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How Thanksgiving Killed My Restaurant Career

Hmmm, something many of us can relate to, Daniel! Also: brunch. Fucking brunch. :p

Feeling like I am missing out on life is why I decided I needed to leave. Frankly I should have done it years ago, but it's hard to accept that you might have to start over.
It wasn't the holidays that necessarily made me feel that way, though. It's seeing people travel the world, and have more in their lives than just food. My friends and I would joke that when we had to do those questions in certain orientations and trainings about what you do during your time off, we went mostly blank because inevitably it was food-related.
Working in this industry you really don't get to make the kind of money that allows you to do a lot of the things you'd like, unless you work so much that you don't have time to do them anyway. And definitely not while living in NY (which is why leaving NY is another sticking point for many of us). And truthfully there are a lot of social and cultural aspects of this industry that made me hate it, so I felt I could only remain in it if it could be on my own terms, but the financial aspect of it is just not attainable, so it was finally time to accept reality and get out.

Make-Ahead Roasted Squash and Kale Salad With Spiced Nuts, Cranberries, and Maple Vinaigrette

Delicious salad, though next time I'll make some changes. I used a 1 1/4 lb bunch of kale (which is not that big honestly) and I'd happily do 2 lbs for the amount of pecans and cranberries this salad calls for. I would also chop the squash bigger. It shrinks a fair amount as it roasts and the pieces in Kenji's pic are definitely bigger than 1/2 inch. I also used a little less oil in the vinaigrette because depending on the vinegar I prefer to step away from the 3:1 ratio (this one calls for 4:1 even) for a more acidic salad and I'll be doing that in the future. Anyway, those are minor things and this is a great salad. Kenji's kale salads are always great and what made me change my mind about raw kale.

Spice-Rubbed Butterflied Smoked Turkey

I don't have a problem with baking powder as it has never been bitter before. I'd guess bitterness came from the smoking process, possibly due to a couple of temperature spikes at certain points.

Southern-Style Unsweetened Cornbread

I decided to finally get over my southern cornbread aversion and I'm glad, because this was truly delicious. It was moist and light. I used my favorite cornmeal — Cayuga Farms, which is now sold as Farmer Ground flour and can be purchased at Whole Foods.

Spice-Rubbed Butterflied Smoked Turkey

Prepped this Friday and cooked today and I just didn't love it. The skin wasn't crisp and it was also kind of bitter. From a personal standpoint, not a recipe one, I think I'm not wild about milder meat like turkey smoked. I like tea smoked duck a lot and smoked pork ribs, but this and previously some tea smoked chicken just left me cold. I'll stick with a nice roasted, spatchcocked turkey from now on!

Spice-Rubbed Butterflied Smoked Turkey

The turkey is spatchcocked here, whereas it's left whole I the low temperature roasting method.

Pressure Cooker Ragù Bolognese

@aliza, I've pretty much never seen anything but Knox in supermarkets when looking for plain gelatin, and it's what has been pictured in a few Serious Eats articles.

Want the Best Thanksgiving Stuffing? Consider the Oyster

Imma let you finish, but chestnut stuffing is the best stuffing of all time. :p I'm actually disappointed in all these years Serious Eats hasn't done a bacon, mushroom and chestnut stuffing. It's definitely one of my favorites, along with Kenji's sausage stuffing. Of course, I'll admit I've actually never had oyster stuffing.

The Pressure Cooker Makes Rich, Hearty Ragù Bolognese in Record Time

Milk curdles, cream will not provided you're not using something like light cream.

"How does a high fat content permit the cook to boil a mixture of heavy cream and salty or acidic ingredients without curdling it, as when dissolving pan solids or thickening a sauce? The key seems to be the ability of the fat globule’s surface membrane to latch onto a certain amount of the major milk protein, casein, when milk is heated. If the fat globules account for 25% or more of the cream’s weight, then there’s a sufficient area of globule surface to take most ofthe casein out of circulation, and no casein curds can form. At lower fat levels, there’s both a smaller globule surface area and a greater proportion of the caseincarrying water phase. Now the globule surfaces can only absorb a small fraction of the casein, and the rest bonds together and coagulates when heated. (This is why acid-curdled mascarpone cheese can be made from light cream, but not from heavy cream.)" -Harold McGee

One-Skillet Dinner: Chicken Spanakopita Pot Pie

I like a double-crusted pot pie, but yeah, most pot pie is single crust.

