It's been an exciting year for us at Serious Eats. We welcomed three new editors to team—Assistant Culinary Editor Sohla El-Waylly, Equipment Editor Sal Vaglica, and Social Media Editor Kristina Bornholtz—and settled into our new digs at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. We've created a record number of videos, added regular equipment reviews to our content rotation, and churned out weekly episodes of the Special Sauce podcast, all in addition to the features, techniques, and recipes you know and (hopefully) love. Here's a look at the content you clicked on most over the course of 2017.
The Reverse Sear Is the Best Way to Cook a Steak, Period
Reverse searing is a stunningly simple technique that's virtually guaranteed to change the way you cook steak. Gently heating the meat in a low oven cooks it evenly throughout, not unlike a sous vide set-up. Then we finish it over high heat on the stovetop to give it a beautiful burnished crust. The result is a meat with little to no temperature gradient, but the same browned, crisp exterior of a conventionally cooked steak. Kenji's been promoting the method for years, and now we finally have a definitive post on the subject.
How to Roast Spatchcock Chicken (Butterflied Chicken)
If you regularly read our site, you know that spatchcocking is hands-down our preferred way to prepare poultry for roasting. Removing the bird's spine allows you to butterfly the meat, providing a more even surface that promotes faster, more even cooking. That means perfectly roasted chicken in under an hour, with moist breast meat and tender thighs. In this post, Kenji walks you through the technique from start to finish; the result is some of the juiciest, crisp-skinned roast chicken you'll ever taste.
How to Make Pressure-Cooker Chicken Stock
There are myriad excellent uses for a pressure cooker—it makes quick work of stews, soups, and even rice for the easiest risotto you'll ever cook. Case in point? This chicken stock recipe, which takes under an hour to make but tastes just as good as a batch that's simmered on the stovetop for half the day.
Introducing the Fat Flash, the Best Way to Finish Your Steak
In the world of meat nerdery, there's a great debate over whether or not to rest meat after cooking. Some argue that a rest is necessary to retain a steak's juices; others insist that resting results in the softening of the meat's crisp, satisfying crust. Kenji, never one to compromise, captures the best of both worlds with the "fat flash" method, which calls for first resting the steak and then restoring its crust with a drizzle of bubbling-hot oil or butter right before serving.
We Should All Eat More Crepes, Starting Now
Why is it that we think of pancakes as easy, casual Sunday morning fare, but treat crepes as a fancy and elaborate undertaking? After all, crepes require fewer ingredients and tools than pancakes, and relatively little technique. Best of all, they're the perfect canvas for a wide array of sweet and savory fillings, like ham, cheese, and eggs or spinach and feta. If you needed inspiration to get started, this post is it.
3-Ingredient, 10-Minute Macaroni and Cheese
Think upgrading your mac and cheese from the boxed stuff means buying fancy expensive cheeses or committing to a labor-intensive undertaking? Think again. The key to this ultra-quick, ultra-easy stovetop mac and cheese is evaporated milk, which keeps the sauce creamy and emulsified. If 10 minutes and three ingredients isn't selling point enough, get this: it all happens in one pot, so there's no extra dishes to deal with, either.
Maryland Crab Cakes
It turns out that making truly exceptional crab cakes isn't terribly difficult. Cut back on fillers like breadcrumbs and swap 'em out for light, airy panko; buy the right meat (that's lump, or "backfin," if you're going with the canned stuff); and strike a good balance with your seasonings—we go with Dijon mustard and Tabasco for heat and tang, Worcestershire for some savory bass notes, and paprika for a hint of smoky spice. Egg and mayo help hold it all together for a brief sear. Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges and tartar sauce for the full Maryland experience.
28 Unitaskers That Belong in Your Kitchen
Most kitchen unitaskers belong, to be blunt, in the trash. But while we may not be proponents of spiralizers, fruit-specific slicing tools, or virtually anything from As Seen on TV, there are also some important exceptions. Our recipe development team has put together a list of nearly 30 unitaskers whose particular applications are so handy, or whose uses extend sufficiently beyond their "unitasker" designation, that we are more than happy to keep them around. Some are pretty specific—if you're not a seafood buff, you might want to pass over the fish scaler; and if you're gluten free, the pasta machine may not be for you—but you'll get no raised eyebrows from us if we stumble into a garlic press, docking tool or even, GASP!, a taco-shell mold tucked into your kitchen drawers.
When we say no-bake, we mean zero baking—crust included. This cheesecake nonetheless rests on a firm Biscoff-cookie crust made of cookie crumbles, butter, and a pinch of salt. But it's the cake itself that's the star of the show. It's a no-frills, utterly classic cheesecake with a gloriously silky, airy texture thanks to an extended stint in the stand mixer.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies
Though Kenji tackled the science of chocolate chip cookies a few years back, his resulting recipe requires at least 24 hours to prepare. So what's a person to do if they want their cookies within the hour? These classic chocolate chip cookies, from Stella's newly released cookbook BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, are the answer to the eager baker's prayers. With their hand-chopped chocolate chunks and a dash of nutmeg, they may turn you off store-bought doughs for good.