I studied engineering because I think for any problem, there are hundreds of solutions, but one will be more elegant, creative, efficient, consistent, and generally cooler. I enjoy cooking for more or less the same reasons.

  • Location: San Diego
  • Favorite foods: Chicken fried steak, eggs over easy, duck fat hash browns and biscuits smothered in homemade sausage gravy. That, and pretty much anything that's just executed well.
  • Last bite on earth: Mom's beef stew....

How to Make a Burger King-Style Whopper Truly Fit for The King

So you're saying McDonald's and Burger King..... had beef...

Everything You Can Do With a Can of Chipotles in Adobo

Saw "Sponsored by Dreyers", was really hoping for a chipotle ice cream....

Gift Guide: For the Vegetarian Cook

Gift guide for the cook***

The Food Lab: How to Make Turkey Weisswurst (White German Sausage)


Ask The Food Lab Anything, Thanksgiving Edition 2013

We always feed/house at least a dozen people for multiple days. You guys are pretty spot on with ideas for leftovers, but it'd be awesome to get advanced prep leftover ideas (i.e. lets get things planned and started and shopped for before thanksgiving). As an example, I'm going to start a large batch of no-knead dough on monday or tuesday for bread (turkey sandwiches) and - gasp! - thanksgiving leftover pizza. Basically, what can you suggest to get us ready to feed people not just for 1 meal, but for the 3 days after?

The Food Lab: How to Make a Turkey Porchetta

Opening the floor for suggestions regarding cure/rub variations... this one is going to be our "untraditional" turkey applicatioin of our 3 birds, It'd be fun to surprise people with something a bit out there. I'm thinking maybe a pesto-esque cure...?

High Road Ice Cream Really Is Worth $10 a Pint

Oooh, I have relevant input! For anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the company, Keith Schroeder from High Road did a great interview on the Alton Browncast - really good listen.

Open Thread: What Do You Want to Know this Thanksgiving?

Single oven, ~20 people to feed. Last year we were able to jam 2 spatchcocked turkeys in the oven, and deep fried a third (the oven turkeys took quite a bit of attention/rotation). I'd love alternative, efficient ways to do multiple turkeys.

Erin Jackson's Top 10 Burgers in San Diego

@tjmile1 I don't think it's necessarily that a burger has to be made with all in-house ingredients to make the list, but rather the house made ingredients are a reflection of the effort these guys put into their food. as you said, all a great burger needs is bread, meat, and cheese... and yes, some on the list go over the top. But I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to do bread-meat-cheese as well as possible.... e.g. for me, if the beef isn't ground in house, I can't order it medium rare, and that means a less than ideal burger. different strokes.

Fast Food Chicken Dippin' Sauce Showdown: Popeye's Vs. McDonald's Vs. Burger King

suggestion - accept volunteers from surrounding areas to bus/train/otherrwise travel to headquarters with items from said surrounding areas that you otherwise wouldn't have time to get. I'm sure many serious eaters would love to be a part of a taste test (sourdough taste test seemed to prove that), would be happy to help, and you save a lot of time and trouble. viable for every taste test? not remotely. but for something like this... maybe?

Sous-Vide 101: Pork Belly Buns

don't go with pig-nut butter.

Sous-Vide 101: Pork Belly Buns

Serious Entertaining: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups for a Crowd

oops wrong article, disregard

Serious Entertaining: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups for a Crowd

The Food Lab: The Best Caesar Salad

Sorry Phelps, I'm not quite buying "coat with oil first so the lemon juice sticks"...

The Pizza Lab: We Test KettlePizza and Baking Steel's New Joint Pizza Oven

Copy. This looks awesome, and I understand the added cost of the production, but please convince the guys to sell this thing for under $500.

The Pizza Lab: We Test KettlePizza and Baking Steel's New Joint Pizza Oven

All the pizzas seem to have an edge that's clearly a bit more charred than the rest of the pizza, I assume that's the edge at the back of the oven... is it possible to give the pizzas a bit of a spin mid-bake? or to insulate just a bit from the back side (I'm thinking a lip on the rear of the pizza stone)?

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

no idea why these haven't been getting more love... this is a very cool and very elegant idea. bookmarked.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Breakfast Sandwich Hacks?

Nice, love the suggestions guys. =)

Getting up early isn't really the problem - I'm usually up between 6:30 and 7:30, and really I don't have to be at work until 9. Honestly, I just don't feel like spending a lot of time cooking in the morning. Hurrying through the house in the morning (at least at this stage of my life - I'm young and hence am always in a rush) puts me in the right mindset for work, just like cooking after work puts me in the right mindset to be able to relax. Different kinds of people, though.

@Atomic I do have one of those mini non-stick egg pans and it's awesome.

