Brain Game: Ready, Break!

Today's Brain Game is the final one for 2009; we'll pick up again with new puzzles for the new year. If you're jonesing for a Brain Game fix at the end of December, feel free to browse those from earlier in the year that you may have missed. In the meantime, here's a holiday send-off to say thanks to all our readers for playing along this year. Have a great New Year!

Find as many English words as you can of four letters or more in length using the letters in the word:

(Use each letter only once.)

Here are 17 words.

17 words:

ahoy, daily, dial, doily,

hail, halo, haloid,

hold, holy, hyaloid,

hyoid, idly, idol,

lady, laid, load, oily

These are the words I found in a "standard" dictionary; if you found any others that fit the bill, feel free to list them in the comments. Thanks!

The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

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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