Everything you thought you knew about cooking pasta is wrong. When I took cooking classes in Italy, they taught me to bring a large volume of salted water to a rolling boil, add a drop of olive oil so that the noodles wouldn't stick together, and wait several minutes until it was al dente (which literally means "to the tooth," i.e., firm and not mushy when bitten).
We all have our favorite cooking oils, but not everyone knows that they're not all interchangeable. Each type of oil is best for certain jobs, and they all have different smoke points and flavor profiles, which are the two most important criteria in determining which one to use.
Cooking spray is something of a gross necessity. The slimy, oddly-scented grease is perfect for keeping casserole dishes crust-free, but the oil splatter does a number on clean kitchen counters, and the lecithin ingredient can ruin nonstick cookware if not careful.
En papillote may sound like a difficult French cooking method you'd never use at home, but don't be fooled by its fancy name—it's actually a really easy way to cook food that is moist and flavorful, and all you need is some parchment paper and your oven.
Not all microwaves are created equal, so when you use the recommended cooking time on any microwaveable meal, chances are you're actually cooking the food too much or not enough. And unless you're really good at mental math or have a virtual assistant that's smarter than Siri and Google, you have to do things the long way — but not with these helpful apps for iOS and Android.
Even those of us most comfortable in the kitchen can be daunted by the idea of cooking for a whole houseful of people. Whether you have a large, well-equipped kitchen or a small one with just the essentials, it can prove to be quite a task to prepare food for a dozen or so people. It takes a certain type of recipe that allows for mass production, in respects to both technique and ingredients. And what I've provided below includes several recipes that you might normally make for just a family ...
This sounds a little crazy, and it is—in a good way. Cooking food in the dishwasher while it cleans your dishes multitasks your appliance and saves time and energy. And who doesn't want to spend less time over a hot stove? How Dishwasher Cooking Works
Cooking spray is super convenient to have around, but it can be expensive compared to regular old oil, and sometimes comes with some nasty sounding additives like dimethylpolysiloxane and dimethyl silicone.
Cookbook author, celebrity chef, television personality, and former White House nuclear policy analyst Ina Garten is familiar to many as the queen of foolproof cooking. Also known as the Barefoot Contessa, Ina hones in on techniques and tips that make time in the kitchen far less intimidating to folks of all skill sets. We've rounded up 8 of Ina's most useful cooking tips to help you out—from dinner parties to everyday cooking. Her philosophy is that it's always easier than you think!
Sometimes the idea of cooking fish, especially for a group of guests, can be intimidating. There's the fear of the fish not cooking right, or sticking to the pan or grill. And even if you cook it right and the fish doesn't stick, you're left with the inevitable fishy-smelling cleanup. Not fun!
Don't leave your tongs out by the grill, as they are one of the most useful and versatile cooking tools to have in your kitchen. In my house, they come in a very close second to chopsticks, which I cook with everyday. Like chopsticks, they make it easy to delicately flip and turn food with precision. But unlike chopsticks, there's no learning curve, so anyone can use tongs for easier, simpler cooking.
Both professional and home cooks have been rinsing raw chicken and turkey before cooking it for what seems like forever. It's one of those divisive practices—either you do it or you don't, and people tend to be rather opinionated on their stances.
Who doesn't enjoy sitting down to a nice dinner with a cocktail in hand? After a long day, a drink is a great way to unwind. Yet your favorite spirits can do more than just help you relax after work. By utilizing alcohol in the kitchen, you can enhance everything from how food tastes to your health.
Chances are you've got a bunch of wooden takeout chopsticks doing nothing but cluttering up your utensils drawer. That's a darned shame, considering that chopsticks aren't just for shoveling food into your mouth—they're actually the best cooking tools a cook can have (plus they come in handy when you run out of extra-long matches). Sautéing, Grilling, Deep Frying, & Stir-Frying
Learn how to easily remove the cooking grease out of your microwave stove top oven range filter. This tip will allow you to reuse the filter!
Everyone enjoys summers more than I do. At least, that's how it seems. While I take pleasure in the decline of clothing covering up my lady friends, I could definitely pass on the heat and absurd air conditioning costs. However, one summer staple that balls above all else is cooking on the grill.
Store-bought marinades and sauces have an ability to jazz up the simplest items. But after a while, those favorite tastes seem a bit repetitive and mundane, and that got us to experimenting with different add-ins to make our marinades stand out. Fruits, herbs, spices—all of the usual suspects were delicious, but not spectacular.
Kitchen tools are a personal thing. One hard lesson for me to learn is that just because something is popular doesn't mean that it's right for me. Take the slow cooker, for instance. Many rave about it, but I never cottoned to the thing. However, the more research I do, the more I think the pressure cooker might be a game changer for my cooking style.
My daughter moved into her first apartment last year, a huge rite of passage in any young person's life. With a mother and two grandmothers who are good cooks (to say the least, in the case of the latter), it's not surprising that she turned to us for some advice about how to improve her own skills in the kitchen. Without question, the single best piece of advice we have given her is to employ mise en place each and every time she prepares a meal.
