Tips and Tricks for the Best Scrambled Eggs, Your Way

I actually like to put in a bit of cream cheese in instead of milk/cream, it works better if the cream cheese is softened a bit before since it melts faster once it goes in the pan. I've had scrambled eggs all 3 of these days and my favorite is definitely the soft scrambled eggs for sure.

The Real Rules of Making Polenta (Hint: They're Not What Everyone Says)

I'd be most curious about a sous vide method as well. This article is good timing though since I just recently bought a bag of Bob's Red Mill polenta but didn't really know how to even cook it really.

How to Make Mexican Tamales

Serious Eats doesn't have a spell checker, that would be your web browser spell checker that doesn't know what a tamal is. Even Webster's dictionary recognizes tamale but does not recognize tamal at all. It wouldn't be the first foreign word that was mistranslated when English speakers started using it and I'm sure it won't be the last.

How to Make Mexican Tamales

Is the steaming of Tamales integral to having the right texture of the final product or is it just a means to get them cooked? I'm wondering if it would work at all to vacuum pack tamales and then cook them sous vide. I am still trying to find every opportunity to use my Anova Precision Cooker :) I suppose if I can't cook them that way I could at least reheat them later that way.

Do Wheat-Enriched Corn Tortillas Bring Us the Best of Both Worlds?

Has anyone tried the TortillaLand all corn tortillas at all? I've tried them and they are fine but I've not had a lot of other corn tortillas to compare them too. HUGE fan of the flour tortillas though from TortillaLand.

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Pork Dumplings

I am still lamenting the great pork and chive dumplings that I used to be able to get from a local Chinese takeout place. They changed to a different inferior dumpling probably 10 years or more ago now but I still miss them. They sound a lot like the description of the Way Fong dumplings but the little bit I can see of the dumplings themselves look way too small. I've tried a number of times to make it from scratch too but I doubt I'll ever get it right since I can't get Chinese chives where I live.

Everything You Can Do With a Can of Chipotles in Adobo

Canned chipotles are a pantry staple for me as well. They aren't that spicy to me but they add great depth of flavor. I usually add more than the recipe calls for too. There is almost always a partially used can sitting in my fridge but I never think to do some freezer trick so I don't have to always throw away half the can. Anyone know how long it is safe to use the leftover chipotles if left covered in the fridge?

Ask The Food Lab: Do Grill Pans Actually Mimic Grilling?

So I had an accident with my grill pan a while back where I basically burned some bbq sauce onto the pan. It is basically charcoal now and won't come clean even with scrubbing. I think I'm gonna have to resort to using my grill to burn it off so I don't sent off my smoke alarm in my apartment. Not sure what I'd do if I didn't have a grill outside at all.

The Elements of Great Gravlax, the Easiest Luxury Food You Can Make at Home

I've been wanting to try this for a while but it's one of those things I've never gotten around to. I think I would definitely try using smoked salt though since I love lox

The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs

Thanks as always Kenji for looking at this. I noticed a long time ago that parsley lasts longer in a cup of water than it does in the grocery store bag but I never really thought of covering it to make it last even longer. It is really nice to have fresh parsley around all the time, I just wish that chives could last as long as parsley does. At least dried chives from a good source (like The Spice House) still have some flavor unlike dried parsley from any source.

How to Make Flour Tortillas So Tasty You'll Want to Eat Them Alone

@Joshua Yeah that is the post that I found out about TortillaLand tortillas actually, sorry I should have linked to it for you. I like that there's no funny stuff in them either though I don't know why they feel the need to put sugar in their recipe (Full ingredients list: Wheat Flour, Water, Canola Oil, Salt, Sugar). I think the package suggests using within a week after opening but there're fine for longer than that.

They also have a Cheesy Tortilla that I'd love to try but they aren't stocked anywhere nearby.

How to Make Flour Tortillas So Tasty You'll Want to Eat Them Alone

Joshua, have you ever had the TortillaLand tortillas that you buy raw from the refrigerated section at the grocery store? Those tortillas (once cooked) put every other store bought tortillas to shame and I wondered if you knew how they compared to your home made? I can't go back to other kind of grocery store tortillas now but using the TortillaLand ones are still faster than making them from scratch.

