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monopod

Forget the Sriracha: Grab Gochujang for These Pork Belly Kebabs

I've given up trying to grill vegetables and meat on the same skewer - they're never perfectly done at the same time. Instead I put veggies on their own skewers, so that you can time everything according to when it's done. You take them off the skewers at the end anyway, so no one at the table is the wiser.

Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

Kimchi, eaten directly from the jar standing in front of an open fridge. Try not to drip it onto your shirt because that stuff stains. And there's no hiding the smell of excessive kimchi consumption, so your family had better be OK with it.

Easiest Summer Ever: Figs, Melon, Jamón Serrano, and Basil

Oh you highfalutin' west coasters, with your "organic" this and "windowsill" that. I used cantaloupe from the supermarket, dried figs, shoe leather and grass clippings like a real east-coaster. Drizzled with some 10W-30. Delicious.

No Tools? No Experience? No Problem. How I Hacked an Ace Barbecue Smoker

@tdoyle1985, that makes more sense that you'd rest it in foil until it reached proper temp. But to be fair, the article makes no mention of this whatsoever - it says you cooked it till it reached 165-170, then served it. Maybe worth an edit mentioning the foil rest, to satisfy the pedants. But in any case, I think the article makes its point nicely.

No Tools? No Experience? No Problem. How I Hacked an Ace Barbecue Smoker

I think some of the commenters here are missing the point, that he wanted to build something for his dad - not buy something at Home Depot. I give him props for following through and building a functional smoker on the cheap. It may not be as good as a Smoky Mountain, but that's not really the point here.

I also agree with the consensus that a smoked brisket needs to be up around 200 degrees before it becomes tender enough to enjoy. The slices in the photo support this, as they're not at all falling apart around the edges or otherwise indicating that the connective tissue has melted. But hey, the author isn't claiming to be a BBQ expert and apparently they all enjoyed it, which is what matters in the end.

Tender Grilled Short Ribs

Just found 1" thick boneless short ribs at Costco, already cut into 6" long steaks, with marbling that looked prime (they were graded as choice). Salt and pepper and then grilled over high heat for a nice crust, med/rare throughout. Damn, I think I might have found my new favorite cut for grilling, and at $6/lb they're even affordable. Awesome.

The Best Charcoal Grills Under $500, 2015 Edition

@Max Good

You know, you're not wrong. You can't do a two-stage fire. And yet, it's never been a problem for me - I've never had anything overly charred because I couldn't move it, and so on. Maybe because the temp control is so precise, I don't know. Those Primos do look like the best of both worlds, but the Akorn was under $300 (including stand and side table) so I could get four of them for one Primo!

The Best Charcoal Grills Under $500, 2015 Edition

I'd second the inclusion of BGE knockoffs as "grills," not just smokers. I have a Char-Griller Akorn kamado that is the best grill I've ever used, in addition to being a fine smoker. I had it at 800 degrees last weekend to get a nice sear on some steaks, and at 250 the weekend before to smoke a pork shoulder.

Five-Spice Bourbon Punch

This combines two of my great loves, Sichuan food and whiskey. I wonder if it might be even better with a high-proof rye, like Rittenhouse, to balance out all the simple syrup? And maybe adding a chili pepper or two in order to get some of that ma la thing going. Only one way to find out...

Why Raw Clams Are Making a Comeback in New England and Beyond

Just got back from Maine, where I enjoyed littlenecks along with oysters at Eventide. What an amazing place, definitely needs to be on any self-respecting seafood lover's itinerary if they visit Portland.

Smoked Char Siu Pork Shoulder Steaks

I made this recipe as written, except that I added garlic and a teaspoon of sesame oil to the marinade (since these are in my standard char siu recipe), and I left them on the smoker long enough to just hit the "pulled pork" stage, rather than slicing them as steaks (I like my pork soft).

It was a HUGE hit. Amazing flavor, like a dim sum party in a Kansas City smokehouse. My advice - make a huge pile of steam buns in advance (the oval kind that you fold over), and eat the pork with them. This is now my #1 go-to smoked pork recipe.

