Meet the Great (Well, Pretty Good) Unknown Chicago Chicken Sandwich

If I never read another article written by a man comparing a woman to a piece of meat, it'd be too soon :-)

First Look: A Taste of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague at 20th Century Cafe, San Francisco

That has to be the most beautiful espresso machine ever!

The Hidden Costs of Coffee

@scalfin Global prices for coffee have skyrocketed in the past three or four years. If you haven't seen a reflection of that at grocery stores or "the nightly business crawl", whatever that is, you aren't looking hard enough. Prices for coffee at high-end coffee shops like Intelligentsia, Stumptown, Blue Bottle, etc. have risen at a slightly steeper rate than grocery store/gas station coffee because the market for high-grade coffees (80 or higher on the SCAA scale for Specialty Grade Coffee Beans, for example) is much, much more competitive now than it was five or ten years ago as more specialty roasters enter the market and the demand for higher quality coffee increases. This isn't even bringing the higher demand for fair trade/organic/co-op grown/rainforest alliance-certified into the picture. Those same coffee shops are constantly exploring new methods of extraction and ways to bring quality coffee to their customers, requiring new, sometimes expensive types of equipment (setting up siphon brewing, Chemex, pour-overs, or Clever Clovers for an entire shop is quite an undertaking, not to mention the training and extra work from baristas those methods demand) and also investing in improvements in espresso technology.

@Meister - great article, thank you!

Baristas and Customers: How We Can All Get Along

A lot of things are totally forgiveable when you act with respect and politeness. sometimes I think the "customer is king" attitude in customer service at Starbucks has had a negative trickle down effect, producing customers who treat excellent, dedicated coffee shops and roasters like McDonald's.

Avocado Pound Cake

This recipe looks wonderful, but I wonder if you could comment on the sweetness level? That the sugar and flour are the same (in volume, at least) is a little alarming!

Win the Valentine's Day Collection from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Coconut chocolate chip cookie dough.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Counter Culture Coffee Subscription

Black, from a French press!

Grocery Girl: What Your Grocery Store Says About You

Shopping selectively at several grocery stories is hard when you don't have a car and have to take your bags of groceries on a long walk or bus ride. I usually end up going to the QFC three blocks away. They have an okay selection of organic produce. I wish I could make it to Trader Joe's more often (snacks! cheap booze! healthy frozen food!).

Behind the Scenes at Elysian's New Brewery in Seattle, WA

we just started serving BiFrost at work and it's so good. i like winter beers that aren't too heavy.

The Vegetarian Option: Quantum Leap

It hasn't been my experience that most vegetarians care about convincing or advocating to carnivores that vegetarian food is "as good as" omnivorous meals, or even educating them about what vegetarian food is. For a lot of people dietary habits are strictly personal choices that they don't want to share, proselytize about, or debate. I really enjoy this column, and don't intend to be rude, but it seems like every SE article even discussing a vegan/vegetarian product absolutely must end with a dig about "won't even miss the meat" to be considered valid. Or is humorous? I can't tell. It's tiring to read constantly, however.

Cereal Eats: Grape Nuts, Neither A Grape Nor a Nut—Discuss

I have a process when I eat GrapeNuts. You have to let it soak in milk for at least 5-10 minutes so you can get stratified layers of texture: crunchy, honey-soaked top (at least I always eat mine with honey), slightly less crunchy and still sweet-under layer, many, many spoonfuls of mushy, nutty goodness, then the last few creamy spoonfuls. Yum.

Equipment: What Spice Grinder Should I Buy?

bumping this, i hope! i'm looking for a coffee grinder that will let me grind for both French press and also my little Breville espresso machine--so a wide range of grind. i don't think the Krups can do that. can i find a cheap grinder that will do this?

The Pioneer Woman's Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula

It is really distressing to read this kind of bile from Serious Eaters. You may disagree with her recipe all you like, but to assault her character? Grow up. What are you getting out of leaving a string of complaints after every PW post, exactly? I'm sure you'd feel much more vindicated doing something else.

I've used Ree's recipes for cinnamon rolls and cake a number of times, and they've all come out well. Not everything needs to be complicated, purist, or use wildly inventive ingredients to be appreciated.

Biscuits and Gravy Seattle area

^ Corroborating evidence, you haters. ;) If you can't conceive of good biscuits and gravy made without dairy or animal products, then you should stretch your imagination. It's definitely possible.

I'm glad to hear that Nook makes good biscuits! I'll have to check them out before I move out of UDistrict.

