Purchasing a quality chef knife is a great first step for a beginner home cook, but the quality of the knife soon won’t matter if it isn’t cared for. Luckily it only requires a few habits and precautions to ensure the knife lasts for many years to come.
Whenever I see an Indonesian recipe for tempeh, I give it a try. That’s because even though I’ve been a fan of the fermented soybean cake for years, I’m still trying to unlock all its secrets, and Indonesia is where it was born. As chef Lara Lee writes in her beautiful recent cookbook, “Coconut & Sambal,” tempeh hails from 18th century Java.
Sometimes leftovers and a new recipe cross paths at just the right moment. I was flipping through "Clodagh's Weeknight Kitchen" by Clodagh McKenna (Kyle Books, 2021) and came across her recipe for a phyllo galette filled with roasted butternut squash.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, I went to the movies a lot, often alone, and I’d see pretty much anything because the golden-salty greatness that is movie theater popcorn makes seeing almost anything worthwhile.
The bagel and lox is a staple of American Jewish cuisine, and, although it has New York roots, it is now popular across the nation. The signature ingredient is lox, which is derived from the Yiddish word for salmon, and it almost always refers to thin fillets of brined salmon.
To braise or not to braise, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the kitchen to prepare vegetables with low heat and little moisture, or to use another technique from one’s culinary bag of tricks, and, with a scorching pan or rapid boil, cook them? When it comes to cooking vegetables, braising is rarely front of mind.
This soup isn’t supposed to excite me, but it does. It’s pea soup, after all, typically a metaphor for drab and boring. While it might not have the outright glamour of other soups, I am enamored with it nonetheless. I love that it’s a warming, filling, meal-in-a-bowl – as cozy as the softest flannel PJs – made with few steps and minimal chopping.
This green smoothie is not magical. It will not detoxify you (your liver, lungs and digestive system do that just fine) or cleanse you (food doesn’t make you clean or dirty) or fulfill the overblown promises inevitably made about one food or another right after the New Year’s ball drops.
Count me among the people who pat themselves on the back when they carefully pack away food in the freezer, knowing there’s something to cook and eat in the future. That, my friends, is only half the battle. Of course, there’s the issue of remembering what’s actually in there (I’ve been trying to track our inventory on a whiteboard).
Everyone knows the sense of disappointment that follows ripping open a fresh bag to potato chips only to discover that two-thirds of it is air. One way around this is to make your own. Whether you praise the delicately thin potato chip or swear by the thicker, kettle style, homemade potato chips are worth the time and effort.
There are a number of reasons alcohol is off-limits for some people when cooking or baking, such as an allergy or an inability to use it when preparing food for children or those who might be in recovery. Maybe it’s not in your pantry, now that we’re shopping less often, or even your budget.
I am not crazy for soup like some people. They could eat it every day, long for it and rave about the latest soup recipe they’ve discovered. For me, other than gumbo, which I’ll eat any day, any time, soup is a seasonal thing, an occasional dish, and the occasion is usually because it’s cold outside.
Pea soup is found all over the world, but in the Netherlands it is a wintertime specialty. “Erwtensoep” or more casually, “snert” is the rich, thick Dutch version of pea soup. It was often sold at koek-en-zopie outlets, which were small drink and food stalls that popped up on frozen bodies of water to sell treats to hungry and cold ice skaters.
Onions are versatile, cheap and delicious. With so many varieties of onions and other similar vegetables in the Allium family, it can be hard to know which is best for a specific recipe and cooking method. The allium genus includes onions, shallots, leeks, chives, garlics and scallions.
If I run out of homemade granola, someone needs to call a doctor because it’s a sign that something is terribly amiss. I always have a batch in my refrigerator (where it keeps longer than at room temperature) waiting to be eaten with milk and berries, sprinkled on yogurt or layered on top of simmered fruit for a short-cut crisp.
A platter of crispy potatoes appeals to all the senses. That enticing golden color. The texture and sound of the crunch. The smell. The way the crackling crust gives way to a creamy interior. Soggy, limp potatoes are just the opposite: sad and unappealing. Why even bother? Thankfully, there are ways to ensure maximum crispy potential.
I lit up like the twinkling decorations around me when I overheard two women at a holiday potluck a few years ago rave about their favorite bite of the night: the stuffed figs I brought! This was no ordinary party – it was the annual fete of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a philanthropic organization of female leaders in the fields of food, beverage and hospitality.
Coconut milk is waiting to become the shining star of your cuisine during these dark and cold months. This oil-in-water emulsion made from the liquid extraction of grated coconut pulp delivers all the creamy richness you want from a cozy meal but with tons of vibrant flavor. Coconut milk can be up to 20% fat, which determines its thickness.
Learning to cook is a journey. Only through a bit of trial and error do you learn your favorite methods for preparing and cooking food the way you prefer and aspire to. That said, trial and error can be much more fruitful when you have a little guidance, so here are some skills, tips and habits that are handy to learn as a beginner home cook.
We’ve baked a lot of cookies in our time. Dozens of batches, untold hundreds (thousands?) of individual treats. Between all that cooking, along with a healthy dose of developing and editing recipes, we have gathered quite a few tips and tricks. Now we’re sharing our collected wisdom with you to help guarantee success.
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