This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

DYING of the cute! How much do I crave Pixel? I actually want her more than one of those burgers and ears of corn that Kenji is busy frying up. But you can keep the French toast.

The Food Lab: Maximize Flavor by Ultra-Smashing Your Burger

Kenji, it's great to hear about Harlem Shake, and I'll be there, I swear. BUT, ONION RINGS, baby! And TOTS! I mean, damn, if I'm going to do the deep-fried thing, I don't want to settle for fries; I want the real deal. Rings and tots. Oh, and avocado and caramelized onions as optional add-ons, plz.

Easy Broiled Miso-Marinated Black Cod

Oops, my apologies for the double post!

Easy Broiled Miso-Marinated Black Cod

I've had a similar dish at EN Japanese Brasserie (and can I give them a shout out? LOVE that restaurant!), and they make the skin crisp, which adds just another layer of delicious. What would you think about either broiling this skin-side up or turning it halfway through? Or maybe even blowtorching the skin after broiling skin-side down?

Easy Broiled Miso-Marinated Black Cod

I've had a similar dish at EN Japanese Brasserie (and can I give them a shout out? LOVE that restaurant!), and they make the skin crisp, which adds just another layer of delicious. What would you think about either broiling this skin-side up or turning it halfway through? Or maybe even blowtorching the skin after broiling skin-side down?

Odessa's Blintzes Eat Like Crepes, But We Love Them Anyway

The blintzes that Russ & Daughters sells are delicious, and remind me of my grandmother's (one of the two things she could cook). Whenever I'm on the LES, I pick up a couple dozen and stick'em in my freezer; they freeze very well.

Xi'an Famous Foods is Coming to the Upper West Side

Oh, I'm so thrilled. It gets so damn irritating, hearing about one great-sounding restaurant after another opening downtown or in Brooklyn. Thank GAWD someone's showing the UWS a little lamby love.

A Sandwich a Day: Beef on Weck at Top Round Roast Beef, Los Angeles

I am a big fan of this site's, and have been for years. But I'm an even bigger fan of language, and it pisses me off to see it shabbily and lazily treated. And the fact that "everyone is doing it" is no excuse, as your mother surely told you: If everyone else in your class jumped off the roof, would you want me to say that you could jump along with them? And on a slightly more serious note, are Billy and meat and monopod honestly trying to fly the flag for stupidity? I may have gotten my knickers in a twist over a minor point of translation, but defending lazy work and sub-par thinking strikes me as a lot less laudable.

A Sandwich a Day: Beef on Weck at Top Round Roast Beef, Los Angeles

"...the split interior is dipped in au jus"

You do know that this is completely illiterate, right? That "au jus" means "with juice [or gravy or the liquid byproduct of cooking meat]," so that what you've just said is that the roll is dipped in with juice?

Please, PLEASE tell me this site does have a copy editor and that she just had to take the day off for the target-shooting finals or something.

My 'Dream Candy Bag' in New York City

How could you leave out the maple creams from Li-Lac, and the ALL OF THE CHOCOLATES from Kee's on Thompson Street? Hmmph. And yet again, Hmmph

Bake the Book: Steamed Lemon and Vanilla Syrup Sponge

How I wish heavy cream were the same thing as double cream, but it ain't. You can stand a spoon in double cream.

A Jew and a Pit Master Walk Into a Bar: Sacred and Profane's Porky Comfort Food Dinner

And I just thought it looked like one dumb gimmick after another.

Robyn's Favorite Macaron Of All

Open Thread: What's the Quintissential New York Sandwich Shop?

God, a lime rickey. I haven't had one of those since I lived in Cambridge and there was an ice-cream place -- Bailey's? -- in Harvard Square.

Open Thread: What's the Quintissential New York Sandwich Shop?

I agree that Eisenberg's takes the "quintessential" title, but I am in love with No. 7 Sub (except I'm still crying over the fact that they took the tilapia melt, my seconf-favorite sandwich, off the menu).

Oh, and I think Eisenberg's, just for pure NYC-authenticity sake, should add the classic Chock Full 'O Nuts cream-cheese on date-nut bread to the sandwich line-up.

Open Thread: Where Do You Take Tourists in NYC?

Katz's, my place for breakfast with a delivery from Russ & Daughters, and EN Japanese Brasserie, because they've never had anything like homemade tofu so fresh it's still warm. And if they're Brits, I take them to Mary's Fish Camp for fried clams and lobster rolls.

Silken Tofu with Soy Sauce and Chili Oil

Can I ask where you buy your za cai in NYC? I used to get it from a big crock at Kam Man, but they don't seem to have it anymore.
And hey, while we're at it, are you making your own silken tofu, buying the stuff in the asceptic packs, or do you have a source for the fresh stuff? Thanks so much.

Chichi's Chinese: Tofu Skin 'Noodles' and Rolls

Strange but true: I have actually figured out how to make shirataki noodles edible and non-bouncy. Beg me nicely, and I'll tell.

Serious Entertaining: A Roasted Fall Dinner

I think it looks like a really good menu EXCEPT that I wouldn't serve a squash soup followed by roasted squash. To be honest -- except maybe at something like Thanksgiving, a side-dish-a-palooza -- I wouldn't serve squash with sweet potatoes or (as a separate dish) carrots. I know they're all different, but the combination of the orange color and the rather similar texture makes it feel like overkill, for me. Rather than the roasted squash, I think I might opt for, say, roasted jerusalem artichokes.

