Put Brown Butter to Use in This Moist and Tender Cornbread

@marais, what you do is, you brown the butter, then let it settle and scoop off the clear portion (the fat) and treat that like lard - clarified butterfat has a pretty high smoke point. The unclear portion, the milk solids, that's what smokes at low temps, so you just mix that into your batter.

Upgrade Your Tamale Pie With Braised Skirt Steak and a Brown Butter Cornbread Crust (Plus: A Quick and Easy 45-Minute Skillet Version!)

My mom used to make something like this by the name of Impossible Mexican Pie. Recipe right off the back of a Bisquick box. As childhood memories go, it's not one of my favorites. This version is much more appealing, but...yeah, I'm gonna put black olives in. What can I say, I actually like them!

Recipe Update: Check Out the Latest Versions of Our Chili Recipes

Having made a LOT of chili, I'll say using dried whole chiles is fun and rewarding, but very hit-or-miss. In my market, they don't move a lot, and it's often a challenge to find some that aren't well past their prime. A reasonably fresh chili powder off the shelf is often as good, or better, than what I can manage with whole chiles. Hopefully this will change after I retire and start spending my winters in the deep southwest.

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

@Kenji, I apologize, my comment sounded accusatory when it wasn't meant that way. I'm just amused at how ideas propagate across the network as they do.

Beyond Butter: 7 Popcorn Flavors to Upgrade Your Snacking

@Bill Woods, my air popper doesn't keep me from adding plenty of fat to my popcorn. Half a cup of kernels, half a stick of butter. That's a good ratio. I like the soy sauce idea, though.

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

Now you tell me: When was the last time you saw a chicken wing this crispy, from the deep fryer or not?

Umm...that would be 11 days ago, when Chef John demonstrated pretty much the same baking powder trick on his blog. Not the first time that's happened. (John's also San Francico based, I half expect you two already know each other.)

The Food Lab: The Pressure Cooker Makes Short Work of This Authentic Texas Chile con Carne

@magtured, to my surprise, it's true. Beans (and pasta) strictly forbidden. Just as well, I prefer mine without. (Unlike someone I know who thinks chili is 3 cans of chili con carne with beans plus one can of baked beans. Ugh.)

@KMan94, I think the problem with smoked brisket is that it's already cooked, and re-cooking it as chili will leave it bland and dry. Maybe make a batch with half the called-for chuck, then stir in chopped brisket to warm through just before serving?

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

My request on the book is only that it be spiral-bound, or ring-bound, so it lays flat when open. I have some amazing cookbooks, but the ones with the traditional glued/sewn bindings are a pain to use.

Which are the Best Inexpensive Mandoline Slicers?

Hmm...maybe I like my Benriner because it's the only kind I've used. No injuries yet, but I try to use the finger guard whenever I can (like, break down most of a potato without, then use the guard for the last inch or so).

What I really like about it (or any mandoline) is that it's accidentally adaptive for disabled users. Having reduced or absent hand function makes a chef's knife much less fun to use. A mandoline goes a long way towards making up for that.

The Secrets of the Juiciest, Most Tender and Flavorful Italian-American Meatballs're trying to tell me that the 5-pound bag of frozen Italian meatballs I got from Costco might not be the best possible meatballs?

Almost joking. I buy them, they're fine for what they are. I also make scratch meatballs using my mom's recipe (less often of late, forming meatballs with one hand isn't so easy). A few years ago I was reviewing my recipe collection, I was amused to find that aside from the seasonings and cooking method, my meatloaf and meatball recipes are identical.

Why Diners Are More Important Than Ever

Bad hash browns are legion. Here in the mountain west, you're lucky if they even walk them past the flattop on the way from freezer to plate. I've had limited success in asking for hash browns well-done.

Use the Pressure Cooker to Make Full-Flavored Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) In 30 Minutes

@Kenji - this is OT for this post, but while you are at 8,000MSL, do you have time to experiment with poached eggs? I've always had trouble with them here at 4,300ft, and I've thought that the difference in "barely simmering" water temperatures might be a factor.

Digging Into Chicken Fried Steak, A Texas Icon

There's nothing sadder than packet mix cream gravy. So easy to make from scratch. But I guess I understand...the real stuff does not improve with age.

@Jersey Mike - I don't think I've ever seen a greasy spoon that didn't serve chicken fried steak. Big chains like Village Inn, Dennys, IHOP, Waffle House. Any truck stop restaurant. Any 24-hour casino cafe. Truth is, you might need to leave The City to complete this quest. But having never been further east than Kansas, I might not be your best resource.

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.

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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