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engill

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Creamy White Chili With Chicken

I was just thinking that I've run out of Kenji comfort food recipes for the weekend (after doing your chop suey, and then your cassoulet, and then your baked creamy pasta for the last 3 Sundays), but now I am saved! Chili it is!

Traditional French Cassoulet

@botdx
I made it in a large Le Creuset. I'm not sure what size it is, but the diameter is approx 14". It fits 4 chicken legs pretty easily. And (see my comment) mine turned out great after about 3 hours in the oven.

Traditional French Cassoulet

AMAZING recipe! I made this yesterday and didn't even cook it for as long as stated and it was delicious. Due to a mix of starting too late and screwing up the instructions (left lid on for first 2 hours), I only baked it uncovered for ~2 hours, breaking the crust twice. I still got flavorful, creamy beans and incredibly tender meat with a nice crust.

The Serious Eats Field Guide to Chinese Pastries

@santiago YES! Jianbing guozi is the pinnacle of Tianjin food! Whenever I visited my grandmother, I would wake up from jetlag at 5AM and go roaming around the neighborhood for the first jianbing vendor I could find. One of those and a bowl of "doufu nao" and I'm in heaven. A while ago, I tried to make my own jianbing from an online recipe with semolina flour. It was actually decently passable, but nowhere near the real thing!

The Serious Eats Field Guide to Chinese Pastries

I'm not a big fan of Chinese pastries (and I'm Chinese), but I LOVE the western fusion ones I had in Hong Kong (egg tarts fall into this category for me). I like sponge cakes and hot lotus buns and that's about it. I also love Japanese desserts. I don't know, but something about the flavor balance of Chinese pastries doesn't work for me.

@santiago I never understood the hoopla over the "ma hua" in Tianjin (where my family is from). They're not very sweet, super greasy and not very sesame-y. Ugh.

How to Make Traditional Cassoulet (And Why You Should Put Chicken in It!)

Between this and the baked pasta you posted yesterday, I am seriously having a hard time deciding what fatty, rich comfort food to have for Sunday dinner this weekend!

Thanks for posting this - cassoulet is one of my favorite foods, and yes, I love that it's basically beans + whatever meats you like/have around. I usually use up random single sausages I have in the freezer.

Knife Skills: How to Clean Shiitake, Portobello, and Oyster Mushrooms

I agree with the above posters on shitake stems. I usually chop off the bottom 1/2" with scissors, but keep the rest. I actually like the slightly chewier texture it has.

Manner Matters: In Praise of Place Cards

Umm...it might be good etiquette and everything, but I will throw an internal rage fit (but keep on smiling possibly) if you seat me separately from my husband. The only, only time I can see this being plausible is if it's a strictly networking dinner where the goal is to speak to as many people as possible AND that goal is understood by all attendees. However, this would never happen for me because I'm in a very different industry from my husband. I'd just end up being the +1 with nothing to talk about with anyone else and no way for me to depend on him to carry on the conversation.

Recipes From Chiang Mai: Larb Muang Moo (Northern Thai-Style Chopped Pork Salad)

This looks amazing! I'm a big fan of the Isaan-style larb, and a HUGE fan of pork blood. Time to take a trip to the Chinese market for offal!

How to Make the Best Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes

If I don't have a food mill, can I do this by blending then straining?

The Best Fresh Tomato Sauce

Well, I know what I'm doing this weekend!

For the Best Food in Bangkok, Hit the Streets

Yes! The fried thousand year eggs are one of my favorite Thai foods, but oddly I didn't find out about them until after I stopped working in Thailand. S&I To Go in Allston/Boston makes a really great version!

5 Rules of Hong Kong Dining That You Should Know Before You Go

Oh man...I'd totally forgot about the ridiculously tasty lemon iced tea! Still my favorite iced tea even after moving away from HK.

Chinese Velveting 101: Stir-Fried Chicken With Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce

Any thoughts on whether chicken breast or chicken thigh meat is better for this? I always go with thigh because I'm a dark meat fan, but something like this might mean the breast holds together better after slicing.

Gadgets: Make 5-Minute Ice Pops With the Zoku Quick Pop Maker

@illone

Hmm...interesting! I will definitely have to experiment more with this then. Thanks!

