Real Texas chile con carne is all about the beef and the chilies. In this version, we start with toasted whole dried chilies and puree them with broth and spices before adding beef chuck and cooking the whole thing down in a pressure cooker. 30 minutes later, you've got spoon-tender chunks of beef in a rich, complex chili-based stew.
Whether you're making real Texas-style chile con carne (no beans please!), a quick weeknight ground beef and canned bean chili, or even a vegan or vegetarian version, the best thing you can do to up your chili game is to leave those jars of pre-ground chili powder on the shelf. Starting your chili with honest to goodness real whole dried chilies will save you money while adding layer upon layer of complex flavor that you never thought was possible. Here's how to do it.
The pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, canned chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and chorizo come together to form a flavorful base for fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs. It all cooks in under half an hour start to finish.
The pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, black beans are stewed together with spicy Hatch chilies, smoky Andouille sausage, and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs. It all cooks in under an hour start-to-finish.
The pressure cooker is an amazing device for making flavor-packed stews in very short order. In this version, French lentils are flavored with big chunks of pancetta, chicken stock, carrots, onions, bay leaves, and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs. It all cooks in about 30 minutes start to finish.
Brown, unrefined sugar is eaten all around the world—Africa and Asia have their jaggery, Mexico has piloncillo, we have our fancy coffee shops with moist muscovado—but nobody consumes it the way Colombians do. Despite having the highest brown sugar consumption per capita in the world and a production of almost a million and a half tons per year, sugar production is still done almost 100% manually in mills like this one. For now, that is.
Tender Italian-American meatballs made with beef and pork and flavored with garlic, buttermilk, and Parmesan cheese in a meaty, slow-cooked sauce. Your slow-cooker takes care of the tomato sauce, reducing it into a rich, meaty gravy.
We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there that's every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small and tender meatballs with crisp edges, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown?
The Issan Thai-style dressing for this salad fires on all cylinders with big bursts of hot, acidic, sweet, and savory elements all in balance. It coats crisp fried pork rinds, softening them up slightly, and making them taste almost bright and refreshing when coupled with plenty of fresh herbs and bean sprouts.
My wife's Aunt Gloria in Colombia makes a sopa de albóndigas—meatball soup—unlike any I've had before. In fact, according to her, it's not like any meatball soup she's had anywhere else either. This particular combination of beef with capers in broth served with fried potato sticks seems to live almost solely within the confines of her own family. This is a shame, as it's terribly delicious.
Growing up in New York, I'd never eaten a meatball pizza. Pizza is for eating out, meatballs are home cooking. It wasn't until I tasted the meatball pizza at Motorino and then at Best Pizza in Williamsburg that I discovered how great the idea is. But like all mashups, there's a bit of finesse to getting it right.
Of the myriad styles of pizza we've got in this country, St. Louis-Style has got to be the most maligned.* Its thin, unleavened cracker crust bears no resemblance to the real dough that great pizza is built on. It gets loaded high with toppings that span all the way from edge to edge. It's so unbalanced that it has to be cut into squares just to be able to support its own weight. And let's not get started on that Provel cheese—if it can even be called cheese, am I right? And yet, ever since tasting for the first time I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've finally figured out why I love it so much. St. Louis-style pizza is not pizza. It's a big, pizza-flavored nacho. Hear me out.
Beef Stroganoff, when done right, is one of those magical dishes that acts and tastes like a stew, but is actually a quick-cooking dish in disguise. With just about 45 minutes in the kitchen, you can make a dish that comes packed with tender meat and rich, deep, rib-sticking flavors that taste like they were cooked all day. My goal: A beef stroganoff with the most tender, juicy beef around in a sauce that balances rich, browned flavors with brighter notes and most importantly, a creaminess that doesn't break or turn grainy under any circumstances. I decided to break down the process one step at a time to get there, starting with the meat.
A few years ago I wrote a piece called The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical which made its way around the internet and social media circles at the time. It's gotten tons of comments, most of them well-balanced, thoughtful, and conducive to open constructive debate. Some have been knee-jerk (from both sides), and some have been downright frightening (it's the only article I've ever written that has prompted actual death threats via email). News of the recent repeal of the California ban on its import and production has sparked up the debate again, so I thought it was a good time to address some of the arguments that have been brought up that I feel I haven't adequately addressed. Here they are.
Pho bo—Vietnamese beef noodle soup—may be more popular in the states, but its cousin pho ga, made with chicken, is easier to make, and in my book, just as tasty. What if I told you that you could make a superb bowl of Vietnamese chicken noodle soup with rich, aromatic broth and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, all in under half an hour? The pressure cooker comes to the rescue.
Today I'm going to show you how to make two different versions of the same dish. They both use the exact same ingredients to produce similar end results. The first recipe for potato leek soup is the most involved, and it'll make just about the tastiest potato leek soup you've ever had. Light, creamy, packed with flavor, and soul-satisfyingly delicious. The second takes a fraction of the time and produces a soup with very similar flavor, but a slightly inferior texture. It's still something I'd happily serve to dinner guests any night of the week.
With a large stash of really great tortillas in my fridge at all times, I wind up making a lot of tacos. My favorite in recent memory are these sweet potato tacos flavored with sage and topped with sliced radish, cilantro, crema, and a fried egg. Great for breakfast, but really good any time of day.
I love roasted beets, but they take a long time to prepare. A much faster way to enjoy their natural sweetness is to slice them paper thin on a Japanese mandoline. Tossed with a simple vinaigrette, they become an ideal addition to a salad of hearty winter greens like endive, frisée, and radicchio, their sweetness complemented by the bitter bite of the greens. Some shaved Parmesan, radishes, and toasted flax seeds finish this simple salad off.
I know how it is. You're working your butt off trying to tie up all the loose ends so that you can enjoy a stress-free vacation at the end of the year and before you know it, it's just days before your big holiday meals and you haven't even decided whether you're cooking prime rib, turkey, or ham! Never fear, we're here to help.
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.
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!