Spicy Margarita recipe

Try infusing a Jalapeño into your tequila - split a jalapeño and put it in the bottle of tequila (I like reposados for this) and let it sit for a day, then take out the jalapeño - a bit of spice in your base and then you can add whatever fruits you want to the basic margarita of tequila, cointreau, and lime juice.

Hoja Santa

Kalustyan's sells them, and I'm pretty sure they have an online shop. I've occasionally found them in bags along side dried chiles, sometimes called hierba santa or yerba santa as well.

Drink the Book: Cocktail Techniques by Kazuo Uyeda

My first true cocktail love was the Aviation, deceptively simple but oh so intriguing, and still, probably, my all time favorite.

But my new fave may be a cocktail called the One One One from Death & Co. that is gin, aquavit, and vermouth blanc with a dash of orange bitters. Crystal clear and with amazing depth and complexity.

Best Places to Eat Near NYU

Absolutely Num Pang - that place is awesome, the catfish is fantastic, as is the pork and steak

Taïm for amazing falafel isn't too far either

how to get my pretzels more crusty and pretzel-y

How long are you leaving them in the soda bath? It sounds like you probably need to let them sit longer. I've been experimenting with soft pretzels quite a bit, and have found that 1) lye isn't worth it for the trouble and 2) egg only makes it glossy, but doesn't affect the chew.

That being said, on times I've tried to make smaller pretzels, I tend to not let them boil long enough in the soda bath and they don't get the right chew.

Keep trying, 'cause when they do turn out well, they're really really fantastic.

tamale question

I second this - Maseca is good, but I find it always needs a lot more water than what it calls for on the bag.

You may also try adding some lard to the mix, it's pretty traditional for tamale masa and can help it to be softer and richer once you cook it as well.

Where can I buy squab?

Sometimes Dickson's Farmstand in the Chelsea Market has Squab - not sure if they would before Thanksgiving, but it's worth a try - plus that place is just awesome and they might have another option for you that would work.


I don't have them myself, but a good friend of mine has the full flavor spectrum (and an assortment of various OK soda cans) - ahhh the weird 90's drink crazes ;)

Another Question About Fresh Pasta

I don't cook it first, it cooks so quickly anyway, and the added starch makes for a really beautiful lasagne. The noodles are more flavorful too as they're only soaking up sauce.

Side Suggestions for Curry Dish?

When I'm making Indian food I'll often do this Madhur Jaffrey recipe for Chickpeas Cooked in Tea - it's really simple and looks different, and is very tasty - here's a link to a Google Book Result for it, hopefully this works - although something cool and creamy sounds nice too - maybe a Raita of some sort would be nice too?

Pickling salt question

You can also use kosher salt, but you need to use slightly more of it, as pickling salt is a smaller crystal :

Pasta machine?

I'll second the Atlas recommendation - I don't have room for a KitchenAid, but I use my Atlas all the time, and I've had it for Years - although I think the attachments are probably a waste for it, just get it rolled thin and you can cut it how you want.

As dbcurrie said though, it does feel like you need a 3rd hand, but it's definitely doable.

Serious Heat: Sriracha and Peanut Butter, and Other Odd Spicy Combos

Yes.. absolutely heat and PB - my personal favorite is Peanut Butter with Sambal Olek, I eat it on these puffed spelt crackers and it's incredibly addicting.

As someone that doesn't really like sweet snacks this sort of hits all the right notes for me, hot, salty, just a little bit sweet, and also really filling.

Looking for a simple food processor sauce

I've made this Jose Andres Romesco Sauce in a food processor and it's pretty great. Nice on seafood and steak, and keeps for a long time too.

Scooped: Brown Ale and Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream

This sounds absolutely fantastic - any tips on where to find the buckwheat honey? do any of the purveyors at the Union Square market sell it?

Other uses for pepper jelly?

I second the sandwich idea - there's a cheese shop by me that does only one sandwich a day: a cured meat, a cheese, and some type of spread all on a baguette. My favorite ones are always the ones with pepper jelly - usually a pretty funky cheese that's beautifully offset by the heat and sweet of the jelly..

Searching for Alum in NYC

Ha, @seriousb - I actually have culinary lime that I bought a long time ago for making fresh masa, still haven't brought myself to use it though... I should get on that :)

I'm actually pretty surprised I haven't found it either where i bought the canning jars or at any of the grocery stores that have tons of McCormick stuff.. and with the resurgence of people making their own, well, it's a missed niche market! (especially in Williamsburg where I am)

May try a batch with the Lime and let y'all know how it turns out.

Searching for Alum in NYC

Thanks Alaina, I'll give them a try - don't know why I always forget about them.

Good onion rings?

My favorites are at DuMont Burger on Bedford in Williamsburg, well balanced onion to batter, although a bit on the big side. They're really good.

what's your new thing?

