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Knife Skills: How to Debone a Chicken Thigh

@Shayrose In my case, I use up both the extra bone and skin. I save the bones in the freezer, and once every months or so, I make a really rich ramen soup out of it. The skins I also freeze in a ziploc bag, which I throw on the frying pan so I can get some chicken oil out of it for stir fries. Sometimes I use the oil from the skins for the flavored oil for ramen. I think the stuff you can make with the bones and the trimmings makes it worth it to buy the bone-in, skin-on thighs.

Poll: How Does the New 'American-Style Pizza-Burger' from Freshness Burger Make You Feel?

The absurd products at Freshness Burger are sometimes surprisingly good. I think the confusion comes from the fact that this item was conceived by a member of a pop group who is (not to my knowledge) not an expert on either America, food, burgers or pizza. So the American style pizza burger is an equivalent to the end product of asking Justin Bieber to come up with a new sushi roll.

Homebrewing: American Pale Ale (For Beginners)

This is probably coming really late (considering when this recipe was first posted). I've been reading this column even before I started homebrewing, so naturally, this was the first beer I made. Turned out amazing. Came out with some sweet caramel taste, which I blame on myself for probably not stirring the wort enough at the beginning of the boil. Hops aroma was definitely there, but next time I think I will increase the late addition or dry hop to accentuate the taste. Great recipe, great column, and I hope there'll be more articles on the way. It's been a while since the last one, and I really look forward to this column.

Food-related deal breakers when dating?

After reading AnnieNT's comment, I decided I want to be a better person, so I'm going to adhere to that philosophy.

Food-related deal breakers when dating?

Totally agree with both of you. I would add people who have adverse reactions (not allergies or serious health related issues) to large, sweeping categories of food, like mushrooms, seafood, green vegetables, etc. I also cannot stand food snobbery. I understand you may be into food/beer/cocktails, but that doesn't mean you cannot admit to enjoying the occasional Popeye's chicken, greasy Chinese buffet food, fizzy yellow beer in the summer, or a sloppily made yet strangely good mai tai. I know I'm getting into the realm of being a dick here, but I also get irritated when I see people who leave a lot of food on their plate and let it go to waste. Eat it, take it home, or better yet, feed them to me.

Asian Vegetables in Non-Asian Dishes

In Asian language cookbooks and cooking websites, you find a lot of Asian vegetables incorporated into western style dishes. I think the rule of thumb is to try to employ the method of cooking that are conventionally used for that vegetable. For example, with daikon, you can throw that into some consommé for a soup (similar to stewing it in clear dashi) or julienne it and make it into some daikon slaw. In Okinawa, bitter melon is often sautéed with Spam, so it pairs up wonderfully with cured and salted meats. I've also seen creamed bok choy, but I wouldn't vouch for it.
And there's the golden rule: everything tastes better when deep-fried.

Tea taste test/brand preferences?

America's Test Kitchen did a taste test a while ago (I think it's in their 2007 or 2008 recipe book) so you can check that out for reference. But an updated and more comprehensive taste test will still be great.

Tea taste test/brand preferences?

I agree with PSFam, I've been drinking Ahmad's earl grey and it's really decent. Cheaper than many of the bagged brands, too. If you're OK with loose tea (which I prefer, I like being able to adjust my tea strength) Lipton and Brooks Bond loose leaf tea can always be found at Indian grocery stores. When you calculate the weight to price ratio, they usually are on par (or cheaper) than bagged supermarket stuff.

What do I need from the Korean grocery store?

Don't know if this fits your taste, but a 1 pound package of nuruk will yield more than 10 liters of fizzy and alcoholic makgeolli. It's much cheaper than buying them at the liquor store, and it's actually really easy.

What food would you miss most as a vegan?

A major part of my day is spent fantasizing about various non-vegan food items, like stewed char siu, crispy burn ends, gumbo, and korean fried chicken. So I would guess I will miss those long hours of fantasizing about food.

Freezing tofu before frying---

It's called kôya-dôfu in Japanese, and people usually stew it in dashi. But I never knew it tastes good pan fried! Thanks for the info, I'll have to try it out.

Anyone else over the love affair with all things Asian-inspired?

Well, there's a whole lot of Asian content, but if you look into individual countries (as opposed to the whole region) there's not that much on each one. I actually would love to see more of Leela Punyaratabandhu, everything I made that she wrote turned out wonderful.

That being said, it would be great to see recipes of foods that I'm totally unfamiliar with. I need more African or Central Asian food in my kitchen.

We Try the Diner Double Beef, a '50s-Themed Burger From McDonald's Japan

I know Japanese fast food has a bad reputation for their strange concoctions, but they're usually surprisingly eatable. McDonalds in Japan has quite a following with their Japan-specific burgers, like the gratin croquette burger, a burger with basically a breaded and deep fried béchamel mac and cheese.

