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matth

Pressure Cooker Mushroom Risotto

Made this tonight; tried it with American medium grain rice. I was pretty sure it would work (never made risotto in a pressure cooker), but wow was it fun when it actually did work out. Rice came out nicely al dente. The intense mushroomy flavor from the "tea" made the whole dish in my opinion. What a revelation to have great risotto on the table in a flash like that...

Really Good Oven-Fried Buffalo Wings

I know this recipe has been around forever. Got to making it for the first time last night. It's really good. There's a lot of comments about the salt content of the wings, and it occurs to me that what we may have here is a "diamond crystal/morton's/table salt" issue--I know Kenji prefers Diamond Crystal kosher, which is less dense than Morton's (which is what I've got), and I found the wings to be too salty. And I have a very salty palate. My guess is--if you have diamond crystal, use the recommended amount. If you have Morton's, cut it back a notch. If you're stuck with table salt, cut it back by 50%

Colombian Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Tomato, and Onion

Made this tonight--broke in my first ever pressure cooker with this recipe.

My wife went NUTS. As effusive as I've ever heard her with my cooking. It's a keeper. My (very minor) change was to use a 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of the fresh ones because, hey, it's February and Wal-Mart's tomatoes look like red rubbery garbage right now. Very impressed.

How to Make the Best French Onion Soup

Made this tonight. Overall: Awesome! As the recipe notes, getting the onions right takes forever. I knew that going in.

One minor note: using chicken broth, as the recipe recommends, leads to a lighter overall soup, in color and flavor, than you might be used to seeing in restaurants. I'd like to try this again with good beef broth to get the brown broth you usually see.

Also, I would advise a light touch with herbs/vinegar: this soup tastes amazing without much adulteration, and I worry I overdid it a bit with the additives at the end.

But, overall, an excellent recipe that I would strongly recommend.

American Chop Suey (Macaroni, Beef, and Cheese Skillet Casserole)

Made this tonight. Holy crap. Did not expect it to be so addictive. Subbed half the mozzarella for cheddar, because that's what I had on hand. Only addition was about a teaspoon of accent seasoning (MSG) on the ground beef.

Do your mouth a favor and make this one. It's insanely good. Serious eats strikes again.

Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

Oh man do I want one of these bad boys!!!!!!!!!

I'd start off by cooking some nice dry-brined pork chops, with my new red thermapen in hand to avoid drying out.

Ultra Crispy Burgers

Made this recipe for the 2nd time today. One deviation: I'm using 100% ground chuck (it was on sale) and ground in a food processor (burger lab technique), not a meat grinder. The idea here is fantastic, and the meat has come out tasting awesome. But I'm encountering an issue: when I gently press the ground meat together, the "patty" falls apart when put in the frying pan, and flipping was a disaster. Happened twice in a row. I don't want to overwork the meat, but has anyone else had falling apart problems?

Is it using chuck, or grinding in a food processor? Should I pick up the meat and try to form it a little bit?

A Love Letter to Ohio's Chocolaty, Peanut Buttery Buckeye Candy

Terrific article, but you misspelled M*ch*g@n. We tend to not write out the full name of the TSUN (that state up north), or TTUN (that team up north). And while MSU frustrated the Bucks this year, it is UM who have a special place in our hearts of loathing in Columbus.

Cook the Book: Lonely Planet's 'The World's Best Spicy Food'

Angry "rooster" ghost chili hot sauce from the North Market in Columbus OH

What should I put in a piñata?

Devils on horseback (wrapped up of course)

Dove chocolates

mini bags of gourmet coffee

I'm quitting the site

@schrodingers_hat:

I'll try to answer your question "why do omnivores get annoyed at vegan month?"

In a nutshell: Kenji's excellent work is a HUGE piece of what sets this site apart from the innumerable food blogs and recipe sites out there. His time, like all of ours, is a zero-sum proposition. Every attempt to make, say, vegan nacho cheese is therefore a week not spent writing on topics that omnivores are likely to try or enjoy reading about.

