King Arthur vs. Stoughton Steel?

It appears that the KAF baking steel is actually coming from Stoughton Steel. The carrying bag has the "baking steel" logo on it and the KAF carrying bag is made from the same type of recycled material that the Stoughton Steel bag is. I think the only thing to base your decision on is really whether you want a handle on your baking steel. If you do, then go for the KAF customized version of the Baking Steel. Personally I'd go with the original Baking Steel so I don't have to worry about missing the hole in the steel created by having the handle.

Any love for soggy fries?

@theotherworldly Yep, I do stand corrected. There is obviously more than one person in this world that enjoys terrible french (freedom?) fries. At least I made my comment before one of your partners in soggy fry lovers showed up.

@eilonwy I was particularly disappointed the first time going to 5 guys because one of the things I'd heard the most about beforehand was that the fries were cut in store from real potatoes and I just assumed they'd be awesome. So much potential for great fries and they were just limp lifeless overly seasoned strips of sadness.

Any love for soggy fries?

Yes I think you are alone, sorry. You probably would enjoy the fries I had a Five Guys a while back though since it seemed like someone forgot to give them a second fry to crisp them up and brown them. Actually, no I take that back, even you probably wouldn't have liked them since the texture inside was bad as well.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@Robyn LOL... I'm probably not a very good judge of spice level either but on the other end of the spectrum. I have a pretty high tolerance for spicy foods. I usually consider jalapenos to be fairly mild. I do have to still be extremely careful when using the jar of ghost chile flakes that I have at home. Those things are fierce!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@Robyn Thanks, I thought maybe that was the case. I'll admit it here then that I did try the chicken only because I had a coupon code to get them for free. I'd eat them again if they were free but wouldn't pay any money for them. Mine were just soggy overly sweet non-spicy nuggets of sadness. I was especially disappointed since the jalapeno-pineapple bites supposedly has habanero in the sauce along with the jalapeno slices on top and it wasn't hot at all.

Behind the Scenes in Daniel's Home Kitchen

I always keep my spices labeled on the top so I can find what I want without having to lift each jar. I have a USB label maker that I use. Most of my spices are in the great glass jars from The Spice House now so I just get refills for them and don't have to worry about making a new label when I buy a new bottle. Another benefit of having the label maker is that you can slap a date label on the jar too so you can see how old the contents are.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Am I missing it or has the Domino's new pizza topping-topped chicken nuggets article not been published yet. Chicken from pizza places (especially chains) is usually pretty mediocre so I'm interested to see what the SE thought.

Cook the Book: 'Yucatán' by David Sterling

If it isn't already a thing, I think someone should create Bizarre Foods style food tours. I'd totally be will to try nearly all of the things Andrew Zimmern goes for as long as I wasn't the only person trying it for the first time. I'd probably want to start somewhere less bizarre like parts of Europe maybe than some of ultra bizarre Asian countries.

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

I don't like the plastic boards much because it seems like all the ones I've ever used are too soft and quickly get cut up by my knife. If I wasn't so cheap I'd probably get some kind of nice end grain maple cutting board but for the time being I am using a bamboo board that seems to be holding up pretty well. I've been meaning to get more of the flexible plastic boards to put on top of my bamboo board for cutting meat on but I keep forgetting.

what are your favorite DIY kitchen hacks?

@tea-and-syncope Just a warning, once you go with pre-cut sheets you'll never be able to go back to the rolled stuff. I got mine from King Arthur Flour but I've been told that it is available at restaurant supply type places too. The KAF stuff is nice and thick but probably pricier than other options.

what are your favorite DIY kitchen hacks?

The only thing I do that could qualify for this thread would be that I print out quarter inch high labels for my spice jar tops so that I can see what it is from looking at the top of the jar instead of having to lift it up to see the contents. I also add a date label to my spices too so I know when I got them.

@FlyingKumquat I'm totally gonna try out your 6-pack-hack! Don't know what I'll do with the last two spots though since I don't use rolled parchment paper at all. (pre-cut half sheet pan sized parchment paper FTW!)

The Food Lab: Bringing Home General Tso's Chicken

Awesome Kenji, that looks like the best version of General Tso's chicken I've had and it looks like this has some spice too. Too many places chicken out on their "spicy" dishes and don't make it very spicy at all. This is on my list of things to try very soon!

