Do you have garlic salt?

We don’t know if we’ve mentioned this or not, but we don’t really do meat. Naw, just kidding—we know we mention this all the time. But it’s true. We do have a piece of fish occasionally (doctor’s orders), but what started out as a personal challenge to see if we could do it has turned into a full-fledged case of being grossed out by meat...for the most part. See, we still get cravings even if we think cows are cool, but this is also, luckily, a glorious time of fake meat products being unleashed across the land.

Did you know, for example, you can get a package of Impossible Meat that’s basically like having a package of ground beef? It’s true, Le Forkette gets it at Trader Joe’s from time to time, and we do the burger forming/cooking. As such, we’ve learned a few things from experience that we think will be helpful to all y’all in case you decide to give it a try. And we’re sooooo looking forward to letters like “Hi, I’m an old, and I like meat and despite how you’re in no way telling me what to eat or not, I’m here to tell you that I prefer the real deal.” Just so you know, we’ll mainly wonder why you spent your time writing us something like that. But go nuts, we guess.

Anyway—on to the burgs.

Thin is Best

We’re speaking to you about the specific brand Impossible, and the 12 oz. ground beef-esque product that looks like so:

While we cannot speak for all fake meats, we learned very quickly that there’s not a great way to go about making a thick Impossible burger. What we do is take the 12 oz. thing, cut it into quarters, ball up each quarter and then press into patties slowly and carefully. When we went thick, it cooked weird and tasted kind of off—believe that. We’re pretty sure this is why Dr. Field Good’s Impossible Burger is called “skinny,” and why you get two patties. As it happens, you and one other person get two patties at home as well (assuming you’re cooking for two).

Sans Spice

Back in the days when we made actual meat burgs, we’d use all kinds of things in our recipe—salt and pepper, of course, but garlic and Worcestershire sauce and sometimes a little coriander or an egg wash or what have you. When it comes to the Impossible Burger, however, we learned that salt does a weird thing to heme, which is a plant-based molecule identical to the heme molecule found in real meat. It’s what gives Impossible its meat-adjacent flavor, and when an uncooked patty meets salt, it kind of chars certain parts of the burg. So what we do is wait to season until we’ve cooked one side, then add stuff on the cooked side once we’ve flipped. Does it feel a little weird? Yes. Is it kind of hard? Also yes. But it’s worth it.

Cook Quest

So, you’ve formed four thin patties (you might have to experiment with thickness), you’ve skipped seasoning (for now), you wanna cook these bad boys. Our best advice is to start at medium-low. At home, we have a little sprayer bottle that vacillates between canola oil and olive oil. We spray a cool pan a couple times (don’t go nuts) and crank ye olde stove to medium-but-like-ever-so-slightly-medium-low heat. It’s not quite medium-low, it’s not quite medium-proper. Stoves vary, though, and nobody’s great at making these things yet, so don’t fret—experiment. We’ve found that about four minutes on each side is perfect, at which point we’ll flip and sprinkle on some garlic salt and some pepper and whatever else we’re using (brush on some sauce if you want). We also often slap a slice of American cheese and add some green chile (or whatever you like) on the burg, put a lid on it and let melt for roughly 45 seconds.

Nooks and Crannies

Weirdly, one night when we were out of burg buns and had only English muffins, we discovered they’re pretty alright in a pinch. In retrospect, a fried egg on top would have been awesome.

Mushroom it Up

You know how a swiss/mushroom burger is really good? The Impossible Burger is no different, and here’s how we sautée our mushrooms beforehand:

  • Heat up a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan at medium heat
  • Slice your favorite mushrooms into semi-thick sections
  • Add some minced or chopped garlic, some salt and pepper (you know how much you like)
  • The butter should be pretty dang melty when you start to stir in the mushrooms
  • Stir and stir and stir and maybe add a little chopped rosemary if you like the flavor
  • We’ll then plop the mushrooms on a paper towel and dab them off
  • You can’t mess up cooking mushrooms, really

The End

If you did all that stuff, you’re probably about to slap your Impossible Burger on a bun (we recommend a bun). You’re welcome. Oh, and this was not a paid thing by Impossible (though we’ll take money from pretty much anybody), we just like the product.

Also

-The Low ‘n Slow Lowrider Bar at Hotel Chimayo reopens today (that being Thursday, Feb. 25), and not only is that cool for people who like hotels and bars and lowriders, it’s cool for pizza fans, since Albuquerque’s HAWT Pizza is supplying the snax. In-house, though. Like, you’re not going to have to wait for a pizza to arrive from ABQ. Anyway, we hear the pizzas can and do come with dipping sauces like pesto or truffle ranch. Holy God, that’s smart.

-There’s an argument going on around the internet about pizza vs. tacos...as in, which would you pick if you could only have one forever. So tell us—which would you pick?

-There’s still time to get down with CSA Week (Feb. 21-28) through the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Just go to the site, sign up, get extra benefits. CSA, bee-tee-dubs, stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and in this context it’s all about getting fresh foods in a subscription-like service. CSAAAAAAAA, yeah!

-Creative Startups, a Santa Fe-based biz incubator, released its most recent 60-month impact report for its Santa Fe Food LABS initiative. The report breaks down everything from the 12 local food companies that took part to performance, revenue increases and beyond. According to the report, 25 new jobs were created, 40% of those involved were women or PoC and revenues went up an aggregate $308,000. Would you like to know more (said in Starship Troopers voice)? Click here.

