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How to Make Maryland Fried Chicken With White Gravy

Ever wonder why there isn't a chicken-fried chicken alternative to chicken-fried steak? Turns out it exists, and it's called Maryland fried chicken. Shallow fried with a simple dredging of seasoned flour until golden, then topped with a white gravy made in the skillet after frying, this is a version of fried chicken you need to know about. More

The Best Way to Mince Garlic

When a recipe calls for minced garlic, just how much does your mincing method matter? From classic chopping to a garlic press and microplane, we explore the relative merits of each technique. Turns out the choice you make can have a drastic effect on the flavor of your food. More

Vinaigrette: A Sauce For More Than Just Salads

A vinaigrette can be used for far more than just salads—after all, it's a legit sauce, and should be thought of as such. Here, we spoon a tangerine and fennel vinaigrette on whole roasted fish, to add a splash of light, bright flavor. The fact that it can be thrown together so quickly is just gravy...er...we mean vinaigrette. More

Why Serious Cooks Use Carbon Steel Knives

For a long time, I lived in denial of how strong my feelings for carbon steel are. People would ask me what knives they should buy, and, unless they were professionals, I'd always steer them towards stainless steel. I figured I was giving good advice, since stainless steel is more forgiving, and most home cooks are looking for ease. But now I'm going to tell you what I really think: if you take cooking seriously, if you're ready to invest a little bit of time and a lot more care, and—this is a big one—if you're willing to sharpen your own knives, then carbon steel is where it's at. More

How to Make the Best Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs, stars of 1960s-era cocktail parties and IKEA shopping trips, are, on the surface, pretty simple: a mix of pork and beef that's lightly spiced and served with a rich gravy. Getting them just right, though, requires some fine-tuned tinkering. Here's our ultimate version, as good on a plate with buttery potatoes and lingonberry jam as speared on a toothpick. More

How to Restore Vintage Cast Iron Pans

We love cast iron here at Serious Eats. We know many of our readers love it too. And for those who are really, really serious about it, the next step is to go vintage. But just how do you fix up a rusted century-old pan? We went to a pro to find out. More

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes That Travel Well

Hosting Thanksgiving is a daunting task. Also daunting: bringing a dish with you to a dinner hosted by someone else. It needs to be something that can withstand travel and requires minimal work once you arrive—because the kitchen is going to be chock full of insanity. Here are a whole bunch of great ideas. More

Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks

@ron525i You can do it without the lid and just baste several times during cooking

Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks

@fal18 The most important thing is that it's a dry red wine that isn't too expensive. Every wine store carries a very different stock so it's hard to be specific because it depends on their inventory. You can go in a wine shop and ask for a low priced dry red that you will use for cooking (but may also have a drink of); basically nothing terrible but nothing fancy either. Many wines can work here, from Merlot to Cabernet sauvignon to all sorts of others, pinot noir too though it's rarely cheap. Just find a trusted wine merchant and ask for guidance based on what they stock. How that helps!

Winter Comfort: Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks

@ocean It was like a cab-merlot blend

French Onion Soup (Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée)

@gavrilo I have issues with both the texture and flavor when using baking soda to speed browning. For a puréed soup, the texture issues don't matter, though for onion soup they do because the onions should remain in distinct (yet meltingly soft) pieces. But texture aside, I just haven't enjoyed the flavor much. The baking soda changes the taste of the food in a way I don't like. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it than others.

Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks

@foozebox The parchment is halfway between having a lid and not having a lid. Fully lidded, the braise would steam and you'd get no evaporation; unlidded and you can get too much evaporation and the meat can dry out on top. The parchment lid allows some evaporation, while also trapping a degree of moisture.

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

@Farro Minimal amount is left over, like a thin slice-- it's pretty efficient.

French Onion Soup (Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée)

@charna You can make the soup entirely in advance (through seasoning with vinegar and fish sauce). Just reheat and pile into bowls with the bread and cheese, finish in the oven and you're all set.

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

@kewbwian The prongs on the safety guards don't ever hit the blade on the models I tried

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

@croooom Those gloves are probably good insurance, though the safety guards also work well, except for the Benriner

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

@Mmmph I tested both. The cheaper Borner I wasn't thrilled with-- 2 thickness setting is pretty limited, I didn't love the plate-switching design, and the included parts for cross-cuts kept falling out of their holder (and they also seemed to scratch the plastic inside their holder, which I worried could dull the blades over time, though maybe that wouldn't happen).

@blossomtostem I don't know if they've updated the design or not, but I looked at the Amazon reviews quite a bit and a lot of the complaints I saw date back several years, so I also wondered whether they'd improved things since.

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

@Laurie Some are dishwasher safe if you remove the blades first (the bigger Oxo allows total blade removal for a dishwasher); dishwashers are not good for the blades though, so I otherwise would not recommend using one to clean a mandonline. Truth is they're pretty easy to clean in the sink, since they're usually just dirtied with a little bit of raw vegetable juice...doesn't take much to clean them off.

