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The Food Lab: Here's What I'm Eating on Thanksgiving

I am not cooking this year - we are going to my sister-in-law's. She is a lovely woman but can't cook to save her life. Seriously, we will have a Butterball with stuffing made out of dry cornbread, giblets and hard boiled eggs (even more horrible than it sounds) as well as Watergate salad, a godawful trainwreck comprised of pistachio pudding and Cool Whip. She is also making the pies, which kind of scares me a bit. The best I can hope for there is Mrs. Smith's.

I am planning a second, smaller Thanksgiving for the four of us the next day. I'm sort of vegetarian and one of my daughters is vegan so I will be making dairy free mashed potatoes (which actually turn out to be really good), roasted sweet potatoes with balsamic vinegar, stir fried shredded Brussels sprouts, and vegan stuffing along with turkey and gravy for the carnivores. Oh, and we'll have can shaped cranberry jelly. That is non-negotiable.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: One Year Later

@Tyson, this sounds like goodbye. I hope not! Your series has been one of the best SE has run in years. I wish you the continued success you deserve and hope we haven't heard the last from you.

Grilled Shrimp and Sriracha Mayonnaise Are Perfect Partners in These Chinese Steamed Buns

@Kenji, have you tried sriracha butter yet? WAY better than mayo! Based on a recipe I saw somewhere from Charles Phan of Slanted Door fame and so easy to make in the blender - 1/2 cup sriracha, juice of one lime, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar; whirl in the blender and drizzle in 1/2 cup melted butter. Blend until it is fluffy perfection. You will end up putting this on everything. Seriously, I can't stop eating it and I'm thinking I would REALLY like to slather these grilled shrimp with it.

The Serious Eats Tomato Shopping Guide

Excellent information. As for supermarket tomatoes, don't discount Tasti Lee. I have had very good luck with these because they actually have some tomato flavor if you let them ripen for a day or two after purchase. My only beef is they don't keep as well as I'd like.

How to Make Cherry Clafoutis, a Dessert so Elegant, Your Guests Won't Know How Easy it is

One of my favorite desserts, mostly because I have no sweet tooth at all and this is only slightly sweet. We make it with plums quite regularly although I actually prefer it with cherries and I usually sprinkle some coarse sugar on top for a little crunch. Will have to try this version because everything of Daniel's I've tried has been fantastic.

Dim Sum Goes Deutsch: Pretzel Bao With Hot Mustard Pork Filling

These look fantastic. I have plenty of lye so will use that but I will definitely be making these this weekend.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Surviving the Off-Season

@Tyson, you are a poet and a philosopher. I truly wish you all the success you are able to achieve and will beg you again to please, please write a book. I just finished Aaron Franklin's book and while I will never build my own smoker, learning about his process and approach was fascinating. I'd love to hear what you have to say about whole hog as well as the challenges of opening and running the business.

Make These Savory Bacon and Corn Pancakes With Cheddar and JalapeƱo

I'm with you, Kenji - not a sweet lover at all. Do you put anything (butter, perhaps?) on these or just serve them as is? I could actually see a bit of maple syrup just because bacon + maple syrup = delicious.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: The Sounds of Being the Boss

Every time I'm tempted to give up on SE, I read one of your pieces and my faith comes back. @Tyson, you really are gifted - I'm sure your whole hog is fantastic but your writing is stellar. Please tell me you are going to put together a book about this experience.

And yes, we need a picture of Roland.

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

I'm a little grossed out at the inclusion of the Chicken McNugget on the list but I know this is personal. If your McDonald's has chicken tenders they are MUCH better (not as good as Chick Fil A in my book but still awfully good for Mickey D's).

On the other hand, I much prefer McDonald's fried to Wendy's. My best friend and I argue this endlessly because I have truly never had a good fry at Wendy's. Agree with those posters who wonder about the exclusion of Five Guys fries - their cajun fries are pretty fantastic (I order a little size and it is still ridiculously big).

And I might have to take a trip to Wisconsin for fried cheese curds. I've only ever had them in poutine but I think I need to try the fried ones. Now!

8 Must-Try Dumplings Across the Country

Wow! Two Youngs is literally less than a mile from my office and I never knew it was there. Will be making a field trip next week with my lunch crew.

