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  • Location: Arizona
  • Favorite foods: Medium-rare pork rib chop. Mom's tuna casserole. Gin.
  • Last bite on earth: REVENGE.

Cook the Book: 'My Paris Kitchen' by David Lebovitz

Crusty bread and stinky, runny cheese.

What will you make for Easter?

Gefilte fish, and apologizing to my Christian friends.

Make Homemade Mozzarella, Pair Cheese and Spirits and More Cooking Classes to Take This Week

The name of the jerky course is "Jerkin' around with Ted".

So... There's that.

What Cut to use for home ground meatball mix

Personally, I'd go with the least-fatty cut of veal you can find, and put in more pork fat. "Add more pork fat" is the solution to most of life's problems. Alternately, swap the veal for lamb. I find that when you mix it with beef and pork, the veal gets overpowered; that doesn't happen with lamb.

Good luck! And for the remaining 1%, I'd go with something magical and talking. Griffin, maybe.

Surf & Turf Broth?

If it tastes good, do it, and make fun of your friends for not doing it. Guessing the reason you rarely hear about mixed-protein broth is that most recipes seem to assume you're buying your stock. Or that you're too boring to chuck some shrimp-parts in with the beef stock.

On a related note, why the hell is commercial pork broth so uncommon?

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

One (occasional) bonus of the crappy dive-bar is the frustrated bartender; one who pours draft beers and Jack and Cokes all day, and never gets to pick up a shaker. I've ordered Martinis (mostly just to be obnoxious), and had the bartender be genuinely grateful; so much so that once I gave him notes on the first one ("No, seriously, I'm okay with tasting vermouth!"), I've gotten a couple extra for free just so he could do it.

Then again, there are genuine risks to being the only one with a martini glass at a biker bar. Blood was once nearly spilled when someone commented on my "appletini", and I pointed out that my glass of gin with olive chaser was MUCH manlier than this light beer, and how was his Atkin's diet going?

...I don't remember where I was going with this.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Giant costumed mascots scare the hell out of me. And I thought Kenji already did some shooter's sandwich stuff? I vaguely recall an In 'n Out version that, while impressive, was apparently less than stellar.

Still, I'm solidly pro-excess, so bring it on.

Expand Your Vocabulary and Get a Superb Burger at Ink & Elm in Atlanta

@taylorsham Bipolar-- characterized by opposite extremes, as two conflicting political philosophies.

Have to say, I find the vocabulary from this restaurant to be a bit off-putting; no sense using twenty 5-syllable words when ten would do. When you're describing something, language either clarifies or obfuscates.

...Yes, that was intentional.

Echo and Rig Blurs the Line Between Butcher and Steakhouse in Las Vegas

Oh, EATEN WITH frites; when you said they were 'used IN', I thought the steak was used in the preparation of the fries. Alternately, I need to stay off this site at 3 am.

Echo and Rig Blurs the Line Between Butcher and Steakhouse in Las Vegas

What do you mean when you say that the flap steak is "used in frites"?

Bake the Book: The Model Bakery Cookbook

Bagel bread, and many smoked meats.

Zero-Calorie Food Tricks--

Off to a good start! And @Littauer, your comments make me wonder where I'd have to go to buy extra-slutty olive oil/water.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

...Heh. Waffle-fries. Also, pizza-negligence should be punishable by scourging at the very least.

Cook the Book: 'Spain' by Jeff Koehler

Cheap red wine and Coca-Cola.

Freezing tofu before frying---

@theotherworldly, thanks for the pic; makes me regret that I keep forgetting to buy tofu.

Was thinking that this might make good material for an article (or discussion group I'm far too lazy to start) on zero-calorie tricks you can use to make food better. Granted, only this and 'toast' comes to mind.

Cook the Book: The 'Roberta's' Cookbook

Pizza eggs. Cut a slice of cold pizza into small squares, fry in a dry pan until hot, and dump two beaten eggs over it; scramble until happy with the consistency. Somewhere between savory French toast and, well, cold pizza with eggs on it.

Fun With Elephant Garlic

Thank you all; you have assured that I shall never waste excess elephant garlic, and that my kitchen will smell slightly funky for the next week or so.

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

Chicken and 140 cloves. Not a typo.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Okay, Sci-Fi Geek question-- Was Pixel named from the Heinlein novel?

Cook the Book: 'Pasta Modern'

Peanut butter and jelly on fried Ramen. Wasn't GOOD, but, well. Interesting.

Poll: Which Candy Would You Eat On Pizza?

I'd use those Gummi Pizzas, but I think that would tear a rift in the space-time continuum.

Ramen Burgers Hit Las Vegas

The buns kind of resemble noodle kugel; might be interesting.

Staff Picks: What's the Scariest Food You've Ever Eaten?

Balut. It was... Looking old enough to walk around, quack, and get into hilarious misadventures. Still kinda feel like a jerk for eating it. Tasty, in a horrifying sort of way.

Is there REALLY any substitute for bacon?

Smoked jowl works pretty well.

Oda House's Turkey Melt Doesn't Mess Around

"Joyous cardiac peril". Nice.

Zero-Calorie Food Tricks--

Alright, so I've been thinking about those extremely rare and extremely wonderful tricks/techniques that elevate your food to a higher level... WITHOUT ADDING CALORIES OR ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS(!!!!!). Regrettably, I can only think of a few, but I firmly believe that we here in the SE community can put together an encyclopedic list of brilliant tricks.

