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How to Crack Eggs Like a Badass

For the most part, the best way to proceed in the kitchen is carefully and deliberately. But there are times when you need to get a big job done, and fast. Or maybe you just want to show off a little pro-style flair to impress your friends (we don't judge). Regardless of your reason, here's a technique for just such occasions: cracking eggs one-handed. We break it (and plenty of eggs) down. More

Tacos de Canasta: How to Make the Perfect Potluck Taco

Tacos may not seem like the kind of food that you should assemble an hour before eating, which is why I've never thought of them as a particularly good potluck dish. But that's because, until recently, I'd never encountered tacos de canasta, a special variety of taco sold by bicycle vendors in Mexico that are made in advance and get better as they sit. This is the potluck taco you've been waiting for. More

The Quick and Easy Way to Make Flavor-Packed Korean Ramen

Making real-deal ramen is a lengthy project that requires planning in advance. But there are days when you just want a delicious bowl of it, without the fuss. This easy Korean-style kimchi ramen is for those times. It's loaded with flavor, but takes less than an hour to throw together, thanks to several umami-rich ingredients and a cool baking-soda trick that turns angel-hair pasta into ramen-like noodles. More

Knife Skills: How to Prepare, Peel, and Cut Butternut Squash

A symbol of fall, butternut squash is perhaps the most common and versatile of winter squashes. Thanks to its firm flesh and very thick, tough skin, it can keep for a long time at room temperature, but that thick skin and firm flesh also makes it more challenging than most vegetables to peel and slice. Here are the tools and techniques for trimming the squash, peeling it, removing its seeds, and then cutting it into different size pieces. More

How to Cook the Perfect Roast Chicken

A symbol of comfort and perfect simplicity, roast chicken is one of the foods I crave in the colder months. This recipe from our archives is brilliant in that it uses a few key techniques to guarantee a juicier, tastier bird, without over-complicating what, at its heart, should be an easy yet satisfying dish. More

Turn Your Pasta Into Ramen With Baking Soda

Word on the street is that you can turn any noodle into a ramen noodle by boiling it in baking-soda water. We've put the claim to the test, and now have clear instructions for how to do it—and how not to do it. We'll just tell you now, when done right, this is a homemade ramen game-changer. More

These 4 Mexican Braises Will Jump-Start Your Fall

Who else craves spicy, heartily-seasoned Mexican braises in the fall, whether stuffed into tacos, crammed into burritos, strewn across your nachos, or just shoved into your face with reckless abandon? Yeah, we thought so. Here are four of our favorite slow-cooked Mexican meat dishes guaranteed to taste better than any restaurant in town. More

Doritos Migas With Pepper Jack Will Rock Your Morning, Hangover or Not

There are days when you wake up and say, I'm going to painstakingly make the best damn Tex-Mex migas I possibly can. And then there are days when you pry yourself from bed, feel your head swirl and split as you sit up, and remember those last two rounds of shots you got roped into—after you had already had what was supposed to be your last drink. On those days, you need these quick and easy Doritos migas. Actually, you might need these on all days. More

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

White chicken stock, in which neither the chicken nor the aromatics are roasted first, may be the most versatile of all stocks, enhancing any soup, sauce, or glaze you use it in. It's also incredibly easy to make. Here, we look at some of the factors that lead to a deeply flavorful stock, while keeping the method and ingredients as easy and accessible as possible. Requiring such a minimal investment of time and effort, this stock will upgrade any dish or sauce you make compared to the store-bought variety. More

How Bad Wine Led Me to Great Shrimp Scampi

To get the most flavor in this shrimp scampi, we use vermouth instead of white wine, and a mix of fragrant herbs—parsley, tarragon, and chives—instead of just parsley. The silky butter sauce, meanwhile, is brightened with a splash of fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. It's a quick, easy, one-pot Italian-American classic with just enough extra flavor and flair to make it special. More

In Praise of a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

@monopod That's basically how I feel, although I'd argue that a turkey at its best is still inferior to almost every other roast/centerpiece I can think of at its best. I still like at at Thanksgiving though.

Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes

@yarnyoga You'll lose a fair amount of broccoli/cauliflower in the process of trimming it down into florets, but you're also right that with water loss it ends up being quite a bit less once roasted.

Apple-Pecan Bourbon-Caramel Pie

Sorry guys, 1/2 cup butter is correct, but the "2 sticks" printed was an error. I just corrected it.

In Praise of a Turkey-Free Thanksgiving

If I step back and think objectively about turkey, detached from nostalgia and tradition, I have to agree that turkey is pretty far down the list of animal proteins I like. The dark meat is the best, but the legs are packed full of impenetrable tendons. As for the breast meat, even when juicy, it's just not the best stuff—the muscle fibers are just too damned big. I fully respect anyone who says to hell with it and cooks something tastier. That said, I personally still want turkey for Thanksgiving for some odd reason. Funny, because I don't have much of a soft spot for tradition in most cases. A second turkey at Christmas though? People who do that are out of their minds.

Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes

@Vegan Oh, also, it's worth saying that when I peel a sunchoke, I don't worry about preserving every little nubbin and bump on it. I just aggressively peel, and the sunchoke ends up being a much more uniform shape. It's wasteful, I suppose, but, like ginger, tiny little protrusions just aren't worth trying to save in my mind. A Paring knife would work too, especially if you're okay with just trimming off all the little bumps.

Fall Harvest Salad With Roasted Brassicas, Fingerlings, and Radishes

@Vegan Peeling a sunchoke is admittedly a little awkward. Do you use a y-peeler? They're superior, at least in my mind, to the ones a lot of people have at home. I think they make it easier, but it's still kind of awkward. Good news is you don't need to peel many for this recipe (roasted ones are skin-on). And if you're dead-set against it, this recipe will still work if you omit the peeled and thinly sliced sunchokes. You could even sub some small white turnips instead. Or not—it's very flexible.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself, Indoors and Out

@bdcbbq I mentioned that above with a photo of the fire extinguisher, though it's an important enough point to reiterate here.

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

3 Ways to Make Delicious Mashed Potatoes in Advance

@jnfisher01 I've never tried cooking the potatoes and then not mashing them until serving. It might work, though it adds last-minute work, which kind of undoes much of the in-advance part that makes the method worthwhile.

@MichaelQ Do you mean a mason jar that's sealed using traditional canning methods? I've never tried to put one of those in an hot water bath. Anyone else? Holding foods at hot temps in an immersion circulator can work for a lot of moist foods, though I'd avoid anything where you want browning or crispness like stuffing, since it will come out of the bag a little too steamy.

The Best Fresh Tomato Sauce

@Colby75 Refrigeration should be fine if it's just for a couple days; if longer, freeze to avoid risk of spoilage and you should be fine.

The Magic of Crispy, Creamy, Fully Loaded Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

@timedeating funny you should mention that, I have a piece going up later today about exactly that.

Crispy Mashed Potato Casserole With Bacon, Cheese, and Scallions

For everyone asking about the save recipe button, unfortunately that feature was powered by a third party called Ziplist, and Ziplist is shutting down. You can read more about it here. For those who really liked how that feature worked, I know this may be disappointing, but the good news is that there are many other ways to save recipes for future reference. Evernote and Pinterest, for example, all work very well for exactly that task.

Crispy Mashed Potato Casserole With Bacon, Cheese, and Scallions

@TheFinn That sounds like a fun idea. You may need to tweak the method slightly since you don't want the potato chips to burn in the oven...maybe add the topping for the last 15 minutes or so of heating instead of for the full duration?

The Magic of Crispy, Creamy, Fully Loaded Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

@HuskerChad You can skip the topping and just reheat the potatoes in the baking dish, maybe covered to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. You can also do a different topping, like a layer of crispy fried shallots after reheating, or anything else you can dream up.

The Magic of Crispy, Creamy, Fully Loaded Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

@waxloaf Kenji had written about the differences between Yukon gold and russet before, which you can read here. In short, urussets make fluffier mashed potatoes and Yukons make silkier ones. It's a personal preference thing, though in this particular case I thought fluffy mashed potatoes might work better than silky ones, so I didn't test the Yukons out.

Tacos de Canasta: How to Make the Perfect Potluck Taco

@spenwall When I used fillings with too much moisture, my tortillas also cracked. I think that's the key--fillings can't be wet.

The Best Fresh Tomato Sauce

@desertdryad The sieve and spoon may be your problem, there's a good chance you lost a considerable amount of pulp that way.

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

@Helen Hi Helen! Chicken fat won't get as rock-solid as beef fat, for example, but it should solidify enough to make skimming it off the surface once chilled relatively easy (easier than when in a liquid state). I just took a quart of stock that I made yesterday from the fridge, and got all the fat off with a spoon, and it was definitely solid enough to make it a quick and thorough task. Is it possible your refrigerator is running a little warm?

How to Crack Eggs Like a Badass

@Mawich Reasoning behind a classic French omelet is that eggs remain tender (not tough) on the surface and moist and runny inside when cooked gently, which are the hallmarks of a good classic omelet. Browning usually corresponds to some surface toughness (sort of like a hard-cooked texture), plus there's the flavor of browned egg, which I guess isn't considered desirable. But of course it's ultimately a matter of personal taste, so feel free to brown your eggs as much as you like, if that's how you like them.

Basic Chicken Stock

@fbchumley You're right, that's a mistake. Should be about 12 cups. I'll update the recipe. Not sure though how you ended up with more than a gallon of stock though if you started with a gallon of water, given evaporation during simmering. I just made a fresh batch tonight and lost about 1/3 of my volume from start to finish. You can reduce yours to about 3 quarts, but no need to go all the way down to 6. Sorry for the confusion!

