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mathewabel

Homebrewing: American Pale Ale

When you empty the bucket/fermenter after sanitizing, do you drip, air dry? Do you use bleach to sanitize?

Taste Test: Best Salsa

Some of the best salsa I've had is the house-brand at big box stores - the corn and black bean style. Not really what's being tried here, but it is some damn good stuff.

Eat For Eight Bucks: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Red Peppers can get down to 2 for a buck, you just have to watch for them. They can be frozen if you're not looking to eat them raw - they cook just as well. That doesn't help tonight, but thought I'd chime in.

Mall food court serious eats?

Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Those are some dang fine pretzels. I enjoy Sbarro's as well - that's quite a guilty pleasure.

Elevating Brewpub Pizza at Motor City Brewing Works, Detroit

Here in Michigan, we have some damn fine brewpubs, let me tell you what.

Homebrewing: Essentials for Your First Brew

How apropos - I just got a homebrew kit for Christmas! IT was a Brewer's Best kit my wife picked up at a local wine cellar. Awesome store in Muskegon, BTW - wine in on the first floor, brewing equipment in the attic. The building used be a brick gas station that got moved to the current location. Tiny, Tiny place, but anyway...

We also just bought a turkey fryer around Thanksgiving, so I'll have a nice big flame to roll my boil for worting. We have an aluminum pot, though, and I really think I'll get a nice stainless steel pot. If you say it's okay, I'll try the first batch with it.

Also got two kits for the ale, both brewer's best, which I understand is pretty top notch. My bro-in-law is an avid homebrewer. He has a kegging system with CO2 propellant to dispense - it's pretty badass.

Equipment: The 7 Most Essential Pots and Pans

If I had to pick one pan, it would be cast iron dutch oven with lid.

If I could pick two pans, it'd be the cast iron skillet and the stock pot, probably. Cast iron skillets are just amazing.

'Never Said About Restaurant Websites,' A Blog About What's Wrong with Restaurant Websites

Most restaurant websites I've visited are pretty terrible, for the reasons listed. Sometimes, a pdf would even be preferable to the awful formatting of the menu on the webpage.

Teach me to cook.... please

My mother, cookbooks, and TV. You can get a lot of good recipe and technique explanation from Youtube and sites like Instructables.

Cookbooks are good sources as well. The family book is the Better Homes and Gardens checkerboard cookbook. These days, I don't use it as much as my mother used hers, but its still a great jumping off point for many a recipe.

Slow-Roasted Spice-Rubbed Venison Loin

God, I love venison. My wife isn't as big a fan and her mom gags just when smelling it, which I can't even begin to grasp. Venison is amazing - I actually like it when its kind of gamy, I love that wild flavor.

This recipe has caused me to put out an apb for a good loin.

Herb-drying advice

Dry? Dark? Good air circulation? Sounds like a fridge, to me.

Where Do You Stand?

Peanut Butter: Creamy
Pizza: Neapolitan, followed by NY. My wife loves Chicago style, and I do like deep dish pizza, but the Chicago pie is too deep for me - the crust is not pleasant.
RIbs: Saucy. Sticky. Although, I've only had dry ribs once and they were awful. Given my love for dry brisket, I'm sure I'd love good dry ribs. I suppose I really prefer good over any other criteria.
Drinks: Coffee or Tea depends on the day. I prefer properly brewed coffee to tea, overall, but some days I really like tea.
Mac and Cheese: Oven. No contest.

Other debates:
Hamburger or hotdog? That is like asking me to choose a child.
Milk: Regular. I've never had organic, actually.
Chili: Beans. I never knew of chili without beans except for hot dog chili until about a year ago.
Potato salad: I only like German potato salad.
Plastic or paper? You probably mean bags, but I first thought of plates. I hate plastic disposable plates - they tend to melt with hot food and that's gross.

I prefer milk chocolate and if you are to ask for me to choose between potato chips or chocolate, I will ask you why not both?

The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical

@lerxst

My wife is a vet. She's a meat eater. I'm actually the one who tries to go veg more often than not. The fact of the matter is that a lot of large animal vets would be out of a job if we all stopped eating meat. Who do you think inspects the animals at the farms? Who works for the USDA?

