A Cookie a Day: The Porky Pleasure of Biscochitos

@CiciC, no, there's really not much to it. I keep bacon drippings in a Mason jar in the fridge. When I cook bacon, I just pour the (cooled) rendered fat right. Once in a while I'll put the jar in a cool oven to "clean" the fat by melting it and letting the meat bits settle to the bottom.

How to Restore Vintage Cast Iron Pans

I suppose one could use a ruined (pitted, cracked) iron skillet as the positive electrode? Or is carbon a factor?

Chefs and Food Bloggers on the Ultimate Thanksgiving Sandwich

White bread, white meat, mayo. That is all.

The Secret to Extra-Crispy Herb-Roasted New Potatoes: More Than a Pinch of Salt

I was going to write something about the higher temperature of boiling salted water affecting the potato texture, but then math, and that much salt in that much water raises the boiling point by barely one degree F.

But up here in the mountain west, water boils a full 8°F colder than at sea level, and my salt potatoes still come out just fine. So I guess I have no point to make, except that now I'm craving salt potatoes.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

@Kevin, I like to use saturated fats (lard, bacon fat, coconut oil) for oiling my cast iron. Theory being that any lingering unpolymerized fat on the pan won't go rancid the way unsaturated fats will. (Which is a tacit admission that I don't use my cast iron as much as I could. Very sad.)

Fried Chicken Skin With Hot Sauce and Honey From 'Heritage'

Instead of scraping the fat, how about wet-rendering it for the schmaltz jar, thus preserving the tissue layer that will fry up into a wonderful lacy crispy texture?

The Best Scotch to Buy on a Budget

I've tried for years to develop an appreciation for Scotch, but for every one that was okay, it seems like there were five that were terrible, regardless of the price. I've actually come to prefer younger bourbons and Irish whiskeys. But I might have to try me a taste of that Bowmore Legend now....

Cast Iron Cooking: Crispy Baked Pasta with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Parmesan Cream Sauce

This is just one pot away from being a one-pot wonder. Dare we parcook the noodles first and hold 'em in the colander? I've never contemplated using cast iron as a boiling vessel, but it surely must be possible.

Knife Skills: How to Clean Shiitake, Portobello, and Oyster Mushrooms

I just want everyone to stop calling criminis "baby bellas"! So what if it's true, all it does is drive up the price on criminis. (In my local marts, buttons & criminis are $4/lb, portos are $8, and baby bellas are $6). I call upon the SE community to reject this overt market manipulation: if someone's trying to sell you baby bellas, reject them and demand criminis instead!

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

A most useful guide. Thanks!

I would like to nitpick that 2 pounds of chicken per 2 quarts of water is rather a 1:2 ratio, being 2lb of chicken per ~4lb of water.

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)

Better than Bouillon has been a pantry staple in my kitchen for many years. Not just incredibly better than the cube/granule stuff, but BtB has so many more flavors than just chicken or beef.

Also, an empty BtB jar is just about the right size for a homemade noodle cup. So that's neat.

How to Make Menemen, the Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs That Haunt My Dreams

@Hassouni, did you mean uppercase double dotted 'i' as in Ï? Or the lowercase ï? Use the HTML entities "Ï" and "ï" respectively. There's lots more, check 'em out.

Also, this dish will be on my table before the weekend's up. It looks like it needs some good crusty bread alongside.

A One-Pot Fish and Cheese Recipe (That Really Works!): Snapper With Brown Rice, Avocado, and Cheese

Fish and cheese don't mix in Italy simply because the traditional cheesemaking regions are nowhere near the traditional fishing regions. Elsewhere in the world, where fisherman and cheesemakers drink at the same pubs, fish-and-cheese dishes are commonplace. Besides, who doesn't love a nice tuna melt?

Is it Really Necessary to Add Garlic After the Onions When Sautéing?

@Daniel, I profess no expertise, but I do know a little. With a bit more reading, I suspect that we could look at the difference between pan size and burner (coil) size. EM field strength varies inversely with distance, so a small distance makes a big difference. Effectively, any part of the pan extending more than a few mm beyond the coil is not being heated...and if it's not being heated, it's cooling via radiation/convection. So if you had an 8" and a 10" pan on the same coil, looking at them in infrared would show that their heat maps aren't all that different. Both would have a hot spot of about the same size, but relative to total area, the 8" pan's spot takes up a lot more area relative to the same hot spot under a 10" pan. So on an identical heat source, the larger pan simply cannot get as hot as the smaller pan.

To redesign the experiment, I think you must first establish small and large pans with equal energy flow. Put a small and a large pan, preheat them to equilibrium on their respective heat sources, give them an abundance of calibration material (say 500-1000ml of water), and consider them calibrated when they can each go from hot-dry to fully vaporizing the test load to within maybe 10-20s of each other. Only then can you add butter, onions, and garlic, stir like mad, and come out with meaningful results.

Also, this post is a test of my own understanding of scientific method, and the truth is that I like undercooked mushy onions almost as much as I like overcooked crunchy onions. But scorched garlic is, wait, what were we talking about?

How the New York City Meatball Helped Build Italian-American Cuisine

After reading this article, I was moved to go inspect my family cookbook: my Great-Nana's Genuine Authentic Midwest Meatloaf, and my Great-Nana's Genuine Authentic Italian Meatballs.

