Hacking The Holiday

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 22 2012 @ 2:29pm

Elizabeth Gunnison saves the day with tips on how to salvage various burned dishes. For gravy:

Transfer the gravy to another pan immediately, leaving behind the burnt stuff stuck to the bottom. Then take a quarter of a cantelope (or other melon), peel it, cut it into chunks and add it to the gravy. The cantelope will act like a big sponge, soaking up the bitter and imparting a little sweetness. Remove the cantelope before serving. If you don't have melon on hand, whisk a spoonful of Jiff peanut butter into the gravy. Don't ask why it works; it just works.

Elsewhere, the secret to the perfect pie crust, according to science:

The test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen suggest using a combination of water and vodka, in place of the water that a crust recipe calls for. When vodka is added to flour, its molecules, unlike water, do not cause the proteins to reconfigure into gluten. “Using a mixture of vodka and water allows us to add more liquid to the dough to get it to be as malleable and easy to work with as possible without causing excessive toughness,” the testers report.

Relatedly, J. Kenji López-Alt answers hosting questions over at Serious Eats:

If turkey is roasted well in advance of guests arriving, or there is a delay, what's the best way to re-heat? To what temperature?

If tented with foil and left in a warm place, a turkey should stay warm for at least a couple hours–at least internally. The real danger is the skin getting soggy and the surfaces getting cold. The best way to fix this? Just pop it in a 550°F oven for 7 to 15 minutes until the skin is crisp and piping hot again. The rest should take care of itself.