Bacon grease: The fountain of youth?
August 10th, 2010
07:30 PM ET
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We pore through all our readers' comments, because we're masochists interested like that, and we can't help but notice trends popping up. Sometimes, it's people spreading jelly on grilled cheese sandwiches. This time, it's octo and nonagenarian relatives who eat or ate purportedly unhealthy foods - in this case, mostly bacon grease - on a regular basis because gosh darn it, why stop now?

My grandfather ate pork at every meal starting with bacon in the morning and fried in lard pork chops all his life. It finally killed him at the age of 92. My wife and I are close to 70, in good health and love our meat. I'm not knocking the veggies because we eat lots of greens but meat has been getting a bad rap ever since Disney started cartooning.


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Filed under: Buzz • From the Comments

5@5 - Chef Sang Yoon
August 10th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Where's the beef? And the beer?

Sang Yoon is the the chef/restaurateur behind the microbrew-centric gastropub, Father's Office, in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California. Along with serving up his insane Maytag blue cheese, Gruyère, arugula and applewood-bacon compote burger, Yoon filters the 36 tap brews on the menu through special tubing designed for blood transfusions - let's just say he likes to spice things up.

This fall, the Korean-born chef will stray from his burger-and-beer following and dedicate his first fine dining restaurant, Lukshon, to his Asian roots and its lesser known flavors.

Five Unsung Heroes of Asian Sauces: Sang Yoon

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

August 10th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
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Lunchtime poll – drinking on planes
August 10th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater made a huge splash with his dramatic, slide-borne, profanity-laced exit from the aircraft after getting into a kerfuffle with an unruly passenger. His coup de grace? Nabbing two brewskis from the cart before fleeing the scene.

Can't say we haven't been there - not the cursing and the sliding - craving an adult beverage after weathering TSA security, endless delays, screaming kids, rude seatmates and cramped conditions.

Do you ever indulge when you're flying the friendly skies?

Previously – Plane fare: Why are there no more meals?

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Filed under: Airlines • Buzz • Lunchtime Poll • Sip • Travel

Box lunch
August 10th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • The Michelin Guide will now offer food-themed vacations. It's a gourmet getaway. - The Independent

  • New York City's Times Square dedicates more than 3,000 square feet to toaster pastries. - NPR

  • The Finicky Eating in Adults Study aims to understand the picky eater phenomenon. - News & Observer

  • In light of Jehangir Mehta's restaurant Mehtaphor, a few other chef-referencing restaurant possiblities. - Zagat

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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

August 10th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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We're taking a wild stab that she *didn't* opt for the decaf.

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Filed under: Fast Food • News • Weird News

Molecular gastronomy - aerated ice cream, freeze-dried polenta and me
August 10th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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Molecular gastronomy is a cooking practice that explores the application of scientific principles and techniques to food, often with weird, wild and wonderful results. AC360° Associate Producer Kira Kleaveland pursued her passion for new food experiences at chef Wylie Dufresne's wd~50 restaurant.

Sometimes food can take you on an adventure. The journey can be daunting and strange - an experience that challenges and changes your notions of the foods you've loved all your life.

I had a defining food experience recently. Not because it was the best meal I've ever eaten, or because I was celebrating a major milestone. It was because I had my very first experience in molecular gastronomy. This meeting of science and cuisine has been around for a little while, and I have had a foam or two in my fairly short life, I hadn't delved in deeply - until now.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Molecular Gastronomy • Wylie Dufresne

August 10th, 2010
10:15 AM ET
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iReporter Allen Mealey had such a blast covering last year's Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, California, he came back for a bite of the killer grub cooked up on the world's largest outdoor grill and at the Heart Attack Cafe.

Fried Twinkies, deep fried butter and chocolate covered bacon strips abound. Go U.S.A.!

Watch Allen's video on iReport

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Filed under: Bite • Buzz • Cuisines • Events • iReport • State Fair • Stunt

Grilled cheese and...grape jelly?
August 10th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
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You can have grilled cheese any way you please - even if it's on the sweet side.

Yesterday, we asked readers to share their favorite tweaks and tips to make the ultimate melt and they surely didn't disappoint. But first – over 41,000 respondents said:

What's the role of butter in a grilled cheese sandwich?

Just on the outside of the bread 55.8%
The pan and the outside of the bread 16.7%
It should be on every surface, pan and bread 13.2%
Just the pan or press 7%
No butter at all 2.9%
Just one side, outside 1.6%
The pan and the inside of the bread 1.1%
Just the inside of the bread 0.8%
Just one side, inside 0.2%
Other 0.7%

So, what's between the slices?

Choosing the cheese

Rye bread and Brie cheese. There's something about the sharp saltiness of the rye combined with the earthy, creamy Brie that is a perfect combination.

Guy B
The best grilled cheese I have ever had was at L'emporte-piece in Montreal. Made in French style with cheese like Mamirolle, Bleu-Ermite, Appenzzeller. Don't think you'll ever find anywhere in the world grilled cheese as good as there.

Indiana Jones
Swiss cheese is best on rye. The two flavors are perfect together.

My personal trick is to add cream cheese along with solid cheeses; I like to use a veggie cream cheese and then provolone and cheddar.

I love the good cheeses of the world, but for grilled cheese, I keep it simple. White bread, thick sliced Velveeta, fresh sliced tomato, potato chips to scoop up the oozing cheese with sweet pickles on the side.

