chops

Who Says? Zak Pelaccio, James Beard-winning chef at Fish & Game, Hudson, N.Y.

Lazy Fix: “Take four large lamb chops. Use a mallet (or any heavy, blunt object at your disposal) to pound the lamb chops as thin as you can without tearing/breaking apart the chop. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

“Meanwhile, mash 12 anchovy fillets and 8 peeled garlic cloves. Stir in 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil and ¾ cup fresh lemon juice. Season with salt.

“Grill the lamb over the screaming hottest part of your fire (and preferably that’s a charcoal fire with coals so hot they’re white and laced with flames). If you’ve pounded the chops nice and thin (to approx. ¼” thick), the cooking time will be approximately 1½ minutes on the first side and 45 seconds to 1 minute once flipped. Grind pepper on top and serve with the garlic vinaigrette.”

Korean Short Ribs

Who Says? Daniel Patterson, Coi and Alta, San Francisco, and co-founder of the charitable fast food mini chain, Locol, in California

Lazy Fix: “My go-to grilling recipe for the summer is kalbi (short ribs), treated simply with an easy marinade. [Editors note: Make sure to have Asian ingredients on hand.] All you need to do is whisk together ¼ cup soy sauce, 2½ tbsp. red miso, ⅓ cup lemon juice, ⅓ cup honey, 1½ tbsp. red chile paste (gochujang) or sriracha, and 2 tbsp. fish sauce (optional). Then you let the short ribs sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes at room temperature before tossing them on the grill over high heat. Takes about three to four minutes on each side. I typically serve the kalbi in a big pile with a bunch of different vegetables from my local market or salads made from whatever produce and scraps I can find in my fridge.”

Grilled Burrata Pizza

Who Says? Marc Forgione, chef/owner of Restaurant Marc Forgione, New York

Lazy Fix: “Roll out store-bought pizza dough into rough circles or rectangles. Set the dough over a very hot fire for 30 seconds. Remove from the grill (use a pizza peel if you have one), dust with semolina flour, and grill the other side for 30 seconds. Flip the dough again, top with cut-up fresh tomatoes or a good-quality jarred sauce, burrata (or mozzarella), and your favorite herbs. Close the top and cook just until the dough is cooked through and a little bit charred.”

Source: Bloomberg

This Kitchen Knife Is Both Functional and Frameworthy

Ami Kealoha wrote . . . . . .

The Characteristics

Miyabi makes its knives in Seki, the home of Japanese samurai-sword makers. The brand’s $280 chef’s knife—usually an 8-inch-long blade with a 5-inch handle— is a favorite among professionals, including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who endorses two Miyabi cutlery series. A scalpel-sharp blade is protected by 100 layers of stainless steel, forged into a Damascene pattern, that provide added durability. It’s immersed in liquid nitrogen, a strengthening technique known as cryogenic tempering, and hand-finished in the Honbazuke three-step method to give it a polished edge. The Karelian birch handle offers a beautiful, easy-to-grip surface.

The Competition

Miyabi is owned by Zwilling J.A. Henckels, a cutlery manufacturer based in Solingen, Germany. (Henckels also sells knives under its own name.) Its biggest Japanese competition, Shun, which is owned by Kai USA Ltd., sells similar models for $240 and is also based in Seki. German-made Nesmuk uses a special Brazilian metal to justify the $550 price tag for its 7-inch chef’s knife. Another German brand, Wüsthof, offers a $150 model that’s popular and well-respected. For a more exclusive experience, sign up for one of knife master Bob Kramer’s auctions, where cutlery connoisseurs bid on five-figure, one-of-a-kind items.

The Case

Combining the heft of a Wüsthof, the strength of a Henckels, and the swiftness of a Shun, Miyabi knives effectively fuse Japanese design with workaday utility. The lightweight handle can withstand frequent use; the birch doesn’t get slick when wet or oily. The blade’s fine edge and thin profile enliven tedious duties, whether precisely removing rhubarb stems for your favorite pie or splitting chicken breasts from thighs before a weekend grill session.

Source: Bloomberg

Does Sugar Make You Sad? New Science Suggests So

Anika Knüppel wrote . . . . . . . .

