• Favorite foods: Pizza, pizza, pizza. Fried chicken, burgers, steak, pasta, peanut butter anything. Ice cream, frozen custard, chocolate chip and molasses/ginger cookies, most anything with cinnamon (no tree nuts).

Around the World in Hot Sauce: An Illustrated Tour of 18 Varieties

FYI - you've got Scoville testing almost exactly reversed. The Scoville test is done by extracting the capsaicin contained in a specific quantity of dried pepper into alcohol, which is then added, drop by drop, into a known measure of sugar water. The diluted capsaicin/sugar water mixture is then tasted by a panel of five tasters. Drops are added until 3 out of 5 tasters can detected *any* level of heat. The dilution level is then calculated and transformed into Scoville Heat Units (multiples of 100 SHU).

As for Cajun Pepper Sauces, the best is Bat's Brew. Made from habaneros and jalapenos, the addition of lemon oil enhances the fruitiness of habanero. It's spicy without killing you and not overwhelmingly vinagarey - perfect for a seafood gumbo.

Adam Kuban's '8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams,' 2014 Edition

Adam -

Great list as always and glad to see you back (however briefly). When I was in NYC this month, I dropped by Prince Street on your recommendation and loved the Spicy Spring. I'd eat it every day if I lived nearby - which is why I'm thankful it's about the one style of pizza I have nailed. My own spicy pepperoni (Vermont Smoke and Cure, whizzed 6-in-1 tomatoes with Aleppo and/or Calabrian chiles) is a near cousin.

That pepperoni and vodka pie will be on my list for next time - the pie that consistently haunts my dreams is the vodka Sicilian at Artichoke (I know it's a controversial place but man does that pie mainline my pizza jones).

I've had the pleasure of eating at Caleb's Pizzicleta - it's fantastic. It was the last pizza I ate before destroying my knee in the Grand Canyon - in a weird way, a major before/after of my life took place there.

The pizza I haven't eaten that haunts my dreams is Margot's Pizza. But one day, one day...

Good eats, Adam.

The Food Lab: The Secret to Perfect Beef Tenderloin? The Reverse Sear Strikes Again

You had me until horseradish cream. For some reason, I've never liked the sulfuric astringency (mistaken for heat) of horseradish. Must be the same reason I only like mustard as a flavoring agent and not as a condiment. Isothiocyanates just seem irritating rather than spicy.

Vitamix vs. BlendTec vs. Breville: Who Makes the Best High End Blender?

I just bought a Vitamix 750 for my wife's Christmas present (good thing my forum name has no connection to my real name). I considered the 5200 (it's cheaper) but reviews I read seemed to indicate the shorter, squatter jar on the G-series Vitamix + the tamper fixed the few problems (like ice crushing) that you saw in the 5200. It's a little more powerful too - supposed to be better for grain grinding.

But we'll have to see once it gets unwrapped...

The Glorious Return of French Toast Crunch

Oh, if only the article was about TEAM Flakes... I miss that cereal every time I go down the aisle.

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Prime Rib

So, without any pan drippings to speak of, how would go about making a good jus to go with the meat?

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Prime Rib

The Q: Does it really matter when I salt my meat? section, the text and the pictures don't align. The text describes three pictures, all above the text. The (newly repurposed, I assume) section intersperses only the first and third picture within the text.


The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Prime Rib

So, what's the "blood" that comes out when you slice an unrested piece of beef? Is it simply intercellular oxymyoglobin + water/"juices"?

The Ultimate Guide to Eating in NYC, All in One Place

If you want stark proof of the change of focus, look no further than your Chicago page. The last review was in September and then you scroll back and see a few more in the summer. There's a marked uptick in May and then you come to the "An Open Letter to Serious Eaters" on May 5. And before that, a daily explosion of reviews and content.

Which means that you had a recipes and reviews site with a strong "review" side until the Open Letter. Then, the handful of reviews that were "in progress" prior to the open letter trickle out over the next month and then reviews stop. SE simply isn't relevant as a review site anymore. Sad, but true.

The Ultimate Guide to Eating in NYC, All in One Place

How is this guide going to be relevant in the future when SeriousEats simply doesn't do reviews any more? The linked guides are all from the previous SE regime - most of them are well over a year old and one of them is from 2011.

In the past year, the restaurant reviews have gone from well over a dozen per week, to the occassional "roundup" to none at all. The product reviews went from in-depth reviews and ratings of an entire category to the highly controversial "best 3" from a category to none at all.

SeriousEats is a recipe site now. I happen to like recipe sites, so I'm fine with it, but at some point you've got to make the decision as to what you want to be. I'd love to see a return to the old concept of a guide to food both inside and outside the home with some special focuses (Slice!), but I certainly don't want to see half-hearted attempts to placate that demographic with pretty links to 4 year old roundups.

