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Bigbananafeet

  • Location: Canada
  • Last bite on earth: Cadbury's Creme Egg.

The Food Lab: How to Make The Ultimate Creamy Spinach Lasagna

Made a double batch of this today, and it turned out well. Used half ricotta and half cottage cheese (we're in Canada where real ricotta is the norm), and it was delicious.

The other shortcuts I took were to whizz the fresh spinach in the food processor briefly before cooking, and then I spread the crumbled spinach loosely in roasting pans and "baked" it, then mixed it into everything else with an electric whisk, which worked out well and was less messy using the doubled amounts. Plus I didn't have to strain the spinach after cooking, as the moisture evaporated while baking.

I do have one HUGE request - we non-Americans would be thrilled if all Serious Eats recipes listed ingredients in grams and millilitres, as well as in lbs, ounces, cups, quarts and pints. American pounds, ounces, and pints are different from British ones, cups don't exist as a measurement in the UK (nor do sticks), and I did find I was constantly googling conversion tables. First world wine, I know...:)

Pork Chops With White Wine and Leek Pan Sauce

I thought it might have been the fact that I didn't give the salted/sugared chops any time to do their thing before I started cooking them. No matter, they were good, the sauce was excellent, and I'll definitely make them this way again.

now thinking of using the same method for a little rack of lamb!

Pork Chops With White Wine and Leek Pan Sauce

Very nice! Although we did find the sauce was pretty salty (and I did use home-made stock, so no extra sodium hidden there).

The Food Lab: Why Chicken With Pan Sauce Is Always Better at Restaurants (and How to Make Yours Just as Good at Home)

Now I knowcwhy I mysteriously bought 1/2 lb loose gelatin at Bulk Barn the other day!

I made this sauce a la Kenji the other day, and it was just as you described - looks and tastes perfect.

I use my own home-made stock or Campbells no-sodium chicken broth. For those in the Ottawa area, you can buy very good frozen stock (chicken, beef, veal and iirc lamb) from the lovely guys at The Butchery in Bells Corners.

April Bloomfield on the 3 Cookbooks Everyone Should Own

Another fan of Delia here....she's one of the TV cooks whose recipes are well thought out and do actually work, always, and taste fantastic, unlike today's current batch of smash n grab types, whose recipes are as dire as their personas.

Love Michael Ruhlman, too.

Freeze Fresh Herbs for Long-Term Storage

We used to be able to buy fresh-chopped frozen herbs in teeny weeny mini ice-cube trays with a red lid, and iirc they were also in oil, not water. So handy, and so missed from our groceries! Anyone see them any more?

Equipment: Why it's Worth Buying an Olive Oil Pourer

Yes, fruit flies LOVE squirming into my bottles of olive oil, blech.

My oils sit on the window sill these days (tsk, tsk!) but the bottles generally fit into those swanky tube tins that our favourite Scotch whiskiesctend to be packaged in: problem solved.

A lot of the olive oils I buy already have ther own wee dripless pourers....but maybe that's a canadian thing? Costco, PC, etc.

Easy Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts With White Wine and Fines Herbes Pan Sauce

Why a stainless steel pan? Any reason I shouldn't use my serious-eats-seasoned-and-now-nonstick cast iron pan for this?

Cooking With Olive Oil: Should You Fry and Sear in it or Not?

@ Kenji and @James! - ever since I read here on SE that whizzing olive oil in a blender makes whatever it's in taste yucky, I've used butter or coconut oil for my soups (Aga cook, so everything gets roasted in an oven vs on a stove top) and we agree on our little farm in our little community that the soups are noticeably better in flavour. No residual bitterness any more (for which we are seriously grateful to the smart people at Serious Eats).

I do still use the olive oil for roasting veg, or any of Ottolenghi's recipes, though.

@ Daniel - wasn't there a big kerfuffle a few years back about olive oil's dubious bloodlines, though? As in, very little of, for instance, Italian olive oil was actually purely made from olives. If this cast aspersions still holds, then heat tests on "olive oil" might be fairly flawed and/or wide-ranging in their findings, I'd have thought?

