Want to know how to grill a steak? Here's my advice: DO NOT DO IT THE WAY THEY DO IT AT STEAKHOUSES. It seems counterintuitive. Surely a restaurant with years of experience cooking hundreds of steaks a day knows a thing or two about how it's done, right? Well, yes. They know how to cook a steak in a steakhouse setting where their goal is consistency, quality, and more importantly—speed. At home, on the other hand, consistency and quality are important, but speed? Not so much. The fact that you can take some time to treat your meat right means that it's possible to cook a steak at home much better than it can be done at any steakhouse. True story. Here's my complete guide to buying, storing, cooking, and eating the very best grilled steak.
They may be golden brown, crisp on the edges, and light and fluffy in the center, but when you get right down to it, classic American pancakes are not all that different from any leavened bread.
Who ever said American pancakes have to be sweet? What's stopping us from savory-ing them up? These start with a basic American-style pancake recipe, but they come stuffed with crisp bacon, sautéed corn, jalapeño peppers, scallions, and—the kicker—pockets of gooey melted cheddar cheese. These are pancakes that I can really get behind (or perhaps more precisely, get my mouth around).
This is the kind of dish that's decadent and wacky enough to cook up as a 2 a.m. snack on a Saturday night, but will still be a welcome guest at your Sunday brunch table the morning after.
Buying a whole strip loin is not only a great way to save money on expensive steaks, it also gives you more control over your final product. All you need is a sharp knife and some very basic butchering skills to get it done. Here's how to do it, step-by-step.
Spring produce is so good that there's no reason to make a production of it. Just prepare it simply, top some great toasted bread with it, and dig in.
If quick and delicious are things you desire in the kitchen, then spring is the easiest time of year to cook. It's when all the sweet, crisp, fresh green versions of vegetables appear, vegetables so young and tender they barely need any heat. Here's how to get the most out of those peas, favas, fiddleheads, and more.
If you were to evaluate the quality of a given period of time in terms of the concentration and diversity of flavors that you can cram into it, the afternoon I spent cruising up and down Valley Boulevard in the 626 area code east of LA would rank high. In fact, it would count as some of the best time I've spent on this planet.
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 put one in your mouth. It's part of 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. Here's how to cook them.
If you know anything about tortas or cemita sandwiches, it's that they're stacked tall with toppings that are are soft or extremely moist like avocado, shredded cheese, refried beans, or chipotle chilies. That means that the right structure is of utmost importance when designing a bun for them. Our cemita bun has a not-too-soft, not-too-dense, rich and tender egg-enriched crumb. Oh, and it's easy to make.
I've been hard at work on my newest project, a Food Lab video series that will be premiering online this year! Want to support the show? You'll be handsomely rewarded with special prizes.
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.
I visited over two dozen torta shops and taquerias in my search, and while so-so sandwiches abounded, they only made the great ones—and there were quite a few great ones—stand out even more.
Corn tortillas have great flavor but weak structure. Flour tortillas are pliable and stretchy but short on taste. Enter flour and corn hybrid tortillas. They're tortillas that look like really great corn tortillas (charred leopard spots and all!), but contain some amount of flour or wheat gluten with the idea of adding stretchy structure to a typically brittle corn tortilla. So how do these guys stack, er, fold up?
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.
For the longest storage and easiest slicing, get your bacon out of the fridge and into the freezer.
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.
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.
I've been on a big enchilada and salsa kick recently, so I thought to myself: Could I use my pressure cooker to kill two birds with one stone, cooking my chicken and producing an intensely flavored enchilada sauce all at the same time? Turns out it works well. Remarkably well. But it took a little tweaking to get there. Here's how it went down.
Making huevos rancheros—rancher's-style eggs—is an inherently impromptu and simple affair at home. It's easy for me to think of it as a dish so darn casual that it doesn't even need a recipe. But then I wouldn't be doing my job, now would I? My goal was to come up with a recipe for huevos rancheros with a smoky and wickedly spicy tomato and red chili salsa that requires nothing more than basic supermarket pantry staples. And I wanted it all in under half an hour, because who has time to wait for breakfast?
