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Aaron Mattis

Aaron Mattis

  • Location: 10583/02138
  • Favorite foods: many cheeses, hamachi, halibut, toro, ribeye, fatty pork
  • Last bite on earth: Vacherin Mont d'Or, no question

Should You Cook Your Turkey in Parts?

Here's the problem with turkey: above 145°F or so, white meat begins to dry out. Dark meat, with its connective tissue, on the other hand, has to be cooked to at least 165°F. How do you cook a single bird to two different temperatures? It's difficult at best, and downright impossible at worst, even more so when you consider the variation in shape and thickness of turkey meat, especially on the breast of a large bird. More

The United States of Pizza: Georgia

As a long-time Top Chef fan, I've seen so many dishes presented by the cheftestants that they tend to blend together. But I'll never forget Atlanta chef Richard Blais's peach and sweet tea pizza from the Season Four premiere. Blais didn't go on to win the title, but his pie demonstrated Georgia's potential as a destination for great pizza. More

How to Make a Quick Pizza with Slow-Rise Flavor

Trying to decide whether to simply dispose of some old, unused, naturally leavened pizza dough or to incorporate it into my starter, I chose option three: adding the old dough to a yeasted pizza crust. You don't need dmcavanagh to tell you that slow-rise dough has a superior taste; the difference in flavor is evident from the first bite. As dough ferments, yeast converts starches to sugars, building a complex flavor and priming the crust for caramelization. By adding mature dough to the usual suspects (flour, water, salt, and yeast), however, you can achieve similar results relatively quickly. More

Taste Test: Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

Even at their worst, kettle chips are a near-perfect snack. It's hard to go wrong with thin slices of potato fried to a crisp and doused in salt, and kettle chips, which are fried in small batches to facilitate greater control of oil temperature to optimize texture and flavor. The kettle cooking approach takes these perfect guilty treats to a new level of, um, perfection and guilt. Perhaps because there's so much to like about potato chips in general, it was difficult to pick a favorite variety out of 17 brands, a task made harder by the wide variety of salt, texture, and flavor preferences among tasters. Find out which brands won for most classic, most crunchy, most lard-filled, and more. More

More Di Fara First-Timers Report on Yesterday's Field Trip

My first visit to Di Fara was bittersweet, timed as it was to mark my last day at Slice/Serious Eats World Headquarters. Still, what a way to go out. From reading Slice commentary, I expected the pizza to be delicious but possibly burned or greasy. The golden-crusted pies we got, however, were perfectly executed, the ideal New York pizza.... More

My Pie Monday: Philly Diner's Super-Fresh Pizza

[Photographs: Philly Diner] Slice'r Philly Diner sent in an extremely appetizing My Pie Monday submission featuring great-looking pies made with premium ingredients: Here's my first submission to My Pie Monday!These are the first pizzas I made using my new DIY stone! I used a double layer of unglazed ceramic tiles preheated to 550 for 45 minutes in my sorority house oven, and it's been working like a charm. I made Peter Reinhart's recipe for both doughs. The first is a margarita with strained crushed tomatoes, local fresh mozzarella, and basil from my plant! The second is a delicious version... More

My Pie Monday: A Tasty Round Two from John Wozniak

If you've been following today's My Pie Monday submissions you'll already be familiar with John Wozniak's high-quality pizza. John emailed Slice World Headquarters again this morning with a link to some great pics of a New-York-style pie with thinly sliced mushrooms. Check them out below: [Photographs: John Wozniak] Looks good, John! Keep those MPM submissions coming. Want to share your pie? Here are the details on submitting your photo to Slice.... More

My Pie Monday: Serious Pies from Mark Cohen

Slice'r Mark Cohen, who was an active guest blogger here a couple of years ago, made a reappearance with these two mouthwatering pics for My Pie Monday: Sausage/roasted peppers & onions; "00"/san marzano's/fior di latte/reggiano. [Photographs: Mark Cohen] Salami/artichokes/roasted garlic; "00"/san marzano's/fior di latte/reggiano The pies look good, Mark! I really like the look of the puffy crust, and the topping combinations sound spot-on to me. Want to share your pie? Here are the details on submitting your photo to Slice.... More

My Pie Monday: Fabulous Funghi Pizza from Casey

The combination of good mushrooms and handmade pizza crust is pretty much unbeatable in the opinion of many pizza lovers. This group apparently includes Slice'r Casey's Pizza, who sent in this beautiful pic of a white pie with mushrooms: This has become my signature pie. Sauteed shitakes, garlic, fresh thyme, Italian parsley, aged mozzarella and fior di latte, EVO, celtic grey sea salt. Dough is 65% hydration, high protein bread flour with a touch of rye. Standard gas oven bake on a 600F pizza stone for 5 minutes. Photograph: [Casey's Pizza] Looks good, Casey! Keep on Slice'ing! Want to share... More

A Pizza-Centric Take on Tomato Bread

I loved Donna Currie's recent column on tomato-cheese bread, and when my hunger peaked after my fourth rereading I began to wonder if a similar loaf could serve as yet another use for the tomato juice I keep accumulating by straining tomatoes for pizza sauce. Having seen Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery make carrot bread on Martha using fresh-squeezed carrot juice, I riffed on his standard no-knead dough recipe to create a crusty rustic loaf. More

Are Pizza Hacks Really Necessary?

