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BostonAdam

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

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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?

@KevinMofM:

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

@kenji

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

@Daniel

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.

Screw Valentine's Day: A Greasy, Meaty Menu for Your Dark, Gloomy Soul

Totally off base. My wife and I bonded over burgers earlier in our relationship, and pizza later. This is, in fact, a menu for PURE AND REAL ROMANCE. (As noted in the comments section of another recent post, sexy time first, food second :-))

Oh, and as for depressed single people? This year's V Day is gonna be super fun around my house. There will be a big snow storm raging outside, and our two young kids will no doubt be super grumpy from hanging out inside all day long. Did I mention sexy time? I meant nap time, before going out to shovel the driveway yet again. If you're single, you're free. Enjoy it.

Why You Shouldn't Dine Out on Valentine's Day

There is a special place in hell for people who make multiple reservations and decide which one to honor only at the last minute.

Better Than Parm? Dried Olive and Miso May Be the Ultimate Pasta-Topper

@kenji

Interesting post, thanks. You mentioned furikake, and that seems like a very ripe potential area for this kind of work. It seems like most of the packaged ones include bonito flakes and/or egg in some form. I wonder if it would be possible to get enough flavor from, perhaps, just nori and maybe black sesame, plus some miso and sugar -- or something similar?

Taste Test: The Best Fancy Drinking Chocolate

Weird that the Burdick mix came out on the thinner side. The hot chocolate available at the retail stores -- at least the ones in the Boston area -- is very thick. I guess either the packaged mix bears little or no relation to the retail product, or they do something different in the stores? (I always thought they must mix it up with heavy cream or something -- it's insanely rich.)

French Onion Soup (Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée)

Made this today -- it came out really well. I upped both the fish sauce and vinegar significantly, and also added a bit of liquid aminos for a bit more depth of flavor. Due to other things happening around the house it simmered for more like 40 minutes, and the result was a thick, sticky soup -- perfect for a cold winter day. Definitely using chicken stock for onion soup from now on!

Mexican Atole: The Perfect Winter Drink

If there is no masa harina on hand, could cornmeal somehow stand in as a substitute? I wonder if simmering the cornmeal with a bit of baking soda could simulate some of the effects of nixtamalization? (Perhaps followed by a trip to the Vitamix to create a smoother product?)

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

Great article, Tyson! Brings some things up that (I bet) most people have VERY little, if any, perspective on. And good job with the headline. I love the comments from people who didn't even read the first sentence :-)

I see nothing wrong with people "stealing" something from an owner who knew that they were going to be out of the job for a month, didn't give them any advance notice, and isn't going to pay them a final check. That owner DESERVES to have things stolen. And those employees DESERVE some way to recoup some of their losses in time and money. It's not theft. It's payment due. Time and place for everything.

How to Make Dulce de Leche From a Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

@easea sometimes the bottom of the can will rust a bit while it's being boiled -- so I definitely wouldn't put it in direct contact with anything I'd want to eat...

And on another topic entirely: I wonder, is there REALLY a danger of the can exploding? I've googled a couple of times and while I've found many, many warnings, I've never managed to find a single first person account of an explosion. Anyone out there care to share a link I've missed? (Not that the absence of evidence proves anything, but still...)

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

These things scare the hell out of me.

I cut a huge hole in my hand with the Borner V-Slicer, which I had already decided to throw out because its blade design makes all of the slices have a big divot in the middle.

Now I use a Benriner (the wide model), and like others I employ kevlar glove. I use it only very rarely, when I have a large batch of something to slice. Otherwise I'd rather take my time with aknife. The cut I received from my V-Slicer was by far the worst kitchen injury I've ever sustained.

Be careful out there.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@iluvtoeat

Interesting -- the onions at the very bottom of the cooker didn't burn? Not having to deal with the jars changes the equation significantly in my opinion. Now I'm definitely interested in taking another shot.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@Alex

Personally I found the pressure-caramelized onions not at all worth the effort. It took a decent amount of time to weigh and pack all of the jars (not to mention the fact that I had to clean them afterwards), and once I took them out of the cooker I had to throw the onions into a pan to dry them a bit and finish things up.

The end result tasted decent, but was slightly mushy in texture and didn't have a very deep brown color. (Maybe it doesn't matter for the flavor of soup but deeper brown onions do look more delicious in my opinion.) All in all, the results were subpar as compared with what I can create just on the stove, and required even more time.

The Best Gin to Buy on a Budget

Bombay is the London Dry I almost always reach for. Pretty sure I can get it around here for ~$25 for a 1.75L bottle.

Hey Chef, How Can I Use up Extra Jam?

A couple of people beat me to the punch with the suggestion of using it in a cocktail, but I wanted to suggest that others google "breakfast martini" for a codified -- and very good -- formula.

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