How to Make The Best Chicken Stock

@vlizzle You raise a good point that I should address here. Longer cooking times can certainly be good, and can yield a richer stock, both from the extra time to extract flavor and also from reduction during the extended cooking. The flip side is that the vast majority of home cooks don't make their own stock, and usually buy it instead. My goal here was to deliver a really solid recipe for a basic white stock that is doable for most home cooks. The truth is that telling home cooks that they have to spend 8 hours making stock (which is just a component of other dishes and not a finished dish in and of itself) is the equivalent of convincing most to never do it. In a restaurant setting it's a different story since there's time all day to have stock pots simmering. And for some more dedicated home cooks (or those with schedules that allow tending to a pot for many hours), that may be a fine thing to do. But even I, a person who cooks for a living, would be a lot less inclined (or even able, given my schedule) to make stock as frequently if I had to spend so long doing it.

So my goal here was to strike a balance by offering a recipe that will give a very good stock while not scaring 99% of readers off from the task. And honestly, 1.5-2 hours can yield a very good stock that's way, way better than anything a person would otherwise buy at the store. In fact, I just finished a new batch at home that went for 2 hours and it is very rich.

Here's a related story that I think illustrates my point: I once did an article on how to make the perfect stock for Food & Wine. I went to several chefs for their input and wisdom, one of whom was Andre Soltner, the legendary French chef. And I was shocked by what he told me. To paraphrase him, he said he didn't think it was almost ever worth making stock at home, and that he himself never did it! This is from a man who spent a lifetime building amazing sauces from painstakingly made stocks. He told me that he didn't understand the whole make-it-in-advance-and-freeze-it thing that some home cooks do. Instead, he would simply make an a la minute stock, basically a jus, by using the trimmings from whatever bird or animal he was cooking for dinner that night. If he was roasting a chicken, he'd take the neck, the wing tips, maybe the spine, and put them in a small saucepan with water and aromatics, and simmer that while the bird roasts. Then he'd make a quick sauce from that very quick stock. And for the home cook, he thought that was more than sufficient. It's essentially what Kenji does in his roast chicken recipe. Truth is, I don't fully agree with Soltner because I think it's really handy to have some containers of stock in the freezer, available to use on a moment's notice. But I see his point, which is that the sauce-making needs of a restaurant, and the needs of a cook at home are different. If most home cooks made this not-too-intensive stock instead of using store-bought, they would see dramatic improvement in the flavor of the food they cook, and hopefully they'd be inclined to do it again since it's not demanding too much time.

Sorry, that was long! Anyway, all of that said, if anyone is inclined to simmer their stocks for longer, more power to them! It definitely won't hurt.

How to Crack Eggs Like a Badass

@agfish I'd also add that after testing several cracking methods (which @kenji mentioned above), I think avoiding exposure to the exterior of the shell is almost impossible no matter how you crack the eggs. Here's what I mean: A lot of people say not to crack on the rim of a bowl because it has a higher chance of driving shell fragments into the egg, and then having them fall into the bowl. But after cracking lots of eggs, I had roughly similar rates of shell contamination from both flat-surface cracking and rim cracking, maybe marginally more for the rim (I don't have my numbers in front of me). But cracking on a flat surface has its own problems: white inevitably leaks out of the egg when you tap it, getting it on the flat surface you're using. If you're using a counter, you now have egg on the counter. Subsequent eggs then dip in the wetness from the prior eggs, which mixes it all up even more. Plus, any time a shell fragment falls into the eggs, you're technically making contact with the exterior of the shell and the eggs. Bottom line: Even if you tried really hard, I don't see a good way of preventing the exterior of the egg shell from coming into contact with something; it's practically inevitable when cracking an egg. So you have to choose where you're going to have that exposure happen. If anything, cracking in or on the bowl itself is the least bad of all possible ways, since you're keeping the eggs contained to the bowl, and you're then going to cook those eggs anyway. Not so for cracking outside the bowl, which then requires sterilizing that surface if you are really concerned about pathogens. But, like Kenji said, I'm not actually hyper concerned about the issue with eggs, beyond basic good practices.

Roast Broccoli for a Creamy Soup Filled With Fall Flavors

Tacos de Canasta: How to Make the Perfect Potluck Taco

@Zoecooks A cooler is a great idea! Do you fry the tortillas first and then stuff them? I agree about the meat filling being less juicy--extra juices need to be drained. I didn't have any issues with these tacos being overstuffed though, but it's good to keep in mind to err on the side of less, not more.

@lil-brown-bat I suppose you could do that too. I found it convenient to have them all ready to go in the oven, and the heating time wasn't an issue, since I was prepping other stuff while they were in the oven. But any way you can make it work is great!

Tacos de Canasta (Basket Tacos for a Party or Potluck)

@wisnij Yes, good question! I just updated the recipe to clarify.

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