How to Make Quick and Easy Italian-American Red Sauce That Tastes Slow-Cooked

Prefer Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce recipe, which is quick, has fewer ingredients, and is mostly hands off -- yet delicious. One big ole can of crushed tomatoes, half an onion, a big pat of butter. Simmer 1 hour. Remove onion. Voila.

Enter to Win a Ham Independence Day Package From La Quercia

Hopefully this doesn't get disqualified as off-color, but:

Bacon gives me a lardon.

Win Two Tickets to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

Bob Gibson for me!!!

How Salty Should Pasta Water Be?

I still think the "make the pasta water as salty as the sea" is good advice. I think the basis of it is that most people will under-salt, so telling them to make it as salty as the sea (or what they can remember the sea tasting like) gets them to frame up the problem differently and doesn't make them scared of oversalting.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

a great steak!

The Complete 2013 Serious Eats Guide To Turkeys

Every year i spent 11 months in bliss, until november when you invariably use that first turkey pic and i gag away for a month. Why oh why is there cheesecloth in that stuffing? Who the hell wants a kitchen towel separating their delicious stuffing from their delicious bird?

Just reminds me of biting into something gross where something gross shouldn't be.

Please for the love god, stop it with the cheesecloth turkey picture!

(and if anyone wants to explain to me why i want to have even a DROP of turkey juice goodness absorbed by cheesecloth and not going directly into my stuffing, please do so)

Why Have I Never Tried: Chunky?

Who are you people?!?! Chunky is awesome! Its totally under-rated, i thought because people hadn't tried it. This post was sweet vindication... until the comments. Raisins ruin candy? Are you people mental? Peanuts, now THERE'S a candy ruin-er. But the sweet simple beauty of Chunky is that its so great i can even get past the grody peanuts.

Chunky love 4Eva.

What Are Your Favorite Chinese Bakery Sweets in Chinatown, NYC?

mango flavored and filled rice balls (despite the mango usually being unripe inside) from Fey Dah Bakery.

Celebrate Ham Independence, Win La Quercia Pork!

Gadgets: Ball Fresh Herb Keeper

dbcurrie, i think its your fridge. Condensation inside the plastic makes your herbs rot? Why is there so much condensation in the first place???

I usually do the small glass filled with water trick, and just use the bag the herbs came in to loosely cover the top, so no washing of bags and no extra waste.

Father's Day Giveaway: Win a Baking Steel!

Large cheese pizza with sausage

A Sandwich a Day: The ProZack at Shopsins

Ugh, just watched the documentary on Kenny last night and this place is officially off my list. Guy literally did not change his shirt or wash his jeans a single time during the taping of the documentary. Disgusting. The old place that they got kicked out of (thank god) looked fine up front but was a freaking rat hole in the kitchen. If you want a hoarder cooking your food, go to Shopsins.

Cereal Eats: If You Could Bring Back One Discontinued Cereal...

Rainbow Bright cereal. No one remembers it but i swear it existed. Basically a variation on Fruity Pebbles.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Believe it or not, at a roadside truck in Tahiti. Must've been the grass fed beef?

Ask a Barista: What's the Best Tip You've Ever Gotten?

Hmmm. From the title of this post i thought it was going to be tips on making coffee, not monetary/gift tips.

We Try Boylan's Mash Soft Drinks

Ugh, i wanted to like this but was really really pissed that they put sucralose (Splenda) in it without labeling it properly. I HATE the taste of artificial sweeteners and can taste one a mile away. If i knew it was "diet" i wouldn't have wasted my money.

Ask A Bartender: Which Cocktail Ingredients Are You Excited About?

Also, its spelled Becherovka, not Beckerovka.

Date Night: Urubamba, Peruvian Cuisine in Jackson Heights

Wait. You tried 4 things, 2 of them were bad. Why are we rooting for this place??

Holiday Giveaway: The Amazing Thermapen Thermometer

roast chicken

The Food Lab's Thanksgiving: Fry Your Brussels Sprouts!

Ok, so here's the thing. I just tried a test run of these. And they're good. Not bad in any way. But are they better than regular roasted brussels? I'm not sure. Seems like a ton of wasted oil, extra calories, and not much better result.

Which makes me think i did something wrong. So here's the truth: i don't have a thermometer to handle 400 degrees. So i just eyeballed it. Kept the sprouts surrounded by a nice ring of bubbles. They came out crisp and brown, and though i drained them, they were definitely a little greasy (i ate them with my fingers, which is the only reason i noticed -- didn't taste greasy).


Ask a Chef: Best Way to Make Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Ok, most of these comments were really helpful and interesting. But the first two just go to show that these guys are doing more tv show appearances than actual cooking these days. Tom C: open the oven door every 15 minutes? Seriously??? What are you cooking that bird at, 500 degrees to compensate? And Marcus: really? Rubbing the bird with herbs "seals in the juices"? You guys gotta be kidding me. You are better than this.

