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.
One of the best qualities about fresh bread (such as sourdough) is a thick, crispy crust—which is easy to create in a commercial oven, but can be tricky for home cooks to replicate. Luckily, the the trick to baking a professional-style crust is a simple one—just bake your loaf with steam using one of these three methods to achieve the perfect, crispy crust.
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.
I love making everything from scratch, but some things are just easier to buy. So there are times when you have to find a creative way to split the difference. For me, the easiest dish to buy without compromising on flavor is cornbread mix.
Creating a haunted house for Halloween was a big deal when I was growing up, and the neighborhood kids were always coming up with ways to try and out-do each other when it came to this frightful night. One beloved game was to blindfold the participants and play the Withered Corpse.
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 don't always plan on getting drunk, it usually just sort of happens, right? You finish one beer, move on to the next, and all of a sudden you're a six-pack in and feelin' it. And when you're drinking in places you're not supposed to, it can get ugly.
Each flavor of sake, the national spirit of Japan, comes with its own fans, not unlike whiskey aficionados here in the States. While sake is often called "rice wine," it is more akin to a malted beverage like beer.
White or light-colored dinnerware is a classic: it looks crisp, clean, and elegant. The only problem is that after you've used it for a few years, the surfaces bear a lot of grey scuff marks from forks, spoons, and knives being dragged across the surface.
Go to a chain supermarket, and chances are you'll see one type of garlic—maybe two or three if you're lucky. However, there's a mouthwatering slew of Allium sativum out there, far beyond those papery white bulbs most of us encounter at the nearest Stop 'n' Shop.
I'm not a big fan of single-use tools, especially ones that don't get used particularly often. And I'm especially not a big fan of seldom used single-use tools that take up a large amount of space.
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
There are some ingredients I cook with so often I can never buy too many of them, and most of them are produce. Onions, garlic and fresh herbs are staples in a lot of dishes, and they may be inexpensive, but when you use them on a daily basis it can add up.
Dried fruit makes a great snack or salad topping, but after a while, they tend to become fossilized, rock-hard versions of their former selves. At this point, most folks probably just toss them out, as they're unpleasant to chew on when eaten raw and even more unpleasant to eat in bread or cooked with other ingredients.
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.
If I had to guess, I'd say your waffle maker is probably collecting dust on the highest shelf in your kitchen, or deep in some cabinet you haven't opened in years. And that's assuming you even have a waffle maker.
Without a doubt, sushi is one of my favorite foods—dainty and delectable, while also fun to make. So let's get started with maki rolls, aka makizushi, probably the most iconic form of sushi. You know, the one filled with rice and your standard sushi ingredients, rolled up in a sheet of dried seaweed.
There's an ongoing debate about whether or not it's safe or even desirable to rinse meat before you cook it. Many fall into the anti-rinsing camp, saying that it's not effective at dislodging bacteria, especially on poultry, as we've discussed before. Meanwhile, some argue that rinsing certain meats, like bacon, could be beneficial since it possibly prevents it from shrinking.
"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.
There are countless recipes for mug cakes (and breads) on the internet, but not all of them are good. Mug cakes promise a warm, moist, and fluffy cake after a few minutes and with minimal work... but sometimes, all you end up with is a chewy, rubbery mess.
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.
We've all been there: you're staring at a fantastic-looking salad or sandwich full of your favorite ingredients. You take a bite, and you taste only one thing—raw onion. A glass of water, a toothbrush, and an hour later, and your breath still tastes like only one thing—raw onion.
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:
I love making stock. It's thrifty because you get extra use out of poultry bones and vegetable peelings, plus having homemade stock on hand makes so many things taste better, from soup to stews to pasta sauces. If you deglaze a pan, homemade turkey stock, booze of some kind, and butter will create an eye-rollingly good sauce in mere moments. One task I do not love? Figuring out how to skim the damn fat off the stock (or soup) after I've made it. It's necessary to skim the fat as you boil down...
There are few kitchen tools as elusive as the oyster knife. Many people—even seafood lovers—don't own one. If you do own one, it probably gets used so infrequently that it gets sent to the very back of the shelf where it proceeds to get lost. Then you accidentally find the knife once a month when you don't need it, but can't for the life of you find the sneaky little thing when you do need it.
There's something primal about the smell of smoking food. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our souls, we remember a time when humans only ate by the fire. Or perhaps that's just something I tell myself. Either way, it's hard to smell smoke and food and not feel like you should be eating. And, as chef Edi Frauneder said in a recent Saveur article, "Grilling is convivial. There's something about this act of coming together over an open flame that just says vacation."
You've probably noticed artichokes at the front and center of your local grocery store or farmer's market recently, as spring is artichoke season; They may look like strange, complicated vegetables if you've never cooked them before.
The microwave oven is a monumental technological achievement that's saved college students and single people from starvation for decades. Almost 97% of all American households have one, which makes it the most-owned kitchen appliance in US homes right after the refrigerator.
Living on a budget often means compromising what you want for what you need—or at least, for what's affordable. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have to compromise on flavor, especially if you know the right tips and tricks to make something spectacular out of the ordinary.
"Tempering chocolate" is one of those intimidating-sounding kitchen tasks that keeps novice cooks away from some really fun stuff like making candy, chocolate-dipped biscotti, and fruit.
Foodies and big-time chefs like Thomas Keller go crazy for fleur de sel. This finishing salt appears in fancy eateries and cookbooks the world over, and in the early 2000s, it was not uncommon to see diners in a high-end restaurant sprinkle a pinch of fleur de sel on their plates from their own personal stash.
Desserts always taste better when they are sugar-coated—and even more so when they're coated in powdered sugar. In particular, crinkle cookies—cake-y cookies that are chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside—are famous for the powdered sugar that creates their cracked appearance.
I own two aprons—a cute one for company, and another for the hard-core cooking duties, like cutting up chicken and making stock. The sad truth is that I almost never remember to wear either of them. So, much of my clothing ends up spattered with grease, liquid, and bits of fruit and vegetable. While stain-removing sprays, sticks, and pens are all effective to a certain extent, they have two drawbacks—they're expensive and sometimes I need to use them in large quantity, like when a piece of eg...
Hummus seems like it should be easy to make, but creating that ideal creamy consistency can be pretty difficult. Often it comes out too chunky, which means your hummus won't be good for dipping into. Luckily, there is one trick that will help you create the creamiest consistency and make you never want to go near store-bought hummus again: add baking soda.
A friend of mine is a classically trained chef, and she often invites me over to her house to eat whatever goodies she has concocted. A few years ago I asked her the cliché question that every chef is sick of answering: "What's your favorite food?"
Now that the Super Bowl is over, you might find that you have an econo-sized bag or two of opened potato chips slowly going stale in your pantry. After all, there are only so many bowls of Buffalo Chicken Pizza Beer Dip you can eat with 'em—and you definitely don't want them to get so old that you have to throw them out.
Knowing if your meat is cooked properly is both the difference between a delicious meal and an inedible one... and the difference between making your guests sick and keeping them safe.
Can you cook a steak or salmon filet that's straight out of the freezer and get good results? Ordinarily, I would say no. Usually your steak ends up a sad grey mass fit only for the family dog and the fish is burned on the outside with an icy, undercooked center.
Protein powder is a fad in the same way that Justin Bieber's music is: you either love it, or you hate it. Everyone I know has a strong opinion about protein powder, ranging from "daily necessity" to "utterly useless."
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).