Ramen with Gold Leaf Topping

Available at several stores of Zendoya, a ramen chain in Japan for a limited time period, the gold leaf topping costs an additional 5,000 yen plus tax.

Meatballs and Tomato Sauce


l kg ground beef
2 tsp garlic paste (from a handy tube)
2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 generous tsp grainy mustard
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp redcurrant jelly
200 g fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp celery salt
2-3 tbsp olive oil, for frying
3-4 tsp light soy sauce, to season

Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100 m1 fruity red wine
2 (400 g) cans chopped tomatoes
400 ml V8 vegetable juice
2 bay leaves
2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper


  1. Make the meatballs by mixing the beef, garlic paste, sun-dried tomato paste, oregano, basil, mustard, ground mace, smoked paprika and redcurrant jelly together in a large bowl. Get in there with your hands to make sure the mixture is well combined.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, flour and celery salt together on your work surface.

  3. Shape the meat mixture into balls — you should get about 18-20 balls, depending on how big you make them.
  4. Roll each ball in the breadcrumb mixture and place on a tray. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, or until softened.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for a few moments. Add the wine and let it bubble for a minute.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable juice, bay leaves, sugar and salt and pepper. Stir well and leave to simmer for 30 minutes to reduce down a bit.
  8. When it looks sufficiently saucy, remove the bay leaves and blitz with a hand blender so you are left with a lovely, thick, tomato sauce. Put the bay leaves back in at this point and leave the sauce sitting over a very gentle heat.
  9. To cook the meatballs, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry in batches until browned all over — this takes about 6-8 minutes per batch. Turn the meatballs carefully, using tongs or a couple of wooden spoons. Add a splash of soy sauce towards the end of cooking each batch, to add colour and seasoning. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper briefly and then snuggle them into the tomato sauce.
  10. Cover and cook very gently for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Serve the meatballs with rice, salad, mash, pasta or indeed chips from the chippy.

Makes 18 to 20 meatballs.

Source: My Family Kitchen

In Pictures: Food of The Feathered Nest in Oxfordshire, U.K.

Fine Dining of Modern British Cooking

The Restaurant

Designing a Better Low-fat Potato Chip

Munching on low-fat potato chips might reduce the guilt compared with full-fat versions, but many people don’t find the texture as appealing. Now, researchers have developed a technique to analyze potato chips’ physical characteristics from simulated first bite to swallow, which they say could be used to help formulate a tastier low-fat snack. They report their results in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Cutting fat in potato chips usually involves reducing the vegetable oil content. However, the oil helps give the product its characteristic crunch, taste and mouthfeel. When food scientists formulate a new low-fat chip, they often rely on trained sensory panelists to tell them how well the new snack simulates the full-fat version. This process can be expensive, time-consuming and often subjective, since perceptions can vary based on factors like a person’s saliva flow rate and composition. While at PepsiCo, Stefan Baier –– now at Motif Ingredients –– and Jason Stokes’ team at the University of Queensland wanted to develop a more objective method to analyze the physical characteristics of a potato chip at four stages of simulated eating: the first bite, when the chip is taken from the package and broken by the teeth; comminution, when the chip particles are broken down further and wet by saliva; bolus formation, when the small, softened particles begin to clump as enzymes in saliva digest the starches; and swallow, when the clumped mass moves to the rear of the mouth and is finally swallowed.

To develop their method, called in vitro oral processing, the researchers used different instruments to measure the physical characteristics of chips with various oil contents at each of the four stages. For example, for the “first bite” stage, they conducted mechanical testing to measure the force required to break the chips, and for bolus formation, they measured the hydration rate of particles in buffer as the fragments became a soft solid. The researchers used the results to design a lower-fat chip coated in a thin layer of seasoning oil, which contained a small amount of a food emulsifier. The seasoning oil made the low-fat chip more closely resemble the greasiness of a full-fat one in tests with sensory panelists, but it only added 0.5% more oil to the product. Food scientists could use the new technique to link physical measurements with sensory perceptions, the researchers say.

Source: American Chemical Society

Lots of Gluten During Toddler Years Might Raise Odds for Celiac Disease

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Too much white bread and pasta fed to at-risk kids under age 5 could increase their odds of developing celiac disease, a new international study has concluded.

