Welcome to The Leftovers, a.k.a. The Blog Archive, a.k.a. the archive for the Serious Eats group blog for these troubling times.
Below you'll find all the posts put up on The Blog from March 20, 2020, to March 27, 2020, with the latest post right at the top.
Back to The Blog.
Can You Smell What The Rock The Gritz Is Cooking?
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A post shared by Daniel Gritzer (@dgritzer) on Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59am PDT
Lookin' good, Gritzer, lookin' good.
Instacart shoppers are planning to strike on Monday (March 30th) because the company isn't offering hazard pay or safety gear, and isn't extending paid sick leave to workers with pre-existing conditions.
Let's Talk Yeast
Celinafg, commenting on Stella's 100% whole wheat bread recipe, asks:
hello everyone! I’m wanted to make this bread especially since we’re on quarantine, but only have access to active dry yeast. I’m a home baker, I don’t know much about the science, but would it be possible to use active dry instead of instant??
Given how much baking is going on out there and the reports of a dearth of yeast on supermarket shelves, Stella's explainer about different kinds of yeasts and how to use them will probably be helpful for many people out there right now. If you do find it helpful, send it to all your new-baker friends.
Pet Pic: Breaking the Law Edition
No snack pictured (it's a rule, folks), but how could we not post reader Gigi's snap of cute-as-a-button Bisou?
Hash and Rice Is Dead. Long Live Hash and Rice!
Robert Moss, a frequent Serious Eats contributor argues hash and rice, a barbecue side that's a staple in the Palmetto state, is far from dead, despite speculation to the contrary.
"Only 500x Better Than Actual Wonder Bread"
Reason No. 123235135 for why BraveTart is an indispensable cookbook.
Good Morning! (A Rustic Lunch Suggestion)
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A post shared by Sasha Marx (@sfmarx) on Mar 24, 2020 at 7:21pm PDT
Now doesn't that look like a perfect lunch? Perfect for sometime in the next couple days. Sasha helpfully included some cooking instructions in his Stories highlight, so check 'em out.
Happy Birthday, Rel!
Here's our far-flung SE crew celebrating Ariel's birthday with a video chat happy hour. Happy Birthday! (We're going to post the epic birthday cake she's making for herself tomorrow!)
Coronavirus and the Food Supply Chain
The Counter has been doing some incredible reporting on the way coronavirus is affecting the food supply, and the people whose work ensures there's stuff to buy in stores. Here's a report on a long-haul trucker.
Stimulus and Restaurants
Ryan Sutton over at Eater has a rundown of what the passed stimulus package will do for restaurants.
The verdict: not enough.
How H-E-B Prepared for Coronavirus
Paula Forbes and Dan Solomon got the story behind how H-E-B, the supermarket chain the primarily serves Texas, prepared for the coronavirus epidemic in the United States.
"Hello, bing bongs!"
Dennis Lee, hero, makes bread with Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix.
We're Live on Twitch at 2:00 PM EST
Ariel will be back streaming live on Twitch at 2 pm.
Today's recipe? Kenji's three-ingredient mac and cheese!
Update: And here it is, three-ingredient mac and cheese with peas and sun-dried tomatoes (we used beauties from Gustiamo).
For all the seafood fans: Wulf’s Fish, one of the best seafood purveyors in the country, is doing retail sales for the first time. The quality of their fish is outstanding. Along with Browne Trading, Wulf’s sources the best product I’ve worked with. Four kampachi collars for 12 bucks is a pretty sweet deal."
Here's the shipping info for people outside the Boston area: "FedEX Overnight Shipping (flat rate $37) available to the rest of New England and the New York City Metro Area."
They say they plan to service other regions soon, too.
Note that much of the product has been "super-frozen," making it great for raw dishes, like sashimi and ceviche.
"We Were Really Scared to Begin With"
Chris Crowley over at New York Magazine speaks to an undocumented restaurateur about the difficulty of navigating upheaval caused by the coronavirus in the restaurant industry.
Aggressive, Voracious..."Exceptionally Cannibalistic"
On "All Things Considered," a scientist discusses research that suggests deep-sea squid can communicate with glowing patterns on their bodies.
What You're Making
Reader Jen shares some ravs:
With all this new time on my hands I was able to satisfy a craving I’ve been unable to satisfy for a while - lobster ravioli.
Ricotta and classic egg pasta recipe from SE and I improvised the rest, as a friend found a stocked Whole Foods and grabbed me two (tiny) lobster tails. I embellished the filling with some frozen shrimp and homemade ricotta and our last bit of broccoli in a butter/white wine sauce. Used the rest of the ricotta to do cheese raviolis with your spinach pasta recipe - those are in the freezer.