I've long thought that you have to overcome the restraints of a non-commercial oven to make the best pizza at home. This was the premise of my post on broiling no-knead pizza, one of many techniques Slice'rs use to get their ovens above their maximum heat setting. An experience I had last night, however, led me to rethink this paradigm. Partly to avoid the copious smoke I usually get with the broiler method, I baked some pies on a pizza stone preheated for one hour in my oven set to convect on maximum heat, 550°F. The pizzas developed deeply charred... More

Basil on a Pizza: Before or After Baking?

Dom DeMarco scissoring fresh basil onto a pizza at Di Fara. And, yes, we know that pizza is burned! [Photograph: Adam Kuban] Pizzablogger's informative email about Neapolitan basil got us at Slice HQ thinking about the many ways basil can be added to a pie. Do you like basil added before the pie goes in the oven so its flavor mingles with that of the sauce or added after the pie comes out of the oven so it doesn't wilt? And how do you like 'dem leaves—whole or cut into a chiffonade?... More

Westchester: Pitch-Perfect Pizza at Frankie & Fanucci's in Hartsdale

[Photographs: Cameron Mattis] Many New Yorkers live down the street from an awesome pizza place, or even several. When I moved to Westchester county 10 years ago I filed this luxury, along with convenient public transportation and any semblance of street cred, as a city perk I would miss out on by living in the suburbs. A little over a year ago I was, to my delight, proven wrong when Frankie & Fanucci's, a terrific Neapolitan-style pizzeria, opened down the street from the Hartsdale train station. Frankie & Fanucci's Wood Oven Pizzeria 202 East Hartsdale Ave., Hartsdale, NY 10530... More

My Pie Monday: JH Ford's Motorino-Inspired Pizza

[Photograph: JH Ford] Slice'r JH Ford is no stranger to My Pie Monday. This week he documented a pie he made with a particularly awesome pizza hack: Adam/Aaron,Attached, you'll find my second submission to My Pie Monday. This one is a completely Slice-inspired pizza. I used the brussels sprouts and pancetta recipe from the Top This column and I nicked Foolishpoolish's pizza stone under the broiler method. As a matter of fact, I purchased a second stone and cut it (I have the technology) to fill the gap in my top oven rack left by the single stone. Now... More

Broiled No-Knead Pizza (No-Knead Pizza 102)

Because these pizzas are so thin, it's possible to overcome the limitations of a home oven and generate extreme heat long enough to bake the pie to blistery perfection. I find that the easiest and safest way to achieve this level of heat is Heston Blumenthal's broiler method. Blumenthal superheats a cast iron skillet, inverts it, places the pie on the underside of the skillet, and slides it under the broiler to cook the pizza with bidirectional heat. More

My Pie Monday: DYJ's Conventional-Oven Pie

[Photographs: DYJ] DYJ sent in these highly appetizing photos of a pie baked in a conventional oven at maximum heat. Maybe next time we'll get lucky and he'll mail us a real pie! Here's what he had to say for My Pie Monday: This is a pie I did a while back. The crust is Peter Reinhart's NYC dough. The sauce is his crushed tomato sauce recipe with San Marzano tomatoes. The toppings are my rendition of Fogo 2 Go's Alexa from the a May 12 Slice post. The pizza was cooked on a stone on the bottom rack... More

What to Do with Pizza Leftovers? Make Them Into Salad

Unless you are the world's most prescient shopper you're likely to end up with leftover produce after making pizza at home. After staying up until 2 a.m. baking pizzas a few nights ago, I collapsed into a flour-addled coma and awoke hours later to find fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and the juices strained from a 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes regarding me reproachfully from the depths of the refrigerator. I knew there was only one course of action: salad. More

How to Make No-Knead Pizza Dough (No-Knead Pizza 101)

The best and worst thing about this dough is that it's wet and sticky: Water develops the gluten proteins in the flour, causing the dough to stretch beautifully when the yeast produces a high volume of gas in the heat of the oven. It's undeniably hard to roll out, but considering that rolling out the dough is the only difficult step in the entire process, this strikes me as an eminently fair trade-off. More

Fleischmann's New Pizza Crust Yeast

[Photograph: pizzacrustyeast.com] Fleischmann's has introduced a new pizza crust yeast. Have any pizza-makers out there tried it yet? The breadheads over at The Fresh Loaf seem to like it. Fleischmann's product site for the new yeast makes it clear that it's aimed at people who want to make pizza quickly. You simply stir it in (no need to proof), knead, and stretch it out. It contains dough relaxers so you don't have to let it rest before shaping. Have you used it? Let us know what you think.... More

My Pie Monday: ESNY1077's Broiled Plain Pie

It's always nice to see Slice'rs overcome the restraints of a small kitchen or use a creative method to prepare pizza. ESNY1077 does both with this My Pie Monday submission: I am far from an expert on making pizza, but I've been messing around a bit in my dreadfully tiny NYC apartment kitchen. This pie is my first attempt to use the broiler method mentioned by foolishpoolish. For the dough, I used Peter Reinhart's Neapolitan recipe.I know nothing about baking or making bread so I have a tough time knowing whats right and whats wrong or when I need... More

One Big Bottle: Captain Lawrence Smoke From the Oak

i love captain lawrence... want some right now!

