The Amateur Gourmet Adam Roberts's Favorite Cookbooks

That Craig Claiborne/Pierre Franey Veal Cookery book is terrific! It has a veal paprikas recipe with sauerkraut that I love, despite the fact that I question whether it is a true paprikas. Also, the instructions for that recipe are written oddly, so I always have to puzzle them out. Confession: I generally use pork here instead of veal to save money. Regardless, this is one of my top 5 recipes for winter. I've also tried a half dozen other veal recipes from the book, with much success. I see that you can buy it online for $.01. Bargain!

Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

Pork roast, and any color will do! But let's say yellow, as it should show up in the drawer pretty easily. That's all that counts.

Cook the Book: 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table' by Lisa Fain

King Ranch Casserole.

Perfect Refried Beans

So you don't soak the beans first?

Culinary land mines

Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise. Nothing worse than seeing a lovely deviled egg on a buffet table, then taking a bite and tasting that overly sweet Miracle Whip binder sauce. Completely ruins any food item it touches. Just gross.

Quick One Pot Hungarian Chicken and Noodles With Cabbage

Half Hungarian here, so I'll second what juditka said, that this recipe is authentic, with bacon being the meat of choice.

It is also the dish my mother once craved when she was pregnant with me. Mom mentioned this in a phone call that day to her (Hungarian) mother, who lived a town or two away. A few hours later, of course, Gramma dispatched another relative to drive to Mom's house with a big pot of this dish that Gramma had made especially to stop her daughter's cravings! I toast them all whenever I make it myself.

What's your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

How timely! Tonight I'm making mashed cauliflower (cut into small pieces and steamed or boiled first until soft) with garlic and a little cream cheese and Parmesan. Have never done this before, but it sounds good and is supposed to taste like garlic-mashed potatoes.

Normally I roast the florets with EVOO, S&P like others have mentioned.

@Zinnia1--I like the idea of cutting it into steaks for roasting!

Greek Drunken Pork Stew in Red Wine

Can't wait to try this! I adore pork, and have been trying to add to my pork stew recipes. So far, my classics include a pork stew Rogan Josh, a paprikas with sauerkraut, and I'm still working on an acceptable Mexican variation with hot peppers and tomatillos. But now, I can maybe include a Greek version! Thanks, Jennifer!

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

I'm not sure what chocolate cookie wafers are, but I'm going to try this with a crust made from Girl Scout Thin Mints!

The Food Lab Lite: The Best Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

"Depending on how you introduce and cook garlic, its flavors can vary pretty drastically." …. I'd be interested in reading a Kenji tutorial on this subject in general. Some of it I've picked up by trial and error, but I'd love to hear more. (And apologies if it's been covered and I've missed it.)

Sunday Supper: One-Dish Pork Chops With Muffuletta Relish

Looks like polenta slices to me. Maybe the kind you buy in a roll, then slice and heat (grill, sauté, etc.).

Behind the Scenes in Niki's Home Kitchen

As an aside to BostonAdam, last weekend I was using my mandolin to cut zucchini, got in a hurry, didn't use the finger guard....well, you know the rest. That sucker took 2 hours to stop bleeding AFTER I stopped panicking and applied gauze. No blood in zukes, but a hunk of flesh on blade. Gross.

Sorry for the aside! Love the kitchen, love this feature. Keep it up.

Have you ever been just a little sneaky?

A little saffron in homemade chicken broth used for soup to make the color better.

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

another vote for the garlic shrimp, though manchego cheese is right behind!

Behind the Scenes in Jamie's Home Kitchen

I have the same discontinued, vintage LeCreuset saucepan! Only, mine also has a lid. And the interior is not white, but more of a cream. Like yours, mine has a back story. Though I now have many other pieces of LeCreuset, it remains my favorite for sentimental reasons.

As for Butter Bells, I've found that unsalted butter has a tendency to get moldy if you don't use it right away. Salted butter fares better. Moral: it's best to change the water frequently.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

These sound divine! And easy. I never make cupcakes, but will try this recipe. So, novice question: how long will they keep?

Some thoughts and questions on doubling a ragu bolognese

Can't answer your question, but I'll repeat something I mentioned in the comment section once (maybe even on a Kenji bolognese recipe): I once almost spoiled a multi-ingredient ragu recipe by doubling it, only to find that the chicken livers overwhelmed. When not doubled, the recipe is fine. Excellent, in fact.

Looking forward to hearing what folks think about changing ingredients when doubling a recipe!