A good hearty white bread buttered on the outside and sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese on the inside.

Sourdough with fontina and mozarella with black truffles

Outsides of the bread buttered. Aged cheddar cheese (at least 3 years). Bread lightly browned.

Henry Miller
Rye bread, buttered on the outside, gouda, and chopped bacon. If you enjoy living alone, garlic powder instead of bacon.

Use any cheese you wish so long as it is not American. New England or Irish Cheddar is great.

We say yea to mayo and Crisco!

No butter. Spread mayonnaise on both the inside and outside of both pieces of bread, grill normally. Really crisp and crunchy!

I discovered the mayonnaise trick a year or so ago, and I'm never going back to butter. A thin coat of mayo on the outside of each slice, and a perfect, crispy sandwich results every time. My kids love 'em, my wife loves 'em. It's definitely worth a try!

The grilled cheeses of my youth were made with Crisco, not butter. They seem to taste better!

Muss? Fuss? Worth it.

Tom in Kansas
I like to use slices of whole wheat bread from a nearby Amish Bakery, A nice pepper jack or onion cheddar and put some long-sliced bread and butter pickles in the center. Butter the outsides and sprinkle on a light coating of garlic powder. Instead of a griddle, I put them on my pizza stone and bake them at 385 degrees for 7 minutes on one side and 6 on the other. Perfection every time.

Unsalted butter, outside of bread only, cheese grated NOT cut. Cut diagonally and sprinkled w/sea salt.

Don't use the mass market stuff – get the cheese from the deli counter have them slice it thin. Cheese needs to cover the entire slice of bread. Swiss can be a little oily when it melts so you need to use a hearty bread. Butter the bread to the edges for even cooking.

Use a pre-heated skillet or griddle (very important!) over medium heat for about two minutes per side. I prefer a stainless skillet, but non-stick is ok.


Tim W
I had a roommate in college whose girlfriend's idea of a grilled cheese sandwich was to toast two pieces of bread in a toaster, then spray in some cheese-in-a-can in the middle, then microwave the resultant sandwich until it was warm again. That was the way her mother taught her, and she didn't know there was a more common way to do it.

I just slapped a Kraft single between two slices of bread, sprayed it with a little cooking spray on the outside, and popped it in the toaster.

I like my drunk man's version after getting home from the bars: White bread, American cheese slices- put bread in toaster, then put cheese between bread, microwave for 12 seconds. No fear of starting a fire and it's much quicker!

The very WORST grilled cheese of all time: Limburger and Gorgonzola on thickly-sliced dark bread. When I was in college and still living at home many years ago I worked for a rather eccentric older couple – both writers – who lived nearby, doing various odd jobs around their house – everything from painting to proofreading manuscripts to doing the laundry and preparing many of their meals. Whenever I was around at lunchtime the gentleman would ask me to fix him a grilled cheese sandwich – two half-inch-thick slices of dark bread, buttered on the outside, spread with Limburger on both slices and filled with crumbled Gorgonzola. The whole house reeked and I'd find an excuse to go do some job outside or down in the basement, where the stench didn't penetrate as well.

Getting fancy with fillings

Add some roasted green chile to it and it's perfection. Well, maybe a slice of RIPE tomato, too, but the chile is what elevates it.

Eardley in Woodbury, MN
Dip in genuine Tabasco hot sauce!

Worcestershire sauce!

I prefer spicy brown mustard (on the inside), and American cheese. And sometimes I will try fruit or vegetables in between the cheese and mustard such as sliced tomatoes or bananas.

Putting a layer of thin sliced pepperoni between the cheese layer adds some zip to the taste.

There is NOTHING like grilled cheese and GRAPE JELLY!!! Yum, Yum!!! Don't knock it until you've tried it. The absolute best!

I can't eat a grilled cheese without GRAPE JELLY! Amazing!

Bread buttered on the outside, three slices of American and topped off with peanut butter!

My grandmother used to make me grilled cheese, pineapple and bacon sandwiches. 2 slices of white bread (today, I only use 7 grain bread); butter one side of each slice of bread; grate some extra sharp cheddar cheese, and put just enough to cover unbuttered sides of the bread; put one sliced of drained, canned pineapple on top of one slice of cheddar cheesed bread; put two slices of broken in half soft, chewy bacon on the other slice of cheddar cheesed bread.

Sprinkle both breads with enough shredded cheese to cover the bacon and pineapple. At this point: put both breads open-faced, under the broiler, until the cheese melts. Slap the two breads together and broil 30 seconds on each side, OR sandwich the breads, and grill in a pan.

Current favorite: Grilled Pimiento Cheese and Bacon: Shred 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese; with a fork, mash a large jar of drained pimientos; mix cheese and pimientos together; adding at least 1/4 cup mayonnaise. For each sandwich, use about 1/2 c. pimiento mixture, spread between two slices of bread.

Grill or toast the sandwich. For extra yumminess, crumble bacon in the cheese. [Editor's note: Erlinda? May we please come over for lunch ? Pleeeaassse? We'll do the dishes and everything.]

And many, many, many folks just like to stick with the classics.

2 slices Wonder white bread. 2 slices Kraft American cheese. Serve with Campbell's tomato soup on the side.

That is why God gave men taste buds!

We're still collecting tips, tricks and your favorite restaurant grilled cheeses. Keep serving 'em up in the comments below.

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Filed under: Grilled Cheese • Make • Recipes

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