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Wednesday, June 22, 2005 

Flipping out

The New York Times food section today has an article on the Smithsonian Folklife Festival , which for the first time this year will feature an entire program to food culture. The article looks at how many immigrants have had to adapt to American food since coming over, and how some of them have taken measures to get the food they grew up on, be it from growing it, or seeking communities of people of their same background. It's an interesting piece.

unsung star of the sea", Mackerel. He looks at what you can do with it, (Great for grilling) how to select it, and where to find the best.

Eric Asimov has examines the "texture" or "feelings" of various wine, noting that those labels are the newest in definitions to various wines. Cabernets.

The top cooking tip this week comes from James P. DeWan in the Chicago Tribune, who gives advice on how to flip food in a pan while cooking to brown it evenly. He advises practicing with a 9-inch saute pan with about a quarter cup of uncooked rice. The steps outline like so:

1. Hold the pan nearly horizontal with just a slight downward slope toward the front edge.

2. Move it firmly about six inches straight ahead and stop suddenly WITHOUT PULLING BACK ON THE PAN. After the pan stops moving, notice how the momentum of the rice continues to carry it forward and part way up the sloped front side of the pan.

3. Lift the pan so that you're tilting the front edge very slightly upward. Pull it back quickly to where you started and stop, again without reversing direction. Notice once more how the momentum of the rice carries it back across the flat surface after the pan has stopped.

4. Practice the forward and backward moves several times until the pan begins to feel a bit more natural in your hand. Until you've achieved some consistency, come to a full stop between the forward and backward motions.

5. Now, put the two moves together, and do the forward and backward motion back to back ONE TIME without stopping in between. Move the pan forward, then pull back immediately while the rice is still traveling forward under its own momentum. Because of the wonderful world of physics, the rice will now come off the sloped front of the pan with a little more force, some of it actually "jumping" into the air a little bit before falling back.

6. Practice this many, many times, stopping between each attempt, until the forward and backward movements, not only of your hand, but also of the pan and, more importantly, the rice within the pan, are the same every time.

7. Finally, make your forward and backward motions continuous. Find the rhythm and watch as the rice cascades in beautiful arcs over the surface of the pan as you flip it
I've tried this way too many times and just have not been able to get it right. Sue Ontiveros tells us how you can eat healthy at the Taste of Chicago festival. Does breakfast start with Salsa? Kim Severson says it can. Peter Meehan looks at a Maine Lobster Shack...in New York City.

Dessert? Jonathan Levitt has a look at The Pie Guy, a NH guy who, after losing his job went into the pie business, with award winning results.