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What Is American Cheese, Anyway?

Fun fact: add a slice of American to your kimchi jjigae for an authentically inauthentic Korean delight! (Korean friends tell me this is pretty common in Korea - all I know is it's delicious.)

Where's the Beet? Right in These Vegetarian Sandwiches

I love beets but I hate dealing with them because of their tendency to stain absolutely everything in their vicinity (cutting board, clothes, hands, etc.). The solution: use golden or chioggia beets! All the flavor, none of the crazy red juice.

Equipment: The Best Manual Citrus Juicers and Reamers

"That ruled out tabletop presses, which not only are expensive (most range from $50 to well over $100) but also take up a lot of space. If you're going to dedicate that much cash and countertop to a juicer, you might as well buy a good electric one."

Except that a good tabletop press need only cost $50, while a good electric one is almost always over $100. To me, $50 or more is a significant difference in cost that makes a tabletop lever press preferable. Plus they're just fun to use.

Equipment: The Best Manual Citrus Juicers and Reamers

I've also broken a Chef'n juicer. I think it probably depends on your hand strength - if you have strong hands, you're going to break it. I switched to a countertop press model (where you pull the lever down and it presses on the fruit to extract the juice). If you have the counterspace it's awesome, really fast and fun to use.

For Great Steak Sandwiches, Think Beyond the Steak

@TheLuntz, stir some into the creamy sauce. Or just sub prepared horseradish for the sauce entirely, seems like it would fulfill a similar role.

Eating America: A Coast-to-Coast Culinary Road Trip With Jane and Michael Stern

There's a loaf-looking thing in the picture for the Southwest that's not listed in the descriptions. Looks like it's in Denver?

Frozen Gin and Tonic

Why does this say that simple syrup only keeps for 5 days in the fridge? It's just sugar and water, it should keep for at least a month if not longer.

How to Make Real-Deal Cuban Sandwiches

If you can't find Cuban bread (and honestly, anyone outside of Florida or a major city probably can't) then I find that a Mexican bollilo or telera roll works very well as a substitute for a Cubano.

And if you want to get inspired to make Cubanos, watch the movie "Chef." I don't personally think it's a great (or even really a good) movie, but it will definitely make you crave the sandwich.

A Matter of Construction: How to Make Great Reuben Sandwiches for a Crowd

Why not just grill the sandwich? Seems like an unnecessary extra step to griddle the bread, then assemble everything, then heat in the oven. I usually just assemble, then grill the whole thing (in a press or under a weight).

The Best Skewers for Grilling

Kenji, did you try out the Stephen Raichlen branded flat skewers ( in your tests? I bought them a few years ago and couldn't be happier. I think they're a little wider and burlier than the Norpro you recommended, which makes them even better for things like skewering a whole spatchcocked chicken or making skewers of large meat chunks. They're $14 for six instead of $7, but honestly for something that will last literally forever I think the extra $7 is worth it.

The Best Spirits to Give Your Dad This Father's Day

Just got myself a bottle of Cynar 70. That's some good stuff - I've been drinking it 2:1 with Rittenhouse bonded rye (kind of like a reverse Cynar manhattan), it's strong and delicious.

The Case for Pink Pork

The USDA recommendation is 145 degrees, at which point pork is still med-rare and pinkish. How can anyone have a problem with that, when the USDA - the most conservative food safety organization you can imagine - says its fine?

The Benefits of Eating Without a Map

I agree with the article. I also agree with the comments.

You should do research so you can maximize your chances of having some really great meals, whether at the big-thing restaurant or at some hole in the wall you'd never have even noticed without reading it on the internet. (For example, there was no way to know that excellent po' boys were waiting in the back of a nondescript dive bar without learning about Killer Po'Boys from the internet, until they started putting a sign out front.)

You should also be open to discovering new places and take some chances on places that you've never heard of, if something about them attracts you. (Some of the best fried chicken I've ever eaten came from the gas station next to a hotel I stayed at on the edge of the French Quarter. At 3am there was a line out the door for the next batch of hot, crispy chicken, but I never saw mention of it on the internet.)

