Confessions of a Maple Syrup Smuggler

My great aunt used to bring her own silverware to restaurants. She said what was provided would undoubtedly be dirty. Somehow the plates and glasses were, in her mind, okay. Every time I asked her about it I received a very swift kick under the table from my mother, so I never did get a straight answer...

Bringing your own maple? Not very odd at all!

Tips and Tricks for the Best Scrambled Eggs, Your Way

I like mine halfway between #1 and #2. Cold pan start with some butter, stirred with a spatula over extremely low heat until it just starts to thicken. Then turn up the heat JUST A BIT until slightly bigger curds form, and immediately pull it and fold in a large dollop of creme fraiche. Drop some chopped herbs on top and serve with a large hunk of really good crusty bread. Absolutely unbeatable breakfast in my opinion.

Help Support The Upcoming Food Lab Video Series for Big Prizes!


"The videos are a Serious Eats production"

Thanks for the clarification.

Lager Is Craft Beer's Most Exciting Frontier

Wow, absolutely great timing for me -- and I'm glad to hear it's not just me!

I totally relate to that first bit, about someone having a "moment." In January I was sucking down yet another piney IPA and I realized that I just don't relate to that style as much as I did 10 years ago. I went to the liquor store to find some craft lagers, and that's all I've been drinking for the past few months. Been brilliant and a huge eye opener after many, many years of drinking only ales. Lager is fantastic stuff!

Help Support The Upcoming Food Lab Video Series for Big Prizes!

@Susan K

"Folks, remember, this site is FREE."

This site is, but what makes you think the videos will be? Kenji is charging $25 for them. Do these videos even have anything to do with SE, aside from the fact that Kenji is involved? Kenji != Series Eats.

Note: My intention is not to opine in any way as to whether you should or should not fund the videos. That's up to you. I'm just pointing out this error in your logic.

DIY Chocolate Liqueur


A bit late but I think the solution would be to freeze the tincture after infusion, then pass it through the coffee filter prior to sweetening. Freezing will solidify the fats and they'll be unable to pass. And there should be no reason to filter after adding the sugar, nor a reason to give it an extra day. (If you want an extra day, just let the vodka have an extra day.)

How to Make Your Ice Cream as Dense, Rich, and Chewy as a New England Scoop Shop's

Just remembered that the "interview" I mentioned in my prior post was a guest spot on an episode of Tyler's Ultimate. Here's the recipe from that show:

I specifically remember him dumping in the gelatin and saying that it is the secret ingredient that gives his ice creams great texture. But looking at the Steve's Ice Cream web site--which includes ingredient info--it appears that guar and or locust bean gums are doing that job in today's versions.

How to Make Your Ice Cream as Dense, Rich, and Chewy as a New England Scoop Shop's


I recall watching an interview with Steve Herrell in which he mentioned using gelatin as a stabilizer/thickener. Did you investigate that at all?

American Booze Hall of Fame: The Best Spirits of the West

@monopod High West does not make its own spirits. (See the link shared by KevinMofM.) That said, I am a huge fan of its products, especially Rendezvous.

I wonder whether Woodinville uses and/or used any of the Alberta Distillers stock? That's my first guess these days when I see a 100% rye.

The Best Chocolate Babka in NYC, 2015 Edition

How to Make Flour Tortillas So Tasty You'll Want to Eat Them Alone

Would duck fat be a terrible idea?

The Glorious Return of French Toast Crunch

The Best Chocolate Babka in NYC, 2015 Edition

@ponyace only sadness and regret

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@crawdad Install AdBlock Plus and Ghostery and say goodbye to garbage...

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I was wondering why the cereal article wasn't written by the correct person. Bummer.

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

By the way, speaking of booze: A tall glass of ice with 2oz of aged rum (try a Trinidad rum), two dashes of Angostura bitters, and topped up with coconut water...outside on a hot summer evening, maybe with a quick squeeze of lime if that's your thing, is absolute perfection.

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

I tried the Harmless Harvest a few weeks ago and didn't think it was significantly better than Amy and Brian, which is the usual brand I buy. It had a SLIGHTLY more natural flavor (read: less clean), and that's about it. Oh, and it made me feel really good about spending $6 when I read all of the propaganda on the label.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Sichuan Peppercorns?


The peppercorns have two parts: a skin, and an inner seed. It's the skin you want -- it has all of the flavor and isn't gritty. The seed is flavorless and doesn't grind down well. So prior to using them in your dish you want to pick through and get rid of any seeds present in the mix. This will fix the problem and open the door to mala joy! (And I highly recommend messing with Kenji's mapo recipe; it's fairly easy and very good.)

The Best Way to Cook Frozen Dumplings

For the lazier members of the audience: The texture certainly isn't nearly as nice, but baking frozen gyoza for 10-15 minutes in a 400F oven works well. They come out a bit more cracker-like (i.e. dried out shell) than they would in a pan but require much less work than any other method. Just put them in the oven. Done :-)

Too Good To Mix: 9 Rums Perfect For Sipping

Most of these are way too sweet, IMO. Zacapa and Zaya in particular are syrupy sugar bombs, and the Diplomatico is not far down the scale. Many rums are adulterated with caramel coloring, sugar syrup, etc. There are virtually no standards and sweetness hides many sins. Pyrat XO, mentioned in the comments here, is effectively an orange liqueur.

For these reason I generally prefer to consume AOC rhum agricole, from distillers like Clement, Depaz, Saint-James, or Rhum J.M. Or, made in a similar style, Barbancourt. These rums do not use additives, and so they tend to have a drier finish.

