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Food and Health Room

a place for talking about food, specially Kurdish food recipes

Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:05 am

Blood pressure warning over paracetamol

People with high blood pressure who take paracetamol on prescription could be increasing their risk of heart attacks and strokes, a study suggests

Doctors should think about the risks and benefits to patients taking it over many months, the University of Edinburgh researchers say.

Taking the painkiller for headaches and fevers is safe, they stress.

Other experts say research in more people over a longer time frame is needed to confirm the findings.

Paracetamol is widely used around the world as a short-term remedy for aches and pains but also prescribed to manage chronic pain, despite little evidence of its benefit for long-term use.

Half a million people - one out of every 10 - in Scotland were prescribed the painkiller in 2018.

High blood pressure affects one out of every three people in the UK.

The study tracked 110 volunteers, two-thirds of whom were taking drugs for high blood pressure, or hypertension.

In a randomised trial, they were asked to take 1g of paracetamol four times a day for two weeks - a common dose for patients with chronic pain - and then dummy pills, or placebo, for another two weeks.

The trial showed paracetamol increased blood pressure, "one of the most important risk factors for heart attacks and strokes" much more than a placebo, Edinburgh clinical pharmacologist Prof James Dear said.

The researchers advise doctors to start patients with chronic pain on as low a dose of paracetamol as possible and keep a close eye on those with high blood pressure and at risk of heart disease.

Lead investigator Dr Iain MacIntyre, clinical pharmacology consultant, at NHS Lothian, said: "This is not about short-term use of paracetamol for headaches or fever, which is, of course, fine."

'Many unknowns'

Dr Dipender Gill, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics lecturer, at St George's, University of London, said the study, published in the journal Circulation, had found "a small but meaningful increase in blood pressure in a white Scottish population" but "many unknowns remain".

"Firstly, it is not clear whether the observed increase in blood pressure would be sustained with longer term use of paracetamol," he said.

"Secondly, it is not known for certain whether any increase in blood pressure attributable to paracetamol use would lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease."

A large US study previously found a link between long-term paracetamol use and increased risk of heart attacks - but it could not prove one caused the other.

And other smaller studies have been unable to confirm the link.

The Edinburgh team said they could not explain how paracetamol would raise blood pressure but their findings should lead to a review of long-term paracetamol prescriptions.

These were previously considered safer than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, which are thought to raise blood pressure in some people.

The British Heart Foundation, which funded the study, said doctors and patients should regularly rethink whether any medication, even something "relatively harmless like paracetamol", was needed.

Dr Richard Francis, from the Stroke Association, said further research in people with normal, healthy blood pressure, over a longer timeframe, was needed "to confirm the risks and benefits of using paracetamol more widely".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-60289790
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 16, 2022 10:37 pm

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Duhok food festival

The Duhok food festival began on May 12 and attracted thousands of people over the next three days

It was held inside Tahseen Taha Park in Duhok city. Traditional Kurdish cuisines adorned the many tables at the event.

Over 30 restaurants and companies participated, according to the director-general of Duhok tourism Khairi Ali Auso. Some even came from Erbil.

The festival lasted three consecutive days. It was organized by the AVI institute and Duhok tourism directorate.

Besides food, attendees enjoyed several games and live music concerts, making it a unique experience for the people of Duhok.

One hundred varieties of food were on offer. Some were offered for free, while others were offered with a 50 percent discount.

Duhok Governor Ali Tatar took a tour inside the festival and told the media that more is needed to introduce Kurdish cuisine to the world and commercialize it will not remain only homemade.

“We can use Kurdish food to attract more tourists and create more job opportunities,” he said.

    Chef Reber is a well-known chef in Duhok. He recently won first place for cooking beef in a food competition in Lebanon, where chefs from 54 countries participated
He explained that Kurds are talented in preparing great food and that it is well worth introducing traditional Kurdish cuisine to the rest of the world. Food festivals will need to be held every month to achieve this.

Kurdistan 24 met several chefs from a traditional Kurdish food restaurant in Duhok. Their spots at the festival were crowded, with many people asking to buy the various food they had on offer.

Rondik Jabbar, one of the chefs, explained that they have Kurdish foods such as Givishk, Kutl Daw, Av Shrink, on offer and some foods with herbs that grow in the region’s mountains.

She added that they are 20 female chefs, all making traditional foods on-demand at their restaurants, including popular deserts like Kada.

Hezha Saeed, a food enthusiast, participated in one of the food-eating competitions. He expressed his joy over all the food there and described Duhok restaurants as very generous.

“I’ve been to many restaurants in different cities and neighboring countries,” he said. “In Duhok restaurants, you sometimes almost eat yourself full during the starter before the main course even arrives. That’s especially true at traditional restaurants.”

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https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/28 ... h-cuisines
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 29, 2022 12:06 am

Big sandwiches having
    big moment in London
During the winter lockdown of 2021, I cycled to a non-descript address in south east London to buy a sandwich out of someone’s kitchen. I’d seen the sandwich – stuffed full with onion bhaji, brinjal pickle, curry coconut yoghurt, cucumber, and spinach – on an Instagram account called Mondo Sando, which had a couple of hundred followers. After DMing my order, I went to collect it from the chef himself, on his very own doorstep, and it was as delicious – and enormous – as I had hoped

A year on, and Mondo now has over 7,000 followers, its own merch, and pop-ups in two south east London pubs. The sandwiches, meanwhile, have gotten even bigger and even more adventurous – something that’s happening across the capital (and beyond) more broadly.

There’s east London’s Dom’s Subs, which also launched during lockdown, and whose sandwiches are bursting with cold cuts or chicken parm. In Crouch End, you’ve got big dog Max’s Sandwich Shop – famous for its stacked ham, egg, and chips sandwich, which has even been immortalised in a Comme Des Garçons collection.