Meet the Grown-Up Sweet Potato Casserole (That Your Inner Child Will Still Love)

It's not about healthiness, some people just don't find really sweet things pleasant to eat. There are a lot of things I could eat as a kid (and honestly I was never all that sugar-obsessed) that I can't eat now because their sweetness is way too much for me.

Step-by-Step: How to Make Cranberry Apple Slab Pie

I only needed 1.5 the recipe aka 3 single crusts.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

3500 milligrams, not grams. 3 tsp kosher salt is about 9 grams of salt when I weigh my Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Those 9 grams of salt are by the way right around 2% of the weight of the flour, which is standard in just about any bread, often higher in breads that have very high hydration, like this one.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

3 tsp kosher salt = 3500 mg of sodium. Kind of a big difference there.
This might post twice since I typed grams initially.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

3 tsp kosher salt = 3500 grams of sodium. Kind of a big difference there.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

By the way, here is some cornmeal mush discussion. I noticed Cook's Illustrated employs the technique as well:

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

You don't need to substitute for eggs. Not all vegan baking needs to be ingredient for ingredient subs. I've made quite a few vegan baked goods that didn't include a substitute for eggs because they held together just fine and you could simply increase leavening if necessary, increase liquid, increase fat, etc. One of the common mistakes is that people put in things like chia or flax because they think they have to replace the eggs.
See for example:

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

Also your recipe seems to have as much butter as what I increased it to and I could swear I had also added an extra egg to the recipe we were working with, so this doesn't seem as lean as what we had to make and what a lot of recipes I've seen are like.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

Try soaking the cornmeal and cooking a part of it before baking for a vegan version. You don't really need to have an ingredient for ingredient replacement when it comes to eggs.
Dan Lepard first exposed me to making a cooked cornmeal mush for a moister cornbread.

I've never cared for Yankee cornbread because it's way too sweet, but I do like a little sugar and yes, wheat flour. I had to make southern cornbread at a farm to table place where we got great grains. The grits, breakfast porridge, and cornmeal we got were top notch. I still just found that southern cornbread to be dry and austere. One day I increased the butter, the buttermilk, and might have put in the tiniest bit of sugar and everyone was wondering why my cornbread was so much better than what they were making…
But I'm always willing to give things another try. I'm a big fan of Cayuga Farms' flour in NY. They have a really nice sweet cornmeal and before I used their rye flour, I had not been a big fan of rye bread. Whole Foods actually sells their products now, which were previously only available at the farmers market.

The Food Lab: The Long and Short Paths to Chicken Paprikash

Worcestershire is sweet and tangy and makes itself known in a way that fish sauce doesn't. I doubt it's fish sauce that would make one dislike certain Thai dishes, but rather how much, since fish sauce is in so much Thai food and some dishes are much heavier on it than others. You really cannot taste it in any of the recipes Kenji calls for it.

Step-by-Step: How to Make Cranberry Apple Slab Pie

@squaredbear, this is great:

I can also vouch for this apple and cranberry slab pie. It's fantastic!

Sour cherry slab pie is another favorite.

Pappa al Pomodoro: The Tuscan Tomato Soup for Every Season

I love this soup, though I was first introduced to it as a version where a panada was made, complete with Gruyere, then on pick up we'd simmer a hunk of it in a simple garlicky tomato soup. It was pretty delicious stuff.

Step-by-Step: How to Make the Best Pie Crust

The vodka is to make the crust easier to roll than typical pie crust, and because it interferes with gluten development. The new recipe addresses both these issues with technique. I know everyone insists on that vodka crust, but I never loved it the way I do this crust. I think this crust is much tastier.

Easy Pie Dough

There are comments about how the recipe "implies the butter should be cold". But it doesn't. Do not freeze butter to make this crust. The problem most people have with this recipe is that they cannot let go of conventional pie crust wisdom (lots of it myth) so they still insist on things like everything being super cold, wet being dry, flour absorbing different amounts of water based on weather, etc. If you make this exactly as written, in terms of what each stage should be (i.e. not just counting pulses but rather making sure that you achieve a dough that clumps together), you get perfect pie crust. No change to water at all no matter how many times I've made this, which is a lot, because things like "feel" are for conventional pie crust where you can't account for how much the person making the dough worked the fat in.


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