I can't stop making ceviche! I've been making some 2-3 time/week. It seems to be all I want in what has been a ridiculously hot NY summer

Recipe Search- Mint Chutney

@CJ happy to help! hope you find something that hits that taste memory : )

Recipe Search- Mint Chutney

One of my favorite Chutneys sounds really similar, and comes out of an old betty crocker international cookbook that I grew up with.

1 cup cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons mint leaves
1 tsp. chopped ginger
1 jalapeño (although I usually put in 2-3)
1/2 an onion
salt, pepper

blend this all together in a blender until very smooth.

I bet you could play around with the proportions of cilantro to mint (this one is referred to as cilantro chutney) and up the heat level, and it will probably get you pretty close.

Garlic and Onion Powders: Recipe Red Flags or Tasty Short Cuts?

I think it depends on the context. The Thomas Keller fried chicken recipe (which is excellent) uses both mixed in with the flour dredge. Obviously fresh garlic and onion wouldn't mix too well with dry flour.

Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti with Crab, Chile, and Mint

@missvenuz he did!

I made something very similar inspired by it a couple weeks ago, and it was really delicious. The chile and mint play well with the sweetness of the crab, and I love the idea of adding shallot.

Raw onion/garlic/shallot substitute?

Can you eat them pickled? I've found that letting the raw onion soak in vinegar and salt (or lime juice for quacamole) helps really cut down or even eliminate the sensitivity. Even 15 minutes in lime juice will drastically change the onion (think ceviche). I used to have to leave onions out of my guacamole for a friend that can't handle raw red onions, and since I started doing this it's no longer a problem.

If you like the taste, but just can't handle them, give it a try.

Swizzle Sticks? - The Real Deal

So, I've been getting more and more into tiki drinks and swizzles and would love to get my hands on a real, martinique, hand-carved swizzle stick.

Cocktail kingdom is out of stock, and I can't seem to find anything on eBay - Does anyone know a source for these? or someone I could contact about them?


Searching for Alum in NYC

Hi serious eaters,

I'm getting ready to make a batch of dill pickles for the winter and I'm having the hardest time finding alum powder in the city.. I've looked at grocery stores, whole foods, even my corner bodega. I'd rather not order a giant bag of it online.

Does anyone know anywhere to buy alum locally ? - ideally downtown.


Long Island eats

Hey serious eaters, hoping you can help me out.

I'm planning a little afternoon wine tasting tour in the Long Island wine region for Mothers day. I'm trying to find a restaurant for a nice dinner after a day of wine-tasting maybe halfway between the LI wine region and Brooklyn (home).

Something in the locavoreish vein would be great, and maybe something with a nice view/location too.

And if anyone has any suggestions for must-visit wineries, those would be greatly appreciated too.

Thanks in advance!

Best Mexican food in LA ?

So I'm heading to Los Angeles tomorrow for a week and i'm hoping to hit up some of the best Mexican places (trucks, full on restaurants, stalls out of a driveway... wherever). So i'm asking for some suggestions - say, like top 3 favorite mexican places in LA

I'll be staying near The Grove (I've eaten at Loteria many times already) and in Venice - but we are totally willing to travel for quality.

Thank you serious eaters!!

Chiles in London

I'm trying to cook a big old bucket of Carnitas for a Venezuelan friend living in London. Does anyone know where I can find a good selection of Dried Chiles?? I'm looking for (specifically) Guajillos, Anchos, and Chipotles.

Afternoon cocktails near Madison Square Park?

I'm meeting some friends for drinks on a weekday afternoon - martinis and gossip while one friend is in town for only a short time - anyone know of a good place for proper drinks that opens early (4PM) near Madison Square Park? Somewhere with a patio/garden would be excellent.

Tempura Flowers

Last night I had a tempura fried flower (very delicious, sort of bitter) as part of the Sansai Tempura special at Kanoyama in the East Village. They told us it was "Japanese Celery" but I can't find any information about it. Anyone have any experience with this vegetable?

From Behind the Bar: The Magic

Every bartender has had the following experience: You get a new job, and your first day someone comes in and says, "Where's Jimmy?" Jimmy was probably fired, or quit, or didn't show up for work, but you say something glib like, "I'm the new Jimmy. What can I get you?" More

Cook the Book: Lemon and Goat Cheese Ravioli

This recipe for Lemon and Goat Cheese Ravioli is one of the most vibrant recipes in Plenty, both visually and taste-wise. The fresh pasta dough includes both turmeric and lemon zest, hence the bright, beautiful yellow. Once rolled out (surprisingly simple thanks to Ottolenghi's food processor dough method) it's stuffed with soft, mild goat cheese given a little kick from red and black pepper. More