What is YOUR kryptonite?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: original Triscuits and Merkt's cheese. That spelling may be off, but snackers know what I mean!

Also, any pizza. I don't know how to stop eating it. For this reason, I avoid having it delivered because in the privacy of my home, the gluttony is truly ugly.

Wasting in line

@Teachertalk...Ms. Price as Aida, live! And the whole emotional component of the venue's final performance. So, so envious. Now all day snippets of Aida will be running through my brain...

Cold Weather Comfort Food

Slovak sauerkraut soup, from this site. Or tourtiere. Or a paprikas of some sort, veal, chicken, whatever. Gulyas. But today I am making syllabub! And cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

Cook the Book: 'One Good Dish' by David Tanis

Boeuf Bourguignon. Craig's, not Julia's.

Bake the Book: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Book of Pie

Cherry pie. Well, it was my late father's favorite pie and he passed away last month, so I'm responding in his memory.

A Day in the Life: Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor

Mira is a darling!

Breakfast at a Hot Dog Stand? UB Dogs Does it Right in The Loop

Wow. This sounds just about perfect! It's nearby and I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the discovery.

Sunday Supper: Stovetop Cheddar Mac and Cheese With Peppadew Peppers

@finsbigfan: Nice! It took my morning brain a moment to catch on, but yes, appropriate.

Air travel with frozen soup in checked luggage?

Looking for advice here. I want to put a quart-sized plastic container of frozen, homemade Slovak sauerkraut soup (recipe a favorite from this site!) in my checked luggage for a four-hour flight. The soup is now frozen in one of those round Ziplock clear plastic containers with the easy twist-off blue lid.

I would enclose the container in a large Ziplock bag, fully sealed. Should I slightly release the tension of the blue lid prior to putting the whole thing in the large plastic bag? Or leave the blue seal tight? Or not attempt this at all?

Obviously, I really want to bring this to my hosts, or I wouldn't be thinking of it at all. I also plan to bring frozen pierogies, but I'm not worried about exploding dumplings as much as the idea of porky sauerkraut all over my clothes and luggage.

Also, are there any known airline bans on packing food like this? I don't travel a lot. Cook much, yes. Fly, no.

Would love advice! Thank you.

Anyone planning a Game of Thrones feast?

Like many, I'm counting the hours until tomorrow night's season 2 premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones. As readers of the series know, author George R.R. Martin uses a lot of ink to describe the meals -- plain and sumptuous -- that his characters are served. So I'm wondering what special dishes fans of the series are considering making for the event.

In my case, it'll be Cornish pasty (from this site). It's a bit of a reach, but the pasty contains turnips (aka 'neeps), which have always seemed like the vegetable mentioned most often in the books. I might even mash up some 'neeps for an extra side dish.

Peas are also mentioned with frequency, so I'm thinking of making Judy Collins' yellow split pea soup per the recipe that ran in Parade magazine a while back.

Lemon cakes would also be nice, but that will not happen.

Anyone else planning something special?

Japanese dried ohba anchovies: help!

A Chinese friend recently gave me a one-pound bag of these suckers. While this was very thoughtful of her as a follow-up to a general discussion on anchovies, I am mystified about what to do with them and am too embarrassed to ask her. They are in a still-unopened clear plastic bag, so I can see that they are the whole fish -- heads, tails, and all.

There are a product of Japan without rehydrating instructions on the label, and I rather fear them. Please help me get over my anxiety by suggesting a plan for their consumption! Thank you in advance.

Need further inspiration for B/L stuffed veal breast, please!

On a fluke, I purchased a small piece (under 2 pounds, as I recall) of boneless veal breast on sale. It's about an inch thick. I could use preparation inspiration for it. I've never cooked one of these myself, so my thoughts run only to the basics, as follows:

1. Prepare a stuffing with beloved ingredients, in my case spinach, mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg, seasonings, maybe some ground veal and a little finely chopped onion (raw or cooked first on the veal, onion?).

2. Pound veal a bit to flatten more, season both sides w/ S & P, spread filling across top surface, roll up & tie, brown in oil on all sides about 10 minutes. Remove to appropriately sized roaster.

3. Saute some mirepoix in pan, turn out into roaster.

4. Deglaze pan w/white wine, pour over rolled roast, add some broth (chicken or beef? no veal broth available), cover tightly, and cook in 325 oven until tender, maybe 2 hours? Or to a certain temp?

