The Vegan Experience: Over 100 Flavor-First Vegan Recipes!

This is really good stuff, I'd say right up there with your best and the best of Serious Eats ever, and that's saying a lot. If this becomes a book I'm buying minimum 5 copies for sure! I've been right in the thick of the food business for a good number of years and it always surprises me that relatively accomplished and knowledgeable folk often have no clue how to build flavor without using standard boosters like rich meat stocks or ground up animal.
Kudos to you for promoting (and inventing) techniques that can deliver deliciousness without the use of animal products. I'm not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I'm in the middle of a long transition that way. So I'm glad to have these recipes to base a mostly meatless diet on. But more importantly to me, you've shown how developing vegan recipes is a fun intellectual and creative puzzle that should appeal to any curious cook.

The Food Lab: For the Best Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans, Ditch the Wok and Turn on the Broiler

So many great ideas here! Fuschia Dunlop has at least two versions of this recipe. I have been making it with great success from her first book, which does not use the technique of blanching the beans but instead uses raw beans cooked til blistered in a medium hot wok with a bit of oil (followed by a sauce made in a hot wok). But your new technique variations - broiler for the beans, lower heat for the sauce - are v cool and make sense for western-style kitchens. I've sort of had it with a lot of high temp stovetop cooking, and I appreciate your efforts to come up with new approaches while remaining true to the original spirit of the dish. Kimchi idea is cool too, thought I live in a city where I can easily get the imported Chinese stuff, and I also usually have some sort of homemade kraut sort of thing, which I've used to no ill effect.

The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography

Excellent piece, though I'm less dismissive of in-camera flash. I think the example you give with the two lemons the flash one actually looks better than the natural light one, which seems a tad underexposed to me. Flash is fun, and a cheeky counterpoint to the dominant tasteful aesthetic of the day (with proper diffuse lighting, narrow depth of field etc.) Though I guess you could argue that this counter-aesthetic has itself become mainstream.

Avoid the Vegan Carb Crutch by Flouting Pasta Tradition

I like this approach. Pasta might often be minimally dressed traditionally but that doesn't mean it's can't be great when the sauce ratios are non-traditional. I compare it to bread. I can enjoy a traditional loaf just plain or with a bit of butter. But I can also like an Italian sub, where the bread itself is in more of a supporting role.

A Song of Spice and Fire: The Real Deal With Hunan Cuisine

Chinese Aromatics 101: Stir-Fried Shrimp With Eggs and Chinese Chives

Love this series and I agree with @Ananonnie - egg and tomato is a favorite too.

How to Make Sopes (Savory Mexican Corn Cakes) With Masa

Another cool sounding thing I gotta make soon. I've mastered the basic tortilla but haven't really branched out. This might be the way to go - I especially like the idea of doing them ahead and freezing. And sopes are great because you can treat them just like a tostada but they're maybe better at containing things.

What the Frappe? THIS is a Real Milkshake

I believe there are a couple of Manhattan locations of the New England ice cream shop Emack & Bolio's. They use the word frappe. Frappes taking over!

What the Frappe? THIS is a Real Milkshake

@HarrietVane @Kenji ...and further, I believe you would go to a "spa" for a "tonic", which were often complicated beverages made from tinctures and extracts of various botanicals and spices and whatever (think early cola, root beer etc.), with soda water added to make a supposedly healthful tonic. So thus the roots of the Olde Timey New Englander use of the word "tonic' generically for soda pop.

Where to Find the Best Chinese Food in Boston

My favorite cuisine in my favorite city! Can't argue with the picks, and the comments are great too.

Chinese Greens 101: Spinach and Red Shen Choy in Garlicky Broth

This is just the sort of simple thing I love. I could see having some eggs with it, and rice, and that's it.

How to Make Gorditas With Masa

Thanks for this - I've been meaning to try things with this type of masa dough. One quibble - the article seems to suggest that a "basic tortilla" is made from a dough with masa harina, lard, flour and baking powder, but a "basic tortilla" is made simply from masa harina and water, no?

Boston Cheap Eats: 10 Great Dishes Under $10

Thanks for a great list with many classics and some personal faves. Going to have to try that eggplant. Nice photos, too.

Morscher's Pork Store, a Multicultural Meat Shop in Ridgewood

Really enjoyable piece or writing, thank you. You got in an impressive amount of interesting nuance and details. That place seems like a gem.

Asian-Inspired, Genius Level Drunk Food at... Hamburger King?

This post is great on so many levels. Agree about the eternal quest to find something real and personal and quirky in the sea of plastic. Too often it can't ever be found, but you got a great one here, totally new to me (though I too was thinking loco moco as I was reading). The fact of it is interesting, but it also looks delicious to me - a loaded, somewhat Asian scramble, rice and gravy. That could take over my life.