I don't know why I didn't think of scrambling the veggies in with my eggs before, but I'm going to be doing that all the time. I'm finding the real key to this is planning with your leftovers... I'm not going to buy a tomato so I can put a single slice on a single sandwich, but if I'm cooking with tomatoes the night before, I'll separate out a slice during prep for use the next morning.

Definitely going to fiddle with homemade sauces more too, I've been looking for an excuse to make a batch of dhorst's SDS anyway. Feel free to throw out sauce recipe suggestions!

Crispy Quesadilla Burger at Brisco County Wood Grill in Menomonee Falls, WI

Thank you, belinskaya... a quesadilla burger should be a burger between 2 quesadillas, held together with more cheese.

Poll: Fries on Burgers: Way or No Way?

I think the only time that fries on a burger would benefit the pairing would be if both were sub-par (overly-crispy fries, mushy/underseasoned burger? Might save them both). But if both are executed well, I'd rather have them separated.... chances are they'll get mixed up in my face hole anyway, let me decide how to enjoy the combination. But a crispy disc of hash browns? That's an entirely different beast altogether.

8 Ways to Hack Your Bud Light Lime-A-Rita

My favorite method is to just shotgun the suckers. little, if any carbonation, half the volume of a beer, double the alcohol percentage... I think a roommate and I went through a 12 pack in about 45 minutes this way, before people started arriving for a party we were throwing. It was hilarious.

11 Best Drinks from Tales of the Cocktail 2013

I was actually in nola last weekend and heard about Tales of the Cocktail, but found it a pretty inaccessible. =/

Looking online I saw pages about tickets, seminars, even the following description: "Tales of the Cocktail is for bartenders and people in the hospitality industry. We welcome the cocktail enthusiast but Tales of the Cocktail primarily focuses it’s education on all levels of the bartending trade. Therefore, seminar and event submissions should be geared towards this audience"

I understand they don't want to market it as a drinking/party event, but aside from a couple restaurants in the quarter advertising drink specials in honor of TotC, I didn't really know how to participate (Aside from the Spirited Dinners, which I missed anyway due to a late flight in on Thursday). Can the casual visitor partake in events?

Welcome Erin Jackson, AHT's New Contributing Editor

Breakfast Sandwich Hacks?

Hey all - like a lot of you, i'm sure, I don't have a lot of time in the morning before I'm out the door. My go-to breakfast during the week has become an english muffin sandwich... start the muffin toasting, crack an egg in a tiny egg pan, grab whatever deli turkey or ham I have on hand, flip the egg, butter/spread the muffin, assemble, and I'm out the door.... we're talking 3-5 minutes from walking in the kitchen to walking out. To try and not get sick of eating the same thing 4+ days a week, I have a few staples I'll add... besides the basic hot sauces/ketchup, I like to do kimchi, or some of this roasted tomato spread I make in batches and keep in the fridge door. If I do something with veggies the day before, I'll save some trimmings and give them a quick saute in the morning. Some days I even get the vegemite itch. What I'm throwing to the incredibly diverse and talented SE members is, what other variations can you guys suggest, that are cheap, easy and FAST?

Thanks much!

Website "recently popular" bar

Personally, I am a huge fan of the "popular articles" banner at the top of the home page - but if I may, it would be awesome if you could sort by most popular of the last 24 hrs/week/month, instead of it autopopulating most popular of the last hour. I'm too busy recently to check the site as often as I'd like to, and I feel like some great articles get buried by the time I check them on the weekends. And I know you guys do the "this week in ____" but I'm too lazy to go sift through all those myself for pertinence, quality, and popularity. Yup, this is a 100% selfish and lazy request on my part. Can't hurt to try. ^_^

Smoking Pork Butt - Timing and cooking tips?

Hey Guys; so I wanted to smoke a pork butt this sunday for the game. I'm on the west coast, so we're looking at a 3:30 kickoff. I'd like to be finished smoking around 1, ready to pull and serve at 2... counting back from most recipe times that means I need to get the meat in around 10pm saturday night. Issue is, with my hacked together smoker, I'm not comfortable leaving it doing it's thing overnight unattended. I've seen plenty of recipes that call for a start on smoke and a finish in the oven; has anyone ever tried starting in the oven, then finishing with 5 or so hours of smoke? I think this is what I'll try, but if anyone else has some other ideas on how I might pull this off (or general smoking tips) that would be stellar.

San Diego beer week!

So SD beer week is upon us again; My beer-enthusiast best friend is turning 24 on Monday, so we got tickets for the Beer Garden food and beer pairing event this Sunday. $75 a ticket, but it's all you can eat and drink, so it should be an awesome event!