How to Make Almond Milk, How It Compares to Soy Milk

I use almond milk a fair amount. It's much lower in carbs than dairy milk (and I don't have the problem of wanting to swig the entire carton right out of the fridge, which I do with your standard 1%). It works great for, say, hot cocoa, and it also makes a fine bechamel, which is helpful for me when I'm making dinner for friends who keep Kosher. Don't love it in coffee, and don't want to drink it straight, but I do find it a very useful milk-substitute.

Top Chef: What It's Like to Be a Diner at the Taping

You know, I absolutely agree that Padma does not come across as Princess Warmandfuzzy. But at the same time, the only thing worse that being stared at by hundreds of strangers with their little cellphone cameras going "click click click" would be having to make winning, ever-so-charming conversation with those strangers, during a 14-hour workday and in 110-degree heat. If she instituted the rules, I can't say I blame her.

The Vegan Experience, Day 11: Diversity Through Restriction

I think any regime that kicks us out of our food-ruts is likely to result in a more varied diet. I'm doing the opposite of Kenji; I've gone very seriously low-carb, which means stripping out all the starches that I'm used to basing meals around. I've discovered, happily, that I really like stir-fries and curries and similar sauce-y things on a bed of salad, particularly if that salad includes some really sturdy stuff like mustard greens. I've learned that mashed jerusalem artichokes and pureed celeriac make really nice beds for stews, rather than mashed potatoes. I've started roasting cauliflower and broccoli and kabocha squash to go next to my chicken. All in all, MANY more vegetables than I used to eat.

Marlow & Daughters Will Take Christmas Goose Orders

Actually, I hate to tell ya, but the goose wouldn't make Dickens proud; the bird that he orders up for the Cratchits' Christmas feast is a turkey -- specifically, an enormous turkey, as big as the urchin he hires to fetch it. Goose had previously been the bird of choice on England's Christmas tables, but "A Christmas Carol" was so influential that turkey supplanted it pretty much entirely. In fact, According to a recent piece in the New York Times, England's goose industry tanked as a result. And today, if you look at the food sections in various UK newspapers, they're full of discussions about the upcoming Christmas feast, and they all assume that turkey is the traditional centerpiece.

Whey Low -- anybody using this stuff?

I've been using Whey Low for several years -- so much so that I no longer keep sugar in the house. I can't stand any other sugar substitutes, Splenda very much included (blech!), but Whey Low, for me, tastes and functions exactly like sugar. That said, I'm not a big dessert-person, so I haven't been churning out batches of cookies and ice cream with the stuff. However, I regularly use it to make fruit compote, as an ingredient in Asian dishes, to make simple-syrup for sweetening iced tea (yes, it thickens exactly like sugar), in coleslaw, etc. And I have used it to make desserts, everything from very simple teacakes (where an "off" flavor would be very noticeable) to fancy-ass mousse-filled cakes, and nobody has ever detected a difference.

As to its caloric/glycemic load, all I can say is that I've taken off more than 50 pounds in the past year on a modified low-carb diet (i.e., higher in carbs than, say, Atkins, but lower than a standard low-fat/high-carb regime), and though I eat fruit with Whey Low just about every morning, my blood-sugar levels continue to drop. I don't think this would be the case if I were eating an equivalent amount of straight sugar. But as always, YMMV.

Emeril Still Alive at Food Network

What makes me sad about Emeril's quasi-departure is that his was one of the last shows on the network that actually involves, you know, cooking. I don't LIKE his cooking, and his relationship with the audience makes me a little queasy, but at least he does occasionally chop things up and apply heat to them and mix them with other things. From here on in it's just going to be increasing variations on the "Welcome to the Skittles factory" theme, and Sandra Lee on endless loop.

Traditional Brit Christmas Cake in NYC

There used to be a fabulous bakery on the Upper East Side that made these -- dense fruitcakes covered in homemade marzipan. I adored them, but alas, the bakery has disappeared. Is there ANYONE in New York who bakes a genuine British-style Christmas cake? Yeah, I know I could make my own but A) I left it way too late, and B) the one time I tried it was a disaster.

Pie Project Participants! MUCH success!

To everybody who was so generous as to make or donate a pie (or turnovers or mmmmmm empenadas): The Pie Project was a terrific success. In fact, we had so many pies that I am going back tomorrow (the pantry also serves on Fridays) to dish up the leftovers. Many people had seconds, one woman pronounced the pie "absolutely scrumptious," and one gentleman asked me to pass on a particular blessing to the maker of the apple-cranberry with oatmeal topping; he said he hadn't had homemade pie in so long that he had forgotten what made it so good, and he especially wanted to say thank you for reminding him.

So all in all, we did a good thing. My profound thanks to everyone who participated, and to those who wanted to pitch in but found that life got in the way. Happy Turkey Day!


Calling all bakers: Looking to help the hungry this Thanksgiving?

Could you make one extra pie this year? Or maybe a dozen apple turnovers? Every Thursday, the food pantry at Central Synagogue provides a hot meal for 100-120 hungry people, but they don't have the resources to change up their regular menu (beef stew) to include any traditional Thanksgiving foods. It made me sad to think of the pantry's clients being left out of the national feast, so I have volunteered to provide enough pie for all. If you'd like to pitch in to the Pie Project and give a taste of Thanksgiving to some people to don't have much, please contact me at

Terrific Local Products

I have fallen in love with the mozzarella made by the Woodstock Water Buffalo Co. It's delicate and creamy and reminds me of the mozz I was so thrilled to eat in Italy -- about as far from supermarket rubber balls as you can get. The company is shooting for national distribution, but I suspect they're still a Northeast, maybe even a New York, phenom. What fabulous local products have you found for sale in your necks of the woods?

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