Marinated eggplant is a classic Middle Eastern dish. Here's how to make it in an air fryer.
To keep the eggplant in the spotlight and reduce the amount of oil used for frying and marinating it, we roasted it instead and replaced the marinade with a brightly flavored dressing. We chose baby eggplants, which are smaller than the standard supermarket size, are more readily available in the summer months, and cook quickly. Roasting helped us achieve flavorful browning on the eggplant. To keep the dressing delicate, a Greek-inspired combination of just a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, fragrant lemon zest and juice, capers, oregano, and garlic worked perfectly.
Gochujang beurre monté is delicious, liquid silk. In this recipe, it elevates pan-seared pork.
Beurre monté, emulsified melted butter, is a classic French preparation that can be drizzled over cooked meats, vegetables, pastas, and other dishes to add richness and a glossy appearance or used as a rich, creamy sauce base for pairing with a wide range of savory or sweet seasonings. Vigorously whisking cold butter into a measured amount of simmering water broke up the butterfat into tiny droplets that dispersed throughout the water, establishing a thick, creamy emulsion. Whisking gochujang, lime juice, and sugar into beurre monté produced a bold, rich, easy-to-make sauce that paired especially well with pan-seared pork. Lightly pounding the pork created two flat sides that made the meat easy to sear, and patting the roasted pork very dry before searing it in a hot skillet encouraged it to brown. Placing the pork on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet raised it off the hot sheet pan, helping it cook evenly. Roasting it in a low oven heated it gently.
We tasted supermarket and artisan brands of gochujang to explore its flavors, textures, and uses.
Brilliant red, sweet, spicy-hot, and savory, gochujang is an essential Korean ingredient that enhances the flavors of meats, soups, noodles, vegetables, and sauces. A fermented paste made from Korean red chile peppers (“gochu” means “pepper”; “jang” means “fermented sauce or paste”) plus a handful of other ingredients, it is brimming with umami and adds rich, nuanced flavor and deep crimson color to innumerable dishes, from Korean fried chicken and tteokbokki to bibimbap and more.
Egyptian koshari evolved as a solution to leftovers, and is now a popular street food.
This hearty dish usually features lentils, rice, pasta, and chickpeas smothered in a spiced tomato sauce and topped with crispy fried onions. Although the dish took some time to put together, each element was fairly simple, and tasters couldn't get enough of the comforting combination. We cooked the lentils and the pasta in pots of salted boiling water, then drained each of them and set them aside while we prepared the rice and sauce. Soaking the rice in hot water before cooking eliminated some of its excess starch so it didn't clump. A few tests revealed that tasters preferred a tomato sauce spiked with vinegar over spicy varieties we came across in our research. Using the same spices (a blend of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne) in the sauce and the rice provided a complex flavor profile and made the dish cohesive. We added the chickpeas directly to the sauce to infuse them with flavor. The finishing touch: a generous amount of ultrasavory, crunchy fried onions that brought a satisfying depth and texture to this classic Egyptian comfort food.
Enjoy the buttery, sweet savoriness of carabaccia, Tuscany's centuries-old red onion soup.
Carabaccia is a simple, centuries-old Tuscan onion soup made by softening (but not browning) and then simmering loads of onions in water until the liquid is gently savory-sweet; the soup is served with toasted bread, grated Parmesan or Pecorino, and perhaps a poached egg. For our take, we softened 2 pounds of thin-sliced red onions by first simmering them covered, with a little water, salt, and olive oil, so that the moist heat would encourage them to quickly collapse. Then we briefly cooked them uncovered to evaporate the liquid and concentrate their flavor; we finally simmered them with water, sage, and bay leaf to infuse the broth with the onions' sweet savor. Stirring grated Parmesan into the soup enhanced its flavor. While the soup simmered, we broiled slices of crusty bread and poached eggs. To serve, we placed a slice of toast in each bowl; topped it with a poached egg; and ladled the soup around the bowl.
A honey glaze flavors the chicken and brings out the sweetness of the carrots in this mouthwatering dish.
Honey and Worcestershire sauce made a sticky-sweet yet savory glaze for kid-friendly roasted drumsticks.
The key to well-seasoned beets lies in prepping them before—rather than after—cooking.
We wanted a beet cooking method that yielded beets that were seasoned all the way through. To get there, we found that peeling and cutting the beets before cooking them was better than cooking the beets whole. Cooking them together with water and oil helped them steam while they roasted. We removed the foil once the beets were tender and roasted them longer to ensure some savory browning. A stir-together sauce of tahini, lemon juice, fresh thyme, and raw garlic made for a perfect counterpoint to the sweet, earthy, roasted beets.
You’re just a few hours away from a sheet-pan pie with lacy edges and a crispy, airy crust.
We wanted a stunning, easy-to-make sheet-pan pizza with a crisp, airy, focaccia-like crust. We started with a simple, highly hydrated dough, which yielded a light, tender crumb. Briefly resting the dough before adding salt allowed the flour to fully hydrate (salt inhibits flour hydration), strengthening the gluten and making it better able to trap carbon dioxide during rising. Then we simply transferred the sticky dough straight to a well-oiled rimmed baking sheet, eliminating the need for extended handling or rolling of the dough and helping to yield a rich, unfailingly crisp crust. Greasing the pan with both olive oil and vegetable oil spray ensured that the dough never stuck during the process. After topping the pie with a potent stir-together tomato sauce, generous amounts of Parmesan and mozzarella (all the way to the sides for crispy lacy edges), and sliced pepperoni, we baked it at 500 degrees on a pizza steel that had been preheated in the oven for a full hour on the bottom rack (closest to the heating element). The hot oven and constant direct heat of the steel resulted in a strong oven spring and exceptional browning.
