In the Library with Toni Tipton-Martin: The Origin of French Fries
This fast-food staple has a cross-continental history.
We were inspired by the flavors of Provence for this herby and citrus Instant Pot chicken soup.
The Instant Pot made quick work of creating a substantial broth by extracting body-building gelatin from convenient bone-in, skin-on chicken parts. Just 20 minutes under pressure were enough to ensure the meat was moist and tender. We shredded the chicken (discarding the now-flavorless bones and skin) and added it back to the pot, along with some green olives, minced fennel fronds, and a teaspoon of orange zest to brighten the soup up. The anchovies boosted the savoriness of the soup without making it taste fishy.
Why eat a blueberry muffin when you can have a fluffy, buttery blueberry biscuit instead?
Inspired by the Bo-Berry Biscuits at Bojangles, the Southern fast-food chain, we set out to create our own recipe for blueberry biscuits. We wanted to be careful to keep these in the realm of flaky biscuits, and that meant keeping their sweetness in check so that they didn't eat like a cake or muffin. We were after the delicious sweet and slightly salty flavor of the fast-food biscuits, but of course we wanted to use real blueberries. We started by mixing together all-purpose flour, a little sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then we smashed in some chilled butter with our fingertips, a step that gives biscuits their signature flaky interior crumb; the large pieces of butter melt in the oven and produce steam that helps create a light texture. Finally, we folded in tangy buttermilk and plenty of fresh blueberries. To avoid dirtying the kitchen counter and rolling and stamping out biscuits, we used our “pat-in-the-pan” biscuit method to shape the dough. This method calls for pressing the biscuit dough into an 8-inch square baking pan and cutting it into squares instead of traditional circles. After baking the biscuits, we brushed them with a lightly salted honey butter while they were still hot.
Yes, You Can Eat Pink Pork
Don't judge pork by its (internal) color.
We streamlined these deep-fried burritos to make them a realistic weeknight option.
Forget about tasteless fillings. We simmer the chicken and rice for our chimichangas in a chipotle broth, infusing smoky bite through and through. As for construction, we noticed that the standard burrito-style wrapping method left us with doughy tortilla ends and filling that fell out. We created an easy new folding technique that kept the filling put without any floury bites.
This hearty loaf is full of whole grains and seeds that give it a rustic flavor and texture.
We used our Dutch oven to give this loaf a crackly crust and even crumb. First, we focused on the dough itself: Rather than call for a laundry list of grains to get the right flavor, we turned to seven-grain hot cereal mix. Pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds, both incorporated into to the dough and sprinkled on top, offered a range of textures. To encourage the loaf to rise high, we used a hot oven to aid “oven spring,” a term for the fast expansion of bread dough in the first few minutes of baking. We prevented the crust from setting too quickly in the intense heat by covering the Dutch oven for the first part of baking; the humidity in the closed pot kept the dough moist and allowed it to rise high before the crust set.
We want a strong, leakproof bag that closes securely and keeps food fresher for longer.
We tested top-selling single-use and reusable food storage bags from major brands such as Ziploc, Glad, and Stasher. We focused on “freezer” bags, which are more protective, and opted for the 1-gallon size where possible. In single-use plastic bags, our co-winners impressed us with easy-sealing, secure, leakproof closures; generous capacities; and durable construction. Choose from Ziploc Freezer Bags Gallon, which are available in supermarkets, or
The classic approach will never give you tender scrambled eggs. We fixed that in this perfect recipe.
Half-and-half proved to be the best type of dairy for our Scrambled Eggs recipe. It produced scrambled eggs that were decently puffed and stable. Adding extra yolks to the mix yielded rich results. A combination of high and low heat gave us perfect scrambled eggs. We also used a smaller skillet, which kept the eggs in a thicker layer, thereby producing larger curds.
Five Ways to Dirty Your Martini Without Olives
The brine from a jar of olives isn’t the only way to dirty a martini. For a new twist, try these other salty-savory liquids from the pickle (and dairy) aisle.
Chicago deep-dish pizza is where history and crust run deep.
This Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is inspired by the pies at My Pi Pizza in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Chef-owner Rich Aronson's pie is relatively thin (compared with other deep-dish pizza styles), but it is thick and crisp enough on the bottom to hold up without bending under the weight of the toppings. The dough, while sturdy, is surprisingly flaky and light. In classic Chicago style, toppings (Italian sausage and sliced mozzarella cheese, in this case) were gently pressed into the dough before the sauce was added, giving the finished pie a beautiful, tomato-forward appearance. A sprinkle of oregano and Parmesan cheese added a touch of salty funk and herby aromas.
Everyone knows that when it comes to making stew, beef is king. Everyone is wrong.
In working to make a chicken stew that could satisfy like its beef brethren, we looked to two different chicken parts: We seared well-exercised wings to provide rich chicken flavor and plenty of thickening gelatin, and then we gently simmered bite-size pieces of boneless chicken thighs for tender bites throughout the stew. To boost meatiness, we used a combination of bacon, soy sauce, and anchovy paste. Finally we took full advantage of the concentrating effect of reduction by cooking down wine, broth, and aromatics at the start and simmering the stew uncovered during its stay in the oven.
Is Your Dish Too Salty? Sweet? Sour? Spicy? Here's How to Fix It.
We have some simple corrections that can come to your rescue when seasonings go awry.
This decadent, chocolatey banana bread recipe is crammed with banana flavor.
We wanted a dead simple recipe for banana bread that packed a big banana-chocolate punch and wasn't really “bready” at all. We were after a chocolaty slice that was tender, moist, buttery, just the right amount of sweet, and (most important) heavy with the aroma and flavor of bananas. To get there, we started by adding more bananas than we thought was possible, and then we added even more. After extensive testing, we arrived at a recipe that called for more than a pound of sweet, very ripe bananas and two types of chocolate (cocoa powder and chopped bittersweet chocolate). Plus, it was as easy as mixing the wet and dry ingredients together in a bowl. This version packs in a bit more butter and loads more bananas than the average recipe. What's more, we think it tastes a lot better, and we think you will, too.
Mexico City’s Enchiladas Suizas are Bright, Rich, and Creamy
The tangy, silky sauce lavished on this Mexico City staple is a standout.
We transform pork shoulder into smoky-tasting barbecue—in the oven.
In recipes, the phrase “indoor barbecue” is usually code for “braised in a Dutch oven with bottled barbecue sauce.” Unfortunately, this results in mushy, waterlogged meat and candy-sweet sauce. We wanted moist, tender, shreddable meat with deep smoke flavor all the way through, plus a dark, richly seasoned crust, often referred to as bark.
Sweetened with only honey, this naturally sweet carrot cake is simple and super moist.
Our goal was twofold: to keep the recipe as simple as possible, and to sweeten the cake only with honey, since its floral nuances seemed like a natural pair with the sweet carrots and warm spices. To keep the recipe streamlined, we wanted to avoid getting out the electric mixer and instead rely on an easy bowl method. Tasters preferred cakes made with neutral-flavored oil over those made with melted butter, since the oil didn’t detract from the other flavors in the cake. Our traditional recipe called for four whole carrots and we found that this amount worked perfectly to contribute both flavor and sweetness to the cake without impacting the texture. Finally, we bolstered the cake's flavor by increasing the amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.