Taco Bell's in the news for umpteenth time, and today the controversy is over their infamous beef taco meat. Gizmodo leaked a picture of Taco Bell's "Taco Meat Filling" and surprise, surprise— it's missing a lot of the "meat" that it claims in its advertisements. Taco Meat Filling Ingredients
Instant ramen has been popular in the states for decades, and restaurants that serve the real thing in any variety you can imagine have been popping up everywhere in the last few years. But you don't have to go out or spend all day cooking to have a gourmet ramen experience.
We like our Egg McMuffins around here, albeit homemade with our preferred ingredients: whole wheat (or homemade sourdough) English muffins, a slice of thick Tillamook cheddar cheese, a meat, perhaps, like Canadian bacon, and finally—that perfectly-fried, perfectly-shaped egg.
Polenta can cause risotto-like anxiety for the most experienced cook. First of all, making polenta is time-consuming—it can often take upwards of 45 minutes (unless you use this shortcut). And in the midst of this long cooking time, you're constantly stirring to keep the polenta from becoming lumpy. Even after taking the utmost of care, the polenta can still turn out too loose, too firm, or too grainy.
There are certain ingredients that chefs regularly use to elevate their food beyond the status of what us mere mortals can create. Shallots are one. Good, real Parmesan cheese is another. And the rind of that real Parmesan cheese just so happens to be one of the culinary world's biggest kept secrets.
Like Costco's price codes or the tags on your bread, the numerical codes printed on those sticky little fruit and vegetable labels can reveal a lot of information to us consumers. Once you understand the codes, you can look at that little label (also known as PLU, or "price look up" label) and know whether the produce you're about to buy or eat was treated with pesticides, genetically modified, both, or neither. Before we go any further with deciphering the codes on these labels, let's take a...
Fish are delicate, flaky, and can be damn tricky to cook; more often than not, you end up with a hard, dry block of flesh that makes your taste buds sad. And the best ways to cook fish that you know of—c'mon, who doesn't love a fried fish—take way too much effort for you to bother with on a weeknight. Or maybe you're looking for a healthier way to enjoy fish that doesn't require batter or frying at all.
As glorious as a good drink (or five) can be, the aftermath of alcohol on the body is one of life's least enjoyable features. A few hours of fun can come at the expense of a day or two of feeling dead to the world, with an upset stomach, an aching body, and a headache that makes it feel as though your friends used your head for a piñata.
"Does bottled barbecue sauce even taste that bad?" a friend of mine asked. Well, truthfully, no. But it also doesn't taste that good, especially if you've had truly great barbecue or even your crazy uncle's homemade sauce at a holiday cookout.
I was just 16 when I poured my first beer. It was my first restaurant job and a customer ordered a pint while the bartender was busy. I'd seen her do it hundreds of times, and she made it look so easy. Besides, it couldn't be that different from filling a cup from the soda machine, right?
Maybe you decided to make your own pumpkin pureé because of all the buzz about canned pumpkin actually being squash (which, by the way, is a load of bull: it's made with ugly pumpkins, but pumpkins nonetheless). Or maybe you just wanted to be that person that proudly proclaims that they made everything from scratch for their Thanksgiving feast this year (ahem, me).
Ever wonder why when you defrost meat, there's all that pink liquid at the bottom of the plastic bag? That liquid is called "purge," and it's not good.
Cheese is one of the most loved foods in the world, and there are hundreds of different types. Some prefer super expensive gourmet cheeses, others are fine with the cheaper processed stuff.
French toast is one of those things that everybody kind of knows how to make, but few people know how to do really well. And while the dish originally does hail from France (its original name, pain perdu, means lost or wasted bread), it has become a beloved American breakfast dish.
You're in the middle of cooking and a car alarm, cute kitten, or neighborhood brawl made you step away from the stove for a few minutes longer that you should have. It happens to almost every home cook. Most of the time, nothing dramatic happens, but every now and then, you end up with something like this:
Once upon a time in America, there was coffee and there was decaf. That's it. No capuccinos. No espressos. And certainly no Starbucks. Coffee was just coffee, something that you bought at a gas station or donut shop. If you made it at home, it was either in a metal pot or instant coffee.
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.
Summer cookouts and barbecues come with a lot of delicious foods, but to me, there's nothing better than dishes heaped with avocados. From guacamole to simply eating an avocado right out of its skin, I devour this fruit constantly—but it's one that can be tricky to find perfectly ripe.
We've already taught you a few tricks for getting chilled, rock-hard butter to spread easily on toast, and some of you probably bypass that issue entirely by purchasing spreadable butter from the supermarket. But why waste your money when you can make a healthier, tastier version at home for a fraction of the cost?
Microwave popcorn promises so much—a tasty, relatively healthy snack that's ready in minutes—yet it rarely delivers. Most of the time you'll end up with a scorched bagful or a bunch of stubborn un-popped kernels, but it doesn't have to be that way. With a few simple tricks, it's easy to get perfectly fluffy, tender-crisp popcorn every time.
