Rotisserie chicken debate

I used to have a Ronco rotisserie. I used it quite often, and I thought it worked well on a limited basis. Anything hollow, like a chicken, it did fine. Anything small, like sausages or hot dogs, it did fine (* provided you like them overdone, like I do.) Anything dense, like a roast beef, forget it. The heating coil doesn't get hot enough to penetrate.

That said, if you have a rotisserie, then by all means, roast the bird yourself. You'll have more control over the seasoning, and the freshness.

First Taste: The McRib Is Back

Come on. Anyone who is willing to eat a hot dog or a pork sausage should have no qualms about eating a McRib, aside from the part about going to McDonalds. Foodwise, it's as bad (or as good) as either of those two other food products. Sure, it can't measure up to real southern bbq ribs.

Subway Fiery Footlongs: Hot Stuff?

Ok, maybe the tuna is really tuna. But I know that the cold cuts are almost all made from turkey. I also know that the seafood salad is made from mostly surimi ... which is fine if that's what you like.

Subway Fiery Footlongs: Hot Stuff?

More than just processed... all of the meat -- the ham, the bologna, the salami -- is all made from turkey. I know this because I know a guy who is allergic to poultry, and he thought he was safe ordering a ham sandwich. Not so much.

Why does some food taste better the 2nd day

It's the same reason why marinating something for longer than 30 minutes has a greater impact. The flavors mingle, and the harsher tones mellow. Whats more, some of the liquid in a finished dish might evaporate a little and intensify the flavors.

Cap'n Crunch Confession

The only thing that tears up the roof of my mouth more than Cap'n Crunch are those frozen french bread pizzas. I haven't had the cereal in years and years.

Saving money at the grocery store.Whats your tip on how to do it

I actually do exactly the opposite of what others are professing -- I don't plan menus. I shop for what's on sale and looks good. I usually go shopping early on a weekday morning, and get to go through the meat case after the manager has gone through, marking all the things with close sell-by dates down, and I choose whatever looks best, and then plan my menu around that. Granted, good food is one place I don't really try to economize, so ... I'd rather do without a premium cable channel for a month and get that good cut of beef steak. (Luckily, it hasn't come to that in recent years.)

But, yeah. Meat is one of the most expensive things they sell in the grocery store, so if you're trying to economize, plan a meal or two a week around rice and beans (preferably dried, which you soak and reconstitute).

Does your grocery store play boomer rock n roll?

I've sometimes noticed abrupt changes in the store music at the Harris Teeter when I shop there. They'll be playing some relatively non-intrusive classical music -- mostly string quartets -- and then someone flips a switch and they go to something completely different -- usually boomer rock, yeah. I've noticed it has nothing to do with the time of day, either.

Cherry Tomato Abundanza

If I had more than I could eat, I would take a bunch of them, slice them in half, put them on a roasting pan with a little balsamic vinegar, and roast them in a low oven. Then I'd jar them up and use them like I'd use sun-dried tomatoes.

You could also try making ketchup, though I've learned from personal experience that it's an exercise in futility, because no matter what you do, it won't taste right in the end. (Curse you, Mr. Heinz.)

Which celebrity chef is more "Celebrity" than Chef?

Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Gordon Ramsay. I'd agree if Anthony Bourdain actually pretended he was a chef these days. He's more of an eater than a maker these days.

Humboldt Fog

After tasting this cheese, I can't begin to comprehend how people could actually like that ammonia flavor, even if it were more mild. The mind boggles. O.o

Quiznos vs. Subway: Toasted Sub Showdown

A Tour of Serious Eats Headquarters

So, aside from Ed, only women produce SE?

Has anyone tried going raw?

I can't speak from personal experience, but I can tell you that all of the people who I've ever seen -- either in books or magazines -- who supposedly live and thrive on this kind of diet appear to be gorgeously healthy.

Anthony Bourdain, love him or hate him?

Yeah. I'm serious. You moderate yourself. We'll moderate ourselves. Cooks are notorious control freaks, but you're not the only one here.

Anthony Bourdain, love him or hate him?

It's about Anthony Bourdain. And if it's self moderated, then let us moderate ourselves. Don't do it for us.

Anthony Bourdain, love him or hate him?

Yeah. I was sort of bothered by the in-show Chase ads. Bit too much of a sell-out, if you ask me. But I imagine the show isn't cheap to produce, and dvr's being able to skip commercials and all, I guess it's pretty much par for the course.

No one has mentioned his Les Halles Cookbook yet. It's entertaining and informative. If you're a fan, you should definitely check it out.

(And Kitchenista -- are you a moderator here?)

Anthony Bourdain, love him or hate him?

Anthony Bourdain, political pundit. In this clip of the Anderson Cooper show on CNN, Tony gives his opinion of the Tea Party movement.

Gadgets: Jamie Oliver's Flavor Shaker

I was tempted to buy this several times over the years, but the high pricetag always put me off.

Recent Bourdain Episode : Techniques

(If you want to jump right to the Keller demonstration, click on the "3" link above. It starts about 45 seconds in.)

Grown-ups should not eat SpaghettiOs

I sometimes eat them. If they sold the little meatballs in sauce without the spaghetti, I'd be happier with them. I'm pretty sure those little bits of "beef" in the beefaroni sauce are actually TVP.

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: Is the Customer Always Right?

