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Blaine

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Vanilla Beans?

Vanilla Salt. I use it in my tomato sauces.

How to Build a DIY Home Carbonation Rig

Excellent! I'm ashamed I never thought to hack together my own. Really nice to see the parts list for a working rig.

Guava and Cream Cheese Puff-Pastry Waffle

Now this sounds appealing! A few of the puff pastry waffles sounded good, but didn't really compell me.

This one is getting tried!

The Ultimate Fully Loaded Nachos

As a meat and potoatoes guy, I'm always surprised when I endorse a 'veggie'. Radishes? Are dope. They are surprisingly spicy and would be great on nachos.

The Fresh Ramen Kits From Sun Noodle Will Knock Your Socks Off

I've been loving Sun Noodles for a few years. There's a small Japanese grocery store that stocks them. The packaging looks different from what I get. More of a plastic clamshell with a kraft paper wrapper. I'm sure it's the same. Personally I like the tonkotsu, but I tend to do mine closer to tsukemen and sneak in some bacon grease.

But... I can't complain about Kenji's rankings. Just know that they stamp all over even the best instant ramen.

Equipment: The Best Chef's Knives

Kiwi knives!

Bought my first one two years ago. Impossibly cheap, holds a great edge, and you can collect them all. Your friend ruin the temper by using the knife to toast a tortilla over a grill? Throw it away!! You're $7 away from a replacement.

I've used Globals and Shuns and Wal-Mart Specials.

I haven't liked anything as much as a Kiwi.

Watch Jon Stewart's Epic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Rant

Boston Cream Pie is a cake.
Deep Dish Pizza is a casserole.

I will NOT apologize for liking either just because the name is misleading.

Good deep dish is awesome, just recognize what it actually is.

Andy Ricker's Phat Thai (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles With Shrimp, Tofu, and Peanuts)

Oh, I hope this is the solution to my god awful pad thai skill.

If Ricker can't save me, no one can.

So This is What Real Vanilla Custard Tastes Like: White Cow Dairy

"Sell Buy"...?
'Sell by', sure. 'Buy by', okay.

Foraged Flavor: Wild Hickory Nuts

Is that what those are!!? I saw a squirell playing chicken with my car carrying one the other day.

@Katie according to the Wikipedias, they're all over the north east.

Share Your Sweets: Shortbread Cookies

MAN...The Matcha shortbread look dynamite.

What's Your Local Cheap Beer?

@emilyr16 Man, I wish Straub was cheap... but it's awesome.
I've been on a real Duquesene LT kick lately.

Poll: What's Your Favorite Type of Bun for Burgers?

Big Marty's!

Still weirds me out... I always thought Martin's was a PA only thing.

Cook the Book: 'Maximum Flavor'

This will sound stupid, because I have no problem with sous-vide, both with a machine and with the beer cooler.

I need help with deep frying. I've never been able to keep my breading or coating on right. I've done egg wash then flour, and flour then egg wash, and I've dredged, and put it in a bag, and I've let it sit for an hour...

Deep frying eludes me.

Double Peanut Popcorn

I've been making popcorn in a wok for a while (WOKCORN!!!). I use a large wok, with a pizza crisper pan on top. Well, inside of it, the crisper pan sits about halfway down the wok but it keeps the kernels in check.

Taste Test: Fancy Pants Instant Ramen From Myojo Chukazanmai

Thanks, Kenji. I was wondering when we'd cover Myojo.

Side note, the title of the article says "Myoja".

A Ramen Crawl Through LA With Sun Noodle

Ha! I'm stealing that burnt marshmallow trick. I wonder if it'd work in tomato or alfredo sauces.

Behind the Scenes at Sun Noodle's Ramen Factory in LA

Man, Sun Noodle's Tonkotsu is so addictive. It's one of the few foods that I sometimes don't even doctor.

I gotta go to the japanese grocer this weekend and stock up.

Ramen-Crusted Fried Chicken

@CandiRisk Oh yeah. Check eBay and Amazon. I bet you, so long as you're not missing any pages, issue #1 is worth $20 in any condition. It's that perfect storm of the first issue, which people collect AND it being the ramen issue, which is a popular topic.

Having made the ramen crusted tonkatsu, I'd have to say its very interesting. I had trouble keeping my breading on (I'm not a good fryer), but I bet someone with more skill than I can really make it a winner.

The New $199 Sansaire Sous-Vide Circulator is the Solution We've Been Waiting For

@Simon

Damning Scott Heimendinger because he works with Nathan Myrhvold is a dangerous slope.