(I just check the last full month's posts, and there are two "restaurant" reviews - one for Philly Cheesesteaks and one "where to eat at the Atlanta airport". There are also two single-item equipment reviews for the Thermopop and the Oxo Salad Dressing container.)

The Best Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago

@Dom - I'm not a big fan of Malnati's in general (cpd007 was the resident Malnati's enthusiast). That said, I don't think the frozen pies accurately represent the style. Once upon a time, the frozen pies were made in the same kitchens as the regular pies - they just par baked and froze them in house. Those pies were better. Now, all the pies are made in a commercial kitchen - they need a more consistent product that is designed for mechanical production. They really aren't the same - they have the basic contours but lack the thing that makes it special. Like the difference between a good Brooklyn slice and Domino's Brooklyn style - squint and they look similar, take a bite and be depressed...

Use This Stovetop Method for an Easy, No-Bake Fruit Crisp

@Kenji - I knew she had left a while ago but the two recipes were so similar in concept (although quite different in details) that I wondered if she might be freelancing. The ways of the Chris Kimball empire are mysterious and opaque - I assumed he owned your soul/intellectual property while employed but didn't know if he allowed freelancers.

The more you know... (Cue NBC music)

Use This Stovetop Method for an Easy, No-Bake Fruit Crisp

So, is Yvonne doing recipe development for ATK/Cook's Country again? Or are skillet top fruit crisps just part of the zeitgeist? My memory was jogged because I just listened to the ATK Radio Halloween podcast and they had a skillet top cherry crisp recipe from the June 2014 Cook's Country.

Why Candy Corn Deserves Our Respect: An Appreciation

There's always a handful of weirdos who like candy corn. Just like there must be some kid, somewhere, whose eyes light up when they get a Bit O'Honey or Mary Jane. ;)

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

I wish that there was a universal rule about garlic "cloves" - it's a useless description. When watching cooking shows, they universally seem to have giant garlic - cloves the size of my thumb. In the wild hinterlands of Illinois, garlic comes in golf-ball sized heads and cloves the size of the first digit of my pinkie. Won't someone think of us poor, benighted souls in the land of micro-garlic and put in a note like "3 cloves of minced garlic = 1 tablespoon" or the like? (I do note that the recipe itself does provide tablespoons, for which I'm grateful.)

I have two cans of Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes that I've been saving for sauce - does the recipe halve well? I'm not going to taint the Bianco's with two additional cans of cut-rate tomatoes... ;)

Popeyes-Style Chicken Tenders and Biscuits From 'Fried & True'

@Chellspecker - That "three-decimal-places Imperial equivalents to what were probably easy to use metric amounts" was a weight measurement for a teaspoon of baking soda - which no casual cook in their right mind would measure out. (And I'm an anal-retentive pizza guy who uses baker's percentages and weighs the salt levels in my dough.)

All other weights are given in simple ounces and half-ounces. Multiply them by 28.3 and you'll have the amount in grams. Feel free to round.

The Best Things We Ate in August

As I've mentioned on Twitter: Meat. Pie. How is this not a thing in the US?

There is a small Australian-style pie shop up near the Ed Sullivan Theatre called Pie Face that's not bad for fast food, but aside from that spot, Pleasant House Bakery in Chicago and Centerville Pie Company in Cape Cod (chicken pie), I've seen precious little meat pie in the States.

I'm somewhat notorious when visiting our London office for dragging everyone to pie shops for meat pie. Oh, Battersea Pie Station...

The Key to Turning Gyros Into Burgers: Defy Burger Orthodoxy

@snyderico - To be clear, I have no problem with editorial content "sponsored by" someone as long as it's not hawking a particular product. I am a little nonplussed that in this case sponsored editorial content and sponsored ads hawking a product (both by BofA) were next to each other on the main page and virtual indistinguishable - the only difference being a recognizable author name.

Ironically, the BofA deal must now be over, as this article has reverted to non-sponsored editorial and the sponsored ad is now gone. Flushed down the memory hole! :)

The Key to Turning Gyros Into Burgers: Defy Burger Orthodoxy

I do have to ad that both this and the loukaniko recipe look freaking delicious.

The Key to Turning Gyros Into Burgers: Defy Burger Orthodoxy

Crickey, every change to the Editorial/sponsored divide of SeriousEats just gets worse. First we had the huge uptick in Sponsored content after the rebranding of SeriousEats (killing off Slice, AHT, Talk, etc.)

Then we had the 'refresh' this week that removed the way the old site used color to differentiate sponsored vs. editorial and replaced it with a tiny 'Sponsored' tag in the picture and a 'SeriousEats Partners' / comments closed tag.

And now we have Sponsored editorial content - BBQ posts sponsored by BofA, some of which is editorial and some of which are ads.

Apparently, no one at SE headquarters watch John Oliver.

14 Essential Sichuan Eats (Beyond Hot Pot) in Chengdu and Chongqing

er, thin spaetzle, not "think" spaetzle...