Reader Andrew shares some pulled pork with a mean-looking bark and a tres leches bread pudding.
And reader Tommi's got some pizza:
Last night I made pizza using Binging with Babish's dough recipe from the latest pizza episode. It cold fermented for 3 days and was so good I might consider replacing my go to Jeffrey Hamelman recipe. This morning I made Buttermilk Fruit Scones from the La Brea Pastry book. I subbed milk and lemon juice for the buttermilk and used up some blackberries that it turned out my 1.5 year old didn't really want. So good.
Did you know we have pizza recipes? Yes! Many, many pizza recipes!
Reader Torill emails from Sweden to ask:
I have some duck eggs in my fridge right now, that should probably be used. I bought them on a whim two weeks ago without a plan. What can I do with them using my fairly well-stocked kitchen, but without going shopping?
We polled the staff this morning, and here are our suggestions:
- Niki: "Literally anything you'd do with a regular egg. I believe the yolks are bigger, so yolky stuff?"
- Sho: "Some variation on asparagus Milanese."
- Ariel: "You know that vegetable salad we have that has a poached egg covered in fried breadcrumbs? That."
- Maggie: "Tortilla Española." [Also, the salt and vinegar potato chip version.]
- Sasha: "Duck egg pasta dough is very good. Or just make pasta dough with chicken eggs and use duck yolks for ravioli al uovo."
Do keep in mind that using duck eggs in the place of the large chicken eggs we recommend for all our recipes will affect the result and may necesitate changing the cooking times for some dishes!
Model Baking Behavior
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Us bakers like to be exact in our measurements. We’ve got yardsticks to double check our #physicaldistance. These are just some of the fabulous, hardworking folks making your bread. THANKS TEAM. #stayingsafe #sixfeetapart #bakersgonnabake
A post shared by She Wolf Bakery (@shewolfbakery) on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:33am PDT
One of our collective favorite bakeries doing it right.
The Bad Kind of Costco Delivery
Seems like Hannah Raskin over at The Post and Courier has found that a Charleston restaurant is delivering Costco pies during the crisis at a huge mark-up, advertising them as "gourmet Roman-style thin crust pizza, with house made marinara sauce and whole milk mozzarella."
Be Like Zeke
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Zeke would like to be your daily reminder to wash your hands! #covid_19 #covid19 #washyourhands #coronavirus #coronachameleon #chameleonsofinstagram #pantherchameleonsofinstagram #lizardsofinstagram #zekethechameleon
A post shared by Zeke (@zeke.the.chameleon) on Mar 23, 2020 at 11:30am PDT
"'Why live? All is vanity! Living—that is threshing straw; living—that is consuming oneself in flames without becoming warm.' Such antiquarian babbling is still considered 'wisdom'; it is honored all the more for being old and musty. Mustiness too ennobles.
"Children might speak thus: they fear the fire because it burned them. There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom. And why should those who always 'thresh straw' be allowed to blaspheme threshing? Such oxen should be muzzled after all.
"Such men sit down to the table and bring nothing along, not even a good appetite; and they blaspheme: 'All is vanity.' But eating and drinking well, O my brothers, is verily no vain art. Break, break the old tablets of the never gay!"
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, tr. by Walter Kaufmann.
What's for Dinner?
Here's what the Serious Eats staff members are planning to eat for dinner. Hopefully, some of these selections will inspire you, and others will elicit your empathy.
- Vicky: "Cry in a corner with a sleeve of Thin Mints."
- Sho: "Pounded chicken cutlets with a mushroom sauce, similar to the Marsala recipe but with what I have on hand. Then I'll probably do a hash brown with minced shallots and whatever cheese I have in the fridge in the center, and some leftover sautéed spinach."
- Niki: "We're gonna do something involving ground lamb and an eggplant, probably something like this stuffed eggplant."
- Daniel DK: "I made a big batch of beans the other day and mixed in some chard...gonna have some of that and probably braise some beef shanks from the farmers market."
- Maggie: "Leftover ‘nduja pasta."
- Paul: "Whatever-is-in-the-fridge/freezer-quesadillas."
- Elazar: "Probably pasta with...whatever is still in my fridge."
- Yasmine: "Maggio fam is actually having this broiled salmon for dinner."
- Joel: "Homemade chicken soup with bucatini (leftover noods)."
- Daniel: "I think I’m gonna make a pasta and then a salad with some good canned salmon, maybe an avocado diced into it."
John sends over this photo from his local grocery store with the comment: "No one likes manicotti."
We're Live on Twitch!
Ariel is back streaming live on Twitch.
Today's recipe? Stella's Cracker Jack clone recipe, from her cookbook, BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
"Fatten the Curve"
/u/arrisonrenee got right on Daniel's recipe for instant ramen fried rice, and we believe you should, too!
