Can I Substitute Dried Beans for Canned?

Pressure cooker is definitely the way to go. No soaking; 20 minutes cooking time instead of two hours; and much more consistent results.

Taste Test: We Try Every SodaStream Soda Syrup Flavor

"Much like Kenji did the Chick-Fil-A hack, it would be great to do a SodaStream hack too."
Yes! That set an awesome precedent for SE's concerns around social justice issues. Y'all should keep it up.

What is your favourite kosher food?

Thanks! That totally makes sense. I'll have to try making a version of it this Passover.

Also on the topic of Jewish foods, I recently tried this recipe for sweetened coffee with egg yolks that taken from the cookbook of a famous-in-its-time kosher dairy restaurant in Vilnius Lithuania. I think it would make an excellent post-workout recovery drink.

Moving from SoCal to New England

I agree with many of the above posters. Just wanted to point you to another resource. Jane and Michael Stern, who wrote Roadfood and (I think?) run are or were based out of CT, so there are a lot of great recommendations and reviews on their website of places in the southern New England area. My favorite places I've discovered from there are Allie's Donuts and Hartley's Pork Pies, both in Rhode Island.

What is your favourite kosher food?

From the Ashkenazi playbook: all-beef salami; cheese blintzes; cabbage soup. I'd probably pick something from the herring family, if it didn't happen to threaten to make my throat close up.

From the rest of the Jewish universe (which I woefully know much less about): this lemony egg drop soup I once had at a passover seder at the home of a family of Greek Jews.

Open Thread: White Chocolate, Yay or Nay?

It's worth hunting down a good single origin bar of white chocolate, just to know what the real stuff tastes like before it's deodorized to make a consistent product out of inconsistent source ingredients. I still don't love the stuff, but I appreciate it more now that I've tried the single origin version.

Taste Test: We Try Every SodaStream Soda Syrup Flavor

SodaStream is based in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. I love seltzer as much as the next guy, but this is not a company I'll be giving any money to anytime soon. But, if y'all wanted to do a product test on some more ethically manufactured alternatives to SodaStream or a post on how to hack your SodaStream to be able to use cartridges that you can refill yourself, I'd be all over it.

Do I Need to Soak My Grains?

Try baked oatmeal recipes. Baking won't eliminate the slime factor, but it does cut it down significantly.

A Very Unofficial Snack Cake Field Guide

My dad had a long obsession with tasty kake's chcolate chip cookie bars for several years when I was a kid. He used to keep them tucked away in the crevices of the freezer. They're actually much less dry than you'd expect, and not at all bad for a convenience store cookie. Very similar to the Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies (that's a whole other line of snack food products, maybe worth investigating?), but in bar form.

Are Shooter's Sandwiches Really Worth a Damn?

Yeah, it feels like a waste of a nice steak to me. Though, my main problem would be with the monotonous texture. I think textural variation is crucial in not violating the sandwich prime directive. I don't imagine anything you put in there that starts out crunchy would stay crunchy for long.

The Best Calzones I've Ever Had at Jeannette's Bakery in Providence, RI

I pass right by there a couple times a month for work and stop in for a calzone every now and again - prompted at first by that interview with Matt Jennings. They're definitely pretty tasty things, and enormous relative to their price, but the quality of ingredients is suspicious enough that I'd hesitate before calling them 'the best' of anything. I tend to like the calzones that have red sauce better, because they use some sort of low moisture mozzarella blend in those. But the spinach filled ones and the cheese steak style have what seems like a super processed white American cheese in them (the kind that has so much oil or stabilizers or whatever that it kind of sticks to the roof of your mouth). I try to avoid thinking about what kind of (trans-fat-laden?) oil they're using to grease the pans and get those delicious crispy fried corners and bottoms. But, in comparison, LaSalle Bakery on Admiral St just a mile or two away, has calzones that are $1-2 more expensive and half the size.

Staff Picks: What's Your Least Favorite Dessert?

Re: Indian desserts and sweetness
I was talking to my favorite culinary anthropologist a few months back and she said that the sweetness of desserts in any given food culture is generally proportional to the flavor intensity (savoriness, spiciness, etc.) of the cuisine as a whole. She mentioned the intense sweetness of Indian desserts as an example, actually. So, it seems to make sense in the general scheme of things.

Cook the Book: 'Nom Nom Paleo' by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

cauliflower trying to imitate grains

The Best Valentine's Day Giveaway Ever: Lobel's 4" Prime Dry-Aged Heart Shaped Steaks for Two

reverse sear, medium rare, seasoned with salt and some garlic cloves and rosemary tossed in the pan for the aroma.

