I spend so much time cooking and thinking about what I'm going to cook next that I don't often get to look back at what I've actually done. This has been a pretty big year for me recipe-wise, with some fun breakthroughs, some delicious staples that have made their way into my everyday life, and other recipes that, while they may not be the simplest, are worth every second of the time and effort that go into them. Here are my favorites of they year. They aren't necessarily the most popular, but they were the ones I had the most fun developing and eating.
Whole-roasted beef tenderloin is a once-a-year celebratory dish that can be fantastic if done properly. The problem is, its extra-lean meat lacks flavor, not to mention how easily it dries out and overcooks. Our slow-roasting reverse-sear method ensures perfectly medium-rare meat from edge to center with a nicely browned, flavorful crust.
Beef tenderloin is the most expensive cut of meat on the steer. At a good butcher or supermarket, a trimmed center-cut tenderloin can run you as much as $25 to $30 per pound! But there are ways to minimize that cost. The best way is to buy the tenderloin whole and untrimmed, bring it home, and trim it yourself.
A butcher's knot has one big advantage over a regular square knot: it's a slip knot, which means that once you tie it, you can adjust it very easily without needing an extra finger to hold the knot in place as you tighten it.
Ham season is upon us, which means that we should all be brushing up on our cured pork knowledge. Don't know the difference between a city and a country ham? Don't know how to cook them even if you do know the difference? Don't know how to serve them once they're done cooking? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
If you've ever been awestruck by the texture of a purée or a soup in a fancy restaurant, odds are a high-power blender was responsible. The good news is, they're now easily available for the home cook. The bad news? There are many options, and they're pricey. We're talking at least $400. For those bucks, you want to make sure that you're getting the best blender for your needs. Here's the scoop.
It was a little over a year ago today that I finished a quest that I started when I ate my first Chips Ahoy! as a little kid. OK, "finished" is a strong word. Like The Lord of the Rings, this was one of those quests that honestly feels like it never ends, but at least I made it to the first climax. After months of tweaking, testing, and gorging myself on butter, sugar, and chocolate, I'd arrived at the closest I'd ever come to the platonic ideal of a chocolate cookie.
It always baffles me when I hear statistics about lamb consumption in the US. Compared to chicken, beef, and pork sales, lamb consumption is a drop in the bucket And why? It's certainly one of the most delicious meats around, with its meaty texture, and intense flavor. Because I love lamb so hard, I'm going to try my best to remedy that situation, starting with the best way to cook a boneless leg of lamb. I'm talking about a method that delivers mild, flavorful meat with a tender texture and a perfectly rosy medium-rare hue all the way from edge to center, surrounded in a crisp layer of browned, crackly fat. Here's everything you need to know.
Is there anything more truly beautiful than a perfect prime rib? A deep brown crust crackling with salt and fat, sliced open to reveal a juicy pink center that extends from edge to edge as it gets sliced. It's the ultimate in luxurious holiday roasts, but its high price can make it daunting to cook for even seasoned roasters. Here's the definitive guide to buying, storing, preparing, cooking, carving, and serving absolutely perfect prime rib.
When it comes to meat sauces, ragú Bolognese is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To arrive at this version, I started with Barbara Lynch's great recipe, adding a few tweaks here and there to enhance meatiness and texture (hello pancetta, gelatin, and fish sauce!), and employing a unique oven-based cooking technique that develops rich browned flavors all while maintaining the tender, silky texture that the best sauces have. This is the kind of sauce that will leave you and your loved ones weak in the knees.
Twix have always been my favorite candy bar, but it's easy to see where there's room for improvement. This recipe replicates the familiar flavors of the chocolate-covered caramel and shortbread cookies, but with high quality dark chocolate, buttery homemade caramel, and crisp, flavor-packed shortbread cookies.
Tempering chocolate is a technique that requires a good deal of precision, but some methods for doing it are easier than others. Read on to discover how to temper chocolate using both traditional and updated techniques, including with a sous vide circulator or with a food processor and hair dryer for better, more foolproof results.
I grew up eating my mom's layered chicken enchilada casseroles made with canned sauce and tons of sour cream. While I've still got a soft spot in my heart for that dish, this version, with its smoky charred poblano salsa, tender braised chicken thighs, and moderate use of cream and cheese, is its more sophisticated, grown up cousin.
The pressure cooker is the fastest and most reliable way to cook perfect risotto. This version comes out creamy and intensely flavored with fresh mushrooms and dried porcini. A touch of miso paste gives it savory depth.
So when somebody asks me which wooden spoon is best, I always give the same advice I give when recommending knives, wives, or magic wands: it's an inherently personal decision. That said, there are a few important criteria to look for if you're starting from square one. Here's a spoon that meets them all and then some.
Now supposing that you've got yourself a big 'ol pile of leftover turkey sitting in the fridge, and right next to it happens to be a batch of the mole poblano you made a few weeks back. There's only one possible outcome to this situation: turkey and mole enchiladas (or, if you want to get really technical about it, enmoladas).
When I first started taking and answering questions for Thanksgiving a few years ago, I figured at most there'd be a few dozen. We're up to several hundred and counting, and every year we get more and more. This year's batch has focused heavily on sous-vide cooking and vegan/vegetarian options, both subjects close to my heart!
Leftover mashed sweet potatoes aren't easy to reheat and serve without turning them too dry or worse, scorching them on the bottom of a pan. Instead of trying, use them as the base for moist, tender, and delicious pancakes for breakfast.
Slices of turkey on top of a crisp stuffing waffle, all covered with a cheesy gravy sauce that gets broiled until browned and bubble before being topped off with a fried egg. This is the stuff morning-after-Thanksgiving dreams are made of.
So you've followed one of our turkey recipes and have the golden beast in front of you. Now what? For many folks, the hardest part of cooking a turkey is carving and serving it. Depending on how you roasted the bird, the carving instructions will be a little different. Here's how you do it.
Stuffing is my favorite part of my favorite holiday, and even though it's fantastic cooked in the bird, baked in a casserole all on its own, or cooked in the slow cooker, there are ways to improve it, namely by giving it a crisper, browner crust to contrast that moist creamy center. Here are three unique methods to do just that.
The key to a successful Thanksgiving is planning. Know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done, and how much manpower and time it's going to take you. There's no better way to derail a calm evening by scrambling at the last minute to make sure your turkey is cooked through, or the gravy isn't burning. There are many theories as to when to prep each individual item, but here's my own schedule of events, starting the week before Thanksgiving.
The Splashproof Thermapen is an indispensible tool for anyone who roasts meat, cooks steaks or chicken, barbecues, makes candy, or deep fries, but at nearly $100, it ain't cheap. Enter the ThermoPop, the new, $29 digital thermometer from the makers of the Thermapen.
When I first started taking and answering questions for Thanksgiving a few years ago, I figured at most there'd be a few dozen. We're up to several hundred and counting, and every year we get more and more. This year's batch have focused heavily on sous-vide cooking and vegan/vegetarian options, both subjects close to my heart!
Brining or dry-brining your bird can mean the difference between dry turkey and supremely moist and plump turkey. Over the years I've written many articles on brining (or not brining) turkeys; here's the basics in one simple guide.
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!