In Defense of St. Louis-Style Pizza

When I was 5 or 6 years old, my family went on a trip to southern Illinois to visit our extended family there. My aunt suggested a trip to Imo's. To this day, it was the only time I can remember refusing to eat "pizza". I took one bite and started complaining to mom, begging here to get us lunch *ANYWHERE* else. If you have a 5 year old kid refusing to eat your "pizza", then maybe its just straight bad. I can't understand how you, Kenji, liked it, perhaps it was simply wanderlust. Anyway, no, Imos is not good, regardless of whether you call it pizza, nachos, or anything else, its trash. As in, it belongs in the trash and never in someones mouth.

Shaved Beets and Radishes Pack This Winter Greens Salad With Flavor

>I'm afraid the first couple slices are always sacrificial

My mandoline has millimeter measurement markers for setting the thickness. Quite useful and no more sacrificial anything once you know the thickness you prefer. I didn't buy the mandoline with that in mind though, in fact I didn't notice those markers for years. Oh those wasted potatoes that could have been chips...

Butter and Sage Gnudi From 'Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food'

I think you're missing the recipe link...

Burger Toppings Week: The Amatriciana Burger

Does the chewiness of the pizza bianca not mess with the texture of the burger as a whole?

How to Make Perfect, Deliciously Smoky Pulled Barbecue Chicken


How fitting your name already sounds like "troll". Enjoy your Swanson canned chicken broth.

How to Make Perfect, Deliciously Smoky Pulled Barbecue Chicken

>The skin of the slow-smoked chicken was pale and flaccid—an undesirable
>trait I usually avoid by using higher heat—but that was of little concern >here, since I was planning to discard it anyway.

Seriously? That is incredibly wasteful and everything that is not serious eats. Clearly, despite its appearance and texture, the skin from a smoked chicken has an incredible amount of flavor. You could easily save it and finish grilling it yakitori style, or bake it in the oven until its crisp. Or barring that, what I do personally, make it into stock. Smoked chicken stock to be exact. And on that note, what are you doing with the bones you pulled the chicken off of? Are you throwing those away too? What a horrible waste. You take the bones, you take the skin, you put them in a pot and cover with water, put it on low and then the next day you have incredible smoked chicken stock.

Please fix this article to avoid instructing people to waste really good food.

Kenji's NYC Bucket List: What I'll Miss Most

I moved from Long Island to SF 10 years ago and it was a great decision. See you at the farmers market at the Ferry building Saturday mornings.

Varieties of Pasta

For extruded pastas, I usually use fine ground semolina flour and add about 40% of the weight of the flour in water.

For rolled pasta, I usually use fine ground semolina flour and add about 25% of the weight of flour in whole eggs, 5% of the weight in olive oil, and 10% of the weight in water.

Pizza peel slide...what is wrong?

Earlier on in my pizza making days, I would start with a dough ball and pull it out a little bit. If I was making a 16" pizza I'd pull the dough out to maybe 8" then transfer it to a floured peel. Inevitably, some of my pies would get stuck.

Then I started putting some corn meal on the peel along with the flour and that helped. I got a lot less sticking but on wetter doughs I'd still get ones that stick once in a while.

Eventually, I started pulling the dough most of the way to its final size on the bench, with plenty of flour. If I was making a 16" pizza I'd pull it to maybe 14" on the bench. Then transfer it to the peel. This took some work to be able to handle a dough that was already stretched somewhat thin and move it from the bench on to the peel without making any holes in it with my fingers. But, the benefit is that I had a well floured 14" dough round that I could easily pull to 16" on the peel and it wouldn't get stuck, even if I left it on the peel for 5 minutes it wouldn't stick, longer than it takes to cook it.

The reason, I think, is if you pull to 8" on the bench then to 16" on the peel, the only flour/cornmeal keeping it from sticking is what you already had on the peel. As you pull the dough, you make more surface area, and hence you need more flour/cornmeal to keep it from sticking to the peel.

Since I pull the dough to 14" on the bench with plenty of flour, the bottom side is already well floured, and evenly floured. So when I pull it 2 more inches on the peel, I'm not creating that much more surface area and hence the flour on the peel is plenty. Doing it this way, I don't need to use any corn meal. Just a light dusting of flour on the peel and then I'm all set, haven't had a pizza stick in a long time.