Gadgets: Make 5-Minute Ice Pops With the Zoku Quick Pop Maker

What I've never been able to figure out about these Zoku things is: Does the quick freezing make the popsicle a different consistency? I really want something that can make them in the store-bought, almost sorbet-like consistency that you can bite into. Whenever I make them at home, they are always like ice cubes, lickable, but not biteable. Maybe it's the actual filling recipe?

Essential Buenos Aires: Where to Eat and Drink If You Go to Argentina's Capital

Also, just realized...you're the blogger at Pick up the Fork, right? I LOVED your blog. It was absolutely indispensable when I was down in BA last year. I'm pretty sure Rio ALba and Na Serapia were your recs. Thank you! :)

Essential Buenos Aires: Where to Eat and Drink If You Go to Argentina's Capital

Yay! Another one of my favorite food trips! Jauja gelato was pretty amazing. A couple to add:
Rio Alba for higher-end parilla (think nice steak restaurant atmosphere)

La Lechuza in Palermo for a much more laid back parilla/family restaurant feel. I had some dish there that was just named "matambre" which is just a cut of meat, but it was basically slices of meat in a cream leek sauce. SOOOOO good.

Na Serapia for a totally dive-y place, but amazing empanadas.

I want to be back in Buenos Aires so bad...

8 Must-Visit Restaurants in Rome

Just thought of a couple of additional things:

There is nothing wrong with a restaurant having lots of tourists if it still makes good home-cooked food. the problem is if they cater to tourists in the "hey come have a pizza and neon colored gelato" way. I used to be snobby about this too, but have found that since people care so much about food travel these days, most great places are filled with foreigners! The worst restaurant I during my Rome week did not have a single tourist in sight.

Another note on L'Archangelo: the tripe is DIVINE, even better than the one I had at Cecchino dal 1881 in Testaccio (which was already really good).

8 Must-Visit Restaurants in Rome

Granted, I was a tourist, but I am really excited to see L'Archangelo on this list! We loved this restaurant so much that we ate there twice in the week we were in Rome. I did a ton of research before going, too, and we ate at a well-researched restaurant every lunch and dinner that week. It's definitely not cheap, and sure, maybe it's a bit overpriced, but heck, I flew all the way to Rome, so don't mind the extra dollars for a nice laid back ambiance, great wine list, and great food!

Also, if any of you do visit, the owner/chef has his own cookbook which he sells in the restaurant. It's a good, simple rundown of classic Roman recipes (in Italian).

How to Carve and Serve Whole Cooked Fish

This is really helpful! I used your whole roast fish recipe last night with a white bass and it was delicious! I just sat there with a fork and my fingers and picked it apart though. :)

One thing you've left out though: Don't forget to eat the tasty "cheek" part once you take the head off! Use your fingers to "fish" it out. It's like a little bonus for the cook. :)

Where to Get the Best New England Clam Chowder in Boston

I find that like pretty much all "New England" food specialties, the best is always outside of Boston. Best lobster rolls, best roast beef, best fried clams, best ice cream, and yes, chowder. For thin ones, I like Petey's outside Portsmouth. For creamy, I like one in Ipswich...I think it's called Village Inn or something similar? It's down the road from Clam Box.

Where to Find the Best Chinese Food in Boston

Yay! So many choices for me to try here. I may be doing some dim sum this weekend!

On a related note, Bostonite - Do any of you remember Thailand Cafe in Central Square? I still mourn its passing. Incredibly tasty Sichuan food!

Ask a Cicerone: The Best Beers for People Who Don't Like Beer

@AndroidUser Gotta agree with you here. I tried for years to like beer, but there's something about the hops taste that makes me feel physically ill. I have found that I can do Belgian tripels, though (Tripel Karmelit is one of my favorites), but even then, I start getting that too-much-hoppiness, nauseated feeling after 1 pint.

Prevent a Boil-Over Mess With the Kuhn Rikon Spill Stopper

Ooo! Going into the Amazon cart right now! Love that it has multiple uses, two of which are heavy uses for me: microwave cover and spill stopping.

Turducken - does size matter?

I'm planning to do Kenji's Ultimate Turducken for Thanksgiving this year, but I was wondering: Will the recipe go wrong if I use larger birds?

The original recipe calls for a 10-13 lb turkey, 4lb duck and 3lb chicken. A local butcher sells deboned turducken birds but they only offer them in a 16-18lb turkey, 6lb duck and 4lb chicken combo. Since the recipe is so temperature/time sensitive, I am worried that larger birds would ruin the effect.

Should I just be less lazy, buy separately, and do the deboning myself?

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