Tahini, Middle Eastern ground sesame paste, often gets shunned as a supporting player when blended into hummus or smeared on shawarma. But it's versatile (and shelf-stable) enough to earn a permanent spot on our refrigerator shelves. We polled a panel of pro chefs on how they like to let it shine.
We love jicama for its slightly sweet crunch and ease of prep—just cut it into matchsticks for crudités or sprinkle on some chili powder and lime. But there's more to these porous roots than meets the eye. Here are five ways to use jicama from chefs around the country, all worthy of becoming kitchen mainstays.
Harissa, the spicy North African paste of chilies, coriander, cumin, garlic, and lemon, inspires Sriracha-level obsession in its fans but intimidation in those less familiar. To help you get better acquainted with this sunny, spicy condiment, we asked a panel of chefs from around the country about how best to use it in dishes both mild and bold.
Depending on the kind you get, radishes can be brilliant in their peppery crunch or infuriating in their inability to soften or roast. So we polled a panel of chefs to help us get the best out of the stubborn little vegetables.
The nutty sweetness of sunchokes most immediately lends itself to soft purées and soups, but they're more versatile than meets their knobby eyes. With spring as high sunchoke season, we asked a panel of chefs from around the country for some unexpected ways to bring out all the sweet, savory, and vegetal flavors that sunchokes have to offer.
While somewhat uncommon in American cuisine, sumac complements such a wide variety of flavors that chefs use it liberally and with gusto. We rounded up some pros and polled them on their favorite ways for us to bring sumac home.
The word "vinegar" encompasses so many varieties, flavors and possibilities. So instead of asking chefs to paint broad strokes for us with how they love to use it, we asked them to think outside the box a bit, going beyond basic vinaigrettes and finishing touches.
Chicago's Heaven on Seven has succeeded where few restaurants do. Popular with tourists but hardly a tourist trap, the Creole-style place has become something of a city icon, drawing in crowds even as Chicago's food fashions whizz along. As the restaurant hits 35 years in business, we asked, how'd they get here?
If you're not familiar with the numbing, tongue-tingling bite of Sichuan peppercorns, they can be a nerve-wracking ingredient to bring into your kitchen. So we asked chefs around the country to show just how versatile this spice can be, and how to incorporate into food well beyond the Sichuan standards, without the pain.
Winter squashes are some of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to rich, warming comfort dishes; there's so much to do with them beyond the purées and soups we often turn to out of habit. Here, the pros help us use the acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squashes we love so much in new ways.
Good raw honey is practically a different product from the "Grade A Amber" plastic bears that line supermarket shelves. Bursting with caramel or butterscotch; fragrant with citrus, minerals, or the intoxicating aromas peonies and jasmine; jammy with berries and currants and dried fruit—that's the kind of honey worth relishing. Here's how to get the most out of it.
Jams don't always mean something sweet is in store. Chefs from around the country guide us in bringing out the savory.
From quirky travel finds to particularly exciting ingredients to keeping her staff challenged, chef Jenn Louis of Portland, Oregon's Lincoln and Sunshine restaurants spills on the tools that keep her kitchens running.
Chocolate is one of the world's most dynamic and complex ingredients, but this time of year most recipes focus on how to make sweet treats for your loved ones. So we asked the pros how to bring some chocolate love to savory dishes perfect for celebrations large and small.
Jam on toast is fine and all, but here are some other sweet and savory ways to get the most out of your jar.
Nine chefs from around the country show how we can give pickle brine a second chance.
Cranberries aren't just for saucing. Chefs from around the country weigh in with their favorite sweet/tart recipes perfect for fall.
Maple syrup's not only for pancakes. What else is it good for? Marshmallows, meat rubs, and one darn-good grilled cheese.
Curry paste is good for plenty more than making curry. Chefs around the country tell us how they use it for Mexican sauces, steamed fish, a coconut dessert, and more.
Michael Laiskonis, formerly the pastry chef of Le Bernardin in New York and now the creative director of the Institute of Culinary Education, is one of the pastry world's most gifted thinkers, teachers, and scientific tinkerers. We stepped into his kitchen to see what makes him tick.
We've asked chefs about plenty of ingredients in our Hey Chef series, but none has made them as excited as they are about curry. Here, we have ten of the most exciting usages for the sweet and savory flavor combination, straight from professional kitchens nationwide.
Once you start using fish sauce, it can be tough to stop yourself from tossing it into everything. We polled chefs on some of their favorite uses. Their replies: amp up the flavor of everything from grilled chicken to Southern tomato gravy to...whipped cream?
Chef Annie Pettry brings her bicoastal hospitality training to the southern menu at Louisville's Decca. Here's a glimpse at what makes her kitchen run, from a particular fish scaler to her very own lumberjack.
Ginger's an ingredient with a thousand uses. Here, seven chefs give us their pro-tips for using it from bread to ice cream to ceviche.
With the gardening season soon coming to an end, the summer's mint haul needs to get used up or preserved in something other than a mojito. Here, seven chefs teach us some tricks.
There's nothing like a fresh scoop of wobbly-melty Mister Softee soft serve dipped in chocolate—except making a better one yourself.
Of all the chocolate-covered ice cream novelties out there, Klondike Bars are among the best. Here's how you can make them yourself.
Part cookie, part brownie, this brownie brittle is as easy to make as it is to eat. A batch comes together in under 30 minutes. While the brittle tastes great on its own, adding chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and other toppings takes it over the top.
The rules of vegetable blanching say to use a big pot of water, salt, and then shock in ice water. Is any of this true? We tried a series of tests to find out which you should do and which you should forget.
Is Magic Shell, the ice cream topping that hardens into a chocolate candy shell, the world's greatest ice cream topping? I can't say for sure, but it's definitely the most fun. And it's easier to make at home than the ice cream you drizzle it on.
A bakery on a tiny island closes, and all of a sudden I have six weeks to pick professional brains, do a test run or two, pack up my kitchen, fly to St. Croix, and make a 3-tiered wedding cake for my oldest girlfriend. Here's Part One of how it all happened.
When outsiders try to learn about tea, they're usually stymied by the industry's mindboggling complexity, and a marketplace rife with misinformation and counterfeit product doesn't do much to help. That's why I've made the journey to one of China's tea capitals: to learn how and why this little leaf from a plain-looking shrub drives a whole economy wild.
When you walk into the produce section of your local Asian supermarket, you'll probably be greeted by a dazzling but daunting display of unusual greens. They're all great, and easy to cook, but it helps to be armed with some knowledge to tell your shoots from your choys.
Ready to do some spice hunting but don't know which shops to trust? Whether you're looking for Indian, Middle Eastern, or Southeast Asian flavors, we've got you covered.
After sampling countless sweets from dozens of bakeries, we've found the best buns, egg tarts, and cakes that Manhattan's Chinatown has to offer.
Saul Bolton opened his restaurant Saul in 1999 on Smith Street. This summer, he packed up his menu and staff and transported them to the Brooklyn Museum, where his recently relaunched menu has welcomed back neighborhood regulars and tourists alike.
We've been interviewing some of New York's most interesting chefs—24 and counting—and often get asked if we encounter a lot of ego and attitude. For the most part, the answer is a resounding "no!" Instead, we've found extremely passionate, focused, humble, close-to-Type-A personalities who, more than anything, believe in creating delicious food and connecting with it to other people. Here are some of our favorite remarks from those interviews.