Had dinner at a Korean restaurant and noticed the gentlemen at the next table sharing a clear liquid out of what looked a beer bottle. I (thanks to SE) immediately thought "soju". I asked them and they offered me a shot. Question: do you talk to strangers in restaurants about the foods/drinks they are consuming?
It took me a long time to come around to the prickly artichoke. For the longest time, this vegetable seemed like too much work for too little food--there's peeling, scraping, poking, and snipping involved in most preparations. But in the last few years, I've come to appreciate the slow process as well as the slight grassy sweetness of the heart and the meditative undertaking of eating the flesh off the tiny leaves. Louisa Shafia's stuffed artichokes recipe in The New Persian Kitchen adds another couple layers of greatness to the humble artichoke. To the center she adds a subtly fragrant and fluffy ricotta, egg, and saffron filling that puffs and browns over a long slow roasting time. Drizzled atop is a brilliant mixture of lemon juice, dried mint, and grape seed oil that permeates the delicate leaves a reduced sauce in the pan perfect for greedy dipping and slurping.
The French enjoy a lot of cheese. And more importantly, they are deeply connected to and proud of their cheese. As well they should be! They have a rich and storied cheese history, a deep-rooted culture of cheese, and more than a thousand cheeses in their lexicon. These are the nine you should absolutely know.
St. Marcellin is a ridiculously creamy treat that comes in its own little ceramic pot. Pop it in the oven for a decadent experience—really, you need to try this cheese.
Tender, succulent crab cakes with no starchy binders at all.
The sad truth is that most crab cakes stink. Literally. The vast majority out there are made with canned, pasteurized crab meat which instantly takes them out of "sweet and succulent" territory and into "fishy and please god take that smell away from me" land. But this damn well better be for the best possible crab cakes out there.
Celebrate spring by preparing this creamy risotto dish flavored with baby spring peas, ham, and Fontina cheese. Finely chopped basil and lemon zest enhance and brighten, melding the favors together.
Delicately poached eggs covered in a delicious fennel and curry leaf gravy, this is the egg dish you should have in your repertoire for a quick dinner.
Shrimp, asparagus, and orzo in a one-dish quick meal.
About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York with his wife. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email...
This simple, hearty, healthy, and delicious soup is made from roasted beets, sweet leeks, woodsy thyme, vegetable broth, and a squirt of lemon. Thick, hot, and autumnal, it's best topped with a creamy dollop of crème fraîche.
For a real taste of Singapore, try this signature seafood dish: hard shelled crabs cooked in a flavorful sweet, salty, chili-hot tomato sauce. Have some rice or steamed buns on hand to mop it all up with.
A cold-weather wonder of tender sliced brisket braised in a gravy of sweet garlic and onions, Cognac, red wine, and three mustards. Heavy and comforting, but still bright and zingy.
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Note: For the four weeks between January 14th and February 11th, I'm adopting a completely vegan lifestyle. Every weekday I'll be updating my progress with a diary entry and a recipe. For past posts, check here!...
The real story here is the cumin vinaigrette which is laced into every bite of this salad. It's a heady combination of toasted cumin seeds, black pepper, and oregano, all smashed together with garlic, good olive oil and red wine vinegar. It's a little bit Mediterranean, a little bit Middle Eastern, and it does wondrous things to the chickpeas.
Amazing how a homemade vinaigrette and fresh herbs can breathe life into canned cannellini beans. Feel free to make this salad ahead of time; it gets better and better the longer it sits.
While in Napa recently, I found and loved a white bean dip at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Yountville, which came served with pain epi. It was creamy, mild, and mellow, but not bland at all. And it had a distinct advantage over butter—I could slather on as much as I wanted without guilt.
An easy 1-pot pork and three-bean chili with a rich, balanced chili flavor.
Crispy fried quesadillas made with leftover roast turkey and canned black beans.
The key is plenty of rosemary and a hunk of rind from some good Parmigiano-Reggiano tossed in while it simmers. That and plenty of good olive oil for drizzling.
This vegetable soup is full of flavor from the many vegetables used to make it, and is given a kick with hot chili oil, bright lemon zest, and nutty Parmesan cheese.
When I'm saying to myself, "What would my wife want for dinner?," the answer, more often than not, is chickpeas. And I'm not talking fancy, soaked overnight, simmered in flavorful liquid, carefully cooked chickpeas; I'm talking chickpeas drained out of a can and used as the base for a quick dish. This 30-minute curry is intense with garam masala and ginger, cooled by coconut milk and ground toasted cashews.
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab...
As with many recipes, the secret ingredient to world-changing baked beans is pork. Good quality, salty, cured, fatty pork will make you look down on the ketchupy, mushy baked beans of your past and look forward to years of tinkering with this recipe until you finally reach your own bean nirvanna.
How do chefs—many of whom have to eat way more than a normal person should—stay trim and fit? As Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in Eating and Living from America's Best Chefs puts it, the answer isn't that radical, and it's not unhealthy either.
Roti canai is probably Malaysia's more famous roti, but the lacy, crepe-like pancakes known as roti jala are even prettier—and much simpler to make. A simple batter of eggs, coconut milk, and flour is drizzled in concentric circles onto a hot pan, cooking in seconds and then folded to form a loose, netlike pancake whose nooks and crannies are ideally suited to mopping up curries and sauces.