Scott Heimendinger has worked with Mark Frauenfelder.

Mark Frauenfelder was a founder of BoingBoing that you're quoting - I'm guessing you patronize them.

Ramen-Crusted Fried Chicken

Wasn't on Mind of a Chef. I've seen them all a dozen times. Dave did Gnocchi and Cacio e Peppe. I Can't fault someone for not seeing something in Lucky Peach #1 since it goes for over $100.

Good job Luke. I'll be trying this out as Tonkatsu this weekend.
At worst it's convergent evolution.

Jamaican Chicken Curry

Overall, pretty good. It might have been the curry powder I used, but the taste was a little flat. Reminded me of the Indian buffet I used to go to. Next time I'll probably throw the chicken quickly on the grill, like Kenji's Tikka Masala. Maybe add a little more garlic and ginger at the end of the cooking for some extra brightness.

As I said, pretty good, but with some tweaks it'd be great.

Taste Test: The Best Mayonnaise

"You know if you're the kind of person who likes Kewpie. This taste test ain't gonna change that."

Damn right! I don't even like mayo, Kewpie is the one I can stomache... 'like' might be a strong word, ha ha ha.

BUT because of Kewpie I'm able to join the Elote parade, and it's probably the only option that comes with it's own built-in piping bag tip.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

@ecca31 I'm not sure what Kenji will suggest, but I think rice bran oil is a good substitute. Very high smoke point, higher than peanut oil, very little flavor and these days comparably priced. I get mine from Trader Joe's and it's my current favorite for seasoning a wok.

Oddball Liquor Laws Around the U.S.A.

Pennsylvania is getting better. Select grocery stores are able to apply for a liquor license now. So inside of the store there will be a smaller store where you can purchase beer. You MUST purchase the beer from the registers in those smaller stores.

The plus side to the liquor store system is whenever I go out of state, I can't help but notice how much cheaper the liquor is here. So it's a trade off.

Julia Child: 'You can't use duck fat for anything'

I'm blown away. Season 1, episode 13 of The French Chef, 5:30 into the show and Julia instructs the viewer to throw away duck fat.

I died a little.

It's the first time I've seen this episode, so she might come back later and say "oh, did I say you can't do anything with duck fat? Sorry. I'm drunk. Let's make fries!!"

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Rice Cake

I've been infatuated with Korean cuisine for years now but never really understood rice cakes. They always seemed so mushy, bland, and covered in sweet sauce. But a recent midnight snack at a Korean bar changed everything. Instead of boiled, these were grilled, so they had that crackly outer layer, which gave way to a tender and succulent inside. They were also tossed with this fiery red sauce, which forced you to keep a drink close at hand. More

Beer Pretzel Caramels

The best endorsement I can give these caramels: I turned them into Christmas presents. Malty, sweet, and just a little crunchy, cut them as large or as small as you'd like, wrap them in wax paper, and get ready to be everyone's favorite this year. More

Who Else Is Obsessive About Their Pantry? (This Obsessive?)

You're on your way home from the office and are overcome by an irrepressible urge to braise short ribs. Problem: you can't remember if you have any bay leaves left at home. Enter technology. My pantry has now gone 100% digital. I've entered every non-readily-perishable ingredient (all 353 of them) in my kitchen into a Google Doc spreadsheet which I can access and update any time from my computer, my phone, or my laptop, even in the middle of the supermarket. More

Another Way to Eat Pork: Salt-Fried Pork

Salt-fried pork is like the lazy, gets-away-with-anything-because-he's-so-darn-loveable sibling to twice-cooked pork. Twice-cooked pork is delicate and tender with crisp edges. Salt-fried pork, on the other hand? Chewy-crisp skin with a layer of subcutaneous fat intact enough that each morsel bursts with porky juice. (And did I mention that it comes together in half the time as twice-cooked pork?) More

The Food Lab: The Science of Pie Dough

If there's one thing that instills fear into the hearts and minds of American cooks, it's pie crust. I know. At one time, I was one of those people. Pie crusts were the Mumm-ra to my Lion-O, and it was all because they were a mystery to me. What makes them flaky? What makes them tender? And most importantly, how come mine used to come out like pliant pieces of leather instead of buttery and delicious? More

Sous-Vide Steaks

Note: The science behind sous-vide is fascinating. Check it out here. About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York... More

Bacon Jam

This complex mixture of sweet candied smoky–salty bacon—with earthy undertones from a hit of coffee, and pockets of heat—is great on burgers, pizza, biscuits, and more. More