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The Food Lab: Super-Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

In this analogy, can we assume the pancakes are Flat Stanley?

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

Yes! Just received an electric pressure cooker as a Christmas gift and have fallen head over heels in love. More pressure cooker recipes please! Thanks for the recipe, but I'm curious - is there no vegan Kenji this January?

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

@Kenji - Married to you, doesn't she essentially claim free pizza anytime?

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

Thanks again Kenji - super excited about re-creating the pan pizza of my youth. All I need now is my old BOOK-IT pin and I'm 7 again...

The Food Lab: How to Make the Ultimate Beef Wellington

I second @aus-e. I have made Wellington the past two Christmases and while the first was fairly successful, the second was a bit of a sloppy (but still delicious) mess. That phyllo trick is just pure genius.

We Try Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, Guy Fieri's New Times Square Restaurant

@gulpingriesling: I appreciate where you're coming from, but do you think the two concepts are really comparable? SE likely (arguably, rightly so) held Chef White to a higher standard than Guy Fieri. I don't recall Guy's Tex-Macaroni-whatever-the-heck restaurant in CA being reviewed by the Times. I didn't think the SE Nicoletta review was particularly unfavorable - just not what one would expect from a top NY chef - in fact, the review indicated that as a chain concept it could work and that the pizza wasn't terrible. On the other hand, the SE crew seemed to conclude that Guy's restaurant is EXACTLY what you would expect: an overpriced joke of a place with mediocre food and ridiculous names.

Who Would You Ask A Culinary Question To?

I think Peter Reinhart was a good suggestion, as was Eric Ripert - but I always like to hear from you, Kenji. I quote you about food often enough that my husband has started to use "Kenji says..." to persuade me to agree to random things, like a new camera (e.g., Kenji says this [ridiculously expensive] camera is the best. We should get one.).

Entertaining a crowd with soup?

Thanks to everyone for all your helpful suggestions. Sadly my soups have been summarily rejected in favor of a more familiar menu of Italian favorites. Better luck next time. The holidays are around the corner, perhaps I will have a soup centric open house!

Entertaining a crowd with soup?

Thanks for all the suggestions! A little background: the party is for my husband's big Italian family. In this family, a party means a LOT of food - typically a huge italian spread (baked ziti, meatball, eggplant). I wanted something a little different. I was looking for a budget-friendly and less labor intensive option (did I mention the 4 month old that I have to watch?) - that is how I started on the soup idea. We are going to have appetizers (cheese and crackers, couple of hot bites, antipasti platter) and a bunch of hand held desserts. In my experience, elegant finger food is 1) labor intensive and can be last minute rush and 2) pricey to put together. Plus I don't think my Italian MIL would think its enough food for the masses.

I was thinking 1) a butternut squash soup (veggie option) and 2) a sausage and lentil soup. PLUS the salads (one roasted tomato caprese with pesto and one greens/gorgonzola/roasted pears) and subs (american, italian, and vegetarian). Also, there is not a lot of drinking in the family, so the wine glass issue will be minimal (except for me, who will probably need a few glasses of vino to make it through...)

Which celebrity chef is more "Celebrity" than Chef?

After eliminating most Food Network "chefs" on the basis that many of them aren't actually chefs, I would go with Giada de Laurentis. Don't get me wrong - I think the food she cooks looks and likely tastes good most of the time, and I certainly don't begrudge her the role she plays in food tv or getting people interested in cooking. I know she went to culinary school - I just don't see her as a very creative or accomplished chef. The 10 second blurb she gives before each dish is sufficient to put it together without watching the rest, and her cookbooks don't impress me.

Re: Jamie Oliver - I have to heartily disagree with you here. Long before he was a champion of healthy eating (both here and in the UK), he was an accomplished cook. The Naked Chef inspired me to really get into cooking because he made it look so effortless and easy, and he still impresses me with his speed on Jamie At Home.

Where to eat in Vancouver?

I highly recommend lunch at Go Fish - a little seafood shack in South Granville. Delicious fish and chips and salmon tacos.

The Crisper Whisperer: How to Handle Eggplant Overload

@randyzip - I'm eating that exact thing as we speak! with hummus and feta... Can't say my garden produced two crates of eggplant but I do have more than I can use in sandwiches. Thanks for the ideas!

July 4th weekend, what are you making?

I was thinking of trying my hand at some tamales a la Paupered Chef. Would anyone have a guess as to how long they keep, fully steamed, in the fridge before I warm them up to serve?

What's the story behind your SE screen name?

I typically browse through SE during my lunch hour at work, as a way to forget what I'm doing for a moment and waste some time. I also have a terrible habit of buying and forgetting about fresh herbs until they are wilty, brown, and mucky representations of their former glorious selves. So I have also been know to literally waste thyme.

Turkey Burgers, what's your secret?

Wow - who knew there were so many turkey burger variations? I add a few tblsps of Major Greys Chutney and a pinch of curry powder to mine - helps keeps em moist and gives them a nice kick. The biggest trick is not to overcook them I guess...

What was your favorite food memories of 2009?

1. Dinner at O Ya in Boston.

2. Finally learning to pinch a bitchin' potsticker.

3. A summer ratatouille with veggies from my garden that my carnivorous husband declared the BEST thing I have ever made.

4. Did I mention O Ya? Seriously, seriously serious eats.

Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live, Episode 1

I watched parts of it and was mildly entertained at times but certainly did not see the appeal of cooking along with him at 9 pm (when is dinner? isn't my pasta and steak cold by the time i'm done making dessert?).

My biggest issue is that the celebrity guests and GR himself made cooking seem so frantic and difficult. If I were not familiar with a kitchen, this show would only reinforce my fears that cooking is too complicated. In this regard, the show really missed the mark.

Cook the Book: 'The Modern Baker'

Having recently relocated to the Utah mountains, I neglected to consider the effects of high altitude on my baking project. Needless to say my chocolate chiffon birthday cake ended up a volcano in the oven. Did I mention it was the eve of Thanksgiving? Ran out to the store for oven cleaner and snickers cake that night.

Cook the Book: The River Cottage Cookbook

the usual suspects - lettuce, cukes, tomatoes. and chervil, which is a favorite herb but difficult for me to find.


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