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The Best Sautéed Broccoli Rabe Is Overcooked Broccoli Rabe

I love the notion of ditching the "everything must always be al dente" ideal. However, I feel you're doing yourself a disservice by using the negatively connotated term "overcooked." If cooking more is what's best, doesn't that imply "properly cooked?" Maybe better to differentiate using "long-cooked" or "slow-cooked" or similar.

How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar


The convection oven works more quickly by constantly moving the air around, in order to improve heat transfer. But to compensate for the air movement and to help users avoid burning things, most convection ovens drop the temperature.

In the case of this recipe, I don't think the additional air movement buys you anything. Sugar is not, e.g., like a big piece of meat with a cold core that takes a bunch of time to heat up. You're talking about a thin layer that should come right up to temperature. So you're moving air over the sugar that's already up to temperature, but the temperature is lower than your target -- meaning, much slower caramelization.

At least, that's my theory. If you can't turn off convection mode, maybe try boosting the temp by 25 or 30 degrees. (Or, better, look in your oven's manual and find out how much it compensates.)

The Comfort Food Diaries: My Coke Habit

Great piece, and there is truly nothing better on a hot day than Coke poured over crushed ice and then sipped through a straw. I don't drink it much (health, blah, blah, blah), so I savor every drop when I do.

I'm still not sure why US Coke doesn't jump on the "corn syrup sucks" bandwagon and make a more expensive pure cane sugar version like Pepsi has had for years. I'd certainly buy it and, I think, consume more Coke than I do today. (And I'm totally uninterested in the version with stevia and cane sugar. I want pure, real, unadulterated, beautiful sugar. Not that I think it's any healthier than HFCS. I think it tastes a lot cleaner.)

Why I Take My Asparagus out of the Fire and Into the Frying Pan

Another vote for roasting -- mine come out looking about the same as the ones shown here. Very easy to do larger quantities. Only issue is that very thin spears can VERY quickly go from perfectly done to winkled, dry, and stringy. Heat control is even more important when something is in the oven, out of sight and out of mind.

How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar


I don't think there's any reason to exceed 100C or even go as hot as 300F called for in this recipe -- if you're willing to take the time. Consider dulce de leche made from condensed milk by boiling the can for several hours. Same reaction, I think; just lower temperature and more time.

Pilsner's New Golden Age

I love the current craft beer situation. Some brilliant lagers, session beers so I can actually enjoy more than one, and cans! Where have you been all my life, beer that I can stack!?!? Good times.

The Benefits of Eating Without a Map

I have to agree with XXDavidsonXX.

It's not just about budget in terms of dollars, but also budget in terms of time and enjoyment. Even ignoring the idea of wasted money, consider that many people simply don't get a lot of vacations or nights out. If you're able to have a nice meal out only once a month, you're not going to waste it on some random experiment. You're going to read some reviews and try to increase your odds. It just makes sense.

As for New Orleans, I think that's a great example of a city where you ABSOLUTELY should research! There are a ton of hidden gems you probably won't stumble upon by wandering randomly, and a much higher number of crap places that you almost certainly WILL find. And I don't think most people will find any sense of enlightenment in a plate of overcooked rice and undercooked beans. They'll just feel like they've wasted time and money.

The Mad-Libs Method for Perfect Fruit Salad in Any Season

I thought this was a great piece and a good reminder that it's important to break the mold on some dishes.

Serious Eats Recommends: 5 Food-Focused Books, Podcasts, Movies, and More We Love Right Now

Any recommendations for really good food (or drink) content on Netflix? I've watched pretty much everything decent I've found to date -- need more!

Stuff I have found that stands out: Chef and Haute Cuisine, both pretty good on the fictional (or fictionalized) end. (Have had Today's Special on my list for a while but it doesn't look nearly as promising.) Kings of Pastry, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and Somm, all excellent documentaries. Aside from those films, the Chef's Table series was pretty good, as was Cooked. Mind of a Chef is available and usually delivers but Netflix doesn't have the most recent season up yet.

The Best Way to Cut a Mango

I cut the lobes off, then cut each one into three pieces lengthwise. To peel them I leave them skin-side down and slide the knife between the skin and the flesh. Usually this results in a nearly perfectly peeled slice. Sometimes a bit of additional cleanup is needed. In any case, it's a safe and effective method and then you can cube the pieces from there. Works really well IMO!

More Than Magic Mushrooms: Playing With Food in Video Games

The Burger Time type game has evolved in the mobile age into a number of very popular food service/assembly games, e.g. Diner Dash or My Coffee Shop. I think they're an important element of the overall universe of food in games.

Why Preserved Lemons Belong on Your Shelf

I've also seen them used in Vietnamese restaurants as the base for salted lemonade, which can be surprisingly refreshing as compared to the fresh version.

