• 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).

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. :)

Ask a Cicerone: How Can I Improve My Homebrewing?

@SE1942 - Sam Calagione is the founder of Dog Fish Head and has nothing to do with the Cicerone program started by Ray Daniels in Chicago. "Cicerone" is actually a trademark of Ray's - you have to have gone thru his particular program to use the term.

Cicerone is definitely *not* a long-standing term of art for "beer sommelier" - it simply means "tour guide" in Italian. Ray picked it because it had a similar semi-exotic sound as "sommelier", it vaguely fits ("guide") and he could trademark it (because no one else uses Cicerone to mean beer sommelier).

Ironically, The Craft Beer Institute's Cicerone program is probably the least rigorous of the major beer educational programs - to become a "certified beer server" (level 1) you just need to take an online exam. The Institute for Brewing and Distilling's Beer Academy program (leading to Accredited Beer Sommelier) is far more vigorous.

Ask a Cicerone: How Can I Improve My Homebrewing?

I always find it weird that a Chicagoan has created a program that uses an Anglicized Italian word for "tour guide" that, in Italian, sounds like what a Spaniard would call a pork rind. Cicerone is not a storied Italian tradition - ask an Italian what a cicerone is and they'd probably mumble something about museum docents. Why Ray felt the need to make up a faux-talian word is beyond me.

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Chicago

@Josh - I looked up Zephyr for nostalgia's sake and discovered it was owned by Byron Kouris of Byron's Hot Dogs fame. Zephyr closed due to the rent going up too high - although pretty much everyone acknowledges that it had been struggling for years after they bought out the currency exchange and expanded the restaurant. The last few times I went it was dirty and pretty empty - the coolest parts of the space had been closed off too.

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Chicago

@emgrae - You know, I've always really wanted to love Bobtail (love the story behind it) but I've taken my entire family there on several occasions and the general feeling was "meh". They have interesting sounding flavors but I've yet to be impressed by the taste of any of them.

@Josh - I hear ya. Go for some pizza at Spacca Napoli and think "north to Zephyr or south to Margie's?" Although Zephyr really was falling apart in its final years, it's still sad that it got replaced by one of those faux-Irish pubs.

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Chicago

I should have mentioned that the cupcakes at Lickety Split are from Flirty Cupcakes, so they are good all by themselves.

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Chicago

Totally agree about Margie's - the ice cream itself is of only middling quality (they use Kemp's) but that fudge... An Atomic Fudge Sundae (hot fudge + magic shell) with cheesecake ice cream is pretty incredible.

I'm very partial to Lickety Split, which is an adorable little frozen custard, bakery and candy shop on North Broadway. The Crazy Cake concrete is crazy but so good - they take any one of their half dozen fresh cupcakes and blend it into your choice of custard. Red Velvet blended into vanilla and topped with sprinkles is such a ridiculously over-the-top bit of deliciousness - great custard, the texture of the cake and the little ribbons of cream cheese frosting is amazing.

Taste Test: The Best Caesar Salad Dressings

I don't want to be a conspiratorialist, but the change in format came at the same time as a bunch of other cost-related changes. The new format can only be slightly cheaper to produce (it's not THAT hard to put the numerical ranks next to the product links), so maybe it's on the revenue side. The new format is far less likely to annoy advertisers. The new SE format is much more like glossy lifestyle publications that have nothing bad to say about current and potential advertisers.

The Best Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago

@monitorhead - Check out the deep dish recipe here, it's the best "corn flavored" deep dish recipe out there. It's very authentic - I actually prefer it to any of the Malnati/Pizano's pizzas.

The Best Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago

@dtremit - Yup. I knew the old locations (ate at both) but didn't want to come across as a travelogue. ;)

They were actually open simultaneously for a while in the early 90s when I first moved to Evanston. I also agree that they are not as good as they once were. But Carmen's always had more of a standard dough crust (ala Connie's or even Jake's) rather than a deep dish crust like Pizano's or Malnati's. Although Pizano's is not very deep on most occasions.

A Brief Ode to Fried Clams, the Best Fried Food in the World

@AnnieNT - Woodhouse Fish Company in SF serves whole belly Ipswich (MA) clams. Both the Market St and Fillmore ST locations.

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