Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joins hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young with some of her choices for “bests of the year” — best equipment, best spice and best bite.
Why do I love these knives? Let me count the ways.
First of all, they are gorgeous: The Technicolor fiberglass handles are simply stunning. Second (and more important) is the way these knives feel in your hand. Chopping, slicing, dicing — it all feels like a breeze. They’re not too heavy and not too light. Made of steel right here in the USA, they are the knives I turn to over and over again.
Maldon Sea Salt is a “finishing salt” — the kind of salt you want to sprinkle onto food just before serving. It’s available in grocery stores and specialty food shops.
Hailing from the coastal town of Maldon in the county Essex, southeast England, Maldon Sea Salt has been made the same way since 1882. The pyramid-shaped crystals add texture to food as well as salinity and flavor. Sprinkle on grilled meats, fish, an avocado slice, eggs and more. This is my go-to salt for nearly everything.
El Parian tacos, from Loncheria El Parian in Detroit
The tacos at El Parian are juicy and bursting with flavor. I learned about these amazing tacos from Serena Maria Daniels, the creator of Tostada, an online magazine about food, culture and community in Detroit.
The meat for the El Parian tacos is cooked in a bubbling vat of braising liquid seasoned with onions and spices. Just before serving, the meat is removed from the liquid, finely chopped on a cutting board and then fried over high heat on a griddle to give it a crispy texture. Use braised pork, chicken or beef, or tofu braised in vegetable broth. Select fatty cuts of meat like beef short ribs, or pork butt or shoulder, not the tenderloin, or chicken thighs, not breasts.
You can quick-pickle the onions and radishes for about 45 minutes before making the tacos.
Serves 2 to 4.
Makes about 1 cup.
Place the onions in a jar or bowl and cover with the salt, sugar, garlic cilantro, vinegar and water and stir well. Let pickle at least 45 minutes or refrigerated overnight.
Makes about 1 cup.
In a glass jar or bowl, place the radishes, cilantro, sugar, salt, chile pepper, vinegar, water and peppercorns and stir well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes or overnight.
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