• Location: Offgrid N. Idaho
  • Last bite on earth: Canlis crab cakes.

Slippery Dumplings?

Interesting. Thanks, guys. Yeah, the dropped kind that are crowded at the top of the pot and steamed, with leavening (sort of steamed biscuits) is what my mom made. I guess the term "sinker" makes sense, as these would be "floaters"!

So now I've looked up "slick" dumplings, which seem to the same thing as "slippery" dumplings.

Recipes abound: With or without eggs or shortening or leavening, with water or with chicken broth or occasionally with milk! I found several recipes that were as simple as flour, salt and water...sounded like my orecchiette dough. The directions say to stir while cooking or cooked covered for a certain amount of time or just plain boil them. They can be cut in squares, strips or even just dropped into the water by the spoonful, as Tipsykit mentioned (though those are different than the "dropped on top" biscuit type that I was raised with). If they're rolled, the thickness runs from "as thin as possible" to 1/16 inch up to 1/8 inch.

As near as I can tell, the term "slippery" dumplings is most often used in states like Maryland and Delaware, though they're sometimes called that in the south. In the south, though, the term "slick" seems a lot more common, though it seems to be the same thing, and sometimes, rather than chicken and dumplings, it's called "chicken and slicks".

Some recipes that look identical to the slippery/slick kind were simply called flat dumplings, though a few of the flat dumpling recipes, they were rolled and cut into rounds. I've seen the drop kind like Tipsykit mentioned referred to as "egg dumplings", and yep, they sound a lot like spaetzle. There were recipes that were flour/eggs/salt rolled and cut a bit like noodles, which sounds exactly like my mom's homemade chicken and noodles.

Whew. Who knew?

Grilling: MOINK Balls

@love cooking: Me neither! This normally isn't my kind of thing, but my watering mouth is any indication, I'll have to give these a shot this weekend. The photos make them look irresistible.

The Best Wonton Soup in Manhattan's Chinatown

(There's a slideshow and detailed instructions for egg-drop soup here:

The Best Wonton Soup in Manhattan's Chinatown

The Best Wonton Soup in Manhattan's Chinatown

I so want your job.

How to Carve Any Photograph Into a Pumpkin

Heh. Just noticed you have a Halloween birthday. My husband's is November 1st. When he was a little kid, he thought everyone got dressed up in costumes every year for his birthday.

How to Carve Any Photograph Into a Pumpkin

You know, the pumpkin shows more family resemblance to you than the the photo does. Hmm.

Pasta cookbook recommendation?

@Jedd63 - oh, duh. And I'm a web developer. Thanks!

@Dave - Darn, just got an email from CI with a pasta cookbook on sale, but not that one. I'll check it out, though.

RE: Fresh vs. dried, yeah, I make pasta a couple of times a week, but we still use plenty of dried. (My Marcato never leaves the counter.) But a while back I made a shrimp/clam/linguini dish for friends, which wouldn't be at all the same with fresh pasta, and indeed, couldn't be made properly without dried pasta, and they said, "Wait, don't we get the good stuff?" :/

On the flip side, factory dried orecchiette absolutely does not in any way compare to the homemade stuff.

Comes down to the right tool for the job, I guess.

Anchovy Paste

(And it'd probably be a good idea to give staff palates a break first. ;-) I love anchovy but 11 dressings, 11 sauces and 11 fish in one sitting might be a bit rough.)

Anchovy Paste

Excellent, Kenji...I'm really curious, as I can tell the difference between the two cheaper brands that I use. It's a really convenient ingredient for some dishes, but I'd still like to know that I was using the best ingredient possible. :)

Taste Test: The Best Anchovy Fillets

@Dina - recently, I've had Reese and Napoleon, both rather cheap brands (again, it's what's available here). The Napoleon is lighter colored and sort of...bitter, has kind of an off flavor. It's hard to explain. It's just not very good.

And it never occurred to me to actually read a tube to see how much to use. I use it often enough that I sort of have a feel for it. (Just checked the Napoleon and it doesn't have any instructions at all!)

Still use the canned stuff ALWAYS for Caesar salad, and other things where it's kind of a star (e.g. homemade orecchiette with greens, olive oil, red pepper and anchovy), even if I'm wasting some. If I'm just making a basic spicy tomato sauce with pasta or adding a bit of umami to a stir fry, etc. I use the paste.