Foodie fave 40 Maltby Street offers new chock-full sandwiches each week, boasting lavish ingredients like confit duck, pork belly, and salt cod croquettes. Then there’s Dusty Knuckle, Sons + Daughters, Botega Rita’s, Secret Sandwich Shop – the list goes on.

Sandwiches are not breaking food news – they exist in many different forms across a variety of cultures, and have since their supposed invention in 1762. But, as to why big sandwiches are having a big moment in London right now, there are a few theories.

Greg Boyce, the co-founder of Dom’s Subs, puts it down to the pandemic. “I reckon people were sitting in their houses ‘working from home’ and dreaming of being able to go out and eat again,” he suggests. “Then, when they did get out, [they were willing to treat themselves more regularly], and sandwiches, being a lunch food, can be had on the regs without too much cause for occasion.”

What’s more, when lockdown shut down restaurants but takeaways remained, sandwiches enabled businesses that would have otherwise had to close its doors to keep going. “A sandwich is the easiest food to take away and eat,” says Joe, a sandwich superfan. “Once it’s wrapped in paper or foil, it stays warm for a while, and when made with a submarine roll, it’s got good structural integrity.”

There’s comfort in the humble sandwich, too – something we all needed post-lockdown – but with added excitement via its endlessly customisable filling combinations and ever-increasing size. This contrasts with the surely soon-to-be-passé small plates, which continue to get smaller and more expensive. “The bang for buck ratio is good on [big sandwiches], which is nice,” continues Boyce. “A reaction to overly-refined tweezer boy stuff, but just as tasty.”

It helps that these enormous subs don’t just taste good, but also look really, really good. Both Boyce and Joe cite the “photogenic” nature of sandwiches as a key part of their appeal – peeking inside at, as Joe calls them, the “carefully stacked layers” gives the sandwich the impression of offering “a decadent feast”.

And, to be fair, these colossal sandwiches do offer a decadent feast – and usually for less than a tenner. What’s not to love? To help you start your sandwich journey, here’s a little list of the best places to get big subs in London.

Mondo Sando, Camberwell and Peckham

A rising star in the big sandwich biz, with inventive combos, including, but not limited to, a deep-fried lasagne sandwich. Get yours at the Grove House Tavern on Camberwell Grove or The White Horse on Peckham Rye.

Dom’s Subs, Hackney and The City

Another place so popular it’s had to expand to a second location – now serving deep-filled sandwiches at its Dom’s Subs home on 262 Hackney Road and in its bigger store at 22 Bevis Marks.

Max’s Sandwich Shop, Crouch End

There are only four sandwiches on the menu at Max’s, but they’re all meals in themselves. If you don’t mind getting messy – and you will – then you can find these fashion famous sandwiches at 19 Crouch Hill.

40 Maltby Street, Bermondsey

For a more opulent experience, 40 Maltby Street is the place to go. Sandwiched in focaccia, the rich and delicious combinations are always inventive and a flavour game-changer. Head to – you guessed it – Maltby Street to get your hands on one.

The Dusty Knuckle, Dalston and Harringay

Focaccia also dominates at The Dusty Knuckle, acting as a wrap-around blanket for the squishy, saucy, spicy goodness inside. Definitely to be eaten with two hands. The HQ is at Abbot Street car park in Dalston, while the second spot is in Harringay, at 429 Green Lanes to be exact.

Sons + Daughters, Kings Cross

The sandwiches at Sons + Daughters have the look of your packed lunch from school – but, no offence mum, are infinitely more delicious. Think: white sliced bread with a crisp filling, only this time with a more gourmet mix of ingredients. Head to Coal Drops Yard for a rose-tinted trip down memory lane.

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle ... obal-en-GB
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 30, 2022 2:52 am

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Halabja pomegranate festival

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan 24 (ERBIL) – The total income from Halabja’s 8th Pomegranate and Fall Festival has reached over 900 million IQD within three days, according to organizers

Two-hundred fifty thousand tourists across the Kurdistan Region have visited the city to participate in the annual festival recently, Arsalan Abid, the head of Halabja Network of Organizations, an organizer of the event, said in a press conference on Saturday.

Participated by 500 farmers, the agricultural event ended on Saturday.

Abid also indicated that this year’s total income from Halabja’s pomegranate and autumn festival reached up to 950 million Iraqi dinars (over $650,000).

Pomegranate production witnessed a decline this year, however, the fruit's quality has remained high, several farmers have said recently, blaming extreme winter and summer conditions.

Halabja’s pomegranates have been exported to a number of European countries and the UK.

As part of its efforts to provide markets for local Kurdish produce, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is planning to export the fruit to other countries in a near future, officials have announced recently.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/29 ... e-festival
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 05, 2022 12:50 am

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Pomegranate export to Gulf

On Saturday Kurdistan made the first-ever export of its renowned pomegranates to Gulf countries, marking the Region's first non-oil export and a landmark step in efforts to broaden the economy

    Kurdistan’s pomegranates arrived in the supermarket shelves of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the fruit being described as “premium grade” by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, 

    — Masrour Barzani (@masrourbarzani) December 3, 2022
Among the most famous types of pomegranates in Kurdistan are those originating from Halabja, where an annual pomegranate festival showcasing around 30 different types of pomegranates is held which sees tens of thousands flock to the event.

Kurdistan Government’s ministry of agriculture has on multiple occasions said they are willing to support farmers who want to export their pomegranates. 

Halabja produced 12,500 tons of pomegranates planted on nearly 9,000 dunams of land this year, according to Star Kamal, head of Halabja’s Agriculture Directorate, The figure is down from last year’s 25,000 tons, largely linked to water shortage, lack of rainfall, and last year’s cold weather.

A main objective of Barzani’s cabinet has been to diversify the Region’s economy and take advantage of its fruitful agricultural capabilities to export goods abroad, despite the majority of its agricultural products being imported from neighboring Iran and Turkey.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/041220221
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:13 am

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Cooking with gas unhealthy

Cooking with gas is worse for your health than living in a polluted city, according to new research

TV chefs prefer the stoves to electric alternatives – like most professionals.