Anyone here have any big plans for beer week? If you're visited the event website, you know there are literally hundreds of events/tastings around San Diego... any events you guys consider as must-attend??

Katsuobushi uses/recipes?

Hey all; so I bought a big bag of katsuobushi yesterday for my latest batch of dashi to freeze, and it got me wondering what other applications people have for it.

Besides the obvious use in dashi, one of my most frequent uses for the fish flakes is based on some dish I had in some restaurant somewhere; I pan fry some tofu in a small skillet, then dump in what's basically the mix for tamagoyaki (a couple eggs, mirin, soy sauce, salt) and throw it under the broiler until its just set, and top with katsuobushi.

Aside from that, I'll use it to top rice or congee sometimes, but no real cooking applications (as in using katsuobushi as an ingredient, not as a garnish). I was thinking about trying to use it in some recipes as an interesting replacement for pork floss.... until I remembered I don't have any recipes that utilize pork floss either. ^_^

Anybody else have some ideas that'll help me burn through the rest of this bag?

Ask an Alcoholic: What's your biggest bartender pet peeve?

After scanning through some of the (legitimate) responses to SE's "Ask a Bartender: Biggest Pet Peeves," and a stellar recommendation by a one Mr. Kuban, I thought it could be fun to talk as a community about what some bartenders do that bother us, and not muddy up the comments section of the article with our complaints (unless what you have to say is directly in response/rebuttal to something the bartender wrote, then it belongs over there, obviously)

Me? I don't like it when a bartender gives me a funny look when I order a Jim Beam double after sitting at the bar. I'm aware I'm in a hip establishment that panders to the recently-graduated-from-college-and-now-earning-more-money-than-they-know-what-to-do-with crowd, and you'd like to peddle me your finer wares, but a $6 dollar double is gonna go a lot farther than the $24 shot (really?? a shot?) of blue label you just poured to that asshole in the suit. Please just let me have my drink.

I also dislike the standard $1-tip-per-drink rule. When I go up and order 4 tall cans of PBR on sunday, and all you do is pop the top for me, I don't think it warrants the same tip range as you mixing up 4 custom cocktails. I mean, it's the service industry, and the amount of time and the quality of the work should have a bearing - so for table full of well made cocktails, I'd gladly tip a tenner, but think it's bull when I leave a two dollar tip after it took you 10 seconds to fetch and crack open my beers, and I get a dirty look for it.

SE ads

Hey guys; So I was doing a little late night browsing, and I know you guys are tackling this advertising thing on your own now, and there are bound to be one or two little glitchy things.... But I just saw "7 foods that may be causing your leaky bladder" over on the side bar in the "More Like This" section, and just thought you guys should know. I mean I'm not squeamish about that sort of thing, but I imagine there are some people who might be a bit put off by leaky bladder headlines on their food pages. ^_^

Cheese or cheese sauce on nachos?

Alright a drunken argument with some friends last night is prompting this topic: does everyone prefer melted cheese or cheese sauce on their nachos?

I am FIRMLY in the cheese sauce camp, every single attempt I can recall of nachos with real melted cheese on them has been horrendous. The cheese cools and congeals almost as quickly as it takes to bring them to the table, firmly cementing the top layer of chips together, while all those poor sad lonely chips underneath are naked and cheeseless. It's the same with cheesy fries at a lot of places - when they bring out that mass of fries glued together with room temperature cheddar I die a little inside.

So what's the word from the SE community? Cheese or cheese sauce?

Is there something I'm missing with the major coffee chains?

Alright folks, searching for some help with this one - I have never been a Starbucks fan. I order black coffee with no room, and that's it. Now, I do NOT consider myself a coffee connoisseur... in fact I'd be lying if I said that a cup of freshly ground folgers didn't hit the spot every once in a while. But my problem with starbucks (a sentiment which I've seen others share) is that it ALWAYS comes out tasting burnt and acrid.

Now, I've come to accept this at starbucks. Perhaps some people like it, but I find it awful... I love a good strong coffee taste, which will inherently carry a little bitterness, but the stuff that comes out of their drip machines is about 3 notches too high. But that's the way starbucks does it, and I'm ok with that.

Let it also be known that I feel smoky, bitter, dark roasted coffee has its place, such as Vietnamese coffees... But I don't want a straight cup of the stuff first thing in the morning.

Now I've tried Peet's coffee (at many a Starbucks-hater's recommendation) at least a dozen times in half a dozen different locations, always the house coffee, black with no room, and I run into the SAME THING. Is there something I'm missing? Is this what coffee is supposed to taste like, and I just don't get it? Because this isn't going to develop like my taste in beer, where I begin to get used to and eventually really enjoy the complex bitterness... I'm always going to hate this coffee. And if this is what I can expect from these types of chains, I'll gladly steer clear from now on.

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