French Onion Soup (Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée)

@Kevin It's made by Le Creuset. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/Le-Creuset-Stoneware-French-16-Ounce/dp/B007ILX9P2/?tag=serieats-20

@Gavrilo I'd like to play with pressure-cooker caramelizing more, but my tests with baking soda produced results I don't like and wouldn't recommend for this recipe (it's an issue I've had in general with their baking soda/pressure-cooker caramelization technique).

@Molotov If your stock is very reduced, you can dilute it for sure for this soup.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@Benton Yes, if you want to pump up the body of thin stock (such as all store-bought stuff that comes in cartons), the gelatin trick will definitely work here. The onions end up adding quite a bit of body on their own, so I don't think it's as necessary, but it can't hurt!

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@nalega It sure would!

French Onion Soup (Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée)

@wolfde There's some reduction in the 20 minutes of simmering, though it's true you may end up with leftovers, but as you said, better that than not having enough. You can add the fish sauce before the 20 minute simmer, though I didn't find any fish taste even when adding the teaspoon at the end.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@melhillphotos Oh yeah, good Q about the flour. It's a fairly common ingredient, and I did test it. As you say it does slightly thicken the broth, but I found that nicely caramelized onions do quite a bit of thickening on their own, especially if you use a good homemade stock that already has some body. In the end, I thought the soup had more than enough body even without the flour, so I didn't see the need.

The Secrets of the Juiciest, Most Tender and Flavorful Italian-American Meatballs

@Fire Depends where you get your ground meat. A good butcher or meat counter should either grind it fresh for you, or have it freshly ground using a quality meat grinder in their meat case. As you say, grinding it at home is another great option for guaranteeing good ground meat, but it's not the only way.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@Anonnie Yes, very good point. Water is a perfectly fine option, and you're right that it too is part of onion-soup tradition. The beef stock thing is like the extremely dark onions...something that people started insisting on at some point even though it isn't essential (which isn't to say that it's bad...)

The Secrets of the Juiciest, Most Tender and Flavorful Italian-American Meatballs

@leemailbox I'd maybe do all-beef, or a beef and veal mix.

@Abbellire I don't think I ever claimed these to be authentic. They're honestly even better than that.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@kagredon I didn't say beef stock was "too hard", that's a misquote. I said it was very time-consuming. The time difference between beef stock and a white chicken stock is more than 10-20 minutes, especially if you're browning the bones properly. Anyway, anyone who wants to make beef stock should feel free to do it, but I don't think it's necessary for great French onion soup.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@superSEARious I don't want to suggest that beef stock is too difficult to make at home--anyone who wants to can and should...the issue is that it's more time consuming, since it requires browning the bones first. It's also a less versatile stock than chicken, so for most home cooks it isn't usually worth the investment of time to prepare a batch and keep on hand (chicken, on the other hand, can be used in just about any recipe that calls for stock, including as a stand-in for fish stock). For a lot of people, having to make beef stock for a soup recipe would more or less be a deal-killer, whereas chicken stock is less of an issue. That said, if you have beef stock or want to make it, by all means don't let me stop you!

@Alex I didn't test pressure cooker for this recipe, but it might be a good idea to do follow-up recipes using both pressure cooker and slow-cooker. I'll look into it. Generally, though, I haven't been a huge fan of the baking-soda trick for caramelizing in a pressure cooker the handful of times I've tried it. The flavor of the vegetable changes in a way that I don't love with the addition of baking soda. But I'm interested to explore it more.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

@Catriona I didn't test a slow-cooker, but that would be a good follow-up since I know there's a lot of interest in slow-cooker recipes.

Juicy and Tender Italian-American Meatballs in Red Sauce

@arjun Thanks for leaving your notes, glad you liked them. Should be possible to mince the gelled stock finely, just takes some persistence with the old knife.

Juicy and Tender Italian-American Meatballs in Red Sauce

@Windtryst That's how long it took for me, but I'd go by the doneness cues in the recipe since times can vary-- browned in the broiler, and just cooked through in the sauce (contrary to popular belief, meatballs don't get any better as they simmer for a long time in sauce, they just get more and more dry). As for the shape, it's a hard one. Inevitably, tender and moist meatballs will be soft when raw, which means they will flatten somewhat on the bottom as they cook in the broiler; I'm okay with that, since the effect isn't major. If you don't like that, you have two options: deep fry the meatballs in a deep enough layer of oil that they are more or less floating and not touching the bottom of the vessel, or skip the browning step and simmer them right in the sauce.

Juicy and Tender Italian-American Meatballs in Red Sauce

@jezoc Weight will always give more consistent results than volume. Your bread may be airier than mine, taking up more space but having no more actual substance

The Ultimate Fully Loaded Nachos

What does it take to make an incredible plate of bar-style, fully loaded nachos? For starters, at least three kinds of cheese, two kinds of beans, and two different applications of creamy, tangy dairy. It may sound like overkill, but there's a method to this madness. More