Staff Picks: Burger Places with Stand-Out Sides

Isn't addicting on the list of banned words? Because its on pic 9.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Donabe Hot Pot and Hot Pot Book

9 hour BBQ pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce... in the smoker for Christmas Eve tonight!

Video: Heritage Pigs with Matt Jennings and Mike LaScola

It's going to take me quite some time to get that photo out of my head!

Deconstructing the Bookplate

I live in New Zealand so it will probably be a fair few weeks till I get mine!

The Food Lab: How To (Sort Of) Make Naan at Home

You should check out Heston Blumenthals "perfect" chicken tikka masala in his 'Further Adventures in Search of Perfection'. Maybe it would a bit better than the other recipe you've tried from that book....

Updating Traditional Hawaiian Island Foods

Sooooo.... much... opportunity.... for SPAM related comments..... must resist....

TwoMoms in The Raw Bars are the BEST but a little bit pricy!

Sorry, I don't think Hormel makes a raw, gluten free version of SPAM.

Should Meat Eaters Slaughter Their Own Meat?

I read somewhere that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is only eating meat he has killed himself for a whole year as a 'personal challenge'...

David Chang Strikes Back at Kenji!

Ah woops didn't see that the OP included those Tweets, sorry.

David Chang Strikes Back at Kenji!

Some more recent gems from Chang:
"@crowdingthepan i see but, @seriouseats essentially attacks on one of my kids, he knows how pricing runs in restaurants, he knows better."

"would love to see list of sponsors that have paid @seriouseats, lots of smiles to your face and knives in your back. watch ur back chefs"

"funny all this time @seriouseats wants @momofuku @momomilkbar to contribute to their sandwich & cookie hall of fame party this"

He's such a little kid....

A grill for my 5th floor apartment!

An Altoids tin grill.. only uses one piece of charcoal at a time!

Sous vide problems


Anyway, some of your problem might be that the salt is drawing some liquid out and poaching instead of sous-videing it, which draws stuff out of the meat and into the liquid, like making a stock, and turns the meat grey. You could try either salting them around a day before cooking and then patting them dry or salting them after the sous-vide cooking.

Dave Arnold of Cooking Issues has a great primer on sous-vide/low-temperature cooking here.

He also does a second installment on low-temperature cooking without a vacuum that can be found here. Maybe that could solve some of your problems.

Harvesting lactobacilli in yogurt to cultivate sourdough?

I think however your sourdough starter tastes will depend on your local microbes and those already present on the yeast. If you want a specific tasting starter, it would probably be best to buy a already cultivated one.

How to eat delicously, without a lot of ingredients?

Creme brulee - Eggs, cream, sugar and maybe vanilla or any other flavourings. Seems like eggs, dairy and sugar is a magic combination!

Sourdough bread is about as few ingredients as it gets: flour, water and salt.

Harvesting lactobacilli in yogurt to cultivate sourdough?

There are two types of lactobacillus culture: thermophilic (in yoghurt) and mesophilic (buttermilk). Thermophilic bacteria are most comfortable at high temperatures (hence the insulated and heated yoghurt makers), while mesophilic at lower or room temperatures. Since you'll most likely be storing your starter at room temperature, I'd say use buttermilk for it.

You could probably even use a culture for a cheese, maybe look for a particularly floral/sweet cheese to get a floral/sweet starter. I'm taking a stab in the dark here but maybe a culture for a really sweet. nutty, buttery Gouda or something would work nicely. Gouda uses mesophilic bacteria, I think the type of culture you'd use is called Mesophilic-M. Good luck!

Bad taste or just plain ignorance?

I think Serious Eats is a perfect example of the balance that we should all have between the 'haute' and the 'not' - everything from homemade ricotta to fast food hamburgers! Its something really special to be part of a community like this, where we can communicate with and get knowledge from people of every ethnicity, background and walk of life.

As Meat guy pointed out, there's more to life than good taste. A while ago, Kenji did an article on Roast Beef Po' Boys. He poured all his chef training into the sandwich and compared it to the original. He was quite surprised when his version won. But he wrote a fantastic little piece and the end of the article, which I've got here:

I think the answer all comes down to the fact that when it comes to food, "perfection" is as much about context as it is about technique. To be honest, if Tracey's were to change their sandwich and start serving this tweaked-out version, I probably wouldn't be as happy with it. There's something about sitting at the hightop bar table with the doors wide open and the Saints game playing in the background that begs for the simpler flavors of Gravy Master and garlic powder, just as there are times when nothing tastes better than a cheap frozen pre-made dumpling, bowl of neon-orange mac & cheez, or even a fast-food hamburger.
In the end, what this testing really showed was that yes, better technique will yield what in a vacuum can be considered to be better end results, but more importantly, that there is a dimension to food beyond flavor. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge... No wait a minute. That's the twilight zone. Never mind.
What I mean to say is, food tastes good, and the thing that makes it taste good isn't necessarily just that it tastes good.

PS: Here's the original article

Nominate fellow SE'rs for Reader Awards!