Take It With You: Great Coffee Travel Gear

I'm a recent convert to the Aeropress. Tom at Sweet Maria's has a tip for travel (don't know if he invented it but he talks about it): use a Hario Skerton grinder and grind directly into the aeropress instead of the glass jar. He uses a rubber gasket to attach them but I don't think you really need it. This way you don't have to pack the glass part of the grinder.

The Nasty Bits: Liver Stuffing

My first thought was that chunks of liver would distract; I want my very rare serving of stuffing to be fairly classical. But a puree? That's different and I like the sound of it. I like how the concept could veer toward livermush and liver pudding.

Notes from the West Virginia Pepperoni Roll Highway

Very cool, Hawk. I've never tried one but I love the whole idea. Heard about them from a friend who grew up with them.

People looking for a recipe should know that the Pepperoni Roll was in the May 2012 issue of Cook's Country

The Food Lab: How to Make Awesome Pho in 1-Hour

@kenji thanks for this one! Going to try it this weekend.

I question your reluctance to take on the ramen noodle. What makes it more difficult than other projects that you have taken on, like, for example, mastering pizza at home? Is noodle making really such a nuanced and practiced art that a good home cook couldn't get a good enough version after a few tries? Why is it insulting to try ramen noodles and not insulting to try other things that also take a bit of care? Is it insulting to try cassoulet? Naturally leavened bread? A shake shack burger? I think it would be a fun project and I want your guidance! Harold McGee's approach - flour and water and 1% by weight of alkalinizing agent (purchased online or at an Asian market, or made at home by baking baking soda in a low oven for an hour). Mix in a food processor with barely enough water to make it moist-ish but still sandy. Cram it together into a sort of dough and work it through a pasta machine a bunch of times, then cut into noodles. Most of us could handle that!

13 Great Roast Beef Sandwiches Around Boston

Horseradish is always an option but I think the big canonical version is the Three Way (Sauce, cheese, mayo. Sauce being bbq, usually James River.) But maybe @nycpunk1 is right and that's ultimately more North Shore. Great list, though I need to pile on about the absence of Nick's. I feel it should be noted that All Star and Cutty's, which both offer outstanding roast beef sandwiches, are a different type of place. They are more upscale and chef-y compared to the rest, which are more traditional beef joints. "Upscale" and "chef-y" aren't exactly the right words. They are sort of a Hot Doug's to a Gene and Jude's, food-savvy folks riffing on traditional American sandwiches. A newcomer working closer to the original model is the excellent Roast Beast in Allston, as mentioned above. (By traditional I mean: that it's basically thin sliced rare beef; condiments of choice; cheese or no cheese but definitely not gourmet cheese; a few token veg choices like tomato, pickle and sliced onion; soft supermarket-style bread rolls like a burger roll, bulkie or onion roll.)

College Tours: Where to Eat Near Harvard and MIT, Cambridge

@findingmykd don't know if you know this, but the 64 bus from Central makes it pretty easy to get over to Allston from the MIT area. You can get off in Union Square or before at Harvard Ave and walk a few blocks up to Brighton Ave. It's sometimes less than ten minutes and is pretty reliable.

College Tours: Where to Eat Near Harvard and MIT, Cambridge

Since we're being thorough, we can't leave off Rendezvous. Steve Johnson is one of the greats.

College Tours: Where to Eat Near Harvard and MIT, Cambridge

@kenji Sunny's has closed. Sort of sad since it was the last of that old school type of place in the area. Agree on the Area 4 breakfast sandwich - it's sort of a masterpiece. People's Republik is ok but for a dive bar really the only one left is the Cantab.

The Serious Eats Guide to Sandwiches

A really great list. I'd say only a couple of things - if you have the St. Paul then you should also have the Chow Mein Sandwich, still around in Fall River, MA and the area, and up in Salem too. Also, I don't see any of the Italian American classics - parms, meatball sub, sausage, peppers and onions. I don't know about the rest of the country, but around Boston these have long since spread out from Italian delis and are on the menu at practically every sub shop.

The Serious Eats Guide to Sandwiches, the International Edition

edit - scratch the chacarero - it's on the list!

navigation trouble

I probably have spent an hour a day on Serious Eats over the last few years and I certain that I'm in a demographic you covet.

I use Chrome on a 2 year old IMac. I don't have the best Mac skills, I admit.

I am not a dummy yet I cannot navigate the site successfully. It is, to me, the most frustrating site on the internet. It will lose my eyeballs, and has already made me very selective with the articles and, especially, slideshows that I click on.

Here's how it goes for me: scan the articles on the first page. Click "More" or "slideshow" if inspired. When done, click "back to article" and then the back button or, if it's not a slideshow, just hit the back button per usual.