Emergency Pancake Syrup, a Simple Hack You'll Actually Use


I think if some store is selling you a product labeled as "maple syrup" that's actually corn syrup, you need to start shopping at a new store. Not sure where you're located but I'm pretty sure that at least in the US and Canada, federal labeling requirements explicitly prohibit that.

Emergency Pancake Syrup, a Simple Hack You'll Actually Use

This looks tasty. Even though I mostly ate Mrs. Butterworth or similar growing up, I am a huge maple fan now. But when I have none on hand I tend to reach for the condensed milk. IMO it has all of the attributes I want from syrup; essentially lots of rich, sugary goodness. Look forward to trying this one out too.

The Food Lab's American Omelettes (and Why You Should Salt Your Eggs in Advance)


"the salt must have time to dissolve and become evenly distributed through the mixture"

I generally season my eggs with soy sauce rather than crystallized salt. Since it's already dissolved, does that mean that soy sauce will not require a 15 minute wait? Or is there some denaturing going on as well that takes some time?

@Blaise Pascal

My wife came home with one of those hinged pans a few weeks ago and made something she called an "omelette" by putting eggs and cheese in only one side and then flipping the thing over. The result was a nicely circular puck of eggs with cheese mixed in. I didn't think that qualified as an omelette so I tried putting eggs in both sides, adding cheese to one side after some cooking had taken place, and then in one quick motion marrying the two halves prior to either completely setting...which naturally resulted in a gigantic mess and my swearing to never touch that piece of crap again.

One Bowl, No Fuss: My Favorite Buttermilk Waffles

@Stella Ah, that's what I get for not reading the recipe first. Thanks for clarifying!

One Bowl, No Fuss: My Favorite Buttermilk Waffles

@Stella Ah, that's what I get for not reading the recipe first. Thanks for clarifying!

One Bowl, No Fuss: My Favorite Buttermilk Waffles

@Stella Ah, that's what I get for not reading the recipe first. Thanks for clarifying!

One Bowl, No Fuss: My Favorite Buttermilk Waffles

So just to confirm, are you saying that given high enough hydration, all waffle recipes could dispense with baking powder/soda and still come out light and fluffy? Kind of mindblowing if so!

Hello, Tamago Kake Gohan, Your Time Has Come

@monopod Another idea: Make some lightly candied nuts with the furikake mixed in. Delicious, if you're into that kind of thing. Probably best to use a simple bonito/sesame/nori version and not one with egg or dried salmon flakes.

Hello, Tamago Kake Gohan, Your Time Has Come

Best late night snack ever. Also good for breakfast. And not bad for lunch :-)

I like to mix in a bit of leftover veg from other projects, if I have some around. Caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms are both especially good IMO. The former, if you add in a bit of mirin with the soy, gives the final product an almost oyaku donburi sort of feel.

Also, unagi sauce, while probably totally gauche, is absolutely delicious with the egg...

Why I Love the Whopper, Mess and All

Sorry to detract from the Whopper, but this part caught my eye:

"... or McDonald's, with its Playlands and Happy Meals and little shortbread cookies ..."

Shortbread cookies?? I had to Google this one to make sure it really is a thing, and -- yes, it really is a thing. Was it only in some parts of the country? I don't recall ever seeing cookies at McDonald's as a kid. (Mid-'80s in Denver.)

Were the cookies truly unavailable in my region or should I add this to the list of parental topics to discuss with my therapist? How dare they deprive me of a potentially delicious end to my feast of McNuggets dipped in honey? (In retrospect, wow. No wonder I was always the fat kid.)

Coffee's Third Wave (Finally) Washes Ashore in Seattle

"Even Starbucks is getting into the spirit."

Unfortunately Starbucks still totally does not get it. Last week I was out of my usual coffee so I bought a bag of one of the single-origin beans from the Reserve. $14.50 for an 8.8oz bag, which is in my opinion somewhat painful. No roast date on the, but an expiration date of October! Opened it up and discovered that the beans had been roasted to at least Full City if not more. Dark and oily, low acid, almost zero nuance. Sad that they can't edit themselves a bit.

How to Cook the Moistest* and Tenderest* Chicken Breasts

You can do better. Take a tip from my mother in law and use a little broth rather than oil. Because health. Make sure to apply very high heat and don't add the chicken until the broth is smoking. And don't even think of removing the chicken from the pan until you get that proper dental floss consistency. Mmm, mmm. (Vent fan highly recommended.)

The Case for Filthy, Sopping-Wet Martinis

I am also an occasional fan of a dirty martini. I think it goes fairly well with snacks before dinner and doesn't completely destroy the palate.

But for me the real eye opener was ditching the olives altogether and making a 2:1 martini with two dashes of orange bitters and a lemon twist. Properly stirred -- i.e. at least 45 seconds so that there is plenty of dilution -- and made with good vermouth (I like Vya dry for this purpose), it's an exceptional drink and finally allowed me to appreciate the martini. Although it's still not something I'll have more than a couple of times a year.