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NovaChild

The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These look good. I had already settled on mashed sweet potatoes this year as my starchy side, so maybe I'll go ahead an do them this way. I like plain old boiled-and-mashhed sweet potatoes just fine, but, hey, it's Thanksgiving. Why not try something new?

For those struggling with recipebox/etc, Might I suggest getting a free Evernote account and using it to organize recipes from all over the web. My "Recipe" notebook has over 500 recipes in it, organized with various tags, and both the desktop and mobile web clippers work great on Serious Eats. I have tried dozens of recipe-keeping systems, and I keep coming back to that one.

Grilled Spatchcocked Turkey

I'm doing this this year. After finally grilling a spatchcocked chicken this summer to rave reviews I know it is time. My question: briquettes or lump? I use the Kroger brand charcoal which has few additives so I am not looking for flavor arguments just heat ones.

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

My dad always ordered the supreme pizza; he is a fab of the hodgepodge apparently. He always got pickled jalapeños on the side.

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

My dad always ordered the supreme pizza; he is a fab of the hodgepodge apparently. He always got pickled jalapeños on the side.

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

My dad always ordered the supreme pizza; he is a fab of the hodgepodge apparently. He always got pickled jalapeños on the side.

Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage

The silken tofu I buy is usually in cardboard tetra paks rather than packed in plastic like yours. Any hints on extricating it without destroying it?

What Happens When You Add Olive Oil to a Cocktail?

I have been watching the olive oil shelves at Kroger for months for some Corto Olive and you tell me the Private Selection is what I was looking for? Crazy. I have been getting the California Olive Ranch oil, which I like quite a bit, but choices!

Crispy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower (Vegan)

This was astonishing. One of my favorite things I've ever cooked. My wife preferred the broccoli I fried in the same manner but both were good restaurant quality. I didn't bother with the sauce: salt was plenty!

Great Deviled Eggs

Okay, I should have waited to make my first comment until after tasting it, but I didn't. Mix this yolk mixture with chopped whites (and a little paprika - I ended up skipping the pickles due to laziness) and it makes an amazing egg salad. It holds together really nicely because of the emulsifying I guess and has a texture similar to guacamole (with the yolk mixture as the avocado and the whites as the tomato). My two-year-old and I dipped crackers in it for lunch and between the two of us had no problem eating 6 eggs' worth in about 10 minutes.

They're awesome as actual deviled eggs, too, but for situations where something more mashable is your preference, try these as a salad!

Great Deviled Eggs

I'm making the yolk mixture today, then simply mixing it with the whites chopped to make a deviled egg salad. I may add some chopped dill pickle to the salad as well.

The Vegan Experience: Triple Garlic Pasta With Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Bread Crumbs

Personally it is the olives that kill this for me. I'm sure I could just leave them out but any suggestions for some of their key flavor points in this pasta? Salty and cured seems like it would go well here but... Olives. Shiver. I hate that I don't like olives but I just can't do it. Capers?

Vegan Crispy Stir-Fried Tofu With Broccoli

This was great! I need to fry the Tofu a little longer next time (or use smaller batches so I don't lose as much oil heat) but that's normal for me; I almost always under fry the first time I try a new frying method. And I need to stir fry the broccoli in two small batches next time too. Otherwise, excellent. I used a chili bean sauce instead of a regular one and the heat was nice but I think I might like it better without; must get bean sauce next time I am at the International market.

I had extra batter so I coated a few small florets of broccoli and fried them with the second batch of tofu. Utterly amazing and possibly the best part. My two year old gobbled the "Broccoli bread" up so you better believe we will be doing that again.

The 10 Best Budget Bourbons

4 roses is the only Bourbon I buy, as I'm not a huge Bourbon drinker and want to have something inexpensive that works with anything. I have found it to work very well in juleps and with ginger cocktails - my favorite being a simple one where I pour it over homemade ginger ice cubes and drink in the burn. Got that recipe from a local cocktail bar.

Throw Away Your Blade Coffee Grinder

I have moved up the ranks from a blade grinder to a hario slim hand grinder (which didn't work as well for me as it seems to for other people) to a capresso infinity. I will not be going any higher - the infinity has helped me make perfectly consistently excellent coffee. I definitely think the burr grinder is worth it for anybody who is bothering to buy good coffee. Mine cost $100 - my decision to start buying freshly roasted coffee will cost me more than that in less than 4 months. If I hadn't made the good coffee decision, though, I wouldn't make the burr grinder decision.

