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Sausage City: Butcher & Larder's Rob Levitt on How to Make Sausage

@ Henry - I mix my sausage with latex gloves on, and the "upside down patty stuck to your hand" test still works just fine. The gloves seem to be about as sticky as your hands are. Plus, clean up is much easier, and I don't have to worry about raw meat under my fingernails...

Building a Pizzeria: A Pizzicletta Update

Thanks for the update, I've missed reading them! Glad that things are going well. Now to convince the wife that we need to take a vacation to Flagstaff...

Chili Roasted Pepper Salad

This looks really good! Any suggestions on something I could sub in for the zucchini? I really can't stand the stuff...

Denver: Fast Casual Deliciousness at Park Burger

I have tried their sister restaurant (Park & Co.) and found the burger quite delicious. Haven't tried the original yet, but it's on my list.

Poll: Cornmeal on Pizza Crust, Way or No Way?

@duvelusa - I also use Semolina flour, ever since someone on here suggested it as an alternative to cornmeal. Still provides the ball-bearing action, but doesn't burn and since it's wheat it just blends into the flavor of the pie rather than adding a different note. Couldn't find coarse-ground semolina locally, so I ordered some off Amazon and it has worked great.

Poll: Pizza vs Wings Super Bowl SnackDown

We had 2 different crock-pots of buffalo wing dip, but no pizza. So I guess wings was the closest. But I probably would have preferred pizza...

Pizza Obsessives: Craig Lindberg and His Neapolitan Garage

Wow, great interview. Very inspiring. Makes me think I've gotten complacent with the pies I make at home and need to start experimenting again...

The Occasional Vegetarian's Spinach Saag with Spiced Potato Balls

Wow, those potato balls look awesome! Will have to try them soon.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Knife

I have a 7" Shun Santoku that is definitely my favorite. I also have an 8" Shun chef's knife, but I find I only reach for it when I'm slicing meat or sushi, when the extra inch of length, steeper curve, and thinner blade come in handy. Long live the Santoku!

Gift Guide: Kitchen Starter Kit For Recent College Grads

Great list! I just got an enameled Le Creuset to complement my 7qt Lodge non-enameled cast-iron, and definitely notice the difference in sauce taste. Tomato sauce, chili, and green chile all picked up a funny metallic taste in the lodge, but that is gone in the Le Creuset. The lodge will still get plenty of use for frying and browning meat, however!

Grilled Hasselback Potatoes With Garlic and Parmesan

Wow, those look really cool. Will have to try them soon.

Fast Food: Wendy's Chili

@Jim-bob: I second the need for a canned chili taste-off. Sometimes canned chili is just too convenient (i.e going camping, or are suddenly hit with a chili-dog craving), and I always struggle in the grocery store aisle.

And I will also add my praise to Wendy's chili. It's surprisingly good... when I was a humble college student I would raid the dollar menu and get a $1 cup of chili, pour it over a $1 sour-cream-and-onion baked potato, and add a side salad, chicken nuggets, and a drink. It was a ton of food for $5 and kept this hungry college kid going.

I'll still get it occasionally, though now it'll only be on road trips when a stop at Wendy's is the only reasonable option.

Barbecue: Pastrami

@CharlesAssam - Not sure where you are located, but Albertson's carries it if they are in your area. Costs about ~$4, rather than $13 shipped via Amazon.

From Behind the Bar: Real Estate

I'm going to take the bartender's side on this and say that he was in the right. I think it would be different if these guys were regulars who you could then cut some slack if they were having an off night, but most bartenders know their regulars and it certainly sounds like these guys weren't regulars. It also sounds like it was unlikely this guy was a DD, as they were coming straight from work and the other guys were drinking less than a drink per hour anyway. Most DDs are there with a large group for the long haul, and the other drinkers are going to more than make up for DD's teetotaling by ordering plenty of beverages. I've been DD plenty of times, and for me that still means having 1 or 2 drinks to start of the night, and then switching to coke/red bull/appetizers/whatever. Water-drinker is costing the bar money and almost certainly not going to make up for it with good word of mouth, and the bad word of mouth of people who weren't going to spend any money anyway is something most businesses can do without. As long as the bartender is polite, explains the situation, and doesn't eject the "patron" from the premises... I'm on Michael's side on this one.

