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.
'Technique' on Serious Eats
Exposed to a wok's intense heat, cucumbers become silky smooth with a juicy, meaty bite. Here's a quick and easy recipe that pairs cucumbers with spicy ground pork.
Potatoes deserve more than to just be a boring side dish. They've got serious star power, and these Cajun-spiced baby potatoes—first boiled until creamy, then crisped in a skillet, and finally topped with a cooling buttermilk-herb dressing—prove it.
A lot of people will tell you that punning is one of the lowest forms of humor. No matter—this soup, born of a silly pun, is tasty whether you like that kind of wordplay or not. Based on a classic matzo-ball soup recipe, this one uses masa harina for tamales in place of matzo meal for light and moist poached dumplings that have more than a little in common with tamales themselves. We serve them in chicken broth spiked with Mexican flavors, like jalapeño, lime juice, and cilantro.
This chili is packed with moist, tender chunks of braised chicken thighs in a balanced sauce that is rich with umami depth and green chili flavor, but still plenty bright and fresh. And the best part: You can make it in under half an hour.
You may not know it, but you've probably eaten a lot of ding in your life. Kung Pao Chicken? Ding! Cashew Chicken? Ding! Confused? Ding! Don't worry, we'll explain what ding is, and give you an awesome recipe for Cashew Chicken Ding with crunchy vegetables like jicama, celery, and bell pepper.
For the longest storage and easiest slicing, get your bacon out of the fridge and into the freezer.
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.
Luxurious foods are, practically by definition, extremely expensive. Except for gravlax. For the price of a fresh piece of salmon, you can cure your own gravlax at home, then slice it and serve it as one of the most elegant hors d'oeuvres or light appetizers imaginable. Here's how to make it.
Forget everything you thought you knew about nachos and open your mind (and your mouth) to this Indian-inspired version. Crispy naan flatbread pieces serve as a sturdy and delicious stand-in for the standard tortilla chip base, and they're loaded up with generously spiced toppings that are at least as flavorful (if not more!) than their traditionally Tex-Mex counterparts.
Puffy tacos, a San Antonio specialty, are made from fresh masa that puffs and crisps in hot oil. The result is crisp outside and soft within, and way more fun that your standard hard taco shell. They can be stuffed with your favorite variety of taco-night fillings—this recipe uses a flavorful ground beef mixture that's earthy, spicy, and slightly smoky.
New England scoop shops are some of the country's best, in part because they tend to specialize in dense, rice ice creams with little added air and a distinct pleasant chewiness. Now you can MacGyver a batch of your own.
One of the problems with a lot of vegetarian stir-fry recipes is they can quickly become monotonous, with the same old lineup of vegetables and tofu each and every time. Don't get us wrong—some of those can be delicious—but as Buddha's Delight reminds us, there's so much more vegetarian stir-fry potential, if we just know how to tap it.
Take a look at those herbs above. The ones on the left look liked they were probably picked fresh just before I photographed them, while the ones at the right had been hanging out in my refrigerator for weeks in a forgotton plastic bag, right? Wrong. All of those stems of cilantro are the exact same age. 51 days in my refrigerator, to be exact. The only difference is in how they were stored. So what's the best way to store herbs? I tested out every method I could think of, isolating every variable—light, air, moisture, and temperature—and pushing my herbs to the limit to figure it out.
Madeleines, the delicious shell-like tea-cakes from France, are an impressive dessert that's actually very easy to make at home. They're often flavored with vanilla bean or citrus, but in this recipe, the buttery flavor of the madeleines is paired with almond extract and a sweet apricot glaze. Vanilla is added for a touch of warmth, while the brown butter in the batter gives the madeleines a rich, complex flavor.
This is an ice cream for the chocolate fans. The hardcore fans. The ones who shy away from chocolate desserts because they're always too light on the chocolate. The people who take their chocolate like goth kids take their souls: dark, moody, and bitter.
If you've ever struggled to choose between mozzarella sticks and onion rings, you know how difficult ordering bar food can be. But what if there was an appetizer that combined them both, so you'd never have to face such a cruel and impossible decision again? Under the working theory that nothing can go wrong when I combine my favorite bar foods, I decided to put them together and make one ring to rule them all: Mozzarella-Stuffed Crispy Baked Onion Rings.
Northwestern Chinese cuisine is famous for its grilled and stir-fried lamb, combining the hot and tingly flavors of Sichuan peppercorns and dried red chilies with plenty of cumin and other spices. So we asked ourselves, why not take those very same flavors and rub them all over a glorious roast leg of lamb? The results were phenomenal.
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.