This reminds me of the barrista that wouldn't make coffee the way the customer wanted it, or the restaurant cook who wouldn't sear your tuna or grill your steak well. If the customer wants it, and has cash in hand, and you've got the ingredients on hand, they should make it the way the customer wants it, since they're the ones who are going to be effing ingesting it. Everything else is pretentious "artiste" BS. And if, as you say, a bar doesn't even stock common bar items that their patrons might be looking for, then I suggest they close up shop because they're not serious business-people. They're just pretending.

Poll: Food Terms You Should Stop Using in 2010

I would have liked to see "molecular gastronomy" on that list.

Back from the Front: Holiday meal report

Foodie or not, the holiday is about spending time with your loved ones. Maybe next year, you'll go over early and cook dinner for her, so she can complain about what you made.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: D'Artagnan Boneless Heritage Ham

Rosemary ham and muenster on pumpernickle with lots of spicy-sweet honey mustard.

Humboldt Fog

So I saw that my local cheese shop was having a sale on Humboldt Fog cheese, and so I decided to pick some up. I've had it before, and enjoyed it, but this piece of cheese had a nasty, sort of ammonia/chemically taste, especially near the rind. It was inedible. What's the deal? Did I get ripped off, or is that par for the course with this variety of soft cheese?

Recent Bourdain Episode : Techniques

On the most recent NO RESERVATIONS episode (2, 3, 4, 5), instead of traveling anywhere, Anthony Bourdain and some of his famous chef friends to demonstrated various basic cooking techniques.

I was sort of surprised when Thomas Keller demonstrated the proper technique for roasting a chicken, and he suggested that it was important to allow the chicken to come to room temperature before starting to roast it.

I've heard doing this for beef, especially steaks, but I was always taught that poultry is absolutely crawling with bacteria, and letting it sit out on the counter to take the chill off just sort of scares the bejeezus out of me.

Am I just over reacting?

West Tennessee : Not-to-miss BBQ?

I'm going on a short road trip near Nashville and Memphis in a week or two. I was wondering if you might know of any places to eat, especially bbq joints, that I should be sure to visit? No back road is too back road for me. Come on, spill the beans!

Saving the Brine?

I recently picked up The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson, and was reading through it. In it, he has a recipe for a brine that you'd use to make meats like pork, chicken, shellfish taste better. I'm well aware of brining, and how it's become quite a popular technique around Thanksgiving, due mostly to the efforts of Cooks Illustrated. But here's the thing that threw me. Fergus talks about nurturing the brine like an old friend, using it over and over. "a nurtured friend, whose character should improve with time and should give delicious results." (He does take a bow to fears of bacteria by suggesting it be kept cold in the back of the fridge, as opposed to keeping it anywhere else. And he recommends using a non-corrosive bucket.) Still, I'm afraid of the perishable stuff that comes out of the meat, like blood and other stuff. So, what do you think? Do you use it once and toss your brine, or do you think it'd be ok to use and reuse it?

(His recipe contains 1 part superfine sugar to 1.25 parts sea salt, plus herbs and seasoning, like juniper berries, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, but not much else besides water.)

Pickle Juice

I buy several jars of refrigerator pickles a month (claussen), as I love to snack on them. I end up just pouring out the brining liquid, as well as the chopped garlic, down the drain. It seems to me that there must be some practical use for it. I've already thought about using a little in potato salad, but can you guys think of any more possibilities?

Scaling a recipe and cooking times.

So I've got a recipe I want to make for a crowd. As written, the recipe says it serves 4. I need it to serve 18. I can handle the math when it comes to increasing the quantities, but is there any formula for calculating the new cooking time, or should I just resign myself to cooking them in separate batches? (If you're curious, the recipe will be for the braised short ribs for Alton Brown's Good Eats Beef Stew.)

Myths in the Kitchen

Sometimes cooks just do things without really thinking them through. They heard or read somewhere that such-and-such was true, but they never really checked to see if there was any basis in fact. For example, for years and years, people always said that you should remove the germ / sprout from a clove of garlic because it tends to be bitter. But when then you realize that it's not bitter, but actually kind of tasty, and all these years, you've been throwing it away.

So, what kitchen myth have you seen perpetuated that you've since found to be completely off the mark?

Natural Casing Hot Dogs

Based on a post made here a week or so ago, I went out of my way to buy hot dogs with natural casings. I made a couple of them for lunch and they were quite tasty. My usual method for cooking hot dogs is to put them in a frying pan with a little bit of water, and a bit of butter. I let it boil with the lid on for a few minutes, and then remove the lid to let the water evaporate so they'll start frying. (I usually like to cook em until the skin is a dark mahogany color.) So all went well until the water evaporated, and then the skins burst. As I said they were very tasty nevertheless, but what did I do wrong? My first inclination was that I didn't piece the franks with a fork, but I'm beginning to think that had I done that, it would have been even worse.

Help me, Serious Eats. You're my only hope.

Pick Your Own Produce (VA/MD/W.VA)

A week or so ago, the Washington Post ran it's annual "Pick-Your-Own" list of VA/MD/WVA farms that let you pick your own produce. I took the time to enter the locations listed into Google Maps.

Don't Miss Food between SF and Seattle?

I'll be taking a road trip this July from San Francisco, up the Pacific Coast Highway to Seattle, and I need any advice and recommendations for must-see (or must-eat) on my way. Our itinerary is loose, so we're willing to go off the beaten track. One caveat, money will be tight, so high-budget restaurants are probably gonna be out of our reach this trip. Thanks in advance.

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