• Location: Rochester, NY

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Easy One-Pot Chicken Tinga (Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken)

I just made this the other night and thought I'd add some things about my experience that may help others. I had 4 chicken breasts so I weighed them and scaled everything up based on that (weighing the tomatoes and tomatillos also). I used homemade bone broth for the stock.

First thing, my tomatillos weren't getting charred enough and my garlic was in danger of burning, so, I got out my culinary torch and blistered the outsides. It seems to have done the trick.

Like other commenters, I also had so much liquid that wasn't reducing quickly. I happened to have 2 boneless chicken breasts in the freezer so I tossed them in with the simmering sauce, cooked to 145 and shredded them with the rest of my meat, for a total of 6 chicken breast to the ingredients that would go with about 2.5 times the other ingredients in this recipe. This seems to have made a better sauce to meat ratio in my opinion.

I was conservative with the chiles, using only 5 for my scaled up recipe (& 2.5 Tbsp sauce) b/c I'm a heat wimp. This made a nice sauce that I can detect the chile flavor but doesn't hurt my mouth. I'd say it's just a bit less heat than a medium salsa. If you like it spicy, don't be afraid to up the chiles.

I will be bringing this to a potluck reheated in a crockpot. I'll update if there are any significant adverse effects of this reheating method.

Perfect Apple Pie

I'm planning to make this pie for a contest at work, but unfortunately I have to deliver it a full day before the contest. I'm just wondering how the bottom crust will hold up? Any suggestions on using a glass, ceramic, or metal pie plate to help with this? Should I refrigerate the baked pie and take it out a couple hours before judging to come to room temp or will it be ok at room temp for 24-36 hours?

German Buttercream

Will this make enough to generously fill and cover a 9", 2 tier, round cake or should I plan to double it?

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Pan-Seared Steaks

If I use tallow in place of the oil, should I still add butter for basting?

Many thanks to Kenji

I'll second that! My turkey was beautiful and delicious and didn't take all day! My family was skeptical that we'd be eating on time, but it was perfect. And the gravy was the best I've ever had. Thanks again Kenji!

What's on your thanksgiving menu?

My condition on 'letting' my parents host this year was that they let me do all the cooking. I've had enough years of dry tasteless turkey, gluey potatoes, and stove-top stuffing. My dad is actually upset that I don't want to serve his frozen California blend vegetables, that he bought special for the occasion (seriously), at Thanksgiving dinner.

My menu:
Spatchcocked turkey with gravy
Ultra-fluffy mashed potatoes
Classic sage and sausage stuffing
Haricots verts with shallots and bacon
Butternut squash
Dinner rolls (only thing I'm not making since my brother works at a great bread bakery)
Pumpkin pie

Thanks Serious Eats for providing me with the recipes for most of my Thanksgiving dinner. If it's good enough for your table it's good enough for mine!

Glass cooktop

Thanks everyone! I am not too big on chemical cleaners, I usually use a spray bottle of white vinegar. I assume that will not hurt the glass cooktop and with the razor blade hopefully will do the trick. I do have a gas line there, which is why I'm baffled as to the current owner's decision not to utilize it. I'm looking even less forward to baking in the electric oven the cooktop is a part of. Luckily if my pans warp, they have a lifetime guarantee so I'm not too worried about that. I'm mostly hoping I can keep the glass intact long enough to be able to sell the thing on craigslist and get something I really want.

David Lebovitz's Guide to Paris Sweets

I now have the perfect excuse to return to Paris!

Pronouncing "macaron" (rant?)

I agree that it's not a food snob thing, it's a matter of differentiating between two different cookies. One which I love and one I hate. I speak very little French, but go out of my way to pronounce this correctly so that I don't end up with a coconut cookie, which I would not eat. I have a friend who speaks French and has visited the country many times and yet pronounces it incorrectly, it drives me crazy. I'm tempted to buy her some macaroons since she loves "them" so much.

Poll: Cornmeal on Pizza Crust, Way or No Way?

I've never had a pizza with cornmeal that I enjoyed so I have to say no. I'll accept that good pizzas with cornmeal might exist, but so might unicorns.

I say Kobocha, you say Kohlrabi

This post had me in the giggles at work. And as an added beneift I now have great suggestions for eating something I've never tried before.

