The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make Lighter Tuna Noodle Casserole With Just One Pan (and No Knives!)

But I love tuna melts, especially the variety served by most NJ diners after midnight. The secret is rye bread, white or wheat just won't do.

Those and gravy fries are the ultimate diner guilty pleasure.

Also, this looks great. I'll be giving it a shot. The tip on cornstarch and egg into the dairy is interesting and I can't wait to see how it works.

Dim Sum Classics: How to Make Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)

Forget the bean curd wraps or anything else. These, siu mai, and pork ribs with black beans are what define dim sum for me.

Thanks for the recipe. I'll likely try it this weekend.

9 Must-Try Vietnamese Drinks

"Local coffee beans are roasted with butter and fish sauce to bring out chocolate notes in the final brew"

I don't even want to know about the alchemy that goes into this.

6 Grilling Hacks to Step Up Your Live-Fire Game

Any hacks for how to speed up the cleaning part of grilling? I love charcoal grilling but the only reason I use my gas grill so often is that I hate having to wait for a good hour+ for coals to completely cool before I can cover and put the grill away (though I do appreciate that the remaining heat helps to burn a lot of the crud off of my grates).

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: The Trouble With Contractors

@Tyson Ho. What happens with the pig skin in Carolina BBQ? I can't recall if it's actually eaten as part of the main dish?

Is it fried or something after the fact? I bet smoked, deep fried pig skin would be kinda neat.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: The Trouble With Contractors

Just to clarify for those of us who aren't site insiders (though the last post seems to confirm it) - user "Serious Eats Copy Editor" is not affiliated with the site and is basically speaking out of his/her butt?

That said, the series really is outstanding. I'd read all of the sponsored posts if they were this good!

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: The Trouble With Contractors

or your mechanic to choose the color of your car.

5 Rules of Hong Kong Dining That You Should Know Before You Go

When the fortune cookie says "I pee pee on your rice", they're kidding. Usually.

The Best Sweet Use for Your Smoker? Smoked Ice Cream

I'm betting that cream would go great in a savory application, too. Clam chowder is the first thing that comes to mind or maybe some braised leeks...

RE: smoking methods, I don't do it indoors since it's impossible to keep the smokey smell from permeating everything, even with doors/windows open and the vent fan on full blast. If you have a working fireplace, it'd be an intruiging exercise to see if you can set up a rig there.

That said, if you have an outdoor grill, that's still the easiest option. You don't really need much heat at all, only enough to get/keep the wood smoking. If you've never tried smoking in a weber kettle or something similar, it's way simple. In fact, I default to using a kettle grill for smoking over my dedicated vertical smoker for anything outside of long, low heat cook sessions.

Check the article from last week on smoked ribeyes. That method should work pretty well here (i.e., low heat). In addition to the ice batch, you could even add another pan of water to keep things super cool.

11 1/2 Things You Can Do With a Wooden Spoon (Besides Stirring)

Also, if you ever need to do a home-amputation of a limb without the benefit of pharmaceuticals, you can take a swig of whiskey and then bite down on a wooden spoon handle while the cutting is going on to help manage the pain.

This method also works should you ever need to dig a bullet out of your body.

I should note that I've never tried this myself but I have seen it done in tons of movies.

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make The Best Egg Salad

Egg salad belongs on plain white bread!

Manner Matters: The Finer Points of Eating With Your Hands

My homemade rules for fried and boneless chicken -

Indoors - if referred to as a cutlet or something similar (e.g., thinly slice chicken breast) on the menu, eat with utensils. If referred to as 'fingers', or 'nuggets', or 'tenders' or something similar, hands are OK.

Outdoors - if served on a real plate, default to indoor rules. If served on a disposable plate, I don't think anyone will be standing on ceremony.

On a somewhat related note - I propose a moratorium on corn on the cob being served at any function that goes beyond family and/or close friends. Between the whole eat with hands issue and the added risk of pieces getting stuck in teeth, it's the one food I really stay away from in any situation that requires any level of decorum.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Heh heh heh.

Just kidding - thought it would be a fitting way to close this thread out.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

I make $2,500 per week working from home. Ask me how!

The Food Lab: The Wok Mon Converts Your Home Burner Into a Wok Range. For Real.

That jet of flame looks pretty intimidating. Is it possible to give us a comparison between that burner with the Wok Mon attached and what it looks like without so we know what we might expect at home? I'm a little worried that a flame that size might do very bad things to our relatively low-hanging range hood!

Ask a Cicerone: What's Your Ultimate Beer and Burger Pairing?

I like beer and I like food but I've never found a pairing that actually makes the combination better than the individual pieces. I'm a self proclaimed beer/food match agnostic.

What classic combo should I try to make me a believer?