1. Tupper Cooks
2. dbcurrie (does she qualify, being an SE contributor?)
3. Monsieur_Ghislain
4. dmcavanagh (I want his pizza!)
5. ?
6. dbcurrie
7. foolishpoolish

Tasting raw ground beef / hamburger for seasoning.

Some people tear off a piece, put it on a plate and microwave on high for a little while and then taste that.

Would brining steak work as well as brining chicken?

It turns the outside of the steak a bit of a depressing grey colour, it does the same to chicken and pork but we don't notice it because of the already pale colour of those meats.

Multigrain pizza dough recipe?

I baked this amazing bread from the Fresh Loaf twice last week, it uses wheat germ, some wholewheat flour and bulghur wheat. The intense wholewheat flavour is fantastic and I bet it would be great as pizza dough. I found that it needed a little more water though:

What do with tinned cherries?

They're pitted morello cherries, not in juice (just a sugar/acid/water mix). Thanks!

Runny yolk, way or no way?

Yes! Runny egg yolk is the perfect sauce for the steak you have sitting underneath the egg....

Cook the Book: Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

I must say, the two recipes from this book are two of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Completely unpretentious and not at all restauranty-fancy, they look like artworks!

Healthy recipes for person having a diet

... then you deepfry it.... :P

Sous vide eggs question

Though in his Sous Vide Supreme review Kenji had some trouble with the slow cooked egg - he thought maybe it had got stuck in a hot spot in the machine. Maybe its a problem if the egg is touching the walls or floor of the machine?

Sicilian Pizza Grilled Cheese

Yesterday I made Kenji's Sicilian Pizza. Unfortunately, I was inattentive as it baked and the entire crust was scorched to an unappealing black. I trimmed the crusts off and managed to salvage the pizza, but I definitely missed that olive-oil-fried crackly crust.

I had leftovers the next day, and so I did the only thing that a sane man could do. I sandwiched two pieces together, sauce/cheese side in, and made a Sicilian Pizza Grilled Cheese.

What do with tinned cherries?

I have a big jar of preserved cherries sitting in my fridge right now, and I want to use them up for something so I can use the jar for a sourdough starter. I know, its a stupid reason. What do you think I could do with them? I was thinking maybe some kind of sauce I could use for meats like game.
Thanks for any suggestions.

Shaping high hydration pizza?

The other night I had an epic pizza FAIL. I had prepared a sourdough 80% hydration pizza dough with the stretch and fold technique and a 3 day cold ferment. I had used it to bake a couple of great ciabatti over the week. The problem was I just couldn't get the dough shaped. It stuck to my hands and wasn't strong enough to stretch. Do you have any tips on shaping very wet pizzas?

What goes in your Muffaletta?

For a project on my blog, I'm trying to recreate a muffaletta with entirely homemade ingredients: cheese, pickles, meats, everything. So I need a little advice on a number of issues:
Should the provolone be smoked or not, and mild or sharp?
Should the mozzarella be fresh or dry, cows milk or buffalo?
In addition to the mortadella, what other meats should I use: coppa, ham, salami etc?
Should the bread be very airy like a focaccia or denser?
What herbs go into the olive salad?
Any comments on muffalettas in general would be appreciated.

Ever heard of Geepas Meat Grinders?

I've been looking for a meat grinder for quite some time, and here in NZ, it's a bit more involved than just following an Amazon or link. I've found this 2000W one (a 'Geepas GMG-761') for a decent price and I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience with Geepas as a brand.
Thanks for your help!
PS: Here is the page I'm buying it from.

Raisins in Sourdough Starter

I've seen quite a few recipes for sourdough recently that include some raisins or raisin soaking fluid in the recipe. I've been wondering why they are used, is it because they contain enzymes that break starch down into sugar to make it easier for the yeasts to digest?
Thanks for your help!

Sous Vide Question: Convection Currents

The Real McGee

Ok, I want to buy the 'On Food and Cooking' book by Harold McGee that Kenji refers to so much. There seem to be two different books by that title though. Which one is the 'Real McGee", i.e. the one that Kenji uses:
This one
this one?
Thanks for your help.

What are your favourite ingredients right now?

I was just interested to see what exotic and unusual ingredients the Serious Eats community have fallen in love with recently. I'm living in New Zealand and I was thinking I would get some interesting responses with ingredients I've never heard of.

Right now my favourites are probably venison, star anise and pickled chillis. What about you?

Seasoning for Veal

I am cooking a veal rack for dinner next week and I've been wondering what seasonings to use on it. I was thinking that I'd use tarragon and a little bit of garlic, nothing too strong or it could overpower it.

I plan to use a cooking method based on Kenji's perfect prime rib but seal it in an oven bag for the first stage. I was wondering if anyone had any interesting seasoning ideas for veal: herbs, spices, wine etc?

Thanks for your help!

Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot

I was putting up a bunch of these today and thought that some of you Serious Eaters might be interested in trying them. I started with five pounds of Mayan Sweet onions, peeled then sliced them thin in the food... More

Uses for Gluten free bread

I got some gluten-free bread for my sister who was visiting over Christmas, as a change from pumpernickel. (It's actually wheat she has a problem with, but of course gluten-free is also wheat-free.) Anyway, as it turns out, it's really... More