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How to Make a Provençal Vegetable Tian (a.k.a. That Dish From the Ratatouille Movie)


How about cooking the squash at low temperature in the oven -- in a single layer -- just to tenderize, and then using a blow torch to brown? Perhaps easier/quicker than doing the work on the stove?

The 7 Rules of Perfect Pita Bread

I make pita fairly regularly. A couple of comments:

A) I never bother to do a final proof on mine, and I get beautiful pockets and puffiness. I just roll 'em out and then right into the oven. Usually the dough hasn't been kneaded much either, but has had a long initial fermentation (24+ hours -- I tend to use some version of a low or no-knead method). I think the key is to use a very high hydration dough. The recipe posted here looks a bit low to me, at 64% hydration; I'd personally push that up to the 70s.

B) I notice that your oven has a convection fan. Use it! It's amazing how well it helps with both pita and pizza. (Not so much with most other things I've tried, including larger loaves of bread.)

The Secrets to Making the Best Shrimp Cocktail

Great article, but the intro paragraph left me feeling a bit cold. We've truly graduated to a new level of stuck-up food asshole when shrimp cocktail is considered a "guilty pleasure" because it lacks someone's idea of "adult sophistication." Give me a break. There's nothing unsophisticated about a simple dish, and no reason for guilt. This is a food site, remember?

Embrace the Wobble: Why I Love Jellied Foods and You Should Too

Some tofu preparations can also have this texture.

As much as I love beef tendon (i.e. a lot), there is nothing worse than an undercooked chunk, and I tend to have it served to me tough and gristly way more often than not :-(

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Fish Sauce?

Try holding back a bit of the salt when making scrambled eggs or an omelette and replace it with a few dashes of fish sauce. It amps up the egg flavor in insane and unexpected ways (at least for me) and the result is much, much more than the sum of its parts. Culinary alchemy at its best.

Kenji's Excellent Asian Adventures, Part 4: The Long, Smelly Road to Chengdu

Let me guess, Kenji. You're being paid by the China Bureau of Tourism to write this series. Right?!?!

I didn't think an article on a food site would ever make me want to remove a place from my travel bucket list, that mop story accomplished it quite nicely...

Why You Should Seek Out Rhum Agricole (Plus 4 Essential Bottles to Try)

No Depaz?? It has a characteristic spicy flavor that I'm hooked on.

@TexSquid El Dorado makes great rums, no doubt, but they're molasses based, so not pertinent in this particular context.

The Best Ice Cream in Boston, 2015 Edition


If "North Shore" includes Wakefield (I think it does, more or less), then I highly recommend a visit to Meletharb.

Hold the Mayo, Make Grilled Potato Salad for Your Next Cookout

How does one grill bacon without the risk of intense and constant flare ups? I've never been able to get it done sans singed arm hairs and fear of burning down my house.

The Many Tastes of Coffee Ice Cream: How to Make Just the Right Scoop for You

I came here to mention the same thing as @TommiFromKiel -- whole beans. Every time I've tried to use ground coffee, no matter how well I strained through my finest chinois, I ended up with nasty fines in the ice cream. And I grind with a decent burr grinder, so I think it's just par for the course.

After those attempts I discovered the following recipe from David Lebovitz that uses whole beans so as to avoid the fines issue -- and I can confirm that it comes out great. (And is definitely not white; it's pretty packed with coffee flavor and color.)

The Baking Steel Griddle Has Arrived


It's really not interesting to see. Just a big square of blackened metal. The baking steel products are certainly far better looking. But my plate (and, I suspect, most people's stones or steels) lives in the oven all the time. So I'm not sure aesthetics matters beyond the initial unboxing.

The Baking Steel Griddle Has Arrived


Only if the vegetarian in question enjoys cooking things on flat surfaces.

The Baking Steel Griddle Has Arrived


I'm confused by your statement that "we can't get an aluminum baking steel that is 1.5 times as thick, but twice as light." That is, in fact, almost exactly what you can do with real-world materials -- but I suspect you already know that.

Are you saying that it's sad that the Baking Steel company doesn't do it for you? I don't see why it matters. I called a local welding company and had a piece of 6061 custom cut and ground/deburred at my required dimensions (I opted for 5/8", for just a bit more mass), for around $60. It works perfectly for my needs: 3.5 to 4 minute 16" pizzas in my home oven. (More in the NY style; I'm not trying for Neapolitan.) Turnaround time was about 2 or 3 days, IIRC. No big deal.

That said, I'd buy a baking steel too if the price and size were right. I'd love to compare performance of the two materials side-by-side. And I wouldn't mind a second baking surface so that I could bake two pies in parallel.

The Baking Steel Griddle Has Arrived

Very tempting, but I'm a bit put off by the 14" width. 16" or even 17" should be fine given the depth of most American ovens, and would allow people to make a much more properly sized (and round) NY style pizza...

A Little Work in Advance Makes a Cocktail to Drink All Summer

Personally I'd use two grapefruits and instead of trying to remove the zest using a peeler, leverage a microplane. This will give you slightly less zest (thus two grapefruits rather than one), but zero chance of getting any pith in the mix. And the microplaned zest extracts its oils into the sugar more quickly -- so it's pretty much a win-win-win.

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

"a less jittery alternative to coffee"

Myth #6?

I've tried on occasion to swap tea for coffee (of which I drink four or five cups a day), and black tea or matcha will take me to a level of ridiculously overboard, shaky and nervous jitteriness. No such worries with sencha, white tea, or oolong.

Just me?

The Best Leftovers: Cornbread-Coated Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Wedges

When did Paula Deen get a job writing for SE?!? :-)

Seriously though, this looks tasty but I question the necessity of the mac and cheese. Deep-fried cornbread-coated pulled pork sounds like a more direct form of bliss -- no intermediate carbohydrates required!

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.