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alexcarlson

bread baker, guitar player, preservationist of artifacts of human automotion

Win a Copy of 'The Big-Flavor Grill'

I can't stop throwing birdseye chiles on everything!

The Best Fresh Tomato Sauce

Given that many of us are making a smaller batch than prescribed by the recipe, can you give a rough estimate of the "fresh" (minimally-cooked) puree to reserve in step 6, in proportion to the batch of tomatoes cooked in step 5?

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

My old man loves my potato, rosemary and mozz pie on a semi-Neapolitan crust.

Fried Sweet Cheese Pierogi

I wonder if these could be boiled, dried, frozen and stored, then fried from frozen - perhaps at a slightly lower temp to allow the filling to catch up to the dough? That would eliminate the two step boil-then-fry process in the future when the pierogi craving calls, and consolidate most of the labor to production day.

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

I'm confused about the talk of dirty taps. Around here (midwest) taps are serviced by the distributor. Say AB has four handles, the driver will clean those lines with (just about) every delivery. Every other distributor does the same for their taps. It's in the best interest of the distributors to keep their product up to standards.

Are things different in NYC? Or am I being naive about the pride my drivers take in their work?

All that said, I'll take a double bourbon on the rocks. Whatever's on the rail is fine.

Shrimp and Grits from 'The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen'

Solid recipe. Making a quick stock from the shrimp shells is a legit technique, and it lends MAJOR flavor to the finished dish. I like a chunkier sauce so skipped the puree step and just built the sauce in the pan after the shrimp is cooked off. (I used canned tomatoes with their juice.) And I'd add a couple chilies, half an onion, and maybe a bit of celery to the aromatics as the base of the sauce.

Also, minor point in the procedure above - cool the 2T of stock down to room temp (just put it in a small dish for a few minutes) before making the flour/stock slurry. If the stock is hot, the heat will seize the proteins in the flour and make a smooth slurry almost impossible.

And for the record, I subbed andouille for the bacon (with added bacon fat as needed) to excellent result.

The Food Lab: These Are My Knives

Great piece. I love tools with stories, history and significance.

My knife collection isn't nearly as deep or broad, but I did just get one I'm really proud to have: the cleaver that my girlfriend's great-grandfather handmade. He was the epitome of the independent self-sustaining DIYer (before such a term existed) so when he needed a cleaver to butcher the hogs he raised for his family, of course he made it himself. It's a full 1/4" thick and weighs in at 2# 4oz, and although the handle needs a light sanding and oiling, it's in perfectly functional shape for being probably well over 50 years old. It's really an honor to have.

Here it is after it's maiden voyage in my home kitchen - sailing through a chicken carcass for stock prep: http://i.imgur.com/CuG2szN.jpg?1

9 Oscar Hot Dogs Inspired by the 2014 Best Picture Nominees

My vote goes to the Captain Philips Dog, only for the phrase "Stranded in a Sea of Popcorn Shrimp," which I intend to use at every opportunity henceforth.

8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams, 2013

Even though since I live in St. Louis I've only had one of the pies on this list (Motorino), this is thoroughly enjoyable reading. The inclusion of the larger emotional/personal connection makes this much more interesting than just a List Of Good Pizza. And even though I only know you both through your respective work, I find myself vicariously excited for both you and Paulie on the PGPDX expansion. I look forward to following the progress, and I hope to make it to Portland (now some friends have moved there with a couch for me to crash on) to sample your wares. The amount of your own self that you invest in what you do leads me to believe you're deserving of great success. Best of luck!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

A nice thick ribeye.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

Potato, rosemary and mozz.

What Happens When a Restaurant Celebrates Colonial Kitsch?

No, asterik and gaffer are spot-on. Acknowledging injustice is just more liberal limp-wristedness forced on Real Americans by tweed-jacketed intellectuals. /s

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Perfect Steak Set from Double R Ranch Co.

Hot off the coals, rested on herbs (it really works!) and topped with coarse sea salt. I'm not even that picky about the cut - have you found a part of the cow that's bad?

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

It would definitely go into a loaf of pain au levain, straight out of the box.

Serious Entertaining: Big Group, Small Oven on Thanksgiving

You had me at #6.

What's Your Local Cheap Beer?

Stag is the local beer of choice in St. Louis and Southern IL for those of us not really down with the A-B brews.

Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in September

We need to see a Steakcraft feature on that ribeye from Ox!

Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in September

We need to see a Steakcraft feature on that ribeye from Ox!

Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in September

We need to see a Steakcraft feature on that ribeye from Ox!

Serious Cheese: 3 Unusual Goat's Milk Cheeses to Get You Hooked

There's a great little operation in Bloomsdale, MO called Baetje Farms. They're winning awards all over the world, and I'd personally put their cheeses up against the best.

Ask a Bartender: What's Your Favorite Bitter Liqueur or Amaro?

