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.

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

Peacans are for rednecks. Go with walnuts.

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Mul Naengmyun: The Cold Korean Noodle Soup Perfect for Summer

The first attempt sounds like like an interesting dish, almost a midcentury take of Korean.

The Serious Eats Field Guide to Chinese Pastries

Being from a household that mainly consumed New England and Jewish desserts, I of course adore Chinese pastries. One that has tripped my up, though, is a preserved egg bun that turned out to mostly be a sweet peanut filling.

How to Make Traditional Cassoulet (And Why You Should Put Chicken in It!)

Of course, if you really want to make yourself an enemy of all of France, you could point out that cassoulet would have to be kosher and cooked without disruption for around eighteen hours, as it's clearly a derivative of chulent, itself a branch of a family of dishes found throughout the Jewish diaspora (implying an origin before said diaspora). Essential ingredients include kishke and stuffed chicken neck.
Similarly, French music historians hate any mention of the music/poetry of Al Andalus, as they have decided that western music was invented by French troubadours despite troubadour songs being exactly the same as Andalusian poetry in both tune and content.

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Celery Forever: Where America's Weirdest Soda Came From and How It's Stuck Around

For a really obvious example of tonics being sold for health, there will always be Moxie ads.
It should also be noted that Eastern Europe had quite a few spas, which served carbonated "spa water," the source of Boston's name for soda jerks and other corner stores.

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.


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