28
May

Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries Recipe

Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries Recipe

Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries Recipe

  • Yield:four

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch fries (keep potatoes stored in a bowl of water)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 quarts peanut oil

Directions

  1. Place potatoes and vinegar in saucepan and add 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fully tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to dry for five minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or large wok over high heat to 400°F. Add 1/3 of fries to oil (oil temperature should drop to around 360°F). Cook for 50 seconds, agitating occasionally with wire mesh spider, then remove to second paper-towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potatoes (working in two more batches), allowing oil to return to 400°F after each addition. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Continue with step 3, or for best results, freeze potatoes at least over night, or up to 2 months.
  3. Return oil to 400°F over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and light golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain at around 360°F. Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels and season immediately with kosher salt. Cooked fries can be kept hot and crisp on a wire rack set on a sheet tray in a 200°F oven while second batch is cooked. Serve immediately.
28
May

Better Than Chipotle’s Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Better Than Chipotle’s Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Better Than Chipotle's Beef Barbacoa Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

This crazy-tender barbacoa made with oxtails and a blend of fruity chilies puts the fast food version to shame.

Note: Look for dried chilies in a large supermarket or Latin market. If you can’t find these exact chilies, any combination of mild, fruity and bright-tasting chilies will do, such as guajillo or Colorado. Barbacoa can be stored in its liquid for up to five days in refrigerator. The flavor should improve with time. Reheat gently on the stovetop or the microwave. Serve with store-bought or homemade corn tortillas (recipe here), and make sure to reheat them right!

  • Yield:serves 6 to 10
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:5 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 whole dried New Mexico, costeño, or choricero chili, seeds and stem removed (see notes above)
  • 1 whole chile ancho or pasilla, seeds and stem removed (see notes above)
  • 1 whole chile negro, seeds and stem removed (see notes above)
  • 1 quart low sodium store-bought or homemade chicken stock, divided
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound oxtails
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 chipotle chilis packed in adobo, roughly chopped, with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 whole chuck-eye roast (about 4 pounds), or 4 pounds boneless shortribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Warm corn tortillas, onions, cilantro, salsa, limes, and other condiments for serving

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 275°F. Add dried chilies to large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stock pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened with intense, roasted aroma, 2 to 5 minutes. Do not allow to smoke. Remove chilies to small bowl and set aside. Alternatively, place dried chilies on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high power in 15-second increments until pliable and toasted-smelling, about 30 seconds total. Transfer to a 2-quart microwave-safe liquid measuring cup or bowl. Add 2 cups chicken broth, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high power until gently simmering, about 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Cook oxtails until well-browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove oxtails and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add remaining two tablespoons oil and heat along with onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until deep brown and just starting to burn, about 10 minutes. Add cumin, cloves, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chipotle chilies, vinegar, and remaining chicken broth. Scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan, simmer until reduced by about half, then transfer entire contents to the jar of a blender.
  4. Add soaked chilies and their liquid to the blender along with fish sauce. Start blender on low and slowly increase speed to high. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  5. Place beef chuck in Dutch oven. Add oxtails, bay leaves, and sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place lid on pot slightly cracked, then transfer to oven. Cook, turning beef occasionally, until completely tender and a cake tester or metal skewer inserted into meat shows little to no resistance, about 4 hours. Discard bay leaves and oxtails (meat from oxtails can be eaten if desired). Transfer chuck to a large plate. Return Dutch oven to stovetop and cook, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes.
  6. Beef can be cut and served immediately, but for best flavor, transfer beef to a sealed container along with liquid and refrigerate up to five days. When ready to serve, slice beef against the grain into 1 1/2- to 2-inch slices, then shred into large chunks with fingers or two forks. Return beef to a pot along with the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, gently stirring and folding until beef is hot, tender, and coated in sauce. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately, piling the beef into warm corn tortillas with onions, cilantro, salsa, limes, or other condiments as desired. Alternatively, serve as-is with rice, noodles, grits, or cornbread.
28
May

Thai Chicken Satay Recipe

Thai Chicken Satay Recipe

Thai Chicken Satay Recipe

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

  • Yield:serves 4 to 6 as an appitizer
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch strips lengthwise
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to use
  • 1 recipe Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • Type of fire: Direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high

Directions

  1. Place lemongrass, oil, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, turmeric, garlic, coriander, and Sriracha in jar of a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides as necessary.
  2. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Place in refrigerator and marinate 1 to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally to marinate evenly.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto wooden skewers.
  4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill chicken until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately with Spicy Peanut Sauce
28
May

