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simon

  • Location: NYC: seyo [at] yahoo [dot] com

The Food Lab: 5 Steps to the Best Grilled Shrimp

The problem with baking soda is it tastes awful.

No Tools? No Experience? No Problem. How I Hacked an Ace Barbecue Smoker

It must be April Fool's somewhere in the universe...

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

My week was just fine. I was referring to the underwhelming nature of last's week's posts. But I think you knew what I meant.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

An underwhelming week it was.

Pine Nuts, Sumac, and Parsley Are Unlikely but Delicious Partners for Scrambled Eggs

Maybe it's a good flavor pairing, but to me the toasted nuts would clash unpleasantly with the eggs from a texture standpoint. Like nuts in brownies, which I despise.

Why You Should Seek Out Rhum Agricole (Plus 4 Essential Bottles to Try)

Rhum is how all rum is spelled in French, regardless of whether it is Rhum Agricole or not.

Grill Your Scallion Pancakes

This is the same technique employed for making lachha paratha.

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

I always get raw clams when at a raw bar, I like them just as much as oysters. And they are frikin phenomenal with proper, slightly warm, sushi rice.

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

I think these dogmatic "rules" such as this one are often passively invented to justify the laziness of generations of cooks. Just pit the damn cherries, and if you want some bitter almond flavor, which is delicious with cherries, add almond oil/extract to the batter.

Serious Eats and The Food Lab Have Teamed Up With Anova to Bring You the Best Sous-Vide Guides On the Planet

@AndroidUser - I have been very happy with my Vacmaster VP112. It's a few years old now, works great. Since buying it I haven't kept up with the pro-sumer chamber vac market, don't know if there's anything newer/better/cheaper available, if not I think you'd be very pleased with it.

Serious Eats and The Food Lab Have Teamed Up With Anova to Bring You the Best Sous-Vide Guides On the Planet

"I've long been a fan of Anova's line of precision cookers for sous-vide cooking"

lol

The Baking Steel Griddle Has Arrived

@Hank Kingsley any machine shop can mill that groove, it's super basic. Just google "machine shop" in your area.

3 Quick Pickle Recipes to Make Your Spring Produce Last

Hilarious to me that vegan doesn't know what to do with pickled vegetables...

Take a Cue From Beijing Street Food and Make Spicy Lamb Skewers at Home

I am stuck in the city for next few weeks, no access to a grill. These look so good that I am going to go ahead and make them under the broiler. Grill be damned!

Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers (Yang Rou Chuan)

These look and sound phenomenal. I am city bound for the next few weekends, but I have a mind to make these under the broiler...

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Grilled Steak

@Android User - the point of a good cooking ratio is to make it easy to use. A general rule, such as hypothetically 1% salt by weight of a ribeye, 2% by weight for a filet, makes things very easy and reliable. Mass might not be -as good- as surface area, but I am sure it would be -good enough- for reliable, repeatable results. And the more I think about it, the more I think mass of a steak regardless of its shape (barring extreme ends of the spectrum - a paper thin sheet of beef vs. a perfect sphere) would be just fine.

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Grilled Steak

@Android User mass of meat is easier to measure than volume. And like I said, the ratio would vary (probably only slightly) from cut to cut, so a flat cut like flank steak would be different (maybe) from a more compact cut like a filet. I am guessing that the major difference would actually be bone in vs. bone out, as the bone would add significant weight that wouldn't require salting.

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Grilled Steak

"I always have a hard time describing how much salt to use, but my best description is the way a light snow flurry looks on a dark asphalt parking lot. Not completely white, but enough salt that you can see it very, very clearly."

I bet there is a ratio of weight to salt that could be determined, probably varying a little based on the cut/relative surface area of meat. I am too lazy to do it though, maybe the next time you re-publish this guide you could add this as an update.

How to Make Testaroli, the Italian Pancake Pasta

(I guess still technically spring, but you know what I mean.)

How to Make Testaroli, the Italian Pancake Pasta

Would be cool to see how this could be done on the grill. It is summer, after all :)

Ed Levine's Golden Rules of the Perfect Pancake

Since going to Scotland and having crumpets, I have seen the light, and it is yeasty, puffy, crispy, airy and chewy. Crumpets are superior to pancakes in every way.

How to Clean and Cook Morel Mushrooms

I actually soak morels in a light brine. Unlike other mushrooms, all those nooks and crannies can trap A LOT of sand, and even forest litter (little twigs etc.)

After they bob around in the brine, I strain it and add a little to the pan towards the end of cooking instead of stock.

How to Clean and Cook Morel Mushrooms

I like to cook them in clarified butter (or chicken fat), never had any issues with whole butter burning though.

