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The Case for Filthy, Sopping-Wet Martinis

You consider a dry martini to be a ratio of 2:1 gin to vermouth? That's already as wet as . . . well, it's a family website, so I'll stop there. You'd need a couple of those martinis just to make you tolerate the outrage.

Nacho Showdown: The Sporkful's Dan Pashman vs. The Food Lab

I'm a fan of Kenji. I overlook his lamentable use of cliche as an adjective (in his roasted eggplant post today) and his occasional failure to attain subject-verb agreement ("the messiness of piled-on nachos are"). But today's dose of paternalistic authoritarianism is unforgivable. He writes of "a sensible number of chips." Thank you, Mother. I fear you lived under the spell of Mayor Bloomberg--he of the sensible size of soft drink--too long. Let us, the nacho-consuming public, decide for ourselves what is an appropriate number of nachos, and I venture to say the number we choose will not be what you consider sensible. And God help us if Serious Eats ever becomes Sensible Eats.

Ed Schoenfeld's Chinese Food History of New York

It's good to see Shun Lee Dynasty receive recognition for its contribution, something that has not always been the case in these pages.

The Right Way to Toast a Bagel

If you're going to the considerable expense of sending bagels overnight from New York, why would you send only half a dozen?

Everything You Can Do With a Jar of Mayo

Any attempt to be encyclopedic about what you can do with a jar of mayonnaise needs to include temporarily holding caught lightning bugs (after punching holes in the lid, of course; we are not savages).

Like Mushroom Pizza? We're Gonna Take You to Funghitown

I was at a wedding just the other day where they played Portobello's Canon.

The Food Lab Video Series is Here!

For sure, $.25 per minute is a little expensive. At that rate, a feature movie would rent for $30. On the other hand, Internet porn costs more. So in order for the Food Lab episodes to be a value proposition, the imperative is obvious: naked presenters and some steamy in-the-kitchen action. Additional benefit: no need to worry about competition from Christopher Kimball--not that he wouldn't be willing to peel, just that nobody would pay to see it.

Hot Dogs Here! My Day as a Ballpark Hot Dog Vendor

Whoever chose "Hot Dogs Here!" as the headline, directly after "The Food Lab Video Series is Here!," deserves an award. Hucksters here!

The Food Lab Video Series is Here!

A couple of months ago you said the first two episodes would be free. The Vimeo page doesn't reflect that. Did plans change?

The Subtle Secrets to Making the Best Ice Cream Mix-Ins

Not so sure about dripping warm chocolate into the churning ice cream. After all, a wise man has written that "ice cream doesn't like changes in temperature, and adding warm or room temperature nuts to freshly churned ice cream will melt pockets of the ice cream before the base can fully harden."

But perhaps more importantly, there's something very appealing about shards of chocolate in ice cream that don't melt too easily when eaten but instead provide a satisfying crack. Think about the coating on a Dove Bar or the chocolate in Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia (the ne plus ultra of supermarket pints). I melt chocolate, spread it on parchment in a not-too-thin layer, then break that up for inclusion in the ice cream. Pretty darned tasty.

The New Rules of Pasta Salad: How to Work With Asian Noodles

God he'p me, I'd already forgotten half of what you wrote. And I can't remember which half. So now I have to figure out whether to hang onto the half I still have or to forget it all. Happily, tomorrow I won't even remember having had this problem.

The Good Bagel Manifesto

This article, along with Kenji's write-up of the secret menu at In-N-Out, belongs in the Serious Eats Hall of Fame. Uber-Kenji! How I wish I could have seen young Kenji assessing the heat of the display cases at his local bagel shop, unaware that his path in life had already been set, no choice but to become a scientifically inclined food writer.

As for the inclusion of sesame seed, pumpernickel and cinnamon raisin on the list of acceptable bagel types, let's give Kenji the benefit of the doubt and praise him for open-mindedness and tolerance rather than condemn him for lowering the standard of an otherwise fine ranking.

Ed Levine's Golden Rules of the Perfect Pancake

I wonder if everyone shares the Overlord's preference for pancakes with crisp edges. I think of the ideal pancake being tender throughout. For crisp outsides and tender insides, I turn to waffles.

Ed Levine's Golden Rules of the Perfect Pancake

Though buckwheat pancakes would not be my choice for breakfast, let it be said that buckwheat blini make a pretty fine vehicle for caviar.

Help Support The Upcoming Food Lab Video Series for Big Prizes!


I do get that funders will receive the book before it's officially released. According to the indiegogo page, the expected delivery of the book to funders giving $100 and above is September. The book will be released on September 21 to the general public; its price on Amazon is $34.33. So you can get it on Amazon on September 21 for thirty-four bucks or via indiegogo perhaps one to three weeks earlier for a hundred bucks. Given that, I'd say the emphasis should be not on the exclusivity of the inducements but simply on the inclination of people to give you--somebody they've come to like and admire--a helping hand.

Help Support The Upcoming Food Lab Video Series for Big Prizes!

With the greatest respect, this seems a little odd: crowdfunding for a commercial project (i.e., intended to make a profit) that will take place regardless, and with the inducements offered to funders not goods at a preferred price but rather at a price far higher than they'll command in the marketplace when available to the public. So in essence it's a charitable contribution to a profit-making enterprise. But it's a free-will offering, and if people are inclined to pony up, that's certainly their prerogative. Operators are standing by.

How to Make Sichuan-Style Wontons in Chili Oil

Respect to Mary Chung, but Shun Lee Dynasty opened in New York in 1965 serving very spicy Sichuan cuisine. I believe that was fifteen years or so before Mary Chung Restaurant came along.

How to Make Japanese-Style Pork and Cabbage Dumplings (Gyoza)

Are the gyoza wrappers you use the same as wonton wrappers? The latter are in supermarkets, but I don't remember seeing a Japanese version.

16 Game Day Wing Recipes We Love

Here's the thing about chicken wings that fascinates me. It was only in 1964, according to most accounts, that Buffalo chicken wings were invented at the Anchor Bar--not so long ago, certainly within the memory of those of us with a bit of gray in our hair. Back then chicken wings were cheap and largely unloved, of little use for anything. Now they're ubiquitous, highly desired and accordingly much more expensive--even the far less desirable portion with the ulna and radius. They're the foundation of a gazillion dollar industry and grist for more than a dozen recipes on Serious Eats. And all within the space of just a couple of generations. It causes one to wonder, what advances will we see in the next fifty years in pig tail gastronomy?

Making Panela at a Colombian Sugar Mill is Still a Low-Tech Affair

Congratulations on the photography, especially the two images showing the molten sugar in flight.

Why You Should Own a Pair of Good Kitchen Shears

Yes, they're shears, jar opener, bottle opener, shell cracker and screwdriver, but wait, there's more! In the event of a zombie apocalypse, separate the two sides and you have weapons to stab a zombie. Did I say "a" zombie? Make that TWO zombies!

The Secret to Extra-Crispy Herb-Roasted New Potatoes: More Than a Pinch of Salt

Some sentences are declarative, some are imperative, some are interrogative and some--"Kenji, why don't you ever make those salt-crusted potatoes we have back home for me?"--are accusatory. Hypothesis: the closer the relationship, the more likely a simple request is to be recast as accusatory.

The Food Lab: This Isan Thai-Inspired Sliced Steak Salad Will Knock Your Socks Off

If palm sugar is available, would that be preferable to brown sugar? Similarly, if Thai basil is available, would you use it in place of the basil/cilantro combo? Or at least substitute it for the basil?