The Baijiu Riddle: Learning to Love China's Infamous Firewater

Huh, I was under the impression that most of the burn from a spirit came from congeners rather than the ethanol itself. Could baiju's distinctive burn have less to do with its high proof than a brewing method that produces more fusel oils? I know that Kenya Kane and Konyagi have lower proofs than most vodkas but have more burn and very distinctive noses.

My GF's currently in Hong Kong. Any suggestions on where she should go to try some or Cantonese/Hong Kongese brands that she should pick up as a souvenir/gift for me?

Tour Guide and Author Lesley Tellez on What Everyone Gets Wrong About Mexican Food

You even see the "true Mexican" fallacy from people moving around the US. Californians are especially obnoxious about not recognizing anything but Baja and native Californian cuisine, while Southwesterners only recognize Tejano/Tex-Mex cuisine. This is a bit of a problem when they come to Boston, which seems to mainly be home to immigrants from near the Guatemalan and Belizean borders.

Strange Brew: 5 Must-Try Vodkas Distilled From Ingredients Beyond the Ordinary

I think you may have forgotten to add the price on the apple vodka.

For Some of the Best Fried Chicken, Look to...the Tuscan Jews?

Kind of surprised by the use of salt in the marinade, given that the dish would have been designed for kosher poultry.

Anyone have good ideas for a lemon substitute to get around my aversion to citrus? I'm somewhat fond of vinegar, but kind of get the feeling the flavor profile would be too different.

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

So I take it that kosher chicken negates the need for brine?

The Trouble With Strawberry Ice Cream: How to Nail the Trickiest Dessert

Huh, my first instinct would have been to use the richest base possible but in a smaller proportion, essentially trying to use the water in the berries to dilute the heavy cream back into half-and-half.

Similarly, I probably would have fist tried pureeing the berries to drain out all the liquid, which could then be reduced to syrup while the puree keeps its fresh flavour.

I assume all your advice holds for blueberries as well?

The Best Lobster Rolls in Boston

Does Neptune serve rolls year round? I wonder if the tough meat is just winter lobster.

The Real History of Hushpuppies

The dish also bears a striking resemblance to many cornmeal recipes in American Cookery, so it may be a southernization of the north's jonnycakes, with the main adaptation of course being the region's penchant for deep frying.

Why Raw Clams Are Making a Comeback in New England and Beyond

I try to chew, but they're damn hard to catch once they get past the lips. Maybe it's a coordination issue on my part.

Why Raw Clams Are Making a Comeback in New England and Beyond

Beyond my childhood with an allergic mother and a recent adoption of kashrut, I've always had issues with food on the halfshell. All my attempts to enjoy it can be summarized as me spending a lot of money for my food to slide right through my mouth and down my throat before I had a chance to taste it. Some may find the slime factor of raw bivalves gross, but for me it's just impractical.

How to Make Cherry Clafoutis, a Dessert so Elegant, Your Guests Won't Know How Easy it is

I wonder if almond flour, oil, or paste would make up for the flavour supposedly gained from the pits.

8 Spices Truly Worth the Splurge

Among curry powders, my favorite is simba mbili.

American Booze Hall Of Fame: The Best Spirits of the Northeast

Note the phrase "our German still" hiding in the middle of the text.

The Good Bagel Manifesto

Seconding the comment that they should be bought at a dedicated place without seating or cutting implements. The place near where I grew up even made sure to keep the bagels a bit on the blonde side so they could be safely reheated upon getting home (and also acceptable to those who like their bagels blonde, as everyone else can just use the toaster oven).

My favored toppings have always been whitefish salad, capers, and hard cheddar. I made bluefish pate ounce, and that was good on a bagel but a pain to make and expensive from the store.

Meanwhile, the best type of bagel is sunflower seed, which as far as I know is only sold at Rosenfeld's in Newton.

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Grilled Steak

I'm sure I've asked this before, but do I need to salt kosher steak?

Tips and Tricks for the Best Scrambled Eggs, Your Way

I wonder if I could get an even more fluffy texture by whipping the egg whites to peaks and than folding in the yolks.

I tend to combine the pre-salting and addition of liquid by using soy sauce.

Love Italian Food? 5 Essential Cookbooks for Your Collection

Classic Italian Jewish Cooking: Traditional Recipes and Menus by Edda Machlin is another good one.

The Food Lab: How to Prepare Green Spring Produce

American Cookery calls for tipping a piece of toast in the asparagus water and serving the asparagus on top of it with melted butter and finely sliced orange. Any idea what that's about?

How I Fell Hard for the Cemita in All its Forms: A Love Story With Recipes

I wonder if the bread difference is due to Americans not liking their breads sweet. Not even challah is as sweet as the breads you get at Hispanic and Portuguese groceries and bakeries.

The Rise and Fall of the Lime Rickey, the Soda Fountain Comeback Kid

It's interesting how so many of the soda jerks interviewed allow the cherry version from NY to be traditional but not the raspberry version of New England.

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed With Tuna and Allioli: Proof That Canned Foods Can Be Delicious

I've found that the oil used in the tuna cans makes a quite nice mayo, although I have to use a whole egg because the cup for my hand blender is on the large side. Basically, don't waste the oil tuna come packed in.

How to Make Your Ice Cream as Dense, Rich, and Chewy as a New England Scoop Shop's

If I may ask, why evaporated milk and syrup instead of condensed milk, and how does the more common tapioca flour compare to arrowroot?

Also, how does corn syrup compare to golden/treacle syrup? How about light molasses and maple?

For the Deepest, Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream, Add Cocoa Nibs

Interesting that you'd rag on Hershey's when Cook's Illustrated placed both its "natural unsweetened" cocoa and unsweetened chocolate bars higher than or on par with Valrhona, respectively. Oddly enough, the maker of their favorite cocoa and baking chocolate, Callebaut, made one of their least favorite unsweetened chocolates.

For tips, would it be possible to shove in even more flavour by replacing the sugar with carob and the fat in whole milk with cocoa butter?

The Food Lab: How to Make Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce

Is this as finicky about the fit of the blender cup as your mayo recipe? I haven't been able to make that work since moving and buying a new hand blender (it does work if I use whites too, though).

Also, would the chemistry of this be messed up if I use shmaltz instead of butter?

Cooking With Olive Oil: Should You Fry and Sear in it or Not?

Of course, one difference is that you still don't want your oil smoking away on the stovetop (or in the oven if you follow the strategy of heating up the dish by preheating the oven to its max temperature), meaning that you can get your pan and oil significantly hotter with a refined oil. Extra light olive oil is my preference for these applications, while cooler dishes use butter or shmaltz.


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