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Apr 17, 2012

A Guide to "Alternative" Steak Cuts: Better Flavor, Less Expensive

Everyone knows that a properly cooked steak from the rib and loin - the porterhouse, the strip, the T-bone, the ribeye, the tenderloin - is something worth savoring. And everybody also knows that these cuts can be expensive, especially the overpriced & flavor-lacking filet.

But for years, butchers have known of "secret" tastier cuts hidden inside the legs of the animal - the chuck and the round - that have much more beefy flavor, but are

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Apr 09, 2012

How to: Make Guinness Barbecue Sauce

created at: 04/09/2012

With record temperatures in most of the U.S. in March, we're well into grilling season. Which means it's time to move beyond the "we're just thankful that we can fire it up again" stage to start trying new things for the season.

Enter: Guinness barbecue sauce. It's

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Mar 23, 2012

Turn Your Kettle Grill into an Outdoor Pizza Oven

created at: 03/23/2012

The Kettle Pizza extension is a stainless-steel sleeve designed to fit over a standard 22 1/2" Weber-style charcoal grill, turning it into a charcoal or wood-burning pizza oven. 

On first thought, I saw this, and immediately began to drool. And then I saw the price, and got to thinking, and flipped the other way towards complete skepticism. And now...

I'm not sure if this is a good value, or not. So, let's discuss.

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Dec 19, 2011

The World's Most Perfect Hamburger

"The Ultimate Hamburger," from the Modernist Cuisine project by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, took stock of what most people crave in a burger - a perfectly fluffy and toasty bun, crunchy-but-not-too-crunchy veggies, gooey but flavorful cheese, loads of umami notes from ketchup and other sauces, and the perfect, beef-y patty, and used some serious cooking science to make it a possibility.

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Dec 08, 2011

How to: Dry Age Steak at Home

created at: 12/08/2011

If you've ever had an expertly cooked, dry-aged steak at a restaurant, you can certainly tell the difference between that experience and those you can buy at the grocery store and cook at home. Dry aging removes up to 25% of the water, leaving behind all the flavorful compounds and concentrating the beef-y flavor.

Turns out, you can apply the same that steak houses use, at home, turning your supermarket cut into a thing of wonder.  

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Aug 17, 2011

9 Must-Make Salsa Recipes to Match Any Dish

created at: 08/17/2011

It's no secret here on ManMade that I'm eternally in love with the food and flavors of Mexico. I just think there's something about the flavors of chiles, corn, lime, and cilantro that simply meshes with my palette.

And while I love a tender, toothsome fresh tortilla as much as anyone, and I'll gladly give an unnecessary bodily organ for a slow roasted cochinita pibil, the defining characteristic of Mexican flavors, for me, is salsa.  

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Aug 04, 2011

Romesco Sauce: It Goes Well on Everything

created at: 08/04/2011

Oh, romesco, you are the bestco.

I don't generally take pictures of my dinner or culinary creations and share them on ManMade. One, I figure there are thousands of food bloggers who are way better qualified; two, I usually cook in the evenings, and it's often too dark to take photos; and three, cooking serves as the creative thing I do where I don't feel required to blog about it. Which I like.

But, there are some things that just need to be shared, and I'll make an exception to preach the gospel of romesco sauce. This Spanish-standard is a showstopper, and tastes, well, like summer.

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Jul 13, 2011

Must-Grill Vegetables Become Meals in Themselves

Yeah, I know. The idea of grilling vegetables isn't new. Everyone who does outdoor cooking knows those hot grates are a perfect space to heat and char up some sides to go with that main course, or that some Tuscan grilled veggies, a bit of cheese, and a loaf of bread makes a perfect summer meal for two.

But what about taking grilled veggies seriously, opting for thick, meaty cuts that make you forget about grilled meats altogether?  

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Jun 30, 2011

20 DIY Fourth of July Projects

created at: 06/30/2011

It's a holiday weekend, which means you've got an extra day to get creative and make stuff. Since it's summer, you could make all kinds of fun, vacation-y sorts of things, delicious foods made from summer produce, or, if you're super ambitious, DIY fireworks!  

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Jun 13, 2011

How to: Make a Mini S'Mores Grill

created at: 06/13/2011

Sometimes, when the summertime s'mores craving hits you, you can settle for a microwave or oven version. 