Life choices based on food?

I decided to go to grad school in the US after a sip of Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout.

Taste Test: The 8 Most Popular Full-Calorie Beers in the USA

@Excal I believe the "serious" in serious eats includes the reappraisal and serious reconsideration of what's deemed "low-end" food culture. Much like the "serious" appreciation of rock music or film in earlier decades, cultural hierarchy is swapped out and understood as merely different.

Wasting in line

When there was a line at Brassneck Breweries in Vancouver, the guy working there simply told us that the wait won't be worth it, that it would be simply too long for him to justify it for us, and asked us to find another place to drink. It's extreme, I know, but asking people NOT to wait in line was an astonishingly decent thing to do.

Staff Picks: What's Your Recipe Deal-Breaker?

Expensive ingredients. A cup of parmigiano reggiano? A whole bottle of wine (in Canada)? Some part of a cow that costs more than five bucks per pound? I'd be much happier spending the day in front of a stove, stewing pig trotters or washing out offals.

The 10 Best Budget Bourbons

I agree, great selection. The only one I didn't find that I really like is Dickel's Cascade Hollow. It's not everywhere, but it's good and cheap (around 13 dollars or so in Kansas, if I remember correctly.)

Throw Away Your Blade Coffee Grinder

@erixmason: I got the Hario hand grinder for about 30 dollars in Japan, which works pretty good (and has ceramic parts that you can wash with water). But it means a laborious five minute grinding session every morning (especially with lighter roasts) and you start wondering if you can pay someone to do this for you.

Can I save this dough?

Being awfully clumsy and having had disastrous affairs with high hydration dough, I sympathize with you. I had success when I used a LOT of flour on my shaping surface, to make sure that the dough won't stick to anything at all. You'll eventually work with less flour as you get used to handling flour, but until then, don't feel guilty about wasting flour.

Stock Up for the Holidays With These Go-To Spirits

@ Jim-Bob yeah, they were my go to rye for a while when they were being sold for 16 bucks in the midwest. I had to go back to drinking Old Overholt after the mark up.

With my grad student budget, I need to go one step down with Old Overholt for rye, WL Wellers for bourbon, Brokers or New Amsterdam for gin, Sobieski vodka, and Flor de Cana rum. Now that I'm in Canada, I only have plastic bottles of homemade makgeolli to drink over the holidays.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Slow roasted pork shoulder.

Good restaurant for an awkward dinner

In Japan we have a saying: Feed crabs to raucous guests. Coupled with a restaurant with way-too-loud music, you might make it through with very little conversation.

Help! Onigiri is falling apart!

I feel your pain, it is a lot of work to keep yakionigiri from falling apart. For me, using the same volume of water as the rice is sufficient to keep the rice in a cooked, yet not mushy consistency.

With yakionigiri, I usually form the rice balls, and before I roast them, I give them a good squeeze or two so that they won't fall apart. That usually does the trick.

Also, its good to brush the sauce on the rice balls right before taking the rice balls off the grill. If you put it prematurely, the moisture breaks down the onigiri, and everything starts falling apart. Char, and then brush with a small amount of sauce. Don't brush a lot of sauce at once. Brush, roast and dry, and brush again.

Brown rice has a hard time sticking together, so you might want to mix in some glutinous mochi rice. However, I don't eat brown rice often and I'm not too knowledgeable about it, so I feel there's better people to give you advice about brown rice.

Yakionigiri is a pain in the ass for such a simple dish. But once you get the hang of it, you'll be fine.

Ask the Food Lab: How Many Times Can I Reuse Fry Oil?

Thanks for this post! I'll be reusing my oil (after sniffing it) guilt free from now on.

Best coffee on a budget

Due to financial constraints, I'm thinking about starting to buy two kinds of beans; a good one for sipping out of a mug at home, and a cheap one for sipping out of a thermos on the road.

I always relied on Cafe Bustello when money's tight, but I was wondering if there's anything better out there.

What's your favorite budget coffee?

KC BBQ recommendations?

I'm planning to go for a full-day, morning, lunch, and dinner BBQ excursion to Kansas City with my friends.

Do you have any recommendations for good KC BBQ that's on-par or better with the big names?
Or do you have any good places to refresh the palette (somewhere with good milk shakes, homemade root beer, floats, beer, etc)?

Or if you have any advice/warnings for an indulgent trip like this, please let me know!

Right now we have on the list:
Jack Stack
Arthur Bryant's
Oklahoma Joe's
Danny Edwards


Dinner Tonight: Star Anise and Ginger Chicken

It's hard to imagine this recipe could be anything but delicious upon reading the ingredient list. Ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce, scallions—each one is delicious on its own, and they blend together beautifully in this recipe from Home Cooked Comforts via Leite's Culinaria. The addition of star anise, with its subtle licorice influence, gives the dish that special something to set it apart. More