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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.

The Case for Filthy, Sopping-Wet Martinis

I've never understood the appeal of pouring cold gin into a fancy glass and calling it a cocktail; vermouth and olives seem like they ought to be more than just afterthoughts in order to make it more than just sipping gin from the bottle. More power to you if you can find a particular arrangement of the ingredients that suits your fancy. (Personally, I'm a brown-liquor guy and I tend to do the same thing with Manhattans, increasing the amount of vermouth and sometimes adding a splash of amaro or ancho liquor to keep it interesting).

How to Turn Beans Into a Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce

@virginiajac and @greengeekgirl, be fair - Daniel didn't say it would be better with anchovies or parm, he said that he'd probably add them because he's not vegan and he likes those flavors. He also said that it wasn't necessary to add these, and that the recipe was wonderful without them.

Let's judge the recipe on its merits - it's a great vegan recipe. The fact that Daniel is honest about not following a vegan diet this month, and that he offered alternative options for those who are OK with meat and cheese, doesn't take away from that. (And for the record, Kenji often mentions spots where one could add meat or cheese to his vegan recipes if one was so inclined.)

Want Better Spaghetti alle Vongole? Stop Packing It Full of Clamshells

Slightly off topic here, but the mention of clam shells on pizza reminded me that I've been looking for a good approach to making white clam pizza (a la Frank Pepe's in New Haven). 90% of white clam pizzas that I've made or had at restaurants other than Pepe's are dried out and terrible. I'd love to see a Food Lab or just a good in-depth recipe for making white clam pizza.

Texan, Vegan, Red, Verde: 15 Game-Day Chili Recipes for Every Taste

Made the vegetarian bean chili for a room full of carnivores at this year's superbowl party (the other eats were all meat, so having something different seemed like a good idea). It was universally acclaimed and several guys asked for the recipe. Great stuff.

One-Skillet Korean Nachos Will Shake Up Your Party Menu

Calling the Food Lab! We need a rigorous scientific analysis of the theory and practice behind using various fruits to marinate beef, stat.

The Food Lab: Building a Better Egg McMuffin

I don't often get Egg McMuffins, but the last couple I've had have had a soft-ish yolk that looks like the one in the photo here. I was surprised the first time, but the second time confirmed that apparently this is how they cook them at the Denver airport. Pretty happy about it.