Grilling: Rotisserie Turkey

If I were trying to make smoked rotisserie turkey, I would try cold-smoking the turkey for some time and then grill-roasting on a rotisserie as in this recipe. The problem with hot smoking is that the air surrounding the bird can hit a sort of bermuda triangle of temperature where it's hot enough to evaporate the water from the skin but not hot enough to convert the collagen into gelatin, leading to dry, leathery skin. If you cold-smoke the bird below the boiling point of water you might be able to get around this.

The Food Lab: Buffalo Fried Turkey

Poll: Deep Dish - 'Pizza' or 'Casserole'?

What about option five: NOMS

How to Choose Wine for Thanksgiving

@Maggie: Thanks for the advice. Are you going to post beer recs as well?

Thanksgiving Sides: Sweet Potatoes

I'm doing sweet potato latkes this year.

My Pie Monday: Margherita, Shaved Asparagus, Duck Prosciutto, and More!

Great selection this week.

My Pie Monday: Microscopes, Broiler Issues, and More

Excellent MPM crop this week. Those of you having broiler issues--have you tried leaving the broiler/oven door slightly ajar? This stops the broiler from going into an automatic cycle.

Poll: Eggs on Pizza - Way or No Way?

@Adam: LOL re: option three

How to Make Thin-Crust Focaccia Pizza

@mangia_beve: Yeast survives a broad range of temperatures. You can refrigerate yeast; it just becomes inactive. 40F, which is hotter than a refrigerator, is just fine.

This Week in America's Test Kitchen: Shrimp Tempura

@duncan1205: Strain the fat and keep in its original bottle. It will keep for months.

Video: Josh Ozersky, In Defense of Di Fara

Best pizza I've had in my life. Sorry, haters.

Best General Purpose Cookbook

I would avoid Bittman and the Joy of Cooking. They're not good sources for excellent meals. You don't need an encyclopedic reference; you need to build technique. If you know how to cook, unfamiliar ingredients or combinations are not challenging.

Martha Stewart's Cooking School and Tom Colicchio's Think Like a Chef teach you how to cook, which is all you need.

This Week in America's Test Kitchen: Charcoal Grill-Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast

before cooking, that is.

This Week in America's Test Kitchen: Charcoal Grill-Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast

That looks fantastic. It would probably be even better refrigerated overnight.

Mixed Review: Manischewitz's Honey Cake

I've had a lot of bad honey cake, but I strongly recommend the recipe from Mimi Sheraton's book From My Mother's Kitchen. It's absolutely fantastic.

Best in Show: Pleasant Ridge Reserve

I recently purchased this cheese from Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco. It was absolutely fantastic.

Rustic Country Pizza Dough

@wefamlee: I'd avoid pastry flour b/c it's not very glutinous. You can use bread flour, AP flour, or any whole grain you like. I know the Chez Panisse cookbook recommends a little rye flour in pizza.

@The Fat Pug: Glad it worked out for you!

Quote of the Day: Canned Mushrooms. Discuss

Small batch canned or jarred mushrooms expertly preserved in a delicious brine could be awesome, but I've never found that on a pizza.

'Slice' Poll: Fresh Mushrooms or Canned?

Fresh mushrooms ftw. As my recipe indicates I like to sauté the mushrooms first, but slicing them ultra-thin also works.

Favorite Chats with a Grocery Store Cashier?

I always want to make some bizarre joke to cashiers but end up restraining myself at the last minute.

Rustic Country Pizza Dough

I reduced it to 2 Tbsps. just for you.

Recap: Top Chef DC, Episode 9, Restaurant Wars

I'd be wary of saying Alex broke the rules as we're not privy to the exact instructions for each challenge.

Kenny's dishes clearly elicited the worst responses from the judges out of all the offerings on the losing team. He's been good in previous weeks, but Top Chef is all about what the judges have in front of them and he dropped the ball this time around.

Even given his output over the course of the season, I'm not upset about his ouster. His food always seemed to lack sophistication and finesse, though I liked the sound of his quickfire-winning pie dish. I think if you ask yourself what Kenny's style is and try to characterize the artistry of his cooking you'll come up short.

Westchester: Pitch-Perfect Pizza at Frankie & Fanucci's in Hartsdale

@dbdtron--Never tried it... would you recommend it?

Some French Pizzerias

@Adam--It's hard to think of a better snack than a baguette on the go.

Sweet pics; I hope there are more to come.

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