NYC Pizza

@Tucra - I have 7 hours to wander JFK as I wait for an overseas flight so I'll seek it out, it can't be worse than most of the airport food I've had and if it's as good as you say it's at least better than most of the pizza I can get at home.

Thanks to evreyone for all the help. I wish you could all come join me as I eat my way through NYC!

I'm already planning two more NYC trips for this year since I know I won't be able to get to eveything this time :)

NYC Pizza

Thanks so much for your insight Adam, I've put Best Pizza on the "must do" list for this trip. As for the coal fired (or anything really), I'd be willing to order a pie if it's pizza worth eating. My hosts and their roomies would be more than glad to help me out with any leftovers.

Gingerbread House Hack: How to Make One with Graham Crackers

I used to Nanny and made these with the kids every year. One year I got the gingerbread flavored graham crackers, but they were a bit heavy on the spice for the kids. We always used various cereals rather than candy to keep the sugar factor in check. Golden grahams make great roofing shingles!

Has anyone ever made their own ricotta?

I used Kenji's microwave method when I had some milk to use up. I used the resulting ricotta on naan with prosciutto and caramelized onions broiled for a minute. I thought it was delicious!


I personally can't stand the boyscout popcorn. I only buy Orville Redenbacher. It always pops up nicely for me, and their simply salted flavor isn't too bad for you either. I don't even miss the butter.

Taste Test: Instant Mashed Potatoes

I served Idahoans at a family gathering once, not telling anyone, and not one person (out of 20!) noticed. This is when I decided to stop using my quality ingredients for them as I know they aren't really tasting the food anyway.

I'll eat the Idahoans at home maybe twice a year, and bring them camping.

Grocery Girl: What Your Grocery Store Says About You

I refuse to move anywhere without a Wegmans, seriously. I am very lucky to live near one of the biggest and best of the Wegmans and I can spend hours just roaming looking at all the lovely items even if I'm just buying my regular staples. I've been to Whole Foods and Trader Joes other places and they are fun as a tourist, but even if they came to town I would still shop at Wegmans. Some of my friends complain about the prices, but I feel that I generally get a good value. I'd rather pay a few cents more per pound for produce that is fresh and will last until I'm ready to use it. And I love that I can get local produce when it's in season. Also, the employees are consistently helpful and friendly which can go a long way in customer loyalty. For any of you who want to come visit I'd be happy to take you on a Wegmans tour :)

Spice Hunting: How to Do a Spice Audit and Reclaim Your Pantry

Has anyone used the magnetic style containers? I have very limited space in my apartment and putting up a magnetic rack for knives has been invaluable. I'm hoping I can do the same with my spices, maybe even just put them on the fridge? This would allow me to keep small amounts out and handy and keep the bulk in storage in a cooler darker place. I just want to be sure they deliver all I hope for before the investment.

Apple Beer Bread?

I decided to wing it and just use the whole bottle (12 oz) of cider and 1.5 cups of fresh chopped apples (Crispin), and it was fine, it actually seemed a bit drier going into the pan, but baked up fine.

That said, there are some changes I would make when doing this again. First, I'd use beer, not the hard cider. The flavor just didn't come through. I used 1 tsp of cinnamon, next time, I'll use a lot more. The bread was pretty bland. I'm also considering some bacon...

Cooking for peers @ work: Do you, and do they think you're nuts?

As a single person my co-workers are the only people I really get to cook for. They are actually quite upset that since I've started grad school I haven't brought anything into the office. Last year for Christmas I gave everyone hand decorated cut out cookies. The office has grown too much for that so I'm looking for something easier, but still tasty, for this year. I also have a request already for a May birthday, of banana cream pie, which I've never made before.

Your favorite bacon

Uncured, applewood smoked is my bacon of choice. I love to candy it with brown sugar and a long slow cook in the oven. Also using pepper bacon for this is good too, ups the savory to sweet ratio. I also make my green beans sauteed with bacon and shallots. I'm not sure there are too many bad ways to eat bacon.

So our Powerball is $245M. What would be your #1 food fantasy?

I would live in France and eat cheese

As long as I had enough invested to do that off the interest I would use the rest of it for clean drinking water throughout the world.

New Favorite Candy Bar: Mui-Bon Avellana

Bueno, as mentioned by @gnomatic, is the first thing I thought of when I saw this, it is my absolute favorite candy bar in the world. I eat them every day when in Europe, but ration them here in the states where they cost quite a bit more.