Americans have the cheapest groceries in the western world. While it might not seem like it these days, we still pay less for our food than half the planet. Our guest, writer Paul Roberts, claims this system is a doomed paradox. His book is titled The End of Food.
The Sterns tuck into classic deli - home-corned beef and zaftig sandwiches - at the Famous
Fourth Street Delicatessen in Philadelphia.
Two food scientists stop by with tricks up their sleeves: Harold McGee, author of the seminal On Food and Cooking, talks the secret to perfect stew, then Shirley Corriher puts bakers in control. Shirley's fabulous new book, BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes, is hot off the press.
Our celebrity stump master Christopher Kimball challenges Lynne to a new round of Stump the Cook, and Singapore-based wine authority Ed Soon has thoughts on what to drink with Asian food. Ed is the author of Wine with Asian Food: New Frontiers in Taste and the newly published Pairing Wine with Asian Food.
Have a question for Lynne about your Thanksgiving meal? Submit your question here, or leave us a message at 1-800 537-5252. We'll be on the air live Thanksgiving morning for our special Turkey Confidential and would love to know what's on your mind now as you prepare for friends and family.
The "sauce" for this autumn supper in a bowl roasts in the oven in about 30 minutes. Get the full recipe.
This incredibly moist coconut cake takes a beloved Southern classic to new heights. Get the full recipe.
The Sterns first discovered the Famous Fourth Street Deli back in 1983 when they were eating their way around Philadelphia. The place is the classic east coast, urban, Jewish deli that seems to be getting harder to find. Go there and you'll take a trip back in time. It's been called a living museum of delicatessen history.
The menu is classic: the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches come in large and "zaftig." The corned beef is spiced and steamed in house for hours, emerging zesty, tender and with just enough fat for luscious juiciness. The stuffed cabbage with sweet and sour tomato gravy is fabulous, too, and other classic offerings include matzo ball soup and noodle kugel. Save room for the chocolate chip cookies that Michael calls "dizzyingly delicious" - the perfect balance between crisp and chewy.
Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen
700 South Fourth Street
Edwin Soon, author of Wine with Asian Food: New Frontiers in Taste and the newly published Pairing Wine with Asian Food, is a Singapore-based wine authority who trains sommeliers throughout Southeast Asia. He says when pairing wines with Asian dishes a simple rule to remember is to pick something that works well with the sauce, not the main ingredient in the dish. Here are a few of his examples:
Dishes containing hot chiles: Avoid a high alcohol wine that will intensify the heat. Go instead with a dry white wine, Muscat or a late-harvest white.
Complex Indian curries: Go with a red but be careful. Curries contain lots of dark spices that don't react well with lots of tannins. Think warm climate reds from California, Australian Shiraz, fruity reds that aren't too dry and tannic.
Chinese braised dishes containing soy sauce: Again, you want a red with little tannins.
Food scientist Shirley Corriher is the recipe doctor to the pros. Her books, CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, and the recently released BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking, could be food science textbooks, albeit with fabulously delicious recipes included. Lynne asked Shirley what basics we need to know and do before starting to bake a cake:
Preheat the oven.
Place a heavy baking (pizza) stone on the low oven rack then set the baking pan directly on the stone. The stone gives very even heat from the bottom so the batter can start cooking and rising before the heat from the top of the oven sets the batter and crusts the top.
Creaming and Leavening: Creaming cold butter is a vital step in leavening. It creates the fine air bubbles that the leavening agents enlarge when added to the batter to create the rise. It should take about 7 minutes to properly cream the butter when using a large stand mixer, a little longer with a hand-held mixer.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Baking soda is direct leavening - it reacts instantly but needs an acid ingredient to start the reaction. Baking powder contains in its mix the exact amount of acid needed for the soda (1 teaspoon baking powder includes 1/4 teaspoon baking soda) and reacts in different stages so you have more control. Baking powder will be labeled "double acting" or "triple acting." In a recipe, the correct amount of baking powder is 1 teaspoon per cup of flour (at the maximum 1-1/4 teaspoons); for baking soda it's 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour. Get the leavening right and you'll have lighter, finer textured cakes.