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Everything You Can Do With a Jar of Marinated Peppers

Pickled, spicy, sweet, marinated, puréed—jars of peppers keep piling up in my fridge. Some pimentos here; pepperoncini there. More ajvar than one non-Balkan person can reasonably consume in months. A couple weeks ago, while I was steeped in the middle of a major fridge clean-out crisis, I got to thinking—why am I not using these things every day? More

Tea Essentials: The Only Teaware You Really Need

If you're just starting out with tea, it's hard to know which of these gadgets you actually need and which only get in the way. Most tools, which some tea sellers aggressively push on customers who don't know better, decidedly fall into the latter category. This is a no-nonsense guide to the former. More

Tour Guide and Author Lesley Tellez on What Everyone Gets Wrong About Mexican Food

Americans have never been more curious about and hungry for real Mexican cooking. But generations of prejudice and misinformation don't disappear overnight, and there's no shortage of myths and half-truths about Mexican food still out there. So I reached out to Mexican food expert and cookbook author Lesley Tellez to tackle some tall tales about Mexican cuisine and the people who make it. More

Where to Eat Turkish Food in NYC

Vegetable-rich, grill-friendly, gently-spiced-yet-full-flavored Turkish food has never built a rep in New York like Italian, Greek, or even Levantine cuisines. But once you taste the extra depth and creaminess in a bowl of yogurty cacık, there's no going back to tzatziki. Here's where to go for the good stuff. More

Chicago's Harold's is the Best Bad Fried Chicken on Earth

If you're on the streets of Chicago and see a trail of bones along the curb, follow them. These are your breadcrumbs. Because you don't need a smartphone app to eat well in this city. You need only look for the gnarled wingtips that point toward the storefront illustrated with a chicken fleeing for its life, pursued by a hatchet-wielding chef. This is the red carpet to Harold's, the best bad fried chicken on Earth. More

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

While ice cream technology has certainly advanced in the past few hundred years, the basic recipes geared toward the home cook are pretty much what they've always been. That means old myths about making ice cream have never been questioned, and newly fashionable fancy foodists are spouting a lot of nonsense with no one holding them accountable. Today we put those myths to bed. More

Everything You Can Do With a Tub of Yogurt

In the steamy heat of New York in June, a tub of yogurt might as well be dinner on its own, but if you're willing to be a hair more ambitious, yogurt's one of the most versatile ingredients you can hold onto in your kitchen. Leaping from sweet to savory in a single bound, marinating meat and topping grilled vegetables, yogurt more than earns its place as a kitchen mainstay. More

Want Mindblowing Mint Chip Ice Cream? Ditch the Bottle of Extract

I'm about to dive deep into the makings of the perfect mint chip ice cream, but I need to get this out of the way: The stuff made with extract tastes like toothpaste to me. Now if your crystalline vision of the perfect ice cream is a pale scoop speckled with dark chocolate, redolent of the crisp, clean, subtly grassy aroma and taste of genuine mint leaf, step a little closer. My kitchen smells awesome right now. More

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

Whatever the reason you started drinking tea, chances are you have some questions about it. Fortunately there are many, many sources out there that simplify the vast world of tea into digestible nuggets of knowledge. Unfortunately, a lot of those sources—often the very companies selling you their tea—get some basic points pretty wrong. More

Confessions of a Maple Syrup Smuggler

You don't take Parmesan to a pizza joint. The fancy restaurant will not appreciate your dime bag of finishing salt. But one of the other pacts you make with a diner is that as long as you don't set the place on fire, you're pretty much free to do whatever you want. Which is why I've started bringing my very own maple syrup. More

Better Than Snickers Ice Cream

@atelouise High-viscosity bases like PB churn especially fast.

This recipe was written with an archaic swirl technique; I've updated the copy to reflect a better approach that should make for less melting and re-freezing.

Tea Essentials: The Only Teaware You Really Need

@konks Totally works. Though make sure you clean it well if it has some coffee residue on the inside and in the filter.

