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LinebackerU

We Try all of Rick Bayless's Frontera Salsas

The tomatillo salsa is an excellent cheat to make Kenji's white bean chicken on short notice:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/the-food-lab-braised-chicken-hatch-chile-white-bean.html

Slow-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb With Garlic, Rosemary, and Lemon

The only leg of lamb stocked by my grocery store is skinless, but I'd love to try this recipe. What are your thoughts on replacing the skin with a wrapping of prosciutto? Too thin?

Why Restaurants Should Keep Their Bread Baskets

I second the recipe request. Virtually every time I see a story about bread on the front page, I click it hoping to learn how to make it.

How about a Bread Lab recurring feature? Bread is not currently a focus of the site, but it seems like a perfectly synergistic overlap of the Venn diagram between:

-Food Lab recipe development.
-Appreciation of existing bakeries and bread products.
-Crust obsession on Slice.

"Welcome to the Bread Lab, where we find the best loaves from around New York City and reconstruct their recipes through science!"

Chain Reaction: We Try McDonald's Bacon Clubhouse Sandwiches

I love the slogan on the box: "It's the ingredients that make it so tasty." Pretty creative marketing right there.

Chipotle Introduces New Vegan Burritos and Tacos Across the Country

I agree completely with Zargon. Too salty, texture got lost in the rice and WAY TOO WET. They turn anything other than a burrito bowl or salad into a complete mess.

Cook the Book: Olive Oil Gelato

I just made this recipe, using my most flavorful olive oil (Italian Blend from the Olive Press in California), and the taste of the oil was almost completely absent. This tasted like vanilla gelato.

I then basically tripled the amount of oil, and it tasted the way I would have expected olive oil gelato to taste. Does the restaurant's version just have an ephemeral hint of fruit and pepper, or is it noticeably flavored?

Cook the Book: Olive Oil Gelato

It's interesting how different this recipe is from the one in Batali's Babbo cookbook. The version posted here has (proportionally) much less olive oil.

This is the other recipe:

http://www.sugoodsweets.com/blog/olive-oil-gelato/

Do You Really Need to Age Ice Cream Base Overnight?

Thanks Max. I really enjoyed this article and the others of yours that were linked in the "Essential Ice Cream Recipes, Techniques, and Discoveries of 2013" roll-up. These will be a great companion to the new ice cream maker I got for Christmas.

Do You Really Need to Age Ice Cream Base Overnight?

(Just found this article, sorry for the late response.)

Kenji: Thanks for pointing that out, those were exactly my thoughts when reading the article. Overall preference strongly correlates with texture, and the texture of an aged base gets better over time.

The results for flavor, while they don't correlate with preference, DO track with expectations. The flavor of the base improves with an overnight aging, but degrades over time because we're still talking about cream and eggs sitting relatively unprotected in a refrigerator.

Definitely need to make more ice cream.

Lemon Roasted Potatoes From 'Maximum Flavor'

@GretchinF,

Seriously! At a minimum, it seems like we should just leave the potato skins on. Tons of effort for no real benefit, especially with new potatoes!

What You Need to Know About the Communion Wafer-Topped Ghost Burger at Kuma's Corner

What's REALLY being lost in this story is that burger sounds delicious!

So This is a Thing: Megaburger Pizza

Let's not forget that Adam Kuban attempted a well-executed cheeseburger pizza (albeit a slightly different flavor combination) and he absolutely hated it:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/05/the-ultimate-cheeseburger-pizza.html

Reality Check: We Try the New Premium McWrap from McDonald's

This BusinessWeek article is a fairly interesting read on the path McDonald's took to end up with this sandwich:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-03/why-the-mcwrap-is-so-important-to-mcdonalds

What I find hilarious is that McDonald's makes a big deal about hiring this "real chef" to come up with menu items. He talks in the article about the various interesting wrap ideas he tried, such as Korean bulgogi with daikon slaw.

In the end, he ended up going with fried chicken and ranch dressing, since it better fits the "American palate". The innovation, here, was the addition of cucumber. Thrilling.

Still Not Sure How Much to Tip for Pizza Delivery? You're Not Alone

@Lance:

Like I said: I tip 20% at restaurants, but I haven't ordered delivery in about 10 years. It's not a matter of me being cheap.

I don't understand the heavy complaining about individual sub-par tips. If drivers are getting consistently ripped off by driving, they should ask instead to work as a pizza cook. If they make out better by being drivers, then they shouldn't complain.

Still Not Sure How Much to Tip for Pizza Delivery? You're Not Alone

I think the reality is that some people tip well, some people tip poorly, and it mostly averages out. This "average over time" of tips is the basis upon which employment decisions should be made.

Still Not Sure How Much to Tip for Pizza Delivery? You're Not Alone

And actually, I guess I got off-topic: the unique case of "customer ordered a ton of pizza, and only gave me a $10 tip" is interesting. In that case, the car-related costs DON'T scale with the size of the pizza order (unless multiple trips are required.)

Still Not Sure How Much to Tip for Pizza Delivery? You're Not Alone

@Lance,

That's absolutely true, but none of that should be a surprise to the drivers. If it doesn't make financial sense to be a delivery driver, then don't apply for the job.