You meat head! Ever call someone a food name?

I used to call my ex a "turkey butt". Meant it in the best possible way, though. ;-)

Taste Test: The Best Anchovy Fillets

@Dina - I do the same thing, though more because the ones in a jar aren't available where I live (65 miles away, possibly they are), and I'm tired of wasting a can of anchovies because I need three of them. I've definitely noticed differences between the two brands of paste available here.

Taste Test: The Best Anchovy Fillets

Since the brand doesn't make a difference when used for cooking, what do you think of anchovy paste?

Your favorite pancake/topping?

Eggs. Or apricot preserves. Or blueberry compote. (Though I usually save the blueberry compote for dutch babies.)

Our Secret List of Banned Words

I say sand-witch. People around me say sand-witch. Maybe it's a west coast thing? (Though that is how the world is spelled.)

Open Thread: What Words Should Never Be Used to Describe Food?

@tinybanquetcommittee - Hmm.Yelp. Really? I don't read Yelp. (I live in a wasteland - not even a stoplight in this county, let alone anything someone would review. We do now have two elevators, though. Even the nearest McDonald's is 65 miles away.)

Yelp's been around for less than 10 years, and I've used the expression more than 15. (Along with "-like" as a suffix...e.g. "A Keller-like pasta sauce.") I think I picked both those affectations up from the same friend, well before I hit the internet for the first time in 1997-ish.

That said, I guess it's like, "You betcha!" which is something I used to say, and never will again. Sometimes, even if it's something you use, if you hear it in the wrong context, it's just...outtathere.

Open Thread: What Words Should Never Be Used to Describe Food?

"Mouth-feel" works for wine, for me - it's describing a particular trait - but nothing else.

My husband throws a fit at the words "scrumptious" and "yummy". He also hates "sammy" for sandwich, which some of his relatives use.

I don't mind gooey (but ooey?) but I draw the line at ooze. Something I'm going to be eating shouldn't ooze.

Sadly, I have a real fondness for the term, "Cheesy goodness".

The Food Lab: How to Make Parisian Gnocchi

These look good, and I'll surely try them. (My potato gnocchi are quick once I've baked a couple of spuds, and nearly always perfectly textured.) Even if I love them, I don't think I'd call them "better". (Your FB post said "Parisian gnocchi are easier, faster, and better than their potato counterpart") That's like saying spaetzle is better than spaghetti is better than ramen noodles. And you can freeze regular ol' Italian potato gnocchi, too, before poaching. Just sayin'.

Too many egg yolks!!!

7 yolk pasta dough, Thomas Keller:

But I'm kind of obsessed, and always think pasta. lol.

What's your favourite "road food"?

Doesn't matter what I *bring* on a road trip, foodwise (btw my definition of "road trip" is probably 250+ miles, spending the night at the final destination) I always get a corndog or two, at some little gas station/market along the way. We live in N. Idaho so LOTS of space between potential eateries when we head out, and locally - without traveling more than 60 miles - the only fast food chain is the Subway shop in one of the two grocery stores.

Yes, corn dogs are disgusting. My husband, who is not a picky eater like me, is completely grossed out when I buy them, and it's worse because I get a packet of ketchup and one of mayo. And yeah, they're total processed-food grease-bomb crap.

But...they're CORN DOGS. And it's a ROAD TRIP. 'Nuff said.

(And hey, our dogs love chewing on the little sticks afterward. :D )

I make very healthy meals 95% of the time at home. We use almost no processed foods at all, mainly tomato sauce and Chinese seasonings like oyster sauce. An actual "road trip" happens about twice a year, and I don't figure those 3-4 corn dogs will kill me.

Behind the Scenes at Sun Noodle's Ramen Factory in LA

Interesting slideshow, thanks! And it makes me wonder if I could tape flaps to my hand-crank Marcato Atlas for curly noodles. Hmm.

Cereal Eats: The Cereal That Broke My Heart

Cheerios. REAL Cheerios. (Hey, I'm old.) Cheerios used to be smooth on the outside, slightly irregularly shaped, and had a real toasty-flavin (tm) thing going on. They stayed crunchy (not crispy) for a long time in milk.

