The Food Lab: Introducing Vegetables Wellington, the Plant-Based Vegan Roast Even Meat Eaters Will Want

On the one hand, an amazing dish, on the other, a bit of a departure for the one time of year people across the country still eat classic New England cookery. For Thanksgiving, I'd probably replace the cashews with walnuts and/or filberts, the fines herbes with sweet marjoram or thyme, summer savory, parsley, and sage, and the wellington construction with pie (is it possible to make rye phyllo for a crust?).

The Food Lab Redux: Use Science to Bake the Best Apple Pie

Any advice for a non-dairy version of the crust?

How Thanksgiving, the 'Yankee Abolitionist Holiday,' Won Over the South

I don't supposed we could get an article on the evolution of the New England Thanksgiving? I know that the region's cuisine isn't nearly as proselytized as Southern, but I'm from there originally and still have a certain fondness.

The Food Lab: Roasting Turkey? Throw Out Your Roasting Pan and Reach for Your Baking Stone

So is there any way to flavour the drippings with an onion and carrot underneath as I've been raised?
Actually, don't most ovens heat from below when set to "bake?" I think I need a primer on how ovens work.

Given my need for fast oven turnaround, space sharing, and low energy use (I usually max out the oven for preheat, but that steel seems like such an energy hog), I think I may stick to cooking it inverted in the roasting pan (to protect the breast) and then flipping it for a final broil/max-out heat, as I'm fairly comfortable with brute force and burning myself.

Stocking Your Pantry for Thanksgiving? Our Simple Printable Checklist of Essentials Is Here to Help!

I'd also recommend parsnips if you plan on making soup.
For instant mashed potatoes, dry are a good option due to their alternate use as a last-minute thickener for anything too soupy.

Thanksgiving Pie Head-to-Head: Classic vs. Extra-Smooth Pumpkin Pie

Now it there were only a parve recipe.

The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Is anyone else missing the "save recipe" button?

The Food Lab: For the Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Use Science, Not Sugar

I notice that, as is intuitive, you start the potatoes in a cold oven. Why isn't this technique also used for things we was to cook evenly, like meat and the turkey?
It's a bit odd to hear mild spices like cinnamon dismissed by somebody who likes the type of super-pungent/spicy foods that a lot of people allege only serve to obliterate the flavour of sub-par base ingredients. Same for the textural contrast and brûlée'd top of broiled marshmallows, but I'm also the one who toyed with the idea of also using peanut butter for the full grilled fluffernutter mess before realizing that peanuts are too assertive.

The Food Lab: How to Make The Ultimate Creamy Spinach Lasagna

I've always had trouble getting these out of the dish. Any idea whether a turnover or springform technique would be possible?

On a totally different subject, I've recently seen some breakfast dishes that call for scrambling the whites of the eggs separately and then presumably adding the yolks back in before cooking. Is there any point to this? All it makes me think is that I should make a crunchy omelet by frying the un-whipped whites and then mixing the yolks into the cheese.

The Definitive Guide to Buying, Prepping, Cooking, and Carving Your Thanksgiving Turkey

While my mother always adds stuffing hot from the pan used to saute the vegetables (it's a doctored-up box mix), I decided to check the hot-stuffing history with Amelia Simmons and Esther Levy. The former lacks any steps where you would heat the stuffing, so I assume that it's added cold unless she just assumed the reader would know to melt the fat. Of course, there's a recipe for stuffing a turkey and another for stuffing and roasting it (in which the breast/thigh disparity is most likely solved by the legs hanging closer to the fire unless "hang down" means the breast should be on the bottom, and cooking completion is signaled by a steam being emitted from the breast), so it may be that most would stuff the bird hot assuming saltpork wouldn't kill them. There's also a recipe for filling the whole bird with oysters and boiling it because why not. The latter just says "put a filling of sausage meat in the breast, or stuff, as for roast." It also calls for dredging with flour while basting, which sounds painful. There's also a boiled turkey recipe that definitely calls for cold stuffing but doesn't actually say to serve the turkey, instead focusing on the gravy.

Tiny Ovens, Hidden Cranberries: How to Survive Thanksgiving in Paris

Wonder what it must be like in Eastern Europe. Giant masonry ovens are traditional out there, but the USSR abolished them.

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Puttanesca sauce

The Rise of Awesome Milk Chocolate

I'd say one issue is that dark and milk chocolate fans want different things. Dark chocolate lovers want bitterness and distinctive flavour but generally don't care about texture, while milk chocolate fans just want a less cakey chocolate fudge and only care about flavour insofar as they want the taste inherent to the bean.

How to Make Sweet and Moist Northern-Style Cornbread With a Crust a Southerner Would Be Proud Of

At least in my experience, white sugar makes for poor cornbread, with either molasses or frog run maple syrup being the more esteemed sweeteners. Eggs also seem to be the main leavening agent, given the amount of beating and folding involved and the final texture, although I've also had some yeasty examples.

Use Your Potato Masher To Break Up Ground Meat in the Skillet

Looks like many more people come from my family's "do everything with a fork" school of cookery than I thought.

The Food Lab: Make This Crisp-Skinned Chicken and Roast Vegetables in One Cast Iron Skillet

Huh, my vegetables are always threatening to overcook when placed under and around a whole chicken.

Meanwhile, it's always fun to see the rationalizations people come up with for ignoring basic safety precautions when they don't want to bother with them. At least this one didn't bother to insult our intelligence with the old saw about how risk being a continuum means you don't have to cook chicken or stop smoking.

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Chicken roasted over vegetables.

21 Halloween Candies We're Hoarding

I wish that Elite made more stuff for export to the US market. Kids would get into literal fistfights over the exploding chocolate.

The Hollywood Effect: How Fried Green Tomatoes Became a Southern 'Classic'

I don't suppose we could get a similar column for New England cuisine, whichis starting to die out due to the south's success in branding itself as the only American heritage cuisine. It's getting to the point that even native-born Bostonians don't know to make salmon for the fourth of July.

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Pessach nut cake.

The Picky Eater Challenge: Helping Kids (and Adults!) Try New Foods Without Tricks

One thing to note is that there's a very distinct difference between fear of new foods and taste. While a fear of new things can be overcome with familiarity, a person's taste is his taste and isn't going to change with force-feeding. Pretty much the only thing that will change the flavours a person enjoys is aging, which adjusts the palette to conform to nutritional requirements.

How to Make a 7-Layer Candy Bar Dip and Become a Halloween Hero

Needs pop rocks (as I learned in Israel, where Elite sells them as a chocolate bar "flavor").

Gremolata is the Secret to the Tastiest Simple Lentil Soup

I like using fenugreek, as is cooks very similarly to the lentils, and a bit of file powder for body.

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Forget Pie, Love Apple Crisp: How to Make the Perfect Crumb Topping

Or hazelnuts/filberts. I always forget those because they only seem to come in nut mixes. Butternuts and black walnuts also work.


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