Gourmet markets charge an arm and a leg for this creamier, milder cousin to sour cream. But you can make some at home—by leaving it out in the summer heat, science-project style—for half the cost.
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While pulverizing vegetables might seem impossible to botch, and most imperfect versions—while they may be too thick, chunky, soupy, or flavorless altogether—are certainly edible, a creamy vegetable puree can take some know-how.
Ceviche is a South American dish made by marinating pieces of fish or shellfish in citrus juice. Essentially, the acid from the juice denatures the proteins just as heat might, giving the seafood a cooked texture and taste—but without any grilling, sautéing or other too-stifling-for-summer activity required.
The advantages of cleaning your own calamari outnumber the horrors. Not only is it far less expensive to buy at the grocery counter or fish market, but slicing your own squid—and harvesting that elusive ink sac—affords some serious street cred.
I'm no culinary blowhard—half the time I can't retain the fancy-pants French cooking terms anyway. But I am big fan of paillard. For such an ostentatious term, one that seems like it should describe a ballet move or a European building, paillard is one of the least complex and most approachable food preparations I've learned.
Few things say summer like a juicy, fragrant tomato. But other than topping sandwiches with them or chopping them into a variety of salads, I was often at a loss for inspired ways to use them during the hot months—until I learned about tomato water.
Making any emulsion—and making it stay—is whisk-labor enough. On top of that, with hollandaise, you're dealing with the dangerous meeting of heat and eggs. And finally, there are as many recipes as there are brunch junkies out there. So where do you start?
Want your thermometer to tell it to you straight? Just level with it. This simple trick will help you restart at the right temp.
True, making breadcrumbs from scratch is nothing fancier than pulverizing, toasting, and maybe seasoning old bread. The real charm of the homemade stuff: A spare half a loaf could inspire new dinner ideas on the spot—if you know how to use it. Read on for tips on custom-making crumbs to suit your meatloaf, pan-fried cutlets, baked chicken fingers, mac and cheeses, and other meals.
Poaching eggs is like any other high-risk pursuit: those who can, do. (Those who can't, just click on this slideshow for a quick tutorial.) But the fun doesn't stop once you've joined the able ranks. While the greatest thing about a poached egg is its simplicity, there are countless ways to enjoy eating one (like on a bowl of ramen, or did somebody say shakshuka?).
Parsley's got personality—namely, a clean bright flavor and a lettuce-like crunch. So how about we start treating it like what it is: an herb. It's one of few herbs you can find fresh at any time of year in most supermarkets. There are two types: flat leaf (also called Italian parsley) and curly leaf. In a pinch, either is fine, but note the differences between them.
"Think of it as foreplay for fruits and vegetables." While blanching may not be the technique with the most mystique—you bring the water to a boil, drop in the goods, then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking—the benefits of blanching are where the allure's at. Blanched foods heat quickly so they retain color and texture, are depleted of their excess water (seems backwards, right?), and cook evenly so they're less likely to scorch or wilt during sautéing, frying, or other preparations that might happen later. In addition, ones you might normally find bitter, like greens, or fibrous, like carrots, become noticeably less so after a quick jacuzzi. That's why many vegetables in the professional kitchen are first...