Bacon is bad for you

You schizophrenic scientists ... make up your minds! One week researchers are releasing thousand-hour studies to determine the perfect level of crunchy/crispiness in bacon -- for which there is a formula, blogged about here -- and the next week, a different batch of scientists (these ones from Columbia University) tell us that bacon is not just bad for your heart, your waistline and quite possibly your complexion -- we knew that -- but now your lungs, too.

That's right -- the nitrites used as preservatives, color-enhancers and anti-bacterial agents in bacon can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in people who eat it regularly. (What's regularly? About every other morning.) COPD, in turn, can morph into a host of nasty respiratory diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In an interesting and rare socio-economic aside, the researchers noted that while people who eat bacon every other morning may be more likely to smoke, drink and have lower intakes of important vitamins and minerals (in other words, be poor), a crappy diet alone would have little effect on lung function. So, sorry guys ... the crunch stops here. (Pictured above: a self-portrait by Francis Bacon, because we're getting tired of posting pictures of actual bacon.)

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The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess
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Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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Bone Collector
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