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How to Make Light and Tender Potato Gnocchi

Considering how fundamentally simple they are, potato gnocchi sure do make people nervous. Do it right, and they're light and tender. Do it wrong, and they're gummy little bricks. Here we delve into every major aspect of gnocchi making and explain how each can impact the result. But first take a deep breath, because this doesn't need to be stressful. It can actually be a lot of fun, and an excellent exercise in honing your abilities as a cook. More

How to Make Roman Semolina Gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Romana)

Long before ships brought native crops from the Americas to Europe, Italy was a land without red sauce, corn polenta, or potato gnocchi. But even without the potato, gnocchi still existed, such as in the form of the classic gnocchi alla Romana, this custardy oven-baked version made with semolina, egg, cheese, and butter. You could say these are the OG: the original gnocchi. More

Love Cast Iron Pans? Then You Should Know About Carbon Steel

We've shared a lot of love for cast iron here at Serious Eats, but in our own kitchens there's another very similar type of pan that gets near equal use: carbon steel. Since it's more common in restaurant kitchens than homes, we've been pretty mum on the subject, but today, it's time to talk about what makes this sibling to cast iron great. More

The Art of Tarte Flambée: Alsatian Pizza With Fromage Blanc, Bacon, and Onions

It looks like a pizza, it cooks like a pizza, but don't make the mistake of actually thinking it's a pizza. Tarte flambée, the Alsatian flatbread topped with fromage blanc (a fresh, tart, spreadable cheese), thinly sliced raw onions and bacon, is as Franco-Germanic in flavor as can be. Here we look at two ways to make it: the classic way on bread or pizza dough rolled very thinly, and the bar-style pizza way, on a flour tortilla cooked in a cast iron skillet. Both are so good we can't decide which way we like best. More

Don't Let Cheese Scraps Languish: Turn Them Into an Easy and Elegant Cheese Quiche

I have the bad habit of letting little uneaten nubbins of cheese languish in my fridge until they're so stale there's nothing left to do but throw them out. This cheese pie (really, it's a quiche, if you want to be a stickler about accuracy) is the solution, transforming those once doomed leftover bits and giving them new life as pockets of beautiful melted cheese set in a custard base. More

The Secret to Great Coq au Vin? Lose the Coq

The problem with a lot of coq au vin recipes is that they continue to use a method devised for tough rooster meat, even though most of us today cook with tender roasting hens. Here's what you need to know to get tender, juicy, and flavorful coq au vin that tastes like it spent a long time in the oven, even though it didn't. More

How to Turn Beans Into a Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce

Turning a bean purée into a pasta sauce may sound strange, but just think of it as a variation on the classic Italian soup pasta e fagioli, just with a lot more pasta and only enough "soup" to coat the noodles. It's delicious, and it just happens to be vegan (though we won't snitch if you decide to add grated parm to it). More

Mexican Atole: The Perfect Winter Drink

Mexican atole, a hot drink made from corn, comes in a staggering variety of flavors, from sweet to savory, each one more delicious than the next. Take the chocolatey version known as champurrado: One sip and you may never crave a regular old hot chocolate again. Here's a look at what makes atoles so great, along with three recipes to get you started. More

How to Make Great Refried Beans

@GatorPam Yes it would!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@TacomaMike Queso Oaxaca, shredded into strings

Juicy and Tender Italian-American Meatballs in Red Sauce

@Ryan0403 Too much chicken flavor wasn't an issue for me in the meatballs--could it be the specific brand of store-bought stock you were using? There's such a wide range of quality (and, frankly, none are great), I've definitely had some brands that have tainted dishes I've made. Beef stock, if you have it, could certainly be excellent, though we tend to be pretty down on the store-bought stuff, so you'd have to make your own or seek out a decent pre-made option.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Crispy Baked Onion Rings

@Dpslm Thank you, you're right. Flour, egg, flour, egg, panko. I've fixed the recipe.

Pork Chops With White Wine and Leek Pan Sauce

@Bigbananafeet Ah, I see, that could be. In any case, really glad you enjoyed it!

@sarabullseye Yes you sure can do the chops sous vide!

Pork Chops With White Wine and Leek Pan Sauce

@Bigbananafeet The sauce is just seasoned to taste, so perhaps you added too much?

