For plenty of folks, the real point of Thanksgiving comes later: the leftovers sandwich. And while most of us are happy with a little turkey and some cranberry sauce on toasted bread, chefs and food bloggers tend to get a little more creative.
Husk chef Sean Brock is a seed-saver and a book-hoarder, collecting old classics and community cookbooks with the aim, he says, of owning every American cookbook that was printed in 19th century. Here are a few of his favorites.
For the last 15 years or so, I've been more likely to stuff a suitcase than a turkey come Thanksgiving. But I have a little fantasy about Turkey Day. It involves Bill Withers singing "Just the two of us" on the stereo as a fire crackles in our little fireplace. It involves a really nice bottle of Champagne that doesn't need to be split eight ways. It involves staying home: no planes, no trains, and a meal that's meant for just us. Here's what I'd serve.
Christmas is jolly and Valentine's is fine, but here at Serious Eats, our favorite holiday of the year is definitely Thanksgiving. All year long, we look forward to showing off our turkey-cooking skills (nobody spatchcocks like we spatchcock.) And every November we get excited to stuff ourselves with stuffing. There's no time like the present to start planning, so we're pumped to present our 2014 Thanksgiving Survival Guide.
A cookbook changed Kathleen Weber's life. As she writes in Della Fattoria Bread, some friends gave her a copy of The Italian Baker by Carol Field, and Weber "had never seen a baking book like it before." She immediately started making her first biga, a starter commonly used in Italian breads. "From that moment on," she writes, she "baked day and night, reading through The Italian Baker as if it were a novel [she] couldn't put down." Now Weber runs Della Fattoria bakery and café in Sonoma County with her husband and children.
Perks of Faith Durand's job at The Kitchn include a nonstop flow of new cookbooks to check out—more volumes than most of us can find space for. But how do you cull the keepers from the pack?
I wondered whether all those cute-labeled jars were just fancy packaging with nothing special within. I asked food pros around the country about their favorite jam makers and started gathering a massive collection. But as I tasted my way through 88 different jams (yes, 88!), I got pretty darn excited about the quality of fruit preserves you can buy these days. We're in something of a golden era: today's jams are better than they ever were before.
Halloween candy is just fine, but come fall, I crave creamy, chocolatey oatmeal stout. I asked our crew of beer experts—all Certified Cicerones—about the best of the bunch.
Sugar addicts take note: Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Baking Bible, shares her list of favorite cookbooks, sweet and savory.
One more piece of the fancy-bar-at-home puzzle: the shrub. No, I don't mean some kind of house plant. The tart and tangy vinegar-based concoctions have made a comeback in the cocktail scene, and with the help of a new book from longtime Serious Eats contributor Michael Dietsch, you can whip up your own.
Running a food blog for more than a decade means that Adam Roberts has quite a cookbook collection: he's edited it down to around 150 titles. Here are a few of his favorites.
Toasty, malty, nutty: they're just the kind of flavors you want in autumn, the ones you need to accompany roasted parsnips and squash, a crisp-skinned chicken or a comforting bowl of chili. Luckily for all of us, these flavors are found in abundance in the freshly released amber-colored Märzenbiers that make the rounds each Oktoberfest season.
I asked Brett Cooper (formerly of Outerlands) for his San Francisco favorites: the bites he returns to again and again. Here are his picks, from breakfast to burgers to late night kimchi fried rice.
Y'all know The Homesick Texan. You love her blog, her pinto bean and Frito salad, her gooey, cheesy braised beef enchiladas, and her easy, delicious buttermilk bacon-fat flour tortillas. Lisa Fain just knows how to do comfort food right. So I wasn't surprised that she has a cookbook collection about 250 volumes strong, heavy on the church compilations, the community cookbooks, and old classics.
Cooking spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, shrimp scampi, or Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner? Don't leave your glass empty! We asked our crew of sommeliers from around the country for their wine-pairing advice.
