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Cooking Fats 101: What's Up With Saturated and Unsaturated Fats?

Niki Achitoff-Gray 18 comments

On a molecular level, all fats are composed of triglycerides—a compound of three fatty acids bound to a molecule of glycerol.

Wait, sorry, did your eyes just glaze over? Yeah, mine too. Let's start over.


Cooking Fats 101: What's a Smoke Point and Why Does it Matter?

Niki Achitoff-Gray 24 comments

One of the most important things you'll want to consider when picking out a fat is smoke point. But what is it and why does it matter? Here's what you need to know. More

Cooking Fats 101: What Makes Fats and Oils Essential to Cooking

Niki Achitoff-Gray 13 comments

Getting to know your fats can be a slippery business. If wading through the myriad bottles on supermarket shelves wasn't already a daunting task, then the latest word on saturated fats is enough to turn everything on its head. In this series, we'll be talking about what makes fats special, how to tell them apart, and how to pick the best one for the job. More

How to Make Clarified Butter

How To Sue Veed Closed

When butter is clarified—the milk fats boiled out and separated, until only thick, golden butter fat remains—its smoke point is raised to, well, let's just say it's high enough to sear a thick steak or panfry a potato in. It also keeps longer than whole butter and imparts a concentrated, caramelly and delightfully nutty flavor More

The Nasty Bits: Fat Is Flavor (Salad with Bacon and Egg & Spaghetti Carbonara)

Serious Eats Chichi Wang 9 comments

In this salad of greens made with lard and bacon, the richness of the fat complements the sharpness of the vinegar; only mustard is needed to bind the two. [Photographs: Chichi Wang] If I were ever to get a tattoo,... More

Contest Winners: Cook the Book: 'Fat'

Lucy Baker Closed

Congrats to economyrice, natalie, raspberrypicker, mochihead, and Mizbee. Winners have been notified by email and also appear on our Contest Winners page. Thanks to everyone who entered last week's Cook the Book!... More

Cook the Book: Bacon Fat Spice Cookies

Serious Eats Lucy Baker 6 comments

These cookies need no introduction—their name says it all: bacon, fat, and spice. Yum. Jennifer McLagan, author of Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, was "intrigued...by the idea of using bacon fat rather than butter" in an... More

Cook the Book: Cassoulet

Serious Eats Lucy Baker 1 comment

Here in America we love to argue about food, from chili (should it have beans?), to macaroni and cheese (creamy or crusty?), to bagels (to toast or not to toast?). In France, they like to argue about cassoulet, the classic... More

Cook the Book: Grilled Steak with Red Wine Sauce and Bone Marrow

Serious Eats Lucy Baker 1 comment

A friend of mine once told me that at Ruth Chris, the popular national steakhouse chain, the chef melts a stick of butter over every ribeye, porterhouse, and T-bone as it leaves the kitchen. It's probably an exaggeration (an entire... More

Boston-Style Baked Beans

Serious Eats Lucy Baker Post a comment

The following recipe is from the October 15th edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! Baked beans get a bad rap. That's because most people think of the canned, mushy brown... More

Cook the Book: Duck Rillettes

Serious Eats Lucy Baker 1 comment

Oddly, I'd never had duck rillettes—or any rillettes for that matter—until I moved to Brooklyn. Fortunately, Smith Street, the borough's restaurant row, changed all that. Sample, a tiny, global tapas bar with a killer cocktail list (I love their Tamarind... More

Cook the Book: Spicy Buttered Popcorn

Serious Eats Lucy Baker 4 comments

Later in the week we'll get to some of Fat's more complicated dishes, such as a classic Cassoulet and an elegant Duck Rillettes, but for now let's start off with a simple Spicy Buttered Popcorn. Author Jennifer McLagan laments the... More

Cook the Book: 'Fat'

