Oreo wants you to help design the next groundbreaking flavor, which means a contest is in order. Have the next best sandwich cookie idea? Text it to 59526. Post it on Instagram or Twitter and include the #MYOREOCREATION #CONTEST hashtag. Respond to an official Oreo Social Post with those same hashtags. Or, submit your idea through the link below. The winner of the contest gets their Oreo creation in stores all across the US and a $500,000 purse to go along with it. If you can’t wait to try some new Oreos, Nabisco just unveiled their latest flavor, Firework Oreos. Firework Oreos take the standard chocolate with creme sandwich cookie and add a “popping candy” that works just like Pop Rocks—except they’re not real Pop Rocks. People who have tried the new cookies have described them as being slightly more gritty than standard Oreos with a pleasant popping sensation. In other words, they’re still delicious with some added pop but not as gritty as those Peep Oreos that turned your poop funny colors after eating them.
Without fail, St. Patrick’s Day brings dozens of Debbie Downers out of the woodwork to tell you all about how corned beef and cabbage isn’t traditionally Irish and it’s inaccurate to have as dinner’s centerpiece. And while our title can certainly be interpreted that way, we’d like to aim this more at the Debbie Downers while also giving our readers something different to try. Because, by all means, eat corned beef and cabbage if that’s what you want to do. Done right, it can be one of the more satisfying holiday meals. Just know you have options. This year, consider whipping up some boiled bacon colcannon.
The History of Corned Beef and Why Eating It isn’t as Inaccurate as Everyone Says
As annoying as the beef haters are, they’re right, up to a point. Corned beef and cabbage is not a dish that originated in Ireland. The reason for its prevalence in the US is rooted, as most of these things tend to be, in the massive influx of Irish immigrants 19th century North America experienced. Immigrants, like most people, need to eat food, but they don’t have a ton of money to spend. Naturally, when you don’t have a lot of money, you have to buy cheaper foods and when Irish immigrants were flooding into America, they found corned beef prices to be far less than their traditional pork.
It’s also why there’s some crossover between Irish and Jewish culture here. Both communities have significant corned beef dishes attributed to them, the Irish with the aforementioned and the Jewish with deli sandwiches (it may also be why so many Irish pubs serve great reubens), and it was from Jewish shop owners the Irish bought corned beef.
The cabbage and potatoes came from necessity too, as both are vegetables that are traditionally dirt cheap and highly nutritious. The pot of boiling water comes from the fact that much of Irish history has been spent trying not to starve to death and when death’s the alternative, no one spends a lot of time trying to make things taste “fancy” or “better.”
There’s way more to say about the history of corned beef in Ireland, because it’s a wildly interesting topic that ties into English suppression of the Irish people, cattle’s role in the Irish economy, and why exactly that goddamn famine was so bad in the first place. Instead, we’ll end this section by saying this. Even if corned beef and cabbage didn’t originate in Ireland itself, it’s a cornerstone of the Irish experience in America. If you’re not comfortable calling it Irish, call it Irish-American and get yourself a second helping.
But Then What’s Accurate to Ireland?
Fine, you’re a stickler for historical accuracy, or you’re looking for something new to eat that’s still in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. What you’re looking for here is boiling bacon and colcannon.
The main difference is the bacon, since it eschews the American beef in favor of the Irish preference for pork. If you’re in Ireland, you can most likely find boiling bacon packaged and self-identified as such. But statistically, you’re not in Ireland (shame, we know), so you have to know what cut of pork it is.
Most boiling bacon comes from pork shoulder or back and is sold in big chunks. Standard serving size seems to be two pounds, which should be plenty of salted protein to put you and your friends into a satisfying coma. Here’s a Wegmans’ pork cut that looks good, though we have to say, grocery shopping online sure feels weird.
As for cooking it, the recipe’s simple, and this one comes from a born and bred, dyed in the wool Irishman:
- Step 1: Boil it
We’ll say the same thing he told us. We’re not trying to be assholes here. That’s as simple as it gets. Sure you could brine it or something beforehand, but why complicate what already works?
For colcannon, it’s a little more complicated, but not much. We’ll supply you with a recipe, but it’s almost as simple. Make mashed potatoes the way you like them, cook some cabbage and green onions in butter, then mix them together. If you’d like, you can cut some of the bacon up and mix it in too.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t overthink dinner.
It’s not a very well kept secret that the best coffee from Starbucks comes from their roastery in Seattle. Their Seattle exclusive offerings are expanding into Willy Wonka territory because Starbucks now has whiskey barrel aged coffee. Each batch of the Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi beans are frequently hand-rotated over the course of a few weeks while they’re living in Woodinville Whiskey barrels that were freshly emptied. This process insures that all of the beans get infused with whiskey flavor because of their contact with the barrel, but it’s worth noting that the roasting process itself cooks off all the alcohol. The barrel aged beans will be available by themselves or in one of two specialty drinks: a vanilla sweetened cold brew and a “con creme” drink with cascara sugar. Unfortunately, all your Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi drinking dreams are crushed unless you live in Seattle or know someone there who can ship you some.