Then continue to scan thru the "homepage", clicking "more" if you want to see older articles in the timeline. This could be several screens if you haven't checked in in a day. So you've gone done a few pages, scanning for what interests you. Then you click on a slideshow and go through it. Then what are your options? "Back"? No. That just goes back in the slideshow. "Back to article"? Well that's better, but still you end up at the same place - the "homepage' of the specific article. And if you want to get back to the spot on the main "homepage" where you left off, before you clicked on the slideshow? Impossible! You have to go to the very top of site and then navigate back to where you left off in your browsing. This is extremely annoying and I can tell you that it has cut my time on Serious Eats. It's just not normal, and you are losing my attention. If I'm more than a couple of pages deep I am extremely reluctant to click on a slide show, for example.

If I'm just stupid, please explain how. It's entirely possible.

Hot Dog of the Week: Polish Boy from Freddie's Rib House in Cleveland

Ever had a Polish Boy? Cleveland's signature sandwich is comprised of a giant kielbasa covered in french fries, cole slaw and barbecue sauce on a giant sandwich roll. An interesting combination of the city's barbecue and Eastern European traditions, it also brings to mind Chicago's minimalist "Depression Dog", or even Pittsburgh's cole-slaw-and-french-fries deli sandwiches. More

A Sandwich A Day: The 'Phyllis' at The Local Yolk in Austin, TX

Avocado and cream cheese had never occured to me as elements of an egg sandwich, but now that I've had it I'm a huge fan. At Austin's The Local Yolk cart, the "Phyllis" ($7) stacks those ingredients in precise, even layers—a slim fried egg that's just barely set in the middle, buttery, even slices of avocado, and a substantial layer of cream cheese—between slices of white bread that gets a great crunch to counter the soft middle. More

Provençal White Bean Dip

While in Napa recently, I found and loved a white bean dip at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Yountville, which came served with pain epi. It was creamy, mild, and mellow, but not bland at all. And it had a distinct advantage over butter—I could slather on as much as I wanted without guilt. More

How to Make No-Cook Freezer Jam

With freezer jam you get to preserve the bounty of summer without the fuss, heat, equipment, and time that canned jams require. All you need is ripe fruit, sugar (or another sweetener), pectin, and about 15 minutes of easy kitchen time. Before you know it, you'll be proudly scooping up homemade jam for toast, smoothies, yogurt, or just straight into your mouth. More

Cook the Book: Complete Hummus

In Israel, hummus is treated as a blank canvas for all sorts of toppings. This Complete Hummus begins with a great recipe for basic hummus—dried chickpeas soaked overnight and blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic—which are topped off with a pool of spicy lemon-cumin-hot pepper sauce, drizzles of olive oil and raw tahini, and a sprinkle of parsley and chopped onion, and even whole chickpeas if you'd like. More

Hot Dog Of The Week: The Froman from Gilbert's Craft Sausages

We're back in the hot dog test kitchen this week with a unique dog from Gilbert's Craft Sausages, a new hot dog and sausage company out of Wisconsin. Their products are made with high quality cuts of meat (think sirloin) and no artificial ingredients, preserving the dogs with natural cherry powder and celery juice rather than the standard nitrates. The natural casings are made with beef collagen. The Froman is an all-beef frank named after Abe Froman, the fictional Sausage King Of Chicago from Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Flavored with coriander, mustard, cloves and paprika, it's similar in flavor to a Chicago Vienna Beef frank or a New York "kosher-style" dog. More

How to Make Duck Larb with Chef Harold Dieterle of Kin Shop

The Duck Larb that Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle makes at his Thai restaurant Kin Shop (review here) is among the best I've had, in Thailand or out. Rarely do you find such a perfect balance between the hot, pungent, sour, and aromatic ingredients that are the hallmark to this classic dish. We asked him to show us how he creates it. More

Coppelia: The 24-Hour Cuban Diner We Didn't Know We Needed

Some restaurants open to fill a clear need—and some restaurants strike a note so right that they seem as if they were needed all along. I didn't know that 14th Street needed a 24-hour Cuban diner, polished but homey, Latin-and-American, with cheery yellow walls and remarkable desserts and Maná and Juanes as the soundtrack. But now that I've been, it seems the most logical idea in the world. More

How To Make Tortillas

I'm not going to lie. Making fresh corn tortillas is more time-consuming and difficult than using storebought. And if you live in the right area, the storebought kind can actually be pretty good. That said, they don't come close to the intense corn flavor and pillowy, steamy softness of a fresh, handmade tortilla fresh off the comal (or the nonstick griddle, as the case may be), and they really aren't that hard to make. More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Beef-less Burgers

For last week's Weekend Cook and Tell challenge we asked all of you to forgo the beef in favor of other proteins coaxed into burger-like packages. Predictably Beef-less Burgers caused quite a stir, sparking the age-old question: "is it still burger without the beef." No matter what side of the fence you're on, you have to admit that this challenge brought in some great (albeit, possibly bastardized) burger ideas. Let's take a look at some of our favorite bun-stuffers. More