And sometimes, you can't. Which leaves you with the dilemma - do I turn on the gas grill, fire up some charcoal, or build an entire campfire, just for a few expertly toasted marshmallows?

No, of course not. You just need to build a mini s'mores grill.  

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Jun 06, 2011

How to: Make Better S'Mores at Home

Nothing beats a perfectly made s'more in the summer. A fluffy 'shmallow, roasted oh-so-carefully over glowing coals, then singed at the last possible minute for just a bit of char. (At least, that's how I like 'em.)  

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Apr 26, 2011

How To: Make the World's Five Best Sandwiches (Part II)

Okay, so a few weeks ago, I shared this awesome roundup of chef-created sandwiches curated by 'wichcraft's Tom Colicchio and published in Saveur magazine.

I may also have called them the World's Five Best Sandwiches. So...

But, then I discovered blogger Nikole Herriott's work at her site FortySixth at Grace, and her Saturday Sandwich series, which features a totally different, but still amazing, take on some killer looking sandwiches.  

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Jan 12, 2011

Winter Grilling: Ideas, Tips, and How-tos to Get Savory in the Snow

created at: 01/12/2011

Every state in the U.S. is covered in snow, except for poor Florida. Many are saying, "Snow? of course, it's January," while others totally freak out, cancel schools, close down roads, and populations go into hibernation.

But for my money, it gives me an excuse to start cooking. I love to spend winter nights trying new things; complex dishes that come out of the lack of amazing produce you wouldn't want to otherwise mask.

And though it means lots of door openning and closing, and tracking in a bit of extra snow, I love to grill in the winter. Standing outside in blankets of white, warming myself by my roasty dinner, with the smellls mingling just so...  

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Aug 18, 2010

Flavor 101: Dry and Wet Rubs for the Grill

If you simply don't over- or undercook you food, and you do your best to keep things from catching on fire, you can make some perfectly acceptable grilled food (it is really amazing how far char, salt, and pepper can go).

But, acceptable is just that; we want amazing food on the grill. And that, my friends, means embracing the world of dry and wet rubs.

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Jun 30, 2010

101 Fast Recipes for Grilling

With July 4th on tap for this weekend, we're so deep into grilling season our tongs barely have time to cool down between uses.

Gratefully (ha!), Mark Bittman has assembled a massive collection of grilling recipes that can be prepared super quickly, with "vast majority [taking] less time to prepare and grill than it takes to watch your coals turn white. [Or] If you use gas, they’re still almost as fast as heating up the grill..."

Bittman begins with veggies and fruit, moves through meat, nails fish and shellfish, kills kebab, slays salads, bangs out burgers, sandwiches, and breads, and comes to a close where any meal should - with dessert.

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May 19, 2010

Jamaican Jerk: At Home, and Illustrated

As grill season continues to be more and more feasible (i.e. the May showers give way to sunshine again), many of us are looking for new flavors and sauce to try on our grilled amazingness.

created at: 05/19/2010

So, might I suggest Joe's Jerk sauce, from the fabulous illustrated recipe site, RecipeLook.co.uk. It seems like you could puree it up in bulk, then store it in the fridge for a few weeks.

Joe's Jerk Sauce: RecipeLook

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Apr 19, 2010

How To: Make Crazy Crispy Pizza on the Grill

2008_07_09-Pizza02.jpg

The reason pizzeria pizzas taste have such an amazing texture? They employ special super-high heat ovens that can reach temperatures of around 800-degrees. Your home oven simply can't keep up.

But your grill can. Unlike your oven, grills aren't interested in keeping a consistent temperature, so they won't shut off when they reach 500-degrees. MEANING, you can recreate pizzeria-like crust at home, you just gotta head outside.  

2008_07_09-Pizza04.jpg

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Apr 14, 2010

Handmade Haiku: Fire Makes Androgyny A-Okay!

created at: 01/13/2010

14 April 2010: Fire Makes Androgyny A-Okay!

created at: 04/14/2010

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Apr 13, 2010

How To: Perfectly Grilled Shrimp

created at: 04/13/2010

The BEST thing about cooking shrimp (and other crustaceans) is they tell YOU when they're done. They'll curl and turn an opaque pink/orange throughout, like Mother Nature's own little temperature gauge, or God's built-in egg timer.

The WORST thing about cooking shrimp, especially on a high-heat surface like your backyard grill, is that you've got to pay attention to get them just right, as they can char and overcook VERY easily.

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