But they produce nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter – dangerous toxins found in traffic fumes, say scientists.

They irritate the lungs and can get into the bloodstream – increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Children and older people are most vulnerable and one study found gas stoves cause spikes in indoor air many times the levels on a busy city street.

Children went to school wearing backpacks kitted out with air pollution monitors, reports New Scientist.

Professor Frank Kelly, of Imperial College London, said: “Many of the children were actually exposed to more pollution at home in the evenings, when one of the parents was cooking, than what they actually were seeing on the way to school.”

Another study suggested one in eight cases of childhood asthma in the US is due to the use of gas cookers.

Prof Kelly, who was not involved in that work, says they are a “major source of indoor air pollution.”

They can exacerbate or even cause asthma and other health conditions.

Prof Kelly said: “If the household has got an asthmatic child, they will have more symptoms than if they didn’t have a gas stove.”

Focus on indoor air pollution is only just starting to catch up with its outdoor counterpart owing to challenges in shrinking measuring equipment.

Gas stoves cause spikes in indoor air many times the levels on a busy city street.

Another study found residents of southern California using gas stove tops are routinely exposed to nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde levels that exceed safety thresholds for outdoor pollution set by US authorities.

The problem is worse in smaller homes without adequate ventilation.

Prof Steffen Loft, of Copenhagen University, said: “One could argue the risk associated with a gas stove is likely to be larger than living in a polluted city.”

Gas cookers are also fuelling global warming. A study in the US found methane leaking from the stoves in the US has a climate impact comparable with the carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 petrol cars.

In the European Union, cooking with gas may be exposing over 100 million people to levels of indoor air pollution that would violate EU outdoor air pollution regulations, NGO Clasp reported this month.

It is calling for all gas stoves to come with health warning labels.

By 2025, no new homes in the UK will be built with fossil fuel heating, a move that will almost certainly mean them having electric induction stoves.

In the US, president Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will offer households subsidies of up to $1,340 to switch from a gas to induction stove.

Researchers agree that if people have the opportunity, they should change to electric cookers.

This is a “relatively easy way of reducing your particulate matter and nitrogen oxide exposure”, says Prof Nicola Carslaw at the University of York.

In the meantime, opening a window and using an extractor fan can make an immediate difference to indoor air quality, she says.

Effective cooker hoods that vent to the outside can cut pollution levels by 55 per cent, studies suggest.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/heal ... 66571.html
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Feb 04, 2023 3:23 am

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People can't tell left from right

It can seem like an almost childish mistake, but a surprising number of adults confuse left from right and scientists are only just starting to understand why

When British brain surgeon Henry Marsh sat down beside his patient's bed following surgery, the bad news he was about to deliver stemmed from his own mistake. The man had a trapped nerve in his arm that required an operation – but after making a midline incision in his neck, Marsh had drilled out the nerve on the wrong side of his spinal column.

Preventable medical mistakes frequently involve wrong-sided surgery: an injection to the wrong eye, for example, or a biopsy from the wrong breast. These "never events" – serious and largely preventable patient safety accidents – highlight that, while most of us learn as children how to tell left from right, not everyone gets it right.

While for some people, telling left from right is as easy as telling up from down, a significant minority – around one in six people, according to a recent study – struggle with the distinction. Even for those who believe they have no issues, distractions such as ambient noise, or having to answer unrelated questions, can get in the way of making the right choice.

"Nobody has difficulty in saying [something is] front and back, or top and bottom," says Ineke van der Ham, professor of neuropsychology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. But telling left from right is different, she says. "It's because of the symmetry, and because when you turn around, it's the other way around, and that makes it so confusing."

Left-right discrimination is actually quite a complex process, calling upon memory, language, visual and spatial processing, and mental rotation. In fact, researchers are only just beginning to get to the bottom of exactly what's going on in our brains when we do it – and why it's much easier for some people than others.

Former US President Donald Trump was briefly flummoxed when leaders were asked to cross hands at a summit in the Philippines in 2017 (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

How being left-handed changes your brain

Around one in 10 people are left-handed, and studies on twins have shown that genetics has a role to play. A study at the University of Oxford recently revealed four regions in human DNA that seem to play a role in determining if someone is left or right handed.

Those who were left-handed were found to have "mutations" in four genes that code for the body's cytoskeleton – the complex scaffolding that sits within cells to help organise them. Scans of people with these mutations showed that the white matter in their brains had a different structure. The left and right sides of the brains of left-handed people were also better connected than in right-handed people.

"Some individuals can tell right from left innately, just can do it without thinking," says Gerard Gormley, a GP and clinical professor at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. "But others have to go through a process." In an effort to understand what happens in wrong-sided medical errors, Gormley and his colleagues have conducted research on medical students' experience of making left-right decisions and examined the process.

"First of all, you have to orient right from left in yourself," he says. When the answer doesn't come instantly, participants described various techniques, from making an L shape with their thumb and index finger, to thinking about which hand they use to write, or strum a guitar. "For some people it's a tattoo on their body or a piercing," Gormley says.

Then, when figuring out which side is someone else's left or right, the next step is mentally rotating yourself so you're facing in the same direction as the other person. "If I'm facing you, my left hand will be opposite your right hand," says Gormley. "That idea of mentally rotating an object adds an extra degree of complexity." Other research shows that people tend to find it easier to judge if an image shows a left or right hand by imagining their own hand or body rotating.

Research published by Van der Ham and her colleagues in 2020 found that around 15% of people rate themselves as insufficient when it comes to identifying left and right. Almost half of the four hundred participants in the study said they used a hand-related strategy to identify which is which.

