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lil_brown_bat

The Darkest Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Now I'm curious. Why no cream?

For the Deepest, Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream, Add Cocoa Nibs

Strain them out? Strain them OUT??? Whyyyy would I strain the nibs OUT?

(the more nibs, the better, I say)

24 Quick Chicken Dinners

Now I really want a pressure cooker.

In Defense of Bluefish

Bluefish is fabulous if you can get it nice and fresh. It's one of my favorite fishes to put in the smoker.

Dim Sum Classics: How to Make Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf (Lo Mai Gai)

My favorite dim sum too!!!!

Or, next to favorite. Favorite of the dim sum that I can normally get I think my all-time favorite dim sum -- and I've only seen it once -- was a duck foot wrapped around a ball of sticky rice filled with goodies. Remark from a dim sum companion: "It looks like the duck is clutching its last meal." Yes, yes it does, and yes it's delicious.

Oatmeal and Brown Butter Pancakes

These sound so good it ain't even funny.

Kenji, enlighten me: a friend who used to sling da breakfast hash for a living once told me that making the batter the night before and letting it rest is The Trick to getting the perfect pancake. Was he right or just lazy? Or some combination thereof?

Quick and Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

@Kenji: read the post, watched the video. Don't know about the brand of paper towels, I don't pay attention to these things. The ricotta just kind of melded with the paper towels, exactly as I expected would happen (wet thing, paper towel...it's what they're designed to do). I added extra flour because the result that I could scrape off the paper towels was still pretty wet. If I try this again, I'll just use cheesecloth and let it drip for a bit. Not a fifteen minute recipe, but I'll take "works" over "quick".

Quick and Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

Hi Kenji! I used Polly-O whole milk ricotta, which seemed like the best available in the case. Unfortunately with any of these major brands, there just isn't much information about the ricotta. I think it was 100% whole milk as opposed to a "made with whole milk" brand?

(as it happens, I muddled through, but I ended up only being able to save about 6 ounces of ricotta, and I had to add more flour, so I'm not sure they were even close to your results)

Quick and Easy Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

Wow, so that was a waste of three bucks. Did exactly as the recipe states and ended up with ricotta glued to paper towels, just as any sane person would expect. "Peel off upper paper towels", what a laugh.

Taste Test: The Best Frozen Pork Dumplings

Concur on Way Fong. That's my standard brand, in all flavors.

Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup)

There's a category of food that we cold-climate people understand well, called "bowl food". When the snow flies and the wind howls, you need food that you can serve in a bowl. Using a knife and fork is an exothermic process -- you need something you can eat with a spoon, exposing no body parts unnecessarily, huddled over your food like a hypothermic miser. It beats me how a warm place like the Philippines could come up with such a fine example of bowl food, but there you have it.

I made this pretty much as written, using homemade bone broth. I reused the garlic oil because, um, too garlicky? What's that? I boosted the fish sauce a bit because my broth didn't have much salt in it. I also took the recommendation to use part short grain rice (arborio). The result, after 20 minutes, is a nice creamy soup that still has distinct rice bits in it. Next time I think I might cut down on the ginger a bit, but not sure, I haven't done more than taste it (no lime yet).

How to Make Arroz Caldo: Filipino Chicken Soup for the Soul

For the short-grained fans, what kinda short-grained?

The Art of the Perfect Grilled Cheese (Plus 20 Variations to Shake Things Up)

Both sides grilled is the secret, all right, but I hadn't heard about salting the pan -- I'll have to try that. There are many breads that make excellent grilled cheese, but I've survived this horrible New England winter with homemade shokupan, which is as good as it gets IMO. Also easy to make.

How to Make Dulce de Leche From a Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

I just dump it into a double boiler and do it that way. No sploding can danger that way, and like simon says (I see what you did there), I can stop cooking when it gets to where I want it.

Ragú Napoletano (Neapolitan-Style Italian Meat Sauce with Pork, Beef, and Sausage)

Ribs cut into three chunks means what? Sliced longways between the ribs? Or do I gotta get out the cleaver and start swinging?

How to Make Brown Butter Cake With a Nutty, Toasty Brown Butter Frosting

I learned to brown butter for the purpose of making the browned butter chocolate chip cookies from this site...and yes, they are the best ever, and yes, the browned butter makes all the diff. Looking forward to this recipe.

25 Game Day Snacks to Feed a Team

Thanks for the tips, Kenji! Now I've got my game day menu for Sunday.

Super Bowl Sunday, command performance is pastrami!

25 Game Day Snacks to Feed a Team

This is an excellent list! I'm just trying to figure out how I can cook some of the "serve immediately" dishes and take them to a party (for example, the sea salt and vinegar peanuts, smoky fried chickpeas, and whiskey wieners). Any ideas?

6 New Year's Food Resolutions Worth Keeping

Good resolutions, I like 'em. Maybe not so much for readers of this site, but I think a good one in general is "cook more" (vs. eating out or buying convenience food).

The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2014

If you want to know why I'm complaining (if complaining it is), you could try just reading what I wrote and paying attention rather than simply dismissing it. When I visit the site, I'm mostly interested in what's new. I find the "most popular" format tends to push new stuff below the fold. Maybe I'm in a small minority and almost everyone, including you, cares most about what other people like. Ya think?

The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2014

I'm not a fan of the "most popular" approach that this website has taken on. It tends to bury stuff I am interested in under a pile of stuff I'm not interested in. Maybe this is something you could make LESS popular in the new year (as in, get rid of it entirely).

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Prime Rib

All this seems completely academic to me. I might care, if I could afford it :-(

How to Make the Best Swedish Meatballs

Interesting timing, I made a batch just the other day using my grandmother's recipe. Stale bread soaked in water and drained, one pound ground beef, one egg, some ground pepper and salt and a pinch of allspice. She used to pan-fry 'em but I browned 'em in the oven in a dutch oven. Then removed the meatballs, deglazed the pan with beef broth, mix flour and water and whisk in, more broth, more flour if needed, adjust spices, add meatballs, yer done.

On the subject of tradition: I think that back in the day the old girl probably used a beef/pork/veal or pork/veal mixture by preference, but it's a "work with what's available" recipe really. Meat of any kind was scarce during the Depression so there was plenty of bread in the mix, and I doubt she had any beef broth to use either. She would be the last person to balk at using other options if they were available, though. So, these were the meatballs I grew up on, and I love them, but I'll definitely try some of these other approaches.

A Cookie a Day: Rugelach

Oh man, I do love this recipe. Awesome and dangerous, because once you've made a bunch of these rugelach logs, you can just kinda cut off a few and bake 'em up for a snack.

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes That Travel Well

I got it easy this year, I'm on the hook for red wine and truffles ;-)

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.?

TIA,

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.