Chinese Noodles 101: Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

I grew up with these and love them though I prefer a dark gravy version with pork, chicken, beef, and shrimp etc. instead of the traditional light purely seafood version.

For anybody who might have tried these from a lesser chinese food place and didn't like them, note that you likely had a bad attempt that either deep fried the noodles to save time (which results in an incorrect ratio crispy to soft) or did not use the right noodles at all. So far, I've only found one take-out chinese place by me that has a respectable version, but that particular place has it's roots in Chinatown and only recently relocated to the burbs. The noodle type is key and there should be a good balance between crispy noodles and the wonderful chewiness of these particular egg noodles (especially once saturated with the gravy). In all of the bad versions I've tried, the noodles went spongy rather than chewy after being soaked in the sauce.

If you want an idea of what these noodles should be like, PF Chang's has a relatively respectable version (double pan fried noodles). They're not exactly like the traditional version but they get more right than they get wrong and they're miles ahead of what you'll find at most take out places.

@theotherworldly - I'm not an expert but I don't think the oven would work for this. You need the hot contact surface to adequately crisp the outside. Keep in mind that you're not drying the noodles to make them crispy, you're actually quick frying them so the outside is cruncy and the inside stays noodle-y. That said, you don't need necessarily need a wok. The space/size make it easier to use but a skillet or cast iron pan should work as well (though you might want to consider smaller batches of noodles depending on pan size).

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Unless comments to articles are going away too, I'd actually think that we'll see a substantial increase in postings there based on this change.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

Losing talk stinks. I'm another of the 'anti-social media' contingent. Probably has something to do with age and a general dislike of people prying in my business!

That said, do what you gotta do. Just don't lose any of the old recipes in the transition (especially the one for grilling chinese take out ribs)!

Stainless steel bowls

No other downsides as long as they're made of a food safe material and won't rust, etc.

The gauge is the real cost driver. The more metal they use to make the bowls, the more they'll cost.

They'll likely be just as functional as the more expensive ones. They may not stay pretty for a very long time but they'll work.

Using a sauce for chicken on something else

Use it with beef.

Steaks reverse sear method gone wrong!

A one inch steak doesn't need a reverse sear or any oven time at all for that matter. Just do it all in the pan.

I'd agree with most above, you might have missed internal temp by a couple of degrees, or overcooked it during the sear stage. With a steak that size, any sear time longer than 60 to 90 seconds per side will likely increase the overall internal temperature.

Spring = Pig Roast!

Older thread but thought I'd give an update in case people search.

We had the roast and it was a big success. The Caja China oven is the real deal. We did extend the cooking time over the printed instructions by about 60-90 minutes but the end result was beautiful. Outrageous crispy skin and 100% pullable meat. There was very little left on the bones after pulling.

We had a 60 pound pig (dressed with trotters and head attached, approx. 80 pounds live), and it easily yielded enough to serve 40 to 50 people (we only had 25 adults!). Total cook time was about 5.5 hours plus a 30 minute rest (and no peaking during the cooking time). The process itself was as simple as advertised.

I rubbed the pig with a basic salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder mix (basically Goya Adobo seasoning) and injected with a relatively low salt brine the night before. The skin was rubbed with a little bit of oil and lots of salt (go heavy on the initial seasoning because very little actually ends up on the meat) and we did a more 'normal' level of seasoning on the meat after it was pulled to make sure every morsel was flavorful. The seasoning was intentionally neutral simply because we wanted it to work across multiple types of cuisine.

The meat was served plain but we had a bunch of different ways people could dress it up. They could make soft corn tacos with pickled red onion (or raw diced white onion), cilantro, lime, and taco sauce, chinese steamed buns with celery, picked red onions, scallions, and hoisin, BBQ sandwiches with cole slaw, pickles, BBQ sauce, and a side of mac and cheese/baked beans or plain meat with white rice and black beans and salsa verde. We also had Asian duck sauce and Mang Tomas "All Purpose" sauce (it's a Filipino thing) because both work really well with pork and white rice.

I don't know why I'm surprised but the Chinese buns were the hit of the day (it helps to lay out an example bun so people know what they're supposed to put on it).

There was a ton of food but it was pretty easy to prepare. Here's a cheating tip - the only things we cooked from scratch were the pig, mac and cheese, white rice and black beans, and pickled red onions. Everything else was canned (baked beans but we dressed them up with bacon), frozen or premade (salads, Chinese buns and corn tortillas), or jarred (all of the sauces). Since the pig was such an attention getter and the few main sides were homemade, no one really cared that we took some short cuts with the accompaniments.

It was one of the 'easiest' large gatherings that we've ever had and is something we definitely plan to do again.

Sous Vide Pulled Pork, looking for input

Here's the million dollar question - how does it compare to a traditional pulled pork? Or even one done only in an oven?