Still Not Sure How Much to Tip for Pizza Delivery? You're Not Alone

I'm a reasonable tipper at restaurants, and I never order delivery. Still, I don't understand the umbrage taken by the delivery drivers here (including the guy who got $10 for the $1500 order!)

In high school I worked at KFC. I never received a tip, and basically received minimum wage (or close to it) the whole time. Whether we were very busy or the store was empty, I received the same pay.

The delivery driver's job is to deliver pizza. He's paid an hourly wage for this. Whether he's making several trips from his car to a building to carry a bunch of pizzas, or he's sitting in the shop waiting for an order to come in, he's getting paid. Why is this different from any other menial job?

Ultimately, if it sucks to be a delivery driver...stop being a pizza delivery driver.

Poached Goose Egg at Chef Frederik de Pue's Table in Washington DC

Isn't that just a bit pretentious? What could possibly be wrong with the goose eggs which don't meet his standards?

Yellow Mole with Masa Dumplings (Mole Amarillito con Chochoyotes) from 'Pati's Mexican Table'

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was fantastic. Rather than chicken, I used up a bunch of leftover smoked turkey thighs and legs, and I agree that the smoky flavor was welcome.

This was the second mole I've made; the first was Rick Bayless's Oaxacan Black Mole. This Yellow Mole was much easier and quicker than the black, and its flavor profile was obviously much different. Tangy and spicy, I'll definitely make this again.

Reality Check: Bison Burger at The Counter

Maybe I've missed something, but why not send the burger back and ask for one which was correctly cooked?

Soda: Grapico, A Rich Taste of Alabama

That description reminds me of this joke:

"Q: If John has 32 candy bars, and he eats 28, what does he have now?

A: Diabetes. John has diabetes now."

We Try Every Kind of Pepperidge Farm Cookie

I had the same thoughts about the soft-baked cookies. Just now I tried to remedy the problem by popping one into my toaster oven, on the rack, for about 5 minutes.

You know the "epic pizza fail" picture...yeah, it kinda turned out like that:

http://www.supersizedmeals.com/food/images/articles/20100404-Epic_Pizza_FAIL_4.jpg

I figured that it was an already-baked cookie that would get crisper, but that didn't work out so well. The middle kind've...melted. The outer edge did crisp up a bit, making it far better than the bizarre texture out of the bag.

Portable Nut Butter Pouches

So...are they good? This post just states that they exist.

The Pizza Lab: We Test The New and Improved KettlePizza Grill Insert

@trevt7777,

My gasket melted the very first time that I cooked a pizza on my BGE. I subsequently replaced it with a Rutland stove gasket, and it's performed flawlessly since.

Big Green Eggers - pizza advice?

I just bought a Big Green Egg, and I'm looking forward to using it for all kinds of cooking: smoking, high heat sears and - most of all- pizza.

I've read various pizza posts on the egghead forums, but many people there seem fairly inexperienced with actually making pizzas. Many folks resort to buying dough from pizza parlors or Boboli because they're afraid to make their own. I'm looking for slightly better advice than that.

I plan to cook at high temperatures, so I assume I'll want a fairly high-hydration dough. I'll probably start with Kenji's Skillet-Broiler Neopolitan dough recipe and make adjustments from there. The biggest potential problem I see with pizza on the BGE is that the stone will get hotter than the surrounding air. I've got a Plate Setter and a thick stone, are there other precautions that you take?

Have you heard Alton Brown talk about adobo sauce?

On a few Good Eats episodes, AB cautions the audience about the adobo sauce in which chipotle peppers are packaged: wear gloves (it could burn your skin); don't eat it. BE CAREFUL!

...am I the only person who thinks adobo makes a good dipping sauce? There is only one brand of chipotle peppers available in my grocery store, so I suppose it's possible that this brand is very weak.

What level of caution do you use when you handle the deadly adobo?

Thanksgiving at my parents' house - the horror!

This is a bit late, but I forgot to post it last week. I've found that as I improve as a cook, I become increasingly frustrated with the way my parents cook things at their house.

It really struck me this year at Thanksgiving, as I watched them put the turkey into one of those Reynolds baking bags to...steam (?) it in the oven.

They wouldn't listen to my explanation that the bad doesn't actually hold moisture in the meat, since meat moisture correlates only to temperature. (They took the turkey out of the oven at 180 degrees...)

While the turkey was cooking, I watched my dad boil green beans for nearly 30 minutes.

Not to dump on my parents too much, since some of the food was really good. I always try to influence the cooking in a better direction by giving them good cookware as gifts, by cooking some dishes myself for holidays and by feeding them tips throughout the year. It is, however, a slow process.

Does anyone else have similar experience?

Rachel Ray's Late Night Bacon recipe

Food Network's website has reached new heights of usefulness. They've posted Rachel Ray's instructions for microwaving bacon. Don't forget the paper towels!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/late-night-bacon-recipe/index.html

Does anyone have experience with ceramic-walled grills?

I saw this ceramic grill at Lowe's the other day:

http://thebayou.com/Pages/Cypress%20Series.html

and I've also seen that a company called Big Green Egg sells something similar. Does anyone own one of these? They claim to be able to reach temperatures north of 750 degrees; to me, that screams "portable pizza oven!"

However, there's no way that I want to drop $700+ on something that isn't transcendently awesome.

Thanks

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