What cheese on white sauce pizza?

By the way, for white pies, I always prefer to use no sauce at all. The lack of sauce lets you add a bit of wetter toppings without sogging up the pizza much. Classic example, clam pies, where the real moisture comes right from the juice of the clams.

Another way I like white pies is to just bake the pie with cheese on top and whatever topping(s), then a minute before the pie is done you can take it out and drizzle cream over the top and pop it back in the oven to let the cream warm up and soak in and spread around.

If you put white sauce on pre-bake, most white sauces will end up soaking all the way into the dough, leaving the dough gummy and the pie lacking a distinct sauce component. Or if the white sauce is thicker then it can tend to dry out during the back and while your dough may not be gummy the pie as a whole won't necessarily end up being saucy.

What cheese on white sauce pizza?

Can you elaborate on your sauce? Aside from it being white, what is in it? Cream based? Roux based? Nut based?

Anyway, with white pies, you won't have the acidity from tomato sauce so to balance a rich white sauce, fatty cheese and fatty pepperoni, you need acid somewhere. You can use a brined feta to keep the white color of the pie while giving a little acid. Obviously don't go all feta or you'll have a kind of weird pizza. I'd just go mozzarella and provolone as the main cheeses, then crumbles of feta post bake.

Bright End-of-Summer Pies at Philadelphia's Bufad Pizza

>Tritora Salad($10), an unusual combination of fava beans

From the picture, I think you mean chickpeas, and I see greenbeans too.

Open Thread: What's Your Most Memorable College Dining Experience?

I attended a college that had a fair share of foreign students. I'm not saying that this happened because the guy was from China, I'm just saying it's an observation.

Yi was peculiar. The fire alarm went off during breakfast. There was Yi, freaking out, standing next to a belt toaster with smoke billowing out of it. Too freaked out to realize that as soon as it started burning, he could have just turned it off.

What did he put in the belt toaster that got stuck and caught fire? An ice cream cone. Why an ice cream cone?

"I wanted a toasted ice cream cone."

Drugs and alcohol were not involved in this.

Great job, Yi. A fantastic memory.

Reality Check: Burger King French Fry Burger

>its hard to really pick fault with a burger that costs a dollar.
>I agree fries may not be anything creative, but I find the standard BK burger to be ok for what it is at a dollar

I think the article is spot on. There is no leeway for Burger King because they've priced this thing at a dollar. The world doesn't need more one dollar burgers. They aren't doing anyone a favor with this, more a disservice.

Eat this Now: Beef Tartare on Koji Toast at Bar Tartine in San Francisco

>It's like MSG, minus the headache.

Serious Eats dispels this urban legend in other articles. I'd suggest to not continue to promote this as the same time.


A Norwalk juicer costs a pretty penny, but will last for decades. If you want to make high quality juices and are willing to pay the price then this is the best home option.

Open Thread: What's The Weirdest Thing You've Ever Grilled?

Smoked lasagna, nothing like it. Instead of baking the lasagna in an oven, i get the smoker up to 325 or so and smoke it for a few hours.

Equipment: We Test The New Breville Crispy Crust Countertop Pizza Oven

I commented on the Deni article but I'm guessing Kenji didn't catch it. You can get this thing much hotter with just a fan blowing on the outside of it. Here was my last comment:

I used to have one of these. Figured out a trick to use. You can put a fan next to the thing with the air blowing at the oven, this cools off the outside casing and causes it to stay on indefinitely. The trick is that you have to be careful about how fast the fan is blowing because as you're cooling the outside, the coil is staying on/hot in an attempt to get it back up to temp, but at the same time, the area between the two coils (where the pizza is cooking) gets ridiculously hot. I've actually straight up burned my pizza beyond recognition in less than maybe 2 minutes, so it definitely takes some fine tuning and trial and error. But try giving that a show, blasting the outside of cooler air to cause the coils to stay on and build up serious heat in the middle.

Enough, Paula! Nominations for our next Southern cooking star...