Ed Levine on Josh Ozersky: A Well-Fed Life Cut Too Short

Nice writeup Ed. Josh will be missed sorely.

How to Make Cemita Rolls, The Ultimate Sandwich Bun

I wonder if you could use a high quality creme fraiche, to get some tanginess... Creme fraiche has almost the same amount of fat as heavy cream, around 30%, heavy cream is around 35%.

Where to find Brazilian Linguica in NYC?

Anyone know of a good Brazilian butcher who either makes their own or sells a high quality linguica? Planning on making a fejoada as the weather continues to cool down, and the sausage is a must. With all the Brazilians in the city, I refuse to believe there is no linguica to be found...

Thanks!

Late night desserts and drinks in WBurg?

I'd like to know if there's anywhere in Williamsburg (preferably northside) that serves dessert late night, so after ~11pm, on a weeknight. Somewhere with sit down table service, and that also serves alcohol. Doesn't have to be fancy, although fancy is nice too. A slice of pie would be fine. French style desserts like crème brulée are always good. Ice cream would be welcome. Or cake. So long as it's in a restaurant or bar like environment. Does such a place exist? Or does everything shut down early? Forgive me ignorance, I don't hang out much in Williamsburg. All suggestion are greatly appreciated!

Fresh Morels in NYC?

Has anyone seen them yet? They are popping up on menus, but I haven't found any in the stores yet. Fairway used to always have them, but last time I checked, no dice. I haven't been to Manhattan Fruit exchange yet to look. If anyone has seen them, let me know! Morels are my hands down favorite spring food, I think I like them more than ramps, definitely far and away better than peas and asparagus. PLEASE HELP ME! ;)

Finally! Serious coffee and pastry in Hell's Kitchen!

Like a prayer answered or a dream come true, the northern end of Hell's Kitchen finally has a top flight coffee shop. Rex Coffee Shop just opened on 10th Avenue right off the corner of 57th street, and since I work a block away, I couldn't be happier to ditch the office Flavia machine for ever.

But not only do they serve espresso, pour over and drip from Counter Culture beans, also a legit pastry operation. I had a pain au chocolat this morning that was as good as any I've had on this side of the Atlantic, and better than many I've had in France. Very impressive. I haven't tried the other stuff yet, looked like mostly variations on muffins which aren't really my speed. Buut the cookies look good. I think they also have sandwiches, which I haven't investigated either. But that pain au chocolat, wow, very strong showing. Buttery, flaky, puffy, light, burnished, the chocolate is rich, dark and sweet, high quality stuff. Could prove to be a real problem for me actually.

Prices are in line with the rest of the city: $2.50 for a double shot, $3.50 for my pastry, $2.25 for a 12oz drip coffee if I remember correctly.

If you live or work in the area, and you enjoy good coffee (you know what that means if you do) then this is the spot you've been yearning for. I know I sound crazy enthusiastic but I can assure you that I am in no way affiliated with this business. Check my posting history if you think I'm a shill. This place is legit.

Kitchen items from GCT Oyster Bar?

I love the Grand Central Terminal Oyster Bar, for their oysters obviously, also the smoked trout with whipped horseradish cream and the pan roasts are rich and hearty and satisfying. I've always been underwhelmed by the main courses from the kitchen though. I haven't been in a while, and was wondering if, hoping really, that the kitchen was putting out better food nowadays.

Has anyone been going recently? Has it improved? Are there any dishes in particular that are notably good? I'm thinking of going next week, but want to eat more than just oysters and smoked trout if I do.

Last time I was there, I had a bunch of oysters, payed my bill and went upstairs to Michael Jordan's and had a steak. A little drastic, I know, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Thoughts?

57th St and 10th avenue lunch options?

So, I'm starting a gig on the Far West Side of midtown. While I'm excited about the job, I'm a bit skeptical about what the area has to offer for lunch options. I'm sure my new colleagues will have plenty of wisdom to share, but I wanted to ask the Serious Eats community. So, in the midst of mega car dealerships and post industrial Manhattan, are there any gems? I'll be there for at least a month, and I'm willing to walk a ways for something worthwhile. Let me know!

Chicken Kiev in NYC?

I've never had it. It is now time. Past time, really. Please let me know your favorite spots for this delicacy, whether high end, down and dirty, old school, contemporary, in some far flung neighborhood, or centrally located. Just as long as it's really delicious. Bonus points for restaurants that in addition to their chicken Kiev also serve fantastic pelmeni.

Spasibo!

Retinning copper pans?