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.
For my money, the very best classic steak sauce you can make at home, a sauce that will wow your guests with its flavor and elegance, and—most importantly—a sauce that can be made start to finish in under half an hour, is béarnaise. The catch (there's always a catch) is that made with the classic technique, it's very easy to mess up. Here is a foolproof technique that uses hot butter and a hand blender for perfect results every time.
The Food Lab: Why Chicken With Pan Sauce Is Always Better at Restaurants (and How to Make Yours Just as Good at Home)
It wasn't until I got my first gig cooking in restaurants that it really struck me exactly what a pan sauce is supposed to taste like: rich and smooth, glossy and brightly flavored, and leaving a streak of white plate that slowly closes as you swiped each bite through it. So what does a restaurant kitchen have that I was missing back home, and more importantly, how can you get the same results? Here's the answer.
An airline chicken breast, also known as a Statler chicken breast or a Chicken suprême is a chicken breast with the first joint of the wing still attached. If I'm serving a whole chicken breast, I prefer airline breasts over regular boneless breasts both for the presentation factor (that bone sticking out just looks so cool), and for the juicier meat it delivers. Here's how to cut an airline chicken breast from a whole chicken.
What kind of turkey should I buy? What size? How far in advance? And what the heck do I do with it once it's at home? All of these burning questions and more, straight ahead.
Here's one late night sandwich that isn't a greasebomb. Good for lunch as well.
A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples.
Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour.
We're looking at what I like to call the "Big 3" of Cheerios: Original, Honey Nut and MultiGrain. Any die-hard original Cheerios fans out there? Can we talk about the awesomeness of Honey Nut and MultiGrain?
Last week, we examined the distinction between single malt and blended Scotch whiskies. Today, we'll step back a bit and take a more detailed (much more detailed) look at the single malt. I'll describe what single malts are, explain how they're made and aged, discuss the concept of Scotch terroir, and explore some of the regional variations. Grab a tasting glass and let's get started!
Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap.
The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here.
Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible.
When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen.
Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote."
When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing.
Dried mango was matched up with cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno to make this juicy chicken link. It's bright, fresh, and fruity.
[Photograph: Kenji Alt] Want more details? Here are the ins-n-outs. Follow Kenji on Facebook or Twitter....
This week we survived a salt and vinegar chips tasting (try feeling your tongue after one of those!), played fetch with Hambone, special-ordered the semi-discontinued Rice Krispies Treats Cereal, and more. And if you're wondering, yes, RKTC would be RK cereal that turned into treats then transformed back into cereal again (full circle!).
This week at Serious Eats World Headquarters, we ate loads of chocolate sandwich cookies for our Oreo/Faux-reo taste test, filled up our office with Sandwich Festival goods, watched Ed attempt to feed Hambone, and more (and by "more" we mean "Hambone Hambone Hambone").
I'm not sure how else to break this except to just come out and say it. On Wednesday morning, my French bulldog Dumpling was struck by a bus outside of my apartment building. He died in my arms on the way to the emergency room.
This week at Serious Eats World Headquarters, Dumpling napped and drooled, a swarm of bees took shelter in a nearby mailbox, I confirmed I don't like absinthe, and a few of us met some cows (ok, that last one happened far, far away from SEHQ). The slideshow is 75 percent Dumpling in one way, 125 percent in another. Enjoy!
This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce.
These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor.
Sherbets and sorbets require a spoon, but they date back to the Persian Empire, when vividly flavored fruit- or flower-based syrups were mixed with snow to make a cool, refreshing drink called sharbat.
Last Thursday morning, Dean Sparks, a dairy farmer from upstate New York stopped by the office with some cheese, eggs, and milk. They come from nymilk, a New York state consortium of around 35 upstate organic dairy farms that...
As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot.
For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors.
I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along!