Floyd Cardoz, RIP
The food world woke up to the shocking news that Floyd Cardoz, one of the preeminent chefs of his generation, has died due to complications stemming from COVID-19.
Ed has a few words to mark Cardoz's premature passing:
"I first met Floyd Cardoz, the brilliant chef who tragically just passed away from the dreaded virus at the age of 59, in 1998 at Tabla, his seminal contemporary Indian restaurant. I had just tried Floyd’s amazing Indian-spiced onion rings. They were miraculously delicious: discreet, untangled rings of assertively spiced onions that weren't greasy in the slightest. Anyone who could make onion rings so ingeniously well was clearly a chef to be reckoned with. Over the next twenty years I ate many amazing meals courtesy of Floyd, and we used to hang out together back in the day at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. I even got to know his wife and kids, who were all just as terrific and warm and friendly as you'd expect, given his wonderful personality.
Floyd Cardoz, you'll be missed by Serious Eaters everywhere, not just for your cooking, but also for your indomitable spirit and restless curiosity, culinary and otherwise. Rest in peace, my friend."
And here's the New York Times obituary.
Hie thee to the epic collection of Starch Madness-themed number we commissioned from artists who, like many out there, have had their income streams decimated by the virus.
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Wrote a metal pasta song for @seriouseats #starchmadness and believe it or not, I was paid to do so. If you like metal, pasta, spaghetti pentagrams, boiling water, pasta demons and traveling first class to a special place called pasta land.. you might like this video. You might also enjoy this video if you are bored. Shoutout to @larinabrooklyn for the delicious spaghetti. Please go and buy pasta from them. Pasta is still being made fresh during the apocalypse.
A post shared by Wilson Flores (@wilson_flores) on Mar 23, 2020 at 11:09am PDT
Do not leave the page until you get to the contribution from Flauvius, trust us.
"Homemade Cappuccino!! Who Woulda Thought!!!"
Yasmine has discovered the moka pot:
"My life is forever changed. I used it for the first time today to make espresso and THEN I used this li'l milk frother from IKEA to make a cappuccino."
It's the small things, people; you gotta focus on the small (good) things.
Reader Lori writes in to share this adorable snap of her "faithful kitchen assistant Sherman."
Feel like we could all use a Sherman right now.
"What Do I Do With This Used Up Plague Onion?"
Been getting a lot of requests* for what to do with your plague onions once the noxious vapors of the Black Death have been successfully absorbed(?)/repelled(?). Here's what we came up with:
- Joel: "I use mine as deodorant and when I'm done maybe a quick salad."
- Elazar: "There is literally only one answer: make potato salad."
- Sho: "French onion soup. By the time the onion caramelizes this whole thing will have blown over."
- Paul: "I think I'd probably juice it to maximize the effectiveness."
- Maggie: "Leave it in the corner until it turns black from absorbing all the virus. Then blend it with charcoal and smear it on my face as a warning to all the other viruses."
Taking suggestions from anyone, anywhere, about plague onions. There is no (on)i(on) in team.
Okay, fine, not really.
How to Store Fresh Herbs, Gary Edition
Reader Gary wrote in today to... be a huge freaking boss! Check out the graphic guide he made for how to store fresh herbs, using our article on the subject.
Or, in his own words:
Originally I was just making this for myself, but thought others might find it useful, too. I am not asking for anything in return, and assign all rights for this PDF to Serious Eats—my way of showing some love to one of my favorite sites on the web; you guys are keeping our family sane and well fed through this sequestration. Cheers, peace, and good health unto you all.
To you, too, Gary, and your family!
Help! Need Bread, No Dutch Oven
Commenter qpalzm147 asks:
Help: I want to bake a loaf of crusty bread with what I have and I do not have a oven safe dutch oven....can I just use a plain cast iron skillet uncovered? =(
What We've Been Making
Maggie and Daniel DK had the same dang idea, which was to fry extra sourdough starter in ghee (Daniel) or oil (Maggie).
While Maggie would seem to have the leg up because of the addition of scallions, seems like Daniel takes the improv cooking round with judicious application of lots of ghee, which is the freaking best. (To make it, follow this recipe for clarified butter, but let the butter go a little longer on the stove, allowing the dairy solids to brown.)
Yasmine made cheddar biscuits., which, no joke, are super easy and you can make in batches. The dry mix stays good for as long as your cheese would stay good in the fridge, which is to say a long, long time, so you can have fresh, Red Lobster-like cheddar biscuits every dang morning if you feel like it.
Ariel made some chocolate sprinkles, which are destined to garnish a truly epic birthday cake she's making for herself for her birthday on Thursday. Stay tuned for that!