Why a Bottle of Japanese Iced Tea is the Ultimate Summer Refresher

Why not just put a green tea bag or two into your water bottle at the beginning of the day (in cold water), and then take it out when it's at the strength you like? I use the Ito En green tea bags available at Costco in bulk and they brew up a fine cold tea that way, for much cheaper than buying bottles of it (plus less wasted plastic bottles).

How to Make Tex-Mex-Style Soft and Chewy Flour Tortillas

Why not just use vegetable shortening in place of the lard, and add a bit of marmite or maggi or something for the umami boost that would be missing? Seems like shortening is the most natural replacement for lard.

Easy Pressure Cooker Green Chile With Chicken

I love this series and am anxiously awaiting the next entries. Tikka masala? Tagine? Thai curry?

Do Wheat-Enriched Corn Tortillas Bring Us the Best of Both Worlds?

The La Tortilla Factory ones are very good, but a little thick/chewy for my tastes. They're also crazy expensive around here (something like $3.99 for 8 of them, as opposed to $2 for an enormous stack of corn tortillas) Now that I've learned the trick of heating up corn tortillas in the skillet after dipping them in water, that's my go-to.

Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken Enchiladas

Made this tonight, it was outstanding. It was ready in 30 minutes end-to-end, and the sauce was better than my standard enchilada sauce. I was out of whole ancho chiles so I used ancho chili powder. I also used canned whole tomatoes (Muir Glen fire roasted). A keeper for sure. Makes me wonder about making other things using this technique - I bet you could substitute curry powder for the chiles and create a fantastic chicken curry, for example.

Switch Up Your Chips With Loaded Naan Nachos

This looks like the perfect starter to a meal of saag-ritos (burritos made with saag paneer and naan).

Why You Should Turn Your Taco Night Into Puffy Taco Night

Is there a difference between "puffy" tacos and Navajo tacos? That's what we call them out here in Colorado.

21 Junk Food Recipes We Love

Colorado says thanks for this.

American Booze Hall of Fame: The Best Spirits of the West

No High West? I'm a fan of the Campfire and the Bourye. Good, and unique, spirits.

How to Make Traditional Huevos Rancheros in a Flash

Third on the hate for snotty whites. I too always go over easy for fear of undercooked white. Will have to try this. I'd personally do a half-and-half mix of butter and oil instead of straight oil - eggs just taste better fried in butter.

Wake Up Your Leg of Lamb With the Hot, Numbing Flavors of Sichuan Spices

This has inspired me to combine two of my great cooking loves: low-n-slow BBQ and Sichuan cookery. Gonna try smoking some lamb shoulder for 14 hours or so using the rub. Wish me luck...

Need Poutine Now? Here's How to Make it Fast

Or even easier: buy the Trader Joe's bag of frozen poutine. It has separate baggies of frozen gravy, curds and fries. 20 minutes of hands-off oven and microwave time and you've got yourself a reasonable poutine - not transcendent, but certainly better than some I've had at greasy spoons.

Love XLB? Time to Make Sheng Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Pork Soup Dumplings)

I too am confused as to how these are "soup" dumplings if there's no gelatinized stock inside. No soup means not a soup dumpling, right? (Not that they don't look delicious, I'm just wondering if the soup part got omitted somehow.)

Lemongrass Sour

@pbergst - interesting example you chose, since SE recently did an article on that very topic and came to some unorthodox conclusions: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/how-to-choose-red-white-wine-for-cooking.html

monopod hasn't written a post yet.

Dinner Tonight: Seared Scallops with Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is a good, quick sauce to have in the repertoire. Not to be confused with anything out of Mexico, salsa verde is from Italy. The piquant, herb-based sauce usually features parsley, capers, and and olive oil. It's easy to prepare from pantry ingredients and reliably good with roasted vegetables and grilled meats; even robust flavors can stand up to this flavorful sauce. But until now, I've never had it with seafood. More

Cocktail 101: Introduction to Vermouth and Aperitif Wines

Vermouth used to be a relatively simple topic, at least in the States. The American market had sweet and dry styles and largely shunned both. When Paul Clarke wrote about vermouth for SE back in 2007, he had very few brands to discuss; not many brands or styles were available on the American market. In the past four years, though, that's changed, and now there is a wide range of options in vermouth and other aperitif wines. This week, I'll share a few of the available choices with you offer some suggestions on how to enjoy them. More