No summer season would be complete without potato salad, an essential side dish. The flavors and textures of a simple potato salad can be totally satisfying as is, but add in a few items and you can have a dish that is absolutely extraordinary.
Home cooks are often quite intimidated when trying to reproduce the delicious ethnic dishes they enjoy at various restaurants. Thankfully, there are definite flavor profiles and spice/seasoning/herb combos that are very specific to various regional cuisines and cultures; with a little guidance, you can create dishes that are tasty homages to the cuisines you love to eat. In this two-part article (second part here), I'll cover both categories and sub-categories of some of the most popular ethn...
It's that time of the year, y'all—when the air becomes crisp, the nights grow long, and people crave hearty, warm soups and stews. And of all the season's offerings, my hands-down favorite has to be chili: It's versatile, meaty, and above all else, it's damn easy to make. (Thank you, Lord, for the slow cooker. Amen.)
Eating out is great, but being able to cook the delicious ethnic foods you eat at restaurants is even better. It may seem daunting to put together a bunch of ingredients with which you might not be familiar (some with names you've never even heard of!), but with the guidelines below, you'll be making your own versions of ethnic favorites in no time.
Uh-oh: you wake up one morning with the telltale signs that you are coming down with something. Your throat is sore, you can barely breathe out of your nose, and you have a nagging cough.
If you open your refrigerator door and find leftovers there, then you are fortunate—even if you don't realize it right away. Leftovers are the ultimate budget hack because they maximize the value of your meals; and it's a smart way to save money while making the most of your food purchases.
If you look at the label on your favorite processed snack, there's a good chance you have no idea what half the ingredients are. It's nothing new, but with natural and organic foods becoming huge trends, we're hyper-aware of all the "chemicals" we eat.
One of the more annoying parts about cooking or baking at home is dealing with sticky ingredients. You scrape the peanut butter out of the jar and into a measuring cup to make sure you have the right amount for your recipe, then scrape the correct amount into the bowl you're cooking with.
The first written account of "stock" as a culinary staple goes back to 1653, when La Varenne's Cookery described boiling mushroom stems and table scraps with other ingredients (such as herbs and basic vegetables) in water to use for sauces. But really, the concept of stock has probably been around for as long as people have been using water to boil food.
Hair products can work wonders, but the good stuff is usually super expensive. Plus, most of the major brands use a ton of ingredients you can't even pronounce, so it's safe to say a lot of us have no idea what we're putting in our hair. The good side is that most products can be made at home using basic ingredients for a fraction of the cost of commercial brands. Hairspray is no exception, and actually one of the easier ones to make.
One of my favorite things is finding an easy way to make what is normally a complex dish. Case in point: pasta sauce. Usually its depth of flavor is the result of fresh herbs, shallots, tomatoes, seasonings, olive oil, and a touch of dairy being cooked and added in stages. Long simmering mellows out each component's inherent character and turns pasta sauce into something that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Any pizza lover knows that a quality crust is crucial to the whole experience. Good pizza crust should be delicious on its own, for once you get to the edge, it will be without any toppings, sauce, or cheese to disguise a bad character. It should be redolent of fresh, good wheat and taste full-bodied, rather than flat, flabby, or metallic, the way so many big chain and frozen pizza crusts do. The exterior should be crisp, while the interior contains an airy crumb as well as having a tender, s...
A visit to Disneyland is not complete without a trip to the Tiki Juice Bar where the famous Dole Whip soft serve dessert resides. These golden swirls of frozen pineapple-y goodness are an essential part of any magical visit.
Granola bars are the perfect snack to have around: they're tasty, not messy, have nutritional value, are filling, and don't go stale quickly.
I'm not ashamed to admit it: I love Gatorade. It's probably from all of those times I watched Michael Jordan chug it during basketball games when I was a kid. But I'm not the only one that loves Gatorade—a large percentage of people who work out regularly choose to replenish their electrolytes with sports drinks.
As much as I love eating weird foods, when it comes to my favorite food, there is only one simple choice: cheese. Since cheese is my favorite to eat, it should come as no surprise that it's one of my favorites to make as well.
You either love kimchi or you hate it, but for those of us who love it, its salty, briny, spicy crunch is the stuff of life. Honestly, if you're not eating it regularly, you should start, since it's being studied for an amazing list of health benefits, including anti-cancer, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties; obesity and high cholesterol prevention; and promotion of immunity and skin health. The beauty of kimchi is manifold:
Regardless of where you happen to live in the United States, you can always count on Caesar salad being on a menu nearby. The restaurant may be top dollar or a humble diner, but this ubiquitous salad prevails in every region and at every price point.
Many home chefs are deterred from whisk-intensive recipes such as mayonnaise because they seem to require more than two hands—which is obviously the maximum number we possess. One hand is required to stabilize the bowl, another must be whisking constantly... and a third hand is needed to pour a steady stream of oil.
Cooking isn't something that interests me much, unless it results in a fast burning fuel and a successful rocket launch!
