The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

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The Food Lab: This Issan Thai-Inspired Sliced Steak Salad Will Knock Your Socks Off

Inspired by my recent trip to Northeastern Thailand, this steak salad combines ingredients readily available in the average supermarket with distinct Issan flavors. Sliced steak, onions, and tomatoes are tossed in a fiery dressing made with pounded garlic and chilies flavored with lime juice and fish sauce. Fried lemongrass adds crunch and lemongrass flavor without the fibrous strands raw lemongrass leaves behind. More

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Vegetables and Dijon Jus

While a simple roast chicken is swell, and fall vegetables are pretty much made for roasting, wouldn't it be nice if there were a recipe that delivered a roast chicken with supremely crisp, crackling skin and juicy meat along with tender, charred roasted vegetables—all in one go? That's precisely what this recipe does, and it gets you a pitcher full of bright, rich gravy to boot. More

The Food Lab: How to Poach Eggs for a Party

A couple of weeks back a friend of mine asked how to poach a large number of eggs for a brunch party. Here's a secret: When poaching eggs, you don't have to cook them to-order. In fact, you can poach them up to five days in advance with no loss in quality. Not only that, but it takes just 2 minutes and zero skill to take those eggs from fridge-cold to ready-to-serve once brunch begins. Here's how it's done. More

The Food Lab: How to Make Extra Creamy Squash Lasagna

Roasted squash and sage are classic fall and winter flavors. I wanted to find the best way to incorporate them into a rich, creamy lasagna. The result—after a bit of tweaking and testing, of course—was a squash lasagna with intense, rich, sweet squash flavor balanced with chunks of sage-scented browned squash and apple, all layered with a creamy Gruyère white sauce and layers of tender pasta. More

The Best Squash Lasagna

Roasted squash and sage are classic fall and winter flavors. I wanted to find the best way to incorporate them into a rich, creamy lasagna. The result—after a bit of tweaking and testing, of course—was a squash lasagna with intense, rich, sweet squash flavor balanced with chunks of sage-scented browned squash and apple, all layered with a creamy Gruyère white sauce and layers of tender pasta. More

Make These Black Eyed Peas With Kale and Andouille for a Simple One-Pot Dinner

This easy black eyed pea stew starts with andouille sausage and pork belly cooked until browned and crisped, then gets flavored with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine: onions, celery, and green bell peppers, along with some leeks and garlic for extra flavor. Tender braised kale transform this into a full-on meal, while a shot of apple cider vinegar brightens up all the flavors. More

Hearty One-Pot Black Eyed Pea Stew With Kale and Andouille

This easy black eyed pea stew starts with andouille sausage and pork belly cooked until browned and crisped, then gets flavored with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine: onions, celery, and green bell peppers, along with some leeks and garlic for extra flavor. Tender braised kale transform this into a full-on meal, while a shot of apple cider vinegar brightens up all the flavors. More

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Creamy White Chili With Chicken

To be frank, I'm not 100% certain where this dish of tender chicken and white beans bound in a creamy, fresh green-chili sauce topped with shredded cheese comes from. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the recipe actually originated on the back of a wrapper from a can of chopped green chilies. But our version is better than that. Much, much better. Tender, creamy, spicy, and bright, this is the stuff even a dyed-in-the-wool chile con carne traditionalist will dip their finger into when they think nobody is watching. More

The Best White Chili With Chicken

To be frank, I'm not 100% certain where this dish of tender chicken and white beans bound in a creamy, fresh green-chili sauce topped with shredded cheese comes from. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the recipe actually originated on the back of a wrapper from a can chopped green chiles. But our version is better than that. Much, much better. Tender, creamy, spicy, and bright, this is the stuff even a dyed-in-the-wool chile con carne traditionalist will dip their finger into when they think nobody is watching. More

The Pizzadilla: This is What Happens When a Quesadilla and a Pizza Make Sweet Love

Last week, after publishing a recipe for a cast iron-baked, tortilla pizza, it was suggested that I just fold it in half and make it into a quesadilla pizza. What if I took that concept, and tweaked it just a bit? It gives birth to the pizzadilla (or is it a quesadizza?), that's what. This is what happens when a pizza and a quesadilla make sweet, sweet love: Cheesy, greasy, crisp-edged glory. More

Use Your Cast Iron Pan and a Tortilla to Make World Class Bar-Style Pizza in Under 12 Minutes

In the catalog of easy, cheat-y pizza recipes that start with some form of pre-baked bread base, flour-tortilla pizzas ranked pretty low on my list. But after this week, all that has changed and I'm now going to take the position that given the proper technique, a couple of tricks, and the aid of a cast iron skillet, flour tortillas are actually the best way to make quick thin-and-crisp, bar-style pizza at home. More

Extra-Crispy Bar-Style Tortilla Pizza

Bar pies are the pizza for those who love thin crusts, and while making them from scratch is doable, sometimes you just need that pizza NOW. Far from being a compromise, tortilla-based pizzas are in fact the ideal quick and easy-way to make a super-crisp, extra-thin crust for a full-on pizza experience in under 15 minutes from start to finish. More

Extra-Crispy Bar-Style Tortilla Pizza Supreme

Bar pies are the ideal pizza for those who love thin crusts, and while making them from scratch is doable, sometimes you just need that pizza NOW. Far from being a compromise, tortilla-based pizzas are in fact the ideal quick and easy-way to make a super-crisp, extra-thin crust for a full-on pizza experience in under 15 minutes from start to finish. More

How to Make Traditional Cassoulet (And Why You Should Put Chicken in It!)

The first time I had cassoulet in its home turf it was a revelation. This loose, almost soup-like stew of beans and meat was so far removed from all versions of cassoulet I'd had in the United States, or even in other parts of France. It was a large, bubbling vat of beans and meat, covered in a crust so dark that it was almost black. Rich, meaty, and overwhelmingly simple, the main flavor was just that of the cured meat, a good stock, and beans. Here's how to make it at home. More

Traditional French Cassoulet

The first time I had cassoulet in its home turf it was a revelation. This loose, almost soup-like stew of beans and meat was so far removed from all versions of cassoulet I'd had in the United States, or even in other parts of France. It was a large, bubbling vat of beans and meat, covered in a crust so dark that it was almost black. Rich, meaty, and overwhelmingly simple, the main flavor was just that of the cured meat, a good stock, and beans. More

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make a Simple Salad Worth Eating

If you're like most people, you've probably been so hammered by thick, gloppy bottled dressings or overdressed, soggy greens that you've forgotten what a pleasure a nice, light, side salad really is. Good thing it's pretty easy once you know the basic steps. Here's how to make your simple side salad the right way—it's my go-to counterpoint for rich and heavy fall and winter dishes. More

How to Make the Best Chicken Parm Sandwiches? Start With Great Chicken Parm

To make the best chicken Parm sandwich, just start with the best chicken Parmesan. Our version uses a buttermilk brine for extra juiciness and flavor. We take the leftovers and pack them into a full-sized loaf of toasted ciabatta, adding some extra sauce and cheese to keep the bread moist before cutting it up into single serving slices. This is a chicken Parm sandwich so good it's almost worth making the chicken Parm fresh just for the sandwich. More

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