You'd think that making a really great chili burger is as simple as making really great chili and a really great burger and sticking them together. But it ain't that simple. The problem is that a great chili is a meal in itself, not a condiment. For topping burgers, fries, or hot dogs, chili should have slightly less kick than a full-fledged, punch-you-in-the-mouth-with-flavor chili, with a much finer, sauce-like texture that doesn't distract from the crispness of the burger or overwhelm the bun.
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More than enough has already been written about the Shack Burger from New York City's Shake Shack. I decided to recreate it at home, which meant I had to eat it, dissect it, deconstruct it, research it, eat it some more, rebuild it, break it down again, reconfigure it, taste it, eat it one more time, and finally reconstruct it again. Here are the results.
Note: The science behind sous-vide is fascinating. Check it out here. About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York...
When I buy a quality piece of beef—and honestly, does beef get any better than prime rib?—I have a great impetus not to mess it up, as do, I imagine, most of you. So after years of mess-ups, it's time to learn the secrets of a perfectly cooked prime rib (in all its juicy medium-rare with deep brown crust glory).
During Thanksgiving, that most divisive of holidays, mashed potatoes are perhaps the most divisive side dish of the lot. I like mine to be rich, perfectly smooth, and creamy with plenty of butter and heavy cream, loaded with black pepper, maybe some chives if I want to feel extra fancy. Somewhere between a dish on its own and a sauce, it should have the consistency of a pudding, slowly working it's way across a tilted plate. I like to pick up a piece of turkey and swirl it in my gravy-covered potatoes so that they coat it, their buttery richness working into the cracks in the meat. Sounds good, right? Who could possibly want it any other way? My sister. That's who.
Raise your hand if you like Tater Tots? (And remember, it's the Internet, so no one can see you)! Everyone, right? I thought so. They get a bum rap in public, and it's a travesty, because they are perhaps the second-most-awesomest crisp-on-the-outside tender-in-the-center fried potato-based snack ever conceived. This week, we try to make them at home.
Buffalo wings are pure, unadulterated, crispy, greasy, hot & vinegary nuggets of awesome. So given that we're going to be eating so many of the suckers, isn't it our national duty—our duty to the birds, even—to make each and every one the best it can possible be? To not—pardon the terrible pun (and all the terrible puns to follow)—simply wing it? I've had my share of greasy, dry, flaccid, burnt, tough, gristly chicken wings. My only goal today is to figure out how to get the best out of each and every drumette and flat, to create a Super Bowl snack worthy of its American heritage. A bird we could really flip for.
It's because of my addiction to MacGyver as a kid (along with a healthy addiction to Mr. Wizard and Jacques Pépin) that I constantly press myself to try and come up with unique solutions to common kitchen problems. They're not always successful, but when they are, you get so much more satisfaction out of developing a novel recipe or technique than you do out of merely tweaking what's standard. Here are a few of my favorite kitchen hacks. Some are my own, others are not, all of them are pretty awesome, if you ask me.
The easiest way to make juicy, crispy carnitas without a bucket of lard.
Carnitas. The undisputed king of the taco cart. The Mexican answer to American pulled pork, at their best they should be moist, juicy, and ultra-porky with the rich, tender texture of a French confit, and riddled with plenty of well-browned crisp edges. If you don't have a 5-gallon vat of lard to cook your pork shoulders in, here's an easier carnitas-cooking method.
Summer's here, so now seems like as good a time as any to re-examine some of the things we know (or think we know) about grilling beef. Sure, we can all agree on what our end goal is. The real debate is, what's the best way to get there? You've just dropped $50 on some prime aged beef, and you're rightfully nervous about screwing it all up. After all, there's a lot... ahem, wait for it... at steak.
We've been hearing an awful lot about Chick-Fil-A—the Atlanta-based fried chicken sandwich fast food chain—in the news recently, and it's not been about how awesome their chicken sandwiches are, which is somewhat unfortunate, because those sandwiches are awesome. I decided to figure out how to make them at home. Here's how it's done. And yes, you can even make 'em on a Sunday.
Barbecue chicken doesn't fall under the strict definition of the Southern term "barbecue," as it is not cooked hot or long enough for connective tissue to break down the way it does in ribs or a pork butt (indeed, there isn't really any connective tissue to break down in the first place), but it does fall under the wider umbrella of "barbecue" which includes any foods cooked slowly (not to be confused with slow-cooked) with the addition of smoke and a barbecue sauce. Of course, all conversation of whether or not it's proper to call it barbecue will end once you all agree that it's delicious.
If you have a particularly strong burner, a very thin-walled pot, or live at high altitudes or in a very cold or hot environment, initial volume of water may need to be adjusted. Once you figure out the specific volume...