The researchers used something called the Bergen right-left discrimination test to dig deeper into how these strategies work. Participants looked at pictures of stick people either facing toward or away from them, with their arms in various positions, and had to identify their highlighted hand as their left or right. "It seems simple, but it's kind of frustrating if you have to do a hundred of these as quickly as you can," says Van der Ham.

In the first experiment, the participants sat with their hands on a table in front of them. "There was a very clear effect from how this little stick figure was positioned," says Van der Ham. "If you were looking at the back of the head, so it was aligned with you, people were a lot faster and more accurate." Similarly, when the stick person was facing the participant but had their hands crossed, so their left hand was on the same side as the participant's left hand, people tended to do better.

"That tells us that the body really is involved in this," says Van der Ham. The next question was whether participants were using cues from their body at the time of the test to identify left and right, or referring to a stored idea of their body instead.

To answer that, the researchers repeated their experiment, but this time tested four different scenarios: participants sat with their hands either crossed or uncrossed on the table in front of them, and had their hands either visible during the test, or covered with a black cloth.

But the researchers found that none of those changes influenced test performance. In other words, participants didn't need to actually see their hands in order to use their own body to distinguish right from left.

"We haven't completely solved the issue," says Van der Ham. "But we were able to identify our bodies as being a key element in identifying left from right, and that we consult our body representation as we have it in a more static way."
Mistakes made during medical procedures due to left-right errors have led some surgeons to take extra steps to ensure they operate in the right place (Credit: Tommy London/Alamy)

Mistakes made during medical procedures due to left-right errors have led some surgeons to take extra steps to ensure they operate in the right place (Credit: Tommy London/Alamy)

In Van der Ham's experiments, the boost in performance that came from being in line with the stick person was more pronounced in people who said they use a hand-related strategy to tell left from right in their daily lives, as well as in women generally. The researchers also found that men tended to be faster in responding than women, but the data did not back up previous research showing that men perform better overall in left-right discrimination tests.

Exactly why people differ in their ability to tell left from right isn't clear, though research suggests that the more asymmetrical someone's body is (in terms of writing hand preference, for example) the easier they find it to tell left and right apart. "If one side of your brain is slightly larger than the other, you tend to have a better right-left discrimination," says Gormely.

But it could also be something that we learn in childhood, like other aspects of spatial cognition, says Van der Ham. "If kids are in charge of finding the way around, if you just let them walk in front of you for a couple of metres and make the decisions, those are the kids that ended up being better navigators," she says.

Research by Alice Gomez and colleagues at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center in France hints that left-right discrimination is something that children can pick up quickly. Gomez designed a two-week intervention programme, delivered by teachers, designed to increase five-to-seven-year-olds' body representation and motor skills.

When they were tested on their ability to locate the correct body part on themselves or a partner – their right knee, for example – after the programme, the number of left-right discrimination errors were almost halved. "It was very easy for us to increase the abilities of children to be able to locate the [body part] on the basis of the name," says Gomez.

One reason for this might be that the children were taught a strategy – to think about their writing hand – for when they couldn't remember right and left. The programme's focus on children's own bodies is another possible explanation, especially as other research shows that an egocentric reference frame is key when we make left-right decisions.

In a typical classroom, children might label body parts on a diagram rather than their own bodies, because the latter is more time-consuming and difficult to assess for a teacher, says Gomez. "It's very rare that they will have the time to be egocentric," she says.
Most of us can distinguish up and down intuitively, but working out left from right can take more mental gymnastics (Credit: Alamy)

While there are plenty of everyday scenarios where knowing left from right is important, there are some situations where it's absolutely critical. Brain surgeon Marsh was able to put right his wrong-sided trapped nerve surgery – but a surgeon removing the wrong kidney or amputating the wrong limb, for example, would have devastating consequences.

Medicine is not the only field where left-right errors can make the difference between life and death: it's possible that a steersman turning the ship right instead of left was a contributing factor in the sinking of the Titanic.

But while some people have to put in more effort to judge left and right, everybody has the ability to get left-right decisions wrong, says Gormley. He hopes that more awareness of how easy it is to make such a mistake will lead to less stigma for those who need to double check their decision.

"As health care professionals, we spend a lot of time labelling spatial orientations: proximal, distal, superior, inferior, but really pay no attention to right or left," he says. "But actually, of all the spatial orientations, that is the most challenging."

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2023 ... obal-en-GB
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Feb 08, 2023 11:24 am

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Combating bacterial infections

Researchers discover a pathogen lethal to sugarcanes that can act as an antibacterial agent

A new plant pathogen has been discovered, revealing a potential new method for combatting the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. With such bacterial infections becoming a major threat, this pathogen is paving the way for the presence of an antibacterial agent that is said to work like nothing else ever deployed in medicine.

New route exploited to tackle bacterial disease

Under the name of Albicidin, this pathogen is known to cause disease in sugarcane, called leaf scald. A new study looking at the mechanism it uses to attack lifeforms found that Albicidin works as a DNA topoisomerase inhibitor, and has been seen to attack bacteria in a totally different way than common antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones.

Topoisomerases are nuclear enzymes that play essential roles in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and chromosome segregation. In the study, Albicidin was found to efficiently lock DNA gyrase in antibiotic-resistant E. coli, causing double-strand DNA breaks, and eventual cell death, which has raised several questions in the field.

A researcher in a British-German-Polish group that studied the potential antibiotic at the John Innes Center in Norwich, UK, Dmitry Ghilarov stated that they could not elicit any resistance towards Albicidin in the laboratory.

He then proceeds to add that they are excited because they believe it will be very hard for bacteria to evolve resistance against Albicidin-derived antibiotics, which is a sign of positive results.

Given the challenges that antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections bring to the field of conventional medicine today, and that its fatality rate is more than that of COVID-19, it is astonishing that developing innovative methods to combat these sort of infections have been largely neglected by major pharmaceutical companies.