When we initially started juicing, we tended to gravitate towards the widely popular juice staples—carrots, cucumbers, celery, kale, spinach, and apples. However, as we grew more comfortable with these fruits and vegetables (and honestly, a bit bored), we realized there are other unsung juicing ingredients that are just as tasty and nutritious.
Eating vegetarian isn't just for vegetarians. There are plenty of reasons, health and economics-wise, to consider forgoing the meat for a meal or three. Rather than get deep into the world of fake meat (although there's many a tasty alternative to be found there, to be sure), you should consider getting to know your humble-seeming fungal friend: the mushroom. Thanks to their hearty flavor, cooks tend to treat mushrooms like meat, albeit one with its own unique characteristics. Mushrooms are e...
You can find chili peppers in practically every cuisine. From the sweet Italian variety to the spicy Thai bird's chili and the smoky Mexican chipotle, peppers are ubiquitous and universally loved. But if you find the range and scope of these little fireballs overwhelming, you're not alone.
When you look at an Italian flag, what do you see? Green, white, and red? Well, I see a Caprese salad. And no, I do not need to have my vision checked. It simply means that I have the eyes of a chef.
Herbs, both fresh and dried, can be intimidating and mysterious to cooks. Just how much is too much? How do you prepare them?
People tend to skip toasting nuts in recipes or before adding them to salads because it seems time-consuming and the margin for error is high. However, skipping this step is a big mistake. Why? Because when you skip toasting your nuts (go ahead, you can laugh, we're all doing it), you sacrifice flavor and texture. And not just a little flavor, but a lot. Alton Brown recommends wok-frying peanuts before making your own nut butter for this very reason.
The world of spices can be bewildering. They promise to make your food more flavorful if you know how to make the most of them. Unless you know a couple of essential tricks, however, it just seems like you're adding bits of colored powder to your food.
For the novice cook, fungi can be weird because, well, they're fungi. However, if you've been afraid to get acquainted with mushrooms, you've been missing out. Vegetarians love mushrooms and with good reason.
It's so nice to be able to reuse old glass jars for food storage. Occasionally, though, even the sturdiest container has to be recycled because it retains the smell of its previous contents. Usually the culprit was garlic, garlic-based, or something pickled, and you're certainly not going to store your fresh herbs or fruit in that. There is, however, a quick and easy way to get that old stink out of your jar and make it usable again. You just need two things...
Baking soda is a powdery miracle. Not only is it the secret ingredient to making mashed potatoes fluffy, it can help you make authentic-tasting soft pretzels at home and caramelize onions in half the time. It's actually got lots of surprising uses you might not know about, and one of them is that a pinch or two can correct sour and bitter tastes in your food.
Butter can be even more delicious than it already is. While that may be a shocking claim, it's most definitely true. Many new cooks and even seasoned chefs don't realize this, but the few minutes it takes to do these things will pay you back exponentially when it comes to that buttery taste.
The Spanish and Portuguese introduced many things (some desirable, some not, depending on your POV) to Mexico in the sixteenth century: Christianity, language, and lots of flora and fauna.
In order to make your food taste good, your favorite restaurant is most likely using way more salt than you think they are (among other pro secrets). Which is why when you ask just about any professional cook what the biggest problem with most home-cooked meals are, they almost always answer that they're "undersalted" or "underseasoned." (In cooking lingo, to "season" food means to salt it.)
Unless you're vegan or lactose intolerant, butter is an indispensible ingredient. However, butter is no one-trick pony. It can take many forms that make it even more versatile and useful in the kitchen. Clarified butter has many advantages over regular butter—but there are certain cases where you shouldn't use it. More on that later.
If you've been to a farmer's market during tomato season, chances are you know that heirloom tomatoes are pricier (and funnier-looking) than their hybrid counterparts.
Many lazy cooks skip rinsing off their grains before they cook 'em, but that's a big mistake for a few reasons. Some grains have coatings on them that need to be rinsed off to cook properly and taste good.
Wow. You won't believe how easy this meal is to prepare. No more sweating over a hot kitchen stove. No more waiting. This is heaven. Ricotta gnocchi. Only three ingredients. Amazing. Join Robin Benzle on her Chow Time cooking show to learn how to make this easy, homemade ricotta cheese gnocchi pasta, which is browned in butter and topped with your favorite sauce. There's only three measly ingredients for this recipe!
Ginger ale and other light carbonated drinks have traditionally been prescribed as cures for an upset stomach and indigestion. And we're sure that kids who are prescribed this cure don't mind the delicious, ziny carbonation of ginger ale, either, when they take it in to soothe their bellies.
There's nothing better to cool those hot summer days that a deliciously fruit Italian ice. Italian ice is one of the best desserts to beat the heat, right alongside frozen yogurt and ice cream! And you probably didn't realize how easy Italian ice is to make at home. Robin Benzle of Chow Time will show you how with her lemon-cranberry version. There's only four ingredients: lemons, cranberries, water and sugar.
Properly measure liquid and dry ingredients Diane Morgan describes the basic technique for measuring ingredients, which is critical to baking. There are two types of measuring cups, one for liquids and a different type for dry ingredients that need to be leveled off, such as flour or sugar.