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BostonAdam

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.

How to Make Meatball Pizza

Funny to read Kenji's quote about New York and then compare it to one of the lines in Adam's article: "... I had never even seen a pizzeria do meatball pizza until I moved to NYC."

Someone lead a sheltered life.

Anyway I'm pro slices, whether they render "meat product" or otherwise. Reason being, the tops of the slices get brown, crunchy, and delicious. I'm not after meatball texture as much as meatball flavor when I have it on a pie, and slices achieve that perfectly.

The Food Lab: How to Make Potato Leek Soup the Easy and Easier way

@Howard Li

I think you're thinking of the Modernist Cuisine technique of putting diastatic malt powder into mashed potatoes (after blending) in order to convert some of the starches to sugars. IIRC, the potatoes are held for a while at the optimal temperature for the amylase enzymes to do their work (140F or something like that), which is probably done in a bag, in a bath.

Am I completely off the mark?


@Kenji

Not too much bay flavor, grinding an entire leaf with only a couple of potatoes?

The New Anova Precision Cooker Promises to Be the Best, Most Cost-Effective Sous-Vide Solution on the Market

@Paul

I can't answer most of your questions but speaking as a Sansaire owner (two of them, in fact) I can say that I really wish I'd bought something else -- primarily due to the thing's rather large footprint. It just takes up way too much space in most pots.

Sansaire also has some fairly shoddy construction aspects. The clip is one issue, and in addition to that there is a door on the back to access the heating elements for cleaning, that is basically impossible to properly seat.

Furthermore, I've had a lot of issues with noise and rattling, which I've solved by adding mass and dampening. (I wrapped the top portion in a bunch of rubber bands! This reduced the noise easily by half.) Overall, the units feel very lightweight and cheaply made.

I don't use mine very heavily -- maybe once every few weeks -- so I can't really speak to longevity or durability.

Always on temperature display? Not important to me. How often do you really need to verify that it's working? Is walking 10 feet across a kitchen and pushing a button really that big a deal?

Based on coverage of the Anova here and elsewhere it looks to me like a much nicer unit in pretty much every way. I'd certainly love to give it a shot.

Vitamix vs. BlendTec vs. Breville: Who Makes the Best High End Blender?

Has the "Will It Blend" guy ever blended a Vitamix? That would be amazing...

Vinaigrette: A Sauce For More Than Just Salads

"After all, what's chimichurri but a garlic- and herb-packed vinaigrette? And we eat that on steak, not salad."

I will argue in this case that the herbs are the salad. Chimichurri is, therefore, nothing more than a vinaigrette-dressed salad served alongside a steak.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Pickle Brine?

I've also heard of people drinking it instead of e.g., Gatorade, when participating in sports events, especially in the summer. Supposed to help with hydration and cramping. Always struck me as slightly gross, but it does make sense.

Spicy, Seared, Smothered, Stacked: An Introduction to Mexican Sandwiches

"Tellez mentions that those pickled jalapeños, present on most tortas in Mexico, are one of the foods she most misses from Mexico, and wishes she could find in New York"

Mrs. Renfro? Are they really all that different?

Waffled Miso-Sesame Tofu With Waffled Sticky Rice

Tried this twice. Mine took a lot longer than 3 minutes to get anywhere near crispy -- probably closer to 10, though I wasn't timing it -- stuck a bit more than I would have expected, and totally fell apart when I went to remove it from the iron. The crispy bits I did get were pretty decent but most of the tofu wasn't crispy at all, just warm.

None of which really surprises me; it usually takes me a good 10 to 15 minutes of work with a pan to get a good crispy outer layer on tofu. The stuff is stored in water. Go figure.

I didn't try crisping the rice so no comments there.

Ultra-Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder

So I did this today. 8 hours and temp read 180. It wasn't tender enough for my taste but my guests didn't complain. I did fuck up big time on the crisping part: decided to use convection mode on my oven so I wouldn't have to rotate anything. 7 minutes in and there were burned spots all over the top of the roast :-(

Will try this again sometime for sure when I'm not on a strict eating schedule and won't try to outsmart Kenji's instructions.

Baked Saffron Risotto With Mozzarella and Crispy Topping

Very nice work, Mr. Gritzer! An extremely tasty dish, and very easy to make.

Ultra-Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder

Someone care to answer squigglewiggle's question regarding what "rotate" means during the final cooking phase? Thank you!

How to Make Buttery Marzipan Stollen

How about no fruit or nuts at all - just sweet bread wrapped around marzipan? Too heavy? Sounds excellent to me...

Point/Counterpoint: What's the Queen of Christmas Breads?

Well since someone else already brought up Trader Joe's ... is the Stollen decent?

6 Great Syrups to Buy For Cocktail-Making

I'm fine with buying syrups that I can't very easily produce at home, but is that grenadine really any better than buying a bottle of Pom, pouring some out, adding sugar, and shaking it up to mix?

Vitamix vs. BlendTec vs. Breville: Who Makes the Best High End Blender?

It would be very interesting to see a breakdown of all of the tests you ran.

On that note: does grinding beef in a blender actually accomplish much aside from meat paste?

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Leg of Lamb

Agreed that more Americans should give lamb a try; I think a properly roasted, meltingly-tender lamb shoulder would convert just about anyone.

13 Quick and Dirty Tips for Frying Latkes

Like Rainbow Unicorn I also prefer to parcook the potatoes first. Sort of a rosti-style latke.

The Best Spirits and Liqueurs of 2014

Regarding the Plantation Pineapple:

"This intriguing collaboration debuted at Tales of the Cocktail this past summer, and now, after a successful limited run the company has decided to make it an annual addition to the Plantation portfolio."

I read about this during TOTC but as I didn't attend I had no chance of getting any -- and I would very much like to try it! Any idea when average consumers can expect to get their hands on some? Does "annual" mean starting next year or..? There seems to be no info on the Plantation web site...

The Glorious Return of French Toast Crunch

So is this in fact the glorious return of Cereal Eats, or just a one off?

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

At the risk of starting a religious flame war ...

Mole enchiladas > chile verde enchiladas.

(Kenji, have you already given mole the Food Lab treatment?)

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