Taste Test: The Best Supermarket Bacon

@hroark314 Just because they aren't listed above doesn't mean they didn't taste Smithfield. For the last year or two now SE only lists the winners of taste tests and doesn't say anything about the rest of the brands sampled. It's something about not wanting to say something negative about a brand and possibly alienating a future sponsor.

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta

@kirkegrd I agree on the xanthan gum ricotta too. That was all I could find at my local Kroger so I just went with it and the gnocchi seemed to turn out pretty well. I did use the full 3.5 ounces of flour that Kenji called for and it seemed fine to me. I wonder about using cream cheese as well now that you mention it and no draining would be necessary at all either

Forget Totchos and Nugchos; Spamchos are The Ultimate Nacho Hybrid

@Lane Smith I was thinking the same thing! My favorite thing from this is the "you can never squeeze too many species into a single snack"

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

@dorek I'm not sure why your comment isn't showing up on here yet but I would have agreed with you on Hardees a few years ago when all the ones in my area closed. A few months ago I drove the 30 miles to the nearest one because I really wanted a breakfast biscuit sandwich from Hardees and was sorely disappointed. They weren't much like the biscuits that I remember from a number of years ago and while they were good, they just weren't as great as I remember them being.

@igotsapoodle I lover Culvers as well. The one in my hometown is actually the location that won some sort of best team award at a Culvers company conference a couple months ago. I just wish that Culvers would introduce some kind of breakfast menu. I am positive that they'd knock it out of the park if they decided to make a breakfast menu.

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

Maybe the Five Guys closest to me just isn't a good one but their fries have been horrible the few times I've been there. They are just limp and soggy in my experience which is a shame since they could be great if made properly. I wish that Culver's would take on breakfast sometime. I bet they'd do a great job with it! Their fast food burgers and chocolate shakes are in my opinion the best available in my immediate area. (Five Guys is most definitely not close at all even if they were great)

Staff Picks: The Pantry Staples We Can't Live Without

One of my pantry staples along the same lines as these would have to be hot giardiniera. My favorite is Chicago Johnny's brand right now. It adds a nice bit of heat and crunch to pretty much anything and I like using the oil from the jar to cook with once the chunks are gone. The chipotles in adobo are always on hand too along with hoisin sauce, mostly because my local takeout place gives a teeny tiny amount of hoisin with moo shu pork.

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

Is the Harmless Harvest coconut water shelf stable or is it refrigerated? I tried looking for it at a local grocery store that supposedly carries it but was unable to locate it. Knowing whether or not it is shelf stable will at least help me narrow down where I should be looking for it.

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

@simplemind Serious Eats' policy on taste tests for quite a while now has been to only mention the products that were well received. It has been a long while now since they gave a comprehensive lists of all the brands that were tasted with all the high and low points. No doubt Kenji has had Zico coconut water but for whatever reason, it didn't make Kenji's best of list.

Besides if this was just an advertisement don't you think that the sponsor would likely be one of the largest coconut water products like Zico where they would obviously get the top spot.

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

I guess that's probably why I'm struggling to get rid of the case of Vita Coco coconut water in Tetrapak container that I got a while back. I'm not sure I can justify spending $6 for a 20oz bottle of coconut water though even just to see what I'm missing.

Make Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi in Less Time Than it Takes to Cook Dried Pasta

Thanks Kenji, I never realized making gnocchi could be this easy! Definitely going to be trying this soon with just some browned butter (my favorite way to have gnocchi).

I think you do have a small typo in your ricotta draining section though. I think you meant "...I weighed out batches of ricotta before and after draining..." instead of the "...I weighed out batches of gnocchi before and after draining..." that you have now.

How to Clean Out Your Spice Cabinet and Organize it—for Good

@Carmichael That would be real dangerous if I ever actually went to a Spice House store. I've only ever ordered online when they have their occasional free shipping deals that they post once in a while on their Facebook page.

