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The Food Lab's Creamed Spinach

Is baking an option? I imagine stove top cooking means extra vigilance in case the bottom starts to scorch.

The Food Lab: The Book Has Arrived

OK, have been reading non-stop.

Keep your calendar clear the night of the Beard awards.

The Food Lab: The Book Has Arrived

Mine just showed up in the mail. THANKS!

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Barbecue Pork Ribs

@Bekbert, unless you are completely giving up eating hot dogs, ham, pastrami, corned beef, salami, etc..., then the minute amount of pink salt in this recipe shouldn't be a concern.

My question re pink salt is whether it creates a noticeable cured flavor? I know when I've dry brined turkey with some pink salt added, it does create a slightly cured flavor.

The Food Lab: How to Make a Burger King-Style Whopper Fit for The King

Just like a Big Mac is a Big Mac and not a burger, a Whopper is a Whopper, not a burger. And you zeroed in on it - their meat is the worst of the Big Three. It does have that weird (but appealing) "char" flavor, which I figured was some sort of liquid smoke type of artificial flavoring.

When they came out with their "premium" "Chef's Choice" burger a few years ago, I ponied up the $5+ to try one, and only made it through one bite before trashcanning the rest. Once again, it was the meat. Vegetal, dry, spongy, inedible.

The Food Lab: Chicken-Fried Chicken Is Country Cooking at Its Most Comforting

@Osomatic; I got tired of the low capacity and temp instability of my standard size deep fryer, so when it went on sale, I bought the big Waring Turkey Fryer/Rotisserie. It is certainly an improvement over the smaller fryer, but it STILL is subject to a pretty big drop in temp when you put in a few pieces of chicken. And it can't be set higher than 375. I'm not sure there is a non-commercial deep fryer out there that will do the job right.

The Food Lab: The Best Southern Fried Chicken

Well, I've already reserved a copy of your book, and I'm not cancelling, but thanks anyway! One question - pros and cons of finishing in the oven vs. the double fry technique you've mentioned elsewhere.

The Food Lab: Four Secrets to Improving Any Fried Chicken Recipe

I recently combined elements of your Orange chicken recipe, and CI's honey dipped fried chicken recipe (along with a buttermilk brine) and the results were phenomenal. Next experiment - dipping in reduced Vietnamese caramel chicken sauce instead of honey.

The Best Fried Chicken on the Planet: An Opinionated World Tour

Re Buffalo wings - Bleu cheese sauce on the side. Ranch dressing is for salads.

@acctguy - plus one for a Ted's hot dog. Burn it with everything, rings on the side.

A New Summer Favorite: Grilled Chicken with Za'atar

This sure was timely. I just bought a pound of it at the International Grocery by the Port Authority. Incredibly inexpensive.

12 Grilling Mistakes You Don't Have to Make (But Probably Do)

@RyanL I have a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker, and it has 3 vents on the bottom. In the winter, I can achieve a stable 250 degree temp with one vent open. In the summer, I usually have to close all 3 vents. There seems to be enough leakage around the kettle's joints and lower door to feed the fire.

Grilled Asparagus With Aioli Is the Ultimate Backyard Finger Food

Love asparagus but WTF is going on this year with the cost? Right in the middle of the season and local NJ asparagus is $4.99/lb in the supermarkets. Same with NJ blueberries. Listed at $5/pt and "on sale" at half price. Sorry, doubling the price then selling half off is not a sale. Wasn't too long ago you could get $1/pt in season.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak

If you have an outdoor grill, you can do the cast iron sear and torch outside and spare your kitchen. For charcoal, lay the pan right on the coals. For gas, take off the upper grates and lay it on the drip bars. High heat.

The Baking Steel Griddle Has Arrived

Now if only the KettlePizza folks would design a kit with the lid built around THIS baking steel. That would be multi-tasking heaven.

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Won't be home this weekend so I have to wait a whole 'nother week to try this out. Can't wait! @Moosefight - browned butter, I'm definitely trying that. Should add a bit of butterscotch notes to the pancakes. Also, the batter might be a touch thicker because you'll be cooking out a lot of the water in the butter.

Knife Skills: How to Cut a Whole Beef Strip Loin Into Steaks

Why is a single pull stroke OK, but a single push stroke unacceptable? Seems to be two sides of the same coin.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Sumac?

I've made a spice mix of sumac, Szechuan peppercorns, ground cumin and salt. Great on chicken, pork, etc...

Use Your Pressure Cooker to Make the World's Fastest, Easiest Chicken Enchiladas

Definitely making this. Question re chicken skins - any reason you are removing skins after cooking? I know for many recipes it's a flavor issue, but was wondering if that would make a significant difference here.

If you remove the skin before pressure-cooking, they can be used to make schmaltz and/or crispy skins by layering between two baking sheets (your trick!).

The Food Lab: Why Chicken With Pan Sauce Is Always Better at Restaurants (and How to Make Yours Just as Good at Home)

Nice - though I'm usually good with the stock because I go on a chicken stock making binge every 6 months or so and freeze a whole bunch. Sometimes, though, it's gelly as hell, and sometimes not.

One question - I've seen some pan seared chicken techniques lately (CI, I think) recommending starting in a cold pan skin side down, so the fat renders better. What do you think?

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

I've made traditional potstickers using commercial round dumpling wrappers from an Asian market (Marquis brand, I think). I did try to go a bit "soup dumpling" by making some stock, adding a bunch of gelatin, chilling, cubing and mixing it in with the meat mixture. Very tasty, STEAMS great. But I've found that when pan frying, the gelatin melts out somewhat, and creates HOLY HELL in the saute pan. It sizzle, it pops, it burns your arms, it winds up all over the floor.

Still delicious, though.

Do the Hokey Pokey: How to Make Chocolate-Coated Honeycomb Candy

@baker, show me the honey or honeycomb in the recipe. There is NO honey flavor. Are you trolling or serious?


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