I was given a beautiful old French copper sauteuse in dire need of some TLC. I've cleaned the outside up pretty well but the inside is a dull grey that appears to be scratched and thinned down to the copper in some areas from decades of use. Does anyone know of someone in the city, or greater Tri State area, who can retin the inside of my pan and give it new life? Please let me know.

Thank you and happy 2012 SE and SE'ers!

Late night dinner options near the Art Students League?

Classes end at around ten pm, so looking for somewhere with an open kitchen till at least 11. Preferably west and north of 57th and 7th. as I'll be heading home to the UWS afterwards. Hopefully casual as I'll be wearing clothes to paint in. Price isn't too much of an issue, but on the cheaper side would be nice. Not a big fan of Brooklyn Diner, it's overpriced and a bit too pretentious for what it really is. Thinking Landmarc might be my best bet, but even that might be too fancy for my attire. Thanks for your help, it will be greatly appreciated!

This time, coffee near Times Sq.

Hello fellow SENYers, I'm back asking for your recs for good coffee. This time I'm working for a two week gig right in Times Square (44th and bway to be exact.) My hopes and expectations are not very high. I assume I'll probably have to go West. Anywhere with a ~10 block radius would be ideal. Any hidden gems for food would also be greatly appreciated, but really, excellent espresso would be like throwing me a life preserver.

Thanks!

good coffee near 17th and 5th?

Just started a new gig with a new client on 17th and 5th this week. There are SO many coffee shops, restaurants, delis, and franchises around here. I've got food covered. Anyone know where to get a really good cup of coffee? I drink singles/doubles of espresso straight up, I also am fond of a well poured drip coffee. Also partial to places that either roast their own or get high quality beans from reputable roasters. Not a fan of Illy or Lavazza espresso if I can help it... So, calling all coffee snobs. Where do I get my fix in these parts?

FRESH Stevia leaves?

Anyone know where to get them? I'd like to get some, either from a brick and mortar here in NYC or from an online store, doesn't matter. There are plenty of sources for dried leaves, but I want them fresh. I *could* grow a Stevia plant at home... But that's a last resort. If anyone has any sources, please let me know!

Slow cooker roundup?

Hey guys, has Serious Eats ever done an equipment roundup comparing various makes and models of electric "slow cookers?"

Typically I do my slow cooking in a Le Creuset either on the stovetop or in the oven, but recently I've found myself wanting a slow cooker so that I wouldn't have to worry about leaving the oven or stove on. Or, if I am using my LC for something else, but want to also be braising something at the same time. I could just get another LC but that doesn't solve the issue of sometimes needing to leave it unattended.

I searched the site briefly but didn't see a slow cooker review article. Is there any chance you guys can do one? I trust you more than any other source...

In the meantime, what is the preferred make and model of the SE readers? Key features to look out for? Design flaws to avoid?

Thanks!

Thanksgiving recipe roundup pages?

Where are the 2010 Thanksgiving recipe compilation pages? I can't seem to find them anymore, they're not in the Serious Entertaining section, nor are they in Recipes. There doesn't seem to be a Holidays column either. There was a link to a mincemeat pie recipe, under the Pies section (or maybe it was Desserts?) that I'd like to find again. Searching for it doesn't turn it up either... Can someone post a link to it in this thread?

Thanks guys!

Congratulations Max F.!

Your latest spice hunting post got some well deserved praise on the hallowed pages of bOINGbOING!

http://m.boingboing.net/2010/12/10/more-sumac-please.html

My sentiments expressed here exactly. I hope you can take a moment to celebrate and reflect.

Sichuan hot pot season!

Ok, well, it is warming up just a bit this week, but that is only delaying the inevitable. Soon it will be cold, dark, windy, damp, icy even. With craggy mounds of grey, sometimes yellow, rancid snow piled up on corners and against walls. Pools of nearly black slush welling up in gutters and crosswalk cut outs. I've read so many things about Sichuan hot pots, the kettles of broth bubbling with chiles and sichuan peppercorns, into which are dipped slices of lamb, pork, shrimp, fish balls, noodles, veggies..... It sounds like the ultimate anti-winter food.

What are your favorite spots? Anywhere in the city is fair game. Be it some far flung area of Queens or Brooklyn, or in Manhattan, it doesn't matter. I want to know what you think is the best way to beat the cold, Sichuan style.

Thanks!

Shake Shack changing its method?

I had a couple Double Shack Burgers for lunch today (yes, two doubles, I know) and, beside being totally disgusted with myself, I noticed a couple things.

First, the patties were much thicker than I remembered them. I ordered two because I was expecting the really thin smashed patties. These were about 1.5, close to 2 cm thick and still had right angles on them, and no ragged edges. The inside was definitely on the rare side of medium.