Sip Your Kitchen Scraps: Fizzy Ginger Cocktail With Pickled Watermelon Rind

@badseed1980 Clear your browser cache and try again? There was a glitch this morning but it's showing for me now. Also here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/07/ginger-cocktail-prosecco-watermelon-rind-pickle.html

Chicago's Harold's is the Best Bad Fried Chicken on Earth

Noted without further comment: I lived on the South Side of Chicago for four years and enjoyed Harold's regularly.

The Trouble With Strawberry Ice Cream: How to Nail the Trickiest Dessert

@scalfin You'd think, right? On both counts. This recipe took me a lot longer than expected because I had the most success with a lot of counter-intuitive approaches. The problem with high butterfat bases is they take in a lot of air, and if you're not careful that air can lead to an icier product, particularly in bases that don't have the emulsifying power of eggs. So high butterfat doesn't always equal creamier ice cream. And if you want denser ice cream, lower butterfat is the way to go.

I tried macerating the berries to drain away some water, then concentrated that liquid into a very dense syrup. Tasted good, but a ton of work, and not that much better than going fully raw.

For blueberries I actually prefer some cooked, caramelized flavors—they're less delicate and bloomy, so I'd probably try the maceration and reduced syrup approach above.

@Brew Drink Repeat You certainly could, though I find the flavor of fresh fruit is usually superior, and you get more fiber/pectin if you purée your own. For fruits that you can't get fresh, nectars are an option. Sites like L'Epicerie sell high quality fruit purées worth looking into.

@Chicken Lover It's pretty much the procedure I describe in the post. Use this recipe, but instead of puréeing your berries, quarter them and toss with sugar. Let them sit for two hours, then drain, purée the berries, and reduce the liquid down into a very thick syrup (bubbles should stack). Add to the purée and proceed as normal.

@M. Birman It's a great approach! But I found it only a marginal improvement that took a lot of extra time in an already somewhat complicated recipe. So it was more a calculated move to make a more approachable final product. Definitely all sorts of ways to optimize things though.

@phelsom I've yet to taste a freeze dried strawberry that tastes like fresh. They can taste good, and have good uses, but that tannic dried-out flavor isn't what I want here.

@BentoBoxer Doable, but they'd freeze at different rates and melt differently in your tongue. I think it'd be weird.

@AndroidUser @pbandanne I think those approaches overly complicate something that I'm now satisfied has a workable solution.

The Best Bowl of Pho in Boston's Dorchester

@BostonAdam We did, and it was solid, but didn't stand out to me in any way. I found it pretty sweet and too light on the aromatics, but without the depth that some of the other bowls on this list negotiated more carefully.

The Trouble With Strawberry Ice Cream: How to Nail the Trickiest Dessert

@sababa To sub one sweetener for another, it helps to know what their relative sweetnesses are. For example, corn syrup is only one third as sweet as sucrose, so you need three times a given mass of corn syrup to achieve the same sweetness. This chart (PDF) has some good values to help you along the way.

@Liam781 No argument from me on classic Haagen-Dazs, they're tops. But their strawberry is still basic.

@Ananonnie @badseed1980 Definitely a worthy route! I've had some great ice creams with freeze-dried berries that soften up just a bit in the churn. But they don't have the fresh, pure flavor I was going for here—they get more tangy and powdery-tasting. Still good, though, and less fussy than my approach. As for sour cream strawberry, that's my favorite, too. SOME DAY.

@Vegan Hmm, try working in 3/4 cup strawberry purée into that base. You may need to up the corn syrup. May not be perfect but probably won't suck.

Scooped: Black Sesame and Orange Ice Cream

@Liz in Chi Kadoya!

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

@cookiesandcream Oh jeez yup, could I blame that on a lack of coffee? Despite being a fairly science-minded person these terms always trip me up. ANYHOW Black Knight the point is this: let's say you have two ice cubes, one that melts at 32°F and one at 20. The heat from your mouth will impact both equally, but the one with the lower melting point will melt faster since it takes less heat to turn the solid into liquid. Hence a lower freezing point = a lower melting point = faster melting.