The Fake Shack, Mach Two: The Double Shack Stack Cracked Recipe

The Fake Shack, Mach Two: The Double Shack Stack Cracked Recipe

The Fake Shack, Mach Two: The Double Shack Stack Cracked Recipe

  • Yield:makes 2 burgers
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh ground beef, preferably the Shake Shack blend
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, 4-inches wide each, stems and gills discarded
  • 2 ounces grated muenster cheese
  • 2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 quart peanut oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 Martin’s Sandwich-sized Potato Rolls, toasted in butter
  • 2 tablespoons Shack Sauce, or condiments of your choice
  • 2 leaves green-leaf lettuce
  • 4 slices roma tomato

Directions

  1. Divide beef evenly into four 4-ounce patties and shape each into a puck approximately 2 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide. Set aside in refrigerator.
  2. Line large plate with triple layer of paper towels. Place mushroom caps on plate and top with another triple layer paper towels. Top with heavy second plate and microwave on high heat until mushrooms are completely tender and flexible, about 4 minutes (they will be very hot). Alternatively, steam mushrooms in steamer until tender, about 10 minutes. Once slightly cooled, press firmly between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
  3. Combine muenster and cheddar cheese and divide in half. Place one mushroom cap top side down on a 12-inch square of plastic wrap. Form half the cheese into a 3-inch patty and place on top of the mushroom cap. Top with second mushroom cap, top side up. Gather plastic wrap and twist to form mushrooms and cheese into compact patty shape. Repeat with remaining mushrooms and cheese.
  4. Working one mushroom patty, coat in flour, dip in egg wash, and coat in breadcrumbs. Return for a second layer of egg wash, and a second layer of breadcrumbs. Repeat with the second mushroom patty and allow both patties to rest in the crumbs for five minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oil in a wok or sauté pan to 375°F over high heat (use a thermometer). Add the mushroom patties to the hot oil and fry, shaking gently until golden brown on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper-towel lined place, season with salt, and tent with foil while you cook the burgers.
  6. Using wadded-up paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season beef pucks on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef pucks firmly to form 4-inch round patties, being careful not to let it stick to bottom of spatula. Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp brown crust has formed, about 2-minutes.
  7. Carefully scrape patties from skillet, and flip. Top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer.
  8. While burgers are cooking, spread top bun with 1 tablespoon sauce. Place 1 leaf lettuce and 2 tomatoes on top of sauce. Place 1 cooked burger patty on each bottom bun followed by the mushroom patty and the second burger patty. Close the sandwiches, and serve immediately.
28
May

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

The secret to our Chicken Tikka Masala is a salty yogurt-based marinade followed by intense charring on a hot grill. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

  • Yield:serves 4 to 6
  • Active time: 1 hour
  • Total time:5 hours

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, legs, or a mix), skin removed
  • 3 tablespoons toasted ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons toasted paprika
  • 2 tablespoon toasted ground coriander seed
  • 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 cloves garlic, grated on the medium holes of a box grater, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated on the medium holes of a box grater, divided
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 3/4 cup fresh juice from 4 to 6 lemons, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly mashed
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Place the chicken pieces on a cutting board with the flesh-side up. Score deeply at 1-inch intervals with a sharp knife. Place in a large rimmed baking dish.
  2. Combine cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside 3 tablespoons of spice mixture. Combine remaining 6 tablespoons spice mixture, 8 cloves garlic garlic, 2 tablespoons ginger, yogurt, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Pour marinade all over chicken pieces, using hands to coat every surface. cover loosely and refrigerate. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 8, turning occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter or ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until melted and foaming subsides. Add onions, remaining 4 tablespoons grated garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until dark and beginning to char in spots, about 10 minutes. Add reserved spice mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and half of cilantro, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan with a spoon. Simmer for 15 minutes, then puree using a hand blender or by transferring to a tabletop blender in batches.
  4. Stir in cream and remaining quarter cup lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, then set aside until chicken is cooked.
  5. TO COOK ON THE GRILL: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Wipe excess marinade off chicken and place over hot side of grill, flesh-side-down. Grill without moving until well charred, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until second side is charred, another 4 to 5 minutes. (Chicken will not be completely cooked through—this is ok). Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest 10 minutes.
  6. TO COOK UNDER THE BROILER: Line a broiler pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and preheat the broiler to high with the rack set 6 inches below broiler element. Wipe excess marinade off chicken and place on foil-lined pan, flesh side up. Broil until charred and blackened on surface, about 8 minutes (chicken will not be completely cooked through—this is ok). Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest 10 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken from bone using a sharp knife and cut into rough bite-sized chunks. Transfer chicken chunks to pot of sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, then serve immediately with rice or Grilled Naan
28
May

