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Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are Paperback – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030772087X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307720870
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Featured Recipe: Hamburger Fatty Melt

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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Customer Reviews

No matter: this book is just that great.
Ben
I can't answer that, but it sure as hell makes this book more fun to read.
Chris
I love the serious eats website and this book met all my expectations.
Hayden M. Greenawalt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By cristobal on November 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a SE reader for years, and was delighted when I saw out they were coming out with this book. I pre-ordered as soon as it became available. On the website, it really sounded like there would be a lot more recipes than actually made the book. Instead it seems to mostly be made up of an endless series of Best Of lists. If you read SE there is absolutely no reason to buy the book, unless you simply want to support the site. If you don't visit the SE site, you will probably find the book quite entertaining for its voice, but don't think for a second you will find any cooking treasures in there, because you won't.
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39 of 49 people found the following review helpful By nybiblio on November 3, 2011
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The Serious Eats site is a wonderful resource for venues, recipes, and just about anything else to do with food. I purchased this book based on the expectation that it would be a similar resource. After all, it is "A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Where Ever You Are." The title should have been "400 Pages of lists in SEverAL doZEN TYpEfacES and SIzeS with a few recipes thrown in." The lay-out of the book leaves much to be desired. It's a chaotic jumble, not helped by the typefaces/sizes previously mentioned.

I had hoped for thoughtful articles and a solid collection of recipes. Instead, the book mostly contains lists reprinted from the website. How relevant is this in an age where we can pull up the same information on our cell phones/iPads while traveling?

My cookbook/food collection spans several hundred volumes. I can always find room for one more if I even remotely think I will ever use it. I've never returned a book before, either to a book store or to Amazon. This one is ready for UPS pick up tomorrow.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chris on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I'll caveat this review by stating that I've been a long time reader, commenter and occasional contributor to Serious Eats. I count the writers and editors of SE as both my professional associates and personal friends. With that said, I paid the full Amazon price for this book so I think that I am entitled my opinion just the same as other readers.

This book is a truly unique spin on food. It's a grey area between your traditional cookbook and the new wave of gastro-travel writing, in the same vein as Anthony Bourdain and AA Gill. There are honest, raw and sometimes humorous anecdotes about the travel, the progenitors of the food and the restaurants that the New York based staff sought out.

Earlier in the century, the Michelin tire company, driven by the motivation to get motorists on the road (and therefore selling more tires), started to case the great restaurants in the country of France. This tradition turned into what is now known as the Michelin guide, and is one of the most widely respected tomes of restaurant lore in the world.

I'll stop short of comparing the Serious Eats guide to the Michelin guide, but they've accomplished a similar goal - get the word out on local eats across the country and expose great restaurants to hungry citizens across the lower 48. As such, the book does a fantastic job of acknowledging locals eats, both famous and under the radar, across the country. If I ever find myself in Milwaukee, WI or Portland, OR, this book will serve as a valuable guide of where I should spend my dining budget.

Not that they've probed the country's gastronomy willy-nilly. They've smartly focused the book on the type of food that your average American eater and aspiring cook can relate to.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Barker on December 27, 2011
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It really is more of a coffee table type book instead of a cookbook. As one reviewer noted, it might be better for people that travel a lot and might make it to some of the restaurants they list. I was hoping for more recipes, which are really sparse in this book. Not really a good buy for what I expected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bill on December 20, 2011
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If Walt Whitman had been a foodie and lived to be 192, he would have loved this book. It is a fun collection of "I hear American eating (and cooking)" writting by the folks who do the very successful food blog, Serious Eats. They are serious about eating, but in a spirit of fun. As they say in the introduction, this is a democratic book, reporting on tasty food in all corners of the country, giving the reader a smattering of recipes, interesting information (what's the deal on wood-fired ovens?), and lots of good tips on where to get great food from fried catfish in Oxford (Mississippi, of course) to shave ice in Hawaii. No matter where you live (almost), there are places the book will make you want to drive to. Taste is the supreme value here, not health or political correctness (though there is a nice nod to farmers and farmers markets). And you don't need a highly refined palette, just a sound tongue and an eager stomach, and an ear ready to hear that food-gasms can be had in places that think Michelin is just a brand of tire.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ben on November 8, 2011
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Serious Eats, the book, does what the website has done since its founding: it takes the food very seriously without taking itself too seriously. It's serious, not snobby, and it's trustworthy, thoughtfully compiled, beautiful and funny and knowledgeable, and as far as I can tell, it's the first book of its kind.

SE has been my favorite food blog for a long time. There are a few reasons for this, and they're all reasons to also love their first book, Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are. The book is 2/3 national food guide, 1/3 cookbook, and 1/3 information, opinion, and history of the nation's favorite foods. Wait, that's too many thirds. No matter: this book is just that great.

For any fan of the site, or just someone who loves great food (buying it, making it, eating it, reading about it), this one's a must.
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