The Best Chili Ever

This was one of my Food Lab mountains, so I'm glad I finally got around to cooking it today. Definitely learned some things. I followed the recipe exactly as written (except I used pre-ground cumin and coriander, because I forgot to buy the whole spices) , and ended up with something very, very good, but not perfect to my taste. My beans did not all soften (despite allowing the maximum amount of time written in the recipe at all stages), I wanted more cumin flavor, though it's probably reasonable to blame that on using pre-ground spices, and I wanted more broth; this gave me something similar to the consistency of canned chili, but I realize now that when using chili as a main course and not a topping I prefer something closer to the soup end. I also wanted more tomato flavor - adding more cider vinegar would probably have upped the acid to the same level, but it was really the tomato flavor I missed more than the acid.

Next time, I will make several changes to more fit my preferences:

1) I will use chuck (or possibly brisket) instead of short ribs. This is mostly to save money, not time - I plan to brown it in large cuts, as described by an earlier commenter. I will, however, only brown half the meat on one side, like (later?) recipes in this column suggest provides a good amount of browned flavor, so that should reduce prep time. I liked the texture of the hand-chopped meat and will keep that aspect. Short ribs are $8/pound at my local butcher, and chuck is also $8/pound, but I should be able to get away with 2-3 pounds instead of 5 and I don't think the bones added that much.

2) I will use 2-3 cans of canned beans. Probably one of kidney, one of pinto, one of black. Adds variety, and saves the worry about the softening. If I do go with dry I will cook them separately, and probably in advance.

3) I will add an extra 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice, as well as two additional cups of chicken broth. I may skip the tomato paste in the puree, since I'll have the extra tomato flavor, but if I've got an open tube I'll probably squirt some in.

4) I will puree with an immersion blender instead of a regular blender.

5) I may use a beer earlier in the process instead of the bourbon at the end. Should have a similar effect re: the odor, and I like the flavor that a lager adds to chili.

6) Unless I still have the anchovies I bought today, I'll probably skip the anchovies. I will throw a squirt or two of fish sauce in instead. Should have a similar effect, and anchovies are not a pantry staple for me.

7) I will think ahead and buy the chiles when I'm at the big international market that is far(ish) from my house. Had quite a hunt for Ancho/Pasilla/etc this morning - my local supermarket has 8 varieties of chiles but they're all smoky or hot, and I had to go to three smaller mexican markets (progressively far from my house) before I found one that wasn't sold out of them. On the plus side, I got some tacos at one of them, so, lunch.

On the whole, very glad I did it, glad I learned this stuff. Thanks as always, Kenji.

Mexican Fried Eggplant Sandwich (Vegan Tortas and Pambazos)

I finally got around to making these, months after the recipe was released I know. It was easily the best sandwich I have ever made - though admittedly I rarely go to this much effort for a sandwich! Since the pickled onions, bean sauce, and poblanos could all be done in large batches and saved for a whole, the recipe may become a regular for me. Utterly delicious.

11 Essential Thanksgiving Tools

You slam the Fibrox knives a lot, which is fine because you are right that they don't fit your list, but maybe your list needs to be adjusted a bit to take into account the "everybody is different" thing. Personally, I have three chefs knives that do fit your criteria and have used many more at other houses and tested more at retail establishments, and I keep coming back to my fibrox for reasons you are explicitly saying are bad: mainly the heft thing. I Like my chefs knife being really lightweight. I keep a big heavy ten incher around for watermelons and pumpkins but if I didn't have it would just use my bread knife. I have also never found a handle I like as much - it may feel cheap, but sweatpants are cheap too, as are reditainer containers. Cheap can be both comfortable and serviceable. And if the handle falls off after five years I will buy another one. Ten $30 knives over fifty years cost the same as one $300 knife. Plus, since it is cheap, I don't feel the need to learn to sharpen it with and pay for a stone. The Accusharp may really suck compared to a stone because it removes a lot of metal and doesn't get as fine an edge, but it let's me cut ripe tomatoes paper thin with almost no resistance and shave hair off my arm so I am satisfied.

I am not you. I cook one meal a day every day. And for my needs the fibrox is awesome. I agree with almost everything you say on this list and others, but not that point. Most people's cooking lives would be vastly improved if they picked up a fibrox, an accusharp, and some reditainers.

Where to Eat Near Columbia University (Our Updated Guide)

I was once a regular (and proposed marriage to my now wife) at Awash, an Ethiopian restaurant on Amsterdam at 107th. Nearthe aforementioned Taqueria AL Fonda and the Doaba Deli. Don't know how it compares to Ethiopian around the city but I found it delicious and it is certainly more interesting than most places on this list or in the area in general.

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches From Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Now in NYC

If you come to Nashville you can try all four (five?) of their ice cream sandwiches made fresh. They are all pretty amazing. Not to mention the newish sundaes with "gravel." You have haven't had a sundae until you've had one with perfectly prepared and crumbled salted graham cracker on top.

Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches From Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Now in NYC

If you come to Nashville you can try all four (five?) of their ice cream sandwiches made fresh. They are all pretty amazing. Not to mention the newish sundaes with "gravel." You have haven't had a sundae until you've had one with perfectly prepared and crumbled salted graham cracker on top.

Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Waffle House Hash Brown Combo?

Smothered covered and diced please. I tried capped but ugh jarred mushrooms.

Chilled Summer Squash Soup with Yogurt, Mint, and Sourdough Croutons

This is one of the best things I have made in a long while. Used summer squash and mint from my garden, and a shallot instead of green onions because I had it. It was amazing - very mint forward and wonderful. The croutons are perfect (I used some leftover rosemary bread for them).

Peach and Ginger Crisp Pie

Well I made it! Just mixed a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger with a tablespoon of sugar for about fifteen minutes before making the crisp. And I used 3 and a half pounds of peaches (based on other recipes I read) which worked great.

It was delicious, though my wife and I both feel the crust is overwhelmed by the crisp topping. This is possibly the fault of my pie crust - my food processor is broken so I had to make a crust by hand using a pastry blender, which was out of my comfort zone, and it is a solidly middle of the road crust. However I do think the strong flavor of the crumble is the main culprit. Simple solution: skip the pie crust and just make this a cobbler! That is what I will do next time.

Peach and Ginger Crisp Pie

This looks amazing! Two questions:

1) Is there any way to use fresh ginger instead of candied ginger? Maybe mix grated ginger with some sugar and let it sit for a few minutes before mixing it in?

2) I went peach picking yesterday, but my peaches (though delicious) are quite small. Do you have a reasonable estimate for the weight of 7 "normal" peaches so I can correctly substitute my itty bitties?

Celeste: The Italian Restaurant Every Neighborhood Should Have (But Doesn't)

The chicken liver appetizer is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, I ate it after one of the most disconcertingly rude service moments of my life, which turned me off the place forever after. I arrived at about 5:30 for a dinner alone in an almost empty restaurant, and after I sat down and ordered and received wine, I got a text message from a friend asking if I wanted to get dinner. As he lived two blocks away and I was at a two top I told him to join me. I ordered an appetizer and mentioned to my waitress that I would have an unexpected guest in a few minutes, and less than 2 minutes later the owner came out and, quite rudely, told me I had to get up and wait outside until my friend arrived.

Now, I totally understand a policy of not getting seated until all parties arrive, but in this case I was already ordering food and drink, in an fairly empty place, and I honestly didn't know I would have a friend there until after I started dinner. Being a Southerner I did not argue and was even apologetic (the curse of my raising - I also once apologized to a bike who hitme from behind) but it bothered me later. Plus, I was then given the cold shoulder treatment for the rest of my meal - polite service but none of the jocular friendliness the restaurant is known for. It was pretty awful.

What should I do with this amazing broth?

So today, I made this slow-cooker pork shoulder recipe (yes, I know that it probably shouldn't be called barbecue, but it delicious nonetheless). In addition to leftover barbecue sauce, I also strained and skimmed the fat from nearly 3 quarts of the broth that the pork cooked in for 8 hours.

The broth is part apple juice, part chicken stock, part pork-juice, and part onion-juice. It is sweet, like really good onion soup, with lots of onion flavor and plenty of meaty backbone from the chicken stock and pork. It's also pretty well seasoned from the dry rub on the pork and the bay leaf and thyme combo called for in the recipe.

Honestly, I would happily just eat it as is for my next meal, but my wife is not as fond of broth-with-nothing-in-it, so I'm looking for suggestions; what should I add to this broth to make a filling, hearty soup? At this point I'm leaning towards embracing the onion-soupness of it all and caramelizing some onions with Kenji's super-fast method, stirring them in, and adding cheesy croutons, but I'd love other ideas to knock around.

Anybody made a good Thermapen clip?

Has anybody found or made a good clip for their Thermapen, to clip it to the side of a pan candy-thermometer style?

I'm currently jamming it into my Trudeau pot clip, but it doesn't quite fit right, and I have to turn the pot clip nearly perfectly sideways to get the probe into the pot which reduces stability. If any of you have a good DIY design, I'd love to hear about it / see pictures. Google was NOT my friend.

P.S. I learned the other day that if you accidentally drop your splash-proof Thermapen in a pot full of 300 degree oil, it can survive! I do have some cracks all around the casing (and a couple of small ones on the display), and the probe opened and closed VERY smoothly for a couple of weeks, but it still functions!