They're pretty awful, now, about the same as the bulk brands that were always sold on the lower shelves in the grocery store.

I remember people used to give handfuls to babies as teething food. The version out now I literally wouldn't feed to my dogs.

Singapore Stories: Tour of 7-Eleven

lol. I'd love to see this done for convenience stores worldwide. Fun! :)

The stores where I live (N. Idaho), not necessarily 7-Eleven, have completely different hot "food" than stores in the PDX area where we overwinter.

24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips

Kenji, can you consolidate these when the entries drop off, so we have the seventeen billion kitchen tricks and tips list? There's a lot of great stuff here. A lot of if consists of things that I already do, but there are some real gems that were completely new to me.

BTW, the thaw-on-aluminum tip you gave, I tried out a couple of days ago, and it's awesome. A machinist relative wants me to try copper, because it has double the thermal conductivity of aluminum, but I *have* aluminum, and the only sheet copper I have is a somewhat valuable native mineral specimen. ;-)

Slippery Dumplings?

Just curious:

For the chicken and dumplings my mother used to make, the dumplings were sort of biscuit dough steamed on top.

Recently, I've been reading about "slippery dumplings". I looked up some recipes and a lot of them simply look like non-egg based noodles cut into larger pieces, e.g. flour/shorting/hot water, 1/16 inch thickness, 1" x 3". Many say, "roll as thin as possible," and some of those recipes specified cutting 1/2 inch wide...noodle-sized in my book.

(No problem with that, here, as I love pasta/noodles of any recipe/form. I'm just confused.)

But I've seen other recipes that included baking powder or baking soda/buttermilk, which made a little more sense to me so far as the "dumpling" nomenclature goes, but a lot of those are rolled "as thin as possible" and cut to resemble noodles, as well. (At least they'd probably puff up a little.)

I've even read some chicken and slippery "dumpling" recipes that use flour tortillas cut into strips.

What am I missing here? Is there a definitive (or mostly so) answer? Does it vary regionally, and they're all simply called "slippery dumplings"?

Like I said, just curious.


Pasta cookbook recommendation?

I make lots and lots of pasta. I have a Marcato, but I'm also fond of hand-formed pasta, like orecchiette, trofie, and pici, and dumpling-like items like gnocchi and cavatelli (both the flour and the ricotta type). But I'm getting bored with them. On Amazon, the book I'm looking at is this:

But a lot of reviews imply that this is a great beginners book, and while I like basic books, I'm definitely not a beginner where pasta is concerned.

Has anyone seen this book, and if so, what do you think? (It'd be easier for me to make a decision if I could see a TOC, but it's not offered for this book on Amazon.)

Or do you have another book you'd recommend?

Anchovy Paste

I've been waiting with 'bated breath (or perhaps that should be "bait breath") for the anchovy reviews since I saw it in "This week at Serious Eats World Headquarters."

It was a great taste test, and I was pleased to hear that the brand doesn't matter when you're cooking. If I'm opening a can, I use Roland - it's what's available.

I can't get jarred anchovies where I live, and I hate opening a can and only using three, so I often use anchovy paste, which they didn't review.

I don't think I've noticed a difference, and it's easy to add a little *after* the fact, if I think a dish needs it, which is handy.

Anyone have comments yea or nay? Any particular brand you'd recommend?

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream sauce...sides?

I'm making potato gnocchi with Gorgonzola cream sauce tomorrow night for dinner, for my cousins that we're staying with. DH and I can just have that, usually with sliced tomatoes and a bit of balsamic syrup.

Cousins have never had gnocchi before. I'm hoping they love 'em - I do a pretty good job - but you never know. (They do like Gorgonzola cheese, which helps.)

In case they hate them, or don't love them, or find a plate of just them overwhelming/palate fatiguing, I was going to fix a few sides, so they could trade off.

Other than sliced tomatoes, I can't think of a thing that would go well with them. Suggestions?


Ideas for frozen roasted pepper sauce?

We're wintering at a cousin's who had a bumper crop of sweet peppers this year, small and colorful and plentiful.