Preparing and serving seafood can be a daunting task. Fish is so delicate that one extra minute of heat can turn a juicy, flaky filet into a dried-out disaster. But that same fragility also allows us to use unconventional methods to chemically transform the fish into its cooked consistency.
Great news: you don't have to give up grains if you're avoiding gluten.
Ah, the joys of bottomless brunch. Paying a flat rate for endless mimosas while having a long gossip over eggs Benedict is exactly how many of us love to spend our Saturdays. However, in practice, this isn't the sophisticated affair we all like to imagine. After refill number four we sway in our chair, doze off into our porridge, and end up tipping 50% because math is too hard. In short, not a very successful brunch.
Corn on the cob is one of the most popular accompaniments to a bountiful meal shared with a group because it's cheap, easy to prepare in a number of different ways, filling, and fun to eat. The butter is passed around the table for guests to smooth onto their own cooked ear of maize, then people dive in once everyone's corn is dripping with golden goodness.
Garlic isn't just a food, it's a legend. It's been found in the pyramids of Egypt and is referenced in the Bible. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, prescribed it regularly, and it was given to the first Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece to enhance performance (take that, Lance Armstrong). And, of course, it's famed for its ability to ward off evil, whether it's in the form of vampires, demons, or werewolves.
How To: Scan Food & Drink Labels in MyFitnessPal When Cooking at Home for More Accurate Nutrition & Calorie Info
In MyFitnessPal, you can search through a food database to add your meal into the app's diary and track your calories. Unfortunately, the sheer size of the database can make it hard to find exactly what you have just consumed, which is why MFP includes a barcode feature to make the process of adding food much smoother.
Everyone knows how fantastic olive oil is as a salad dressing. But did you know that this healthy and superbly tasting oil pressed from full-grown olives can be used in so many other ways than flavouring those greens? I will tell you 20 other uses and benefits that can be done with olive oil.
White rice is cheap, filling, and tasty. No wonder so many countries in the world rely on it as a mealtime staple, including most of East and Southeast Asia. Alas, because of its relative lack of nutrition and its high calorie count, consuming lots of white rice regularly also puts people at risk for diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Minor mishaps occur all the time in the kitchen, whether you cut your finger while dicing an onion, scorched your hand in a grease fire, or burned the roof of your mouth because you were to eager to taste-test your killer pasta sauce.
A perfectly-roasted artichoke is a thing of beauty, but not everyone has the time (or patience) to deal with the extra fuss. So if you want an artichoke and you want it now, look no further than your ever-convenient microwave, which lets you steam one in only 10 minutes—no steamer basket necessary.
The produce section is full of fruits, both familiar and quite strange. Depending on the season, you may see giant, bright-green bananas on display next to the normal bananas that you know and love. No, those aren't super-unripened bananas—they're plantains, and they are definitely a different fruit altogether. However, once you get to know them a little better, you'll find that they're much more fun to cook with.
Juicing fruits and vegetables is very beneficial to your health. For some, it's a trend; but to me, it's a part of my morning routine.
"The best season for food is the worst season for cooking." These words, spoken by food blogger Dave Klopfenstein of Dave's Kitchen, couldn't be more true.
Volume markings on large pots and mixing bowls make life so much easier. They cut out the step of measuring and save you the trouble of washing measuring cups. However, there aren't many containers out there that actually have volume markers in them.
Flavored oils are amazing. They add a new flavor and depth to dishes not possible with plain oil. Most unfortunately, however, flavored oils almost always come with a hefty price tag to reflect their deliciousness and to capitalize on the general cluelessness of the public.
Flavored extracts may seem like they'd be complicated to make, but there's a lot less to them than you'd think, and will cost you less in the long run.
Your grater and microplane may look like single-purpose tools, but they're actually one of the most diverse appliances in your kitchen. Sure, everyone knows to use a grater on cheese and a microplane on citrus zest, but why stop there? Here are 10 things you may not have thought to grate:
Even when no one is in your kitchen, it is crowded. The refrigerator, sink, and counters are all covered with microbes that are just hanging around. They are inadvertent remnants from the raw chicken you used in that recipe last night, brewing a bacterial cocktail in your Nespresso machine, or just growing their merry little colonies on your leftovers.
If you've ever turned on an episode of Iron Chef or Top Chef, chances are you've seen a contestant in gloves and goggles, yielding a canister that looks far more fit for a chemistry lab than for a kitchen. Wonder what's in the canister? Liquid nitrogen, the go-to tool/ingredient of molecular gastronomy, and one of the trendiest items in many gourmet chefs' kitchens.
Watch this instructional cooking video to cook a favorite Japanese dessert. Make two types of Kudzu mochi. Each recipe serves two.
Ingredients for Hiyashi Chuka (serves 2)