What’s So Special About Copper Cookware?
Copper pans and skillets are beautiful. But are they really worth the high price tag? What’s so great about them, and what should I do if I can’t afford one?
Salmon, broccoli, and red potatoes all make this delicious weeknight dish a breeze.
The combination of salmon, broccoli, and red potatoes makes for a wonderful meal. But how to cook them all on one pan without any one component coming out overcooked or undercooked was a puzzle we needed to solve. Our first step was to look at the roasting time for each. Since the potatoes required the most time in the oven and the salmon required the least, we started by roasting the potatoes and broccoli together for the first half of the cooking time and then swapped in the salmon for the broccoli halfway through roasting. Cooking in stages prevents overcrowding the pan, ensuring even cooking. A vibrant sauce of chopped chives, whole-grain mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey completes this one-pan meal.
Tangy buttermilk, mashed avocado, and a lime vinaigrette transform this quick weeknight meal.
For a twist on chicken salad, we combine tangy buttermilk, mashed avocado, and a lime vinaigrette to act as the “mayonnaise.”
A calibrated, tangy glaze brings sparkle and savory dimension to silky oven-roasted fillets.
For a quick, high-impact salmon entrée, we started by brining center-cut fillets in a salt and sugar solution and making a full-flavored, glossy glaze. We built that glaze on red wine vinegar, adding complexity to its flavor with a dash of liquid smoke and seasoning it with soy sauce. Rather than relying on lots of granulated sugar to thicken the glaze, we stirred in a little cornstarch. We applied the glaze to fillets that we had seared on the stovetop until they were well browned and then let the fish finish cooking gently in the oven. We finished our fillets by painting on another coating of the clingy, sweet, and smoky glaze just before serving.
Get great yet easy ratatouille by letting the oven do the work.
Most ratatouille recipes call for labor- and time-intensive treatments like salting and/or pressing to remove excess moisture from the vegetables. We started our streamlined recipe by sautéing onions and aromatics and then added chunks of eggplant and tomatoes before transferring the pot to the oven, where the dry, ambient heat would thoroughly evaporate moisture, concentrate flavors, and caramelize some of the vegetables. After 45 minutes, the tomatoes and eggplant became meltingly soft and could be mashed into a thick, silky sauce. Zucchini and bell peppers went into the pot last so that they retained some texture. Finishing the dish with fresh herbs, sherry vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil tied everything together.
Eggs poached in a garlicky blend of spinach and Swiss chard are at once nutritious and luxurious.
For a vibrant, earthy green shakshuka, we replaced the robust tomato and pepper sauce from red shakshuka with a mix of leafy greens and herbs: savory, mineral-y Swiss chard; tender baby spinach; and a bunch of fresh parsley. We started by softening the thinly sliced stems of the chard with onion and garlic in olive oil and then added cumin and coriander before wilting the chard leaves, parsley, and spinach. Next, we pureed a portion of the cooked greens with water and bread. The bread helped bind some of the water so that the puree was thick and homogenous. The puree provided a smooth consistency for evenly transferring heat to the eggs, which helped them cook at the same rate, while the portion of unblended greens provided a sturdy bed for the eggs. Cooking the eggs covered allowed them to be heated from above and below.
In our Coq au Vin for Two, building flavor in the skillet eliminates extra steps, pans, and time.
Julia Child helped introduce coq au vin, chicken stewed in red wine, to the American food consciousness in the early 1960s. While its ingredients are humble, the dish can require multiple steps and hours in the kitchen. To serve two, we needed a simplified, yet still flavorful, version. For complex flavor, we browned chicken leg quarters (which are juicier than white meat and the perfect amount for two people), crisped bacon in the chicken fat, and set both aside. Then we sautéed mushrooms and shallots. Next we added rich tomato paste, garlic, and thyme for depth, along with a little flour to achieve the right sauce consistency. A combination of chicken broth and red wine created a potent and flavorful base. Returning the leg quarters skin side up preserved the crisped, browned skin while the chicken simmered to a perfect doneness in just 20 minutes. The legs absorbed the flavors we built in the pan as they cooked and contributed their own notes to the sauce. We finished the dish by sprinkling fresh parsley and the reserved crispy bacon on top.
Chicken Yassa features impossibly tender chicken smothered in caramelized onions, lemon, and spices.
Chicken yassa, the iconic braise from the Casamance region in Southern Senegal, features fork-tender meat that's been marinated; grilled or seared on the stove; braised with a bright, sumptuous sauce flavored with caramelized onions, lemon, mustard, garlic, and hot chile; and sunk into a mound of rice. Briefly marinating chicken thighs (tailor-made for braising, thanks to their abundance of fat and collagen) in a mixture of lemon juice, mustard, oil, and salt moistened, seasoned, and helped the meat retain moisture during cooking and coated its surface with bright flavor. Searing the meat on the stove meant that its rendered fat and flavorful fond were available for caramelizing the onions—2 full pounds, equal to the weight of the chicken, so that there were plenty of them to smother the chicken even after they shrunk down during cooking. Braising the chicken in the reserved marinade (along with chicken broth, garlic, and habanero) suffused it with lemony, mustardy tang; we cooked it for the better part of an hour, so it was practically falling off the bone. The sauce was finished with more lemon juice, and it and the chicken were served family-style over a bed of rice along with more lemon wedges for a last-minute burst of flavor.