Mr. Harris from Firefly is not alone in his proclivities. I developed a taste (and minor addiction) for Angostura bitters as a shot during my time working on Washington Island in Wisconsin. Nelsen's Hall, the oldest bar in the state, operated through prohibition by serving bitters as "medicine," and the modern tradition to initiate newcomers to the island is to have them down a shot of Angostura, after which the bartender dips her thumb into the dregs of your glass, then puts her fingerprint onto your new Bitters Club membership card. I got the impression that this was supposed to be a mild hazing ritual, but I fell in love at first shot. (Usually it takes several...)

New Johnnie Walker Platinum Hits the US

@RaptorEsq: Who you YOU think reads this website? And why do you presume to know more about this site's demographics than the site's owner? Because I can guarantee they've spent more time and money than you have doing the research on their own site. More being less than zero, in this case.

Reality Check: McDonald's New Quarter Pounders

The same $3.99 buys you a double Steakburger with cheese and your choice of toppings (including a whole range of ambitious but likely disappointing "fancy" stuff like chipotle mayo, bleu cheese, "jerk" sauce, et cetera) in my local Steak 'N' Shake region. And that includes their pretty solid fries. That seems like a much better way to spend my hard earned dollars.

Father's Day Giveaway: Win a Baking Steel!

If my dad were a pizza, he'd be a good one. (D'awww.)

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

There will be a band, there will be beer and burgers. What else do you need?

Just harvested 40 quarts of green tomatoes - now what?

It was a weird summer here in St. Louis, and among other anomalies, our tomato plants went crazy, but the fruit refused to ripen. So, facing a solid week of frosts, I pulled up the boxes today and salvaged as much as possible. Now, like the title says, I have about 40 qt. of green tomatoes and I'm short on ideas.

Pickling/canning is an obvious one, and I'm thinking about making up a batch of green chili and subbing the tomatillos for green tomatoes.

Any other thoughts?

Sunday Supper: Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Stovetop Rhubarb Ketchup

Pork shoulder is beloved for good reason: it's cheap, forgiving, and it can feed an army. Those reasons alone make it a winner of a cut in my book. It's also barbecue spice-ready, too, as you'll see here. And when that version is paired with a homemade, garden-fresh condiment, it comes mighty close to being my personal version of heaven on earth. More

The Food Lab Turbo: These Pimento-Jalapeño Cheeseburgers Will Knock You Out

There's something about the way the caviar of the South (as pimento cheese is affectionately known) melts into a rich, oozy coating, its acidity and punch of pimento flavor accenting a thick and juicy grilled burger in a way that regular cheese just can't. Add some pickled jalapeño peppers in there in place of standard pickles and you've got yourself one hell of a fiery backyard treat. More

Essential Tex-Mex: How to Make Cheese Enchiladas With Red Chili Gravy

Meet the ultimate, upgraded Tex-Mex Enchiladas: Tortillas, rolled up around a cheddar-based filling and completely enveloped by a rich red chili sauce, then topped with even more melted cheese. The sauce is rustic and aromatic, with a haunting cumin aroma and a heat from the chilies that doesn't attack so much as slowly tickle the back of your tongue. We've taken a few liberties, but they're worth it. More

The Secret to Delicious Chicken Fajita Kebabs: It's All in the Marinade

Chicken isn't generally the go-to meat for fajitas (flavorful skirt steak is the deserving star usually), but this flavor-packed marinade made with cilantro, tart lime juice, brown sugar, cumin, and crushed red pepper makes it a worthy stand-in. Here, we thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and cook them kebab-style. It's everything there is to love about chicken fajitas on one stick, minus the tortilla, of course. More

Do You Know Your Tsukemono? A Guide to Japanese Pickles

Japanese pickles—known collectively as tsukemono—can easily go unnoticed as part of a washoku (traditional Japanese) meal. Yet they've rightfully earned their place as a cornerstone food because they serve an important purpose: Japanese food culture is heavily influenced by principles of balance handed down from kaiseki (the national haute cuisine). Here's how to tell your gari from your umeboshi. More

Shredded Beef Enchiladas With Three-Chile Sauce From 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table'

I didn't grow up in Texas, but I did eat my fair share of Tex-Mex as a kid. Saucy burritos, sizzling fajitas, and giant bowls of cheese dip all hold fond places in my heart, even as I have grown to love a two-bite chorizo taco much. One of my favorite dishes to order at these restaurants was the enchilada platter, drenched in red sauce and smothered in melty Mexican blend cheese. More

Why You Should Be Making Seared Skirt Steak With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Polenta

My wife does not love polenta. This puts a certain strain on our marriage. There is, of course, nothing not to love about polenta, especially when it's buttery, cheesy, creamy, and covered in a flavorful sauce. I know this, and I think she secretly knows this. Still, when I cook polenta, I like to hedge my bets by not putting too much time or effort into it. This quick polenta with skirt steak and tomatoes is about as easy as a meaty polenta dish can get. More