Second, there was much less crunchy outer crust. The most noticeable textural element was, unfortunately, a lot of little gristly bits in the patties, which were chewier than the rest of the meat, which otherwise had a very nice, musky beef flavor.

I was shocked by how big the patties were, and how less cooked they were compared to my previous burgers there. Has anyone else noticed this? These burgers were completely different from what I was expecting, and from what I remember experiencing there before.

For the record, there was no line at all, so it's not like they were rushed. Would love to hear your thoughts. Five Guys is doing a much, much better job at smashing their burgers, if this is indeed the way Shake Shack is doing things these days.

Hide Chan Ramen - a bit of a letdown

So, after reading Kenji's glowing review of Hide Chan, I had it in my mind to check this place out. A few weeks went by, until tonight, when the opportunity presented itself to go with some eating buddies.

We were all pumped up at the prospect of having the pork toro, and the ramen with extra fatty broth. To our dismay, these things have been 86ed from the menu. Instead of the the pork toro, there is now char siu ($4.50) The buns are still on the menu but are now filled with the afore mentioned char siu. Only one meager slice per bun. Which were stale, dry and mealy. And they no longer offer the options of broths. The ramen was good but not as good as Ippudo or Minca, smaller and not as generously adorned. We were nonplussed.

It's not like anything was bad, aside from the buns. Perfectly acceptable. Service was courteous and quick. But our expectations were not met and we agreed that with all the other options in town, we probably wouldn't be back. If I was already in the neighborhood, I guess I could maybe be convinced to go back for the onsen tamago, a preparation I fell in love with when I went to Japan last spring. But otherwise, not really worth the detour. Unless by some miracle they put these things back on the menu......

Eataly - First Impression

- the space is big and pretty, but awkwardly laid out and cramped.

- absolutely packed with top notch merchandise. I didn't really examine the prices but first impressions are that produce and meats and breads and pastas made on premises are fairly priced, imported stuff seemed expensive. Buon Italia shouldn't feel threatened.

I spent the most time at the butcher stand, which is very well stocked, and has very good prices. I got a Piedmontese sirloin steak which was $11 and change / pound. They had whole rabbits, which can be hard to find in NYC, as well and skin on pork belly. They are not making their own sausages yet, but when the beer garden opens they will.

- The restaurants are peppered throughout the space. There's a veggie, seafood, pizza and pasta counter with table service, as well as counters for sandwiches, gelato and coffee. I didn't see the white tablecloth restaurant.

- I sat down and had a bowl of fusili pasta with tomato pork ragu and a menabrea beer. The pasta was good but nothing revelatory. Just good, bordering on meh. Portion was small, and cost $17. Overpriced. Beer was $6.80 for a 33cl. Weird pricing, as all the beers were $X.80

- a couple sitting next to me was pretty upset with their portion and even called over a manager to complain. I don't think they were rewarded for their efforts.

The manager had a lame excuse, saying "I'm from Italy, these are the portion sizes in Italy" but this is bullshit. The portions are primi sized. The pasta restaurant serves nothing but pasta and salad. Therefore the plates should be portioned as main courses which they are not.

I will be going back, I'm curious to see how the other restaurants fare for price/serving size. The pizza looked great and priced along the same lines as other Neapolitan pizza restaurants like Kesté.

I'd say after this first run that the hot pastas are a rip off. Avoid them. Pizzas look good, buy those. Produce and meats also. Imported products are hit or miss.

Paris recommendations?

Going to Paris in about three weeks from now, would love your recommendations. Looking for your favorites from street food all the way up to fine dining. I am on a bit of a budget this year but am open to the idea of maybe hitting up one nice dinner. Last year I went to Pierre Gagnaire, and while it was phenomenal I am not in a position to spend one month's rent on dinner this time around :) So, looking to supplement my existing recon with yours. Let me know what you think is a can't miss!

Pistachio-Honey Butter

[Photographs: Lucy Baker] This pistachio butter is rich and nutty. The honey adds a mild, floral sweetness. Try it on toast, or sandwich it between two sugar cookies or gingersnaps. It will keep for up to two months in the... More

How to Cope with CSA Stress

Photograph from justinhenry on Flickr Has your CSA membership compromised your ridiculously wild social life? Do you find yourself staying indoors to make use of the okra piling up? Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out in New York can relate, but she's come up with some tips: Beets last a really long time. Kohlrabi is not going to turn in a week, either. If you find that you simply have too much stuff to eat in a week (as I do often), go for the most delicate leafy greens first. Save the big heads of cabbage, potatoes, green beans and carrots for another week, and don’t worry about them. She recommends eating the produce raw (pots and pans can... More