There are tons of vegan and vegetarian communities on the internet so people who select into that lifestyle can access vegan recipes and discussion if they so choose.

So, while I appreciate that vegan recipes are click bait for one subset of the population, the other, omnivorous subset of this site's readers has to wait out vegan month until Kenji starts spending time on his normal slate of topics again. Hence irritation.

I wouldn't call for vegan month to end, since it helps the site and I know other people find the articles illuminating for one reason or another. Further, I appreciated the Cook the Book series SE did on the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook to consider an alternative viewpoint.

Irritation with vegan month should be seen as a monument to how much omnivores enjoy Kenji's work and come to count on it as a source of entertainment and knowledge 11 out of 12 months of the year. I don't mind vegans getting a turn, but the irritation shouldn't come as a shock.

Slow-Cooker Kalua Pork Sandwiches With Crispy Asian Slaw

I was amazed at how well this turned out, given the paucity and simplicity of the ingredients. Really tasted authentic (at least as far as my recollection of the real thing on trips to hawaii goes).

Following the recipe, I rubbed the whole shoulder with kosher salt, and the final dish turned out quite salty. I like it that way, but be aware if you're sensitive to salt.

One note: after 15 hours of slow cooking, I shredded the meat, and then I let it rest in the pan drippings in the fridge until completely cool, then I heated it back up before eating. This step allowed all that melted down collagen to solidify back up into gelatin and reabsorb into the meat, making for a really unctuous final product. Would highly recommend taking the time to do this. You're already cooking overnight anyways, so what's a few more hours?

Valentine's dessert for sour gummy candy loving wife?

I ended up making Kenji's no-bake lime cracker pie (link below)--lime was a great suggestion; my wife eats that key lime pie yogurt all the time.

The recipe is stupid easy and can be done in advance, which was key because I was deep frying for dinner. I thought it was pretty creamy and good, though a hair on the sweet side for me. Would definitely make again. Be aware the recipe makes way more than would fill a typical 9 inch deep dish pie pan.

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07/sweet-hacks-10-minute-no-bake-lime-cracker-pie.html

Chicken Spaghetti Pie

@punchjc: It's in the article-just like how leftover rice is better for fried rice, fresh cooked or raw pasta doesn't have the right starch properties to bake up with good texture.

Planning to make this next week. Sounds awesome.

The Best Valentine's Day Giveaway Ever: Lobel's 4" Prime Dry-Aged Heart Shaped Steaks for Two

screaming hot cast iron, clarified butter and bacon fat mix, toss thyme sprigs and garlic cloves in, baste and flip repeatedly.

Cook the Book: 'Nom Nom Paleo' by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

Meatgasm =)

This is awesome! I've heard great things about this cookbook, never tried it myself.

Valentine's dessert for sour gummy candy loving wife?

Thanks everyone for the awesome suggestions! I think she'd like just about anything I tried from here. I'll update this weeked with what I ended up doing.

Ed's Head: I'm Going Vegan This Month To Keep Kenji Company

@AndroidUser--I'd agree anyone who thinks they're eating like an actual caveman is being pretty silly. That said, the paleo diet has some advantages over, say Atkins, by encouraging people to eat fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods, which I'd expect even vegans to be happy about.

My broader point is this: the content on SE takes a self-righteous and repetitive tone during vegan month that I find off-putting and absent from the site's content the rest of the year. There are dietary alternatives that are proven to be healthy that also focus on ethical treatment of food animals. I think this is year 3 of vegan month. Maybe once, just once, some other approach could get a shot? Paleo is one such other approach that I think would generate a lot of interest, discussion, and traffic to the site.

Ed's Head: I'm Going Vegan This Month To Keep Kenji Company

@AndroidUser:

The "noble savage" thing is a media trope used to criticize and ridicule the diet. The paleo diet works not because of the imitation of a neanderthal diet, but because a diet that eschews processed carbohydrates in favor of high quality meat and vegetables is extremely healthy. The paleo diet doesn't require any concern over protein, vitamin, or mineral deficiencies as a vegan approach does.