Chili Con Queso

@kagredon - Thingstea is correct. The traditional version of this dip is a block of Velveeta cheese and a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes dumped in a crockpot. Ro-tel is basically diced tomatoes with diced green chiles and some vaguely Tex-Mex spices, and can be hard to find outside of Texas.

The traditional version isn't cheffy or fancy, but it surprisingly delicious for how little work is involved.

Chorizo Stuffed JalapeƱos

These sound like a delicious way to use up the chorizo I have left over from yesterday. I might try putting these in the smoker the next time I have a BBQ as a change-of-pace from the more traditional jalapeno poppers I normally do.

Chain Reaction: Friendly Atmosphere and Fair Burgers at Hamburger Mary's

There's a Hamburger Mary's near my office, and I've been there for lunch and happy hour a few times. I agree with your review on all accounts. The burgers are solid but nothing special. However, the atmosphere is very lively and friendly and the one near me has a great patio and good happy hour specials, so it's a pretty fun place to go.

Pizza Fail ... Woh Woh!

In fairness, some frozen pizzas state to "place directly on oven rack" in their baking directions. Given how round that pizza appears to be I wouldn't be surprised if it was of the frozen variety. Prior to discovering the joys of homemade pizza, I had a few frozen pizzas drop some bits onto the floor of the oven... but never anything approaching this.

Dinner Tonight: Apple, Almond, and Smoked Mozzarella Farro Salad

I went to a cooking class a few months back and learned to how to make a "Farrotto" -- basically Risotto using Farro instead of rice. It was pretty delicious. Fast forward to a few days ago, and the wife and I decided to make Farrotto at home. They neglected to mention at the cooking class that Farro costs $13/lb at Whole Foods (didn't have it at King Soopers). I'm still looking forward to making my Farrotto, but when a grain costs as much as a decent steak it makes for a tough purchase.

Soy-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looks like a great recipe! How long will this vinaigrette typically last, and do you store it in the fridge?

Soy-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looks like a great recipe! How long will this vinaegrette typically last, and do you store it in the fridge?

The Best Surface For Baking Pizza: Finale

Great series! Thanks for doing all this work. Now I just have to decide whether I want the Emile Henry or the Lodge Logic to replace my aging cheap-o stone...

Building a Pizzeria: Behind-the-Scenes

I love these posts. Sending good luck your way!

Why You Should Really Own a Smoker

@Burger365 -- I started off with a cabinet-style propane smoker as well, and loved it. But then I moved into a condo where I couldn't have charcoal or propane, so I sold my propane smoker and bought a Masterbuilt 30 inch electric smoker. (

As easy as the propane smoker was, the Masterbuilt is even easier, and I love it even more. You literally just punch in the temperature you want and it will maintain it within a couple of degrees, no matter what the outside temp is (verified with a couple of thermometers). With my propane smoker I normally had to watch it pretty close for the first couple of hours as the amount of gas you needed would vary depending on outside temp and if it was windy. But the electric is drop-dead simple, and no worries about replacing the LP tank or the tank running out in the middle of your smoke (which happened to me once).

My only complaint is that I wish the smoker box was a little bigger -- wood chunks have to be broken down pretty small to fit.

Chain Reaction: Red Robin

I also find RR's burgers to be a cut above most of the big chains, and the wife likes them to. So we end up going there about twice a year when we don't feel like cooking and it's convenient. The A1 peppercorn burger is my favorite, but that burger alone without fries or drink is 1000+ calories so I really have to think about it.

And the seasoned salt is definitely a must for their fries. They'll sell you a giant bottle for like $3 as well -- I use it on fries and mashed potatoes I make at home.


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