Big Guy

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In Praise of Ugly Food

Marcolo is right.

I would add that many foodies are just displaying narcissism in another form.

BTW - Gail Simmons might have coined a new term on the last Top Chef I saw - "tweezified" for fussy, good-looking food (that didn't taste as good as it looked).

Quadruple Chili Cheeseburgers

Roasted green chile should be a default burger topping like onions or pickles everywhere. It's also magic on a pizza.

What Alcoholic Drinks Do You Hate?

I'm another no anise person. All of them turn my stomach and if you're ever a guest anywhere in Europe they'll force it on you like it's mothers milk and you HAVE to drink it because explaining that their beloved Aquavit/Raki/Ouzo/Pastis/Sambuca is going to make you hurl is less than gracious. I really don't see the appeal in anything anise at all in any form.

Jaeger is of course on the list. It's old man's cough medicine.

Egg nog. Why would I want to drink runny pancake batter?

Ask a Sommelier: What's Your Favorite Sparkling Wine?

Gruet Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir) from New Mexico. About $12-16 a bottle. You will not be disappointed.

The Food Lab: Hasselback Potato Gratin (These Might be the Best Potatoes Ever)

I made this yesterday with a larger casserole dish but otherwise pretty much the same depth of the Le Creuset dish and even though I used the whole 5# bag of potatoes I only needed to add a few ounces of cheese and maybe a half cup of cream to get the potatoes about half submerged. The size of the potatoes does matter. A big baker russet would have been too large. When I do these again I'll probably broil the top on low to get them as brown and crispy as the photo. I adjusted the temp to 425 to account for the extra mass and they cooked just right in an hour and a half except for the deep browning.
Although the dimensions of the baking dish are important it was easy to adjust the recipe on the fly.

Poll: How Do You Like Your Burger Cooked?

Medium for me. The texture and temperature of rare/raw ground meat is not something I associate with a hamburger. I am also a rare-to-medium-rare steak eater.

Taste Test: The Best Sriracha

I think Huy Fong is very inconsistent, at least in the last 5 years or so, and I know a few other people who feel the same. I've had bottles I've had to throw out because they were strange although they were "fresh." One bottle had this creamy texture and was many shades lighter than normal. The heat can go from way too hot for me, and I like my food spicy, to way too mild. I've converted to the Lee Kum Kee brand because it has more depth and balance and beats Huy Fong even if HF has made a decent bottle. LKK can be a little thick but a tablespoon of water adjusts it if you need to. I like it thick.

There's a Kroger brand of sriracha I just saw at the supermarket. I can't quite bring myself to try it.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

I've never had a burger out that was better than anything I made myself. Freshly ground meat, a freshly baked bun, some interesting cheese (not that yellow stuff, which is fine, but there are hundreds of more interesting choices in cheese), my favorite toppings like onions, pickles, roasted green chile and KETCHUP!

Mole-Crusted Fajitas

404 on the ancho-raisin sauce.

The Joy and Economics of Cooking Pizza At Home

Yes. I live in western Colorado. There is precisely one (1) pizza joint worth eating here. Other than that, there are a few very bad pizza places and the usual delivery ones. To get to a city with any sort of decent pizza is a 3+ hour drive over the mountains. Even then, I doubt if they can produce a pie like what my wife & I make on just our gas grill - no special setup. And our pies don't have only a miserly pinch (like what you get at most pizza joints) of the good things you want like lardo or iberico ham or fussed-over sauteed mushrooms, and real cheese, not that skim mozz crap. With a little effort you can make better stuff at home than 95% of what's out there in a restaurant.

Bake the Book: La Boulange Bakery: Cafe Cooking At Home

I like something I can eat with a fork and take my time with so I'd say whatever chocolate cake they're selling. If it's just a coffee shop type cafe, then I go for whatever's chocolatey...super dense brownies are great.

6 Trends We Noticed at the Craft Brewers Conference

Here's another (former) brewer who can't wait until the "more is better" brewers find that double IPA's and bloated barley wines are more fun to brew than drink. It's like listening to jam band music - better for the performer than the listener.

What's Your Favorite Green Juice Combo?

I like the Homer-invented "Lawnmower": vodka & wheat grass.

Seriously, I've tried drinks with kale and the flatulence it caused was a big turn-off.

"MORE POSTS" Button Not Working

Not working for me either. I tried always-updated Chrome and Firefox.

Bake the Book: Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

My mom's warm apple crisp and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Cook the Book: 'Vietnamese Home Cooking'

I have two, but they are essentially the same - just trying them blind for the first time. The first was a restaurant in Cleveland that served me a dish of chili duck that I still can't forget 25 years later. A few years later I tried a Vietnamese restaurant around the corner from my apartment then started dragging friends along and getting them started on loving Vietnamese food.

Golden Grahams S'mores Bars

I'm going to "study" really hard this weekend and reward myself with these.

Poll: Corn on Pizza, Way or No Way?

I'm sure my mind could be changed with fresh corn and a proper pizza to put it on (the descriptions of pies from the commenters here sound delicious), but I had corn on pizza in Europe with far too much regularity and it was kinda nasty.

First Look: Smashburger Lands in Los Angeles

I've never had a greasier burger and I tried them relatively often before both of their stores closed where I am in Colorado. And they just weren't worth the price even if they weren't 50% grease. If they're like this everywhere, well...good luck.