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Knife Skills: The Best Ways to Peel and Dice Tomatoes

"I used to use ice water for this step, but after testing it side by side with plain cold water, I found that ice is really not necessary so long as you aren't completely crowding the bowl of cool water."

Is this true for all vegetables? This would greatly reduce my reluctance to blanch things given that we don't have ice readily available.

No Brine, No Heat: Easy Pickled Onions in Just 15 Minutes

How long can you leave the onions in the vinegar in the fridge?

Stew Science: Why You Shouldn't Cook Your Beef All Day

Does "*** And perhaps help you realize that 8 hours in the slow cooker is not necessarily a good idea." imply that this is never a good idea for any sort of meat based dish in the slow cooker? Never cook meat overnight?

Beyond Casseroles: What to Cook for New Parents

Congratulations on the little one. She shares a birthday with my eldest from 4 years ago.

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

We love "great" pizza but as parents to preschoolers, we've come to grudgingly realize that at preschooler parties, it's not worth springing for good stuff. $10 Costco pizza is the way to go. And with that crust you really need flavor boosts from extra cheese, ranch dressing, or the superloaded Supreme.

We still do the good pizzerias when it's just our family.

The Food Lab: The Easiest Way to Make April Bloomfield's Ricotta Gnudi at Home

On our one visit to Spotted Pig for lunch a few years ago, we were supremely disappointed to hear that they only served these at dinner and not at lunch. Sounds like that policy might have changed.

The Food Lab: How to Grill or Broil Tofu That's Really Worth Eating

Regarding your broiler instructions - what if our oven doesn't have a "low" setting for broiling? Can we bake the thick slabs of tofu at a low temp?

Going to Hawaii? 10 Must-Eat Local Specialties

I second the pipikaula recommendation and also would add squid luau (the version at Helena's in Honolulu is great).

In Praise of a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

Being from a Taiwanese family in America, our Thanksgiving tradition included turkey as a nod to where we were now, but the real celebration was around the hot pot with beef, lamb, and all the fixings, with a supremely soothing broth to wash everything down at the end of the meal. We'd have token bits of turkey/potatoes before getting down to business with the hot pot, and save the majority of the turkey for leftovers (turkey congee is pretty darn good).

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Kale Pizza

"you can forget about finding a decent slice though" - Have you tried Arinell's in the Mission?

How to Eat Flushing: A One-Day Food Tour of NYC's Greatest Chinatown

Agree with @Paul Yee. I understand the direction of the site going away from local-only reviews and such, but I do miss being able to read criticism and compliments from knowledgable food people. Plus Kenji is now in my neighborhood so I'd actually have a chance to visit some of the places he gives a gold star to.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Good luck to Carrie, and it seems like Jamie's departure also flew under the radar.

Once this turnover is complete it might be wise to do a quick rundown of the new staff and contributors.

Chef Belinda Leong of B.Patisserie on Where to Get Great Dessert in San Francisco

My wife enjoyed the kouign amman at B. Patisserie more than the fabled DKA.

Kenji's NYC Bucket List: What I'll Miss Most

Pre-emptive welcome to the Bay Area! Are you guys planning to open an SE-SF office?

As a followup to your "Home Kitchen tour" series, since I presume that you will be continuing Food Lab work in your new digs, it would be interesting for you to chronicle your thought process as you set up your new kitchen.

The Food Lab Lite: The Best Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

Would you use your best olive oil for this, or a more standard cooking one since you're going to infuse your own flavor anyway?

The Food Lab: Easy Red Lentil Soup With Curry Yogurt

"If there's one thing that could improve the food of 99% of home cooks I've ever met, it's regulating acidity. Everybody knows that salt is key to bringing out the flavor in foods, but acidity is almost as important.

Try this: Season your lentil soup with salt and pepper, and take a sip. Now squeeze a couple lemons into it, whisk it up, and taste again. See what I mean? It not only tastes brighter and fresher, but somehow tastes more lentil-y as well, if lentil-y were a word."

Any chance we could get a Food Lab or Lite article educating home cooks on how to season and acidify their cooking properly? Tackling questions like:
- Which salt should I use for which type of cooking?
- How do I "season to taste" and how often, for different types of cooking?
- How do I know when to use fresh lemon, frozen squeezed lemon juice, lime, white vinegar, etc. to provide acid? How do I know when to use "a couple of lemons" vs 1/2 of one to provide freshness without providing acid taste? Should I use it on all meats, or just fish? All veggies? All stews/soups? What do I do with the leftover lemon to avoid waste?

Seems like a good baseline opportunity to teach folks how to improve all their cooking.

A Day in the Life: Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

Maybe this was addressed in a previous "day in the life" column - but curious as to your office rules on the refrigerator, since it seems like you have lots of food either made or sent in. No name = fair game? What if Kenji was planning to eat that turchetta sandwich?

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

On photo #6, did anyone else think that someone was feeding old dead Jeff to Yuba?

Staff Picks: What's the Scariest Food You've Ever Eaten?

Goat brain curry. Surprisingly tasty, kind of like fattier scrambled eggs.

Cereal Eats: The Virtue of "UnSweet" Cereals

We love mixing TJ's Heritage flakes with TJ's maple pecan granola. It's like our very own more-nutritious version of Honey Bunches of Oats.

Staff Picks: What College Food Item Did You Depend on for Survival?

College staples:
- microwaved "baked" potato with a mountain of cheese and bacon bits, and a smoothie to healthy it up.
- cook some dry pasta and mix it with canned clam chowder (to act as the "sauce") and some black pepper. Cans of Progresso from Costco tasted the best.
- Kraft Mac & Cheese bulked up with regular macaroni and more cheese to make 2 meals' worth.
- Costco Tyson chicken nuggets were the easy protein to go alongside pasta or rice.

Ask the Critic: A Farewell Food Tour of NYC

My wife and I grew up in the South Bay Area, went to school in Berkeley, and have done a few eating trips to NYC. A couple of food items in NYC that we miss and/or make repeat visits to when in NYC since they don't match it here:
- echo the foie gras recommendation
- echo the Russ & Daughters recommendation
- echo the deli recommendation
- Shake Shack - only In'N'Out and Five Guys + major chains here
- the halal chicken and rice cart
- NYC pizza (my wife loves John's Pizzeria)
- Momofuku Ssam Bar

Tips and Tricks for Making Smoothies, No Recipes Required

We make smoothies frequently as it's the easiest and least fussy way to get our picky 2-year old boy to get a good veggie intake. We invested in a VitaMix 4 years ago off our wedding registry and it has gotten a great workout since then.

Thanks for the tip on the dates as sweetener. Some other tricks we do:
- Carrots make a healthy addition that doesn't affect flavor too much. Be warned though, our boy has ingested enough carrots to have a little bit of an orange hue to his skin tone so we're dialing it back a bit.
- Costco is an easy source for organic frozen fruit to throw into smoothies.
- In addition to spinach, kale doesn't affect flavor that much either so we pack it in.
- Non-dairy milks don't suffer as much when the smoothie is left out for a little while, and soy milk has more protein than almond milk, so we usually use soy. Sometimes we'll add kefir for additional protein punch.
- Smoothies made for an easy way to get rid of some older (but still good) baby food that our kids weren't eating any more.

Chain Reaction: Texas Roadhouse

The ribs and cornbread are pretty good for a chain - not real bbq, but tasty and tender enough. Never seen a reason to order other dishes.


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