Light and Tender Potato Gnocchi With Sage-Butter Sauce

@cotsy I have his book at home but not with me right now to look, but that is a tough ratio to explain. First, because how much do 3 potatoes weight? 3 small ones could weigh half as much as 3 medium ones, and a third as much as 3 large ones. Second, and I'm speculating here, sometimes published recipes err on the side of whatever is easier for the home cook, even if it's not what the chef or recipe author actually does when they cook the dish. For gnocchi, making the dish easier could mean bumping up the flour. Look at this recipe from Tom Colicchio, for example: http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-master-classrec1-20111103-story.html. He learned the recipe from Marco Canora, and is using 2.75 cups flour per 5 pounds of potatoes (so about half a cup per pound). That's much closer to my ratio, but still more flour than I found to be ideal for very light and tender ones. Interesting that Colicchio's version uses less flour than Canora's published version, even though Colicchio is using a recipe that came straight from Canora. Bottom line: If you goal is extremely light and tender potato gnocchi, my ratio or something close to it is what you'll ultimately want to use, but as I wrote, it isn't easy and takes practice to get right. Eggs help a lot. More flour will gurantee you more success, but the gnocchi will be heavierno—nothing wrong with heavier gnocchi if that's what you're after, by the way.

Sichuan Roast Leg of Lamb With Celery-Mint Salad

@midiprincess Yes it absolutely can. Season the lamb with salt before cooking sous vide, then add rub after when you transfer to oven to brown.

Wake Up Your Leg of Lamb With the Hot, Numbing Flavors of Sichuan Spices

@monopod I think it's gonna be amazing

The Secrets of the Juiciest, Most Tender and Flavorful Italian-American Meatballs

@Lawrence99 I found that chilling the meatballs in their sauce and then reheating in the sauce works well.

Roast Chicken With Asparagus Panzanella

@doremisong Yes, though you will get a chunkier texture than with a blender. You could give an immersion blender a try; should work.

Skirt Steak With Mushroom-Cream Pan Sauce

@SaintQuinn That should be about 7 minutes total (both sides), but as with all recipe time estimates, it's just a rough guess. Your cooking time will depend on many factors, including the specific size and dimension of the steaks you have, the pan you're using, the heat source on your oven range, etc. Always go by a thermometer temperature for best results.

Want a Rich and Silky Pan Sauce For Your Steak? Grab the Cream

@BillWoods You could definitely whip up a pan sauce with pre-made cream of mushroom soup, though you'd likely have to thin it out with water or stock since it's thickened already.

@LightweightNate You are absolutely right, and I meant to point that out in the story but forgot.

Want a Rich and Silky Pan Sauce For Your Steak? Grab the Cream

@selyar Yes, you will be seeing more pan sauces from me and Kenji in the coming days.

Myth Testing: The Secrets of the Best Matzo Balls

@HungryDan That all sounds good. I'll be honest, I wasn't particularly careful when rolling the balls (I guess I had a gently touch, but I wasn't striving to be delicate with them), and I didn't have any issues. Crowding the pot could be a real issue since they'll impinge upon each other and prevent swelling. And then yeah, baking powder for sure, since you need the acid in the baking powder to activate it (there's otherwise no acid in the recipe, so baking soda won't reach its full potential), and also most baking powder is double-acting, which means you get a second aeration boost in the pot when it heats up.

Myth Testing: The Secrets of the Best Matzo Balls

@HungryDan I haven't made a batch that big, but the fact that you got inconsistent results, with some fluffy floaters and the rest dense, suggests to me that your batter/dough wasn't mixed sufficiently. That's my best guess. Also, recipe calls for baking powder, not baking soda—that will make a difference.

The Best Way to Mince Garlic

@Markasm I did change the order of my tasting and repeated a handful of times, and in every case, the level of aggressiveness of the garlic mapped to the mincing method, not the order in which I tasted them.