The thought of a cupcake, skillfully frosted with fluffy vanilla icing, may put a smile on your face, but research suggests that, in the long term, a sweet tooth may turn that smile into a frown – but not for the reasons you think. In a new study, published in Scientific Reports, my colleagues and I found a link between a diet high in sugar and common mental disorders.

The World Health Organisation recommends that people reduce their daily intake of added sugars (that is, all sugar, excluding the sugar that is naturally found in fruit, vegetables and milk) to less than 5% of their total energy intake. However, people in the UK consume double – in the US, triple – that amount of sugar. Three-quarters of these added sugars come from sweet food and beverages, such as cakes and soft drinks. The rest come from other processed foods, such as ketchup.

At the same time, one in six people worldwide suffers from a common mental disorder, such as a mood or anxiety disorder. Could there be a link between high sugar consumption and common mental disorders?

Earlier research, published in 2002, examined the link between depression and sugar consumption in six countries. The researchers, from Baylor College in the US, found that higher rates of refined sugar consumption were associated with higher rates of depression.

Since then, a handful of studies have investigated the link between added sugar consumption and subsequent depression. In 2011, researchers in Spain found that when they grouped participants based on their commercial baked food consumption, those who ate the most baked food had a 38% increased chance of developing depression compared with those in the group with the lowest intake. The association remained even after accounting for health consciousness and employment status.

In 2014, researchers studied the association between sweetened beverages in a large US group. They found that sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks (diet drinks) could increase a person’s risk of developing depression. And, more recently, a 2015 study, including nearly 70,000 women, found higher chances of depression in those with a high added sugar intake, but not in those with a high intake of naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruit.

Trying to explain the link

We are still not sure what causes depression, but some researchers believe that biological changes are at the root of it. Some of these changes could be influenced by sugar and sweet taste. For example, a study in rats found that diets high in sugar and fat can reduce a protein called BDNF that influences the growth and development of nerve cells in the brain. This protein is thought to be involved in the development of depression and anxiety.

Another possible biological cause is inflammation. High sugar diets can increase inflammation – a protective reaction of the body, normally directed against microorganisms or foreign substances. While common signs of inflammation, such as redness, are far from a mood disorder, the symptoms that keep us in bed with a cold are much closer, such as low energy and being unable to concentrate. Ongoing research suggests that mood disorders could be linked with inflammation, at least in some cases.

Dopamine is another possible culprit. A study using rats earned headlines for suggesting sweet foods could be as addictive as cocaine. This might be due to affects on dopamine, a brain chemical involved in the reward system. Dopamine is also thought to influence mood. And addiction is itself associated with a higher risk of developing a mood disorder.

Finally, sugar intake could be associated with other factors, such as obesity, which itself is related to mood.

But these associations could also reflect a reverse phenomenon: low mood could make people change their diet. Sweet foods could be used to soothe bad feelings by providing a short-term mood boost. And low mood and anxiety could make simple tasks, such as grocery shopping or cooking, so difficult and exhausting for the sufferer that they might start to avoid them. Instead, they might opt for junk food, takeaways and ready meals – all of which have a high sugar content.

What our study adds to the debate

For our latest study, my colleagues and I put the reverse association idea to the test. We used sugar intake from sweet food and drinks to predict new and recurrent mood disorders in a group of British civil servants. We also investigated whether having a mood disorder would make people more inclined to choose sweet foods and drinks.

We found that men without a mood disorder who consumed over 67g of sugar had a 23% increased risk of suffering from a mood disorder five years later, compared with those who ate less than 40g. This effect was independent of the men’s socioeconomic status, physical activity, drinking, smoking, other eating habits, body fatness and physical health.

We also found that men and women with a mood disorder and a high intake of sugar from sweet food and drinks were at higher risk of becoming depressed again five years later, compared with those who consumed less sugar. But this association was partly explained by their overall diet.

We found no evidence for a potential reverse effect: participants did not change their sugar intake after suffering from mood disorders.

Despite our findings, a number of questions remain about whether sugar makes us sad, whether it affects men more than women, and whether it is sweetness, rather than sugar itself, that explains the observed associations. What is certain, though, is that sugar is associated with a number of health problems, including tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and obesity. So cutting down on sugar is probably a good idea, regardless of whether it causes mood disorders or not.

Source: The Conversation

Today’s Comic