14 Essential Sichuan Eats (Beyond Hot Pot) in Chengdu and Chongqing

The Suanla Fen seem similar in concept to spaetzle and, more specifically, think spaetzle, which often is allowed to flow into long, thin noodles.

Spacca Napoli's Jonathan Goldsmith on Italian Culture and the Power of Pizza

I'm so suggestible... I ended up taking the kids to Spacca Napoli last night. Followed up by a trip to Margie's down the block for a Fudge Atomic Sundae.

Spacca Napoli's Jonathan Goldsmith on Italian Culture and the Power of Pizza

I've been going to Spacca Napoli with my family since it opened (one of the staff was my youngest son's camp counselor). Jonathan has a special place there - you can feel the love and passion in the food and in the restaurant itself. I can't claim any special relationship with Jonathan, although we certainly recognize each other from long association, but he's always been warm and kind. Glad to see this piece on a great man and a great pizzeria.

8 Must-Visit Restaurants in Rome

People must really be starved for the opportunity to passionately argue about pizza if an article on Rome that didn't once mention a pizzeria devolved so quickly into an NYC pizza argument. :)

Broken Leg in Flagstaff = More Pizza!

So, I took my son in a Boy Scout trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. This would be my one opportunity to check out Caleb's Pizzicletta. I took my son and in-laws there the night before the trip. The pizza was delicious, the space was small but charming and Caleb was a gracious host (I let him know I was a Slicer). Great start to a trip.

4 days of rapids later, I suffered a severe break to my right tibial plateau and had to be air-lifted out to Flagstaff. Worst pain I can even imagine. Had two surgeries a week apart (an external stabilization followed by a knee reconstruction). (My son finished the trip with his Scout buddies and got home safe and sound).

I'm in a rehab center/nursing home until I get well enough to fly back to Chicago. A combination of pain meds and hospital food has seriously suppressed my appetite. Caleb's pizza isn't really deliverable, but I found salvation in the place right across the street from Pizzicletta - a place called Fratelli's.

Completely different style from Caleb's - this is 'American' or 'New York' style pizza. But it is excellent too! They take their pizza seriously - Stanislaus tomatoes, whole milk mozzarella, what seems like house made Italian sausage. Very tasty crust with good bones.

I have ordered pizza from Fratelli's twice now - its delicious (they've won Best of Flagstaff for 10 odd years). While I can't wait to get back to Chicago, Flagstaff is lucky to have two such great pizzerias.

I highly recommend Pizzicletta (get there early!) and Fratelli's.

Lime Meltways

Meltaways were one of the first cookies I made when I began my professional baking career. They're incredibly easy and their delicate, crumbly texture makes them terribly addictive. In this version, I made them with lime zest. But if you'd prefer another flavor—like lemon, vanilla bean or even black pepper—go for it. More

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala

The secret to our Chicken Tikka Masala is a salty yogurt-based marinade followed by intense charring on a hot grill. We purposely undercook our chicken so it can simmer in a creamy spiced tomato and cream sauce before serving. When done right, the sauce should be a multifaceted affair; a balanced blend of intense spice flavors with a gingery kick rounded off by the richness of cream and butter, with a splash of freshness and acid from tomatoes and citrus. As you bite into a chunk of chicken, the smokey char should work its way though to the forefront, to be slowly replaced by a new layer of spicing, this time intensified by its time on the grill. The chicken chunks should be juicy, moist, and tender. More

Philadelphia Butter Cake

Philadelphia Butter Cake is almost indescribably rich: if you can imagine Gooey Butter cake but minus the cream cheese, and with a base that is somewhat like a crushed, compressed danish, you're getting the right idea. More

My Pie Monday: Potatoes, Deep Dish, Eggs, and More!

Today we've got a gorgeous potato and thyme pie from Scott D, a Pequod's-style deep dish pizza from FredipusRex, and a seriously delicious-looking pie from Pizzacommander's pizza party (why didn't we get an invite?)...But that's not all—Norma's working her milk kefir starter, Professorplum shares a nice Margherita, Patrick B made a ham, egg, and cheese pie, and there are more tasty pizzas from FoolishPoolish, Bartonkt, dmcavanagh, Tdpl, TScarborough, ESNY1077 , thearrogantchef, and first time MPM'r Soles. More

The Pizza Lab: No-Roll, No-Stretch Sicilian-Style Square Pizza at Home

The ideal square pie needs a soft, moderately chewy, and pliant crust, with an almost fried crispness to the bottom. The layer of cheese should be thicker than on a traditional pizza, and as for the sauce, I like it with a hint of roasted garlic, a touch of herbs, and lightly cooked with a distinct sweetness and overt tomato flavor. I know—I'm a demanding guy, but I'm also willing to work for my pies. 23 takeout containers worth of leftovers,** 8 pounds of mozzarella, 16 pounds of flour, and more tomatoes than you can shake a stick at later, I finally achieved the pie of my dreams. Let me walk you through it. More