According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items on Serious Eats this week were ...
1. Does Your Grocery Store Have You Crying Tears of Joy? Do you have a local grocery store that you've sworn undying loyalty to?
2. In Defense of Breakfast: A Morning Manifesto "Artists might say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, for a food writer, breakfast just might be the same. So what's your stance on breakfast? Can't stomach it, or can't live without it?"
3. Dinner Tonight: Scalloped Potatoes "Though I'm not a scalloped potatoes veteran, I have nothing bad to say about these. Too often scalloped potatoes come out greasy and bland. Here, the cheese is minimal, and the broth, herbs, and onions made this an immensely flavorful meal. Though I'm sure it wasn't the healthiest thing I've eaten in a while, it was so fun to revisit the childhood classic—and discover it could still surprise me."
4. Served: A Colorful Cast of Customers "There are some “types” of people who I have come to expect in the restaurant. I’m not eager to typecast, but it’s amazing how people so often behave, at least during our brief interactions, in some very predictable ways. Here, an incomplete cast of characters."
5. 'Top Chef' Season 5, Episode 1 Recap "All right, Top Chef junkies. Listen up. Your jonesin' days are over for the time being. Tom, Padma, Gail, and the rest of the resident and guest experts have been joined by 17 aspiring top toques in New York City. Based on tonight's first episode, it's going to be a doozy of a season. My favorite introductory quote came from Daniel, a twenty-something chef from Babylon, New York: 'I was so unnoticed for the longest time.'"
6. Who Should Be Obama's White House Chef? "From all reports, the Obamas like to eat healthily, with Michelle having a strong preference for organic ingredients and products. Barack Obama is an "eat to live" kind of a guy. Secondly, their chef must have a can-do "yes, we can" attitude. Of course, whoever cooks for them has to represent change in some fashion. It can't be "food as usual" at the White House in 2009 and beyond. Chicago cooking experience would probably be helpful (Both Smith and Bayless are from the Windy City). Lastly, I have it on good authority that the Obamas love pie. So consider these candidates..."
7. Biscuit Basics "There are few foods so fundamentally satisfying as a fresh, flaky, buttery biscuit. How difficult could it be to make a decent biscuit? But so often, I am routinely frustrated to partake in yet another dry, dense, lackluster puck of a biscuit. Then, a month or so ago, I began extensively testing and manipulating recipes with the aim of finding the perfect biscuit for our new brunch menu. I realized that while making good biscuits is not exactly difficult, it's a bit complicated. "
8. Celebrity Chef Holidays: Lidia Bastianich As part of our commitment to provide serious eaters with the most informative and entertaining holiday food content, we will bring you unprecedented glimpses into the holiday lives of some of America's best-known chefs and food television personalities. People like Mario Batali and Thomas Keller will talk about their favorite holiday dishes, provide recipes for them, and even tell us who will be at their holiday tables. Today we talk to Lidia Bastianich, famed restaurateur, public television personality, and cookbook author.
9. Dinner Tonight: Paprika-Spiked Home Fries with Poached Egg "The secret to home fries depends on who you ask. All said, I'm in the precook camp—parboiled or microwaved—and I always make sure to use Yukon Gold or another firm, waxy potato so they don't fall apart. I recently read about cooking the onions separately so they don't interfere with the whole purpose of breakfast potatoes: the crud. Don't mess with the crud. And speaking of crud, one other secret. Walk away. Don't touch those potatoes. Leave the kitchen if you have to. The more stirring, the less brown. And brown is the whole point."
10. Should Picky Eaters Fake Allergies? Is it wrong to dislike a food but at a restaurant call it an allergy? Most servers and chefs know your games. They know certain ingredients (like chicken or pepper) aren't likely allergens, but they'll give you fibbers the benefit of the doubt. Are you guilty of the lies and games? You know you're not actually allergic to black licorice and cod liver oil!