Now, my humble contributions:

1. Tofu-- Freeze your firm tofu overnight, thaw, and slice. It turns from a jello-like mass into a sponge that you can marinate in a matter of seconds, and becomes deliciously chewy when fried.

2. Flour tortillas-- Heat a dry pan (not non-stick!) to medium-high heat, and toss the tortilla on there. Flip and rotate every 10-20 seconds, until it gets all bubbly and crunchy and delicious. Elevates store-bought from "edible" to "actually pretty tasty".

3. Bread-- Er... Toast it. To make toast.

I have heard rumors of people turning water into some sort of frigid, crunchy solid, but remain skeptical.

Freezing tofu before frying---

After eating a super-delicious tofu hotpot at a local Chinese joint (so good that I order it every time, in spite of my heavily carnivorous leanings), I managed to beg from them the secret of how they get the tofu so crisp, spongy, and meat-like-- They drain it well, freeze it overnight, thaw, and cook.

I've tried it many times myself, and once you freeze it, the dense firm tofu ends up with a lot of small holes in it, kind of a like a soy-sponge. Once you squeeze out the moisture (again, just like a sponge), you can marinate it in a matter of seconds. Lightly dust slices in cornstarch and pan-fry; the difference between un-frozen tofu and previously-frozen is nothing short of miraculous.

Has anyone out there tried this? Have I actually come across some new information, or am I about to be link-bombed with a dozen recipes where Kenji does this? =p

Fun With Elephant Garlic

Local grocery store had some elephant garlic on super-discount; dollar a head. Always found it interesting looking, but was unwilling to pay four bucks for a bulb of garlic, so I bought ten. Thus far, I've roasted half-cloves with potatoes and herbs; very tasty, though learned you have to put the garlic in about twenty minutes after you start the potatoes, or they'll end up burnt. Have also mashed roasted cloves into mashed potatoes; taste was quite mild, but I liked the added moisture (I often mash a turnip or two into my potatoes for the same reasons). Was wondering if anyone here had tried slicing it thin and making garlic chips before? Also, any other brilliant ideas of what I should do with my ridiculous amount of elephant garlic?

Thanks, SE community!

Microwaveable Pork Rinds--

Found some microwaveable "Lowrey's Bacon Curls" at a local dollar store, and bought them as a gag. They come in a microwave popcorn style package; two minutes, and they pop and expand to fill the bag. To my great surprise, they were some of the best pork rinds I'd ever had.

Has anyone ever tried/heard of these? Also, if anyone has a recommendation for other brands of microwaveable chicharones, I'm looking to further explore my new-found addiction.

Smoking/slow braising brisket

Okay, so--

I bought a whole brisket, and my plan is to primarily cook it low and slow, with moisture, in the oven; however, I also want to get some smoke into it by smoking it on my cheap kettle-grill for an hour or so. Can I smoke it, THEN braise it, or should I do it the other way around?

Thanks, SE Community.

Mushroom Catsup--

So, I made some mushroom catsup, and while it is fascinating and tasty, I really have no idea what to do with it.

I've used it as steak/burger sauce, and in bloody marys (AMAZING), but I can't think of any other applications. Delicious, but very strongly flavored. I've thought of using it to glaze pork loin, but i'm afraid it will burn.

Here's the recipe I used--

2 pounds of mushrooms, diced small, then heavily salted and left out for 24 hours. Dump into a pot with an onion diced small, lots of black pepper, good hit of allspice, cumin, little hot sauce, and about half a cup of white balsamic. Simmered for about two hours until, well, goo-like, and blended smooth with a stick blender. Simmer a little longer, because why not. Let mellow at least overnight, and it seems to be getting better with time (made it three days ago).

So! Any thoughts as to what to do with it? Also, anyone here ever made their own? Alternate recipes/additions would be welcome as well.

Carnitas help/tricks?

About to serve carnitas (slow-cooked pork shoulder that is then shredded, anyway) to a large group, and wondering if anyone had tips on how to speed up the crisping stage.

I normally make my carnitas by taking 5-8 pounds of pork shoulder, and simmering it in a large pot with limes, oranges, chiles, cumin, and broth/water up to half-way up the shoulder, until it shreds easily. While perfectly enjoyable at this stage, I then crisp it up by putting the shredded pork into a large baking dish, ladling the rendered fat/broth over it to almost cover, and baking at 400 degrees, stirring periodically until the meat absorbs most of the liquid, and starts to crisp/burn around the edges. Tasty and magical.

My problem is that i'm taking the braised and shredded pork to a friend's house, planning on doing the crisping stage there; however, I'm trying to avoid making everyone wait for an hour or two while it finishes. Any suggestions as to how I can speed up this part of the cooking?

While the pork is perfectly fine without that step, I'm trying to show off for some friends, so any suggestions/Mexican-grandmother-secrets would be greatly appreciated.

Cooking as rite of passage--

"Back in the day" (Highschool), whenever my group of friends wanted to have a new person hang around, they were forced to go through an initiation to prove their toughness. Namely, they were pushed into a kitchen, given a skillet, fork, and a pound of bacon, and forced to relinquish their clothes until such time as they handed out a platter of perfectly-cooked bacon.

Having cooked naked-bacon myself, I must say that it takes great strength of character. Anyone have any similar rite-of-passage cooking rituals?

Or, any suggestions for variations of cooking bacon naked? "Mean" but not "potentially fatal", preferably.

I found Will Gordon

Stumbled onto this by accident, when some site or another linked to "36 Cheap Beers Ranked from Bad to Worst". I thought, "Hey, Will Gordon would be perfect for that!" Lo and behold....

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