Deviled eggs

My family likes the deviled eggs pretty simple. We just add mayo, a little yellow mustard and salt/pepper I think. My aunt though can't figure out how to make deviled eggs though for some reason. Her husband apparently doesn't eat her deviled eggs but can't get enough of them when my mother makes them. They actually got in a bit of a spat at Christmas one time over the issue.

Pizza Poll: How Do You Like Your Sausage?

Add me to the list of being not sure about the pebbles vs crumbles. I went with the big hunks though since that is really good too. I'd say my favorite sausage is medium hunks though. And please PLEASE put some seasoning in the sausage! Sometimes it seems like the sausage is seasoned so little I wonder if it isn't just ground beef.

Behind the Scenes in Nick's Home Kitchen

I really like the spice rack next to the window. Is that designed to be a spice rack or was it something else repurposed as a spice rack? Too bad it probably wouldn't hold all of my spices either. I have an addiction to The Spice House and their free shipping weekends (which I am NOT going take advantage of this time around even though they posted a free shipping code on their facebook page for this weekend). Is direct sunlight like that ok for the spices though? I've always thought it was best keeping spices in a dark area to help them last longer.

How the World's Best Pepper is Grown in Kampot, Cambodia

Cool story. Is it worth the premium cost of Kampot peppercorns? I've been using Tellicherry peppercorns for a while now but I'd never heard of Kampot before. I see Kampot peppercorns available on Amazon for about $15 per 4 ounce package vs $5 or so for 4oz of Tellicherry from The Spice House (where I usually get my spices from). Maybe SE could even do a new mini-pepper taste test sometime with Kampot vs Tellicherry vs Lampong (the previous black pepper taste test winner).

How do you like your hummus?

For the store bought hummus brands, Sabra Supremely Spicy is my favorite (though it isn't very spicy really). I've never actually even tried making hummus at home since finding tahini is almost impossible in my area. I've just not bothered ordering it online or anything since store bought hummus is pretty good.

Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast

@lemonfair That's how I have always had french toast at home too. If my dad was feeling fancy he might put a couple shakes of cinnamon in the eggs.

We always had a variety of options to top our french toast as a kid. Always a bottle of pancake syrup around, but I liked to use peanut butter or jelly sometimes too. The peanut butter gets kindof melty from the hot french toast. I think my mom just had hers with butter (margarine really) and nothing else.

Spiced Mango Chutney

@zanne4848 It looks to me like cayenne chilies are in the picture in the article that links to this recipe. I could be wrong though, chilies are so darned difficult to identify!

Preserved: Spiced Mango Chutney

Champagne mangoes seem to be incredibly hard to find in my area. Everyone has the regular green/red mangos but not the far superior champagne mangos. I'll keep this recipe in mind though if I happen to find some! I don't suppose it is as good with the regular mangos though is it?

favorite easter candy

lmao... I just noticed that I said the same exact thing 2 months ago when the thread first started. Oops. Sorry folks for repeating myself! At least I still haven't changed my opinion in the last couple months.

favorite easter candy

Cadbury mini eggs and black jelly beans. It used to be the egg shaped Reese's PB but Reese's has that sort of thing available at ever holiday now so they aren't as special. You have to look around a bit but pretty much every year I manage to find packages of Brach's jelly beans where there are ONLY black jelly beans. I usually have the best luck finding them at Walgreens.

Culinary land mines

I don't really have anything that I'd call a culinary landmine, but I actually am kind of neutral about cilantro. I don't like it when someone tosses a big handful of cilantro into a dish, but it a recipe calls for a modest tablespoon (or maybe 2) of cilantro then I'll add it. I've skipped the cilantro before in those type of recipes and they weren't as good as when I'd used the small amount of cilantro called for.

Open Thread: White Chocolate, Yay or Nay?

I'm a bit late to the party but I'll with "yay" with an extra note. White chocolate has it's place occasionally but I will nearly always pick dark chocolate first, milk chocolate second, and white chocolate after that. I'm not sure what I like white chocolate with but it isn't always bad.

Food Huggers Help Keep Cut Produce and Open Containers Fresh

I almost backed these on kickstarter but I didn't and can't remember why. It looked like a good concept though and I'm glad they've worked out well!

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 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.


The Food Lab: 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