'Serious Eats Essentials' on Serious Eats

Essentials: Pie Crust

Here’s a confession: until recently I did not really understand the appeal of pie. As a child I didn’t care for things that were crisp and buttery, like shortbread and crust, and that was that. In the past few years,... More

Essentials: Collard Greens

©iStockphoto.com/Suzifoo People don’t eat collard greens often enough, probably because they just haven’t tried them—they look deceptively old-fashioned and limp, like something on offer at a depressing cafeteria or prepared by your grandmother who isn’t such a good cook. When... More

Essentials: Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are one of those things that always look powerfully enticing on a menu but that I almost never order. They’re too expensive, or I’m feeling too fat to eat fried food, or—and this is usually the dealbreaker for... More

Essentials: Hummus

©iStockphoto.com/JLGutierrez Sometimes I recall that I grew up without hummus and am amazed. It seems like such a natural kid-food, but it just wasn’t around in Houston then (now it is—my childhood, we’re talking decades ago now, people). I discovered... More

Essentials: Fish Tacos

Photograph from blair christensen on Flickr Since I was raised on wonderfully lardy, cheesy Tex-Mex, it took me a while to come around to the ungloppy goodness that is a fish taco. In the early 1990s fish tacos became something... More

Essentials: Baked Ziti

Photograph: ©iStockphoto.com/mstroz Since the thought of another pile of paper to manage makes me cringe, I don’t keep a file of recipe clippings for the future. I can’t remember, then, what prompted me to pull this recipe from Mark Bittman’s... More

Essentials: Hamburgers

It isn't summer yet, but the sun has me thinking. Every June when the food magazines put out issues full of gorgeous grilled things, I, a grill-deprived citizen of New York City, feel somehow snubbed. The rest of the country,... More

Essentials: Rice

A few years ago at a family meal my dad randomly launched into a lengthy panegyric to rice. He does this sometimes—proclaims a deep but previously unvoiced passion—and my mother, sister, and I roll our eyes at the poor outnumbered... More

Essentials: Stuffed Eggs

Since I don’t go to church and am not crazy about holidays whose secular celebrations feature chocolate and candy, Easter barely registers on my seasonal radar. If you, on the other hand, have a bunch of pastel hard-boiled eggs around,... More

Essentials: Easy Enchiladas

Enchiladas may not be an essential part of everyone's cooking repertoire, but this recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is so easy and versatile that I tend to be evangelical about it. Though the results are not authentically... More

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