Wasabi Flank Steak and Miso-glazed Potatoes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons wasabi powder
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons drained horseradish
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 (2-pound) flank steak
4 teaspoons canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 bunch of watercress, stemmed, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and preheat a cast-iron grill pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the wasabi and water, then stir in the horseradish and soy sauce.
  3. Rub the steak with 1 teaspoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the steak over high heat until lightly charred, 5 minutes.
  5. Flip the steak and spread the wasabi mixture over the charred side.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the steak for 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135° for medium-rare.
  7. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. In a saucepan of boiling water, cook the potatoes for 15 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  9. Wipe out the saucepan. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons of oil and the potatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes.
  10. Combine the miso and mirin; add to the potatoes and cook, stirring, until glazed, about 2 minutes.
  11. Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve with the miso-glazed potatoes and the watercress.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chef Takashi Yagihashi

Study Confirms Restaurants, Bars Are COVID Infection Hotspots

E.J. Mundell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Relaxation of face mask requirements in restaurants, coffee shops and bars could make those venues prime areas for transmission of the new coronavirus, research shows.

The new study compared the behaviors of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and those without such diagnoses. It uncovered one clear difference: Newly ill people without any known contact with a person with COVID-19 were almost three times as likely to have patronized a restaurant over the prior two weeks, and almost four times as likely to have visited a bar or coffee shop, compared to uninfected people.

The study suggests that situations “where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to places that offer on-site eating or drinking, might be important risk factors for acquiring COVID-19,” the research team said.

The findings come at a moment when more locales are allowing eating establishments and bars to reopen. Just this week, officials announced that restaurants in New York City could serve customers again starting Sept. 30, albeit with a 25% occupancy limit.

“As we learn more about transmission, it is not surprising that activities that cannot maintain social distancing and are not amenable to mask wearing — such as eating and drinking in close proximity to others — would result in a higher transmission rate,” said Dr. Teresa Murray Amato, who heads emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, a hospital in New York City.

She wasn’t involved in the new study, which was led by Kiva Fisher of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Response Team. Fisher and her colleagues conducted detailed interviews with 314 U.S. adults during the month of July, about half of whom were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Comparing the activities of people who did and did not have COVID-19, the investigators found no significant differences in their patronage of venues where the use of face masks at all times was required — activities such as taking public transportation, shopping or attending church.

Mask use was common among most of the study participants. A similar number of people with or without COVID-19 said they always wore some kind of mask or face covering when out in public — 71% and 74%, respectively.

The only big difference in terms of behavior between the infected and uninfected groups was a visit over the prior two weeks to a bar, restaurant or coffee shop, Fisher’s group found.

More than half (58%) of study participants diagnosed with COVID-19 said that they’d had no close contact with a person known to have been infected with the new coronavirus. But these individuals did have 2.8 times the odds of having patronized a restaurant over the prior two weeks, and 3.9 times the odds of having been at a bar or coffee shop, compared to uninfected people.

The study wasn’t able to ascertain whether participants had consumed food or drinks in an indoor or outdoor space.

“The bottom line is that many people don’t put their mask back on when they aren’t eating and drinking, and may be engaged in conversation,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “This very fact increases the risk of transmission, and is compounded by lack of enforcement by management at eating and drinking establishments.”

Glatter also noted that ventilation within restaurants or bars is often less than adequate, and research has shown that “aerosolized droplets containing virus in normal conversation may be transmitted to others in close proximity, but may also remain suspended in air for up to 3 hours and travel as far as 13 feet during normal conversation. Such aerosolized droplets may also travel as far as 26 feet during sneezes and 15 feet during coughs.”

Finally, he said, alcohol is often a factor. Drinking “makes people move closer together, speak louder,” Glatter said, “thereby generating more aerosolized droplets that may contain infectious viral particles.”

The study was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Source: HealthDay

More than One Drink a Day May Raise High Blood Pressure Risk in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Drinking eight or more alcoholic beverages a week may increase the risk of high blood pressure (also called hypertension) among adults with Type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access journal of the American Heart Association.

“This is the first large study to specifically investigate the association of alcohol intake and hypertension among adults with Type 2 diabetes,” said senior study author Matthew J. Singleton, M.D., M.B.E., M.H.S., M.Sc., chief electrophysiology fellow at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “Previous studies have suggested that heavy alcohol consumption was associated with high blood pressure, however, the association of moderate alcohol consumption with high blood pressure was unclear.”

Researchers examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure in more than 10,000 adults with Type 2 diabetes (average age 63, 61% male). All were participants in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, one of the largest, long-term trials to compare different treatment approaches to reduce heart disease risk in adults with Type 2 diabetes, conducted from 2001-2005 at 77 centers across the U.S. and Canada.

All participants had Type 2 diabetes for an average of 10 years prior to enrolling in the study. In addition to 10 years with Type 2 diabetes, they were at increased risk for cardiovascular events because they had pre-existing cardiovascular disease; evidence of potential cardiovascular disease; or had at least two additional cardiovascular disease risk factors (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or obesity).

In this study, alcohol consumption was categorized as none; light (1-7 drinks per week); moderate (8-14 drinks per week); and heavy (15 or more drinks per week). One alcoholic beverage was equivalent to a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. The number of drinks per week were self-reported by each participant via a questionnaire when they enrolled in the study.

Blood pressure was categorized according to the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults as normal (below 120/80 mm Hg); elevated (120-129/<80 mm Hg); Stage 1 high blood pressure (130-139/80-89 mm Hg); or Stage 2 high blood pressure (140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg or higher). Most participants were already taking one or more blood pressure medications; therefore, the analysis of the blood pressure readings was adjusted to account for the effects of the medications and to estimate the underlying degree of high blood pressure.

Researchers found:

  • light drinking was not associated with elevated blood pressure or either stage of high blood pressure;
  • moderate drinking was associated with increased odds of elevated blood pressure by 79%; Stage 1 high blood pressure by 66%; and Stage 2 high blood pressure by 62%;
  • heavy drinking was associated with increased odds of elevated blood pressure by 91%; Stage 1 high blood pressure by 149% (a 2.49-fold increase); and Stage 2 high blood pressure by 204% (a 3.04-fold increase); and
  • the more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk and severity of high blood pressure.

“Though light to moderate alcohol consumption may have positive effects on cardiovascular health in the general adult population, both moderate and heavy alcohol consumption appear to be independently associated with higher odds of high blood pressure among those with Type 2 diabetes,” Singleton said. “Lifestyle modification, including tempering alcohol consumption, may be considered in patients with Type 2 diabetes, particularly if they are having trouble controlling their blood pressure.

“People with Type 2 diabetes are at higher cardiovascular risk, and our findings indicate that alcohol consumption is associated with hypertension, so limited drinking is recommended,” Singleton said.

The study has several limitations including the fact that alcohol consumption was based on a one-time questionnaire when participants enrolled in the study, therefore the results do not account for any changes in alcohol consumption over time. In addition, the study was not designed to assess if light alcohol consumption provided any benefits.

According to the American Heart Association, excessive drinking can increase the risk of high blood pressure, and people with Type 2 diabetes are already at increased risk for high blood pressure. For the general population, the association recommends alcoholic beverages be consumed in moderation, if at all, and drinkers should understand the potential effects on their health.

Source: American Heart Association


Today’s Comic