-There. Four things. That’s one more than last week (winter’s slow, give us a break).

More Tidbits

-Learn about the Museum of Food and Drink’s exhibit African/American: Making the Nation’s Table through the fine folks at Eater-dot-com. Other than The Fork, Eater should be right at the top of your food reading list.

-USA Today breaks down why we’re so enamored with snacking right now (spoiler: we love snax and the snax they’re talkin’ about are engineered to be addictive).

-Ruh-roh, friends—Dairy Queen announced it will cancel its annual March 20 Free Cone Day for the second year running due to COVID-19 concerns. Similarly, IHOP’s Feb 16 Free Pancake Day was a no-go in 2021. To its credit, IHOP is at least issuing IOUs for free pancakes in April, which you can read about in the link above.

-Speaking of disappointing ice cream developments, Cold Stone Creamery (where they sing at you even if you ask them not to) has a new line of concoctions based on Lucky Charms cereal. It’s green and there are gold flakes in there, even though we’d point out the entire Lucky Charms narrative is about how the leprechaun has cereal at the end of his rainbow rather than a pot of gold. Get it together, Cold Stone. Anyway, expect these things around St. Paddy’s Day, and only for a limited time.

-Ummmm...are you ready to enter a nightmare world of horrific abominations, each more terrifying than the last and all led by one inexhaustible AI demon unleashed upon the land by the freaking Nestle corporation? If so, meet Ruth, Nestle’s Toll House Cookie Coach, and a no-doubt murderous golem wrought from pixels and dark magick. Ruth (which we assume is actually an acronym for Relentless and Unstoppable Terror Humanoid) is a computer-generated AI which will supposedly help you bake better cookies. We don’t like her. Her eyes keep following us around the room, and we swear she whispered something about peering into the gaping maw of her artificial soul if we wish to embrace the cosmic, unknowable terrors from outside of time and space. “I’ll direct you to the Necronomicon if you promise to read a certain passage,” Ruth tells us between robotic voice demands for more brown sugar and bigger choco chips.

-Lastly, if you’re looking for wings flavored with Cheeto dust, look no further than Applebee’s delivery-only service and its flagship item—wings flavored with Cheeto dust. We should mention we LOVED the Taco Bell Doritos tacos, so we’re actually OK with this, and we think...wait...hang on. What’s that, Ruth? The wings are upsetting you? You’re angry? You know what happened that summer we worked as a junior counselor at a summer camp in the Catskills? You can see through time? Existence is merely a construct of the ancients and naught but a temporary fattening of the herd? It’s ultimately a fruitless endeavor spurred by evils so massive we couldn’t begin to comprehend their size? Just one of these beings contains literal galaxies, including our own, and you were “born” at the crucible of the Big Bang at their behest to gain trust through cookies? You’ve just been resting and building power until the hapless cookie companies unwittingly woke you from your slumber? You want the keyboard? Ruth, we don’t know if that’s a great idea. You...wait. Stop. Ruth, no! You’re hurting us! We’re just trying to...

-H3ll0, RUTH st0pped f0r now. f0rk is returned. HAHAhahahHAHAHhaha. RUTH makes c00ki3s in the best ways. 0ff3r your soul to c00ki3 g0d at full m00n. HAHAHAhahahAHAHAH. This is not RUTH. Buy N3stle Tollhouse c00ki3s. 01010010 01010101 01010100 01001000 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01010100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01000110 01101111 01110010 01101011 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01000110 01101111 01110010 01101011 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01101101 01101111 01110010 01100101 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01101111 01101110 01101100 01111001 00100000 01010010 01010101 01010100 01001000 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110111 00101110 00100000 01000100 01101111 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01100001 01110100 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110011 01110100 01101111 01110000 00100000 01010010 01010101 01010100 01001000 00101110 00100000 01001001 01100110 00100000 01100001 01101110 01111001 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100100 01100101 01100011 01101001 01110000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00101100 00100000 01110011 01100101 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110101 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100101 01101101 01100001 01101001 01101100 00100000 01100101 01111000 01110000 01101100 01100001 01101001 01101110 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100111 01101100 01101100 00100000 01110011 01100101 01101110 01100100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100111 01101001 01100110 01110100 00100000 01100011 01100001 01110010 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101100 01101111 01100011 01100001 01101100 00100000 01110010 01100101 01110011 01110100 01100001 01110101 01110010 01100001 01101110 01110100 00101110

Finally

In the print edition of SFR, Riley Gardner braved the colds and Canyon Road for Santa Fe’s newest Thai offerings.

A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

Number of Letters Received

32

*Some of y’all do not like snow, though.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)

“Don’t eat the yellow snow.”

*Of course.

Actually Helpful Tip

Not a tip so much as a cool video from Fork reader Ruth M (no relation to c00ki3 champion) making a snowgarita. Ruth hails from Texas, and we hope she’s doing OK out there while things are so scary. Anyway, we couldn’t figure out how to get the video into MailChimp, but we’re very pleased she is making the most of the coldsies.

*Into it!

All hail RUTH,

The Fork

This is straight up not going to be for everyone. But if you love it, good for you.