Some people don’t like the calories in regular soda, but loathe the taste of zero-calorie diet drinks. So the nation’s No. 2 cola company is rolling out Pepsi Next, a cola that has about half the calories of regular Pepsi at 60 calories per can.
The cola, which is slated to hit store shelves nationally by the end of March, is Pepsi’s biggest product launch in years.
Pepsi Next is made with a mix of three artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup.
B’ham’s Hastings wins ‘Iron Chef’
Chris Hastings, owner of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, faced off against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America — and won. The Food Network show aired on Sunday. The secret ingredient was sausage.
Hastings has been nominated for best chef in the South at this year’s prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards. Finalists will be announced March 19, with awards handed out on May 7.
Alabama at the Beard awards
Other Alabama restaurants and chefs nominated for this year’s James Beard awards include:
Best new restaurant: Ollie Irene, Mountain Brook.
Outstanding restaurant: Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham.
Outstanding restaurateur: Nick Pihakis, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Birmingham
Best Chef in the South: Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham; James Lewis, Bettola, Birmingham; Wesley True, True, Mobile.
South Beach Burger Bash
Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon turned a triple dose of pork into a third consecutive top win at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s annual Burger Bash.
“We like the meat-on-meat concept,” Symon said of his string of winning burgers, which in past years have been topped with salami and pastrami.
This year’s winner, the Porky Burger, featured a ground pork burger studded with bacon, then topped with pulled pork. For good measure, Symon added a side of pork cracklings.
Ask a cook: brown sugar
Q: How do I keep leftover brown sugar from turning into a brick? I have to use a hammer to break off pieces.
A: Here’s the trick that always works for me: Double-bag it. After opening the package, put the open bag into a resealable freezer bag and press it closed. Freezer bags are heavier and more airtight than regular resealable bags.
If you do have hardened brown sugar, you don’t have to hammer it. If you know you’ll need the softened sugar in 12 to 24 hours, put a slice of apple in the bag and close the bag up.
If you need the sugar right away, put the sugar in the microwave and heat it on low to medium-low power for 1 minute at a time until it softens.
— Compiled from wire reports