A vet eating foie gras is not at all like an MD being a cannibal. First of all, ducks are a different species. Also, they are birds. Not even mammals. I understand this is not your point, but I think you have a rather bizarre outlook on veterinary medicine.

@Kenji

I've never had foie gras myself, but I would prefer to try it if I knew the animals were being treated humanely. I thought this was a great article. I do agree it is a little skewed, and that the headline detracts from the main article, but I enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy your other work.

Belgian or classic waffle maker??

I like the all-in-one square waffle irons that have reversible plates. I've never had a problem with my waffles, and it doubles as a griddle which can triple as a panini press.

Actually, any waffle iron could be a panini press - they are surprisingly versatile.

The Food Lab: How to Pick and Cook a Holiday Ham

@Katie Potato: http://hubpages.com/hub/Butcher-a-Pig-Diagram This might clear it up for you.

The Food Lab: Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

I just use the recipe on the side of the Hershey's container. It's milk, sugar, cocoa, I think, maybe something else, too. It's never failed me.

I always add a dash of cayenne, as well. It's absolutely delicious.

Bread Baking: More Sourdough Bread

I am a fan of dutch oven bread bakin - which loses the need for steam!

I haven't had a sourdough starter for a while and was just thinking I ought to make a new one. How apropos.

Koegel's Vienna Dogs from Flint, Michigan Give Sabrett a Run for Their Money

Yes. I agree. Best hot dogs I've ever had, to take it further.

The Serious Eats Barbecue Style Guide Primer

I fondly recall my grandparents arguing over a place that served smoked brisket and whether they served it pulled, sliced, or chunked. Gotta love the chunked.

Man, I dig homemade ribs above most others. Though, a rib cook-off is a great place to go. But you cannot beat a well done beef brisket. I love beef brisket.

And to those harshing the Northern climes, some of the best brisket/ribs I've had has been here in Michigan. The best-best was probably Southern Indiana, and the worst was in Oklahoma.

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Turkey Technique

I think the best way is to cook dark/white separate - but I've never done it myself. We always carve before bringing it to the table, anyway. But, there's such a satisfying feeling pulling that whole bird out of the oven.

I always brine and roast according to the Alton Brown method, and it gives me some amazing turkey.

Serious Reads: Keep the Change, by Steve Dublanica

Tipping - from a selfish standpoint - gives you better service. I often tip my bartender right on the first drink to cover most of the tip the rest of the night. If they really deliver on the service, they get more, too.

I get lost in the world of tips, and all the people I am supposed to tip. I never knew hair dressers got tips until i was 23. Embarressment.

The Food Lab: Turkey 101

I brine in a mix of salt, brown sugar, various spices, and vegetable broth. Never tried stock. I don't know for sure - does only the salt get pulled in, or is all of the particulate in the brining liquid osmoisosified (figure it out) into the turkey?

I've brined every turkey I've roasted for the past five years or so, and never had a complaint about the flavor, or the pan drippings. Alton Brown has a great recipe that has never failed me.

Win a Free Organic D'Artagnan Turkey

Buffalo fried turkey, of course! What a great idea!

Taste Test: Frozen Pie Crusts

Butter =/= lard.

You want amazing crust? You've gotta go lard. A little butter, mostly lard.

How Are You Making Your Turkey? Try Alton Brown's Recipe

I never roast a turkey any other way. Moist, flavorful, crispy skinned. My wife complains about the stuffing - so I make it in a crock pot with lots of broth. That's the way to do it!

"gourmet" Cooking/Serving Advice You Ignore?

Hey, hey, I was thinking about myself and cooking and I had a question. Is there any "gourmet" advice/dishes you just flat out won't do, or ignore?

For example, I'd say it's culinary wisdom that you serve beef rare to medium - its not for everyone, but all the foodies seem to like it that way. This includes hamburgers.

Now, I love my steak rare, but I cannot do a rare hamburger. It has to be well-done. I feel like the burger is already odd in my mouth, and I need it nice and cooked to handle it.

Same with eggs. I can't stand runny omelets.

Anyone else? Do you love mushy pasta? Do you leave the skins on everything?