Biscuits and Gravy Seattle area

But they taste so good!

Biscuits and Gravy Seattle area

Wayward Cafe on University Way Ave and Highline on Broadway both make great vegan biscuits and gravy.

Cook the Book: 'The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook'

Oh, most definitely the Redwall books, full of carrot flans, maple-blackberry scones, and dandelion wine.

What discontinued foods do you miss?

Tofutti ice cream bars. :(

We Try Every Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory

the "where are the leftovers" question is serious! what happened to all of those forked-over former giants of whipped cream and Philadelphia?

gotta be one of my favorite SE posts ever.

Cook the Book: Pan-Fried Mung Beans with Tempeh

Heidi is a flavor genius. In her hands pretty much everything turns out healthy, interesting, and lively.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

I am so sorry, Kenji and SE team. This is really sad. We'll all miss Dumpling. :(

Most Beautiful Thing In Your Kitchen

Definitely my handmade copper tea canister. It's from a 150 year old studio in Kyoto, and is made by hand at every step. I visited and they still use an old, soft tree trunk as a brace for their tools. It has a lovely ruddy shine right now, and as I handle it the color slowly changes. It also has a tea scoop inside with my name engraved on it!

What's for Dinner, Tuesday May 24?

a field roast chorizo sausage link sliced in two, each slice wrapped in a piece of DKB multigrain bread with fresh avocado and garlic sauce, with a heaping bowl of strawberries on the side.

taking a break from the all-day endeavor of writing a paper now to bake some oatmeal raisin cookies...

Cook the Book: 'Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch'

well, i live in an apartment in which window boxes, et al are forbidden, so i don't have my OWN vegetable patch. but back with my mother in Texas, we have quite a large garden on our 5 acres...she frequently sends me produce reports ("ate hash with potatoes from the garden! fresh spinach with a poached egg tonight! do you want me to mail you some of our onions??") that make me burn with jealousy.

also, i dearly love Nigel Slater.

Seattle: Where to Eat at Pike Place Market

no Le Panier? i really love their almond croissants and palmiers.

Can I still use these frozen berries?

I have a bag of (prepackaged from Remlinger Farms, not home-picked and -packaged) frozen boysenberries. They're at least a year old. I'd love to turn them into a pie for pie day, but am concerned they're a little old. Are they still safe to use? Would they still taste good?

Healthy Vegetarian Breakfasts ?

Recently I contracted some kind of virus that made me extremely fatigued and totally lose my appetite. As a result, over a month I also stopped making an effort to eat healthy foods and really lowered my nutritional intake (giving me poor protein, calcium, iron, and Vitamin D :/ ). Now I've got firm orders from my doctor to start eating healthily again.

SeriousEats has always been really helpful, so what are your favorite, healthy vegetarian breakfasts? I am especially into quickbreads and muffins!

Cleaning out the fridge before moving - help!

I'm moving out in just a week, and while my fridge and freezer are all pretty empty, there are still those annoying odds and ends to finish up. Don't really want to buy new groceries, even if they would only have to go across town with me! My pantry is also pretty empty.

This is what I've got:

some frozen bags of peas and corn
2 ears of fresh corn
one red onion, one white onion
canned tomatoes
canned beans
one large Hatch chile pepper
most of a block of feta

There must be some way to torque this weird assembly of ingredients into something! I do have rice and pasta on hand.

I ALSO have a HECK of a lot of frozen cranberries so any suggestions there would be good too!

What to do with an acorn squash in summer?

I picked up an acorn squash at the market recently. I've never cooked one before, only butternut squash, and it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I don't know what to do with it. Most recipes I see are very winter-y and hardy, full of grains and beans. I'm not adverse to those at all, but something else would be nice!

What are your (vegetarian) recommendations, SE?

What's for dinner? 6/26/11

I'm having leftovers of a salad I packed for a short hike today: chickpeas, red onion, tomato, and cucumber with cumin, lemon juice, and salt & pepper, with a whole wheat toasted pita and a dab of hummus on the side.

Blue Moon Honey Moon for dessert.

computer/online recipe organizing apps?

I'm always bookmarking recipes for later, but this isn't a very efficient system! How do Serious Eaters organize their online bookmarks and recipes? Do you have an app, or a browser plugin that works?

I'm using Google Chrome right now and my list of subfolders is way too long.

Your favorite food processor recipes

Hey Serious Eaters--I received a 16 cup food processor for Christmas as part of a growing gift series in 'Christina's grown-up kitchen'. It's pretty wonderful but I'm not sure what to make first with it!

