What Cookbook Would You Buy For a First-Time Cook?

I'd recommend the Molly Goldberg cookbook, as it writes many recipes that are now staples of the American kitchen (if generally in a longer format for a non-working female audience)for an unfamiliar public not necessarily experienced in the kitchen. It's also written in the homiest style imaginable, with regular malapropisms.
Many early and nonprofit/government cookbooks are also very good, being written primarily for those without a family background in cooking, either due to lack of family (American Cookery) or immigration or agriculture changing the available ingredients (Esther Levy's Jewish Cookery Book, most womens' association books). Along with the Boston Cooking School Cookbook, these tend to go through the essentials of running a kitchen, right down to selecting produce and selecting the dishes of a complete meal.

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Spatchcooked chicken with whatever I can fit under said chicken.

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)

Of course, it's not quite the same if you can't crush the noodles and eat in like cereal. What I really want to see, though, is a way to make a dried, instant-noodle-like take on motzo balls.

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Apple pie, cake.

How to Cram Apple Flavor Into the Perfect Fall Cocktail

Why use lemon when you could add another apple element with cider vinegar?

Lox, Whitefish, and Beyond: An Introduction to Appetizing

You can also find signs of this tradition having formed simultaneously in Boston, although most of the old shops closed up during the move from the eastern to western suburbs.

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Matzo ball soup.

American Chop Suey: The Cheesy, Beefy, Misnamed Stovetop Casserole That Deserves a Comeback

Low-20's MA poster, only ever saw it at school, possibly because my mother never ate red meat. Even at school, there was never noticeable cheese, possibly because it was Newton. I'll have to figure out a good replacement for my household, as my cheeseburger substitute of anchovies probably won't work here. Fermented tofu?
At least I know I can sub in shmaltz for the butter.

25 Recipes for Your Rosh Hashanah Feast

Fish are also popolar because they're very easy to cook with the head attached, a good meal for the head of the year.

From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese

I've never heard of anyone up north consuming Velveeta in any context. That dreck is purely southern.

The Real Reason Sugar Has No Place in Cornbread

Of course, this pretends that there is no northern cornbread tradition, when even basic research would show that the north has a long history of cornbread, usually with molasses or maple syrup and often with wheat or rye. Of course, that would require a southerner to admit that there non-southern American traditions, which he would never do (possibly because it would require admitting that the region's racism isn't general americana).

Can I Substitute Unsweetened Chocolate for Cocoa Powder?

I wonder if this formula might make for a way to replace all the oil in a cookie with chocolate for extra flavor. Not sure what would replace the sugar. Carob?

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The Food Lab Redux: How to Make Orange and Sesame Chicken at Home

If you're still out there, I'd love to hear about minority Chinese cuisine, although I've heard the authorities sometimes frown on such things. The most accessible is likely the Muslim cuisine of Xian (Hui?), but it would also love to see Uighur, Mongolian, Zhuang, and Jewish/Youtairen (particularly the Keifeng-centered community of Henan).

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Whole Roasted Fish With Oregano, Parsley, and Lemon

I made the very similar branzino recipe published here for the family about a year ago. Pulled it out of the oven to learn that the rest of the family doesn't like eating around bones, and then took one bite and remembered that I can't stand lemon. A lot of fish went to waste that day.

40 Main Dishes for Your July 4th Feast

No poached salmon with egg sauce? Shame. SHAME!

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Vinegar-based ceviche.

Manner Matters: Help, My Friend Chews With Her Mouth Open

I say use her as a goal for some tabletop football.

5 Delicious Coleslaw Variations

Anyone know what styles of slaw are indigenous to New England or Eastern Europe?

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The Best Barbecue Beans, Whether You Have 1 Hour or 16

So, do you think this testing would carry over to baked beans?

Also, have you considered the chulent/cholent method of adding the dry beans and cooking at a low temperature overnight?

Where to Get the Best New England Clam Chowder in Boston

Are there any places that make a good kosher/kosher-style fish chowder.
Also, I'm going to have to contradict the chowder history given here. The original Boston Cooking-School Cook Book calls for four cups of scalded milk and no other liquid.


So, I don't see any recipes on the site for cholent, despite it being widely variable by family and national origin and a very handy holiday meal because of how far ahead you handle it. I've asked my parants if they inherited any recipes, but my mom's family was never that observant and my dad's mother didn't do big meals. It would be cool to see Kenji take a stab at a recipe like this, just to see how he responds to the need to make a dish longer instead of shorter and the necessary hands-off nature of the food, but I'd like to hear what the community has to say about it.

How can one use carob well?

Ah, carob, that oft-maligned chocolate substitute that is used in the middle east for all sorts of things. It can be made into a syrup/molasses, its seeds can be ground as a thickener, and its pods can be made into a powder. It naturally contains sugars. How is it properly used? I have no idea.
I've been thinking that one way to get a little bit of extra chocolate flavour into various products (mainly cookies, but I suppose cakes and brownies would work just as well) by replacing the sugar in recipes with carob, most likely by modifying a recipe that calls for a syrup (mollasses?) and substituting the carob version. I'd also substitute the butter with cocoa butter and see how badly that blows up in my face. Anyone know how that might work or turn out?
I'm also curious if anyone knows how it's used in its native cuisine.

Favorite/Most Amusing Chef Quirks

This topic was inspired by my watching several episodes of Simply Ming in a row and seeing how his apparent refusal to do multiple takes (there's really no other explanation) has led him to say humorously boneheaded things on the air. At one point, he said something to the effect of "and now I cut the fish into two pieces" while clearly cutting it into three. In a short, bookend segment, he said on the subject of toasting croutons "now this should take one minute at most [quick cut] okay, it's been two minutes and these are ready." He actually caught himself and corrected after referring to orange syrup as carrot syrup.
I've also heard that in my parent's day there were various famous chefs who tended to go through a good bit of wine over the course of an episode and quite clearly not finish sober.

So, Serious Eaters, what chef quirks amuse you?

Making a custard with coconut milk

So I'm making this bobotie recipe, but I don't mix meat and dairy. As such, I purchased coconut milk to take the place of conventional milk in the recipe. Are there any ways I'll have to adapt the recipe to make it work correctly?

Ideas for a millet-based desert?

Long story short, I have several packs of millet flour. Wikipedia says that it gives a sweet, nutty flavour to baked goods it is used in, so I thought that it would make a good cookie or pastry. Any ideas? I also have sunflower flour, if anyone has ideas for that.

10 (Not Just Green) Sweets To Make For St. Patrick's Day

There are a few routes you can take on St. Patrick's Day, ranging from the all green buffet to a more traditional spread. A lot of people like cooking with Guinness or whiskey—makes sense, as there's sure to be a lot around—and some like the ease of a classic soda bread. Whatever your style, we have 10 recipes to help you celebrate this Sunday. Éirinn go Brách! More