Keith's musings are talking about the latter side of this equation. Both are useful and important.

How to Stock a Japanese Pantry: 13 Indispensable Ingredients

@Tkocareli, there's this magic place called "Amazon"...

Serious Eats Recommends: 5 Food-Focused Books, Podcasts, Movies, and More We Love Right Now

Wasn't a huge fan of the movie Chef. It literally has no conflict - everyone more or less gets along, everyone gets what they want, there's no bad character or tragedy to overcome. Seemed more like a Travel Channel show about a food truck.

That said, I did come home and make cubanos after seeing it.

The Best Way to Cut a Mango

Huh, I've always had great luck with the water glass approach. You have to use a glass with thin sides (not a standard pint glass, for example) so that it shaves the skin off easily, but I find with a ripe mango it doesn't tear it up nearly as badly as in the picture above. Plus it takes about 1/4 as much time as peeling the entire mango and then slicing the pieces off. To each their own, but I'd at least try the glass trick once to see if you can make it work.

How to Master Flavorful Chiles Rellenos

@mattcoz The recipe I use is this one; I guess I improvised omitting the battering and frying part (probably because I was making them for a large party the first time and didn't want to bother with the mess and hassle of it). It works great, just grill them after step 5. If you want to take it up a notch, you can wrap them with bacon instead of battering them.

How to Master Flavorful Chiles Rellenos

Love me the Rick Bayless recipe for picadillo-stuffed chiles rellenos, not battered and instead grilled. They're a different thing than the ones you describe above but equally delicious (and a bit healthier, given the lack of cheese and fried batter). I make them by the tray and freeze them, and they reheat beautifully in the microwave. Best enjoyed covered in mole or a rich enchilada sauce.

Don't Passover This Tender Braised Brisket

Where are the prunes? Ain't a Jewish brisket if there aren't prunes in the tzimmes.

The Food Lab's American Omelettes (and Why You Should Salt Your Eggs in Advance)

I love all forms of eggs... except this one. The American diner omelette is just completely unappealing to me. I think it's the combination of well-done eggs and the browning on the outside - I just don't like the flavor of browned scrambled eggs (browning the edges of a fried egg like the Spanish do, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty), and eggs lose their appeal when cooked all the way through. I'll stick with my runny French omelettes.

Hello, Tamago Kake Gohan, Your Time Has Come

I've got a bottle of furikake in the cabinet that I've been wondering what to do with; I picked it up on a whim on my last trip to H-Mart, but since I don't usually eat plain white rice I've been at a loss for ideas. This is great. Any other ideas for using furikake, other than just sprinkling it on plain white rice?

Best Eaten Alone Without Pants On: Kimchi and Spam Fried Rice

Looks delicious, but I'd probably substitute some Lap Cheong for the Spam. Can't get enough of that stuff in fried rice.

The Food Lab: Better Channa Masala With a World Tour of Techniques

This recipe is totally wrong, it's nothing like my grandmother's channa masala. She used a thicker tomato gravy, and meatballs instead of chickpeas, and put it over pasta. Also, the name is wrong, she called it "spaghetti and meatballs." Otherwise, great recipe.

Coffee's Third Wave (Finally) Washes Ashore in Seattle

I'm all for diverse options, but I've had pretty unpleasant experiences in a couple of "third wave" coffee shops recently when I asked what they had for darker, richer brews. One barista just gave me an eyeroll and said they don't serve dark roasted coffee, and another spent five minutes explaining why lighter roasts are better and allow more of the bean's nuance to come through. I get it, I do - I just don't like a lot of overtly citrusy, winey, acidic flavors in my coffee. I like my coffee dark and rich tasting, which I think is a legitimate taste preference. I guess it's the nature of the new hip thing to reject the older version, but it's annoying nonetheless.