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.
The greatest olive oil in the world isn't worth a damn if you don't use it, and for my money, the easiest way to get yourself to start using up your olive oil is to store it in a way that properly protects it from oxidation while also allowing for easy, no-fuss access to pour whenever you need a little drizzle here and there. So what's the best storage solution on the market? I tested a dozen different olive oil pourers to find my favorites.
Normally I'm all about innovation and deep digging and hardcore testing here at The Food Lab. But this time I'm starting with a dish so iconic, so incredible, so damn-near-flawless in its original form that the best I can possibly hope to do is tweak it just a bit to suit my very particular personal tastes. I'm talking about the ricotta gnudi at The Spotted Pig, April Bloomfield's West Village gastropub. Thin, thin pasta surrounds a core of creamy, explosive sheep's milk ricotta all served in a brown butter and sage sauce. And the good news is that my favorite dish isn't even that hard to make.
Let's face it: If you're eating regular old Spamchos, if you can't even be bothered to replace those chips made of deep fried chopped-and-formed spiced ham with something meatier, you may as well be chowing down on oatmeal while sipping on prune juice, gramps. How can I make my nachos meatier than with Spam?, you ask. Never fear! I present to you: STEAK-CHOS, nachos in their ultimate, meatiest, beefiest, non-gendered-but-taking-on-characteristics-of-sterotypical-but-outdated-male form.
Let's face it: If you're eating regular old nachos, if you can't even be bothered to replace those chips with, say, deep fried tater tots, you may as well be chowing down on oatmeal while sipping on prune juice, gramps. Heck, even totchos are about as cool as a day old ramen burger these days. But never fear! There is redemption ahead as I lead you to nachos with a deep injection of piles of pleasure of the porcine persuasion. I present to you: SPAM-CHOS, nachos in their ultimate, meatiest, porkiest, fried-iest form.
There's no herb storage method I know of that can faithfully retain the flavor and texture of completely fresh herbs, but if you find yourself with more than you can possibly use, there are some methods that will work better than others. So you want to have something that closely resembles fresh herbs for sauces, soups, and stews? In that case, the freezer is your friend. Here's the best way to freeze herbs for long-term storage.
Asparagus isn't exactly a Chinese ingredient, but that doesn't mean that it can't find a comfortable home in Chinese food. I've got no doubt that if asparagus were to grow in the cool, misty mountains near Chengdu, that we'd see it served as a cold green appetizer or side dish on menus in Sichuan. This recipe—cold and crunchy asparagus tossed with firm tofu in a fiery sweet-hot-sour vinaigrette—is really inspired by the host of cold or warm appetizers you find in Sichuan that make use of roasted chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, and vinegar.
This list is my first stab at a comprehensive compendium of my favorite fast food dishes. It is totally, completely, 100% biased and based on my personal taste alone. You will no doubt disagree with me on a few or perhaps every point. I'm happy to fight you to the finish and let the crispest french fry and tastiest burger win.
This is an article about oatmeal pancakes, and damn good ones at that. Toasted oats. Browned butter. Tangy buttermilk. A texture so light and fluffy it makes butts nervous about keeping their jobs.
Ever since giving up soda a couple months back, I've been drinking a lot of iced tea and coconut water. A lot of coconut water. After having drunk, tasted, and meticulously note-taken my way through every brand of coconut water I could find, I consider myself a sort of expert on the subject, and I've got some opinions on what makes great coconut water, and who does it the best.
I love gnocchi. At least, I love the gnocchi in my mind. Light, pillowy, flavor-packed, they're the perfect vessel for a good red sauce. The big problem? Potato gnocchi take a long time and are far from foolproof. Say hello to their quick, easy, and delicious ricotta-based cousins.
Like oysters and princes, herbs are nearly always at their best when they're fresh. But we've all been there: you buy a bunch of parsley from the supermarket for those 2 tablespoons of garnish that you need, a week goes by, and you suddenly find yourself with a whole lot of fresh parsley that's on its way out. What do you do? Compared to other drying methods—like hanging or using a low oven—the microwave produces the most potent dried herbs with the freshest flavor and the brightest color. Here's how to do it.
I've been on a tamale pie kick ever since updating my mom's classic recipe a couple months ago by adding a brown butter cornbread crust. Essentially an olive-packed chili baked underneath a sweet cornbread crust, it's an all-in-one comfort classic. This 100% vegetarian version is no different.
The world of pie making abounds in myth, legend, tradition, tall tales, short tales, and other manner of never-been-blind-tested theory. And while learning at your grandmother's (or grandfather's) knee may lead you to excellent pie crust, you're more than likely to pick up a couple of bad habits and un-truths along the way. Today we're going to look at a some of the most common myths in the land of pie crust, poke a few holes in those theories, and come away with some better recipes in the end. Are you ready?
My wife Adri and I have stocked out freezer with frozen dumplings since before we were husband and wife. After years of experience, I've figured out the easiest, fastest, and best ways to cook them from frozen. Here's how.
Sweet and savory. Slippery and slick. Juicy and tender. Hot and sour. Garlicky. So. Freaking. Good. These are all words that should enter your head as you slide back a bowl of suanla chaoshou, the Sichuan-style wontons that come coated in an intensely aromatic sauce made with vinegar, garlic, and roasted chili oil. It's the sauce that brings on the contrasts with its almost overly intense flavor, thanks to sweet Chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, and plenty of chili oil with crunchy bits of fried dried chilies.
As far as dumplings go, Japanese-style gyoza are some of the simplest to make, if only for the fact that they are almost always made with store-bought, ready-to-fill wrappers at even the best dumpling joints in Japan. My mom wasn't the most talented or passionate cook in the world, but to this day her gyoza remain one of my favorite foods of all time. I've been making gyoza for over three decades now. Here's every trick and technique I've picked up, modified, or developed over the years.
There's something extraordinarily satisfying about biting into a perfect dumpling—the tug of dough, the burst of steam, that first hit of flavorful filling. Join us on a journey from China to India, Nepal, Russia, and beyond, as we explore the great wide world of dumplings.
Let me get one thing straight with you: I don't like plastic cooking utensils. They're weak, ineffectual, melty, flimsy tools that make me feel like I'm cooking in My First Kitchen. That's up until now. For the first time in my life, I've found a plastic cooking spoon that I'm not only happy with, but that I actually find myself reaching for instead of my silicone spatula or my wooden spoon from time to time.
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!