What's your favorite food processor recipe?* Do you have any tips/tricks/recommendations?

* vegetarian, please :)

Pantry Tomato Sauce Tips

I eat a lot of pasta with tomato sauce (mmm) but I never feel like my tomato sauce is that great.

I usually use, or have on hand:
canned tomatoes
one fresh onion
bulk dried spices like oregano and sage
salt, fresh pepper

My method is to saute the onions and garlic with the spices for a few minutes, then add the (crushed) tomatoes and simmer.

But something just isn't quite coming together! It's never as delicious as I want it to be.

Do you have any tips for making great tomato sauce from just pantry items?

What's for dinner? - 11/17/10

i looked around for one of these threads for today and didn't find one - so i guess i get to start one! :)

i just made a stir fry with tempeh and a mix of vegetables (green beans, broccoli, red pepper, onion; from a freezer bag) with water chestnuts and plenty of garlic, and a typical brown sauce. i also set out to cook sushi rice correctly for the first time and it came out pretty good.

Pumpkin Empanadas

okay, Serious Eats, i need your advice! :) i recently did the whole buy-eviscerate-eat whole pumpkin thing. i have been eating the pumpkin sauteed with cauliflower, garlic, red pepper flakes, tahini, feta, and lemon juice and it's so good. but i've barely made a dent in the massive amount of pumpkin, so i was thinking of making pumpkin empanadas.

my question is, do i need to puree/drain my pumpkin? or can i just mix the roasted chunks with brown sugar, etc. and fold them up in pie dough? i'm worried it will give off too much water.

also, could i make these up and freeze them (cooked or uncooked)?


can I make granola?

hi SeriousEats! I really want to make granola, but I'm trying this wacky not-spending-money-for-a-week bid and I feel I'm short on necessary ingredients. I have:

flaked almonds
pumpkin seeds (untoasted right now; they've been left out on a baking sheet for the past three days...)
wheat germ
pumpkin puree
small amount dried cranberries
honey and molasses

What do you think? Is there a hidden delicious combination of ingredients I'm not seeing?

perfect homemade Reese's cups?

i suspect my Halloween-themed party food this year is going to be chocolate peanut butter cups, because, well, i love them and i've ever made them.

however all the homemade versions i've ever had in the past all suffered from being too smooth/solid and not having the awesome almost-salty crumbliness of a Reese's. how can i get that?


tea to dignify a priceless canister?

well, not priceless. ;)

on a recent trip to Japan, i splurged and bought myself a wonderful, entirely hand-crafted tea canister from a generations-old shop in Kyoto:
i plan on developing a collection of these on my future trips to Japan, so i won't be limited to just one type of loose leaf tea in a beautiful canister for long. :)

i am just getting into loose leaf tea so i'm not very familiar with good brands or even retailers. can Serious Eaters tell me about some of their favorite looseleaf teas and stockists? i prefer black teas with subtle flavorings, from extra-bergamot-y Earl Grey or Russian black tea.

looking for a dense, moist honey cake recipe

When I was younger, my mother occasionally made a flat, dense, moist honey cake with almond meal and flaked almonds on top. They were more like bars, really, and a little chewy, and a little syrupy. Does anyone have an approximate recipe?

Help!! Turnovers without puff pastry?

I have some amazing apples and blackberries in the fridge that I'm dying to turn into turnovers, but I dislike puff pastry. I'm thinking of a dough recipe that I swear I've seen before that used cream cheese in a basic tart dough? Could I just use a basic tart dough? I'm concerned about the wetness of the berries.

If it doesn't have puff pastry, should I still be calling them turnovers? Or have they evolved into something else by now, like hand pies?

Please help!

what to do with leftover lettuce?

i bought a head of green leaf lettuce to make sandwiches with but it has outlasted its sandwich cohorts by far. now i have most of a head of lettuce and no idea how to treat it nicely outside of a salad.

i was thinking of treating it a little like cabbage and sauteeing, but i'm not sure.

any suggestions, SE? (for the record, i'm a vegetarian). thanks!

Uninspiring Squash Dilemma

I have a lot of cubed, roasted (w/ cumin, cinnamon, S&P) Hubbard squash sitting in Tupperware in my fridge. But for some reason I just don't want to cook with it.

any inspiring (cheap) ideas?

sprouted turnips/potatoes

i bought potatoes about a week ago, and turnips perhaps 5 days ago. i put both in the cupboard (thinking of medieval storage of root vegetables, just lying around), since the cupboard is a) dark, and b) cooler than the rest of the house.

both have already sprouted!! my potatoes are putting out pudgy scrunched eyes and the turnips look like they're retroactively putting out greens (which, by the way, were unfairly lopped off at the supermarket). i'm still planning to eat them, of course.

what happened to famous winter vegetable longevity?

