If quick and delicious are things you desire in the kitchen, then spring is the easiest time of year to cook. It's when all the sweet, crisp, fresh green versions of vegetables appear, vegetables so young and tender they barely need any heat. Here's how to get the most out of those peas, favas, fiddleheads, and more.
If you know anything about tortas or cemita sandwiches, it's that they're stacked tall with toppings that are are soft or extremely moist like avocado, shredded cheese, refried beans, or chipotle chilies. That means that the right structure is of utmost importance when designing a bun for them. Our cemita bun has a not-too-soft, not-too-dense, rich and tender egg-enriched crumb. Oh, and it's easy to make.
A few weeks back I showed you that you can make fresh ricotta gnocchi in less time than it takes to boil a pot of water. With a little practice, I've gotten it down to under ten minutes (8 minutes 53 seconds, to be precise). But the great part about this recipe is that it serves as a suitable base for a huge variety of sauces and flavors. For instance, last week a friend of mine brought over some delicious first-of-the-season fresh asparagus which we combined with prosciutto and an easy cream sauce to make a delicious impromptu (and fast!) meal on the spot.
Fresh pasta is many things, but vibrantly hued is not one of them. There are times when this couldn't matter less—times when you're dousing it in a thick, colorful sauce or making uova in raviolo. But sometimes you want to keep things super simple without sacrificing an eye-catching presentation. And sometimes you just want some bright pink noodles, dammit. Here's how to make fresh pasta in a rainbow of colors.
Here's a secret: Technique-based cooking, as opposed to recipe-based cooking, is the key to really expanding your weeknight dinner options and freeing yourself to experiment in the kitchen. This juicy chicken with an intense bourbon and mustard pan sauce is living proof of that. Let me demonstrate.
Pan-roasted chicken with pan sauce—like this one flavored with fresh rosemary and lemon—is the ultimate weeknight staple. It's inexpensive, delicious, and takes less than half an hour from start to finish. Throw a great simple mixed green salad on the side, and you've got yourself one of my all-time favorite meals.
Normally I'm all about innovation and deep digging and hardcore testing here at The Food Lab. But this time I'm starting with a dish so iconic, so incredible, so damn-near-flawless in its original form that the best I can possibly hope to do is tweak it just a bit to suit my very particular personal tastes. I'm talking about the ricotta gnudi at The Spotted Pig, April Bloomfield's West Village gastropub. Thin, thin pasta surrounds a core of creamy, explosive sheep's milk ricotta all served in a brown butter and sage sauce. And the good news is that my favorite dish isn't even that hard to make.
Kebabs are a promise so seldom realized—an excellent concept for cooking too often executed in a way that leaves them dry and flavorless. All it takes is a little kebab making know-how though to turn these backyard staples into something consistently great.
Some people swear that finising pasta on the heat with its sauce and some of the starchy pasta-boiling water produces the best result. Others just sauce on top. Who's right? And does the starch make much of a difference? Plus, learn the secret of Pasta Bullet Time in the Serious Eats version of The Matrix.
Once you eat a Mexican gordita, your life may never be the same again: Corn cakes made from masa dough are pan-fried to create a crisp exterior and a steamy, tender interior, then stuffed with any number of traditional fillings, from spicy beans, to fresh white cheese and tender shredded meats.
Trimming a full rack of spare ribs into a St. Louis-style rack takes only two cuts and results in ribs without any chewy cartilage that can make them hard to eat.
These days, there aren't too many vegetables in the world that I haven't made into a smooth, creamy soup, and there are even fewer that I've not loved, but my experience has taught me something: the first time I learned how to make a creamy chanterelle soup at my first real restaurant job wasn't really just a recipe for chanterelle soup. It was a blueprint for making any creamy vegetable soup. You just need to break it down into its individual steps and figure out how to universalize them. Here's how it's done.
Kinugoshi, a custard-like tofu often served in the summer, can be made with no fancy equipment and three simple ingredients: water, soybeans and Epsom salt. It's easy to screw up, but with this slideshow, easy to get right on the first try. Even if you lose interest halfway through making it, you've got your own fresh soy milk.
With freezer jam you get to preserve the bounty of summer without the fuss, heat, equipment, and time that canned jams require. All you need is ripe fruit, sugar (or another sweetener), pectin, and about 15 minutes of easy kitchen time. Before you know it, you'll be proudly scooping up homemade jam for toast, smoothies, yogurt, or just straight into your mouth.
It's easy enough to make spätzle with a spätzle-maker, but why not skip the gadgetry and cut your spätzle by hand, the old-fashioned way? Take a look at the slideshow and recipe to see how to make this rustic dumpling-like pasta.
No outdoor space? No green thumb? Not much sunshine? No problem. You can still easily grow your own bean sprouts. The process feels more like food prepping than gardening, which I think is key to not screwing it up either. All you need are beans, a jar, some cheesecloth, a rubber band, and water.
Though the whole process of making potato gnocchi from scratch may sound a little daunting, once you get rolling, it's really not hard and is actually kind of fun. Check out the slideshow tutorial to see how easy it is to make light, tender, and delicious homemade gnocchi. And then take a look at a few suggestions for simple sauces to go with them.
Chocolate ganache truffles are the perfect DIY Valentine's Day gift. In their simplest version, they are not at all hard to make. Roughly shaped and rolled in cocoa powder, they look like the fungus they're named after. Whoever gets them will feel very special.
If fine sushi-making is a culinary art form, you could think of onigiri as culinary arts 'n' crafts. More humble and practical than sushi, and with a lot of potential for cuteness, onigiri is, not surprisingly, a mainstay of the Japanese bento box and a popular quick meal.
Marshmallow-making is magic you can easily create at home with some sugar syrup and gelatin. With this method as a foundation, see how you can make basic marshmallows, marshmallows with egg whites, vegan marshmallows, and several flavor variations like espresso and vanilla bean.