The Ultimate Poutine

Costco Canada has extremely good poutine, for anyone looking for a light n healthy lunch when they're travelling across this great country.

The Food Lab's Guide to Slow-Cooked, Sous-Vide-Style Eggs

Or, boil a big pan of water, pull it off the heat, gently break the egg into the water, put a lid on the pan, and check every 5 minutes until the egg looks done the way you like it, lift it out with a holey strainer of some sort, shoogle a bit to flake off the trailers if you find them offensive (I don't), and then slip it on to some hot buttered toast. It really isn't that difficult! Life is too short to fairt around with an egg every morning. Imo, of course.

6 Great Condiments to Complete Your Cheese Plate

Our favourite for any cheese would be quince cheese (not a cheese but an un strained jam), or dried figs warmed slowly with a little honey and water so they've puffed up a bit.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: What Happens When a Restaurant Dies

Proof that the pen (well, keyboard) is mightier than the sword, indeed.

Taste Test: The Best Fancy Drinking Chocolate

Guys - Keniji stepped in on the OP Lauren Sloss's earlier post about the best ready-made chocolate chip cookie dough to explain why they don't list the also-rans any more, and it does make sense - go read it.

The OP doesn't appear to return to her posts to follow up with responses anyway, so not much point in needling her here for input. Which irks me slightly, as I like to know there's a real person behind the posts I read, and really appreciate it when's the OP's engage, like Kenji and Daniel and Morgan!

Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip

Reporting back: did a test run using an egg beaten in, and it was ok, but didn't puff up lots - not worth the effort.

However, made it again, following the recipe, and it was absolutely delicious: I made individual portions in ramekins, and it did puff up nicely!

Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip

Do you think this could be souffle-ised a bit, by stirring maybe three egg yolks into the cheese mix, whipping their egg whites until stiff, and folding them in to the mix before baking? In ramekins, vs a gratin-type dish.

Trying to find a tasty gluten-free savory souffle recipe, and they're pretty thin on the ground, sadly!

The Best Gin to Buy on a Budget

Crikey, life really is too short for crappy gin. I mean, over your drinking lifetime, how much are you really going to save by buying stuff that's only $10 or $20 more than paint-stripper anyway?

Our current favourite gin, when we can't get "Hendricks," is "The Botanist," from a distillery on Islay, of course - where else!

http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-botanist-islay-dry-gin

Kinda neat that both The Botanist and Hendricks are both fae Scotland, too.

The Best Way to Mince Garlic

I used to chop and then smoosh garlic, but now I tend to stick with the microplaner.

However, when it comes to cooking garlic, now, I often use the Serious Eats idea of adding water to the oil or butter, which really helps stave off the burning that can happen so easily.

Why Serious Cooks Use Carbon Steel Knives

I can't believe there are so many apparently expert knife users who, incongruously, have time at this busiest cook time of year to beyotch ad nauseam about an interesting and entertaining personalised anecdotal article from Daniel. I barely have time to fry an egg for my breakfast before getting going with the mountains of cooking ahead, let alone squabble about the niceties of knife-blades 72 hours before the big day!

Happy Christmas, oh grouchy ones!

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Aha -- just read the other page,* and now I know why you tie it!

* It would be great if all the comments on a recipe ended up on both the recipe page and the introductory page - just a thought.

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Kenji - why do you tie the tenderloin with string? I've never bothered, and I used to cook a whole tenderloin quite often, so just curious.

The Better Fruitcake: Baking Stollen at NYC's Bien Cuit Bakery

Gorgeous photos, and delicious narrative, all about some good proper baking: THIS is one of the many reasons I love you, Serious Eats!

How to Export Your Recipe Box When Ziplist Shuts Down

Another one just chiming in to say, how disappointing, as I REALLY like the save-recipe feature - it's rather pleasing to open "my recipes" and see all the lovelies. Off to check out Pepperplate, Evernote and Yumprint next!