Seriously cheap college eats (Seattle).

i just moved to Seattle to finish my degree at UW, and i find my pocketbook draining money at an alarming rate. i'm a small person who doesn't eat much, but nevertheless i'm looking for healthy, *cheap*, vegetarian eats.

what i have been doing is rotating a fresh vegetable (or two) with some kind of starch. lately i have been eating kale with potatoes and onions (seasoned w/ a little dill and lemon) or rotini. rice and beans (w/ Goya seasoning, mmm) and some sauteed tofu are also in.

for breakfast, i have oats and raisins in bulk, or homemade banana bread/whole wheat apple muffins. i'm planning to start some No-Knead bread tonight. and of course i have coffee, lol.

my problem is, spices and vinegars/oils are verrrrry expensive considering my budget. i realize that once you lay things in, they prove their worth, but right now i can't afford to go run out and buy vanilla extract, thyme, rosemary, stock, etc. etc. whatever i buy needs to be able to go straight in my stomach.

do you have any suggestions for similar basic one-two-three ingredient meals? or places where i can find bargains and so on? i'm thinking about trying an Asian market but i don't know of any yet.

do you serve eggnog warm?

i'm serving some at a holiday party (storebought), and i realized that i didn't know how most people took theirs. my family does it with a finger's worth of rum or bourbon, straight from the fridge, with fresh nutmeg on top. *you* warm it first?

i eat ghee on my toast - on everything

in the morning, i toast two slices of sprouted wheat bread, crack open my jar of ghee from Phoenicia bakery, dip in a knife, and spread the ghee joyfully. it has such a wonderful, nutty flavor that i haven't gone back to butter for almost a month. butter is great and all, but does it remain appealingly on your toast in unmelted sunshiney smears? no, it does not.

i also slathered ghee on some date-banana muffins (warmed) and it was amazing. ditto frying Marion Cunningham's "Marigold Eggs" in it, or French toast, and putting it on English muffins with fig jam. all rather American uses that i wouldn't have first thought of using ghee in instead of butter.

does anyone else do this?

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

i know this has been done on many blogs before, but i ate some of it this morning and it was worth getting up at 5:30 to bake and rest it before going to work. wanted to reiterate that it CAN be done, DELICIOUSLY, even if Jim Lahey does not really recommend it (or Bittman's 4/8 hour version).

i substitued 1/2 c. whole wheat and 1/2 c. rye for 1 c. of white flour, added a pinch more salt, and since i didn't have instant yeast, stirred scant 1/2 t. active dry into 100*F water and did the usual yeast thing.

it turned out with the characteristic crisp crust, large holes, and soft interior, though i think the crust was chewier than normal.

next time i want to add more whole wheat, but keep the rye. rye is good stuff.

how to make a Fluffernutter sandwich?

i know there must be a *proper* way to do this! i've never had one, so before i make one at home, i need to know what's right and what's not.

bread: toasted or untoasted? buttered?
PB: crunchy or not?

do you add any honey or bananas? do you eat with a glass of milk?

Cookies To Ship?

I'm looking for a cookie recipe I can make and ship from Texas to The Netherlands. Hopefully they should be sturdy, keep well, and taste delicious (especially since they are a thank-you gift).

I was thinking shortbread?

The Burger Lab: Recreating the Spotted Pig's Chargrilled Burger at Home

On paper, April Bloomfield's burger at The Spotted Pig is the near antithesis of my ideal burger. I like them griddled. Hers is grilled. I like mine small. Hers is a whopping half pound. I like my buns soft, squishy, and mass-produced. She bakes her own. I like American cheese. She goes for stinky Roquefort. Yet it's a burger that snuck up on me from out of nowhere, took me by surprise, and practically forced me to fall in love with it. So this week, I decided to put the Pig's burger through the Burger Lab treatment, deconstructing it and analyzing it so that we can all enjoy its grandeur in our own backyards. More

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

Each week we round up our favorite posts and recipes from our friends at The Kitchn. This week they share recipes for non-alcoholic drinks to have with a meal, tips for how to have family dinner with kids who eat early, foods you should keep out of the freezer, and more. More