Josh Mandel

Win a Copy of 'Baked Occasions'

Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee with Orange Buttermilk Sorbet, a recipe from an old issue of CHOCOLATIER.

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Puff Pastry

I love it when people use Martha Stewart as an example of a top-flight chef.

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

Reading over both the article and the comments, it sounds like the best stock would be made with a combination of breasts and feet.

Win a Copy of 'Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food'

Boeuf en Daube a la Albert Stockli, a recipe my parents used to make. Totally weird recipe, with red wine, olives, orange juice, lots of anchovies!

Should You Refrigerate Tomatoes? Further Testing Says...

The world has gone topsy-turvey! Next, you're going to tell us that you CAN'T actually rid your hands of garlic smell with stainless steel, or that you CAN'T fetch warts with a dead cat and some stump water!

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

I've got a pot in the oven as we speak, in its fourth hour.

If nothing else, it's worth it for the way it's perfumed the house/neighborhood.

Win a Copy of 'Fried & True'

Buttermilk, cast-iron pan, triple-dipped so that it's unbelievably crunchy!

The Real Reason Sugar Has No Place in Cornbread

It's really strange how insistent some people are about the version of some food category or another (in this case, cornbread) is "correct" and "traditional" and "authentic" and others are not.

If you only read one page of one foodie book in your life, make it page 14 of Volume 1 of "Modernist Cuisine," on the myth of tradition. You'll never think of recipes in absolutes of authenticity again.

Taste Test: 1 Day, 23 Pop-Tart Flavors

Why You Should Stop Boiling Your Oatmeal and Start Baking It

Yvonne, many years ago, CI (while you were still there, I think) printed a recipe from a subscriber that described steaming oatmeal. Put a steamer insert in a pot, then fill the pot with enough water to submerge the steamer. Bring to a boil, add the oatmeal to the steamer, allow the oatmeal to boil in the steamer, for two minutes, then remove the steamer insert and pour out enough of the water to be below the steamer line. Put the steamer w/oatmeal back in the pot, cover, and let steam for 10 minutes (no need to put the heat on under the pot).

Oatmeal cooked this way is so fluffy and light that we've never gone back to regular oatmeal. I'm going to try this baked oatmeal, but really, it's gonna be hard to beat the steamed!

Taste Test: 1 Day, 23 Pop-Tart Flavors

I'm holding out for a tasting of all the varieties of Kellogg's Danish Go-Rounds.

Taste Test: 1 Day, 23 Pop-Tart Flavors

Why buy them when you can make them yourself?

Requiem for an Egg Cream: In Search of a New York Classic

Having at last tried an egg cream made with Fox's U-Bet, can somebody PLEASE explain to me the fondness for that particular syrup? Is it just because it's made in Brooklyn? The chocolate flavor is negligible; it's mostly just sweet. Is this a triumph of tradition over taste?

Classic Egg Creams

After decades of hearing about the Fox's U-Bet, I finally tried some. The flavor is about as far removed from chocolate as I think a product can get before simply being called "chocolate-colored sugar syrup." Despite being untraditional, I think even Hershey's syrup (or, better yet, Hershey's Special Dark syrup) would bring an egg cream a lot closer to being identifiable as chocolate.

Win a Copy of 'Sweet and Vicious: Baking With Attitude'

Marcel DeSaulnier's recipe for "Death By Chocolate," seven layers of brownies, ganaches, and mousses. I pull it out when I need to absolutely blow away everyone and the arteries they rode in with.

Bake the Book: Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes With Black Raspberry Buttercream From 'Fruitful'

They look and sound delicious. Can't wait to try these!

Where to Find the Best Ice Cream in Chicago

Sigh. I miss Zephyr.

How I Got My Degree From Hot Dog University

Do the students at Hot Dog U ever play against the Hamburger U students in Oak Brook?

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

My father's fave is duck sausage! (Preferably that he made himself.)

One-Skillet Crispy Salmon with Mustardy Lentils

Westbrae makes canned lentils, but I'm almost certain they're not Puy. I've never seen Puy lentils canned. Kerry has used them in more than one recipe, though. Kerry, where do you buy them, and who makes them?

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs

Kenji addresses sous vide earlier up in the comments; just do a search on the page for sous vide.

I tried Kenji's 11-minute steaming for HB eggs yesterday and had the same experience as KillerB above: definitely undercooked yolks.

Maybe there's too much difference in the properties of eggs to come up with a one-size-fits-all recipe.

Teeny Lamothe's Pear & Goat Cheese Tart

Making this tonight!

I am stymied by one little detail. I don't have a baking sheet large enough to fit two 12"-diameter tarts -- at least, not until after they've had their edges folded in. I suspect this calls for a baking sheet a lot larger than standard at-home equipment.

Gadgets: Colorful, Disposable Paper Bakeware That Works Like a Charm

I would also be concerned about the coating on the inside of the paperware, which is most likely plastic.

A Brief Guide to the Wonderful World of Entenmann's Doughnuts

I'm astounded that *anyone* likes the coating on the "Chocolate" donuts. Every few years, I succumb to the excellent-looking donuts and buy a box. Then I'm inevitably astounded at how waxy and UNchocolatey that coating is. When you said you were "waxing poetic" on snack cakes, I thought, "Oh, she's talking about that sweet, almost unflavored coating on the Entenmann's Chocolate Donuts!"

Back Of The House: The Life of a Cook's Illustrated Test Cook

I've been a subscriber to CI since the first issue, and I love it. Even though some of the recipes have been done to death (roasting turkey comes to mind), I still learn new techniques from every issue.

Two things I don't care for. One is Chris Kimball's editorials, which I gave up reading after about Issue 3. If I wanted to read old-timey memoirs, I'd subscribe to the Farmer's Almanac. The other is the marketing department's heavy-handedness. I used to give CI subscriptions as gifts, but not anymore, because I know that anyone I give the gift to is going to get flooded with try-this-book-and-send-it-back-if-you-don't-like-it postcards, repeated offers for free issues, emails, and renewal notices up the wazoo. In a couple of cases, my gift recipients started receiving these offers even before they received their first issue! I ended up embarrassed to have gotten my friends on the CI mailing list, when all I was trying to do was to send them a gift.

Substitutes for conventional gelatin?

So there are a lot of dishes I'd love to make that call for gelatin. Trouble is, there are members of my family who Will Not Eat Pork (not for religious reasons, but because pigs are so intelligent). What do I do?

I remember well the big Emes Kosher Gelatin scam, so "Kosher Gelatin" is probably out. I've heard of "fish gelatin," which I'd be happy to use, but I haven't heard anything about how well it does compared to pig- and cow-based gelatin, or how to substitute it.

I've also seen carrageenan-based gelatin subs. Do any of those work, and, if so, how do you substitute?

Any guidance would be appreciated. I'm happy to place a big order for one of the so-called Modernist ingredients...