In 2006 Oprah announced her “favorite things” and millions of people (mostly women) went wild. If Oprah loves it, we’ve got to have it. Clearly I’m not Oprah. But I do experiment in the kitchen with alarming frequency and am always looking for interesting and out of the ordinary ingredients. This monthly column features my favorite food trends, gadgets, ingredients and restaurants in the hopes that you dear reader will be inspired to try something new in the kitchen.
September flew by! So much so that I missed the end of it and am posting my favorite September things in October.
AJ’s Favorite Things September 2015
This cheese takes like apples and peanut butter. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. In high school I played club volleyball and was first introduced me to this bizarre and wonderful cheese. It’s a highly processed goat cheese that comes from Norway. The color is like peanut butter and so is the taste. Eat it plain or sliced with a piece of apple. If you hate it, we are not friends any more. $7.00
September is here which means summer is slipping away. Rose season is coming to a close but before you pull out the full bodied reds and start making hearty fall vegetable stews grab a bottle of this crispy to die for Rose. I first had it at St. Anselm in Brooklyn, where it’s on tap. I would be happy to give you a bumbling description of it: bright, crispy, like a morning run on a cool, wet autumn morning or you could just trust me. $40.00
It’s no secret that gochujang is delicious. This fermented red pepper paste from Korea is everywhere these days. It’s used as a dipping sauce, on tacos and as a barbecue marinade. As far as barbecue sauce loyalty goes, you’ll likely have to pry my bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s from my cold dead hands. But this hot sauce is new and delicious and seems to be a very close second. Gochujang is usually sold in tubs and isn’t exactly dip ready. I usually add some soy sauce and sesame oil to my gochujang to thin it out and temper the spiciness but these kind folks have done it for me. Great for bland frozen veggie burgers on lazy weeknights! $8.00
I’m late to the game on this. Apparently everyone in my office has one. But this water bottle may actually save my life. I’m one of those people that doesn’t drink enough water. I just forget and it’s boring. There’s something about the sucking motion of this bottle that makes it irresistible to drink out of. I’m crushing like three of these per day now. That’s like 75 ounces of water. $15.00
Sure, we’ve all been eating Lundberg’s delicious brown rice for years but this new line of Heirloom rices has just blown me away. Wehani is red rice that keeps is long shape after cooking (doesn’t break down and get mushy). This rice is seriously nutty and makes a strong compliment to a boring piece of chicken or fish. Plan accordingly, because like brown rice, Wehani can take up to 50 minutes to cook. I’ve been cooking up a pot of rice, adding lemon juice, parsley and chopped Kalamata olives. I guess you’d call that a pilaf but I hate that word. It’s more of a warm red rice salad. About $6.00
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