January 24th, 2014
03:15 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

I don’t want to freak anyone out before the big game. But there’s a potential situation at hand. I’m referring, of course, to the rumored Velveeta shortage

According to a Kraft spokeswoman, Jody Moore, “Given the incredible popularity of Velveeta this time of year, it is possible consumers may not be able to find their favorite product on store shelves over the next couple of weeks ... We expect it to be a short-term issue.”

In the worst case—if there’s already been a run on Velveeta at your store, and you can’t score any on the black market—you might want to make alternate arrangements for your Super Bowl food fest. Here, some good options from exceptional hot dogs to a charity New Mexican Souper Bowl.
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January 23rd, 2014
04:00 PM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

All the world loves a sausage, so whether you grew up in Brooklyn or Bologna, you probably have a favorite. Here are some of ours:

Frankfurter: Top Dog

The genuine article, the Frankfurter, hails from Germany. But America adopted it and made it the most famous sausage in the world. Hot dogs are made from beef (sometimes combined with pork), which is cured, smoked, cooked, and seasoned with coriander, garlic, ground mustard, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and white pepper. Although hot dogs are fully cooked, warm them by steaming, boiling, sautéing, or grilling (we prefer the last two, which make for crisp skins). All-beef dogs with little or no sugar taste meaty and real. The test kitchen favorite is Nathan’s Famous Beef Franks.
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7 greatest fats - ranked!
January 20th, 2014
08:00 AM ET
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Josh Ozersky has written on his carnivorous exploits for Time, Esquire and now Food & Wine; he has authored several books, including The Hamburger: A History; and he is the founder of the Meatopia food festival. Follow him on Twitter @OzerskyTV.

Fat is what matters in your food. That’s the key thing to remember about fat. The lean mean tastes like whatever; you couldn’t tell a thin slice of chicken breast from a carpaccio if your life depended on it. No, “The fat is the meat, and the meat is the vegetable,” as the saying goes, and this is especially true of real fat, the kind that comes from animals.

I should clarify here - so to speak - that I am not talking about the revolting white fat that sits congealing on the plate when they slice open the prime rib. No, I mean hot fat, crispy fat and most of all liquid fat, the kind you can roast or sauté things in. Most herbs and spices, as volatile organic compounds, are fat-soluble, so it’s not hard to give the fat you use deep flavor - deeper than you ever get by just seasoning the food. I use Aleppo pepper, rosemary, chiles, sage and whatever else I can think of to put into it.

But are all fats created equal? I don’t think they are. I think there is a eternal hierarchy of Seven Great Greases, as I have come to think of them. They are as follows.
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January 14th, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

It’s hard enough to cook chicken properly on the stovetop or in the oven, where you have complete control of the temperature, but in a slow cooker (see which models we recommend in our equipment testing) it’s even trickier to ensure moist, flavorful chicken at the end of a long cooking time. We’ve seen soups and stews full of dry shredded chicken and braised breasts and thighs that were bland and unappealing. Here is what we’ve learned about getting juicy, flavorful chicken from a slow cooker.
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