Science:

Start here for the meta-analysis/revies: http://www.direct-ms.org/sites/default/files/Linberg%20and%20Cordain%20Potential.pdf

Then read rigorous studies of the positive effects of a low-carb approach that is highly similar to what someone on a paleo diet would consume:

http://inspire.stat.ucla.edu/unit_15/NEJM2082.pdf
http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2002-021480
http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/rdeleon/504/westman.pdf

Ed's Head: I'm Going Vegan This Month To Keep Kenji Company

Have any of you ever thought of going paleo (with well-sourced meat) for a month for a comparison? It would give ethical, health-conscious, readers who recognize that animals must die for humans to live, whether we're vegan or not, some content of interest?

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Drinking a beer with the wife and watching on TV. GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poll: Beets on Pizza, Way or No Way?

I'm with @steveholt. Beets taste like soil, and no preparation method I've tasted takes the dirt taste away.

Is it possible beets are like cilantro, and some people have a genetic predisposition to taste this dirt flavor and others don't? Or do the majority of people enjoy or tolerate dirt?

What's the Weirdest Ice Cream Flavor You've Ever Tried?

What's the Weirdest Ice Cream Flavor You've Ever Tried?

Pumpernickel ice cream at Jeni's in Columbus, OH. Jeni's rocks, but caraway seeds and unsweetened brown bread in ice cream was pretty weird.

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: 17th Street BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Pulled Pork

Sat on the porch for 15 hours in the snow minding the fire. Worth it.

Valentine's dessert for sour gummy candy loving wife?

So I'm planning to make Kenji's chick fil-a clone sandwiches at home for V-day with my wife (as she craves them but has held strong with me in a years-long boycott). I'd like to make a nice dessert for us.

Thing is, she isn't a huge chocolate fan, but LOVES sour and/or fruity candy (think sour patch kids, sour gummi worms, etc, as opposed to things like lemon drops).

Yes, lemon flavors seem obvious here, but she's not an especially big fan, and I can't stand lemon bars/pies/cookies.

Anyone have thoughts on a non-lemon based dessert for someone who likes sweet and sour fruit candy?

Inexpensive walking distance eats near State and Grand downtown

Hi all,

Heading to Chicago for a conference in about a month. Staying at the hilton garden inn on State and Grand, very close to the magnificent mile.

I won't have a car and would like to find some decent local places within walking distance. Inexpensive is better (grad student budget). Any recommendations welcome. Pubs, pizza places, hole-in-the walls, whatever.

Thanks Chicagoans!

Why do martinis taste better in bars?

I unabashedly love a dry gin martini. Beefeater, with a bleu cheese olive if you got it. When done well, it's ice cold, with just a couple small shards of ice floating on top, a perfectly clean and cool reminder of all that is civilized in this world.

Here's my problem: I want to make my favorite cocktail at home. I think I'm close. I follow the classic Alton Brown martini recipe. 0.5 oz of dry vermouth go into a shaker with ice. Swirl vigorously to coat the ice, and pour out the excess vermouth. Pour in 2.5 oz beefeater gin. I've both stirred and shaken, and this distinction doesn't seem to make any difference. Pour out over a frozen/not frozen (again, the distinction hasn't seemed to matter) martini glass with a single olive in the bottom, and consume.

Here's the thing: my martini always tastes a little better in a good bar. Cleaner, colder, nicer somehow. I've made a dozen or more martinis this week (rough life, I know), and can't seem to get it right, nor find a solution online. I'm no bartender, so I assume there is knowledge that eludes me on the making of a good martini.

Barkeeps/martini enthusiasts of the world, I implore you: how do you make a top shelf, bar-quality dry gin martini? Is the answer the ice? Mine are whole cubes, which don't seem to shard easily. Is it that my shaker is a strainer shaker, rather than a Boston shaker? Is it that my brand of vermouth isn't the industry standard in bars? I use martini rossi because it's available. Am I missing something entirely? This cocktail is fast becoming my white whale, and ain't nobody got time to chase white whales if it can be avoided. Any tips much appreciated. Thanks!

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