And Joel outed himself once again as a more-than-competent cook, cranking out a picture-perfect pasta alla gricia. His only remark: "not the right type of noodle but still v good. Also feat my weird thumb."
Whatever you all out there are making, we'll take a portion, too (via pic, of course! Email us!).
Obscure words are good; useless words are the best.
Words to remember for our interests here: Deipnosophist, makebate, bêtise, patrizate, tongue-hero, and, of course, the very best, catillate, or "to licke dishes." [sic]
All Will Be Well in the Baking Aisle
Yes, The Washington Post confirms what we all know: Ain't no flour and yeast in the supermarket. No, there's no shortage: Just give it a few days and the flour and yeast will be back in stock, both in stores and online.
Then you, like everyone else in the country, can bake some bread. (If you have a can of pumpkin purée, make this pumpkin bread!)
Good Wednesday Morning!
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A post shared by Peregrin Took (@pipsgrams) on Mar 23, 2020 at 5:04pm PDT
Pippin hot Pippin content for ye on this, the 25th of March. Hang in there, folks.
It's Math O'Clock Somewhere
We're Live on Twitch!
Ariel is back streaming live on Twitch.
Today's recipe? Quesadillas with what she's got lying around.
Paella for Social Responsibility
"Can we be bribed to do the right thing?"
Ed Levine, Chef de Cuisine of Chez Levine
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A post shared by Ed Levine (@seriouseatered) on Mar 24, 2020 at 12:42pm PDT
Even The Overlord is cooking up a storm these days!
Daniel DK sends this over:
Syllabus Bake Shop sells baking stencils of the likenesses of artists, writers, intellectuals, and public figures "to promote and celebrate the critical potential of intellectual life one stencil at a time."
Any cake would be made 10x better by having John Lewis's face stenciled on it, in our opinions! Daniel, for his part, says, "I need my bread to have a picture of Foucault on it."
"What the Heck Do I Do With All This Dang Celery?"
We've gotten a lot of requests for help with ingredients, but this seems to be pretty high on the list: You bought a head of celery for, say, making a soup, but now you don't know what else to do with it. Here's what our staff members suggest:
- Daniel G: "There are a lot of Chinese stir fries that call for lots of celery." [Like this one!]
- Elazar: "ants on a log duh!!!"
- Niki: "Chicken salad/tuna salad. Shave it with a veg peeler and make salad. Eat it with hummus."
- Vicky: "We have a recipe for a celery soup."
- Daniel DG: "Just keep making braises and beans stuff and throw it in a bit at a time (bad answer, but it's what I'm doing!)." [Daniel G responds: "It's a good answer!"]
- Sasha: "I love celery salad. Braised celery. France on a log (one of my amuse bouche creations at Clio—celery, foie or chix liver mousse, pickled currants). Lentil soup with mucho mirepoix."
- John: "I like making a huge thing of chicken salad." [That's two votes for chicken salad!]
- Sho: "Salads, like tiger vegetable salad or a radicchio and endive jawn with a bunch of celery on the bottom. Sliced thinly and stir-fried with garlic and salt, they almost take on a bean sprout consistency. Soups, stock, and, to echo Sasha, braised celery with a mustardy vinaigrette is very good."
Need some help with cutting up the head? Here's our guide.
Anyone got any other ideas? Celery!
Reader Maia sends in this photo of her corgi Hiccup, flanked by his friend Luna (the short-haired corgi) on his birthday a few months ago. The cake: "homemade dog cake filled with blueberries and dehydrated duck hearts, peanut butter yogurt frosting, crumbled bacon on the sides, and dog treats on top."
Really setting the bar high on pet snacks, Maia!
Got a snap of your pet with a snack? Send it our way! (Still haven't seen any, uh, unorthdox pets. Release the reptiles!)
Starch Madness: Round 1, Part 2 Is Live!
Head over to our Instagram Stories to vote in Round 1, Part 2 of our Starch Madness bracket!
What You're Cooking
Some reader emails with the meals they've been cooking.
Nancy says she made some curry-men, pictured above (leftover curry sauce from takeout, plus noodles, Spam, and an egg), as well as some kalua pork with cabbage (not pictured).
Kevin wrote in to show off some bread he's quite proud of (and rightly so, Kevin!). "It's not strictly a Serious Eats recipe," he says, "but your website has been a great resource since I've started getting into bread. This is probably my 10th loaf, and easily my prettiest. It's my first one with an ear from a good score!"
Here's our guide to getting started baking good bread, if you want to be like Kevin.
Leslie made Stella's quick and easy chocolate chip cookies. "I had to use boring chocolate chips because it's what I had," Leslie writes, "but they are delicious." Hey, in times of crisis, chocolate's chocolate!