How to Make Light and Tender Potato Gnocchi

@cotsy It's not too little flour in any absolute sense—this is the ideal amount of flour for light and tender gnocchi and, with practice, you will get excellent results. But the less flour you use, the more difficult things get, which means this is a more technically challenging recipe that takes some skill. That's why this requires practice and won't necessarily give you great results right away, which is what I was trying to explain above; spend the time though, and you will make much lighter gnocchi than if you just dump in more flour to make things easy. You can add more flour, and it will make things easier (the gnocchi will be less likely to fall apart), but they will also be a lot denser and heavier. There's an art here, a kind of sixth sense that you have to develop about just how much to work the dough so that your gnocchi are mixed enough to hold together but not so much that they fall apart. Also, make sure your water isn't at a vigorous boil, since violent movement can break the delicate gnocchi.

Light and Tender Potato Gnocchi With Sage-Butter Sauce

@cotsy Also, did you use the optional egg yolks? Those will help for sure as you get used to working with gnocchi dough. If you want to email me with photos of your gnocchi throughout the process, there's a link in my bio you can use. I'd be happy to try to use the photos to help you troubleshoot.

Light and Tender Potato Gnocchi With Sage-Butter Sauce

@cotsy Adding more flour will bind the dough more, but will also make much heavier, denser gnocchi; some recipes do that, and while there's less risk to those recipes, there's also less reward. The skill of the whole thing is learning to minimize the flour, working it just enough that you have a dough that won't come apart in the water, but not so much that you develop too much gluten. It's tricky and takes practice, but I promise this amount of flour will work, and once you have a feel for it it'll give you very light, tender gnocchi. Not sure if you saw the full article that this recipe links to above, but it's worth a read. There's a part of this that's just a feel that needs to be developed by the cook that words alone fail to capture. Of course you can always bump up the flour a tiny bit more, and then try to decrease as you become more skilled until you're down to this ratio. Keep on keepin' on, you'll get there, I promise!

Cooking With Olive Oil: Should You Fry and Sear in it or Not?

@amgross Right, that's what I was asking/testing. Usually the reason given for not bringing an oil to its smoke point is that it's bad for health reasons and flavor (of course, heated enough past its smoke point, there's also the risk of it reaching its flash point, though that shouldn't happen if you're searing or deep frying and keeping an eye on things). So the question isn't whether it's okay to use olive oil as long as it's below its smoke point, because yes, then you're right, you won't get the desired effects. The question was: what's the known risk for getting olive oil hot enough to sear and deep fry. In the case of searing, I didn't have an infrared thermometer to check the precise temp of the oils/skillets, but I was working on a brand new induction range with both burners set to the exact same setting and using nearly identical skillets, so temps should have been very close to each other throughout. For deep frying, I was monitoring the oil temp precisely with an instant-read thermometer.

The Best Matzo Ball Soup

@lxsinmarin This is starting to make sense. I'm guessing your longer rest period of 4 hours is hydrating the matzo meal even more (I used Streit's too in much of my testing), so then you need even less cooking time to finish them off. Since my rest is shorter, only 30 minutes, the matzo balls need to cook a little longer. There were a few variables I didn't have time to test that I would have liked to, and rest times were one of them; this helps shed some light on that (longer rest, shorter cook). Thanks!

The Best Matzo Ball Soup

@lxsinmarin Yeah, very interesting. Do you use a specific brand of matzo meal? And how long do you let it rest between mixing, forming, and cooking?

The Best Matzo Ball Soup

@Lxsinmarin Disagree about cooking time. I tested matzo balls at 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour. 30 minutes they were consistently underdone in the center. 45 minutes, sometimes they're done, sometimes not. 1 hour, they're done. And then they hold very well in the hot broth once cooked without turning to mush. Nutmeg is a nice idea.

The Best Matzo Ball Soup

@BeastThatDandy Yes, you can use the chicken for the broth to make the schmaltz. I'd recommend removing the fat and skin before putting the chicken in the soup pot and making the schmaltz from that, but you can also put the chicken in the soup pot fat and all and then skim the fat from the top of the soup as it accumulates, and then use that as the schmaltz. You can also buy rendered duck fat and use that too!

The Ultimate Fully Loaded Nachos

What does it take to make an incredible plate of bar-style, fully loaded nachos? For starters, at least three kinds of cheese, two kinds of beans, and two different applications of creamy, tangy dairy. It may sound like overkill, but there's a method to this madness. More