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The Food Lab: Introducing Vegetables Wellington, the Plant-Based Vegan Roast Even Meat Eaters Will Want

What a masterpiece! I am partway through making this right now - I may or may not have volunteered to host a dinner party at which the guest of honor is a vegan (and everyone else is an omnivore). So this fits the bill perfectly! I have the three big components made so on the day of the party all I need to do is assemble and make the gravy. Do you have an estimate on the assembly time? Big props to the commenter who suggested using the olive oil spray - I'm sure that will speed things along a bit. A couple other questions:

- another commenter asked as well - what size is your phyllo dough? I'm so worried this won't come together because it is the centerpiece of the dinner!

- my cannelini beans dried out way more in the oven than yours appear to have done, and in less time, too. (Trader Joe's canned, in case you're curious.) I'm a little worried that this will cause some punctures in the outer layers of phyllo. I could add some stock to the whole mixture but am curious if anyone else experienced this?

Anyway, those are my questions at this stage. Thanks for this and several other recipes - I'm using a bunch from your vegan experience series!

JalapeƱo Jam

Jalapenos grow very well in our garden, so I have made jalapeno jelly several times in the past few years. We really love it (bake it on a brie!). If you let them ripen on the plant long enough, they turn red, so I think it is pretty to have red and green pieces in the finished jars. I just use the recipe on the Ball website, which looks pretty similar to yours.

Chris Bianco Surprises With New Trattoria and Pizzeria in Phoenix

Super exciting... if the article was about anyone else, I would have stopped reading after you misspelled "dessert" for the second time.

Cheesy Grits With Spring Vegetables

I'm a good Italian girl, and I've always done my polenta in the oven, too. This recipe is basically it:

Poll: Sugar in Tomato Sauce, Way or No Way?

A tiny amount of sugar to balance the acidity doesn't bother me at all. But I've been shredding a carrot into my sauce lately, and it works just fine.

17 Recipes to Make You Feel Irish on St. Patrick's Day

KAF's Irish Soda Bread Muffins are non-traditional but quite delicious, and just the right size:

Will Peanut Butter Prices Shrink This Year?

I don't eat a ton of peanut butter, but when I do, I prefer chunky / crunchy. That's been increasingly hard to find of late, I assume for the same reason. Can we look forward to the return of more chunky options in the future, too, do you think?

How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey: The Fastest, Easiest Thanksgiving Turkey

All these comments, and I can't believe no one has mentioned the Princess Bride quote! Love it!
Returning to the actual topic, we roast a chicken like this almost every week, and use the backbone and giblets to make stock. If I were hosting Thanksgiving this year, I would absolutely go this route with the turkey. It looks delicious.

Cook the Book: 'This is a Cookbook'

I know I'm waaaay behind the times, but... I just tried fried chicken and waffles. With fries. It was amazing.

DIY: How to Make Greek Yogurt at Home

I buy Fage yogurt in the big (34 oz.) container at Sam's Club for $4.98. Given that it's enough for five mornings of 6oz of yogurt, plus enough left over to make a batch of biscuits, I'm okay with that price point! But my parents make yogurt, and they do some combination of slow cooker on lowest setting, followed by I think overnight in the (off) oven. Seems like a lot of work to make yogurt if one of the ingredients is also yogurt, but they seem to like it, and I thought the slow cooker was a good idea.

The Food Lab Lite: Five Minute Miso-Glazed Toaster Oven Salmon

Kenji, this sounds delicious! It is somewhat similar to our favorite salmon recipe:

Not that I am so bold as to improve on Martha Stewart, but I use fillets rather than steaks for this, and throw in some orange zest along with the juice. And it's just the two of us, so I do always make it under the broiler in the toaster!

We have occasionally tried to break out of this hoisin salmon habit, but whatever else we try, always end up wishing we had stuck with our old favorite. I think yours might be worth a shot, though - it has more or less the same flavor profile. Thanks!