If you want to share what you've made, send us a snap, folks. The photos don't have to be pretty, and the recipes don't even have to be ours! (Although, really, we have some nice recipes, just so you know.)
Binge and Grab
Daniel G points out that food writer Karon Liu has compiled a couple very useful lists of links for the world on his Twitter account.
Here's his list of suggestions for songs for those working from home.
And here's a list of YouTube channels he likes.
Sasha's sister, Nadia, made her first "London lockdown loaf"! Go, Nadia!
Fine Foods, Delivered (Limited)
Daniel G flags the fact that Baldor Food, "one of the better restaurant/gourmet food store wholesalers for both general purpose and specialty stuff," is doing home delivery. For those with the means and inclination, worth a look, but delivery is limited to a 50-mile radius from their Bronx warehouse and all of Long Island, and there's a $250 minimum order.
Good Tuesday Morning!
/u/72pintohatchback thinks Kenji's hasselback potatoes gratin recipe is ready for a close-up. Something to consider for dinner, maybe?
Maybe Order Some Restaurant Wine
From Daniel G:
Scar of the Sea is offering 35% off and free shipping on any 6+ bottles with discount code “COVID19" to help offset their loss in restaurant business. Owned by Mikey Giugni, a wine enthusiast “40 Under 40 Tastemaker” and lifetime Californian, Scar of the Sea is a boutique winery based in Santa Maria Valley, and makes “one of the premier examples of modern Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah, and have developed a following for their hard ciders,” according to Ester Mobley in the SF Chronicle. Mikey is also on the forefront of sparkling wine in California.
We're Live on Twitch
Ariel is streaming right now!
She's making chocolate Swiss buttercream!
Reader Susie sends in this photo of Bupkis checking out a cottage pie.
Sushi's Getting Wormier
Not having access to the study itself, and in light of the piece we ran a couple years ago about parasites and raw fish, I wonder to what degree that rise is a function of better reporting and the relative spike in how often fish is eaten raw globally as sushi became popular worldwide. In any case, even if it is true that there are more worms in fish, regulations mandating super-freezing for fish make health risks associated with the problem moot, so that may be something for sushi-lovers to push their legislators on when we can all safely go back to eating in sushi restaurants."
Excuse me, but who picks a freaking back burner!
3/23 14:20 ('nice')
Gut and Heart
"Kopitiam was the first restaurant I fell in love with when I moved to New York, and Moonlynn (a co-owner) was one of the first people to welcome me to this city with open arms. We became fast friends, and I've spent many of my happiest mornings eating at one of Kopitiam's window stools, overlooking the busy streets of Chinatown. Moonlynn treats her staff—mostly teens and the elderly—like family, so I can only imagine how difficult it was to lay them off, and to write this. I hope you'll take a few minutes and read this account from a chef battling through the upheaval the coronavirus has created."
Book Break - Titus Groan
"'A song! A song!' came the shrill chorus.
'Firshtly,' said the chef leaning forward and dropping each confidential word like a cannon ball smeared with syrup. 'Firshtly, I am none other than Abiatha Swelter, which meansh, for you would not know, that I am the shymbol of both exchellence and plenty. I am the father of exchellence and plenty. Who did I shay I was?'
'Abafer Swelter,' came the scream.
The chef leaned back on his swollen legs and drew the corners of his mouth down until they lost themselves among the shadows of his hot dewlaps.
'Abiatha,' he repeated slowly, stressing the central 'A.' 'Abiatha. What did I shay my name wash?'
'Abiatha,' came the scream again.
'Thatsh right, thatsh right. Abiatha. Are you lishening, my pretty vermin, are you lishening?'
The apprentices gave him to understand that they were listening very hard.
Before the chef continued he applied himself to the bottle once again. This time he held the glass neck between his teeth and tilting his head back until the bottle was vertical, drained it and spat it out over the heads of the fascinated throng. The sound of black glass smashing on the flagstones was drowned in screams of approval.
'Food,' said Swelter, 'is shelestial and drink is mosht entracing - such flowers of flatulence. Such gaseous buds. Come closer in, steal in, and I will shing. I will lift my sweetest heart into the rafters, and will shing to you a shong. An old shong of great shadness, a most dolorous piee. Come closer in.'"
From Titus Groan, the first of the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake. The novels are notable for any number of reasons, including the fact that one of the main characters starts out as a lowly cook.
Run across anything food-related in your reading? We'd love to see it!
(Anyone know of a book in which the protagonist is a cook?!?)
Starch Madness Is Live
We're kicking off our Big Starch package with a poignant essay by Sasha about the importance of sports and the conversations surrounding sports in helping foster a sense of community.
Once you dry your eyes, head on over to our Instagram stories to start weighing in on which dried pasta shape should reign supreme.