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

@ Malissa - two, actually - an 8" and a 9" - same manufacturer (Findlay), but one's much older than the other. I'll get slathering - thanks!

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

Yes, it was upside down - I was pretty sparing with the oil, though - is it supposed to be slathered on? I've got an ancient Aga, on all the time, so no problem with leaving the pan in the oven pretty much indefinitely, lol. It was in the 350' oven, by the way.

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Mustard Manual: Your Guide to Mustard Varieties

Mustard is one of the oldest condiments and hasn't changed much through the years. In it's essence, mustard is combination of mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with liquid, but its the variety of seeds and type of liquid used that creates all the varieties of mustard we know today. More

Knife Skills: How to Slice Scallions

When scallions are used as a base ingredient in a stir-fry or salsa, a fine rough chop will do you just fine. But the beauty of scallions is that they're as pretty as they are flavorful—provided you know how to cut them. Here are the basic knife skills you'll need to produce three different types of garnish-worthy scallion slices. More

The Food Lab: The Best Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue chicken doesn't fall under the strict definition of the Southern term "barbecue," as it is not cooked hot or long enough for connective tissue to break down the way it does in ribs or a pork butt (indeed, there isn't really any connective tissue to break down in the first place), but it does fall under the wider umbrella of "barbecue" which includes any foods cooked slowly (not to be confused with slow-cooked) with the addition of smoke and a barbecue sauce. Of course, all conversation of whether or not it's proper to call it barbecue will end once you all agree that it's delicious. More

Taste Test: A Guide to Black Pepper

There's no shortage of places to get your black pepper from; as one of the world's most popular spices, it's grown all across the world's spice regions, from India to Indonesia to Ecuador and Brazil. We don't talk much about terroir when it comes to spices, but it's worth thinking about. After all, peppercorns are fruits just like grapes, and soil, growing conditions, and variety of peppercorn are all going to have an impact on flavor profile. How strong are these flavor differences, and how do they pan out with food? We tasted peppercorns from seven major growing regions to find out. More

The Food Lab: How to Make Creamy Vegetable Soups Without a Recipe

These days, there aren't too many vegetables in the world that I haven't made into a smooth, creamy soup, and there are even fewer that I've not loved, but my experience has taught me something: the first time I learned how to make a creamy chanterelle soup at my first real restaurant job wasn't really just a recipe for chanterelle soup. It was a blueprint for making any creamy vegetable soup. You just need to break it down into its individual steps and figure out how to universalize them. Here's how it's done. More

The Food Lab: How To Preserve Fresh Spring and Summer Produce

I go a bit nuts every spring and summer when fresh produce is at its best. I end up buying things willy nilly, without much thought as to how I'm going to prepare, much less eat, all of it myself. After several valiant dinner parties and late night asparagus binges, I still find myself with far too much produce to even consider finishing everything before it starts to lose quality. More

Saffron Chicken and Rice With Golden Beets From 'The New Southern Table'

While it may not have the superstar status of other quintessentially Southern ingredients like country ham or collards, rice is a vital part of any Southern table, especially in the low country region around the Carolina coast. Brys Stephens's chapter on rice in his cookbook, The New Southern Table, explores varieties and preparations of the grain from everywhere from Thailand to his own home state of South Carolina. More

Mexican Gorditas (Fried Stuffed Corn Cakes)

Once you eat a Mexican gordita, your life may never be the same again: Corn cakes made from masa dough are pan-fried to create a crisp exterior and a steamy, tender interior, then stuffed with any number of traditional fillings, from spicy beans, to fresh white cheese and tender shredded meats. More

Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers

Classic smashed burgers are all about maximizing that deep, brown crust. But I found myself wondering, what if I were to take this to the extreme? Is there a way I could pack even more flavor into a burger? And thus, the ultra-smashed burger was born. Same burger size, but twice the amount of crisp, browned crust. More

Crusty Portuguese bread recipe?

My fiance lived in Portugal when he was a young boy, and he fondly remembers a certain type of bread that his family would buy fresh every day. I'd love to make that same bread for him, but no one... More