“Now we have a structural understanding, we can create modifications of Albicidin to improve its efficacy and pharmacological properties,” said Ghilarov.

“We believe this is one of the most exciting new antibiotic candidates in many years. It has extremely high effectiveness in small concentrations and is highly potent against pathogenic bacteria—even those resistant to the widely used antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones.”, he adds.

Potential development of new class of pharmaceuticals

With the idea that a unique method of dispatching bacteria could be used to create a powerful new range of antibiotics, a wide range of research is being conducted in the field, including animal-infected models, which have already established both safety and efficacy in two derivatives of Albicidin.

In an attempt to explore this matter more deeply, researchers have shown that inhibitors of DNA gyrase represent an untapped reservoir of potential antibiotic compounds that may aid us expand the field onwards upon an instructional understanding of the processes. With its high effectiveness in small doses, and promising results thus far, this may lead to the development of a whole new class of pharmaceuticals.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/hea ... ial-infect
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Feb 14, 2023 10:07 am

Will it air fry?

Think they're just for chips? There's an air fryer revolution taking place, and people are finally maximising the gadget's potential

Air fryer salmon

When air fryers were launched in the early 2010s, it was to a great fanfare. Sure, there were plenty of cooks pointing out that they were just tiny convection ovens, but they remained steady sellers, refusing to be consigned to kitchen gadget history books.

As well as the health benefits of replacing the deep fryer, an air fryer could save you money as they use less energy than ovens, making it an even more attractive proposition. But how versatile are they for cooking whole meals? Are they good for anything beyond chips?

Jenny Tschiesche, author of Air-fryer Cookbook: Quick, Healthy And Delicious Recipes For Beginners, shares what you need to know about cooking (almost) anything in an air fryer.
Chips and potatoes but not as you know it…

Air fryer baked potato

Let's get it out of the way. There’s no denying air fryers and chips go hand in hand.

To make great air fryer chips, soak the potatoes in water for ten minutes to remove excess starch, then dry thoroughly before tossing them in oil and salt, says Jenny. How long they need to cook will depend on the air fryer you have, but around 30 minutes at 180C. But how good are they? “My mum makes the most incredible triple cooked chips. I made air fryer chips recently and my mum couldn’t tell the difference, which was a real coup for me.”

However, chips don’t need to be limited to potatoes. “I get an odd box [of vegetables] each week and I started making chips with whatever root vegetable was sent – potatoes, sweet potatoes, swedes, I even did kohlrabi at one stage and it worked really well!” says Jenny.

When making sweet potato fries, experiment with coatings, says Jenny. “You can toss them in a seasoned flour, rice flour or polenta, which will help them crisp up.” However if you’re making wedges, a coating isn’t necessary.

When making chips or fries, you can put more than one layer in the air fryer, “but you wouldn’t want to completely fill the drawer up,” says Jenny, “Just give the chips a really good shake three or four times while they’re cooking.”

Other crispy potato dishes work just as well. “Patatas bravas are amazing," says Jenny, as are air fryer roast potatoes and hasselback potatoes.

“Jacket potatoes are really good. Again, I tend to rinse them and dry them off, roll them in olive oil, and get as much salt to stick to the outside as I can. I prong them with a fork, and they cook in about 40 minutes and you get a really crisp outside and lovely fluffy inside.
Quick meals and snacks

Air fryer chicken wings with sticky glaze

Of course, crispy air fryer chicken is another favourite fast food switch-up. The key is to protect the chicken from drying out in the hot air. Breading or coating in cornflakes helps. (It's also great for air fryer mozzarella sticks). Using chicken thighs or chicken wings also keeps things juicy.

A marinade also helps protect meat in the air fryer, as it would on a barbecue. Prawns, beef and lamb all work successfully on skewers, as does Jenny's favourite chicken tikka. “I marinate the chicken in lemon juice, yoghurt and spice. That's a really nice way to get it easily tender.”

Burgers that are naturally high in fat will stay juicy in the air fryer too, as will oily fish.

“Fish is great to air fry, because it cooks so quickly” says Jenny. One of her favourite dishes is salmon in pesto with asparagus, “it's just so easy! You can put the asparagus and the salmon in pretty much at the same time.”

It helps to go beyond treating the air fryer as a deep fryer replacement. “I started to see the air fryer as a compact and efficient mini oven,” making things like croûtons, crispy chickpeas, banana chips, and pitta chips really easily, reducing food waste and oven usage. It works a treat for toasting nuts, making super crisp bacon and drying out breadcrumbs too.

Getting creative

Once she'd mastered all things crispy, Jenny was ready to experiment in taking the appliance further. “I made things like aubergine parmigiana and shakshuka, says Jenny.

Because the air fryer circulates very hot air, the surface cooks faster and hotter than the inside. So some dishes like shakshuka need to be cooked in stages. But gradually adding more ingredients can be done without losing too much heat or energy. “I start by roasting the peppers, then I add the tomato and seasoning and then later I add the egg.”

A dish of creamy dauphinoise potatoes will work if you keep an eye on the top and cover if needed before the potatoes are cooked inside.

“I tried arancini and I wasn't sure they were going to work. I wrapped leftover risotto around a mozzarella ball, and then covered them in breadcrumbs. It worked so well I put it into my book.”

The humble cauliflower works wonderfully in an air fryer. “I toss florets in olive oil, turmeric, black onion seed and salt, it gives a really nice sweet flavour with a crispy exterior.”

Air fryer cauliflower "wings"

What is the best air fryer to buy?

Jenny advises against being wooed by the big ones you see on social media. “Air fryers have had a resurgence because they became really popular in America and that has travelled over here, but in the US, they often have big kitchens so can have big air fryers.

“But, typically speaking, the ones in the UK are of a size that fits the smaller UK kitchen. For most of us it just wouldn't work to have a 10 litre one, but I've got a 5.7 litre one and that’s great.”