The Vegan Experience: Welcome to Year 3

I also want to throw my thanks in. I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but my partner is and it's always super helpful to have more recipes and techniques in my back pocket.

I'll also echo @Androiduser and say that a Food Lab workup of DIY vegan and vegetarian sausage would be amazing! I've made soysage in a commercial setting (when I worked here: ), but it honestly wasn't very good in my opinion. It had a TVP gluten base that got very rubbery.

Two other questions/topic proposals:

1) why isn't okara more common as an ingredient / what kind of awesomeness can you do with it? I've use it for pate-like things, but would love to know more. It seems more nutritionally sound than tofu.

2) Earth Balance: Is it Evil?
Every vegan and ex-vegan I know is obsessed with Earth Balance and most of the ex-vegans strongly prefer it to butter for cooking, baking, and just spreading on toast.'s just so...processed. How do they get non-hydrogenated fats to be solid at room temperature? Why is it so damn salty? Is there crack in there?
I could ask all the same things about vegenaise too. There's just something so reassuring to me about the fact that butter and mayo are things I could make myself, even if I don't. And I'm a little bewildered by a bunch of people (not all vegan and ex-vegans, I'm sure, just the ones I know) who are otherwise pretty into non-processed, whole foods, and otherwise eschew things like fake meats, can be so enthusiastic about this stuff.

With no other options - Strip or Ribeye?

What @kessake said.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

I also have to work, unfortunately. I don't really like football, but I enjoy the enthusiasm of a super bowl party...also, the snacks.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: 17th Street BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Pulled Pork

waited in a really long line...with my in-laws. enough said.

I Love Stewy/Saucy Things With Rice. Do You?

Love it, but only so long as the stewy/saucy thing is super flavorful. Bland, moist stuff with rice is the most disappointing! Especially if the rice is soggy. I spent too many years in hippie vegetarian coops, so I know from what I speak (under-seasoned vegan chili over mushy brown rice, I am looking at you. Saddest dinner ever.)

New Ways to Prepare Oatmeal

I'll echo the savory porridge lovers above. Treat them like grits. Cheese and scallions. Soy sauce, sesame oil, grated carrots, and sriracha. (or my very hippie-like favorite) butter, nutritional yeast, and salsa.

If you're into fermented foods, there's a thing that I think I read about in _Wild Fermentation_ where you can cook any grain you want for breakfast the night before and once it's cooled off a bit mix in a tablespoon or so of miso and leave it out at room temperature overnight. The live cultures in the miso ferment some of the starch in the grain and make it a little bit sweet. It's nice with vegetables or eggs. But don't heat it up too much if you want to get the full benefit of the cultures.


At it's most basic, it's a slow cooked bean stew that came about as a result of the religious prohibition against kindling a fire on the Jewish Sabbath, which means no cooking of any sort. So, in order to have a hot meal on Saturday afternoons, cholent is assembled on Friday afternoon and left to cook overnight over a very low fire. There are lots of regional variants, but the concept is the same.

More info on the subject from the always humorous Michael Wex:


I recently watched this youtube video on cooking cholent from the Yiddish Forward's channel. It includes a kugel that's cooked inside the simmering cholent, which I'd never heard of before and seems delicious. Also, they claim that it's fine to salt beans while they're cooking, which I'd always heard prevents them from getting soft.

In Defense of Eating Alone

I also really love eating alone, but I'm still working through feeling self conscious about it, so I tend to go at odd hours when places are more likely to be empty. I'm also quite short, so bar style seating makes feel like I'm a small child with my legs dangling in the air off my bar stool/chair, but you did make a convincing case for it. Maybe I'll try it next time.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: 'Round Things Are Tasty' Tote Bag

How to make DIY seitan fattier?

I cook regularly for my vegetarian girlfriend and vegetarian housemate, and pretty much know my way around the standard veggie proteins and mock-meat products. Sometimes I make seitan (starting with powdered wheat gluten) to use as a meat-substitute in various usually-meaty applications (seitan pot roast, seitan banh mi, seitan gyros, etc.) These are always slightly disappointing, because the texture always seems too dry/not fatty enough to me (though the vegetarians are always happy with it), even when I've pan fried slices of the seitan in coconut oil or butter. This is especially true in sandwich situations where there's already a bunch of bread in the mix.

If any of you all are experienced seitan makers or just know about gluten and chemistry: do you think there's a good/best way to incorporate fat into the seitan? Like putting oil directly into the dough mixture? Or into the broth when it's boiling? Or maybe slicing it after the fact and making seitan confit? It looks super porous. Some of that fat would have to absorb, right?

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