Chris from Eugene

I used to accept money to feed people. Now I'm in recovery and cook for love. Much, much better.

  • Location: Eugene
  • Favorite foods: Local, in-season.
  • Last bite on earth: Dark chocolate!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kenji, I appreciate that you encourage measuring by weight, but then the recipe offers no weights for small-quantity ingredients. I know how to read a decimal, how about going all the way in on precision baking?

I'd rather just keep hitting 'tare', you know...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Grilling: Coke and Pineapple Glazed Ham

Hmmm, I'm confused. If you're trying not to dry out the ham, wouldn't you want to heat it hot and fast? Think about heating bread: if you put it in a low oven for a while, it'll come to temp, and be toast: dry. If you use high heat for a short time, it comes to temp and stays moist. What am I missing here?
Help us Obi Wan Kenji, you're our only hope...

Ask a Bartender: What's One Drink We Should Be Making at Home?

Thank you thank you thank you for ditching the slideshow. Glad to see you value readers over pageviews!

Would You Send an Espresso Back?

From the other side of the counter, at our espresso biz at Eugene's Saturday Market, I tried to teach staff that we were in the business of providing guests with a cup of exactly what they want, not simply selling coffee.

Happened a lot in the early 90's, when terms for espresso drinks were very much in flux, and we'd have situations where someone from another region would order a drink expecting something different than what we made. Rather than get pedantic, we'd just ask them exactly what they wanted in their cup, and make it.

If a guest actually took the time to come back up to the counter with an issue, that seemed pretty significant to me. So, we'd first refund their money, then remake their drink. The reason didn't matter; the goal of the transaction was to demonstrate integrity, and serve the guest exactly what they wanted.

I sometimes imagined that this might be the only time in their day when they got exactly what they wanted, and that moment of recognition, where they saw that we were simply trying to do right by them, made everything worth it.

It's really fun, actually, to let go of your own expectations, and try your hardest to get something right for someone else, if you make that the task, rather than a revenue target for the day.

Then again, I'm just an Oregon weirdo...

The Hog Days of Summer: Tyson Ho's Whole Hog Barbecue in NYC

Seconding BuckSouth, and adding that the butchering surface appears to be quite porous, better to host bacteria. Yummy?

Father's Day Giveaway: Win a KettlePizza Pro 22 Kit

Stopping eating pizza because of cholesterol worries :(

Cheesy Grits with Spring Vegetables

Why martyr yourself with all the stirring? 1 quart liquid, 1 cup grits, 1 teaspoon salt, in a small ovenproof container uncovered at 350 for around 40 minutes will do just fine. No lumps or problems. Stir in cheese and butter, cook covered a bit longer and poof, perfect grits w/out the constant stirring.

To get fancy, grab a pound of shrimp, make a quick stock from the shells, then use that for the liquid. Add 1/2 C fresh corn and some green onions along with 1/3 C parm. Saute shrimp w garlic or terriyaki and place on top. Our go-to dinner, along with some slow cooked greens like collards.

We Try Mama Walker's Breakfast-Inspired Booze

@W*D*C: Perhaps this is it.

Holiday Giveaway: The Amazing Thermapen Thermometer

Just checked the water temp in my coffee kettle to see where it is 60 seconds after boiling, looks like I need to wait a bit longer to let it cool to 195.

How to Grill a Thanksgiving Turkey

Is there a Serious Eats editorial stance on brining? This article advocates for it, while the Food Lab (Kenji) is decisively anti-brining, and specifically warns against using acidic brines like cider.

Seems like a pretty confusing set of mixed messages...

Deliciously Original Flavors at Lick Ice Creams in Austin

Editors: you've left an it's uncorrected in the first paragraph. "...Two, it's artisan ice cream" should use "its".

Have you thought of employing a copy editor? Throughout SE there are often instances of missing or dropped words, incorrect usage, or other errors that interfere with successful expression of your message.

The Scoop: On Steve's

@Kenji, I guess you're not old enough nor West enough to remember Bud's in SF. Long before Steve's there were lines 'round the block for Bud's. Nice try, though!

Spicy Dilly Beans

@Yami: 2 issues - 1. Make sure the vinegar is 5% acidity, so that the recipe is food safe. 2) Red vinegars will radically change the appearance; there's something beguiling about the emerald green of dilly beans...

A Beginner's Guide to Canning

A few things from a veteran preserver:

Lids shouldn't be boiled or simmered, it can melt the glue prematurely. I usually bring a small pot to a boil, remove from heat, add lids, and cover.

Jars and bands don't need to be boiled, as the food going in them is not sterile. Cleaned them very well with hot soapy water, and then keep nice and hot for filling. I often use the sanitize setting on my dishwasher.

Pressure canning is for low acid foods, such as most veggies and meats. USDA recommends pressure canning tomatoes when they're super ripe, too.

Storing jars without bands allows for easier detection of spoilage.

When placing jars in a boiling water bath, the water level should be a good couple inches of water above the top of the jar.

When screwing the bands on, mellow hand tight pressure is more than sufficient. The band doesn't make the seal, the change in pressure does. The band is mostly there to keep the lid aligned with the jar top, and to keep everything together if there's any siphoning or burping.

You can pressure can foods that you'd usually process in a boiling water bath, but I'm not sure why you'd want to subject them to the higher temperatures.

If you're just starting out, make some jam or jelly using Pomona's Pectin and their low-sugar recipes. You can use half the usual amount of sugar, so the fruit really stands out, and the recipes are well written and dependable.

The University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation has tons of great info:

Have fun!

Win Pop Chart Lab's "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" Poster

I've been experimenting with the ratios for making a rye slaughter, then figured out that it's really a Boulevardier! I like mine with twice as much rye as compari and vermouth, though. French75's are a lot of fun with some cava or prosecco too.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

I've been loving Serrano ham lately.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

Wrapped around bacon!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

Great bread, parm, and a nectarine!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Filet Mignon Roast from Pat LaFrieda Meats

Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda's Big App For Meat, Released in Apple Store Today

Giveaway: Win a Free All-Natural Bell & Evans Turkey from Pat LaFrieda

I'm going with the applewood-smoked turkey, but am considering not brining, after some thoughtful discussion with Kenji regarding dilution of flavor. Also, he shared that both he and McGee found brined less flavorful in taste tests.

The Food Lab Answers Thanksgiving Questions: On Turkey, Non-Turkey Mains, Gravy

"I personally prefer the undiluted flavor of a natural bird. I mean, while brining adds moisture, really all you're doing it watering down flavor."

Have you considered McGee's assertion in "To Enhance Flavor, Just Add Water"( in context of turkey, and brine? What effect does moderate dilution have on perceived taste?

Garlic Dill Pickles

Aloha ,

A couple food safety and crunchiness optimizing comments:
@mtrillo94 - pickling salt is simply pure salt, without iodine or unclumping agents. Kosher may be substituted, but because the grain may be coarser, it could be a different density than pickling salt. Because the salt helps preserve the food, if you're going to process and keep the pickles out of the fridge, I'd recommend substituting by weight, not volume of salt.
Crunchiness - Use calcium chloride, 1/4 tsp per quart, to improve crunch. Also, I'm an advocate of low temperature pasteurization. A processing temperature of 180 - 185 degrees for half an hour will yield a superior pickle. Low temperature pasteurization is approved by OSU & WSU as food safe.

Doneness Temperature for Pots au Chocolate, Creme Brulee?

Thanks for the info. I'll split a batch of Pots into 3, and pull them at 155, 160 & 165, then I'll comment with outcomes.

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