Keith Pandolfi on potato skins, childhood, emotion, and memory: "Potato skins remind me that I don't need New York. That I'd be perfectly happy back home among the commercial strips and fast-food joints of suburban Cincinnati, where I grew up. I'd be fine hanging out with my old friends each night in the bar at Uno's or Applebee's or Chili's, drinking Michelob Amber Bocks."
There's a lot of folk wisdom and myths surrounding baking Yorkshire puddings, so J. Kenji López-Alt decided to test them all and figure out which (if any) are true.. Previous perfect puddings post.
Cheap coffee is one of America's most unsung comfort foods. It's as warming and familiar as a homemade lasagna or a 6-hour stew. It tastes of midnight diners and Tom Waits songs; ice cream and cigarettes with a dash of Swiss Miss. It makes me remember the best cup of coffee I ever had. Even though there was never just one best cup: there were hundreds. [SLSeriousEats]
The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea (slSeriousEats) [more inside]
The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak (J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats)
"As you can see, the steak cooked for just one hour stretches and pulls when you tear it. This gives the steak a pleasant amount of chew. It's still tender, but it tastes like a steak. By the time we hit four hours, that chew has been reduced a bit. Connective tissue has broken down and individual muscle fibrils split apart easily instead of sticking together, though a four-hour steak is still pretty decent."[more inside]
"Good fresh goat cheese is a special and important thing. It should be moist and creamy, without a hint of graininess. Its flavor should be clean and fresh, mouthwateringly tangy but not astringent, lemony but also milky and balanced. An unaged cheese has nowhere to hide its faults."Beyond Chevre: 10 Essential Goat Milk Cheeses to Know and Love - by Liz Thorpe at Serious Eats [more inside]
10 Common Crimes Against Cheese You Don't Have to Commit - Serious Eats piece by Niki Achitoff-Gray. Previously: 7 Secrets To a Beautiful Cheese Board [more inside]
Summer's upon us, and that means it's time to wallow in delicious ice cream over at Serious Eats. Learn how to make sorbet, sherbet, gelato, fro-yo, and soft serve. While you're at it, mix in the best ways to swirl in chocolate, nuts, and booze. Top it off with myth-dispelling advice from the pros on when to use corn syrup, age an ice cream base, add eggs to a recipe, incorporate a stabilizer, and create a smoky finish. If the ice cream sounds like too much work, make a no-churn Key Lime Pie instead. For you vegans out there, we've got something for you too.
Climbing Mt. Ramen, vegan-style. For the past four years, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats has gone vegan for the month of February.
This is hands-down the best bowl of ramen I've ever made. And it can all be yours—with a little bit of heavy-duty climbing, that is. It's a bear of a recipe with many moving parts and tons of individual elements that need to come together in one bowl at the end. Set aside at least half a day for this project because you won't be making it on a weeknight. That said, it's not very difficult, technique-wise, lots of simmering and straining and just a bit of roasting. Come with me. I can lead the way and put the anchors in for you, but you're going to have to pull yourself up to the top.
Before anyone posts any more comments about restaurant closings, watch a grown man break down in public as he recounts how 12 years ago he hung up the very pictures he now has to take off the walls.Arrogant Swine proprietor and pitmaster Tyson Ho discusses what happens when a restaurant (not his!) closes its doors for the final time as part of a series on opening a barbeque restaurant in Brooklyn.
A very basic white chicken stock is a pretty simple affair: It's made with water, chicken, aromatic vegetables like onion, carrot, and garlic, and then herbs.
The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles. "Wouldn't it be great if you could get all of the convenience and pleasure of instant noodles—the portability, the just-add-water cooking, the lunch-sized portions—but pack it full of fresh vegetables and real, honest-to-goodness flavor? Here's a secret: you can, and it's easier than you think."
"With a well-picked sixer by your side, there's hardly a dish out there that can't be made better." Serious Eats gives you six beers you should always have in your fridge for killer pairings. [more inside]
"You may think you know what a snowball is. That conical treat of chunky ice where all of the flavor drips out of the bottom of a paper triangle? Nope, that's a snowcone. That fruity, pureed ice that you have to scrape with a wooden spoon? Nope, that's Italian ice. Or maybe the fluffy bowl of ice with condensed milk on top? Wrong again—that's Hawaiian shave ice ... A classic Baltimore snowball arrives in a Styrofoam cup: shaved ice sloshed with sweet syrup—mostly artificial flavoring and not any of that "real fruit" stuff—and typically topped with marshmallow cream. While the ice is shaved, it's not fine enough to dissolve, leaving the snowball chunky and intact enough to survive humid Baltimore summers." SeriousEats covers Baltimore's delicious regional treat, the snowball. Summertime snowballs have been a staple of the city for many, many years. A little bit of ambient snowball stand audio.
Coffee Science: How to Make the Best Pourover Coffee at Home
"Most of the roasted coffee bean, about two thirds of the bean's mass, is insoluble cellulose. The other third is dissolvable in water. Of that soluble third, most of it is the good stuff, particularly various organic acids and sugars. The rest are longer-chain molecules that we associate with astringent and bitter tastes. Where we find the happy balance is at the 19-20% point, that is, if you extract the first 19-20% of the mass of the coffee, we tend to find the best flavor balance. More than that and you'll find those astringent and bitter flavors start to dominate. Less than that and you'll find the resulting flavors thin and unbalanced, and with lighter roasted coffees, unusually sour. Timing really is what makes or breaks your coffee brew."[more inside]
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, managing culinary director at food blog Serious Eats, recently took an extended trip to China and southeast Asia with his wife, Adri, after driving across the country during a move from New York to San Francisco. He documented his Asia trip on a personal blog set up to elude Chinese censors. [more inside]
The Science of the Best Sorbet
Though it's just as easy to make as ice cream, sorbet is a little less forgiving—its lack of fat and eggs mean you have to be more careful with your recipe. Now the good news: sorbet has a science like anything else, and once you learn a few things you'll be ready to turn any fruit into fresh, full-flavored, and creamy sorbet—something so creamy you might confuse it for ice cream.[more inside]
When you go out to a bar or restaurant, have you ever wondered why your beer costs what it does? Here's your chance to find out. [more inside]
Serious Eat's The Food Lab cooks The Perfect Rack Of Lamb. "You don't have a $450 low-temperature water oven"? Good thing it isn't necessary...
For the past two Februarys, Serious Eats Chief Creative Officer J. Kenji Alt-Lopez has gone vegan for the entire month. Here he shares the 60 vegan recipes he created during his Vegan Experience.
Just in time for (American) Thanksgiving, Serious Eats' Kenji Lopez-Alt provides an illustrated dissertation on the finer points of Turduckening. Warning: Link contains pictures of dead birds in various states of undress.
Serious Eats would like to show-and-tell you nearly every American sandwich. They threw in a few other countries' sandwiches, as well. This was a rather last-minute observance of National Sandwich Month.
In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: a careful comparison of three hamburger heavyweights. (Previously.)
[Cooking Filter] Serious Eats' Kenji Lopez-Alt explains what to look for in a meat cleaver.