Ughhh... We need another "cooking star"?

New Orleans Eats

Both Peche and Cochon (restaurant, not butcher) have some great crawfish dishes on the menu and they are about half a mile from there. August had some amazing crawfish agnolotti on the menu when I was there last month, its pricey but the food there is on par with the best restaurants I've ate at anywhere.

Check Out Our New Vegetarian Recipes Page!

Awesome! Thanks much!

Healthy eating site

I really liked the vegan month this year and last year, and it would be even better if it wasn't a vegan month so much as a vegan and healthy eating section of serious eats, the same way burgers and za are treated. Just my 2 cents.

Ask The Food Lab: Does Vodka Sauce Really Need Vodka?


What about adding vodka to 1% ABV of the sauce and lightly simmering with a tight lid on? Would that not yield the ideal alcohol content more consistently?

Top 10 Tips For a First-Time Vegan

And my number 1 tip for going vegan is that you don't need to do it all at once. I started by removing most meats. Then I cut down on my use of dairy. Then I cut fish and seafood. Trying to do that all at once is incredibly challenging, going from a diet where every meal centers around meat to one that always centers around produce. If you switch to a mainly vegan diet over the course of a few weeks to a month then you can get used to it much more easily.

Top 10 Tips For a First-Time Vegan

Winter is a hell of a time to start a vegan diet. I know because I've been eating vegan most weekdays for the last 2 months and I've been longing for summer produce to keep things interesting. I buy 10-20 different veggies and fruits each weekend at the farmers market, but even then theres not much difference between kale, cabbage, chard and radish greens so its not 10 or 20 completely different things.

The Reviewer Card, the best way to get thrown out.

If I had a restaurant, I'd make sure every member of the staff knows that if someone comes in and flashes a "Reviewer Card", they are immediately asked to leave and informed police will be called promptly so they can be charged with trespassing if they do not leave promptly.

I actually can't wait to see which restaurant does this first.

Have you ever tasted your breadcrumbs?

Until today, I've always used unseasoned bread crumbs indiscriminately for recipes like meat loaf and meat balls and for breading eggplant/chicken parm, etc. I had never once tasted the unseasoned bread crumbs I'd buy before using them in a dish. Today, for the first time, I decided I'd taste the bread crumbs. I immediately noticed they weren't simply white bread, there was definitely whole grain. I looked at the packaging and noticed the ingredients had a laundry list of grains listed.

In any case, bread crumbs have never been an ingredient that I've given much thought too. Anyone ever taste their breadcrumbs?

Just bought a Bakers Pride P18S!

The oven at my (rented) house has been broken for over a month now and the slum lord is taking his time fixing it. I *was* baking lots of pizza, and I'm sick of waiting, so I ordered one of these babys:

It tops out at 680F and has seperate top and bottom heat controls. NY style pizza is on the menu first when it shows up. I'll make sure to submit some MPM photos.

Mozz question #2 - acidity

I've heard/read that after you seperate curd from whey and before heating/pulling you can hold the curds around 90-100F for a few hours and that this will develop acidity and flavor. Anyone with experience doing that?

Problem making fresh mozzarella from milk...

So I made my first attempt at turning milk to cheese. Problem is all the videos/photos I see of people making fresh mozz, their cheese comes out way softer and more velvety than mine. My fresh mozz is coming out the texture of a dry/aged mozz. This isn't bad, its just not what I want. I'm using high quality, really fresh, raw milk and the flavor is spot on.

So, anyone who makes their own mozz that can point out why this would be happening? Am I squeezing out too much whey when pulling the cheese?

Here's the method I compiled after reading lots of different sets of instructions:

1. Combine a half gallon milk with ~1/4tsp citric acid (mixed with water first to avoid shocking the milk) and heat to 89 degrees farenheit and hold it there for 15 minutes

2. Add in rennet (again mixed with water to avoid shocking the milk). All the recipes I found said to use rennet tablets, which I couldn't find so I'm using liquid rennet and was told when purchasing that it's "double strength". I'm not sure what that means but since rennet is just an enzyme I figure the amount doesn't matter too much as long as its not way too much or way too little, so I went with 8 small droplets, maybe 2ml worth.