Coffee pods haven’t exactly been the greatest thing for the environment. It would seem everyone prioritizes their morning buzz over environmentally sustainable products. Everyone except Nils Leonard. Leonard, previously chief creative officer of renowned advertising firm Grey London, recently launched Halo, the first completely compostable coffee pod company. Along with Richard Hardwick, a judge for the U.K. Barista Championship, and Andrew Richardson, former Nespresso director, Leonard wants to make Halo an example to prove you can have an environmentally sustainable company without sacrificing product quality. To illustrate the environmental impact of coffee pods, Halo built a digital landfill and produced a short video showcasing the 13,500 coffee pods dumped in landfills every minute. But their main marketing strategy isn’t about guilt. It’s also about the coffee. Halo is currently the only coffee pod company to offer the Kopi Luwak Diamond bean, the rarest coffee on the planet. Clearly, Halo won’t be asking customers to give up a good cup of morning coffee. If anything, they’ll make it better.
World of Beer is back with another Drink It Internship that will give you the opportunity to make $12,000 traveling the US and drinking beer. If you’ve never visited a World of Beer location, the selection of craft beers, food, and the staff’s expansive knowledge show why the name works. It really is a world of beer. And what better company to fund three interns travel and beer experiences than the company that’s all about sharing the global story behind the beer? Hit up the Drink It Intern section of the World of Beer site below to submit your entry, and then cross your fingers you get chosen to explore, share, photograph, blog and try new things while still getting paid $12,000 for something that shouldn’t be considered work. Applications are due by March 26th, so you have around three weeks to create your magnum opus and get it to World of Beer.
If you’re looking for a perfect cup of Joe, look no further than the firefighter owned, operated, roasted and delivered Fire Dept. Coffee. The easy drinking coffee is sourced from socially and environmentally friendly farms before being freshly roasted to order. Fire Dept. Coffee packs enough punch for people working doubles, overnights or extended shifts while still being smooth and delicious, which is probably why it’s the coffee of choice for many fire departments. If delicious coffee and supporting a small business haven’t sold you yet, portions of every sip go back to Firefighter or Veteran Assistance Programs.
Thanksgiving is that special time of year where families come together to smile and eat a lot and grow increasingly more agitated with one another as the evening presses onward. At the end of that dark and mildly prejudiced tunnel, there’s one thing we can all look forward to: The turkey.
There are plenty of ways to cook a bird, but our favorite—by far—is a deep fryer bath. There truly is nothing like a well-fried bird. Crispy on the outside, succulent and juicy on the inside; it’s a life-changing experience. The problem is, it can be confusing and even a little intimidating trying to figure out everything you need to deep fry a turkey. That’s why we compiled the complete how-to guide for deep frying a turkey without lighting your house on fire.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
The Right Bird
Remember those days as children, when Mom or Dad would come home with the massive Thanksgiving bird—a good 25-pounder for the table? Well, leave that behind if you’re intent on frying, because this is about quality, not quantity. Ideally, you’re looking for a bird between 10 to 16 pounds. Anything heavier and, even if you’ve properly thawed your bird, you’re going to burn out the skin before you get to the actual meat and everybody knows the skin is the best part. If that pains you a little too much, try picking up two birds. Since they take way less time to cook than a conventional oven, cooking two birds is actually feasible.
A Quality Oil Thermometer
It’s the smallest part of the puzzle, but it’s invaluable to the process. Temperature matters no matter how you’re cooking something and oil is far more volatile than an oven. A quality oil thermometer can mean the difference between the perfect Thanksgiving and a crispy fried mess.
At Least a 30-Quart Pot With Fry Basket/Turkey Brace
Choosing the right pot for deep frying can be a little difficult, because you don’t want something so big that it becomes cumbersome, or something so tiny that it creates a possible overflow safety hazard—when oil makes contact with an open flame, chaos can and often does ensue. For a 10- to 16-pound bird, at least 30 quarts will be necessary, and even better if you can find yourself a 40-quart one.
Most half-decent fryer pots will come with them, but you’ll also require either a turkey brace or a fry basket to help get the bird into and out of the oil. Plan ahead, because you don’t want to be improvising a way to get a turkey out of scalding hot oil.
Oil—Lots of It
You’re going to need enough oil to submerge the bird about two inches under, so depending on the size, that could be quite a bit. How much, exactly, depends on the dimensions of your pot, the size of the bird, etc. As far as what oil to use is concerned, peanut is ideal (although consider the dietary restrictions of your guests), but you can use just about anything with a high smoking point—soybean, safflower, even cottonseed. Just stay away from canola oil here.
A Propane Burner
Every year, a video of someone totally fucking ruining their house pops up because they didn’t think an accident could happen. Spend the extra 50 bucks and get yourself a quality outdoor burner, and make sure you set it up in a place that gives you plenty of extra room for an “oopsie.” Driveways and backyards are ideal, just make sure it’s somewhere that won’t go up in flames.
