9 Must-Try Vietnamese Drinks

Soda chanh is the best thing ever.

How to Make the Best Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes

And this is why I grow San Marzanos. Yay paste tomatoes!!!

Friday Night Meatballs: How to Change Your Life With Pasta

Oh, and for recipe, I recommend the Cremaldi Cookbook. Classic.

Friday Night Meatballs: How to Change Your Life With Pasta

This is a beautiful story. Years ago, a friend used to host BYOM (bring your own meat) barbecues on Sunday afternoons. Those were wonderful, stress-free, lazy times filled with community and connection.

7 Ways to Use a Cast Iron Frying Pan (Besides Frying)

Burglar bat. Also, athletic equipment. There's a town near me that has an annual skillet toss.

The Food Lab: Three Ways to Grill Corn

I've been skinning it down to one layer of husk and grilling like that. You still get charred bits. I'm not sure there is any advantage to doing it my way vs. just going commando, though. I feel a round of A/B testing coming on, perhaps this very night.

Win a Copy of 'Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food'

Cassoulet, definitely!

The Inevitable Pork Chop With Cheddar Grits From 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'


The little kids' table is over THERE.

The Inevitable Pork Chop With Cheddar Grits From 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

I can't imagine brining anything for 12 hours. Not anything I'd want ot eat at least. Anything brined that long is just foul unless you like eating gummy-textured meat doused in saline solution. If you know how to cook and have a decent pork chop to start with, briefly marinating followed by grilling properly will work just fine.

How Korean Cuisine Got Huge in America (And Why It Took So Long)

From the perspective of Boston, I'd say Korean food got popular because of the truly huge number of Korean college students in recent years.

Win a Copy of 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

Nothing intimidates me, but I'd take a deep deep breath before tackling an honest-to-God prime rib roast (simply because of the second mortgage I'd have to take out to buy the damn thing).

Are Heirloom Tomatoes Always Worth The Price?

What a whackadoo question the title is. Always? Of course the answer is "no". I grow San Marzanos, not because they're heirloom but because they're AWESOME.

Upside-Down Skillet Corn Cake From 'Sweet & Vicious'

Given the scanty amount of cornmeal in proportion to other ingredients, how can you honestly call this a "corn cake"?

Gadgets: The Progressive Funnel Will Simplify Your Home Canning Projects

$15 is kinda spendy for this. Ball (the jar people) sell a canning utensil set with a jar lifter, funnel, lid lifter and headspace tool for less than $15.

Enter to Win a Ham Independence Day Package From La Quercia

I hate to be the butt of the joke, and I don't want to boar anyone, but I really want to get in on this swine and cheese party, so please forgive me if this is a lot of hogwash. Oh the hamanity!

Tamales de Queso (Cheese Tamales) From 'Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen'

The Best Frozen Yogurt Is the One You Make Yourself

Re: wine and spirits, isn't it worth mentioning that this will lower the freezing temperature (i.e., make it softer)?

The Food Lab: 7 Old Wives' Tales About Cooking Steak That Need To Go Away

"there actually is no exchange of flavor between the meat and the muscle" wth

The Elements of Barbecue: Is Gas Barbecue Really Barbecue?

I'll put myself down as "very skeptical but willing to try". Theoretically I think it might be possible that if the gas was just used to smooth out the temperature rather than do the cooking, then maybe...but, I don't like it. I use only wood and charcoal, my fave roadside joint uses only wood, that's what I like.

What's the Best Way to Cook Whole Grains?

Good, because I don't have a pressure cooker ;-)

18 Sweet Corn Recipes For Summer

Throw the rules out and experiment. Whatever old rules there were, and however well they may have worked, are all pretty much worthless now in the era of supersweet corn. Experiment with the corn that's locally available to you and find out what works, t'll cost you a couple bucks at most.

The 11 Best Things I Ate During My Cross-Country Road Trip

It strains credulity to believe that on a cross-continental roadtrip, one of the 11 best things you ate was that wretched Chick-Fil-A swill. But whatever. I hope you contributed to HRCF to make up for your transgression in lining the pockets of the bigots.

5 Rye Whiskeys You Should Be Drinking

I like High West for straight drinking -- I brought a bottle to Whiskey o'Clock and it was very well received. It's got some bark to it, though -- I like Truff's rec of Whistle Pig for those who like something mellower.

Farmers Market Pro Tips: Shopping Dos and Don'ts

Agreed with bdcbbq. I might ask, "Same price for a flat?" but otherwise, I assume that the price is what's marked. Farmers' market vendors aren't trustafaraians doing this on a lark, they're using the market because selling direct to the consumer lets them make enough money to stay in business...and as our local bumper sticker says, "No Farms, No Food".

Corollary to "don't be afraid to ask questions": don't be afraid to talk to your fellow market-goers. You'll get a lot of great tips about who's got the best what.

12 Great Recipes For Chicken on the Grill

Mexican roadside chicken recipe not found. Alas.

Sangria recipe?

I had Sangria the other night, for the first time in a long time. I'd forgotten how much fun it can be. I'm looking for a red sangria recipe that's light-bodied and somewhat silly, if you get my meaning. Any favorites?

Make your own smoothie mix?

Has anyone experimented with making your own smoothie mix or concentrate, for the sake of convenience? My idea is, you do all the measuring/chopping/peeling/whatever at once, blend it up, portion and freeze it, and then it's ready to use in a more convenient fashion. Thoughts on this?

Cake house?

I've never made a gingerbread house because, from what I understand, in order to get structural integrity, the "gingerbread" basically has to be like spiced drywall. It's kind of like those awful weaponized decorated cookies that corporate clients send in "thank-you" baskets, and that poison half the support staff (the only ones silly enough to try and eat them).

But I digress. Wanting to make something festive and yet edible, I thought: why not make a house out of cake? Just make some rectangular layers, cut 'em, stack 'em, make a roof, cover with icing and festoon with candies. Woohoo! That would work, right? Has anybody actually done it? Any tips, gotchas, etc.?


Unexpectedly Large Turkey

My insane co-Thanksgivingers had requested a 20 pound turkey. I succeeded in talking them down to 16 pounds (still way too large, but you choose your battles), and that is what I ordered, but you get what you get with these special-order fresh local all-volunteer turkeys. Now I've got this 22 pound ornithopter masquerading as a turkey sitting in my refrigerator. Do I a)go with my original plan (stuff it and roast it, however long it takes), b)do something insane like attempt to spatchcock it (with no prior experience and no poultry shears and a strong doubt that I'll have a pan big enough to go under it), or c)something altogether different? Debate. Discuss.

Pomegranate arils in dark chocolate - how to?

Being a fan of both pomegranate and dark chocolate, I tried combining them, with pretty good results. I extracted the apils and did the standard trick with the bowl of water to get rid of the pith, then drained them, then spread them out and air-dried them as best I could with a fan. Then I melted the chocolate (Callebaut 70% bittersweet) in a double boiler until almost melted, removed from heat and stirred smooth. Then I added the apils.

I was trying to avoid having the chocolate seize, and things looked pretty good for a bit, but then, ZAP! Seized chocolate. I returned the double boiler to the pan and very gently warmed it until things loosened up, then spread on parchment. Results were good*, but I'm wondering if I could have done anything else to avoid having the chocolate seize. Any ideas?

*By "good", I mean that it was a reasonably good execution, above and beyond the inherent awesomeness of pomegranate and dark chocolate.