3. Hold the milk at 89F for 10 minutes then bring it to 105F and hold for another 10 minutes until you get a clean break between curds and whey.

4. Strain off the whey and squeeze the curds to force out extra whey.

5. Heat the curds to 125F and hold it there while you pull the mozz

6. Let the pulled balls of mozz cool in some salted whey.

Of course I continued on to boil the remaining whey to make ricotta which came out excellent. And again, the mozz flavor was great, but the texture was not at all like the beautiful fresh mozz I'm used to.

Any thoughts which steps I'm messing up here? Anyone make their own cheese at all?

Policy for toppings on pizza by the slice

The Daily Slice from today showcases a by-the-slice specimen where a cheese slice had toppings applied post-bake/pre-reheat. What are you're thoughts on this?

I am opposed. In fact, if it was my pizzeria I don't think I'd even allow it. Without getting into a long rant and far too much detail, I think toppings added post-bake/pre-reheat are a hallmark of mediocre (or worse) pizza.

The bathroom at the Spotted Pig

So I was in New York a bit ago and stopped by the Spotted Pig for some LaFrieda beef. The quality of that meat is unassailable. However, I found the burger and the accompanying fries to be overwhelmingly salty, and I like salt.

That aside, I used the bathroom in the upstairs area before leaving, the stall on the left to be precise, and I noticed two striking things.

Frisk-of-all, that upstairs bathroom smells pleasantly like fries, which is a welcome distraction from what bathrooms usually smell like. I'm pretty sure the vent/window is right by the exhaust covering the fryolators in the kitchen. Not a bad touch, though I can't at all imagine it was on purpose.

And second-of-ly, I noticed someone had etched "No more salt PLEASE!" into the wall at eye-level above the commode. I laughed. Whoever that was, good job.

Does the type/locale of your water make a difference in dough?

I've had tons of people say to me, or have over heard them tell others, that the reason you can't get good NY pizza outside of NY is because of the water. To which I always interject, the reason they can't get good NY pizza outside of NY is because they can't find anyone who makes it right. Its not about the water, but the process. I don't dispute the water has slightly different trace amounts of minerals/chemicals, but I find it extremely unlikely such trace amounts affect taste, texture or color of bread and/or pizza dough.

So that being said, has anyone ever done any side-by-side comparisons of doughs using distilled water vs. your local water? If so, what did you find?

Response to the journalist kicked out of Tribeca restaurant

So I assume many of us Serious Eaters have seen this article that was linked:

And also this response to it that was linked today:

Anyone have any thoughts on this? It feels to me like the "former waitress" who did it for a *whole* 2 years never actually worked in a truly nice restaurant and doesn't understand fine dining (which I presume Tribeca is fine dining).

A point-by-point rebuttal to her response:

- "Eye Contact"
I've been to really nice restaurants and the servers have gone out of their way to not be noticed. Forgot about eye contact, I mean ninja-napkin folding without anyone even noticing, glasses filling up as the table is distracted at how good the food is, etc. Never have I been in a nice restaurant and felt like I had to make eye contact with the waiter. Now that is awkward.

- "Don't make a mess"
Note to the "former waitress", clear the table and its not an issue. No ones going to be throwing "paper", "scraps", or "gunk" on their plate that has food on it. Second, why are there paper, scraps and gunk on the table in the first place? What kind of table setting is that?

- "The check"
I didn't realize how traumatic of an experience it is for this "former waitress" to handle the incredibly detailed act of ... handling the check. Seriously? If you get angry at a customer in my restaurant for how the customer handles the check, you're out of here. Try being a reasonable person.

- "Stay out of the kitchen"
I agree that a customer shouldn't walk into the kitchen on their own. But acting like its sacred space where customers can never set foot is ridiculous. Got something to hide, eh? Take a note from the French Laundry, everyone is offerred the opportunity to observe within the kitchen, during service. They're proud of what they do

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Linguine is mixed with pieces of tender chicken and broccoli flowerets and coated with a rich, satiny Alfredo sauce featuring Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, milk, Parmesan cheese and black pepper to make a quick and fabulous dish. More