The Night Before
Prepping to deep fry a turkey starts well before the day you want to fry. The night before, take your turkey, put it in the pot, and then fill the pot with water until the turkey is completely submerged. Take the turkey out of the pot, and note where the water level is. Take a marker and make note of the water line. That’s how much oil you’ll need for your pot.
NOTE: Seriously, DO NOT try to guestimate your way to proper oil level. Too much oil will boil out of the pot, onto the burner, and start a massive grease fire. Too Little oil means a partially cooked bird, and that’s almost as bad as a massive grease fire.
After you measure out the water, take the bird, dry it off completely, and season it the way you’d like. For deep frying, we recommend a good brine, a dry rub of your choice, or if you’re feeling like a master chef, an injection—garlic, butter, and kosher salt are our go-to’s. With a brine, just be careful to rinse and pat down everything until it’s dry. A brine’s mostly water, and if room temperature oil and water don’t mix, boiling oil isn’t going to be any better. After you’ve seasoned the bird and butchered the neck and giblets, allow it to marinade overnight.
Setting Up The Burner
When setting up the burner, make sure you’re doing so on a flat, even, sturdy surface, and that every prong of the burner’s base is flush to the ground. That probably sounds like some unnecessary common sense, but you’d be shocked at how dangerous deep frying a turkey can be, even if you’re not a total idiot. Before you do anything, test your lines, and make sure there are no leaks. If all checks out, ignite the flame.
Loading The Bird
The only thing left to do before frying is loading the turkey on the brace or fryer basket. Whichever method you choose, load the turkey shoulder-side-down and make sure your handle extends far enough outside of the pot so that you won’t risk burning yourself when grabbing it. Additionally, if it’s going to be sitting in a basket, make sure you give the skin touching the metal a good baste of whatever oil you’re going to be using to avoid sticking.
COOKING THE BIRD
Ahh, the finale! Cooking doesn’t take a lot of effort, so much as it does care.
Begin by filling the pot with oil, all the way up to the line you’ve already marked. Turn on the burner and bring the oil to between 350 and 375 degree Fahrenheit. Once you have that going, grab your bird and lower it very slowly into the oil. Don’t be alarmed if it starts to splash, spatter, and boil around it—so long as you dried it well and removed the excess water from it after the water soak (or brine), you’ll be good.
If you want to be extra safe, you can also turn the burner off completely for this part. You won’t lose too much heat, and it removes all the “the accidentally overflowing oil just ignited and now I’m on fire” danger from the equation. Or, if you have a partner, you can simply have them keep an eye on the burner and, if things start to go south, cut the burner immediately. Whatever makes you most comfortable.
Once the bird is fully submerged in the oil, you’re going to want to keep the oil at a consistent 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit—this is perhaps the trickiest part, especially for first-time cookers.
Now, you’re going to see a lot of recommendations for how long you should leave your bird in for. Estimates seem to be all over the place, but as a rule of thumb, you want to cook the bird at 3.5 minutes per pound. You can also cook it at an even 3 minutes per pound and then an extra 5 minutes at the end. On a 15-pound bird, that’s a difference of 2.5 minutes in the fryer, which won’t make too much of a difference.
When the time is up, check the bird by gently pulling it a quarter of the way out of the pot. If it looks crispy and golden brown remove it entirely. If you want to be extra safe—and you should—use an actual meat thermometer. The breast meat should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dark meat should be at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
If all is good, you’re ready to eat! Throw that thing on the table and blow your family’s mind with its deliciousness. Happy Thanksgiving!
Soylent, the pioneering food technology company that gives you access to a complete and nutritious food in a convenient package, is back at it with Coffiest to solve your morning breakfast conundrum. We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but we’ve all had those mornings where there just wasn’t enough time to get everything done. Since Coffiest packs 400 calories of complete plant-based nutrition and the same caffeine as a strong cup of coffee, you can knock out breakfast and your morning coffee with one easy to carry bottle. Most importantly, you’ll be sipping 20% of your daily values without even realizing it because Coffiest actually tastes like coffee.
The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is like the Super Bowl of competitive eating. But just like with the NFL, there are other matchups that matter that don’t receive the same fanfare as the big game. Competitors battle over plates of wings, Twinkies, burgers, and all-out T.G.I. Friday’s sampler platters. So, before you watch Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie attempt a new world hot dog record this Fourth of July, take time to digest some of these numbers. These are a few of the other insane competitive eating records that exist. Now grab the Alka-Seltzer cause it hurts just to look at them.
We calculated approximate calories based on a typical version of the food the competitors consumed. Because of varying sizes, these numbers are just approximations.
Like many readily available American beers, a lot of the Mexican beers you come across offer little in the way of flavor. We’re not saying partying with a few Coronas is going to make for a bad Cinco de Mayo, but there are some other options out there that deliver at least a little more in the way of taste.
Here are five we recommend.
Craft Beers of Mexico