Homemade “Shamrock Shakes” Recipe

Homemade “Shamrock Shakes” Recipe

Homemade \

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

In my experience, I’ve found McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes to be a resounding disappointment. The mint flavoring was mild at best and a bit too toothpaste-y for my liking. And as a New Englander, I’m always disappointed when shakes aren’t double or triple thick (frappe anyone?). Still something about Shamrock Shakes captivate me. Perhaps I’m just sucker for marketing and/or alliteration which is why I wanted to make a Shamrock Shake I lived up to the minty goodness I had built up in my mind.

This homemade recipe uses few ingredients and comes together without the corn syrup (high fructose or otherwise) and additives and preservatives included in the real deal. Pleasantly minty and thick enough for quality slurping/straw cloggage, this is a shake that goes down easy.

Note: If you’re a super mint fan you can whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract before transferring mixture to ice cream maker for churning.

This recipe is adapted from Bravetart’s Homemade Oreo “Blizzard” recipe.

  • Yield:Serves 2
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:9 hours

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ounces whole milk
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups mint leaves (about 2 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1-2 drops green gel food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract (optional)

Directions

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together cream, milk, sugar, salt, and egg yolks until well combined.
  2. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking occasionally to prevent scorching, until mixture registers 145° F. Remove from heat and strain into an airtight container. Place container over ice bath and whisk until cooled to room temperature. Stir in mint leaves. Add split vanilla bean. Cover and refrigerate custard overnight.
  3. Remove custard from refrigerator. Remove vanilla bean, set aside. Strain custard through fine-mesh sieve into large measuring cup. Press on mint leaves to strain out all of the liquid then discard the leaves. Scrape out vanilla bean seeds and whisk them into the strained mixture. Discard the pod. Whisk in green food coloring and mint extract (if desired) then transfer custard to electric ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions until mixture is the desired thickness (should be about as thick as soft serve). Transfer into two glasses and serve immediately.
28
May

Takeout-Style Kung Pao Chicken (Diced Chicken With Peppers and Peanuts) Recipe

Takeout-Style Kung Pao Chicken (Diced Chicken With Peppers and Peanuts) Recipe

Takeout-Style Kung Pao Chicken (Diced Chicken With Peppers and Peanuts) Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

As much as I now love real-deal Sichuan kung-pao chicken, my absolute favorite Chinese dish as a kid was this mildly spiced Americanized version—and to be honest, I still love it today. Just because it’s a Chinese-American standard, complete with slightly-gloppy-sauce and mild heat doesn’t make diced chicken with peppers and peanuts any less delicious. Here’s how to make it at home.

Why this recipe works:

  • Dark-meat chicken is tossed in a marinade designed to optimize its natural meatiness and improve juiciness and browning characteristics.
  • Stir-frying meat and vegetables in batches ensures that each is exposed to the maximum heat of the wok for better flavor and texture.
  • Sweet, sour, and savory elements come together in the simple sauce.

Note: If you can’t find boneless skinless chicken thighs, you can debone them yourself using this guide. Shaoxing wine can be found in most Asian markets. If unavailable, dry sherry can be used in its place. If you can’t find whole dried chilies, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch chunks (see note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teapsoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (see note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • For the Stir-Fry:
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable, peanut, or canola oil, divided
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely minced
  • 8 small dried red Chinese or Arbol chilies (see note above)

Directions

  1. For the Chicken: Combine chicken, salt, pepper, soy sauce, wine, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. For the Stir-Fry: Combine soy sauce, wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together until homogenous. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add chicken, spread into a single layer, and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Continue cooking, tossing and stirring frequently, until the exterior is opaque but chicken is still slightly raw in the center, about 2 minute longer. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
  4. Wipe out wok and heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until smoking. Add bell peppers and celery and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until brightly colored and browned in spots, about 1 minute. Add peanuts and toss to combine.
  5. Push vegetables up side of wok to clear a space in the center. Add garlic, ginger, scallions, and dried chilies and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return chicken to wok and toss to combine. Stir sauce and add to wok. Cook, tossing, until sauce thickens and coats ingredients and chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Serve immediately.
28
May

Think Inside the Bun: How to Make Your Own Taco Bell Cemita

Think Inside the Bun: How to Make Your Own Taco Bell Cemita

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-7.jpg

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

More

Mexican Food

Recetas deliciosas to transport your tastebuds south of the border.