@ethalfrida I'm sorry a preference for real science over scaremongering disappoints you (>_

5 Ice Cream Myths That Need to Disappear

@Makanmata Holding milk at 160 for an hour is quite different from the brief scalding that ice cream recipes call for. I'd buy some further protein denaturization under such conditions, and you're certainly right that you'd evaporate out some of the water, but in my experience the impact on the final product is fairly small given the added work, especially when you consider that evaporation = lower yields.

@KT-S Definitely reduce sugar if you're using Lyle's. Pound for pound, Lyle's is a little sweeter than sugar, and it takes up about double the volume. I haven't played around with it much since it's pretty expensive in the US, but for that recipe I'd use half a cup of Lyle's in place of the 3/4 cup sugar. As for vanilla extract, same amount, but ALWAYS trust your taste buds, recognizing that flavors get muted as the base chills down. You know what you like better than I do!

@The Black Knight D'oh that should read raises the melting point. Thanks for noting it. Fixed now.

The Best Ice Cream in Boston, 2015 Edition

@dtremit You're totally right about the location of the first Steve's; I'll make an edit. As for Christina's, I think your point cuts to the heart of the matter.

@szmansour It's the only abberation on an otherwise very traditional list. You're more than welcome to not eat that custard, but I thought it was remarkably good and worthy of inclusion.

We did indeed go to White Mountain. I really enjoyed their cookie monster flavor—cookie crumbs, cookie dough, chocolate wafers in sweet cream base—but the rest, and the overall textures, didn't do it for me.

You can see all the ice cream shops we visited over on my Flickr album. Take note there was a lot of sampling that didn't get photographed; we tasted a lot more ice cream flavors from each shop beyond the final photographs.

The Subtle Secrets to Making the Best Ice Cream Mix-Ins

@RSeymour A formal treatment on fruit is forthcoming! But in short: I like a combination of sugar and booze to keep fruit from turning icy.

@RobC_ Heh, was wondering if someone would pick up on that. The chocolate cools down really, really fast, though, because the streams are so thin. Worth doing, though agree, there's a time and a place for chunks.

The Best Ice Cream in Boston, 2015 Edition

@flyingvole What's wrong with frozen custard?

@yoadrienne1 Over two visits, one last week, one last November, I've had over a dozen flavors at Christina's. Some of them are really good, like this malted vanilla. But I've also had icy ice cream, bland flavors, or tastes that just didn't hit the mark—creamy but not driving me to go back for another spoonful. By comparison, I've never had any of those problems at Lizzy's, which I think operates in the same universe in Christina's, but more successfully and consistently.

Everything You Can Do With a Tub of Yogurt

@adnan Yes, it's awesome! The chaas recipe included above is somewhat similar; you could also use my recipe for neer more, swapping yogurt for buttermilk.

@luosha That was a silly oversight on my part; updated with a fully yogurtized cake!

The Best Mint Chip Ice Cream

@dFresh As mint is never sold by weight, that wouldn't be especially helpful for a shopping list. Let's say small bunch = one fist, large bunch = two. The exact amount isn't crucial.

@withaph You can leave the stems on.

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@susansings Same amount as loose leaf tea, 8 to 12 grams per quart.

@CrystalDave Totally. A small spoonful or so per small glass, shaken vigorously with water and ice for the foam. A cocktail shaker's perfect for the job.

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@Scar1etkn1ghts One rounded tablespoon (8-12 grams) per quart!

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@MagicOatmealCookies Same brew time for all of them, five hours or longer. Rolled oolongs take a little more time then green and white, though.

The Tea Lover's Way to Make the Best Cold Brew Iced Tea

@Enekk I'd keep it for a couple days. Usually doesn't even last that long with me. As for puerh, it's not my favorite to ice since cold-brewing doesn't bring out the warm body feelings I want in puerh, but there's no reason you couldn't do it. Just be sure to break up your cake well so it hydrates evenly. I'd use aged sheng or a mild shou for cold brew; young sheng might taste too bitter.