Sugar Rush: Matcha Affogato Sundaes at Cocoron

i'm upset that the tea is not hot. what makes affogato so good is the melty ice cream in the espresso... this just sounds like a wet cereal ice cream sundae.

10 Easy Stir-in Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese Variations

My go to mix-in is chopped fresh tomatoes and some basil. Makes it feel fresh and like you're not eating a big pile of guilt.

Jim Lahey's Pizza Bianca

Hmm, i've got a different problem over here. Don't have a stone or a peel. Could i jimmy rig an overturned cast iron skillet topped with a cookie sheet as a replacement? Figure the cookie sheet would be poor at maintaining a high heat, but the heat would be constantly replaced by contact from the hot skillet? Thoughts?

Share Your Sweets: Pi Day

Whoa. At first look i thought that was elbow mac 'n cheese inside a pie crust and nearly barfed in my mouth.

Amazing how the second look made me drool for numbers pie...

Trotter Gear help!

After reading a recommendation for Fergus Henderson's trotter gear right here in Talk last week, i decided to run out and make some. I found the recipe in a New York Times article, which recommended using a bottle of red wine if you can't find Madeira. I basically followed the recipe, assembled the whole thing, and stuck it in the oven at 350. About an hour into it i realized that there was very little happening in that pot -- my vegetables were still pretty hard and i decided to stick it on the stove top instead -- it is after all a stock, no? Why shouldn't i be able to give it a low simmer?

So, after about 3-4 hours of oven/stove time, i pulled out the trotters and de-boned them. I was left with sticky goo and skin, not a speck of meat. The recipe and associated pics i saw in the web had great shredded meat chunks, but my mostly-pig-skin wouldn't readily shred, so i wound up chopping it. Now i have a way-too-red-winey broth (i think the whole bottle of red was a poor suggested substitute) that is mildly gelatinous at best, filled with chunks of chopped chewy pig skin. Not what i was expecting. (i was expecting a very gelatinous almost jello like stock with some bits of pig floating in it).

Thoughts on what went wrong?

Apricots & Plums turn bitter when cooked?

I had a few extra apricots and sugar plums hanging around from my CSA share, and decided to take a shot at canning to save them for the winter. I'd made strawberry compote in the past by just cooking down the fruit with some sugar and it turned out fantastic, so i figured i could do the same with the stone fruit. I removed the pits, cut it up into small pieces, and threw it into a pot with some sugar and let it cook down (i did the apricots and plums seperately, fyi). When it looked like the consistency was about right i tasted, and found that BOTH the apricots and plums had turned bitter/sour... much much more so than when they were fresh. When fresh they were both mildly sweet and tasty, and somehow i ended up with a batch of sour preserves on my hands by cooking them. I wound up adding a ton of sugar to compensate, but wanted to know: what happened when i cooked the fruit? Is it because i left the skins on? Shouldn't the sugars have cooked down and concentrated, rather than *evaporated*? :)

Eating out in Breckenridge, CO?

Hi everyone! I'm going skiing in Breckenridge for a week, and need some help with restaurant recommendations. I've tried trusting the reviews on tripadvisor before, but they have done me wrong time and time again. I need recommendations (and places to avoid) from people who KNOW FOOD -- that's you, serious eaters!

Milk & honey pasta?

I just threw together a VERY simple dinner of leftovers and got a pretty surprising result. Here's what i added to the pot:

cooked penne pasta
bottled organic tomato & ricotta pasta sauce
grated emmenthaler & gruyere cheese from a fondue experiment
ketchup (yes, i like ketchup in my pasta sauce, horror of horrors)

Mixed it all together over a low flame, just enough to heat and melt the cheese. Dumped it in a bowl, took a bite... and it tasted like i had covered my penne in warm milk & honey. Huh? It was downright SWEET and rich -- almost dessertlike -- and had that unmistakable smell/taste of warm milk & honey. The tomatoes, ketchup and cheese really didn't come through at all.

Does anyone have any idea what happened here? I promise i didn't brush my teeth or eat anything weird first that might throw off my sense of taste!

Pear and Chestnut Strudel

I created a strudel that doesn't get a traditional strudel dough wrapping, instead getting rolled in a very thin brown butter pie crust. It's considerably less intimidating than an actual strudel dough, and tastes great. More

Dinner Tonight: Pasta e Broccoli

What really works with the famous pasta e broccoli is that if you cook it long enough, the parboiled broccoli breaks up into the pasta and almost melts into a pasta-clinging sauce when combined with the cooking water. Increasing the ratio of broccoli-to-pasta not only makes the dish a bit healthier, but better too. While this version is a simple one with garlic, pepper flakes, and Parmesan, another route might melt some anchovies into the oil and skip the Parmesan. Either way, this is, at the very least, a delicious way to eat your broccoli. More