In late November we had to do SOMETHING with the tons left (Washington state, so that's very late), so we roasted them in the oven; mixed half with some oven-roasted garlic; added salt, pepper, olive oil, a dash of balsamic in all), hit it briefly with a hand blender and froze it. It's not pretty because it is a mix of green/red/yellow/orange roasted peppers, but it's damn tasty.

It's been sitting in the freezer ever since.

Any ideas on what to do with this stuff? It was really delicious, especially the version with roasted garlic. I just feel like I should use some of this before we return in six weeks to snowy off-grid Idaho.

I make tons of homemade pasta, with a Marcato, with an extruder, and hand-formed, so if something requires that, it's not an issue. (Pasta isn't a requirement, just something I'm good at. *shrug*)


Sauce suggestion for ravioli?

I'm in one of those experimental moods, so tomorrow I'm making three kinds of ravioli, mixed together - feta/spinach-or-chard, sun dried tomato/ricotta, and kalamata/caramelized onion...sort of vaguely a Greek theme.

I can't for the life of me figure out an appropriate sauce, though. At this point, I'm thinking of simply tossing them lemon/garlic/thyme butter, and serving with a dollop of tzatziki, but I'm really not sure how that'd work out.

I thought about making a tzatziki-based sauce, but that sounded like it might be kinda weird, warm.

Any thoughts?

Salt, tuna salad, husband and Kenji

This made me laugh, so I had to post.

I do most of the cooking at our house. I've been adjusting the salt and saturated fat in our diet that past couple of weeks. However, this is my busiest month of the year. (I'm the web geek for a national travel company.) In August, I barely have time to breathe, let alone cook.

I asked my husband to throw together some tuna salad/saltines for dinner. (Hey, I can eat at the computer and still type with one's that busy.)

But he added stuff, and I added stuff, each ignoring the other, and we ended up slightly oversalted. This doesn't normally bother my husband, MrHappySaltyFace, but I've been reducing salt the last week or two, so he really noticed it.

We cogitated on what to add to correct it. I mentioned lemon juice, but thought it might make it worse. (If something is WAY over salted, it seems to make it worse to me. :P)

My husband, not an SE reader, grabbed a bottle of lemon juice and added a squirt, and said, "Lemon juice CUTS the salt. Didn't Kenji tell you that?"

I inhaled sharply with a saltine in my mouth, laughing, and choked. I obviously talk about SeriousEats wayyyyy too much.

By the way, tuna salad was perfect.

Black Rice

My sister gave me a bag of black rice. (She's a caterer...every time I visit, she sends me home with all sorts of weird things.)

I finally cooked some up today, as a dinner side, with a bit of mushroom, sweet pepper, onion, celery, garlic and thyme, and some chicken broth.

As my sister warned me, everything was black. I thought she meant the vegetables would be tinted, but they aren't. They're black, and you really can't tell the difference between the rice and the veggies, when it's on the plate.

This is EXCELLENT stuff. It's sort of short-to-medium-grain. It kind of pops when you bite down on it, even when completely cooked. Tastes great, great texture. I'm just not sure what to DO with the rest of it. While it's wonderful, I really like some color differentiation in my food unless I'm trying to make a point. lol.

It was wonderful stirred in with my tomato/cucumber salad, and with my steamed broccoli, but I'm not sure what to do, otherwise.


Dinner Triage: Fixing "finished" dishes

I cook mostly by instinct, rather than recipes, but even when I'm cooking by recipe I run across this problem:

I finish a dish, and it should be ready to serve, but it's just...lacking something. But, technically it's ready to serve and time to eat, and there's no time to fix it.

Prime example: Chili, which we had tonight. I've learned over time that if the meat too lean that the flavors fall flat. Adding a bit of bacon fat or even some butter, the entire flavor profile changes, and it becomes delicious. That's what I did tonight. It's an instant fix.

If I'm making [[your protein here]] and vegetables and gravy/sauce, and it turns out bland, I can add some roasted-granulated-garlic (one of my fave corrective seasonings), magi or Worcestershire (carefully, as they can overpower), a touch of balsamic...or sometimes it's the fat thing again. If it's REALLY bland, and has no an ethnic slant (not Italian or Chinese, etc.) a little curry powder or appropriate spices in butter or oil, deglaze the pan, and add to the mix might help.

None of these things require an extra 15-30 minutes cooking, which would kill the texture of the vegetables and/or the meat.

