I've checked all over local stores for pre-roasted chestnuts, or really any chestnuts at all at this point. I have gotten quizzical looks and no answers. I know I can order chestnuts on Amazon but I'm lazy. I've never tried them before. Are other nuts fine to substitute (for a stuffing recipe), should I skip the nuts altogether or should I make a rush order from the Internet?
Aw, darn, Kenji's Q&A offer is now closed to new posts. I was going to ask: when you're roasting a whole turkey, do you bring it to room temp like you do with a chicken? It seems like that means it would be sitting out for a few hours before going into the oven. Not sure if that's sanitary. I'm not a germophobe, so I'm really just curious. SE'ers, do you bring your turkey to room temp before roasting or do you just put it in from the fridge?
I have only made butter pie crusts. My crust never stays crimped, instead melting into one undifferentiated blob as soon as it hits the hot oven. Is this just how my pies are fated to be? Do I have to use another ingredient to get them to stay crimped? I kind of love butter too much to give it up, but I'm curious about what else is out there.
Say that ten times fast! I made up this recipe over the weekend and wanted to share. The flavors seem like a no-brainer but come together to form something amazing. I cooked the potatoes in a roasting pan with a turkey leg on a rack over the pan. Very easy dinner and makes awesome leftovers.
There are so many gazillions of recipes out there for hummus. How to sort through them all? I just bought a bunch of chickpeas and am looking for advice. Help me make sense of what's out there - what's your favorite way to make hummus (with ratios, ingredients etc.)?
This weekend I made my mom's enchilada casserole, a lovely concoction including enchilada sauce and ketchup, that I ate by the pound growing up and which I like to describe as "teenager crack". It was SO. GOOD. Just like home. I don't think I've had it for years until now. What's your favorite childhood meal and do you make it for yourself now that you're grown up?
My food expenditures have been out of control (darn you, Serious Eats! :P) so my husband and I have set a challenge to live on $50/week for food for the next few weeks. That sounds like a lot until you factor in high cost of food in SoCal, my husband only wants to buy organic whenever possible, and you could say I'm spoiled, but I like variety in my food (not just pasta every night). What are your creative solutions to this challenge? How do you eat high-quality food but make it stretch? What are your favorite budget recipes? We're cutting back to eat meat only once or twice a week, so whatever vegetarian/vegan options you have would also be appreciated.
Can give you an idea of what we typically eat:
- Breakfast - eggs, yogurt/granola, cereal w/ milk, oatmeal
- Lunch - whatever leftovers from dinner
- Dinner - chili, pasta, sometimes meat w/ sides of grain/salad/vegetables, soup
- Snacks can include cheese and crackers, popcorn (bought in bulk)
It all doesn't sound expensive but somehow it's adding up. Please help!
So, I have this amazing recipe as a base thanks to Simply Recipes:
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped walnuts
If I swapped out the olive oil for cream cheese, what do you think would happen? Good idea, or really bad? I think I'll try it this weekend. If you have any prior experience with such substitions, I'd appreciate your feedback. If it's good I'll definitely post an update. If it's not, I will hide in shame. :P
Many people talk about how MSG is bad and food that contains it is evil, etc etc. I was one of those people. However, my husband is reading a book on salt (called Salt) and relayed that the book said that MSG is actually natural - it's a derivative of wheat gluten. So now I'm confused. He just told me this morning so I haven't had time to research yet, and I plan to, but I wanted to get your take on MSG. What gives? Why is it so evil when it turns out that a lot of traditional cooking contains it? What has made it the bane of the Western food world?
I'll chime in too as I learn more. Looking forward to hearing some discussion.
I have both peaches and blackberries in the freezer from this summer that I'd like to make into a tart. They're both summer fruits - so what do you think, good combo? The blackberries have broken down a lot so they will definitely stain and flavor the peaches. I am thinking this could be along the lines of blueberry-peach pie, a very winning pair.