Stevie is Niki's dog, so basically when he barks, we say, "How high?"
(Note: Only SE staffer dogs are allowed to appear without snacks. Sorry, those are the rules.) (Note 2: We are gonna get all your dog pics up eventually! Make sure to include a snack in the photo and send it over!)
Rhapsody in Blue
"Comfort Among Strangers"
"Christiane Lauterbach reflects on the loss of restaurants from the point of view of a restaurant critic. While some may find it silly to focus on the effects of the current crisis on a profession with very few, privileged practitioners, there is some worthy insight here. Although in the future, I think, we'll look back at the fact that many people were out and about in public spaces like restaurants as late as March 11 as evidence of how woefully unprepared we were for what was coming."
What We Wrought
The team at SE spent the weekend cooking, of course. Here's what was on the menu:
Joel made bread for the first time (the first time!). Here's the recipe for the workhorse white bread he made.
Elazar baked a bunch of cookies and set them out on his stoop in Oakland, modeling good-neighbor behavior and good social-distancing practices. The ones above are from Stella's oatmeal cookie recipe. Go, Ez!
Vicky took a break from puzzling to make a fine plate of fine salmon and fine farro.
Maggie's sister went all out on Cuban roasted pork. Here's the recipe!
And Daniel DG says he made some excellent yogurt using the ChefSteps sous vide recipe.
What about you all? Did you make anything good? Did you make anything... bad?!? We literally live for food pics, so send 'em over.
Starting off with some tech issues this morning, so please enjoy this buldak, masterfully done by /u/jmulle0!
Vicky got a slice from Paulie Gee's Slice Shop last night, and we're envious as heck because a leftover slice from Paulie Gee's would be a perfect Sunday isolation lunch.
Some Advice on Cooking All Day
Sho's got a few things to say about Sunday cooking:
"I don't know how helpful this will be to people, but I figure a lot of people will be trying to cram a lot of cooking today for the week, some perhaps for the first time, and since I cook a lot most every Sunday, I think I have some advice.
"Here's the list of stuff I'm planning on doing in the kitchen today, and the order in which I've decided to do it: fresh alkaline noodles (6 portions); applying rub to ribs; sharpen a couple knives; bean and vegetable soup with bacon; jointing a chicken; chicken stock x2—ramen broth and general purpose stock; chicken adobo with legs from the jointed chicken; starting the ribs; gyoza; potatoes darphin to go with the ribs.
"I try to get all my vegetable prep done right at the start, so after I touch up my knives, I'll prep the soup, the stuff for the ramen broth, the adobo, and the stuff for gyoza—the darphin is for dinner, so I'll get to that later. This isn't just to keep myself organized; it's also because I use whatever vegetable scraps I can to fortify the general purpose chicken stock—ends and skins of onions and garlic, celery and carrot peelings and scraps, herb stems, scallion, leek, and flowering chive trimmings, for example. (Potato peelings aren't great for stock.)
"Also, I find it's important to prepare stuff both for specific meal ideas for the week ahead (gyoza, ramen, chicken adobo, bean soup) as well as general purpose items like stock, tomato sauce, beans, or noodles. I happen to have tomato sauce and beans (which are going in the soup) right now, so I don't need to prep those today. The general purpose items help to give you some flexibility during the week, so you have a greater ability to eat things you actually want to eat, rather than being forced to eat what you've prepared. Chicken adobo is great, but sometimes you want pasta with tomato sauce or a chicken cutlet with mushroom sauce, you know?
"Finally, keep in mind that the worst thing you can do is overload yourself. Keep your expectations reasonable, and build in some areas for cutting yourself some slack. For example, for me, the gyoza is optional, a project that I'll do if I feel relatively relaxed, or I can save for some other time if I'm feeling stressed. Once the vegetables are prepped, I can make the filling mixture and it can sit in the fridge for a couple days with no issue."
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Jumped right into my first night of isolation in Oakland. It feels strange to be so still in a city where I’m always so active—so many people to see, so much to do, all the restaurants, the bars, the galleries, the music, the views. But this isn’t that kind of trip. At least not for now. So I baked a platter of cookies, ordered wine from @ordinairewine, and called it a night.
A post shared by Elazar Sontag (@e_zar) on Mar 21, 2020 at 9:15pm PDT
Elazar's got the right idea—make some cookies! And don't just bake them all immediately: portion some out and stash them in the freezer, so you can have fresh-baked cookies when you need to stress-eat them.
Good Sunday Morning!
What are you all cooking today? Did you make something that turned out meh and need some advice for how to make that thing, but better? Wondering what to do with that half onion? As you putter around the kitchen today, think of some questions you think might be particularly useful to your specific situation, and send 'em on over (email us!).
