Cook the Book: 'Joy of Kosher' by Jamie Geller

My Serious Eats kosher experience is one of adapting Serious Eats recipes for kosher eating. Thank heavens for the Food Lab! It's allowed me to figure out which ingredients can be swapped out for what.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Toss up between simmering chicken broth, challah and slow roast brisket. Probably the simmer.

The Food Lab: The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Why isn't this post tagged with "Food Lab"? It didn't show up in the sites feed, and if not for Jason Kottke, I would never have known about it. I shudder to consider life with a Food Lab post missed.

24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips

Other tips: I keep a separate sponge for oily pans. That one turns black and looks disgusting and is replaced once in a blue moon, while the sponge for everything else lasts much longer than it would have.

Splatter guards for frying. Standing guards only. 2 or 3 of them to tent if necessary. No more chicken legs splatter burns.

24 Essential Kitchen Tricks and Tips

One thing I didn't notice mentioned here or in the knife-sharpening article is to hold the blade of the knife almost parallel to the sharpening stone, barely touching the edge of the blade to the stone, just working it back and forth lightly on each side and letting the grit do the job. Also to pass the entire blade in one pass, not trying to sharpen parts of the blade at a time, and only sharpening in one direction, not bringing it up and down. I was taught how to sharpen by a kosher slaughterer. They sharpen their knives constantly and have to pass inspection as the blade has to be perfectly smooth/unblemished and absolutely sharp, to the point that the animal feels nothing when being cut. They never use grindstones, only blocks of stone, and usually 3 levels of grit.

How can I get flavor out of split peas without salt?

I'm going to try the lemon juice first and then the vinegar, thanks!

Cook the Book: 'Vegetable Literacy' by Deborah Madison

Great book idea.

Beets grilled in oven unpeeled with no tinfoil, on the grate, at 425 for 1.5-2 hours until carmelized and soft. Eaten either plain or as beet salad with diced onions and coated lightly with lemon juice and olive oil.

Brussel sprouts coated in 1 tsp of olive oil per 15, grilled for 50+ minutes, dipped in mustard.

Mixing carrots and potatos to reproduce sweet potato flavor with much less starch.

How can I get flavor out of split peas without salt?

I can't have salt. I managed to get my split pea soup spicy to taste, but it just adds flavor to the soup, it doesn't bring out the flavor of the peas like salt does. Is there any other spice or cooking method that will bring out the pea flavor to some extent the way salt does?

The ingredients I added for spiciness were 2 sauteed chopped onions, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp red pepper, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp thyme, 4 bay leaves, and 4 tbsp garlic for 2 lbs split peas.

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