I am biased - How to Cook Everything was my first real cookbook and I'm just a fan. Any thoughts on Bittman moving over to Opinion and Magazine columns in NYTimes?
This is a testament to my foolish frugality - I had a smoked turkey leg that I was afraid was going to go bad, so I threw it in a pot with some veggie scraps to make stock. While the whole thing cost $2 or less (Grandma would be proud), I am now in possession of a couple quarts of stock that may impart a strangely smoky flavor. Where to go from here? I haven't tasted the stock yet and I am wondering what to make with it. What would you do with smoked turkey stock, assuming that it will be edible and not horribly salty/smoky? My first thought was to cook beans in it. Any other ideas welcome, the more inventive the better.
Not to sound like an addict, "I NEED comments showing up in my email!!!", but I am not getting responses showing up in my email. Anyone else having issues? I have already checked my email filters to make sure I didn't do something stupid. Thanks for taking a look.
For lunch (will probably also be dinner) I made up a batch of spaghetti with a pumpkin-pesto sauce and bread crumbs. Wasn't sure if it would work but the pesto blended well with the pumpkin puree and it turned out to have a wonderful subtle taste. It was also way more filling than tomato sauce - I am stuffed.
What about you? What's for dinner today? Any special cooking projects if you have the day off?
For New Year's I'm going on a trip with a big group (14 people) and I offered to plan the food. I have the menu mostly planned out but I'm having trouble with lunches since I normally eat leftovers for lunch and I don't like the typical food (sandwiches) that much. I am just not creative with this meal. Two lunches can be cooked at the place, and the last lunch has to be packed for driving home. Any grand ideas for these? I'm going to assign a team of two to each meal so they can do prep work more easily. We also have two vegetarians so meat has to be on the side or we just have to go veggie.
Here's the rest of the menu to give you an idea of what we're already eating:
Thursday dinner: Veg chili
Fri breakfast: Scrambled eggs with toast/english muffins
Fri lunch: ??
Fri dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs (meatballs on the side), salad
Sat breakfast: Baked oatmeal w/ scrambled eggs and yogurt
Sat lunch: ??
Sat dinner: Red lentil coconut curry w/ rice
Sun breakfast: Oatmeal w/ fruit
Sun lunch/dinner: ?? packed for driving
Thanks for your feedback!
Alright, this is a really basic question that I could probably google but honestly I like your answers better, so I will pose it here. Onions are 49 cents a pound right now, omg! I want to stock up but am wondering how long they keep. I think my fridge does weird things to onions because sometimes they get moldy within a few weeks. If you keep them elsewhere (dark, cool, etc), how long should they last? Can I buy huge bundles and be ok in a month or more? Thanks all.
So we're cutting the food spending (sob!). Of course this comes at a time when all the wonderful cheese and *name your food* recipes come out for fall. Right now I splurge occasionally on the nice cheeses but in the future it's going to be standard stuff like grocery store cheddar and limited amounts of parmesan to grate over pasta. We don't eat a lot of cheese anyway but when there's the prospect of having little to none, it makes me sad. What ways have you found to make cheese stretch in a recipe? Can you use some of a cheaper cheese and round it out with a hint of more expensive cheese? Or have you used other things (dairy or other ingredients) to round out flavor?
This question seems really elementary, but is there a way to deglaze a pan without having a huge periphery of spatters on your stove top? I'm mainly thinking of how it happens when you deglaze with red wine. The spatters don't show up as evidently when it's vinegar or white wine (so it means they aren't really there).
And, what are your favorite things to use when deglacing and making pan sauces?
I could start a talk series on this - this shall be #1. Made a pie this weekend and incorporated your many generous suggestions. To cut the butter and flour, I tried grating the butter, starting from a frozen solid state. Here are my observations:
1. Had a nasty run-in with the grater about 1/4 of the way into it. Not good.
2. I got halfway down the stick of butter and found that I couldn't get a good grip on it to finish the grating. It also did start to melt in my hand, even starting from frozen. Had to resort to cutting into cubes.
