Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Kenji's perfect prime rib!

Have You Ever Dry Brined a Turkey?

Thanks! Yes that makes sense to me. I was a bit confused since I think kenjis article said to put it on a plate coverered with cheese cloth. Would plasric wrap tightly round the whole turkey work instead of an oven bag?

Have You Ever Dry Brined a Turkey?

If you dry brine on a plate, would the extra-concentrated brine that forms on the surface just pool up at the bottom and never reabsorb into the breast? Or are you supposed to dry brine breast side down to avoid this happening?

A Poorman's Birthday Steak Dinner

The Ralphs (Kroger) near my place has $1.99 a lb sirloin specials every now and then. there's an instructional video by gordon ramsay on pan frying steaks (look for it on youtube) he checks temperature via feel...i think it was medium rare is he inside of ur palm, well done is the top of ur hand etc. and that method actually works pretty well. Also u can try getting a roast (which might be cheaper and ask the butcher to cut a steak off for u (worked for me before for a rib one.

How do you save money at the grocery store? Coupons?

I usually just check the circulars for Ralphs every week, see what's on special and plan my meals accordingly. Whole Chickens goes down to 67cents a lb and that is easily 2-3 meals right there. Their picnic packs of thighs, leg quarters etc. also come to $1/lb a lot and that's always versatile. But generally every week there's always some kind of meat, and some kind of fish on sale - and it's pretty easy to plan dishes around them.
I also of course go to specific places that I knoww are better for certain things like, Trader Joes for Cheese, wine, pasta. Whole Food (yes, whole foods) for well prosciutto - comes out cheaper there from the deli counter. I also get shellfish, oysters and crustaceans from wholefoods. After finding half my mussels dead from Ralphs one time, I figured it's actually cheaper and safer from Whole Foods and in general any kinda sea food I plan on eating rare or medium rare (not worth the hospital bills to skimp on that)

I also have costco membership, but dont find them cheaper for meat.

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites

I wonder what the 253 lb number entails though? Is it just leftover food on the plate that gets thrown out, food that we leave out til it goes past the sell-by date etc. in which case...that would be a shocking number. (Believable too...i know i'm definitely guilty of...probably a lb or two of expired produce every week or two...and god knows I tend to overcook.

But otherwise, it it stuff crusts/bread crusts we don't eat/cut off, carcasses and bones we don't turn into stock or otherwise use...the random bits of offal and body parts most americans don't eat (though I never quite understood that), even things like potato peelings can technically count as waste compared with how poorer nations scrimp on food. In which case I'd say their number is sorta inflated - especially to the '$2200 wasted' much of that waste isn't easily or feasibly saved or recovered...

But for both options...the fixes aren't that easy on an individual level, but really has to be fixed on a social level. Restaurants need to stop serving plates that contain more than a days worth of calories at each meal, and grocery stores need to stop making massive packs containing 5 times more herbs than can feasibly be used, or giant packs of meat that take several meals to finish.
I've lived in asia for a long time, and the average pack of meat in grocery stores is sold in 1 lb packages (the right amount for a family of 4) Whereas the chicken packs and steak packs here are 3-5 lbs. The average chicken size is also smaller at 2-3 lbs, whereas most grocery fryers tend to be 5 lbs. Especially since I usually only cook for two, there'd be no way I could finish a pack of meat before it goes bad without eating drumsticks every single meal. I'd waste a lot more if I didnt just feed it to my dogs.

But yea either way...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Sriracha Lover's Ultimate Gift Pack

this delicious marinade for baked chicken drumsticks, that basically just sriracha, honey and bbq sauce - delicious

Need a good cookbook for my bachelor brother

Two dudes, one pan is pretty good (from the chefs at animal, la)
Gordon Ramsay's Fast food is another one good one from a easy cooking pov. All the recipes in there are 20 minutes or less, and his no nonsense/frills approach might be good.
For meat I think the best is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, he's amazingg.

But yea, I'm a guy and I have a massive amount of cookbooks...and do most of the cooking =.='' so don't see why someone would get embarrased at having a good cookbook lying around.

Drink Straight Booze?

