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

How to Cut and Grill Carrots for Deep, Sweet Flavor

Could one steam and shock them prior to grilling to cut down the cook time, or would that screw up the texture? This looks great, but the long cooking time (and the expenditure of a bunch of charcoal) kind of makes me leery.

Win a Copy of 'Tacolicious'

Cook-and-Serve Flour Tortillas From TortillaLand Are as Close as You'll Get to Homemade

These are amazing when grilled over charcoal; just takes about thirty seconds per side over a medium flame.

Win a Copy of 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

Zucchini slices, pan-fried until black, then tossed with penne and far too much romano.

Win a Copy of 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

Cute little baby pig.

Gadgets: Use a BNTO to Pack Your Lunch in a Canning Jar

As inclined as I am to mock this kind of thing, it's actually sort of brilliant. Have to say that $4.50 is pretty expensive for a little screw-on plastic cup, though.

Win a Copy of 'Vibrant Food'

Beets, nectarines.

Win a Copy of 'Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen'

Floofy widdle guinea pigs.

From the Archives: The Best Grilled Pork Chops

I'm okay with brining pork chops, but personally, I'd go with the, uhm, "dry-brine" method Kenji used in some thanksgiving turkey post. Basically, salt heavily with kosher salt on both sides, and let it sit in the fridge for about six hours. Won't be QUITE as moist as with a wet-brine, but the juice tastes like PIG, rather than brine.

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

Bacon, onion, mushroom.

Cheese 101: All About Bloomy Cheese (AKA Brie and Its Brothers)

Quick addendum, I always forget something--

Any recommendations for a soft-rind cheese with a rind that's actually tasty? While I'll eat a bit of the rind when I try a new cheese, it's usually reminiscent of eating the worm in a bottle of mescal; technically edible, but not pleasant.

Cheese 101: All About Bloomy Cheese (AKA Brie and Its Brothers)

Damned fine article, and I'm glad to hear it's going to be a series (looking forward to the Washed Rind article! Fat may be flavor, but stank is, too). Mild, boring-ass brie has been the go-to party cheese for so long, people forget there are tasty alternatives out there. Good call on the Humbolt fog; Cypress Grove makes a fine cheese.

Any favorite ways to cook with the stuff? I usually end up with a few chunks in the fridge after parties, and it often ends up going south before I remember to eat it. Think I might be able to avoid that in the future if I had an option other than "put it on crackers".

Cook the Book: 'The VB6 Cookbook' by Mark Bittman

Frozen then fried tofu-tots, peanut dipping sauce.

Cook the Book: 'Simple Thai Food' by Leela Punyaratabandhu

Something called simply "Chicken Noodle" at Dara Thai in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Can Yeast Really Keep You From Getting Drunk?

This CLEARLY calls for an in-office test. Preferably with video. Pay-per-view, if you want. I'm pretty sure we'd all pay five bucks a head to watch Kenji get hammered... Twice, since we need a control. For science.

Personally, it sounds like mostly-bunk; as in, might reduce inebriation slightly. Can't say I'd recommend it to anyone, unless their alternate "consume this to be able to drink longer" substance was cocaine. Might make a good slogan-- "Fleischman's; we're safer than cocaine!"

Does Seasoning in Stages Make a Difference?

Thanks for the article, it'll help settle an argument I was having a day or two ago. Then again, I was WRONG, so maybe I should pretend I didn't see it...

Quick question-- Friend of mine, cooks for a living, says he was taught that when cooking a large piece of meat (beef roast, leg of lamb), it's important to actually salt it SEVERAL times during cooking; something about how each addition (say, every half hour) of salt drew out more moisture, making it self-basting. Is this complete crap? It sounds like complete crap.

Get Smart About Your Pasta Shapes

Nifty, and may help step up my policy of "buy whatever looks nifty, regardless of how I'm using it". Love this site, but it makes it harder for me to cook lazy.

@freckle-- Jeez, you okay? Was that your restaurant? Seems like you took it a bit personal.

How Salty Should Pasta Water Be?

I generally throw in a fat four-finger pinch of kosher salt (probably about a tablespoon) into my pasta water, but honestly, I have no idea why. Is salting the pasta in the colander/on the plate somehow less effective than salting the water?

Anyway, solid article. I appreciate how SE does the legwork so we lazy schmoes don't have to.

Cook the Book: 'The New Southern Table' by Brys Stephens

Improving EVERYTHING with ham fat.

Cook the Book: 'Coi' by Daniel Patterson

No baby vegetables? Scallops in burritos? Wasabi crackers? Am I on the right track here?

The 7 Best Budget Tequilas

For my money, Camarena every time. And @BoltFan, while I adore Cazadores, I can almost never find it for under thirty bucks. But when I do, I stock up.

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.

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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