3. Tried to cut in the frozen solid butter cubes w/ forks, quickly gave up (because of reasons listed before: impatience, etc).
4. Using fingers to mash the butter and flour together worked very well. I ran very cold water over my hands before I did this. It's also therapeutic to feel the ingredients in between your fingers.
Alright, so maybe this will be a series of one because I tried almost all the methods in one shot. My thumb still hurts.
I was also diligent to keep everything very cold. I rested the crust for about 2 hours in the fridge, then rolled one crust between two sheets of lightly floured plastic (it stuck, a lot) and then on a floured table top (stuck much less). Filled, then brushed the top with milk. Baked at 450 for 10 min and 350 for 50 min.
The finished product: Amazing, flaky, beautifully browned pie crust filled with delicious blackberries and apples. When you looked at the pie, you could see the flakiness. Even using all three methods to cut in butter, it was still very tasty.
My conclusion: It probably doesn't matter what methods you use. For butter/flour, just use the method that is least injurious to your fingers. Keeping it cold does make a difference. And that is my series of 1 on pie crusts.
I said awhile ago in some thread that I was going to try a side-by-side comparison of chef's knife vs. santoku to see which stuck more, because santoku is supposed to be better for releasing food. Couldn't remember the thread so I thought I'd post here. I am not saying my technique is totally up to par, but I found that when I finely chopped onions, they both stuck equally. My method was: cut the onion in half, cut slits all the way down, then slice against the slits. I did it with both knives and compared the amount stuck on after a slice. It was the same (and no, no photos, I am not that tech-savvy). Maybe it was because I chop slowly or maybe it's just not that much of a difference. Anyone else wondering about this or have different results?
My dilemma came up with the food processor post a few months ago, and it still exists. I just don't have a food processor and every modern pie crust recipe calls for it. So, how do I make a good pie crust by hand? Any techniques and tips are appreciated. I made one before and it turned out okay, but I'm looking to refine.
Love this question since it's different answers every day. I also wanted to say that I really appreciated feedback on the beef stew question a week or two ago. I took suggestions from there and made the most awesome made-up beef soup (not quite stew) last night from the contents of my fridge. I pureed the leftover vegetables from this recipe: http://www.tastefoodblog.com/tastefood/2010/09/sriracha-marinated-roast-chicken-with-root-vegetables-and-couscous.html and added a quart of beef stock, 1/2 lb browned ground beef, can of tomatoes, 2 cups dried/soaked pinto beans and a handful of pureed caramelized onions (made from Kenji's technique - my husband and I were singing the In-N-Out song the whole time they were cooking!). Left it in the crock pot all day and came home to the most wonderful, satisfying soup. Added celery and carrots at the end to make it extra pretty.
So my dinner tonight is soup leftovers with drop biscuits. What about yours?
Oh, my, goodness. Hilarious:
Happy Friday everyone!
Just made this up last night and it was tasty and cheap. I thought I'd share. It does not turn out spicy from the whole pepper - it just gives flavor to the finished dish. The white pepper at the end gives a delicate kick.
I just bought purslane at the farmer's market. I have never seen this plant before but it looked interesting. I know there was a brief article about it here on Serious Eats. Has anyone cooked this recently? Any success stories? Any ideas on how to cook it?
In interest of pantry cooking, I also have 1/2 onion, garlic, small eggplants (the round speckly kind), various grains, can of diced tomatoes, pasta, etc.
Note: For best results, use a hand blender along with the jar it came with. For a more stable mayonnaise, add a pinch of soy lecithin (available in health and nutrition stores) along with the tofu....
This is a delicious summer salad that you can eat with reckless abandon. Nourishing quinoa is infused with vegetable broth and dotted with fresh-cut sweet corn, juicy summer tomatoes, bright green scallions, spicy jalepeno peppers and chunks of creamy avocado.
