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Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better

You know what slow cookers work surprisingly well for? Baked potatoes. Scrub and pierce your potatoes. Rub with olive oil and salt and then place in the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours. The sugars in the potato really become pronounced in a good way with this method, although the skin is not optimal. However, I really only use this method when I am using my oven to do the low and slow roast method that has been posted previously for roasts. Then, when the roast goes back in for 6-10 minutes at 500 or so to brown at the end, potatoes go in to to crisp the skin. Everything is win-win.

The Food Lab's BLT Manifesto

Homemade Caesar dressing in place of the mayo, ftw!

Seriously - it's mayo-like anyway (mine is an immersion blender version that uses oil and an egg yolk, etc.), but with the great umami additions of Parmesan and anchovy. Try it. Thank me later.

The 10 Best Pellet Smokers

I have a pellet stove for heating my home. Do these smokers use the same pellets or do I need a specific "food safe" type of wood pellet?

Why I Take My Asparagus out of the Fire and Into the Frying Pan

I've been noticing purple asparagus at the market lately. Any difference on cook time?

So Hot Right Now: 11 Chilies You Should Know

I have a stash of hot lemon peppers that friends grew for me a couple of summers ago that I keep in my freezer. They stand up remarkably well to being froze whole and are about cayenne level hot. I pull them out 1 or 2 at a time as needed for recipes. Good stuff!

The Case for Filthy, Sopping-Wet Martinis

@Niki - you go, girl! I'm even worse. Not only do I like my martini dirty, with extra olives, I'd prefer it to be made with vodka. I'm a heathen, I guess.

Nacho Showdown: The Sporkful's Dan Pashman vs. The Food Lab

There is a third way: nacho dip.

It's like 7-layer dip, but you make sure to get the hot elements (meats, beans, cheese) HOT and then layer with your cool. Or, better yet, layer them separately in another dish from the hot layered stuff. Yes, I am proposing the McDLT of Nachos! Serve with your well warmed through chips so that those who want bite consistency can construct that and those that want bite variability can construct that. A Nacho experience that will bring all together! #Nacos2016

The Comfort Food Diaries: Movie Theater Popcorn, A New Hope

My mom would use an old school 70s electric oil popper to make about a Dutch oven's worth of popcorn when we'd have a family night at the drive-in. My grandmother would go even older school and oil pop the corn in a pot on the stove top. Vegetable or corn oil. Salt. Sometimes butter. That is popcorn comfort food to me.

I love how movie theater popcorn smells, but it never agrees with my stomach, even without the fake butter. Perhaps the culprit is the coconut oil.

The Food Lab: Here's What I'm Eating on Thanksgiving

It will just be me, my mom, and my boyfriend. I will be cooking a turkey breast for BF and me, while cooking a thigh for mom who prefers dark meat. I think I will be straight up roasting, but haven't finalized it yet. Thigh might get a braise.

BF insists on mashed potatoes. He's not a stuffing person and my mom is kinda paleo lately, so I think I will concentrate the other sides as more veg heavy. Roasted green beans, a warm butternut squash salad with arugula and frisee (and pecans...and smoked blue cheese...) and a cranberry salsa will round us out. Oh, and gravy. There must be gravy.

Mom usually does the salsa and a dessert, but this year she is wrung out from work. So, I'm going to maybe take this opportunity to do the Momofuku Crack Pie. Maybe. Not sure yet.

Want the Best Thanksgiving Stuffing? Consider the Oyster

How would smoked oysters work in this context? And, if they would, is there a brand you'd recommend?

Like Mushroom Pizza? We're Gonna Take You to Funghitown

Looks good! My favorite pizza from our local place is a tomato-less portobella one with lots of caramelized onions and gorgonzola. It is perfect.

Side note - no truffle oil. Ever. I'd put durian on a pizza first.

The Best Fried Chicken on the Planet: An Opinionated World Tour

I'm with the folks lauding the Taiwanese style fried chicken with five spice and basil. I'm bemoaning the fact that the place we have in town that introduced me to it seems to be closed "under renovation". Might just need to start figuring out how to make it myself!

Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

Rosemary-Olive Oil Triscuits with a runny brie (or similar). I can eat a whole wheel like that left to my own devices.

Cuisines Collide in This Grilled Tofu With Chipotle-Miso Sauce

I will definitely try this! I made a batch of grilled tofu this week, actually. After slicing and pressing out the moisture from the tofu for about an hour under a weight, I marinated it in 3 T. soy sauce, 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. sherry vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, and some black and red pepper for about 4 hours in the fridge. Then I just used a grill pan, about 3 minutes a side on med-medium high heat. Came out great! I've been eating it in a wrap with avocado, zucchini and spinach for lunches this week. Yum!

The Best Lobster Rolls in Boston

I'll own being a fan of the Legal Seafood's lobster roll. I love going to the Harborside location, but the roll put out up at the Burlington Mall outpost is just fine too (at least the last time I had it)! Is the Neptune one really worth it? I tried the Island Creek Oyster Bar one after all the good press and came away feeling that it didn't live up to the hype - too much butter soaked into the brioche roll, odd presence of pickle relish in the salad (WTF?). Way too heavy. Feel like I want to seek out Alive and Kicking the next time I'm in Cambridge now.

Hugh Acheson on the Best Southern Cookbooks and How to Cope With Your CSA

@I'llDoTheDishesLater - use the link at the bottom of the page that says "report an inappropriate comment". Seems like that poster has spammed at least 5 threads now.

Back on topic - I'm psyched to know about Hugh's book. I always feel guilty when I've discovered forgotten vegetables buried away in the fridge.

Boldly Go Where No Caprese Salad Has Gone Before: Fried Caprese Bombs

I wonder if this would work with slices of tomato with mozzarella and basil sandwiched between them and then floured, egg dipped and breaded and then shallow fried?

Thin and Tender Flour Tortillas

These look great! I have a couple questions though:

- can I use a tortilla press to make these or do I need the rolling pin?

- would cake flour make these even more tender or would I risk structural integrity if I go that route?

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Sunchokes?

As someone who suffers from the digestive problems others have noted with this vegetable, but who enjoys the flavor, are there any ways to prepare it that would cut down on those issues? The first time I had them roasted, it was a revelation...until I realized later in the evening that I would need to absent myself from polite company!

Beyond Chevre: 10 Essential Goat Milk Cheeses to Know and Love

Is the rind on the Drunken Goat edible or for show? Just curious.

6 Great Condiments to Complete Your Cheese Plate

I like to roast grape tomatoes with shallots and whole garlic cloves until caramelized and jammy. It makes a great accompaniment to a wide variety of cheeses, from fresh goat cheese to strong cheddar.

How to Make the Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen

For those having any difficulty getting the Sun Noodles referenced in the article, you can get the kits through Amazon now. Just FYI.

Chinese-Style Hot Pot With Rich Broth, Shrimp Balls, and Dipping Sauces

Looks yummy! Two questions:

- if I don't have access to that particular BBQ sauce, what could I use instead? Hoisin?

- how long does it take to cook the shrimp balls? I'm guessing not more than a minute or two, but just wanted to be sure!