Lucy Baker Closed

This week's Cook the Book selection is all about fat, but I want to start off by talking about bread. More specifically, the best bread basket I've ever had. It was at Del Posto, the elegant (if somewhat imposing) Italian restaurant co-owned by Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich. Overflowing with crunchy breadsticks, oven-fresh focaccia, and an assortment of rolls, the basket comes not only with butter but also with a small tureen of whipped lardo. That's right. Pork fat. It's surprisingly light, incredibly flavorful, and absolutely delicious. While the basket would still be very good without it, the whipped lardo adds an extraspecial element that raises the once-humble offering of bread to luxurious new heights. Ed Levine agrees... More

Why You Should Eat Animal Fat, Interview with Jennifer McLagan

Robyn Lee 13 comments

In Salon's interview with Jennifer McLagan, author of the recently released Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes, learn more about the controversial ingredient that is fundamental to flavor and to our health. She answers questions about animal fat and its relation to obesity, America's bad relationship with fat, and how animal fat lost the popularity contest to vegetable-based man-made fats. But most importantly, why is it better to eat and cook with animal fat than vegetable fat? Unlike vegetable oils, animal fats are very stable and don't turn rancid easily. This makes them ideal for cooking, which involves heating the fat. And they have no trans fats.Animal fats have lots of good fatty acids that fight disease,... More

'White Art in the Meat Food Business'

Adam Kuban 3 comments

The above illustration comes from a 1944 pamphlet by Otto F. Fleiss titled White Art in the Meat Food Business: A Practical Handbook for Butcher, Pork Stores, Restaurants, Hotels and Delicatessens on How to Make Lasting and Transferable White Art Decorations out of Bacon Fat Back for Window Displays, Ornaments on Meat Food Cold Buffets and for Exhibits and Advertising Purposes. Enrich yourself with Personal Knowledge. [via Boing Boing]... More

Photo of the Day: Fat in the Fridge

Robyn Lee 2 comments

Photograph from Kathy Chan on Flickr Here's something you don't see every day (I hope): buckets of fat in your home refrigerator. Not just run-of-the-mill fat, but "jowl fat" and "bacon jus." It's the fridge of your dreams! Previously: Photo of the Day: Bacon Mat Photo of the Day: Just A Humongous Bucket Of Eggs And Meat Photo of the Day: Lechon Behold the Bacon Pig In Videos: How It's Made—Bacon... More

Michael Ruhlman: 'Fear Not Salt and Fat'

Adam Kuban 8 comments

America's fat problem: "I say unto you: Fat is good! Fat is necessary. Ask any chef. Fat does not make you fat, eating too much makes you fat! We aren’t filling our bodies with sodium because of the box of kosher salt we use to season our food, we’re doing it with all the processed food that’s loaded with hidden salt. And American cooks and American diners need to understand the differences."... More

Bruni Praises the Lard

Ed Levine 4 comments

In today's New York Times Chairman Bruni confirms in hilarious fashion what most Serious Eaters already know and love about food in restaurants these days, namely, that fat rules. Though he did hit many of the fat-centric highlights in New York eating, like Resto, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and the Spotted Pig, he failed to mention a few of my favorites (both classic and new) listed after the jump. What are your favorite fatty dishes?... More

If You Eat at Resto, Ask For a Side Order of Lipator

New York Ed Levine 1 comment

Being the ultimate glutton for punishment when it comes to fat and cholesterol-laden foods, Steingarten, his lovely wife Karen, my friend and New Orleans Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie, and I headed to Resto, the Belgian meat and fat... More

No Breastfeeding Allowed: Writer Urges Resisting Food Police on Butter Trans-fat Story

Ed Levine Post a comment

Fran McCollough, who wrote the book on the subject (The Good Fat Cookbook), has a persuasive letter in today's Times urging a return to sanity on the whole butter-transfat uproar. Her coup de grace: "These ignorant food police mandates will soon lead us to ban mother's milk, loaded as it is with "bad" things: cholesterol, saturated fat, sugar and trans fat." Previously: Trans Fat Fight Claims Butter as a Victim... More

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