Does anyone know how much impact the storage vessel has on how long spices last at all? I can't help but think that spices stored in plastic bags would not keep it fresh for as long but I don't know if it is true. The glass jars that The Spice House puts their spices in are pretty nice though and they have all survived the occasional drop from my spice shelf to my kitchen floor.

How to Clean Out Your Spice Cabinet and Organize it—for Good

One tip to take when replenishing spices after the purge is to get a cheap little label maker so you can show when you bought the spices so you know how old they are when you go to use them later. In my case I can be pretty confident that spices are very fresh when I receive them because I've been buying nearly all of mine from The Spice House for a while now.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Yeah, I would have been right next to Kenji looking at the innards of the induction burner to figure out how it works. Is there a good story attached to the breaking of the induction burner glass at all?

Pinterest button question/suggestion

I'll admit it, I do use pinterest. I pretty much only use it as a dumping ground for recipes that sound good and I want to try sometimes. Is there a way to get the Pinterest button on SE to automatically retrieve the title of the article/recipe your attempting to pin? Other websites I've used will automatically put text (usually the recipe title) into the description of the pin box, but SE has never done that. On SE I usually just end up doing a copy/paste of the recipe title, but it'd be handier to not have to do that.

(Firefox 18 on Windows 7 if that matters)

New to Whole Foods

I saw a talk thread a couple weeks ago asking the same question about Trader Joe's, so I figured I'd start one about Whole Foods. There is finally a Whole Foods market opening up in the southern suburbs of Chicago (Orland Park IL to be precise) in a couple weeks. I know the nickname is "Whole Paycheck" and all that, but without worrying a whole lot about money what are the items that Whole Foods excels at? and what sort of stuff should be avoided?

I won't be going there every week or anything since it still a decent drive to get there, but it will be a much more reasonable drive than any other Whole Foods that has existed in the Chicago area before now.

Pizza Steel instead of Pizza Stone?

Has anyone ever tried using steel in place of stone for oven pizza cooking? I just noticed this kickstarter linked below that claims steel makes for great pizza. I would think that steel would lose its heat faster than stone but I suppose that might be a good thing if that heat is going into the pizza faster. It just seems to me that stone vs steel for pizza baking would be like the difference between cast iron and aluminum for a frying pan. Both can get very hot, but the second options wouldn't be able to build up as much heat as the first.

Pizza Steel Kickstarter
(disclaimer, I am no way associated with this kickstarter at all, not even a backer as of right now)

Best brand of Vanilla?

Seeing as how the Christmas holidays are coming up and everyone seems to bake a lot more this time of year, I think this question could help a lot of people.

My mom has always used the standard McCormick pure vanilla extract from the grocery store baking aisle. She did at least use pure extract instead of imitation. A while back I tried a different brand, Wilton I think, and was surprised that there was a noticeable difference.

I have used the Wilton bottle up now and can't find any more in the store where I got it before. I would like to know what your favorite brand of Vanilla is so I can buy some. I was looking at the King Arthur Flour site and noticed that their vanilla is rated well by their viewers, but I don't know if there is something better out there.

Emailing an article not working?

Over the last week or two I have tried emailing a couple of posts to someone using the email button at the top of the article, but it doesn't seem to be working because the recipient hasn't gotten anything. I tried emailing myself an article with the same method an hour or so tonight and I still haven't received it either. Has anyone else successfully used the email feature lately at all?

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs

The secret to peeling hard boiled eggs? Well "secret" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Here's the truth: there is no 100% fool-proof method I've found, and I do believe I've tried them all, many, many times over. That said, a bit of the old scientific method has helped to greatly increase my success rate. I can now pretty routinely produce perfectly boiled eggs with clean-peeling shells, and you can too! More

The Best General Tso's Chicken

If the British can proudly call Chicken Tikka Masala their national dish, then surely it's time that General Tso got his chicken in our national spotlight. Everybody knows the candy-sweet take-out joint version, but I firmly believe that it has the potential to be so much more than that. How great would a homemade version of General Tso's be, with a flavor that shows some real complexity and a texture that takes that crisp-crust-juicy-center balance to the extreme? Our version does just that. More