Rather than getting it out occasionally, the idea is the air fryer will be permanently on your countertop to encourage everyday use. “It's not like a food processor that you get out from time to time. You're going to use it every day.

“The biggest tip is to not think of it as a really healthy chipmaker. Think of it as a really powerful mini oven”.

What accessories will I need?

You’re going to want to be able to use some of your existing dishes in the air fryer – that could be a small gratin dish or ramekins, so make sure they fit in the air fryer you’re buying.

You will probably want some air fryer liners which come with perforated holes, allowing the air to circulate. “Or you could just use greaseproof paper with a few holes in it,” says Jenny, but check the manual for the model you’re considering because this might discourage for safety reasons. Likewise, Jenny warns about using liners when you’re pre-heating the air fryer.

"They've got powerful fans. If you put a liner in before you put anything else in, the liner can literally hit the roof and scorch as it hits the heating element."

It’s also a good idea to have a meat thermometer to check everything’s cooked, advises Jenny, as browning may happen quicker than in a normal oven. “Particularly if you're going to be cooking pork or chicken.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/will_it_air_fry
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Feb 23, 2023 12:21 pm

Are nonstick pans safe

There are still no good answers about America’s favorite cookware

I grew up in a nonstick-pan home. No matter what was on the menu, my dad would reach for the Teflon-coated pan first: nonstick for stir-fried vegetables, for reheating takeout, for the sunny-side-up eggs, garlic fried rice, and crisped Spam slices that constituted breakfast.

Nowadays, I’m a much fussier cook: A stainless-steel pan is my kitchen workhorse. Still, when I’m looking to make something delicate, such as a golden pancake or a classic omelet, I can’t help but turn back to that time-tested fave.

And what a dream it is to use. Nonstick surfaces are so frictionless that fragile crepes and scallops practically lift themselves off the pan; cleaning up sticky foods, such as oozing grilled-cheese sandwiches, becomes no more strenuous than rinsing a plate. No wonder 70 percent of skillets sold in the U.S. are nonstick. Who can afford to mangle a dainty snapper fillet or spend time scrubbing away crisped rice?

All of this convenience, however, comes with a cost: the unsettling feeling that cooking with a nonstick pan is somehow bad for you. My dad had a rule that we could use only a soft, silicon-edged spatula with the pan, born of his hazy intuition that any scratches on the coating would cause it to leach into our food and make us sick.

Many home cooks have lived with these fears since at least the early 2000s, when we first began to hear about problems with Teflon, the substance that makes pans nonstick. Teflon is produced from chemicals that are part of an enormous family of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroakyl substances, or PFAS.

Research has linked exposure to them to many health conditions, including certain cancers, reproductive issues, and high cholesterol. And that is about all we know: In kitchens over the past two decades, the same questions around safety have lingered unanswered amid the aromas of sizzling foods and, perhaps, invisible clouds of Teflon fumes.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... obal-en-GB
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Mar 09, 2023 11:08 am

Fat, Sugar, Salt

You’ve Been Thinking About Food All Wrong

In the late 2000s, Carlos Monteiro noticed something strange about the food that Brazilian people were eating. The nutritionist had been poring over three decades’ worth of data from surveys that asked grocery shoppers to note down every item they bought.

In more recent surveys, Monteiro noticed, Brazilians were buying way less oil, sugar, and salt than they had in the past. Despite this, people were piling on the pounds. Between 1975 and 2009 the proportion of Brazilian adults who were overweight or obese more than doubled.

This contradiction troubled Monteiro. If people were buying less fat and sugar, why were they getting bigger? The answer was right there in the data. Brazilians hadn’t really cut down on fat, salt, and sugar—they were just consuming these nutrients in an entirely new form.

People were swapping traditional foods—rice, beans, and vegetables—for prepackaged bread, sweets, sausages, and other snacks. The share of biscuits and soft drinks in Brazilians’ shopping baskets had tripled and quintupled, respectively, since the first household survey in 1974.

The change was noticeable everywhere. When Monteiro first qualified as a doctor in 1972, he’d worried that Brazilians weren’t getting enough to eat. By the late 2000s, his country was suffering with the exact opposite problem.

At a glance, Monteiro’s findings seem obvious. If people eat too much unhealthy food, they put on more weight. But the nutritionist wasn’t satisfied with that explanation. He thought that something fundamental had shifted in our food system, and scientists needed a new way to talk about it.

For more than a century, nutrition science has focused on nutrients: Eat less saturated fat, avoid excess sugar, get enough vitamin C, and so on. But Monteiro wanted a new way of categorizing food that emphasized how products were made, not just what was in them.

It wasn’t just ingredients that made a food unhealthy, Monteiro thought. It was the whole system: how the food was processed, how quickly we ate it, and the way it was sold and marketed. “We are proposing a new theory to understand the relationship between diet and health,” Monteiro says.

Monteiro created a new food classification system—called NOVA—that breaks things down into four categories. Least worrisome are minimally processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed meats.

Then come processed culinary ingredients (oils, butter, and sugar), and after that processed foods (tinned vegetables, smoked meats, freshly baked bread, and simple cheeses)—substances to be used carefully as part of a healthy diet. And then there are ultra-processed foods.

There are a bunch of reasons why a product might fall into the ultra-processed category. It might be made using “industrial processes” like extrusion, interesterification, carbonation, hydrogenation, molding, or prefrying.

It could contain additives designed to make it hyper-palatable, or preservatives that help it stay stable at room temperature. Or it might contain high levels of fat, sugar, and salt in combinations that aren’t usually found in whole foods.

What all the foods share, Monteiro says, is that they are designed to displace freshly prepared dishes and keep you coming back for more, and more, and more. “Every day from breakfast to dinner you are consuming something that was engineered to be overconsumed,” says Monteiro.

The concept of ultra-processed food has caught on in a big way since it was first introduced in 2009: Brazil, France, Israel, Ecuador, and Peru have all made NOVA part of their dietary guidelines.