Frozen fruit is always in season at your local grocery store, so you don't have to wait until the farmers market starts again to enjoy delicious baked fruit desserts. Peach pie, blueberry muffins, raspberry scones... all of these delicious baked goods can be just as delectable when using frozen fruit, too.
Let's be honest, most of us buy the bottom-shelf vodka either because we're broke or because we're going to disguise the gag-inducing taste of it with juice or something fizzy. If you're cooking or baking with vodka (ice-cold vodka works wonders in pie crust), what's the point of buying Belvedere?
Every now and then, you'll bite into the end piece of a perfectly good cucumber only to get an unwelcome bitter and acrid taste. This happened to me for years, no matter how carefully I selected my cukes, although I generally had better luck with ones I got from local growers and the farmer's market.
Pies and soufflés: these are two dishes that can try even the most experienced cook. Berry pies can be especially challenging, since the high water content of cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries often leads to a big, leaky mess once you cut into your beautiful pie.
Whether it's college football, the NFL, basketball, soccer, or baseball, sporting events are prime opportunities to entertain. No matter what the sport, food that's easy to eat is a must. Your guests should be able to mingle, eat, and talk trash... all at the same time! So a meat and cheese plate—also known as a characuterie board— is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
I've never met a person who doesn't love French fries. And, to be frank, I have no desire to meet such a person.
Fall is the time for comfort foods—and what is more comforting than crusty bread slathered in melted cheese? Owning a fondue pot is both convenient and wonderful, but not all of us have the luxury of space for nonessential kitchen appliances. However, there are plenty of ways to make an absolutely delicious, lump-free fondue without the traditional equipment.
Dried spices and herbs seem to be immortal; a peek in your parents or grandparents' cupboards will likely unveil cinnamon, basil, and oregano older than you.
Jerky is one of the tastiest snacks in existence. It's packed with richness, saltiness, and spiciness, and it's one of those things that you can't stop eating once you start. It's also fairly expensive, unless you're opting for the gas station variety which is… er… jerky in the same way that Folgers is coffee.
Finding the formula to the perfect cup of coffee for your taste can take a while. I finally got around to buying a French press a few weeks ago and I'm still tweaking the right ratio and brewing time to get it just right (though I am drinking it at the right times each day).
Salt is a miraculous substance. From the Ancient Egyptians to the Christian Bible, many cultures believe it to have mystical powers that can ward off evil, among other things.
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.)
Garlic—it stinks so good! It's one of nature's most wondrous foods, being both delicious and incredibly healthy. What's not to love? Well, it is kind of a pain to prep, whether you're peeling a couple of cloves for a sauce or a whole head and trying to mince it finely. One way to get around the whole peeling and mincing issue every time you want garlic in a dish is by buying pre-made garlic-infused olive oil, except that stuff is pretty pricey. Learn to make it at home and you'll get all the ...
Most of us lead busy, work-filled lives, often clocking in a 9-to-5 five days a week. And when that clock signifies the hour to leave, the last thing on anyone's mind is: "Time to go to the grocery store to pick up more fresh produce!" (Well, to be fair... maybe more people are psyched about this, but I know with certainty that I am not one of them.)
In my last quick clip, I demonstrated how to take a bottle of soda and freeze it on command. I received many requests for a more detailed article on this, so here we go. This "super cool" trick works with cans of soda too, not just bottles!
It's almost time for Halloween, which means that it's time for the nastiest-looking food and drink to make its appearance. Severed fingers, brains, vomit... everything that would normally make our stomachs turn at any other time of year makes us cackle with glee instead on Halloween night.
It's a small but very real frustration: you want a chilled drink, but you open the freezer only to see nothing but empty ice trays. Fortunately, there's a simple way to make ice cubes quickly—use hot water. Yup, you read that correctly. Hot water freezes more rapidly than cold.
Fresh herbs are a surefire way to enhance a dish, but buying them at the store each time you need them is costly. Luckily, growing your own herbs is a lot easier than it seems: You can even using cuttings from the herbs you already buy to start your own little herb garden.
The spice selection at Trader Joe's is both inexpensive and truly top-notch. According to their site, they deal with some of the highest-quality spice manufacturers in the world and, in working with them directly, they eliminate hidden costs spent on promotions, brand-building, and advertising. This allows the customer to experiment with new flavors and build up their spice rack—without the usual limiting factor of high cost. If you don't have access to a Trader's in your culinary neck of the...
How To: Brita Filters Costing You a Fortune? Use These DIY Methods to Clean Your Water for Half the Price
No matter what the clean freaks out there try to tell me, I still drink my Los Angeles tap water without a care in the world. I figure that I've already consumed much more heinous things in my lifetime. Street vendor "steak" burritos comes to mind.