mostly retired, Italian-American disabled veteran who lives for good food and wine

  • Location: Birmingham, AL
  • Favorite foods: Italian (not Italian-American) dishes, crab, veal
  • Last bite on earth: world's best veal saltimbocca

Latest Comments

How to Make Spaghetti Puttanesca: The World's Most Pungently Delicious Pasta

For those who wish to avoid anchovies, an evened faster dish is Cart Driver's Style (cooked version)mwhich is basically vermicelli with olive oil, garlic, onion and toasted bread crumbs. A very good version from Central Italy can be found in "99 Ways To Cook Pasta" by Robert Alda ( father of Alan Alda who was a very fine actor in his own right).

The Right Way to Sauce Pasta

Right you are Kenji. Nothing irritates me more than preparing pasta properly only to have people take their sweet own time to get to the table ruining the effort. Like most things, there is a huge difference in taste, texture, even eye appeal when you cook it and eat it the right way.

On This Week's Special Sauce: Kenji Talks the Food Lab, Baths, and Becoming a Cook

Very entertaining and informative. This was actually the first podcast I ever listened've set the bar high.

The Food Lab: The Book Has Arrived

Congrats on completing this epic project Kenji. Your book is highly readable and should become the primary "how to" source in home kitchens. Doubt you will be touring near me but look forward to learning how to have mine signed.

Charcoal Versus Gas Grills: The Definitive Guide

During much of my life when I traveled constantly, and ate 80% of my meals out and my wife made all of the rest, I thought spending the day smoking ribs on a charcoal grill was great. Now, when I am the one producing 80% of the meals, gas is the only way to go.

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

The best thing about this post is that it generated the most entertaining thread found on SE in many moons. Sorta reminds me of how this used to a community.....argumentative and opinionated, but a community.

The $7,000 Pizza Oven You Don't Need (But Really Wish You Had)

What are the available working dimensions? Can you bake more than one pie at a time?

The Food Lab Video Series is Here!

I am a long time reader/ user of SE and agree with many others that the "new" SE is not an improvement. Kenji's posts are great reading, entertaining and chock full of useful information - just as they' ve always been. The majority of the rest is not high value. I will cheerfully buy Kenji's cookbook, and probably gift two more, because I know much of what's in it works - and easily. I will not be renting or buying any videos. The biggest thing missing in the "new" SE is the community. We have become the target audience and potential customers, no longer the participants.

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta

Very nice post with the video, photos and all. Ricotta gnocchi were my favorite until I developed lactose intolerance. Now, it back to ricing potatoes, which is the way to prevent making lead sinkers out of your gnocchi.

The Secrets of the Juiciest, Most Tender and Flavorful Italian-American Meatballs

Another way to insure moist and tender meatballs is to add about 1/2 cup of fresh ricotta to the mix. If someone wants/needs to avoid either the egg or the panade, this will help.

How to Make Meatball Pizza

For pizza, so one time I like to bake meatballs instead of frying. I shape them using a 1 inch scoop and bake in a large clay type lasagna pan. After the pan is loaded, I press each meatball slightly creating a flat bottom which makes them less likely to slide around ( or off) your slice.

The Food Lab: Slow Cooked Bolognese Sauce

@ Kenji - wondering why you added the fish sauce at the end vs at the beginning as with most sauces calling for chopped anchovies?

@T.R.Appleton: you can make a nice Bolognese style using ground chicken thighs and pancetta. I typically use the same amount of chicken as beef called for, but double the amount of pancetta to 1/2 lb to replace needed fat. Also use Italian tomato paste
( preference is Pastene) that I brown in the pancetta fat vs whole tomatoes. Agree with Kenji that whole San Marzanos are the way to go with beef and pork.

The Best Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia

Agree that John's has a very good cheesesteak. Also agree that it isn't necessarily easy to find a truly great cheesesteak in the city of Phila. It' s actually fairly easy to find lots of very good, and a few great in the suburbs west of Phila, in South Jersey, and around Wilmington, DE. One sandwich found in the city which is great is the roast pork at Tony Luke's with sharp provolone, long hots and broccoli rabe.

The Food Lab: How to Make The Ultimate Creamy Spinach Lasagna

Ever try broccoli rabe as a substitute for spinach. More bitter than spinach but dynamite in a lasagna like this with some crumbled hot sausage.

The Best Way to Reheat Lasagna: Fry it Up! (Plus: Party-Ready Crispy Lasagna Skewers!)

Worrying about what to with leftover lasagna is like worrying about what to do with those leftover twenties that are always hanging around. Not gonna happen in my house!

Breakfast of Champions: Why New Jersey is Crazy for Pork Roll

Grew up in Delaware. We always had Taylor pork roll, typically eaten alone on toast as a sandwich or with fried eggs. I used to alternate days between pork roll and scrapple.

For those in FL, GA, AL, Some Publix stores carry Taylor Pork Roll, any store can order it.

What Cookbook Would You Buy For a First-Time Cook?

Bought my kids Bittman's How To Cook Everything, but wanted to say Kenji's book, if he ever gets it out (maybe too much globetrotting)!

The Serious Eats Guide to Italian American Recipes

Saltimbocca.......veal, chicken or pork. Easy dish with great flavor would be a good addition.

Taste Test: Is Domestic Parmesan Cheese Worth Using?

The main reason why domestic parms taste is so different, and not in a good way, from P-R is the grass eaten by the cows in Parma. A smaller, secondary taste influencer is the salt used. I totally agree that the domestic parms taste like cheddar.

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

As an Italian, I wanted to be greatly offended by this technique......but it absolutely works for all the reasons stated. It can only be improved by including a nice neck bone, either beef or pork. Braise it about 3 hrs, remove the bone, pull and cut off off the little pieces of meat and add back to the sauce.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

Like your list Kenji, but would add a small cutting board, nesting measuring spoons, timer, and my flat digital scale. Might just include a medium capacity tall sided pot, small enough diameter to nest inside the saucier and cast iron, but enough capacity to make pasta, soup, etc. and most of the rest of the items would pack inside it.

Manner Matters: How to Share Food Without Being Rude

I found this post very well written, although not quite as interesting to me as some of the earlier topics addressed. In general, I agree with Daniel's remarks, but at the same time I'm ok with anyone commenting that they found the topic uninteresting. If I disagree with their comment, or don't care for their tone, I can respond accordingly, or ignore them, as I choose. Isn't that what you do in a "community"?

How I Got My Degree From Hot Dog University

In the present economy, Hot Dog U will probably serve you better than the master's. Good read.


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