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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baking a cake is relatively easy... if you happen to have a cookbook or some boxed cake mix nearby. And though you can use the internet or your favorite cooking app, it can be nice to just cook without a recipe. That seems impossible with baking, which is such an exact science, but it's actually relatively easy.
Almost every bread recipe will tell you to look for a golden brown crust or to tap on the bottom of your loaf and listen for a hollow sound. That visual and sound technique will work most of the time, but it can still come up short, leaving you with a soft and gooey spot in the middle of your loaf.
Hard as it is to imagine, there are people out there who loathe garlic and onions. Some might have allergies or medical conditions like IBS, or are supertasters (i.e. people who carry a certain gene that makes them extremely sensitive to how certain foods taste). Others might just be picky eaters.
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.
If you're a fan of Thai food, I'm sure you're familiar with sticky rice. There is something so special about its chewy texture and sweet flavor. If you have a desire to make it in your own kitchen but don't have the proper tools such as a traditional bamboo basket or stackable steamer, there are several other methods that work just as well. Once you try these alternative methods, I'm sure you'll be "sticking" to them for a while. What Makes Sticky Rice So Sticky?
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:
One of my favorite things about American Chinese food is how easy it is to eat: the pieces are bite-sized, the flavors are addictive, and the meat is always tender and easy to chew. But if you've ever tried to replicate any of your favorite takeout in the kitchen, you've likely noticed that the high heat required for most recipes thoroughly dries out the meat that you're trying to cook.
For many of you, the carving fork only comes out at Thanksgiving as an essential turkey-slicing aid. Perhaps you pull it out of the knife block to slice up the occasional roast. But the carving fork (also known as kitchen fork) can be used for many more tasks around the kitchen, and some of the more unusual involve your favorite shellfish.
Making your own alcohol at home sounds like fun, but it's a long, complicated, and sometimes expensive process. You need all sorts of equipment, and by the time you're finished, it's been a few weeks—even months.
Sourdough is a delightful twist on your traditional bread, but creating and maintaining a sourdough starter can be a headache for many home bakers.
I'm an impulsive baker, which means that the instructions to "bring ingredients to room temperature" make me want to kick myself for not thinking ahead. Sure, some ingredients like milk or water you can heat up, but that means messing up an extra pot or pan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
Beef aficionados love a medium-rare burger, but many people are wary of meat that's on the pink or red side since it might contain bacteria. Is it possible to enjoy a burger that's perfectly juicy and yet also cooked thoroughly enough to destroy all traces of salmonella, E. coli, and other microbes that cause foodborne illness? Absolutely! You just need to know a trick (or three).
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.
I've been a fan of potatoes ever since I can remember... but mainly because they weren't a big part of my daily diet (which usually consisted of rice). And because my experience with potatoes was so limited, I only knew of two varieties growing up: big, brown Russets and sinewy sweet potatoes. As for cooking with potatoes—well, I'm embarrassed to admit that the only time I cooked potatoes when I was a kid was with the instant kind.
Frosting, for many, is the best part of the cake. There's not much to dislike about it, after all—there's a type of frosting for every person. Whipped frostings for those who like it light, dense buttercream for indulgent sugar fans, cream cheese frosting for the tangy crowd... and so on. But I'll bet you've never made or tried frosting made with Jell-O packages before! Infusing your frosting with the sweetness and bright color of Jell-O changes both its taste and appearance, and using Jell-O...
Yes, I know it's autumn and the trees are losing their leaves, but the seasons do not decide when I can or cannot enjoy ice cream. No matter how warm or cold is is outside right now, I will remain completely fascinated by rolled ice cream. Yes, rolled.
Pickling isn't rocket science. In fact, anyone can make their own speciality pickles using just about any fruit or vegetable. For example, I've pickled everything from lemons, watermelon rinds, and apples to red onions, carrots, radishes, and cucumbers.
Love or hate 'em, you've got to admit that cupcakes really had their moment. They started rising in popularity back in 2003 with the opening of Crumbs Bake Shop in Manhattan, and quickly became one of the most annoyingly ubiquitous food trends to date. Seriously. Type "cupcake" into Google. While I wouldn't turn it down if you put one in front of me (red velvet, please), I can't say that I was particularly disappointed to hear that the cupcake trend is coming to an end. I'm more of a cheeseca...
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.
Mochi seems to be everywhere these days: as a topping at your local frozen yogurt shop, in ice cream balls (the green tea ones are heaven), and as colorful treats all over Instagram. It seems like mocha mania is in full force!
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.
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.
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.
Using spaghetti squash "noodles" for a healthy, low-carb meal seems like such a great idea, but as many of us know, turning this vegetable into a decent pasta facsimile usually has less-than-satisfying results. The usual method is to cut the squash lengthwise and roast, microwave, or steam it. Often, it comes out overcooked and underwhelming.
One of the golden rules to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is to place it on a roasting rack before it goes into the oven. Missing this step and cooking it directly on the pan will burn the bottom of the bird, resulting in overcooked, dry meat.
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...