I think it's cuz it was a vodka on the rocks. I drink most stuff straight, because in most liquors there's a specific flavour that you want to get. Vodka however is prized on having no flavour, hence there's less of a point of drinking it straight? You're not getting any specific taste and there isn't anything special that would be ruined by mixing.

But yea it's mostly ur liquor choice. I think there was a discussion on here or chowhound a while back with controversy cuz this bar was adding a surcharge on whisky poured neat vs in cocktails that wasnt on the menu. Everyone cried foul because...well practically everyone drinks good whisky neat.

Vodka - Am I being cheap?

kirkland liquor is generally amazing, i like russian standard too which isnt too expensive. Or the old brita filter method works. Don't get Skyy though. It has a very distinctive perfumey taste that i dont think would mesh well with infusing

Seelbach Cocktail

Hmm I tried substituting peychaud's bitters for just a double serving of Angostura and found it a bit tooo bitter. (The taste of angostura was front and center) and I think i overpoured on the cointreau a little. But still quite an enjoyable drink, and it definitely worked better than I expected. Now I wish my champagne bottle held more...just need a little more to try the French 75 out and I'll have them all down...sigh

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Knife

I like my Henckel's chef's knife - or ?(not sure if this counts) my trusty Ice Pick - Drinks never tasted better since I started customising icecube sizes per drink.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Counter Culture Coffee Subscription

black and strong =) That said, I also like my whisky neat and cooking minimum. I'm always of the philosophy that if your base ingredient isn't worth drinking/eating by itself, without the addition of a bunch of different masking agents - what's the point?

Hawaiian Restaurants?

Is there a Roy's in NYC?

Pots, Pans, knives etc...

My favourite pan is actually this marble coated? pan I found in Koreatown. It goes fine in the oven, is perfectly non-stick, and scrubs clean without damaging the coating. I can see it on amazon for 20-30 but I got it for half that, and I really use my more expensive skillets a lot more rarely.

So from that, and the stories above about how someone has this gem of a knife they found, or this old cheap pot that works perfectly, I think that you could assemble a perfect set of equipment from cheaper things, but it's hard to sort out the crap. So I'm sure most people wil have one or two really good cheap things, but it'll be hard to find a full set. Which is where the expensive brands come in, you know what you're getting but you have to pay for it.

Is the physical cookbook here to stay?

Hmm I used to say the same thing about physical books...then I got a Kindle (well nook to be exact, but recently got the new kindle) and a few days later and I started advocating it to everyone. I also carried on buying cds until...well like a year ago - then upgraded my stereo to one that had an ipod dock and well...never looked back.

Basically I see cookbooks being the same, the only problem with cookbooks is that 1) they dont work that well with black and white ereaders, pictures are so integral 2) They're used in environments where they are very liable to being splashed with water.

But I see the switch being made once we reach the time where everyone has an ipad or other tablet, and they're made to be more umm durable to greasy fingers - or disposable in general.

Physical feelings of nostalgia etc. pass pretty quickly once you actually use a new option for a few days. The biggg thing I see with using tablets is the integration of video into it. (I've seen this with Jamie Oliver's app, where if u click on a step or a technique, a video will pop up showing you)
No matter how well a paper book describes a step, it'll always be better to see it happening in video.

When was the last time a dish went to hell on you?

Haha I did a prime rib roast once (lowish temp roast- 225ish) and I checked the temp at my designated time, it was like 115? Little bit off where I wanted, so I stuck it back in for a littlee while. One martini later and somehow it became well-done =.='' sigh...

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

My favourite atm is wrapping it around mozzarella balls with a sprinkling of olive oil and herbs and securing it with a toothpick, but its great by itself, with brie in a sandwich, on pizza, anywhere really

Healthy & Delicious: Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Do you know how long this will last in the fridge? I usually keep a batch of dip in the fridge for snacking purposes, but with this amount it seems like it'll last for a week or two...or more haha. I've been using, incidentally, the spinach and artichoke dip from costco actually haha, and I love the idea of a 'real' version of it. But Just wanted to know the time this will last, or i'll just make a smaller batch.

Thanksgiving Dinner: No Substitutions Allowed?