When it comes to understanding corporate America, we’re used to reading between the lines. Companies lie. They write inscrutable mission statements to obscure their true intentions. They distract us with flashy PR projects. They communicate in a doublespeak so thick that they rob words of their meaning.

So it’s always refreshing when a company bureaucrat talks straight with us commoners. Take Taco Bell’s CEO Brian Niccol, who did a marvelous, must-read interview with Grub Street where he shared the company’s theory behind its increasingly stonerrific menu:

The reality is: I think millennials have really become more like foodies, and what they are looking for are foodie experiences in fast food. Now, some people may think a foodie experience is some fancy ingredient you can’t pronounce. The millennials think that putting Cap’n Crunch into a new form is a foodie experience. Serving a Sriracha Quesarito is a foodie experience.

Stop what you’re doing and read the full interview. It’s 1,200 words of totally gonzo yet strangely forthright corporate communications.

Done? Okay, let’s talk about Taco Bell. You can make fun of a hard-shell taco wrapped in a quesadilla, but if David Chang sold such a thing, people would line up for hours to try it. And when I came into the Serious Eats office with a shopping bag full of Taco Bell food, I had to fight off hungry, handsy coworkers who just couldn’t help but sneak away some Crunchwrap Supreme. At 10 a.m.

It’s strange, though, how a fast food menu that’s inspired parody videos about endlessly recursive foodstuffs and redrawn mealtime taxonomies has never ventured into serving something as simple as a torta. Perhaps sandwiches aren’t enough of a foodie experience for Mr. Niccol, or he’s worried about venturing too far into McDonald’s territory.

But we deserve some Taco Bell sandwiches to call our own. Fortunately, with a quick supply run to the grocery store, you can make that happen with the chain’s very own menu.

Meet the Taco Bell Cemita.

The Basic Model

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-1.jpg

For the standard issue Taco Bell cemita, you’ll need three soft tacos, a side of refried beans, a side of guacamole, and a side of their salsa. Then buy or bake some cemita buns, stringy quesillo Oaxaca, a tomato, some papalo or cilantro, and a can of chipotles in adobo.*

* Can’t find proper cemita buns or Oaxacan cheese? You’re making a Taco Bell sandwich; it’s okay to improvise with burger buns and string cheese, ‘kay?

Scrape out the beef, cheese, and lettuce filling from the tacos and mix it all together. Then follow our standard cemita instructions and assemble like so:

20150427-tacobell-cemita-version-1-vicky-wasik3.gif

And voila:

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-2.jpg

You know what? It’s pretty damn good! Once you add the bun, cheese, chipotle, and vegetables, that beefy filling starts tasting a little less like Midwestern taco night and more like LA taco truck. I’ll take it.

The Breakfast Version

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-3.jpg

Taco Bell’s been pushing their breakfast menu pretty hard, which includes the number you see above: a hash brown, eggs, and steak wrapped inside a flour tortilla. But this does not a breakfast sandwich make. However, if you follow the same procedure as above, swapping out the soft tacos for a whole breakfast Crunchwrap, you get this number:

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-4.jpg

Olé!

The Ultimate

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-5.jpg

But all that’s child’s play. You don’t go to Taco Bell to fuck around and eat “healthy” or “sane” or “in a remotely appropriate manner.”

So above you’ll find a Crunchwrap Supreme (a tostada shell, ground beef, cheese sauce, sour cream* lettuce, and tomato wrapped in a flour tortilla) and two Gorditas (hard-shell beef tacos wrapped inside cheese-filled flatbread). Make sure to get the Dorito’s version because you only have one life to live.

* Taco Bell is quick to point out the sour cream is reduced-fat.

Then carefully—carefully—arrange those gorditas back-to-back on top of your Crunchwrap, and stack your cemita as high as it will go. You’ll be rewarded with this beauty:

20150427-tacobell-cemitas-vicky-wasik-6.jpg

Namely, from the bottom up: bun-beans-tortilla-beef-cheese-tostada-sour-cream-lettuce-tomato-tortilla-flatbread-cheese-taco-shell-beef-cheese-taco-shell-cheese-flatbread-tomato-guacamole-salsa-chipotle-herbs-cheese-bun.

That diagram photo doesn’t do this cemita justice. We really need to see it to scale.

