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Spaghetti Puttanesca Is the World's Most Pungently Delicious Pasta

@imwalkin: Robert Alda was also a very fine straight man on the Burlesque circuit and son Alan spend some of his childhood there.

Coincidence? Hmmm.....

The Comfort Food Diaries: Whipped Cream Is All That Matters


Go get yourself an ISI Cream Whipper (or clone; is where we buy. No, we're just happy with them.) and have whatever variation you want in the fridge ready at all times.

We've put gallons (literally, and I know what literally means) of cream through ours.

If you can resist using it, the cream will last for weeks.

The Food Lab: Use the Pressure Cooker for Quick Caramelized Onions and French Onion Soup

@Soupcon, Aaron Friedman:

Stovetop pressure cookers regulate pressure by releasing it into the air if it gets too high through a valve at the top.

If there's not enough pressure to force a little steam through the valve then the pot is too cool, so add heat.

If the valve is hissing like an enraged cat, there's too much heat and you risk scorching what's in the pot. Turn the heat down.

After about 3 times cooking with the pressure cooker you learn where to set the controls on your stove so it's always at a gentle barely audible hiss. This is the sweet spot.

Once your recipe is done you have to lower the pressure in the pot so you can open it safely. There are 2 main ways to do it:

1) Slowly, by letting the pot cool until the safety interlocks release by themselves.

2) Quickly, by either releasing the pressure valve on the top or by running the pot under a stream of cold water.

The reason you care is that some foods will tend to disintegrate with quick release. This is an advantage for this recipe.

While all this is dead simple after a short while, an electric pressure cooker does it all for you.

The Best Fried Chicken on the Planet: An Opinionated World Tour

It turns out to be difficult to find good Southern fried chicken in restaurants. Kenji's right; Popeye's is the closest approximation I've found as well.

Perhaps what makes it hard to do in commercial kitchens is that you always lose flour in the bottom of the fryer when you use the traditional simple dredge in seasoned flour. You don't get much burnt flour in home batches but it'd be another story after a shift.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Tales From Opening Day

@Tyson Ho re: @Sommsayer. That was one of the most elegant flames I've seen in over 25 years on the 'net, and all the better that it is sincere. Rancor serves nobody but the troll who tried to score on you, so again Bravo! Well done!

Thanks for taking the time to write it all up, I've enjoyed watching. From what you've said, it seems you've made the best choices possible in the environment you were in.

Keep it up.

An Open Letter to Serious Eaters

I too have zero interest in Facebook et al. on privacy grounds. I have no problem sharing with the SE community but not the world, especially if my comments are to be used in advertising.

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?

Yes. I'm pretty paranoid about fire and so haven't had one in decades of cooking but you can't be SURE about everyone else in the household...

Cheap cookware from Chinatown restaurant supply store

A simple example: back when I played at building furniture I needed precision machines to make up for a lack of skills that let a seasoned woodworker use just hand tools.

Restaurants run on incredibly thin margins and must rely on skilled cooks who can get good results despite limited tools.

I have the utmost respect for line cooks; I couldn't do that job on my best day.

Can I freeze chicken tikka masala?

Of course.

The real question is: will you like it once you thaw it? That will depend on how it was thickened and what the other ingredients are.

Try the version you care about in small quantity and report back with results and questions.

Best stores for food souvenirs in New Orleans

Cafe Du Mond brand chicory coffee is often available at Vietnamese restaurants and Asian markets. Check before you lug coffee back.

Beignets don't travel well so make it a point to sample as many different ones as you can so you know what they OUGHT to taste like.

Steaks reverse sear method gone wrong!


1) check calibration of the thermometer
2) Stop roasting at 125
3) Maybe not rest before searing
4) worry about if the sear was really only 60 seconds each side.

I usually sous vide in a beer cooler (Kenji's hack) to 125 or so and then sear for 60-90 sec per side on a griddle on the gas BBQ (w/ oil) and am very happy with that.

Steaks reverse sear method gone wrong!

What was the meat's color (or temperature) when you went to eat it?

Knife sharpening for lefties

It never hurts to provide information (it can always be ignored) but I doubt it makes a difference for Western knives as they're usually sharpened with a symmetrical bevel.

Asian knives, however are flat on one side and bevelled on the other. I'll have to leave the question of whether it matters to someone who uses them.


Is Ceviche too adventurous? If so, maybe as appetizer? Ours is the usual lime + alliums with warm spices (coriander, ginger, clove) and cayenne to taste, refrigerate at least 1 hour up to overnight.

We like bay scalops.

I don't have a....

Some workarounds:

Dutch oven, cast-iron anything: any pot plus a 1/4" thick aluminum disk to spread heat evenly

standing mixer: keep your arm strong and go to no-knead breads

food processor: a good box grater and a sharp knife fills the bill

kitchen scale: really useful for portion control, baking and modernist cuisine. Fairly cheap these days, but if you don't worry about these, fake it.

ice cream machine: sorry, I rarely do ice cream. Didn't I see no-machine ice cream here not long ago?

any way to sharpen knives: like AnnieNT I can't get around this. 3rd-party sharpening is good, and I'm usually OK with a steel hone for touch-ups and a diamond steel to recover an edge that I've let slip too far (used the same as a hone). Cheap and you probably already know how to use it.

As I get older, though, I find I'm falling back on equipment to cover a failing body.

A slightly crunchy Burger crust?

"where they weren't" is too easy too overlook.

Passover Side Dish

@zucchini: Thanks: I'm totally stealing adapting this.

Traveling Mac and Cheese questions

I wonder if the Modernist Cuisine M&C would work here. It's alleged not to break even under extreme provocation. Perhaps bring cooked elbows and a jar of cheese sauce, nuke the sauce at site and combine.

Vegetarian and Gluten-Free?

Be sure you know what your coworker means by "vegetarian". There is wide variation, Some variations are:

Vegans are very specific: no animal involvement whatsoever, including no honey, careful use of white sugar (some is whitened on charred bone), etc.

Eggs and milk products are OK

No flesh, but broth is OK

Fish is OK

"White" meats (chicken, modern pork) are OK.

A conversation with your "vegetarian" coworker will both help you understand what's possible and warm the heart of the coworker, as you'll make it clear you actually care.

Wok safety question - post oil fire

Is the paranoia from the fire itself?

How did it hapen? Too hot a flame? Over-filled wok? A momentary inattention that went on too long? Some combination? How did you put it out? Could you do that again if you had to?

The brand and provenance of the wok don't much matter.

Figure out what went wrong and don't do that anymore. You'll be a better cook.

How to Top a Torte?

@Traveler: It's no-foolin' hard for a beginner, but after many ingredient purchases I managed to successfully produce my first and last Princess Torte. They're delicious but not worth the effort for me. That's what Pastry Chefs like @Anna [glad to see you again!] are for.

As for date molasses, I'd look in a shop selling Middle Eastern or maybe Indian ingredients. At a guess, "date syrup" may be related and is easier to find online.

How to Top a Torte?

Perhaps a simple decoration of (flavored) whipped cream?

I remember beating my head in over a Princess Torte in the 70s but I think rolled marzipan over the top is over the top.

Substitution for Korean chili powder in Kimchee

@Les_ah: I don't have a definitive answer for you and would like to hear one.

I don't think the pepper I've tasted in kimchee is as hot as cayenne but it's way hotter than ancho. My guess is that of the choices you mention, New Mexicos, pasillas or cascabels (in that order) are the closest but wait for a better opinion.