Dinner Tonight: Sichuan-Style Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the kind of chicken noodle soup I can get into. It's warming and comforting, with hunks of chicken meat and slinky noodles suspended in a rich stock. But this isn't some bland rendition. No, this soup is imbued with the haunting aroma of star anise and cinnamon, and tickled by the numbing sensation of Sichuan pepper. A sprinkling of chopped chile completes this assertive bowl of soup, which comes together surprisingly fast. More

Dinner Tonight: Garlic-Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Parsnips

If you buy split chicken breasts with the bone in and skin still on, they can be wonderfully flavorful, especially in recipes like this one from Jennifer Rubell's Real Life Entertaining where they're roasted with carrots, parsnips, and two entire heads of garlic. The chicken-y juices and fat from the skin give the vegetables incredible flavor, while the garlic aroma permeates the entire dish. More

Time for a Drink: Falling Leaves

Created by New York mixological maestro Audrey Saunders, the Falling Leaves is a great autumn drink that works well as a conversation starter as guests arrive. Not only rich and flavorful, the Falling Leaves packs less of an alcoholic wallop than a typical cocktail, so you'll be able to enjoy your drink without throwing yourself off stride while putting the finishing touches on the meal--and maybe even mix a second round at halftime. More

Cook the Book: Duck Rillettes

Oddly, I'd never had duck rillettes—or any rillettes for that matter—until I moved to Brooklyn. Fortunately, Smith Street, the borough's restaurant row, changed all that. Sample, a tiny, global tapas bar with a killer cocktail list (I love their Tamarind... More

Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti with Thyme-Chile Celeriac Puree

In this recipe, the noodles are draped in a gently spicy and fragrant mash of celeriac—the texture of the pasta plays a starring role. Celeriac, a cousin of celery, is grown for its large root rather than the stalks we all recognize. It has that same wonderful grassy, aromatic flavor. A hit of fresh chile, thyme, and garlic round out the flavor. The puree comes from a Jamie Oliver recipe that uses it as a stuffing for ravioli. (I took the shorter route of simply tossing it with pasta.) More

Scooped: Brown Ale and Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream

A few weeks ago, Guerrilla Ice Cream (my mobile ice cream project) was approached by fashion designers Shipley & Halmos about doing a New York City-themed flavor for Fashion's Night Out, a city-wide fashion event taking place today. As a native New Yorker, I jumped at the chance to capture the flavor of the greatest city in the world in ice cream form. I decided on a deep, complex, and just-a-tad spicy Brown Ale and Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream, topped with roasted chestnuts (hat tip to the chestnut vendors of old New York) and apple chips (it is the Big Apple, after all). More

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Perfect boiled eggs require the right technique. We cooked dozens and dozens of eggs before arriving at these methods that deliver soft boiled eggs with tender whites and liquid yolks, or hard boiled eggs that are evenly cooked throughout with a just-set yolk. More

Dinner Tonight: Packets of Cod with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Parsley Pesto

I've been meaning to try a recipe from Rick Moonen's Fish Without a Doubt, but it wasn't until I came across this dead simple one that I actually got my act together. Talk about easy. The cod is simply placed on a sheet of aluminum foil with thinly sliced zucchini, halved tomatoes, and a parsley pesto. It's wrapped up, slung in the oven, and cooked for 15 minutes. That's it. More

Dinner Tonight: Yucatecan Papaduzul (Enchiladas Stuffed with Hard-Boiled Eggs)

When I kind of trash talked chimichangas last week I did so because I wanted to stick up for underdogs like this one. You know, they don't look the best at first, but really are far more complex and tasty. I realize it was not quite fair, and that there is a cheesy, greasy part of my heart that Tex-Mex delight. But there's also a time for complex and layered dishes like this one from The Spicy Food Lover's Bible. The Yucatecan dish isn't exactly simple, but it can be made in less than an hour, and it has everything I love in Mexican cuisine. More

Cook the Book: Apricot Cake

This weekend I found myself with some apricots that looked lovely but tasted, well, not quite at their peak. Instead of tossing the slightly mealy little specimens out, I decided to incorporate them into this Apricot Cake from Recipes from an Italian Summer. Through the magic of a buttery cake batter the apricots became perfectly sweet and and creamy during the baking with just the right amount of tartness. More

Cook the Book: Scallion, Radish, and Cucumber Salad with Cashews and Vermicelli

This Scallion, Radish, and Cucumber Salad with Cashews and Vermicelli was just right labor- and flavor-wise, but I was concerned it would be too light to pass for an evening meal. I considered adding fish or chicken to serve alongside, but I decided that I'd take the leap and go it alone. It was the epitome of a quick, healthy, and almost vegetarian* meal. More

Cook the Book: Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

While the bounty of spring greens has been plentiful at local farmers' markets, the selection of fruit is still limited mostly to apples and rumors of a few stray strawberries (I'll believe it when I see it). But for those of you who want to bake a seasonally inspired dessert, there's plenty of rhubarb to be had. This recipe for Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce will satisfy your urges until the strawberries arrive. More