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According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items across the Serious Eats family of sites this week were ...
1. The Food Lab: Turkey Brining Basics
"...Enter brining, the process in which a lean cut of meat (like turkey, chicken breast, or pork) is soaked in a salt water solution to help it retain moisture during cooking. Sure, sure--this is nothing new. The Scandinavians and Chinese have been extolling the virtues of brining for millennia, and Cook's Illustrated has for at least a decade. But the thing that is odd to me is that people can't seem to agree on how it works--even the experts...."
2. In Season: Sweet Potatoes
"No other vegetable that says "fall" quite like the sweet potato. We all have our favorite recipes, and love debating which aunt's sweet potato casserole is the best. I still follow my Aunt Margaret's recipe, though with the addition and omission of several ingredients. Every time time I make the sugary, marshmallow topped casserole, my dad always says, "It tastes just like Margaret's"--bringing me instant culinary satisfaction. There is something nostalgic about the sweet potato that makes it taste that much better...."
3. Talk: Not-Boring Thanksgiving Recipes?
"...this year I'm breaking out though. And I need your help. I am looking for seven killer recipes: one amazing appetizer. One great recipe for a whole roast turkey (I already brine and generally follow Alton Brown's recipe). Four sides—potatoes, a green vegetable, and two wild cards using classic American ingredients. And a dessert...."
4. Cakespy: Homemade Starbucks-Style Cranberry Bliss Bars
"Cliché as it may sound coming from a Seattleite, I must confess to feeling a small thrill around this time of year when Starbucks rolls out their holiday spread. Those cute red holiday cups are a harbinger of festive sugar bombs, including gingerbread and eggnog lattes, decorated cookies--but for me, the fondest memories are associated with the cranberry bliss bar...."
5. Eat for Eight Bucks: Chili Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
"This is about as fast as dinner gets at my house. That isn't saying much, but an hour from start to finish for meat-starch-veg is nothing to sniff at, especially when the cook can put her feet up (or fold laundry--or amuse the baby) for a good chunk of that time. I usually make this with thighs only but this time bought the whole legs to save money. In the past I have tried this rub-and-roast with skinless pieces, and it seemed to work just as well."
6. Talk: My Favorite Part of the Thanksgiving Meal...
"It's quite interesting that all the components of the Thanksgiving meal aren't always everyone's favorites. I know of some folks that don't prepare a certain item if they know a certain family member won't be attending this year. I also know of people that are looking for an alternative to the traditional turkey. What do you prepare on Thanksgiving and why? What is your favorite part of the meal?"
7. Alton Brown Says No to Stuffing the Turkey
"First order of business: stuffing is what goes into the bird and dressing is cooked separately, usually in a casserole dish. Alton Brown is not against dressing, the mandatory Thanksgiving side of bready, herb-flecked goodness. He is against stuffing...."
8. Vegetarians, How Do You Do Thanksgiving?
"...Vegetarians out there, or those cooking for one: What's your veggie-friendly Thanksgiving plan? Do you have a meatless holiday tradition? Or are the Thanksgiving sides enough?"
9. Seriously Asian: Thai Curries, Part One: Yellow
"Taking a hiatus from my usual spoilsport-y self, I caved into the pressure of Halloween and served a menu built around orange foodstuffs. To start, a persimmon and daikon salad. To end, a kabocha cheesecake. The entrée was considerably more difficult to settle. What meat or fish, besides the obvious choice of salmon, comes in hues of orange? Deliberative indecision turned to panic--the persimmons had been peeled, the cheesecake was biding its time in the fridge, and still no orange entrée of which to speak! Sometimes the best ideas are right under one's nose...."
10. Talk: Is Dating a Picky Eater a Dealbreaker for Anyone?!
"So im at a crossroad with this guy im seeing... We are either going to move forward or cut things lose...So i was making my pro con list, and his eating habbits really bother me. Should this be considered a deal breaker? Its not just picky eating either, he doesnt like cheesecake... (i want someone i can argue over the last piece with) No eggs (who doesnt love sunday morning eggs) Mayo, mustard, mushrooms, the list goes on. Its affecting the way i have to cook, and i LOVE to cook. When we first started dating i thought id be sweet and make him a sandwich (as im known for my sandwich making skills) well there was mustard on it, so he refused to even try it and went insdie to make his own. Ouch. I cook, he picks things out (biggest pet peve) Or he will put all the food i make on his plate to 'try' it and over half ends up in the garbage. Im not a waster so it makes me angry as well... Something I should consider... Or am i crazy to think this will work?! Any suggestions?!"