We chat with 'The Wednesday Chef' Luisa Weiss, author of My Berlin Kitchen, about her most treasured cookbooks and the new dessert book she's writing.
Many beers are best fresh, and the freshest beer you're gonna find is the one your local brewery is making. We ask our crew of experts about their favorite breweries that don't require a road trip.
Amy Thielen's fantastic New Midwestern Table celebrates iconic heartland dishes that haven't all gotten the nod of the cool kids—homemade braunschweiger (a soft, smoky pork pâté), beer cheese soup, and the homey chicken hotdish. Here, she shares a few cookbooks that inspire her.
A good pilsner is one of our favorite party beers: it's refreshing and easy-drinking, but still offers enough interesting flavor to please serious beer nerds. But which sixpack should you buy?
"People seem to be hysterical about lots of photos in cookbooks these days," says David Lebovitz, but that's not really what he looks for. Instead, he wants cookbooks to offer a "unique perspective on the topic" at hand. Here are a few of his favorite books and cookbook authors.
Amanda Hesser—mastermind of Food52 and writer of the epic Essential New York Times Cookbook—is something of a cookbook addict. Here are her picks for the best cookbooks for baking, for big dinner parties, and for giving as gifts.
The best Chinese restaurant may not have the best beer list, so you might be stuck between the choice of Tsingtao or Tsingtao. But if you're able to bring your own bottles...or you're prepping these dishes at home yourself, you get to consider how to really punch up your meal with a well-chosen beer.
I'm stocking up on butter to get ready for Dorie Greenspan's new baking book. But in the meantime, here are a few of her favorite cookbooks and cookbook authors.
Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen owns 144 cookbooks...and that's after pruning them down. We ask about her favorite sources for recipe inspiration and the books that really have stood the test of time.
Some people take their comfort in a pint of beer, others in a pint of ice cream. But you're missing out if you've never thought to mix the two: a frosty mug of beer can be even better with a scoop of your favorite vanilla or caramel-fudge.
Making ice cream. Cooking up a pot de creme, pudding, or mousse. These are just some of the baking culprits that will leave you with extra egg whites. But don't throw them out! Many delicious desserts—souffles, meringues, and financiers, to start—rely on egg whites for height and texture. More ideas right this way.
From hand pulled noodles doused in a savory sesame paste sauce, to a bowl of Chinese bacon and smoked peppers, to tender Afghan mantoo dumplings, Chinatown's offerings go far beyond the wide ranging variety of Chinese cuisines. Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Middle Eastern restaurants all hold court here.
Rice cakes are odd little things. Straight from the packaging they look sort of like plastic cylinders; raw, they sort of taste like them, too. But sauté rice cakes and they develop a crackly crust, while the insides become tender and almost creamy.
We love the charred, crisp, and just-sweet leaves of roasted brussels sprouts. The sprouts are a perfect canvas for just about any blanket of flavors, even the seemingly crazy combination of caraway, lime juice, mint, and cilantro Bar Tartine's Nicolaus Balla suggests in Food and Wine's new cookbook America's Greatest New Cooks. Balla's seamless blending of Eastern European and Southeast Asian tastes are fully realized in this vibrant vegetable side.
The key to a great kale Caesar salad is to marinate the kale in straight olive oil while you prepare the dressing and the croutons. The olive oil helps break down the leaves, turning them from tough to tender-crisp.
I don't know what happened on your end over the holidays, but over here not a lot of self-control was exercised. So, at least this week, I'm eating lighter than usual to make up for the craziness of the last few weeks. But I'm far from depriving myself of delicious things, though. This mushroom laab (or lap, most often spelled 'larb') you're looking at right here? Not exactly deprivation.
This crème fraîche custard pie is just what I'd always wished Clafoutis could be: a lightly sweetened, creamy custard (made better with tangy crème fraîche) that's filled with juicy, tart apples, and baked inside a crispy crust.