Since I don't have a smoker, my go to pulled pork recipe is one I pulled from Esquire a couple of years ago. Basically, all you do is take your pork shoulder, throw it in a dutch oven, and pour a bottle of barbeque sauce over the top. 4 to 5 hours later in a slow oven (275 or so) and you'll get pretty reasonable pulled pork given that it requires basically no work and no monitoring. Best part - you can pull it and mix it with the sauce directly in the cooking pot so clean up is a cinch.

It's cheesy and it's rudimentary but damn if it isn't pretty effective and easy. I'll even dress it up sometimes with a rub before pouring on the sauce!

The 7 Best Budget Tequilas

I know these are in a different ballpark from the $1 per shot swill they serve at college bars but just saying the phrase 'budget tequila' gives me a wicked hangover.

Spring = Pig Roast!

Got my in-laws a "chinese box" roaster for Christmas and we're celebrating spring with a pig roast.

The hog has been ordered (80 pounds hanging weight) now we just need to decide how to prepare it.

Right now I'm thinking that we'll just do a simple adobo type rub (salt/pepper/garlic/onion) since I'm not a huge fan of citrus-based mojos (though my experience with it is fairly limited).

What are your favorite methods of roasting a whole pig? Any tips or advice for a newbie?

Counter top Combi Oven?

I've been wanting a combi oven at home for a while now but can't get myself even close to justifying thousand of dollars to install an in-wall unit.

I just noticed that a small countertop combi oven is on the market. Does anybody have any experience with it? Is it worth the spend?

Perhaps an equipment test is in order...

Thankgiving recap

I'm calling an end to the T-day leftover season. Generally, two meals of sandwiches and one 'new' dish from leftovers are all I can stomach.

The overall day of went very well, I only ran about 45 minutes behind schedule and that was because the bread I had purchased for stuffing three days before turned out to have mold on it and necessitated an unexpected trip to the store on the morning of.

All food came out awesome - thanks mainly to the recipes on this website.

We even managed to use up almost all the leftovers with the exception of stuffing. I drastically overestimated how much I would need by about double. At least it was relatively cheap - I'm estimating total wastage from Thanksgiving to be about $10 worth of food - not too bad in my eyes.

How your holiday turn out?

Roasts - rest time impact on carryover?

A quick question on roasting meat and resting time - I always let my roasts rest for at least 30 minutes before carving and count on about 5 to 10 degrees of carryover during the rest, depending on size.

If I know that I'm going to finish the roast early and give it a 60 minute rest instead of 30 minutes, will the carryover impact be more than I'm used to?

In other words, is 30 minutes the point at which roasts will generally hit their 'terminal' temperature or will temps continue to rise with a longer rest?

Better to...

Get a 'boring' meal on the table prepared via traditional means 10 times out of 10 or to risk a spectacular crash and burn by trying an as yet unproven (but potentially better) cooking method for an important part of an important meal?


Speaking for myself, I will be butterflying my bird this year before roasting but can safely say that grilling, confitting, steaming(recommended by Jacques Pepin in the NY Times), or turduckening will not be anywhere close to my radar screen this Thanksgiving.

What's your appetite for holiday experimentation and risk? Any good stories to tell?

Sous Vide Smells?

I've been playing with my new SVS for the past few weeks - definitely worth the hype. That said, I've cooked beef a few times and experienced an odd odor every time (both while the bags were in the bath and after I took the beef out of the bags). It didn't really smell bad, it just smelled a bit metallic and chemically. The smell only seems to manifest with beef - pork and chicken have been fine and odorless as you'd expect them to be.

Seasonings or marinades don't seem to make a difference. Food safety isn't an issue as I've been following the existing charts religiously. All instances were cook-serve, so no problems with cooking or storage. All beef tasted normal despite the smell.

Anybody else experienced this? I've found a few references on the internet for off-smelling beef that sounds very similar to what I'm experiencing but no real answers.

My thoughts on what could be causing it:

1.) Beef is the only ingredient I've cooked for longer than 3 hours. I wonder if the bags that come with the SVS machine release sort of odor after an extended period in the bath? Also, it seems odd that I'd be able to smell the food through the bags while still in the bath so maybe the bags themselves are generating the smell.

2.) All beef was previously frozen before being prepped for the SVS. All in vacuum packs directly from the butcher and defrosted at safe temps in the fridge. I put them into the freezer pretty much directly from the butcher case but I wonder if they might have begun to spoil before they ever hit the deep freeze. I've used beef this way in non-SV applications before and never noticed a problem - I wonder if the long time in water tends to magnify a spoilage issue or if the smells created by other high heat cooking methods have been masking it?

3.) The smell is just the smell of beef. I'm just not used to it because other cooking methods tend to hide the smell.


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