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Bill Woods

Knife Skills: How to Prepare, Peel, and Cut Butternut Squash

"You'll also need a spoon for removing the seeds."
I use an ice-cream scoop for scraping out the seeds; it's more comfortable, and less likely to bend than my spoons. Also, I found that cutting the squash in quarters, rather than just in half, makes it easier to get at them.

Win a Copy of 'Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food'

Quick quick? ... Ramen?
Home-cooked quick? Jacques Pépin's chicken thighs.

How to Make Traditional Cassoulet (And Why You Should Put Chicken in It!)

"I made [cassoulet] at fancy pants restaurants. I'd eaten it everywhere from New York to Paris."
Unless you like seafood cassoulet, I'm not sure that's such a broad range....
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=nyc-ory

More seriously, on all these recipes which call for deeply browning multiple batches of meat, I do it in my skillet, putting them in the Dutch oven when done. It has more surface area so there are fewer batches, and it gives me confidence to know that if the fond seems to be getting too brown, I can throw in an extra deglazing step and start over. By the time I've done the final deglazing with water/stock/wine, the skillet's as close to clean as the bowl I'd otherwise be putting them in, so it's really no extra work.

These 4 Mexican Braises Will Jump-Start Your Fall

@chinchulin Follow the link to the post, which includes "A Brief Word on Nomenclature":

I know some folks are already chomping at the bit, ready to jump on me for spelling the dish adovada instead of adobada. Well allow myself to explain myself. ...

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

Re #4: I find it so much easier to measure liquids by weight than volume.

Basic Chicken Stock

"Strain stock through a fine-mesh strainer, ..."
On a practical note, I strain through a colander first, to catch the large bits, so I don't clog my strainer.

How Bad Wine Led Me to Great Shrimp Scampi

For reducing the wine, what about splitting it? Put in half, reduce it, add the other half, reduce it. The total volume in the pan would never be much more than your original smaller version, so the effect ought to be about the same.

The Best Chicken Parmesan

1/4-inch chicken seems awfully thin; wouldn't a thicker piece reduce the overcooking problem?

How deep is the frying oil? a "1/2 cup" will vary, depending on the size of the "large" skillet.

"...upcoming The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, to be released by W. W. Norton."
When? In time for Christmas?

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

No mirepoix!?

You know, why bother putting the lid on the Dutch oven at all? Does having it affect the temperature/humidity inside the pot, or is it just a spatter screen?

I've been using my slow cooker, after doing the sautéing in a skillet. Once the sauce is bubbling, I prop up the lid with a chopstick to let it reduce a bit. I guess it's not getting hot enough on the surface for good caramelization?

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

How to Make the Best Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes

The recipe I've been using follows the divide-and-conquer approach:
Rough chop the tomatoes. Add them to the pot with the sautéed onion, and cook till they release their juice. Scoop out the flesh and drain. Reduce the juice by itself. Add back the flesh, heat, season, and blend. -- Fresh flavor without being too soupy.

Skirt Steak With Warm Spicy Corn and Peach Salsa

The rest of the year, when fresh sweet corn isn't available, would frozen kernels work for this?

How Korean Cuisine Got Huge in America (And Why It Took So Long)

"Your five flavors—sweet, salty, sour, acidic, and spicy—
I'm not clear on the distinction between 'sour' and 'acidic'.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@Kelos I was wondering the same thing.

How to Make Pillowy (and Pretty) Angel Biscuits

@Elvenrunelord You don't normally refer to them as 'yeasty beasties'?

Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

A roast of some sort. For the roast? -- a nice pinkish medium-rare inside with a dark brown crust.

Summer Bean Salads: 2-Bean Salad With Roasted Jalapeños and Pickled Red Peppers

"I opted for two types of beans: kidney and green."
What have you got against garbanzos? :-)

The Bloody Mary: The History and Science of an Oddball Classic

"... all the savory add-ons are high in glutamates (or MSG or "umami" as you might know them)."
MSG is one particular (simple) glutamate, specifically 'mono-sodium'.

How to Make Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits

I too have been using the Cook's Illustrated recipe -- which conveniently is available here:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/11/cooks-illustrated-best-drop-biscuits-recipe.html?ref=title
It's supposed to make 12 biscuits, but I always get 11 and a bit.

@BGEPizza For low(er) sodium, perhaps you could use 'lite' salt, which is half sodium chloride and half potassium chloride?

How to Make Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits

I too have been using the Cook's Illustrated recipe -- which conveniently is available here:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/11/cooks-illustrated-best-drop-biscuits-recipe.html?ref=title
It's supposed to make 12 biscuits, but I always get 11 and a bit.

@BGEPizza For low(er) sodium, perhaps you could use 'lite' salt, which is half sodium chloride and half potassium chloride?

Gadgets: Put Training Wheels on Your Rolling Pin

Hmm! For making pie crusts, maybe making one big ring (1/4 in. high, 13 in. inner diameter) would work?

A Beginner's Guide to Onions

The local markets have 'Mexican onions', which look like your 'spring onions'. Same thing?

How to Make Portuguese Garlic and Cilantro Bread Soup (Açorda à Alentejana)

So, sort of a Portuguese version of old-style gazpacho?

—but one thing is certainly true: people had been eating versions of bread and olive oil soup in the Spanish region for centuries before the tomato even existed in Spain.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/08/how-to-make-perfect-gazpacho-the-food-lab-salting-vegetables-science.html

How Salty Should Pasta Water Be?

For cooking 1 lb. of pasta, I use what turns out to be about 40 g of salt in 3 kg of water ~ 1.3%. Right in the ballpark!

Does Pre-Salting Make for Tougher Scrambled Eggs and Omelets?

Funny to compare Ramsey with Jacque Pepin, on the list to the side. They both say cooking eggs is the thing to look for in a cook, but while Ramsey mixes the eggs in the pan and seasons late in the cooking, Pepin seasons and beats up the eggs before cooking.

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