On that note, many of the rums in the Plantation line are also very nicely balanced. (Perhaps because they're blended in France, whose colonization brought us the agricoles?)

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 3, Checking Privilege and Staying the Course


Oops, I missed the word "tofu" there. If it's supposed to be for vegans wouldn't they use char-free sugar?

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 3, Checking Privilege and Staying the Course

"I'm sticking with my tofu-scallion cream cheese, which has a tiny amount of sugar, because Kenji have me a pass."

So the dairy isn't a problem? Are you making this yourself? If you're so worried about bone char why not use organic sugar?

Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn't be Either)

I just clicked that Hungry Girl link and now my brain hurts and I want to go drink a cup of liquified duck fat to drive away the demons.

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 2

Wow, Ben, that's a lot of pulses. Any...erm...gastric issues?

How to Make Foolproof Cheese Fondue


You mentioned sodium citrate -- any reason you didn't want to try it in the actual recipe? In my experience it makes the emulsion a snap and totally eliminates the need for any kind of starch, while also simplifying the process.

You can dump everything (cheese, wine, salt, sodium citrate) together in a pan, cold, heat it a bit, and then buzz it with an immersion blender -- and you're done. A bit of xanthan gum can be added for even more stability and insurance against breakage.

There is little or no romance in this process but it produces a good product with almost no effort and no need to worry... Which makes it truly foolproof in my opinion.

BostonAdam hasn't written a post yet.

The Food Lab: How to Make Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak Pinwheels

Flank steak is one of those cuts of meat custom-built for the grill. When cooked right, it has a mild, beefy flavor and lean texture, with just the right amount of chew when you slice it thinly across the grain. Butterfly that flank steak and stuff it with flavor-packed ingredients like Italian cold cuts, cheeses, and punchy condiments, and you're really in business. A nice flank steak pinwheel is one of the fastest-cooking and most impressive-looking pieces of meat you can throw on the grill, the kind of thing to pull out when you want to impress the neighbors. More

West Indian Roti and Doubles Galore at Singh's Roti Shop, Boston

There aren't a ton of West Indian restaurants in Boston, so if you rolled into Singh's Roti Shop expecting chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and a mango lassi, well, you wouldn't be the first. "Some people don't know about the food, and think we're from India, but it's Caribbean flavors, and we start educating them." That education takes the form of hearty puffed-and-stuffed roti, fried doubles, and more Trinidadian classics you'd be remiss to pass up. More

The Food Lab: How To Make Traditional Vietnamese Pho

There are few things better for the soul or the body than a tangle of slick rice noodles in a rich, crystal clear, intensely beefy broth; the warm aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and star anise rising up in a cloud of steam. The intensely savory-salty hint of fish sauce balanced by a squeeze of lime juice and a handful of fresh herbs and chilies that you add to your bowl as you eat. Here's how to make it at home. More

Grilling: Baba Ghanoush

For each thrilling high of a fantastic experience with this smokey Middle Eastern dip, I experience a equal low, often leaving me questioning why I like it at all. Unfortunately, my home experience has been made up of almost entirely lows—until this most recent stab at it. Each ingredient combined to make a luscious, smoky dip that reigns high on my list of all time favorites. More

Slow-Baked Atlantic Salmon with Tabouli from 'Flour, Too'

There's good news for fish-averse cooks: Joanne Changs recipe for slow-baked salmon in her new cookbook, Flour, Too, is not only easy (and pretty foolproof), but it also keeps that intense salmon smell at bay. The filets are well-coated in olive oil and then cooked in a gentle 300º F oven until just firm to the touch. They stay delicate and buttery, with no stringy flesh in sight. To pair with the rich salmon, Chang whips up a fluffy, lemon-y tabouli salad. It's heavy on the bulgur to make it a more substantial side dish, but the tabouli still has a strong, herbal presence. More

9 Vermont Cheeses To Get Your Hands On

Nowhere is better to bask in the wealth of handmade USA cheese than in Vermont, a true cheese-lover's paradise. It's the state with the highest number of artisanal cheesemakers per capita: over 40 of them. And many of them are making some decidedly fine cheese. I would suggest trying all artisanal Vermont cheese that you encounter, but to help narrow things down, here are some wonderful ones with which to begin. More

Bread Baking: Sourdough Waffles

The beauty of using starter for waffles is that the starter doesn't have to be completely active to still make a nice waffle. It's used for flavor more than anything else, so a sleepy starter from the fridge or a fiercely bubbling starter on the counter, or a new starter that's not quite ready—they're all just as good. More

Bake the Book: Raspberry Doughnuts with Vanilla Dipping Sauce

It doesn't get much simpler or more indulgent than a fresh doughnut. Being able to make your own is a must for any aspiring home pastry chef. Old School Comfort Food shares chef Alex's recipe for fluffy, sugar-encrusted doughnuts filled with tangy jam and accompanied by a creamy vanilla sauce. It took her dozens of attempts to develop a method that, according to her, works every time. You just need to make it once. More

5 New Coffee Inventions Spotted at the Specialty Coffee Expo

What happens when you gather thousands of coffee industry professionals in one large room to show each other all their newest innovations? Well, most of them gather around five or six booths which have the very coolest toys. Here are a few of our findings of the new and cool from last weekend's Specialty Coffee Association of America show in Boston, some of which may be appearing on counters near you very soon—maybe even your own. More