In some cases, changing the substrate (e.g. from jasmine rice to spaetzle) helps, but that requires a bit more foreknowledge.

A little wine or vermouth can help. Cheese can help. It depends.

If it's an omelet that didn't work...I eat what I can and give the rest to the dogs. If it's an oriental stirfry, I eat what I can and hope for inspirational stir-fry-helper the next day. I have a list of "not quite there" dishes, that I couldn't figure out an instant fix for.

So gimme some ideas! What techniques do you do to save a "lost" dish, just before eating?

I need more ammuntion. :

Appetizers: 2 days ahead/last in a cooler for a 400 mile drive?

Today, I found out that we're taking a 400 mile drive next Friday, for a birthday party for my soon-to-be 80 year old mom, on Saturday at 4.'s potluck.

I need stuff that I can make (or mostly make, could be "finished" onsite) on Thursday, refrigerate, throw in a cooler on Friday morning, drive 400 miles, and throw in a refrigerator Friday afternoon...that will still be edible at 4pm on Saturday.

The only thing I've come up with so far is this caramelized onion/olive/cream cheese mixture that I use as a pasta filling, which doubles well as a cheese log.

Any other ideas?

Serious Entertaining: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups for a Crowd

I'm not going to try to pretend to take credit for this genius idea—I saw it late the other night on thefoodporn sub-Reddit and immediately knew that I'd have to make it for lunch the next day. The idea is that when you've got a few hungry mouths to feed, rather than forming a grilled cheese sandwiches in the standard shape, you instead roll the cheese up into the bread jelly roll-style before gently frying them in butter. You end up with an easy-to-pick-up, eminently dippable snack that's more fun, easier to share, and just as tasty as the more traditional version. More

The Burger Lab's Top Ten Tips for Making Better Burgers

We're taking a break from hardcore testing at the Burger Lab and Food Lab for the next two weeks, but I thought I'd use the time to write something that a lot of folks have been asking me about: a basic handbook for taking your burgers to the next level. The tips I'm setting out here are ones that, with very few exceptions, apply universally to all hamburgers, regardless of style. Thus, one thing you will not find in this list is specific cooking instructions in terms of heat source, strength, and timing. As far as taking a formed patty from raw to cooked, there are no hard and fast rules that apply in every situation. More

Cauliflower Puttanesca

The key to this recipe is getting as much flavor and color on the cauliflower as possible without overcooking it (this is a general rule for me regarding cauliflower anyway). Since this is a vegetarian version of puttanesca—it doesn't have the nutty base of anchovies melted into olive oil—the cauliflower plays the replacement role. At the beginning, high heat is your friend. Once that flavor is built into the dish, the rest is easy and comes together in no time. More

One-Pot Wonders: Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Kale

Using carbonara as the starting point, this recipe adds in a bit of crispy kale to round out the meal, all with nothing more than a skillet and a bowl. Before you get all huffy and puffy about this not being a traditional carbonara, let me just say it outright: this is not your traditional Italian carbonara. But the result is a creamy, delicious, one-pot dish that's perfect for a weeknight dinner—the proof is in the pasta. More

Dinner Tonight: Midnight Asparagus with Creamy Eggs

One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to enjoy fresh asparagus is to pair it with an egg, which is exactly what I've written about numerous times before. But I've never combined the two in quite the way prescribed as in The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper, which aims to make an easy dish even easier. How does one do that? Well, by making it a one skillet dinner, that's how. More

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Lime and Ginger

The end result is a soup that's as fortifying as the best chicken noodle, but with a bit of kick from its sour/sweet/pungent flavor profile. With nothing but a single burner, a chicken, and a few vegetables, you can pull together a good soup in about an hour. The first key is to make extracting flavor and gelatin from the chicken bones as easy as possible. This means chopping the carcass into very fine pieces. More

Madhur Jaffrey's Shrimp Biryani

Biryani is a rice-based dish cooked with a whole mess of different spices, and usually, though not always, some kind of meat. When that meat is lamb or beef, it consequently takes some time to cook, which means I don't get to write about this dish too often. But this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's At Home with Madhur Jaffrey solves that problem by using shrimp, so that this dish can be whipped up in less than hour with absolutely no shortcuts. More