And ughh Van de Kaamp, I remember once buying a loaf of their sliced bread and forgot/lost half of it - and found it a month later and it was good as new, not stale, no mould. That's when I stopped buying van de kamp bread haha.

Why do people like spicy/hot/piquant food?

Haha yea - well if any chili-heads are out there - as in the kinda person who eats something so spicy they feel sick - is there any special taste u just have to get past spicyness to get to? Or is it purely the whole 'macho - i can take more pain than you' thing? I used to be a lot less tolerant of spicy food but I worked on my tolerance until I can eat most korean/indian/sichuan food and be fine (for short periods) And to me that was worth it because the spicyness was part of the dish, and the cuisine is delicious. But I'm starting to feel like I'm reaching the limit where...any more spicyness isn't really for the additive/complementary flavour properties and purely for the whole 'macho i can take pain) idea which...I don't see the point of getting into.

Why do people like spicy/hot/piquant food?

Hmm sorry - I think I was a bit too ranty in my original post (It's from seeing people slather half a bottle of hot sauce on like seared scallops before trying it)
And yes I eat a lottt of korean, indian etc. food and I understand how spiciness works in there, as well as the sweeter peppers etc.
And things like pungent fermented foods, bitterness in coffee - well that's the natural flavour of that particular ingredient. Whereas my point was piquancy isn't an actual biological taste.

But my question was more about the 'extreme spicyness' The hottest bowl of chili contests, where people have to go to the hospital afterwards. I mean that's like having a saltiest slice of pizza contest, or the sweetest bar of chocolate contest, where the person who can eat as much pure salt or sugar wins. They're not saying the 'best' bowl of chili or soup - they're saying purely the 'hottest'

So it's more about the people who take it to 'extreme' levels, who actually douse their dishes in spicyness.

Why do people like spicy/hot/piquant food?

Ahh well - i guess the followup to that is whether people actually find a special taste to hot peppers? I mean the closest exmple would be like sipping fine liquors (I love sipping good whiskies) But you know if people are not used to it, they can't taste anything beyond the alcohol burn and taste - but now I don't taste or get that feeling anymore and I can appreciate all the nuances in flavour. So I was more like wondering whether there is that dimension to that. You don't normally see people discussing the nuances of vanilla notes to peppers haha. But is there anything to peppers beyond the 'heat' that's worth building up tolerance to taste?

Pizza Is A Vegetable According To Congress! Any Comments?

Actually back in High School (and middle/elementary - it was a combined system) We had a basic cafeteria that served some food (snacks were still just freshly baked bread from local bakery like loaves of herbed focaccias - so delicious) But we had other options like an italian deli that had sandwiches (lettuce, and a SINGLE slice of nice prosciuttion/ham and cheese) which made it relatively healthy. And we had a contract with a health food chain (Sorta like jamba juice) That would bring healthy wraps and smoothies in. Guess what? The salad/grilled chicken wraps were a loooottt more popular than the soggy burgers - and they eventually shifted to a different caterer that had more healthy foods like tomato/mozarella sandwiches etc. Kids aren't 'programmed' to only like fries and burgers - plenty would love a decent wrap and some good fruit too. The whole thing is about moderation. A single slice of good quality bacon or ham would give plenty of flavour at same cost as 1/2 a pound of crappy ham. But stick that in with some fresh lettuce and good local bread and everyone would be happy. Just phase out the other choices- if you offer fried chicken alongside vegan lasagne then sure more people would pick the chicken. And not even necessarily because they would enjoy it more, but simply because in our diet we are programmed to think that the chicken would 'taste better' even if it won't when we actually eat it.

Just offer simple meat lite dishes to kids and nothing else. There may be more waste etc. initially but eventually they'll come around. Contract out, or bring in a caterer and you don't have to worry about keeping staff on hand either. Grilling 2000 chicken breasts only becomes a problem when you think that you need a chunk of chicken to make it a meal. Make just 2-3 healthy options available, expect there to be a bit more waste for first few months, and then u'll be successful

McDonald's around the world

Hmm off the top of my head in Hong Kong we have...- Macaroni in chicken broth with ham and eggs (it's a local thing) and 'shake shake fries' - similar to the seasoning indian packet above, but it's basically little packs of seasonings, and they give u a big paper bag, you pour the seasonings and fries in and 'shake shake' until they're all coated.