So long, Lady

Now that’s what I call a sandwich. So what’s stopping you from making one of your own?

28
May

In-N-Out’s Double-Double, Animal Style Recipe

In-N-Out’s Double-Double, Animal Style Recipe

In-N-Out's Double-Double, Animal Style Recipe

[Photograph: Kenji Alt]

  • Yield:two 1/4-pound burgers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound fresh beef chuck with plenty of fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 soft Hamburger buns, preferably Arnold brand
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 dill pickles chips
  • 2 quarter-inch-thick slices ripe tomato
  • 2 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce, white core section removed, torn to bun-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 4 slices deli-cut American Cheese

Directions

  1. If using a meat grinder: Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm.
  2. Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Grind meat and refrigerate immediately until ready for use. Handle as gently as possible. Proceed with step three below.
  3. If using a food processor: Place bowl and blade of food processor in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.
  4. Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Working in two batches, place meat cubes in food processor and pulse until medium-fine grind is achieved, about 8 to 10 one-second pulses, scraping down processor bowl as necessary. Refrigerate ground meat immediately until ready for use. Handle as gently as possible.
  5. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees while you cook the onions: Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until onions are well browned, about 15 minutes. Once onions begin to sizzle heavily and appear dry, add 1 tablespoon water to skillet and stir. Continue cooking until water evaporates and onions start sizzling again. Repeat process, adding 1 tablespoon of water with each iteration until onions are meltingly soft and dark brown, about 3 times total. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Make the sauce: Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, and vinegar in small bowl. Stir to combine.
  7. Place closed buns in preheated oven for 2 minutes until slightly darkened and crisped. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat until shimmering. Open buns and add face-down to skillet. Toast until dark brown around the edges, about 1 minute total.
  8. Form ground beef into four 2-ounce patties, using damp hands to press each into a patty about 3/16ths of an inch thick and 4 inches wide. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil to pan, swirl to coat, and heat over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add burger patties and cook without moving until well browned and crusty on first side, about 2 1/2 minutes. While they are cooking, spread 1 tablespoon mustard on raw side of each patty with a spoon. Meanwhile, top each bottom bun with up half of spread, 4 slices pickles, 1 slice tomato, and lettuce. Flip patties with a thin spatula so mustard side is down and continue to cook for 1 minute. Top each patty with a slice of cheese. Divide onion mixture evenly between two patties. Place the other two patties directly on top of the onions , sandwiching them between the beef. Transfer patty stacks to bottom bun. Top with top bun, and serve immediately.
28
May

Chinese-American Beef and Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe

Chinese-American Beef and Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe

Chinese-American Beef and Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, or flap meat, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (divided)
  • 1/4 cup shaoxing wine or dry sherry (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, whites finely sliced, greens cut into 1/2-inch segments, reserved separately
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
  • 1 pound broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 quarts)

Directions

  1. Combine beef, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon xiaoshing wine in a bowl and toss to coat. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature and up to 3 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining soy sauce with corn starch and stir with a fork to form a slurry. Add remaining xiaoshing wine, chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Set aside. Combine garlic, ginger, and scallion whites in a bowl and set aside.
  3. To Grill With a Wok Insert: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals in a pile on center of cooking grate. Place Weber 8835 Gourmet BBQ System Hinged Cooking Grate on grill and set wok in center. Add oil and heat until smoking. Add beef and cook, stirring and tossing until beef is lightly charred but still pink in spots, about 1 minute. Push beef to sides of wok to clear space in center. Add broccoli and cook, stirring in center until lightly charred, about 30 seconds. Toss with beef and push up sides of wok. Add garlic/ginger/scallion mixture to center of wok and immediately push all ingredients into center, tossing and stirring until beef is cooked through and broccoli is just barely tender but still crunchy, about 30 seconds longer. Stir sauce and pour into wok (it should immediately start to boil). Add scallion greens. Toss all ingredients to coat in sauce and cook until lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and serve.
  4. To Cook On A Burner: When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of beef and cook without moving until well seared, about 1 minute. Continue cooking while stirring and tossing until lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and remaining beef, adding beef to same bowl. Wipe out wok. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon oil and half of broccoli. Transfer to bowl with beef. Repeat with remaining oil and remaining broccoli. Return wok to high heat until smoking. Return beef and broccoli to wok and add garlic/ginger/scallion mixture. Cook, tossing and stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sauce and scallion greens and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until lightly thickened, about 45 seconds longer. Carefully transfer to a serving platter and serve