5. Remove rolled meat from roaster, tent to rest, strain sauce (discard solids) and reduce liquid, maybe with some wine, fortified or otherwise. Season to taste. Enrich with a little heavy cream, or temper in some sour cream.

6. Slice roast and serve with sauce.

That's the best I can come up with. Partially based on a quick Internet search, but also from other cooking experience. Can anyone out there provide suggestions for something better? Or answer the question about raw vs. cooked ground veal in the stuffing? Would a slow cooker be better for the long cooking? Your opinions will be appreciated!

And P.S. This is not exactly a seasonal dish, but hey, the meat was on sale and I'm a sucker for "manager's specials."

French Laundry Veal Stock!

Blame my broken television set, or the holiday weekend with all immediate family out of town, but whatever the reason I finally made Thomas Keller's veal stock from "The French Laundry Cookbook." It's nearly 9:00 p.m. Sunday night, and that sucker is done! I am so excited, it's pathetic. It took most of the weekend, and hey, my new gym regimen suffered (how could I work out when I had to constantly skim, reduce, strain, and repeat?), but what's left in the pot is gorgeous, flavorful mahogany-colored culinary gold.

Now, having patted myself on the back, I have to confess that I did not use Chef Keller's full complement of 10 pounds veal bones because I didn't have that many in the freezer, but I cut back other ingredients accordingly. And believe me, fewer veal bones does not translate into shorter cook times, except possibly at the very, very end. Overall, we're talking about 24 hours of dedicated stove time.

Anyway, tomorrow I freeze the stock, probably in ice cube trays, and would welcome suggestions from Serious Eats contributors about what to use it for first. Thanks in advance, from someone who feels glued to her kitchen floor.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas With Three-Chile Sauce From 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table'

I didn't grow up in Texas, but I did eat my fair share of Tex-Mex as a kid. Saucy burritos, sizzling fajitas, and giant bowls of cheese dip all hold fond places in my heart, even as I have grown to love a two-bite chorizo taco much. One of my favorite dishes to order at these restaurants was the enchilada platter, drenched in red sauce and smothered in melty Mexican blend cheese. More

The Serious Eats Field Guide to Asian Greens

When you walk into the produce section of your local Asian supermarket, you'll probably be greeted by a dazzling but daunting display of unusual greens. They're all great, and easy to cook, but it helps to be armed with some knowledge to tell your shoots from your choys. More

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs

The secret to peeling hard boiled eggs? Well "secret" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Here's the truth: there is no 100% fool-proof method I've found, and I do believe I've tried them all, many, many times over. That said, a bit of the old scientific method has helped to greatly increase my success rate. I can now pretty routinely produce perfectly boiled eggs with clean-peeling shells, and you can too! More

Peruvian Style Grilled Chicken With Green Sauce

This Peruvian Style Grilled Chicken is a recipe I back-hacked from the awesome chicken and green sauce they serve at Pio Pio in NYC. The basics are simple: butterflied chicken with a vinegar and spice rub gets slow-cooked on the grill, followed by a quick stay directly over the coals to crisp the skin. It comes out tender and juicy and goes perfectly with a simple spicy and cream sauce made with jalapeños and aji amarillo peppers. More

No-Waste Tacos de Carnitas With Salsa Verde

Carnitas. The undisputed king of the taco cart. The Mexican answer to American pulled pork, at their best they should be moist, juicy, and ultra-porky with the rich, tender texture of a French confit, and riddled with plenty of well-browned crisp edges. Our version is easier than the traditional bucket-of-lard method, and produces results that are juicier and more flavorful. More

Easy Mexican Chorizo Tacos

Fresh homemade Mexican chorizo with warm spices and a vinegary tang is cooked until charred and crisp along with onions, poblano peppers, and smoky chipotles. The mixture gets stuffed into soft warm corn tortillas and topped with salsa verde, cilantro, and a slew of other garnishes. It's one of the simplest and most delicious tacos you can make. More

Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos

This smoky, spicy, and earthy chicken tinga takes less work than the flavor would lead you to believe—chipotles add most of the depth, while meaty chicken thighs, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, and onion add layers of flavor to the sauce. More

Perfect Refried Beans

Refried beans are like the mashed potatoes of Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking: they're a versatile, addictive, and delicious side dish. While a relatively simple dish, this master recipe allows you to choose exactly how you want to make them, whether chunky or smooth, cooked with pork fat or vegetable oil, or made with pinto or black beans. More