Also a spicy crispy chicken sandwich?

Why do people like spicy/hot/piquant food?

Sorry might seem like a bit of a rant but I've never really understood why some people 'need' spiciness/heat in all their food. (Not like dishes that actually call for it - but the people who slather hot sauce on everything from a breakfast platter to oysters to a fine steak)

I understand that it works in small doses to accentuate specific dishes- think a small dab of wasabi on sushi - but from a biological/chemical point of view it's not even a flavour - it doesn't activate any flavour or taste buds - it's purely a sense of pain, similar biologically from how you'd experience an open wound.

I've found with foods that in larger amounts spiciness just acts to mask the actual flavours of food. I.e. if you douse hot sauce in an oyster, you're not even tasting the shellfish anymore (there was a show on food network on the spiciest oyster combos)

And I've always thought of excess amounts of black pepper to be just a tool for masking old/past sell by date beef.
And for most dishes, maybe all dishes - omitting the chili peppers doesn't make any difference to the actual taste of the food. With good, fresh ingredients, the delicate tastes of the food themselves are brilliant on their own, and a dousing of peppers just blunts/masks it.

So yea are there any chili/spice heads here? You know the ones who go for the 'spiciest ramen bowl challenge' or who carry a bottle of hot sauce with them everywhere, why exactly is it needed? And doesn't it actually crowd out the other actual tastes in the food? And is the taste of a toro sashimi really not enjoyable without a 50% wasabi ratio?

Thanksgivings Ideas -Pescatarian

Hi everybody,

I'm in the midst of planning Thanksgivings celebrations =) However my so is a (recently changed) pescatarian and as such have to think of some main protein dish rather than the traditional turkey. (We're still getting a turkey for 'everyone else' but I'd want one good seafood dish that everyone can partake in but for her especially. Adding to that concerns we also have a halal member to serve. (I need to research it actually, but I think it's something to do with no shellfish...or no fish with scales...or only fish with scales haha.)

But yea, does anyone have any recipes or ideas that can satisfy a very diverse range of dietery requirements?

Hazelnut Truffles

Hi, first post here but I lurk a lot haha =)
I'm planning on making hazelnut ganache dipped in milk chocolate ala guylians. I've got a 2lb brick of 100% callebaut dark chocolate to work with, and some hazelnut butter.
My current plan is to make the cream and chocolate emulsion and to whisk in hazelnut butter in steps until the right proportion of hazelnut and chocolatey goodness is reached =) Lot's of tasting involved!!!
But just had a few questions about the process =S

First has anyone ever tried making something like this before? I'm a bit worried about the hazelnut butter as it sorta settles out and seperates into solids/oil layer - and I'm not sure whether that would spoil the emulsion and seperate after I make it?

Also I don't have a good quality milk chocolate on hand for dipping (Just have some baker's semi-sweet chips) So I was thinking about just melting my 100% callebaut but adding some milk in when I'm tempering it. Logically I'm thinking that..they make milk chocolate by adding milk and sugar to dark chocolate right? So hopefully it'll work this way too. Though in the real world of course I have no idea whether it would be able to resolidify after the addition of a lot of milk. I also have some condensed milk on hand which would have more viscosity so might aid in resolidifying if I used it instead.

But I guess main question is, has anyone here ever tried adding milk to dark chocolate to get a 'lighter chocolate'? And has it worked out alright?

Thanks so much in advance!

Lemon-Avocado Spaghetti With Shrimp From 'Pasta Modern'

Francine Segan calls the avocado sauce in this dish from her new cookbook, Pasta Modern, a healthy alternative to dairy-based cream sauces, but it hardly tastes like bland diet food. The buttery fruit gets a quick buzz in a blender with plenty of lemon juice, turning velvety thick. It melts into the hot, white wine-scented pasta, adding a flavorful coating to the red onion, and shrimp. A dusting of lemon zest enlivens the dish, making the spaghetti impossible to put down. More