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The Food Lab: For the Best Broccoli Cheese Soup, Divide and Conquer

I made this last night. Stuck to the recipe, except I used an extra head worth of florets. It came out wonderful and looked just like the video.

My wife loved it so much that she took one bite and said, "You're my hero!" Now that's good soup.

Forget Store-Bought: This Easy Barbecue Sauce and Rub Combo Has You (and Your Ribs) Covered

I make No. 5 Sauce from a recipe you can google. Simple base ingredients, and you can jazz it up with hot sauce or spices. People love it and always ask what kind it is.

The Serious Eats Guide to Cacha├ža

My bottle of Leblon has "Brazilian Rum" on the label.

I guess that's to help us yanks figure out what to do with it.

Why a Control State Liquor Store Might Be Your Best Bet for Finding Rare and Interesting Spirits

A big problem in privatized states is the distributor/wholesaler. Under the three-tier system, retailers can't just do like Mark and go buy whatever they wish to sell. The retailer must buy from one of the few authorized distributors who, having little or no competition, don't have much incentive to carry a big selection. "You will drink your Bud Light and Jim Beam, and you will like it."

If our politicians really believed in free markets and capitalism, they'd scrap that ancient system and let our retailers (and consumers) order whatever they want from whichever brewery or distillery or wholesaler they wanted.

But the distributors/wholesalers donate a ton of $$$ to the politicians, so the consumer and small business get screwed.

The Story of Carolina Gold, the Best Rice You've Never Tasted

I want to complain about something, but every nit has been picked.

Channa Masala

This was a good dish that I will make again. I used six of the Thai chiles, and they packed a punch. May dial that back to 3 or 4 next time.

I mixed in yogurt at the end for a nice creamy texture. Served with naan bread.

Leftovers did well heated in the microwave. I ate it all week.

Knife Skills: How to Chop Capers and Olives

This reminds me. Did the video series thing peter out?

Why Brown Ale is Back (Plus 9 to Try)

I am always on the lookout for a brown ale or British bitter, so it's nice to see both of them get mentioned here lately. I was drinking Newcastle and Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale years ago when that's all you could get here, and most folks thought it was weird dark beer.

Suddenly, American taste turned from bland light beers to high-hop overdose. It's been good to see America get way better at the beer game, but I wish less hoppy and more malty beers would gain more market traction.

Stew Science: What's the Best Way to Brown Beef?

@just-eat-it Please report back on your experiment. I have always dutifully browned the meat, but I've wondered just how much difference in taste it makes, especially if you use Better than Bullion beef broth and tamari or soy sauce in the stew.

The Comfort Food Diaries: Movie Theater Popcorn, A New Hope

Love movie popcorn. Hate the butter. Just give it to me dry with a diet Dr. Pepper.

For a Festive Caipirinha, Add Pomegranate and Sparkling Wine

I like them too, but am never confident on pronunciation. I tried to order one at a small restaurant, but the young waitress was not familiar with the drink no matter how I said it. I resorted to pulling up a recipe on my phone, and she made me a strong one.

How to Make Easy Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Sounds good. I usually cook from scratch now, but one holdover from my "open three cans" days is Pace Picante Chicken Chili Stew. It came out of a recipe book I ordered from Pace for about $2 decades ago. It has flavors similar to this dish, can be made in minutes, and is surprisingly good.

You can find the recipe online these days. I like to stir in some sour cream and top with avocado, cilantro, pickled jalapeno slices, and lime juice. It calls for sauteing and stewing the chicken in 1-inch pieces, but you could also poach and shred it for different texture.

This Week on Special Sauce: Gail Simmons' Journey From Personal Assistant to Top Chef Judge

Just listened to the Kenji episode today while walking. Looking forward to this one as well. Paulie Gee might make a good interview down the road.

The Case for Bad Coffee

I enjoyed this essay, as well as the comments from the too-serious types and Asperger victims. People are funny.

I grew up in Louisiana drinking a local brand, Community Coffee dark roast. Everyone else did too. Didn't realize until I went to college that it was not the most popular brand in the country.

On This Week's Special Sauce: Kenji Talks the Food Lab, Baths, and Becoming a Cook

I enjoyed the first episode and look forward to this one. If it's as good as I hope, I'll hit the subscribe button to automatically download all new episodes.

I enjoy several podcasts, including some on food and cooking. Podcasters should remember that they need not emulate TV and radio shows. If an episode is good at 42 minutes, stop. Don't stretch it to an hour just because that's the length of a typical TV timeslot. And you don't have to crank out a new one every week. Just post one when you have a quality episode.

Get Yerself a Thermapen for $69 Before 11/1!

@Caleb F. Please don't get a Thermapen. They are for the cool kids only.

Easy Techniques to Improve Any Shrimp Recipe

I boil a pot of water with about 5 times more salt than most would think is too much, several glugs of liquid crab boil, a lemon or two, and a pouch of crab/shrimp boil herbs and spices. Throw the biggest shrimp you can buy in the boiling water, let them cook about a minute, then cut the heat and dump enough ice in the pot to stop the cooking. Let the shrimp soak up all that flavor, testing for taste after about 15 minutes. I usually let them go about 20 minutes.

Make a cocktail sauce of ketchup, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce.

How to Not F#&k Up a Caprese Salad

I read the comments simply to look for someone complaining about the "coarse language." Aaaand there it was. Always good for a laugh.

The Real Origins of the Boiled Peanut

It seems the MS River is a quasi-border for boiled peanuts. To the west, they favor roasted. To the east, it's boiled.

Equipment: Why it's Worth Buying an Olive Oil Pourer

I keep my World Market store brand oil in its original dark green bottle. It stays in the cabinet near the stove and gets used almost daily.

My wife has a special pourer bottle, but the oil doesn't come out of there fast enough to suit me.

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

"Best Straw: McDonald's" And everyone else is tied for last place. I have been amazed for over 30 years at how McD's has such awesome straws and not one competitor offers anything close.

Beyond English Breakfast: An Introduction to the World's Great Teas

Something that improved my tea was noticed when visiting some Brits. They barely steeped the tea. A quick dunk or two or three of the tea bag, and it was ready. If you leave it to sit for several minutes, the way the instructions on many American products say, it gets too bitter.

I find I can easily get two large and strong mugs of Yorkshire Tea with just one bag, steeped for just seconds each time.

Thanks for the series. It has been informative.

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 1

What "elitist label" might one use, if he did feel the need to do so, for eating a mostly plant diet? Quasi-vegger? Meat-eating-vegan? Plant-leaning-omnivore? Is there one?

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

Nice article. I learned a lot.

I use my Keurig coffeemaker to give me a quick cup of hot (192 degrees) water for making tea. Works well.


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