The first time I tried farinata, the baked chickpea pancake from Italy, it was dry as particleboard. The second and third times were just as bad. Only after I'd dismissed it as an inexplicably terrible product of the Italian kitchen did I finally taste the real thing, and then I understood why people loved it so much. Savory, custardy, and simple in the best possible way, it's also dead easy to make at home. Here's how.
All the empanadas of Latin America—whether baked or fried, wrapped in a corn or flour dough—can thank the Galician empanada for their existence. Unlike the individual hand pies of Latin America, this empanada is formed as a large baked pie with a wheat crust and filled with onions, green peppers, and your choice of protein. Only after it's baked does it get cut into individual portions. Here's how to make it at home with a classic tuna filling.
Only about one out of ten of the small green peppers from the Spanish municipality of Padrón are wildly hot, while the rest are as mild as a green bell pepper. The exciting part is that it's pretty much impossible to tell them apart until you actually get them one your mouth. It's what makes eating them so damn exciting, though I gotta admit: I love their flavor so much that I'd be perfectly content knocking back a bowl without the added adrenaline of a game of capsicum roulette.
A combo of guajillo, ancho, and arbol chiles gives this red chili sauce its earthy, smoky, and spicy complexity. It's folded into an airy and flavorful tamale dough, then steamed in corn husks until light and tender.
This insanely delicious tamale filling is also one of the easiest—fruity roasted poblano peppers paired with strands of melted mild Oaxacan cheese. It's a minimal combo that delivers a lot of flavor within a light and tender tamale dough.
A green chili made of roasted poblanos, tomatillos, and cilantro provides a bright and fruity base for the rich pork carnitas in these light and tender tamales.
This master dough recipe for Mexican tamales starts with either fresh masa (the nixtamalized corn dough used to make tamales and tortillas) from a tortilleria or masa harina (nixtamailzed corn flour that's reconstituted with water or stock). Then lard, baking powder, and chicken stock are beaten into it to create a light, tender, and flavorful tamale that can be stuffed with your favorite filling, like green chili and pork, rajas and queso, or red chili with chicken.
Grated cheese is a common taco topping, but it's also a boring one, failing to take advantage of the cheese's best assets: its melting and crisping abilities. The solution is the here with these crispy cheese tacos, in which we fuse melted, crisped cheese to a tortilla, which can then be stuffed with all sorts of fillings.
Indian-inspired ingredients make these Naan Nachos (or should I say Naan-chos?) anything but ordinary.
The Spanish are masters at packing RDS (Really Delicious Stuff) into cans. When I'm drinking a glass of sherry or a Rioja with my wife Adri, I could be content with a good loaf of bread, some excellent olive oil, and some RDS. This recipe—pimientos del piquillo rellenos de atún (that's Spanish for "peppers with some well-dressed tuna shoved inside'em")—requires two jars of RDS: piquillo peppers and oil-packed bonito tuna. But it still takes all of 15 minutes to put together.
Ultra-crunchy onion rings and melty mozzarella sticks combine to make a bar food mash-up that's out of this world. No fussing with hot oil necessary—these are baked, not fried!
A simple oven-frying technique using baking powder gives these wings all of the traditional crispness of deep-fried ones with far less mess. Juicy strawberries bring sweetness to the sauce, while chipotle peppers round it out with heat and smokiness. Paired with creamy avocado-blue cheese dip and sprinkled with poppy seeds, there's no shortage of flavor or texture here!
Poutine is only as good as its three components—fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. Getting all of them just right can take time, including making your own stock, from-scratch fries, and homemade cheese curds. For a much quicker, yet still incredibly delicious, version, take our lead by making gravy with doctored store-bought stock and one of several fries and cheese options.
Jalapeño poppers get a barbecue-style update with bacon, pulled pork, and tangy raspberry sauce. No frying necessary: just cut the jalapeños in half, stuff them, roast them, and serve them with sauce for a sweet, spicy, smoky, and downright delicious appetizer.
Xiao long bao, Shanghai-style soup dumplings, have become legendary for good reason, but so far their doughier pan-fried cousins called sheng jian bao remain much less well-known here in the States. If you love XLB, you need to try sheng jian bao. Here's how to make them, from the flavorful pork filling to the dough wrapper and combo pan-frying and steaming method.
Deep-fried artichokes may be one of the best examples of the Roman-Jewish mastery of deep frying techniques. Shatteringly crisp outside, tender within, and as pop-able as potato chips, this is the way we all should usher in spring.
Lo mai gai, the dim sum classic of steamed lotus leaves stuffed with sticky rice and all sorts of delicious goodies, are irresistible from the moment you unwrap one fresh from the steamer and a chorus of aromas hits your nose. The biggest task is gathering all the ingredients, like the lotus leaves and glutinous rice, as well as Chinese sausage, cured pork belly, and salted egg yolks. Once you've got them rounded up, though, it's a relatively easy and extremely delicious at-home dish.
A perfect poutine is a trifecta of the best of its three ingredients—fries with a crisp exterior and soft interior, fresh and soft squeaky cheese curds, and a beefy brown gravy that's just flavorful enough without overwhelming the fries or curds. Getting each piece of the puzzle together for an ultimate version like this takes some time, but once complete, the reward is so good you'll go gaga even if you're totally sober.
These fried chive cakes are insanely chewy inside with a crisp, golden shell. Flavored with garlicky Chinese chives, they're a snack that, once you've tried them, you won't be able to live without.
Spinach and artichoke dip isn't just for chips anymore! Stuff the snack-food favorite into delicate pierogi dough to make a meal out of it.