Every extra daily gram of gluten a young child eats increases their risk of celiac disease, if they are genetically predisposed to it, researchers found.

For example, eating an extra half-slice of white bread every day at age 2 can increase a kid’s risk of celiac disease at age 3 by 7%, according to findings published Aug. 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“The kids who went on to celiac disease were consuming more gluten in their diet in early childhood,” said study co-author Jill Norris, head of epidemiology at the University of Colorado’s School of Public Health.

However, Norris’ team warned it’s too soon to recommend eliminating gluten from the diets of young children, even those with a genetic risk for celiac disease.

“The worry is you would cut out healthy foods high in fiber and other nutrients simply to cut out gluten,” Norris said. “There are ways to remove gluten from the diet and maintain a healthy diet, but it’s actually quite difficult.”

Who’s at risk?

Celiac disease is an immune reaction in the small intestine to gluten, a protein found in some grains. It often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, abdominal pain and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.

A person with a parent, child or sibling who has celiac disease carries a 1-in-10 chance of developing the disorder, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

It often develops in early childhood, but it hasn’t been clear why some kids at risk for celiac disease wind up with it while others don’t, Norris said.

“Virtually everybody is exposed to gluten during their lifetime, and there are a number of people who we consider genetically at increased risk but they never get the disease,” Norris said. “We’re trying to figure out what’s different about the people who do end up getting the disease.”

For this study, researchers followed more than 6,600 children from birth through age 15 at six clinical research centers in Finland, Germany, Sweden and the United States. All had an inherited risk for celiac disease.

Their diets and gluten intake were tracked based on three-day food diaries taken at regular intervals throughout their lives.

About 18% of the kids developed autoimmune responses related to celiac disease and 7% developed full-blown celiac disease, with the onset of both conditions peaking at 2 to 3 years of age, researchers found.

Every 1-gram increase in daily gluten intake — about a half-slice of white bread — at age 2 was associated with an increased chance of celiac disease by age 3, they concluded.

“We can now confirm that besides certain genes, high intake of gluten also is an important risk factor for celiac disease,” said senior researcher Dr. Daniel Agardh, a pediatrician with the Diabetes and Celiac Disease Unit at Lund University in Sweden.

Tough to ‘micromanage’ diet

Still, more research is needed before doctors can offer parents solid advice about their young child’s diet, experts said.

Other possible factors in celiac disease still need to be considered, such as early childhood infections, changes in gut bacteria, and antibiotic exposure, noted Dr. Jacqueline Jossen. She’s a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Susan and Leonard Feinstein Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“There’s a lot that was not specifically analyzed in this study, and there is previous literature to suggest those things may have a role as well,” said Jossen, who had no part in the research.

At this point, she wouldn’t recommend any dietary changes based off these findings.

“It’s such a small amount of gluten they’re talking about here. Even half a slice of bread can make a difference? Even on a practical level, it’s hard to micromanage something like that,” Jossen said.

Jossen speaks from experience. She has celiac disease and has a 3-year-old daughter with a genetic predisposition toward the condition.

“Even for me on a personal level, I wouldn’t change her diet based on this yet,” Jossen said of her daughter.

Is testing worth it?

And how do you even know for sure that you or your child is at risk?

Genetic tests for celiac disease risk are available, but often are not covered by insurance, said Dr. Maureen Leonard, clinical director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.

“Online commercially available tests do not always assess all compatible genes for celiac disease,” said Leonard, who wrote an editorial published with the study. “Therefore, I would suggest parents speak with their physician about whether a genetic test may be appropriate for their child.”

Agardh doesn’t think genetic testing would be of much help, “since these genes are common in the general population.”

“In fact, the majority of individuals carrying these risk genes eating gluten will not develop celiac disease,” he said.

A second study this week in JAMA Pediatrics found that gluten also can boost children’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Among children with a genetic susceptibility for type 1 diabetes, a high intake of gluten was associated with an increased risk of an immune response that can damage or destroy the body’s ability to produce insulin over time.

“Given that these cereals are eaten by most children daily and are important sources of many essential nutrients, further studies are warranted to confirm or rule out the findings,” said the authors led by Leena Hakola from Tampere University in Finland.

Source: HealthDay

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