If you drink, let David Wondrich guide you through the process.
Here's our Caiprinha recipe, if you're curious
Reader Tahra sent in this snap of Nubi. Nubi loves fruit of any kind, popsicles (pictured), and banana bread.
For those who've sent in pet pics, thank you! We're gonna ration them for now, but rest assured they'll be posted some time soon.
Lisa Kwon has written a fascinating examination of why a specific English dinnerware line is so important to Korean and Korean-American families over at Eater.
What's With Delivery Apps?
If this bothers you, try ordering directly from the restaurant you'd like to patronize.
"But I couldn’t think of anything more detrimental to public life, in my particular city, than a loss of restaurants. Eating out can be an afterthought, or a celebration, or a chore. It can be a bore. Or a routine. But when it’s gone there’s simply nothing that you can put in its place."
Lovely piece by Bryan Washington in The New Yorker.
Restaurants Need Help
From SE Overlord Ed, who recommends:
"This very moving story, told to SE alum Chris Crowley of Grub Street, about Kim Martin-Flammia and Patrick Flammia, who opened up their dream restaurant, Chofi Taco y Birria, in Union, NJ, only to have to close it down two days after opening because of the pandemic. One fascinating and telling tidbit: Seamless takes a 30% commission. Shouldn't they be waiving that at this moment? Reading this story made me call my representatives in Congress again to make sure people like Kim and Patrick are attended to in the massive bill being assembled as I write this. Tacos de birria, yes; Boeing, no."
Good Morning from Italy!
Stella's Best Banana Bread from r/seriouseats
Just gonna slide this video here, too:
How to Make the Best Banana Bread
Yup, This Ice Cream Looks Like a Butt
That's it for today, folks. Hope this has helped in some small way. We'll be manning the blog all weekend long, too, although updating it less frequently.
What's for Dinner?
Here's what the SE staff are planning on making for dinner tonight. Maybe you'll be inspired; maybe you'll be appalled!
- Daniel KD: "Lasagna, this recipe more or less, but with a leftover sorta improvised ragu from last weekend, which was just braised beef shins + pork ribs with some wine mirepoix and a can of tomatoes."
- Daniel G: "I have a bit more boneless leg of lamb that had been in my freezer for more than a year. I roasted it two days ago with some fresh oregano stuffed inside, and have been slicing it thinly, eating it cold with a diced Persian cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad dressed with sumac and evoo. That was dinner the past 2 nights and will likely be dinner tonight. After that, I’m gonna shift to some bean eating (gotta cook those beans still!), and maybe defrost a rabbit that’s also been hanging out in my freezer too long."
- Niki: "I'm making Daniel's sheet pan salmon with tomato-eggplant compote."
- Paul: "We're going to get a to-go pizza from the place on the corner."
- Vicky: "I'm having leftover shortribs and mashed potatoes my mom made. She leaves a plate on my stairs, like I'm a prisoner."
- Elazar: "I’m making pasta with peas and sausage and pesto which is... just my lunch, again."
- Sho: "This disgusting meatloaf I made. It's not actually disgusting, it's just meatloaf is disgusting. That and some asparagus with sauce gribiche."
- Ed: "Nova Scotia smoked salmon (there was no line at Zabar’s for the first time ever), cream cheese with scallions, on a bialy (toasted of course). It’s not cooking, I know, but it’s an awesome dinner."
What are you all doing for dinner?
Maggie parachuted into our office to take care of our sad, lonely office and desk plants.
Plants, we miss you. If you, too, are missing your office plants, take a brief moment to remember their loving leaves.
More Dog Breaks!
We weren't kidding when we said we want to see your pets!
Emily emailed us these two photos of her cute pooches, Riker and Ezri Dax, and dog-friendly pizza: a yeast-less crust made of whole wheat flour, an egg, and yogurt, topped with puréed beets, low fat mozz, and green beans/hot dogs.
Seriously, we love pets. Send us your pet pics! (Be sure to include some kind of snack in the photo!)
Colombe Offers Free Shipping
A suggestion from John Mattia, our video editor: Colombe Coffee has free shipping, if you're into coffee that "has a nice smooth taste which some coffee snobs don’t like."
Coronavirus and Food Safety
Kenji just published a massive explainer about COVID-19 and food safety, and it's up on the homepage right now.
The Grilled Cheese Explosion
Here's that grilled cheese explosion Ariel made on Twitch.
Never been a better time to embrace variety meats in variety (particularly the ones that benefit from looooong cooking, like tongue!)
We're on Twitch!
duffman asks in the comments:
I find that when working from home I’m having a big problem with snacking. How about some healthy snack recipes so I’m not obese by the time this pandemic is over.
Here are the (verbatim) responses from some of the team:
- Paul: "popcorn?"