Countless health and diet blogs extol the virtues of avoiding ultra-processed foods—shunning them is one thing that both followers of a carnivorous and a raw vegan diet can actually agree on.

The label has been used to criticize plant-based meat companies, who in turn have embraced the label. Impossible calls its plant-based burger “unapologetically processed.” Others have pointed out that there’s no way we can feed billions of people without relying on processed food.

https://www.wired.com/story/ultra-proce ... obal-en-GB
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Mar 30, 2023 10:08 am

Mediterranean diet is healthy

It is generally known that a diet rich in olive oil, almonds, fish, whole grains, and vegetables can help healthy people live longer

A Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or early death for hundreds of millions of individuals who are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, a global evaluation of the evidence revealed.

A diet rich in olive oil, almonds, fish, whole grains, and vegetables has been linked to a number of advantages in the past, and it is generally known that it can help healthy people live longer.

However, there hasn't been much research on how it might benefit people who are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, including the hundreds of millions of people who are physically sedentary, smoke, or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, as well as those who have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, or high cholesterol.

Presently, guidelines suggest different diets for people who are more likely to develop heart disease, but they frequently rely on evidence with a low degree of reliability from non-randomized research. The world's largest study to date, which included 40 randomized controlled trials involving more than 35,000 participants, has now provided strong evidence.

According to the first comparative assessment of seven programs, which was published in the BMJ journal, Mediterranean and low-fat diets lower the risk of death and heart attack in people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from the US, Canada, China, Spain, Colombia, and Brazil examined 40 trials involving 35,548 participants who were tracked for an average of three years over seven diet programs.

The seven diets were: Mediterranean, low fat, very low fat, modified fat, combined low fat and low sodium, Ornish (a vegetarian diet, low in fat and refined sugar), and Pritikin (a plant-based diet, limiting processed food).

Based on data with a moderate degree of certainty, Mediterranean diet programs were more effective than minimal intervention in reducing cardiovascular diseases risk factors such as all-cause mortality, nonfatal heart attacks, and stroke.

With a certain degree of assurance, low-fat programs outperformed basic interventions in preventing both fatal and non-fatal heart attacks.

Based mostly on evidence with low to moderate certainty, the five additional dietary programs generally had little to no benefit when compared with minimum intervention.

The researchers acknowledged that their study had a number of limitations, including the inability to assess diet program adherence and the potential that some of the benefits might have come from other aspects of the programs, such as medication and assistance with quitting smoking. Nonetheless, the BMJ said it was a thorough review.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/hea ... tudy-finds

KURDS MUST STOP:
    Smoking
    Drinking boiling hot tea
    Eating countless sugar lumps with their tea
    Using vast amounts of salt in their cooking
    Putting thick layer of salt on salads
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 18, 2023 9:05 pm

UK Cheese and bread cost up 80%

The price of staple foods, most notably cheddar cheese and white bread, has risen to 80% across eight major supermarkets in the UK over the past year - clear proof that inflation is hitting those on the tightest budgets the hardest

Consumer advocacy group Which? analyzed the cost of a variety of British staples and found that porridge oats had the highest average price increase, up 35.5%, followed by skim milk at 33.6% and cheddar cheese at 28.3%.

Meanwhile, a 180g bag of Dragon cheddar cheese in Asda cost 80% more than it did a year earlier, making it the most inflationary product line in the survey. Own-label cheddar sticks sold by the same retailer increased by just under 79%. The cost-effective Just Essentials pork sausages from Asda increased by 73%, matching Tesco's Woodside Farms best-value pork sausages in growth.

The Which? survey illustrates a recent pattern of price increases in supermarkets' budget ranges, regular own-label products, and international brands as merchants pass on price increases associated with rising energy and commodity costs.

When compared to the same period last year, the price of porridge oats increased at an average rate of 35.5% in each of the eight supermarkets surveyed. The largest price increase at Ocado was for porridge oats, which was roughly 65.5%. As a result, the price of the Quaker Oat So Simple Protein Porridge Pot Original 49g increased from 94p to £1.56.

The average price increase for white potatoes was 14%. At Morrisons, the cost of baked potatoes increased by 63.5%.

Such increases seem to confirm worries that the poorest, including disabled people, are being affected the hardest by inflation.

While supermarket own-label budget goods continue to be the cheapest overall, according to Which?'s tracker, prices increased by 24.8% compared to March last year. While branded goods and premium own-brand ranges saw price increases of 13.8% and 20.5%, respectively, so did regular supermarket own brands.

Following the survey, Which? called on large retailers to guarantee that the food items from their budget range were more broadly accessible.

Our latest supermarket food and drink tracker paints a bleak picture for the millions of households already skipping meals of how inflation is impacting prices on supermarket shelves, with the poorest once again feeling the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis," Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy," was quoted as saying.

“While the whole food chain affects prices, supermarkets have the power to do more to support people who are struggling, including ensuring everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need. Supermarkets must also provide transparent pricing so people can easily work out which products offer the best value,” she added.

The UK's economy has been battling with record-high inflation in recent months, with many employees going on strike and protesting because their salaries are not keeping up with increasing inflation.

With inflation exceeding 10% and a rise in food and heating costs, salaries have plummeted in real terms, leaving individuals unable to pay their expenses.

The government has revealed a new proposal to discontinue the Energy Price Guarantee scheme, which will remove the government's financial support for energy bills, adding to the present strain on consumers.