@Tkocareli Each of these teas has a lot going on all by themselves, but you certainly could blend. With tea blends it's typically lighter teas with lighter or darker teas with darker, so keep that in mind. A white would get lost blended with a roasted oolong.

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@kmiffy Thanks for finding that. Looks like this is the original study that chemist is referencing. Haven't had time to read it in much depth, but from what it sounds like, the author's saying the thearubigins that bind with caffeine are a product of black tea oxidation, thus, if the author's claim is valid, the binding effect won't be as prevalent/visible for other, less oxidized tea styles.

I'm not familiar enough with the scientific literature to say with certainty whether any one perspective is totally right; if anything it looks like there's a dearth of studies on the subject. But none of the academic work I've seen, this included, lines up with tea sellers' ambitious claims of "decaffeinating" teas by quick brewing them, or that black tea necessarily has more or less caffeine than green, etc.

Everything You Can Do With a Can of Chickpeas

@DrGaellon Soak overnight, then cook in plain water with onion halves, a couple bay leaves, and as many smashed garlic cloves as I can stand. Several hours of conventional simmering or I use a pressure cooker. I also like my bean broth nice and thick, so I may crank up the heat once the beans are fully creamy to concentrate the liquid. Then pack in small containers and freeze for a rainy day.

The Many Tastes of Coffee Ice Cream: How to Make Just the Right Scoop for You

@ElieK The basic Cuisinart model is quite solid for what it is, and I think it's the best of the freezer bowl style machines. If you want to get into built-in compressor machine territory, I've used two in the $300 to $500 range, neither of which I'm 100% thrilled with but both make excellent ice cream: the DeLonghi and the Breville. The DeLonghi has a small capacity and is difficult to clean. The Breville makes great ice cream but doesn't have the most efficient yields.

The Many Tastes of Coffee Ice Cream: How to Make Just the Right Scoop for You

Whole beans certainly work, though you have to use a lot more to get the same strength (see the 1 1/2 cups in that recipe vs 2 to 5 tablespoons). You also have to steep the beans in dairy separately, which takes more time and another pot to clean, vs. the one-pot method using ground beans here.

As for coffee fines, you can see some very fine particles in these scoops, but they don't register on the tongue, and they tend to add to the visual appeal, at least among my tasters. I've had very good results using a fine filter to get out the coarser stuff.

A One-Day Food Tour of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, New York's Most Diverse Dining Destination

@thesteveroller Kababish almost made the cut, and Uncle Zhou's probably would have if this were more sit-down-focused and less crawl-y. Thanks for bringing them up. The goal was definitely to mix some less-celebrated names in with the common destination spots.

I live down the street from Chivito now and have been afraid to go back after a really sad experience of disastrously overcooked meat a couple years ago (preceded by an awesome trip a year before). You a fan of its current state?

5 Tea Myths That Need to Disappear

@Kai2015 Do you have a link to that article you could share? People often make this claim but I've yet to see hard science that supports it. The study I linked to in the article suggests the opposite may be the case.

Dulces: Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

I couldn't help but think of the stereotypical fiery Latin temperament when I was making this recipe. Arroz con leche (riz au lait or rice pudding), is such a languid, drowsy, gentle thing, so tender it's even suitable for those with smooth gums and weak constitutions, and yet, it is among the most well-liked and frequently made desserts throughout Latin America. Maybe we're all bark and no bite. More

How to Buy, Store, Use (and Re-Use!) Spices

It continues to baffle me how little attention is given to spices today. Maybe it's because we're told to eat local (they rarely are) or organic (they're usually not). Spices seem to still have a reputation of being slapdash cover-ups for mediocre chicken—and far too often they are—but they don't have to be. Yes, spice hunting requires a little time, effort, and money (though less than you think), but once you start using fresh spices in you're cooking, you may just find yourself addicted. More