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?

The 11 Best Things I Ate During My Cross-Country Road Trip

Nice write-up. If I'd caught you coming through SLC, I'd have led you a hot plate joint with a chili verde that would haunt your dreams.

@rickZ, don't despair! Some places are still doing it right. I found that chili verde because I dedicated an entire summer to finding and trying at least one new hot plate joint each week. Most were just as you describe, but not all.

I will definitely be going to Fiesta Mexicana next time I'm in Moab (it's only a four hour drive, and camping in Arches NP is pretty awesome in cooler weather). I wanted to try that place last time I was down, but SWMBO outvoted me and we went to a place on the north end of town. They only served rewarmed disappointment.

Chinese Aromatics 101: Kung Pao Fish With Dried Chilies and Sichuan Peppercorns kung pao sauce features black bean paste, hoisin, and oyster sauce. Peanuts fried until smoky. Snow peas. Lots of garlic. I love Chinese cookery, not only does every region have its own style, but so does every cook!

Taste Test: The Best Fast Food Chicken Nuggets

@monopod, "pink slime" is/was beef, not chicken.

Also, McDonald's Hot Mustard. That is all.

The Best Food to Order at Panda Express

Panda Express fills a role the same way McDonald's does -- you walk in, you have a very good chance of getting what you're expecting. Contrast with the crap shoot of picking an unknown local eatery, which might be fantastic but could as easily be terrible. The national chains survive because they provide consistency.

That said, Panda does vary a bit -- whoever thinks their kung pao isn't spicy hasn't been to my neighborhood Panda, where there's no shortage of blackened dried chiles in that dish.

Pantry Essentials: All About Mayonnaise

Commercial mayo is white partly because emulsion, but also because they use a lot more oil per egg than we do at home. My homemade uses ½ to 1 cup of oil per yolk, and comes out with a nice yellow tint. Commercial mayos use...well, a lot more. I've seen references that claim one yolk can emulsify more than six gallons of oil. I don't think commercial makers use quite that much, since the egg flavor is important.

8 Great Hot Dog Topping Ideas

My personal favorite is one I saw on Food Network years ago - the Venezuelan: Dog topped with finely minced white onion, finely minced cabbage, and crushed plain potato chips.

The Best F&$king Grilled Chicken Sandwich Ever

I just want to say that grilling bacon in this way is a terrible idea. All that lovely rendered bacon fat, lost in the sad....

Other than that, this does look like a really great sandwich. It just needs a little more mayonnaise.

Ask a Bartender: How Do You Prevent a Hangover?

Avoid sugar and stick to clear spirits.

Manner Matters: Bread and Butter Basics

At a certain chain of Italian-style restaurants, they serve a small crusty loaf, but instead of butter you get a plate with olive oil and cracked black pepper. Tear off a bite, dredge in oil, eat, repeat. Obviously you don't dredge the whole loaf in oil, and it's polite not to double dip.

Taken this way, Molly's technique is perfectly sensible. Though I've committed the offense of buttering directly from the butter dish, rather than moving a portion of butter to my plate -- but always on a one-bite piece of bread, so no cross-contamination.

And the crumbs? One fancy restaurant I know, they have little table scrapers used expressly to sweep up those crumbs between courses. In other words, don't worry about the crumbs, they're expected!

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

Double bourbon rocks or gin/tonic. Hard to mess up, and happen to be two of my favorites anyway.

Poll: Pineapple on Burgers: Way or No Way?

For me, it's not so much a burger with pineapple, but rather a warm pineapple sandwich with beef patty. I just can't figure out how to like it.

Open Thread: What's the Best Frozen Pizza?

Totinos! The best cheap snack to ever grace my freezer (right next to the pizza rolls, of course). Red Baron is also a favorite, but only when they're on sale, usually $5/2 or $10/3. When you get up into the "premium" frozen pizzas, it really starts to defeat the purpose. At those price levels, you're only a few dollars away from delivery.

The Food Lab: How to Make a Muffuletta Shooter's-Style Sandwich

TY Kenji, that makes sense. The bread that "keeps" in my fridge is the mass produced stuff with loads of preservatives. The "good" bread from the local bakery never lasts long enough to need keeping. (What's this, a leftover heel of sourdough? Let me just slather that with butter and shove it under the broiler for a minute. Yes. Yes I will.)

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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