I had a bit of a shock-and-awe-style jaw-drop when I saw our Account Executive Leandra making herself a salad for lunch earlier this summer. She dumped some whole spinach leaves and other ingredients into a bowl, reached for the pizza wheel, and started rolling it over the greens directly in the bowl. The method is sheer brilliance from a purely lazy, I-don't-want-to-wash-a-cutting-board standpoint. I'll cop to having used it ever since.
'hack' on Serious Eats
Six quick and easy grilling hacks to help you become a true master of the flames.
Cast iron frying pans are versatile, durable, and remarkably cheap. While pans that have passed down for generations might have a whole lot of sentimental value, you can buy a brand new cast iron frying pan without shelling out much cash. But do you think of using one when you're not frying up bacon?
Wooden spoons have been around... oh, since sticks were invented, probably. How many other kitchen tools do you use that have changed so little since your grandmother's time. But wooden spoons are useful for things other than stirring. Here are a few of my favorites.
I love thinking outside the box—or bowl, or spoon, or whatever—when it comes to kitchen gadgets and tools. Many common gadgets have uses beyond what they're sold for, and it makes them so much more valuable than those one-trick gadgets that you seldom use. Silicone muffin cups are a prime example. Sure, we know they can be used for baking muffins and cupcakes. But what else could they be used for?
We love a good cooking hack (or six) around these parts. So when Dan Pashman, the man behind The Sporkful podcast (and noted tortilla chip innovator), and Liza de Guia, the filmmaker behind Food. Curated, got together in Pashman's kitchen for a little dishwasher cooking action, we put down our sandwiches and took notice.
Lightly sweet graham crackers, melty chocolate, gooey and golden toasted marshmallows—a traditional s'more is practically perfect. But here at Serious Eats we tend to look at a good thing and wonder, "How can we make this better?"*
A few key mix-ins and tweaks can catapult your Lime-A-Rita-derived bliss (and buzz) to new heights.
There are countless good ways to cook a steak. So long as you start with good, high quality meat, season it properly, don't overcook it, and get a good sear on it, you can't really go wrong. But if your goal is the ultimate in tenderness and juiciness, a steak with a crisp, crackling, dark brown crust that cuts open to reveal flesh that's perfectly pink from edge to edge, then you're going to want to cook your steak sous-vide. Sound expensive? Think again. Watch the video or read the transcript to see how you can cook the best, most consistently foolproof steaks of your life, all in a $30 beer cooler.
Several years ago the folks at Dogfish Head created a device called Randall the Enamel Animal. It connects a keg faucet to a canister holding fresh hop cones. When the keg was attached to the Randall, the beer was pushed through the cones as it was poured, adding an intensely fresh hop aroma. These days, breweries and craft beer bars employ Randalls to infuse not just hops, but also fruits, spices, and coffee beans into their beers. Want to try it at home? All you needs is a French press.
A few weeks ago, we tasted every flavor of Spam on the market. It was... interesting. But the real question is: What do you do with over a dozen cans' worth of leftover Spam? You get creative, that's what. Spash (Spam hash), Spam Wellington, Spam Luther Burgers, Spamac & Cheese, and more!
It's because of my addiction to MacGyver as a kid (along with a healthy addiction to Mr. Wizard and Jacques Pépin) that I constantly press myself to try and come up with unique solutions to common kitchen problems. They're not always successful, but when they are, you get so much more satisfaction out of developing a novel recipe or technique than you do out of merely tweaking what's standard. Here are a few of my favorite kitchen hacks. Some are my own, others are not, all of them are pretty awesome, if you ask me.
In a great article in yesterday's LA Times, Thomas Keller, chef of The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, and others himself gives us some tips and tricks for how to cook sous-vide at home (that's cooking in vacuum-sealed pouches in a water bath). His advice for home cooks? Cook the food in a cooler. Sound familiar?
As a half-Japanese kid in the '80s, I grew up eating instant ramen at least once a week, and it still holds a special place in my gut. That said, my tastes have changed and expanded considerably over the years, and sometimes that little flavoring packet just isn't enough. As such, I've spent a lot of time devising ways to upgrade my ramen in cheap, easy ways. Ghetto gourmet, if you will.
Tumbleweed Labs shows how to use a $3 plate hanger to turn your iPad into a wall- or cabinet-mounted cookbook.
By this point, there is absolutely no question that the method of cooking foods at precise low-temperatures in vacuum-sealed pouches (commonly referred to as "sous-vide") has revolutionized fine-dining kitchens around the world. But the question of when this technique will trickle down to home users—and it certainly is a question of when, and not if—remains to be answered. The Sous-Vide Supreme is certainly a big step in the right direction. But at $450, for most people, it still remains prohibitively costly. In an effort to help those who'd like to experiment with sous-vide cookery without having to put in the capital, a couple weeks ago I devised a novel solution to the problem: cook your food in a beer cooler. I put the hack method head-to-head against the Sous-Vide Supreme.
Another one for the "Hey! Why Didn't I Think of That?!?" file. Bike Hugger's DL Byron shares this tip for using your toaster to warm hard taco shells. "Pop them up when they start to sizzle," he says on the site. This would be a great idea for make-your-own taco nights. Simply prep all possible taco fixin's, line them up in serving dishes, and place the toaster at the start of the assembly line. ... Now I wish I would have bought that four-slot toaster I had my eye on.
I'm going to use this recipe for making brownies in a waffle iron as an excuse to eat brownies for breakfast. "They're shaped like waffles! It's OK!" Watch the video after the jump....
A blogger figures out how to scam Whole Foods. Go to the salad bar early in the morning, fill your cardboard container with bacon strips, close container, and pay. 16¢ for about 8 strips....
Photograph from SpooSpa on Flickr From Consumerist: M&Ms and Mars candy: There's usually a 10-digit code of numbers and letters, but you only need to worry about the first three. The first number is the last number in the year ... and the next two numbers stand for the week of the year (... 804 would be the fourth week of 2008: February 2008). Hershey's: There's a 2-character code for the month and year. The year is like the other code, with the number being the last number in the year, the second character is a letter that represents the month. A = January, B = February, and so on. So a code like 9A would mean ... January...