- Sasha: "7 almonds"
- Maggie: "veggies with dips (hummus, yogurt, tzatziki etc), dehydrated veggie chips, popped lentils, rice crackers"
- Maggie adds: "As all moms would say 'why don’t you snack on fruit instead of candy?'"
- Daniel DK: "clementines have been saving me"
- Sho: "never eaten healthy in my life...idk, bread? with butter?"
If you've got any great suggestions, let us know in the comments (or email us!).
Call the People Who Work for You
Small businesses could use a hand, if you'd like to help.
Listen, if you've got a pet—any kind of pet at all—and you'd like to send us a picture (email us!), we won't say no. Just try to include a pet snack or something in the photo.
Good Food Things
Feels like we've been thinking this/saying this constantly: Not all heroes wear capes. (Well, maybe Ruby Tandoh wears a cape! We don't know!)
People are beautiful and food is good.
Apropos of pasta, if you want to peek inside the mind of a noodle maniac cooking his way through the crisis, have you met Sasha? (He's probably going to put up a recipe for that mushroom pasta, but it's all there in the highlights if mushroom pasta has all of a sudden for some reason become a necessity.)
View this post on Instagram
Pasta ai funghi. Comfort food dinner from last night. For anyone who wants cooking ASMR, snack/dinner inspo, or just a few minutes of zoning out watching food stuff happening during these uncertain times, I’m gonna pin story highlights for a lot of the stuff I’m cooking in the coming weeks. Daje.
A post shared by Sasha Marx (@sfmarx) on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:04am PDT
Maybe Eat Pasta for Lunch
Elazar put together a list of pasta sauces for your delectation. If you haven't planned lunch yet, may we suggest you do the carbonara?
Help! What Do I Do With All These Canned Chickpeas?
Been receiving a few pleas of this nature. 'Tis easy: Mash 'em, simmer 'em, stick 'em in a stew.
Thank you, @poutinesmoothie. Thank you.
Overlord Ed passed along a helpful email sent out by Becca PR, which represents some well-known restaurants. Here are links to a few relief organizations highlighted in the email, if you're able and willing to help out.
Food Relief Organizations
Current needs: $ donations, volunteers, shelf-stable foods, packaging materials, pre-packaged meals
Food Education Fund: COVID-19 Food Hub NYC
Million Gallons: support the food industry and fight food waste by preparing a million gallons of soup to donate in the next two weeks.
Hospitality Relief Funds
Gotta use those beans somehow.
The State of the Restaurant Industry
As seen through the lens of restaurants on the OpenTable network.
"Listen to that Crisp!"
/u/smelvin0 over on our subreddit provides a soundtrack to what is without a doubt the most popular Serious Eats recipe of all time: Kenji's roasted potatoes, which he calls the "best ever" because he is both a master of the spud and of understatement.
You can almost certainly make this right now if you stocked up on potatoes.
NYT article about how restaurants are trying to survive as everyone observes social distancing.
From the Inbox
I'm looking for 1.5 pound bags of heirloom beans for my chili seasoning. I would want to buy wholesale. I would want the bags private labeled.
Yep, we get some strange ones. But we're interested in this chili seasoning made with heirloom beans!
Back to the Land
'Tis a Time for Bread
Ariel Kanter, our director of commerce, has a partner named Gabby who makes some serious bread! Go, Gabby!
Daniel Dyssegaard Kallick, our full-stack developer, is also apparently good with bread! (He says this is the overnight white from Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.)
If you want to join in on the fun, too, check out our guide to getting started baking good bread.
Bread! The staff of life!
Blogging's Back, Baby
Some fine writers are food blogging, too, so bookmark the page and show 'em some love.
We (Re)Started a Blog!
Ever since the coronavirus crisis hit, compelling everyone, everywhere, to confine themselves to their homes whenever possible, all of us here at Serious Eats have been wondering how best we can help.
Business as usual isn't going to cut it in these troubling times. Since we're privileged to work in an industry that hasn't been immediately decimated, and we're sitting at our computers all day anyway, and because we, like you, are trying to manage our stress and fear even as we strive to maintain some sense of normalcy, we believe one way we can help the entire Serious Eats community as well as those who are stumbling on the site to figure out what to do with the 10 pounds of dried beans they just bought, is to enhance that sense of community.
This blog is an attempt to do just that. We hope this page will become a kind of port in the storm for you, a place to scroll through our answers to readers' requests for help, interesting links, funny photos, the weird stuff our staff is doing to help blow off steam, ephemera, etcetera. We plan on updating this page as often as possible, so whenever you need a break from the avalanche of very serious news, you can head here for something distracting as well as a few handy tips for what to do with your impulse purchase of frozen okra.