These days, everybody and their grandmother has heard of brining, and more and more folks are doing it at home before Turkey Day. But it's not all pie and gravy. There are a few distinct and definite downsides to wet-brining, and many folks are making the switch to dry-brining (A.K.A. extended salting). The question is, which method works best?
San Francisco and New York are often mentioned in the same breath when it comes to the nation's great food cities, and are often compared as such. Growing up near San Francisco but having lived on the East Coast for nearly a decade, I can't say that there's one that strikes me as "superior"—and suggestions of a rivalry seem rather silly. They're just so different. So I couldn't choose one favorite food city between them. But, having just spent a fantastically delicious week by the Bay, I do know that there are a lot of foods from San Francisco I'd take back to New York with me if I could. Here are 10 of mine. What are your favorite SF eats?
The recipe is easy. I mean, it's fried rice. This one is particularly easy because Nam Prik Pao helps add a bunch of complex flavors. Everything made with Nam Prik Pao tastes like you've just slaved over the stove for hours when the fact is anything but. No wonder Thai restaurants love using it so much.
While in Portland for the Feast festival (see our event recaps here), Maggie and I explored the city, from one food cart pod to another, with many nights ending in ice cream. After a weekend of feasting, we hit the road and do some more feasting elsewhere in the great state of Oregon. Stay tuned for a new dispatch from Oregon each day this month!
This is how you should cook an updated version of the classic stir-fried rice cakes dish.
These sweet and slightly spicy corn cakes may not have the same sought-after elasticity of classic Thai fish cakes, but the sweetness of the corn and the crispiness sure make up for it.
Hear the word gratin, and my mind often drifts towards rich, cheesy potato casseroles served up in the cold depths of winter. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to hear James Peterson wax poetic on a simple Tomato and Herb Gratin in his Vegetables. Made only with ripe summer tomatoes, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and herbs, the dish is the simplest (and lightest) in a long line of more recognizable baked tomato dishes like lasagna and eggplant parmesan.
Rich but delicate, this cheesecake is perfect for summer, especially when it gets a double-dose of juicy peaches roasted in brown sugar and smoky Bourbon.
My favorite way to eat ice cream must not be shared with my wife, who would be truly appalled if she read this. So mum's the word, but listen up.
Scott Conant is the chef at Scarpetta in New York, a restaurant known for refined yet soulful Italian food. This recipe, published in Esquire magazine, takes a slim list of ingredients and creates something special from them: to me, the hallmark of a great pasta dish.
This moist, buttery quick bread is flavored with key limes and poppy seeds then covered in a sweet-tart key lime glaze.
Salty, spicy, briny, pickled, hot, sour; lately all I want to do is eat foods that are intensely savory. This sandwich came out of that craving.
[Photograph: David Loftus] What Worked: Starting a recipe three days in advance is going to require some planning but it's worth it for these out of this world Gnudi. Just make sure to read the direction well before beginning the...
We visited Balaboosta's Einat Admony to learn how to make gondi, a Persian chicken and chickpea dumpling, which she'll be serving at a special Passover Seder. The dish is an unforgettably delicious and totally comforting alternative to Ashkenazi matzo ball soup.
Sriracha's lovely. Harissa is a fiery punch in the mouth with flavor to match. But if you're looking for a sweeter, funkier flavor from your chiles, gochujang (pronounced go-choo-jong) is the thing for you.
My mother is one of the loveliest, kindest, most generous people you will ever meet. With a ready and Colgate ad-perfect smile, friends and strangers flock to her. But this charmer has a dark side. Ask her for her carrot cake recipe and she'll reply with a short and decisive "No." It's too bad, really, because—scout's honor—it is the best carrot cake in the world.
Kale is one of those winter stalwarts—we love its hearty, green flavors and reliable presence in the produce section, but sometimes we run out of creative kale ideas. To counter any kale ennui, here's a Lemony Kale Caesar Salad from Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food, a bright, unexpected take on our winter go-to green.
This bright and clean salad is made of shaved mushroom, Parmesan, and parsley, and spiked with lemon, olive oil, and sea salt.