Did you realize there are seven varieties of Two (or Three) Buck Chuck on the shelf at Trader Joe's? Here at Serious Eats, we take that kind of thing as a challenge. Which is the best Two Buck Chuck? What should you do with the bad stuff, besides pouring it down the drain? The answers may surprise you.
Poblano Black-Eyed Pea Dip is a solid stand-in for when you finally get sick of hummus. If you've ever experienced Chickpea Fatigue, you know it doesn't happen often. But when it does, usually as a result of too little variation in your dip/spread repertoire, finding a temporary substitute is advisable.
Note: Want to know all about homemade ricotta?: Check it out here....
One of my favorite meals these days is a whole chicken roasted on top of potatoes. The chicken is flavorful with garlic, olive oil, and herbs. The potatoes are perhaps even better: they get seasoned with the chicken's juices, plus more olive oil and more herbs. But easy as it may be, roasting a whole chicken isn't that cheap, and it takes a while. So I've been experimenting with roasting chicken thighs and legs, and adding flavor even during a shorter cooking time.
"It always feels so rewarding to add another type of neck to one's repertoire of necks." [Photographs: Chichi Wang, unless otherwise noted] I like to cook stews. I have a penchant for storied, time-consuming stews with a higher-than-average rate of...
After yesterday's resoundingly successful chicken broth made in less than an hour with the help of my new pressure cooker, I was curious to see what other tricks this magical vessel had up its sleeve. The broth was incredible, but,...
The smell of freshly baked biscuits can create an atmosphere of warmth and comfort throughout the house—and this recipe can also help use up ample Thanksgiving leftovers. Mashed potato biscuits are tender and flaky, but have enough structure to hold up to a slice of turkey and a dollop of gravy. Warm out of the oven with some cranberry butter, these tender biscuits go well with a hot cup of strong tea.
When Bobby Flay decided to tackle mac and cheese for one of his Throwdown! challenges, he set off for Philadelphia to go head-to-head with soul food queen Delilah Widner, of Delilah's. Instead of going the traditional mac route, Flay decided to add a few ingredients from an equally starchy, rich dish, pasta alla carbonara.
Panini Pops: From the kitchen of Panini Kathy, creator of almost 100 panini recipes...
Although in theory this dip should serve six, I find that people get a little strange around artichoke dip. They elbow each other out of the way and scoop a little too much onto their bread. Be ye warned, you...
Most of the time, Greek food is off my radar. Not by any conscious choice—I'm always on the lookout for new dishes and new ideas—but it became especially clear while flipping through the recent Greece issue of Saveur. As usual, their selected recipes were authentic, varied, and uniformly delicious-sounding. Though some were more involved than others, I was drawn in particular to this simple pasta and sausage dish and its intriguing use of blue cheese as the basis for the sauce.
I know this dish probably doesn't look like much. It's lumpy and kind of monotone (my wife charitably commented, once I'd put it into bowls, that "it looks kind of like prison food"). But like people, all dishes can't be attractive, and certainly not everything that's tasty has to be good-looking.
[Flickr: Carly & Art]...
The chicken is soaked in mustard, lemon juice, and garlic, which ends up infusing into the meat as it grills (it's key to slip some of the marinade under the skin as well as on top of it). Once cooked, the sharp taste of the mustard is muted, leaving just a trace of its fragrance and a wonderful crust on the chicken.
When it comes down to it, my favorite food is pasta. And if you held a gun to my head, I'd probably say that carbonara is my favorite pasta. I love its creaminess-with-no-cream, the chewy, salty bits of bacon, the roundness of Parmesan, the bite of black pepper. So it's not with any flippancy that I say that this recipe reminds me of carbonara, and in the best of possible ways. It's creamy, bacony, and satisfying—yet it's also a lot lighter and more fitting for summer.