Literally, to a single word, the only difference in those recipes is in the herbs and the forming. The loaf gets parsley and thyme, formed into a loaf, and baked. The balls get oregano and basil, formed into balls, and baked.

International cuisine has never been easier!

Then there's the MIL's Hawaiian Haystacks...loaf recipe (independently derived), ball prep, dressed with a sauce of grape jelly, crushed pineapple, and ketchup (or sweet chili sauce if you can find it), served over white rice. It's not bad, but it's...not good.

Is it Really Necessary to Add Garlic After the Onions When Sautéing?

@Daniel, I thought that an induction burner could cope with slightly imperfect contact with the pan ('cause instead of conduction from a hot coil, induction heats the pan by inducing an electric current in the pan via magnetic flux, the pan's resistance to said current is the source of heat, and this is why a glass bowl never gets warm on an induction burner).

My guess is that if both burners are set to the same setting, the larger pan will be cooler just because it has more surface area from which to lose heat by convection and radiation (but this would hold true with any heat source). Rerun the experiment with burners set such that both pans (clean & dry) reach the same equilibrium temperature.

I have been watching way too many Neil deGrasse Tyson lectures lately.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Standing Before the Community Board

@Tyson, you gonna have any off-street parking? You know, where a BBQ pilgrim from the western mountains might be able to park his camper overnight? (It's an on-a-truck camper, like so, not a trailer.) We love to do traveling foodie vacations, but we don't care for hotels.

Really liking this series of articles, BTW. Keep 'em coming please!

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie From 'The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free'

Salt-dusted cookies...reminds me of a batch I made when I was out of table salt, so used kosher instead. The salt flakes didn't incorporate completely, leaving all these little salty specks everywhere. By far the tastiest cookies I've ever made, so kosher is my go-to cookie making salt now.

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

I've been attending some food expos (national distributors), and there are usually a few knife booths selling Victorinox and the like. I checked them out, and the impression I got is that these are all the kind of knives that a kitchen manager buys for the sad line cooks who have no knives of their own. They are sad knives. I'll stay with my $200 knife, 12+ years of near daily use and showing no signs of wear. Well, I had to sharpen it once.

Ideas in Food vs. The Turkey Club Sandwich of my favorite sandwiches is just turkey and mayo on, a turkey club, I guess? I think I need a nap.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: On Writing a Menu

As a rule I don't think poultry is amenable to traditional barbecue (although a smoked turkey leg can be pretty nice). If it were my decision, I'd concentrate on cooking pork and the occasional beef brisket. For the chicken eaters, I'd just order big vac-bags of shredded chicken from US Foods, dump it in a steam tray with a good sauce, and serve it on a burger bun.

Why You Should Stop Boiling Your Oatmeal and Start Baking It

Because I need to run the oven when it's already pushing past 90°F outside? I'll try this recipe after the snow flies, until then I'm good with cold cereal.

How to Make the Crispiest Shredded Hash Browns

I like to use leftover baked potatoes for hash browns. Something about dry-cooked, chilled potato makes the hash come out with the most wonderful light crispy texture. For the fat, either butter or bacon fat depending on my mood.

10 Absinthes You Should Be Drinking

Personally I think flaming a sugar cube for just a few seconds would add a nice hint of caramel in addition to the straightforward sweetness of sugar. Call me a heretic if you must, I'll be over here putting ketchup on my hot dog and adding sugar to my marinara.

But those prices? Ouch. I'll have to save my pennies for a while before I can afford to try any of these. Great article, though, I appreciate it!

The Food Lab: How to Make Foolproof Eggs Benedict

This "breaking" phenomenon confuses me. I've made mayonnaise many times, both by hand and in a food processor, and the only time I've had one break was when making baconnaise (fixed by reducing the bacon fat/veg oil ratio). I've made hollandaise many times, using a steel bowl over direct heat, and never had one break. What am I doing wrong? Am I charmed?

About those sponsored posts...

I'd like to make a couple comments about those sponsored posts that SE puts up every so often. Yes, I know the site has to bring in revenue, and I'm not here to talk about that. There are two changes I'd like to see.

First, I'd like to see the comment section left open. This is a community site, and the discussion below a post is at least as valuable, if not more so, than the post itself -- sometimes the number of comments is the only thing that gets me to click through to a post I might otherwise skip. This is equally true for sponsored posts. (Yes, I know SPs tend to draw criticism in the comments, which is why [I imagine] they're closed from the start, but c'mon! Let the mods do their job, kill off-topic comments, and ban commenters that do it habitually.)

Second, I keep seeing SPs floating near the top of the feed, even several days after they were posted, above newer content. Please stop doing that.

Pre-cooked bacon: Where's the fat gone?

Since being volunteered to help with my dad-in-law's new food trailer, I've been introduced firsthand to the phenomenon of pre-cooked bacon. It surely speeds the process of assembling BLTs and bacon cheeseburgers.

But there's one thing that bothers me: What happens to the drippings from that pre-cooked bacon?

When I cook bacon at home, the drippings are at least as important as the bacon itself, and I make sure to collect and preserve every last drop. It's my #1 preferred cooking fat for nearly everything.

Considering how widespread is the use of pre-cooked bacon in food service, the process of making the stuff must generate huge lakes of drippings each year. It's not being jarred and sold on grocery shelves, so where does it go?

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