The Food Lab: Bringing Home General Tso's Chicken

If the British can proudly call Chicken Tikka Masala their national dish, then surely it's time that General Tso got his chicken in our national spotlight. Everybody knows the candy-sweet take-out joint version, but I firmly believe that it has the potential to be so much more than that. How great would a homemade version of General Tso's be, with a flavor that shows some real complexity and a texture that takes that crisp-crust-juicy-center balance to the extreme? More

The Serious Eats Guide to Whole Grains

Grains have been a staple of the human diet for the last, oh, 10,000 years. And if you think about it properly—by which I mean with a few debatable leaps of logic and some generous omissions—grains are also basically responsible for all the best things: beer, adorable pets, beds, cheesy popcorn, and, yes, internet. In that fertile crescent-agricultural revolution-cradle of civilization sense, that is.

But have you ever listened to someone wax rhapsodic about the delights of whole grains and thought to yourself, meh? Welcome to the club that I totally just quit.


How to Make Jerk Chicken at Home

Spicy, sweet, camphorous, and a little woodsy, jerk chicken is a wholly unique experience. The skin should be a burnished mahogany, crisp and redolent of warm spices like nutmeg and allspice, laced with thyme and ginger. I set out to find a way to bring jerk chicken to my own backyard. Turns out it's easier said than done. See our step-by-step directions in the slideshow. More

The Burger Lab: How To Make Oklahoma Onion Burgers

Onions and beef go together like baths and bubbles, like Wallace and Gromit, like hitchhikers and towels, get the picture. They belong together, long for each other's company. A burger without onions is still a burger, but tuck a few slices of raw sweet onion underneath or spread a pile of deeply browned caramelized onions on top and you've got yourself something that is suddenly more than a sum of its parts. Nowhere is this fact more well-known than in Oklahoma, home of the Onion Burger, a burger that is nearly as much onion as it is meat. Today we're gonna talk about how to make your own at home. More

The Serious Eats Pizza-Making Guide

Welcome to our brand new pizza index! Over the years, our staff and readers have worked to build a treasure trove of pizza recipes and techniques, ranging from regional classics to home kitchen adaptations and twists. Have we covered it all? Absolutely not—that would take all the fun out it! One of pizza's greatest qualities, at least in our humble opinion, is how difficult it is to pin down or define. Ideally, this list will continue to grow and evolve indefinitely. In the meantime, we've done our best to organize our existing pizza resources to make things a little easier for all the home cooks and aspiring pizzaoli out there. Have at it, Slice'rs! More

City Grit Chef Sarah Simmons's Creamy Parmesan Grits

I grew up with grits. Whether they were instant with extra salt, slow-cooked with chunks of cheddar, or tented with a Kraft Single and a puddle of Tabasco (a la Waffle House), I'd eat them every which way. And I'd still eat them every morning if I didn't have to mail-order a good bag. Even though menus today are replete with Southern-inflected versions of the Bible Belt breakfast staple, it is still surprisingly difficult to find a bag of white ground corn labeled "grits" above the Mason-Dixon line. It's a good thing Sarah Simmons's recipe for Creamy Parmesan Grits from Food and Wine's new book America's Greatest New Cooks still works with "polenta." More

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

I've got a confession to make: I love pan pizza. I'm not talking deep-dish Chicago-style with its crisp crust and rivers of cheese and sauce, I'm talking thick-crusted, fried-on-the-bottom, puffy, cheesy, focaccia-esque pan pizza, dripping with strings of mozzarella and robust sauce. If only pizza that good were also easy to make at home. Well here's the good news: It is. This is the easiest pizza you will ever make. Seriously. All it takes is a few basic kitchen essentials, some simple ingredients, and a bit of patience. More

Maple Baked Beans

As with many recipes, the secret ingredient to world-changing baked beans is pork. Good quality, salty, cured, fatty pork will make you look down on the ketchupy, mushy baked beans of your past and look forward to years of tinkering with this recipe until you finally reach your own bean nirvanna. 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