Best and Worst Coffee Beans at Trader Joe's, 2012 Edition

Thanks for this! Peaberry is our go-to (with a splash of milk), though the TJ by me doesn't always have it.

Lorraine Wallace's Stovetop Summer Chicken

Can anyone explain why cookbook authors insist on referring to the "breast side" of a butterflied bird? I just saw this in another recipe a week ago, and it makes no sense to me whatsoever - it's all the same side, now! Would it not make much more sense to start with the bird SKIN SIDE DOWN (which is what I think she means), and then flip it to SKIN SIDE UP? Sorry if I seem to be experiencing way more rage than is warranted here, but this seems like such an inaccurate term, borrowed from a traditional (non-butterflied) roast chicken recipe, and could so easily be replaced with something far more descriptive.

Sauced: Spicy Brown Mustard

Swapping some yellow mustard seeds for the brown will tone down the spice, as well. When I make mustard at home, I use half yellow and half brown mustard seeds.

We Try 25 Kinds of Oreo

Have you ever tried the ginger-snap version of Newman-Os? They are amazing!!

Eyewitness Booze Investigation: Bud Light Lime-a-Rita

@Pipenta, OMG, you are right about the Rainforest Cafe. I was once persuaded to meet up with some extended family there (aunts, young cousins), and I swear that the experience turned me off the idea of marriage and family for a full five years.

How do you say 'Thank You' with food?

Biscotti. (They're pretty much my answer for everything.)

Bread Baking: Bunny Bread

I have an urge to quote the scene from "Steel Magnolias" with the bleedin' armadillo cake made of red velvet cake. "It's got gray icing! I can't even begin to think how you make gray icing!"

Seriously, Donna, it's adorable.

Video: Talking British Vegetables

Looks a lot like a "bean ballet"! Fantastic!

Coffee History: The French Press

I've never understood why people say that a French Press takes more time to use than any other coffee brewing method! We use ours every morning. Love it. And.... does anything prevent you from cleaning it the night before?

Sweet Technique: How to Make Biscotti

This is such a nice tutorial, thank you! I never thought of doing the second bake on a rack - I would either flip them like @crispyduck13, or stand them up on their bottoms, like Dorie Greenspan suggests.

Either way, the need for a very good, sharp, serrated knife cannot be overstated. Nothing worse than doing this work and using all these ingredients (my standard recipe is something like 2 sticks of butter, 6 eggs, and 6 cups of flour - it makes a ton!), only to have the biscotti crumble as you slice them, and end up losing half of them. So my husband gave me a "biscotti slicin' knife" - U2 (Utility2) by Shun - and I haven't lost a biscotti to the dreaded crumble since. It makes all the difference in the world.

A Beginner's Guide to Canning

I'm curious about the instruction to store jars with the rings off, too!

And if you have any comments on why the USDA insists that Clear Jel is the only safe thickener option (rather than regular corn starch, like when canning apple pie filling, for example), I'd love to hear that too.

And are you taking recipe requests? I would love to be able to can mincemeat! It's mostly dried fruits plus grated apples and some brandy, so it's got to be possible, right? We use Alton Brown's recipe from the Food Network website (omitting the beef suet - we have a vegetarian, plus when we looked for it, we could only find it for bird food, not human-grade). But I haven't been able to make the leap from "must be refrigerated" to shelf-stable.

Thanks for the great column!

13 Sweet Ways To Use Leftover Buttermilk

This is another great option:

I think it was printed in Gourmet magazine first, and then made the rounds among food blogs for a while. I've made it with all sorts of berries, fresh or frozen, and even peach slices. And I just make it in a pie plate, so it's even easier. And delicious. I make it all the time.

Also, in case anyone is curious, I have successfully frozen buttermilk (I usually go with half-cup volumes in sandwich bags, which I twist-tie closed and put in a muffin tin in the freezer, then transfer to a big ziplock bag) - anyway, you can thaw it and bake with it as normal. That's when I'm at my most efficient, of course, which is not very often. Usually, I end up tossing half the carton like everyone else.


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