Forecasts from the bank predict that the UK will be enduring 40-year-high inflation, reaching 11% during the incumbent quarter. However, Britain has already entered a recession that may last up to 2 years - even longer than what it endured during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/eco ... permarkets
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 25, 2023 6:59 pm

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Remove Pesticides From Fruit

There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to food—or rather, there’s a lot that people want you to worry about. Every mommy blogger and natural living life coach with a URL to their name is bursting with helpful tips on how to rid yourself of toxins and chemicals. If you google “how to get pesticides off fruit” you’re greeted by a flurry of blogs all promising the solution

It’s not unreasonable to want to consume fewer of the chemicals we use to kill off bugs and weeds. You should just make sure that what you’re doing is actually effective. Plenty of people wash their chicken before cooking it, even though that method does nothing to kill bacteria, and in fact spreads potentially dangerous pathogens all over your kitchen sink and such. So let’s look at the evidence:

    Store-Bought Veggie Washes Don’t Work, But Baking Soda Does
Water can remove some of the pesticides from a piece of fruit, so a basic scrub under the tap will help at least a little. The extent to which this rather lackadaisical method works will depends on the fruit itself; some skins will more readily release the pesticides contained therein. Others, like apples treated with wax for extra shine, will retain them despite your scrubbing. But water’s occasional ineffectiveness doesn’t mean you should waste money on store-bought veggie washes—they don’t seem to work, either. And even if it worked (which it’s not clear that it does), regular soap is liable to seep into the surface.

A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found one better alternative: baking soda. A solution of sodium bicarbonate and water can remove even more pesticides than water alone, provided you have more than a minute to spare. In the experiments, Gala apples that were allowed to soak in baking soda for eight minutes had significantly reduced pesticide residue on the surface, and at 12-15 minutes there were virtually no pesticides left. This is because sodium bicarbonate can help degrade the two types of pesticides used in this study, thiabendazole and phosmet. Other chemicals might not react the same way, so this solution isn’t a guarantee of a pesticide-free snack. It’s just a lot better than the alternatives.

Even after the long soak time, though, there were some pesticides that the baking soda couldn’t get to. Thiabendazole and phosmet, like many other substances, seep into the skin and flesh of the produce they’re applied to. There’s an upper limit to the amount that the fruit can absorb, since the added chemicals will come to an equilibrium inside the cells, but none of it will come out in the wash.

Buying Organic Can Help, Though Not Much

If you’re hoping to avoid pesticides altogether, you’ll have to look beyond the organic aisle. Produce grown under organic conditions can still have pesticides, it’s just a different—and supposedly less toxic—set of them. But they’re still chemicals that can seep into your fruit through the skin or even leech into the flesh itself via the plant’s water supply, both of which prevent you from washing them away.

The most common piece of advice here is to avoid those fruits that pose more of a pesticide risk, often known as the “Dirty Dozen.” An environmental group called the Environmental Working Group has claimed that switching to the organic versions of those 12 fruits and veggies could substantially improve your health. It’s true that organic versions will generally contain fewer and less harmful chemicals, and there’s certainly no harm in eating organic, but it’s worth noting that EWG’s methodology is far from scientific. Their analysis relied on unproven theories about how pesticides might interact with one another, and thus has skewed results. A rebuttal in the Journal of Toxicology found that EWG didn’t even attempt to estimate pesticide exposure in the first place, and that “substitution of organic forms of the twelve commodities for conventional forms does not result in any appreciable reduction of consumer risks.”

In other words: science does not back up the Dirty Dozen advice. But it’s your money; you can eat organic if you want to.

It’s Not Clear How Worried You Should be About Those Pesticides in the First Place

That same Journal of Toxicology analysis also found that the levels of pesticides detected in the so-called Dirty Dozen all fell below the acceptable limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. And we’re not talking just slightly below the limit. The allowable dose for methamidophos on bell peppers was 49.5 times higher than the actual amount of pesticide, and that was the fruit with the highest exposure. Many of them came 1,000-or 30,000-fold under the legal limit. It is worth noting that legal limits aren’t infallible. Human exposures and their bodily impacts are difficult to study (and oft under-studied), and too often we don’t know exactly how a particular pesticide might affect us. If the EPA bases their acceptable limit on faulty science, it may overestimate how much exposure we can tolerate. And that’s assuming that the EPA is even doing their job properly in the first place.

If you’re still not sure—maybe you don’t trust the EPA, or you think pesticides haven’t been studied well enough (both perfectly fair points)—try going to your local farmer’s market. There, you can talk to the growers and discuss which pesticides they use. Of course, there seems to be an ever-growing trend of farmer’s markets filling up with folks simply reselling wholesale produce. So you might want to do an extra baking soda wash just to be sure.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 08, 2023 10:03 pm

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Secret to Better Home Fries

Pommes persillade might sound fancy, but the homey side dish — a staple on bistro menus — is incredibly easy to make at home. Crispy potatoes with soft, tender centers are tossed in melted butter, minced garlic, and fresh parsley to create the ultimate side dish. It’s like the classic diner home fries you know and love, only elevated

The trick to getting these potatoes super crispy is to boil them in salted water before pan-frying them. This does two things: It cooks the potatoes all the way through so they are perfectly tender, and it helps bring some of the potatoes’ gelatinized starches to the surface so the potatoes get nice and crispy. To do this, you’ll cover diced potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil, drain them, and let them dry on a sheet tray, where they’ll cool for at least 10 minutes to allow the excess water to evaporate. Then, fry them in a hot skillet to crisp them up.

Here, we’re garnishing the crispy spuds with shredded Parmesan cheese to amp up their savoriness, but you can leave it out and still end up with a delicious side dish. Serve them immediately to maintain their crispy texture and pair with your favorite protein for the ultimate weeknight dinner.

Pommes Persillade

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Ingredients

    4 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
    1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    2 cloves garlic
    1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions

Peel and cut 4 medium russet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife but not falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Drain the potatoes, then transfer onto a baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Pat the potatoes dry with more towels and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mince 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chop the leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, and finely shred 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup). Microwave 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl until melted, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the potatoes and cook, stirring and flipping them often, until golden-brown and crisp on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer the potatoes into the bowl of garlic butter and toss to coat. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with the Parmesan.

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