The Ultimate Vegan Party Food: Fully Loaded Queso Dip

I've been doing something similar to this (minus the vegizo) since you published the original recipe last year. I already posted this on another thread but my kids actually requested vegan queso as part of their Super Bowl junk food dinner instead of the traditional Velveeta and Ro*Tel. I would have made them the other stuff but they preferred this. I consider it a huge victory and a testament to how really good this tastes.

Pump up the Party With Cheesy Poutine Poppers

I was so hoping you had found a way to encase the gravy in the potato as well, sort of like a soup dumpling, but this still looks really good.

Do you have a good source for cheese curds? They are not a thing where I live so I have no chance of buying them locally.

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 3, Checking Privilege and Staying the Course

+1 again for lemonfair.

And savory oatmeal is my favorite. I haven't tried it with tofu but I often add roasted vegetables and top it with dumpling sauce (soy, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil). Great way to start the day.

Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn't be Either)

Sorry, Kenji, I love you with every fiber of my being but I cannot do shirataki noodles. I have tried but the smell, even after rinsing, is too much for me. I respect your food chops but this is one time I will have to say, "To each his own." Noodle, that is.

The Food Lab: How to Grill or Broil Tofu That's Really Worth Eating

I know everyone loves to hate Thug Kitchen but their tofu marinades are delicious! I personally love the sweet citrus one for almost any use but their ginger-sesame is great as well. Will definitely be trying this cooking method, though.

How to Make Lemongrass and Coriander-Marinated Grilled Tofu Vietnamese Sandwiches (Vegan Banh Mi)

@mc1818, I loathe mayonnaise in any form so I usually use sour cream in its place. Doesn't have quite the same texture but the flavor is fine.

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 1

@FreeRangeNan and @cschepers, one of the SE staffers (honestly can't remember which, sorry) recommended an app called Pepperplate to me some time back. I have been very happy with it since it interfaces with a lot of websites plus I can use it on both my mobile devices and my computer. Is it perfect? No, but I have few complaints.

The Vegan Experience: Welcome to Year 4

So glad you are doing this again, Kenji! I have been vegan before 6:00 pm (and often after) since September for health reasons and while there may be some challenges, it has really expanded my cooking horizons. For me, the biggest hurdle has been finding things that I can customize that meat eaters and vegans can both enjoy. I knew I had made some real progress, though, when my kids requested your vegan nacho cheese sauce and chips for our Super Bowl "junk food dinner" (the one meal of the year when I usually cave and buy things like mozzarella sticks and chicken wings for them). This year they also wanted zucchini zircles, not vegan but still vegetarian, although we did have the mozzarella sticks so it wasn't a complete health-fest.

Anyway, looking forward to spending another month making your delicious recipes.

How to Eat Falls Church, VA: The DC Area's Southeast Asian Food Mecca

This piece is KILLING me! I no longer live close enough to DC to do this without making a special trip but now I feel like I need to make a special trip. Yum!

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Stumbling Into the Beer Business

I am so glad this series has continued even after the Swine opened. Every entry has been fascinating and well written. Keep em coming, please!

How to Make Maryland Fried Chicken With White Gravy

Like so many commenters, born and raised in Maryland and never heard of this. The funny thing is that it is exactly the technique a dear family friend used to use but she was from Alabama.

The Food Lab: Rethinking Beef Stroganoff

@Kenji, so sorry about Yuba. As a fellow Boston owner, I always looked forward to pictures of her and her little snaggle tooth. Hope you are doing okay.

The Food Lab: Rethinking Beef Stroganoff

Wow! This looks amazing and although I just finished a mid-morning snack, I find myself hungry again.

I guess I know what we're having for dinner on Sunday. My husband and kids thank you in advance.

The Food Lab: The Secret to Perfect Beef Tenderloin? The Reverse Sear Strikes Again

Made this for Christmas dinner and it was delicious. Salted and rested in the fridge from Wednesday morning until Thursday at 2:00 pm and the flavor was absolutely great (not too salty at all for those who are concerned - my SIL is a salt-phobe and her only comment was about how tender and tasty the beef was). For us, the two hour mark was a little over (but still medium rare - we just generally like our beef a little rarer than what we got) but perhaps my tenderloin was a bit smaller than those that others have cooked. If I were to do the same size again I pull it at 1.5 hours. That being said, I was already a believer with the prime rib technique and now I will never cook a tenderloin any other way.

Kenji, I hope you and your family had a very happy holiday.


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