Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are

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9780307720870: Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are

Ed Levine and the editors of food blog SeriousEats.com bring you the first Serious Eats book, a celebration of America’s favorite foods, from pizza to barbecue, tacos to sliders, doughnuts to egg sandwiches, and much more. Serious Eats crackles with the energy and conviction that has made the website the passionate, discerning authority on all things delicious since its inception in 2006.

Are you a Serious Eater?

1. Do you plan your day around what you might eat?
2. When you are heading somewhere, anywhere, will you go out of your way to eat something delicious?
3. When you daydream, do you often find yourself thinking about food?
4. Do you live to eat, rather than eat to live?
5. Have you strained relationships with friends or family by dictating the food itinerary—changing everyone’s plans to try a potentially special burger or piece of pie?

Ed Levine, whom Ruth Reichl calls the “missionary of the delicious,” and his SeriousEats.com editors present their unique take on iconic foods made and served around the country. From house-cured, hand-cut corned beef sandwiches at Jake’s in Milwaukee to fried-to-order doughnuts at Shipley’s Do-Nuts in Houston; from fresh clam pizza at Zuppardi’s Pizzeria in West Haven, Connecticut, to Green Eggs and Ham at Huckleberry Bakery and Café in Los Angeles, Serious Eats is a veritable map of some of the best food they have eaten nationwide.
           
Covering fast food, family-run restaurants, food trucks, and four-star dining establishments, all with zero snobbery, there is plenty here for every food lover, from coast to coast and everywhere in between. Featuring 400 of the Serious Eats team’s greatest food finds and 50 all-new recipes, this is your must-read manual for the pursuit of a tasty life.
           
You’ll learn not only where to go for the best grub, but also how to make the food you crave right in your own kitchen, with original recipes including Neapolitan Pizza (and dough), the Ultimate Sliders (which were invented in Kansas), Caramel Sticky Buns, Southern Fried Chicken, the classic Reuben, and Triple-Chocolate Adult Brownies. You’ll also hone your Serious Eater skills with tips that include signs of deliciousness, regional style guides (think pizza or barbecue), and Ed’s hypotheses—ranging from the Cuban sandwich theory to the Pizza Cognition Theory—on what makes a perfect bite.

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Featured Recipe: Hamburger Fatty Melt

Yield 2 burgers

  • 1/2 pound freshly ground Basic Burger Blend (see recipe below)
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 slices sandwich bread, preferably thin-sliced
  • 8 slices yellow American cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Toppings, as desired (we recommend a slice of ripe tomato for each sandwich)

Divide the beef blend into two equal parts and shape into square patties 1/2 inch larger than the bread slices. Set aside.

For the grilled sandwiches, butter all eight slices of bread on both sides in a thin, even layer, using 1/2 tablespoon butter per slice. Place the remaining teaspoon of butter in a 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat until the foaming subsides, 2 to 3 minutes.

Place two slices of bread in the skillet and cook until the first side is hot but not browned, about 30 seconds. Transfer the slices to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, hot side up. Top each slice with a slice of cheese. Repeat with the remaining six slices of bread and cheese.

Assemble the bread and cheese to form four sandwiches with two slices of cheese in the center of each. Place two sandwiches in the skillet and cook until the first sides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until they are golden brown on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the finished sandwiches to the wire rack and tent with foil to keep them warm while cooking the remaining two sandwiches.

Place the skillet over medium-high and heat the oil until it is lightly smoking. Season the patties liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them in the pan and cook without moving for about 3 minutes, until they are well browned. Using a metal spatula, flip the burgers and cook for 1 minute longer, or until the desired doneness is reached. Sandwich each patty between two grilled-cheese sandwiches, adding toppings as desired. Serve immediately.

Basic Burger Blend

Makes 2 pounds

  • 12 ounces boneless beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 10 ounces beef brisket, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 10 ounces boneless beef shortrib, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1-inch cubes

Using a Meat Grinder

  1. Place the feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of the meat grinder in the freezer until well chilled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place all the meat chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes, until the meat is firm, but not frozen.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chilled meats and toss to mix. Grind the meat, handling as little as possible after it is ground. Use the ground meat immediately, or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using a Food Processor

  1. Place the bowl and blade of a food processor in the freezer until well chilled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place the meat chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes, until the meat is firm, but not frozen.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chilled meats and toss to mix. Working in two batches, place the meat cubes in the food processor and pulse until a medium-fine grind is achieved, eight to ten 1-second pulses, scraping down the processor bowl as necessary. Use the ground meat immediately, or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

About the Author:

ED LEVINE, founder of SeriousEats.com, is a New York–based food writer, blogger, and frequent New York Times contributor. He is a recurring judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and has appeared on Good Morning America, Fresh Air, Charlie Rose, Martha Stewart Radio, The Splendid Table, Leonard Lopate, and CBS’s Sunday Morning. Serious Eats has won two James Beard Awards and was named by Time as one of the Top 50 Websites in 2008 and 2010.

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Levine, Ed
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