We wanted to offer up a stir-fry inspired by Thai cuisine using pantry-friendly ingredients.
For a sophisticated Thai beef recipe using available ingredients and requiring minimal cooking time, we turned to inexpensive blade steak, which offers both tenderness and robust flavor. With a marinade made of fish sauce, white pepper, citrusy coriander, and a little light brown sugar, the beef needed to marinate for only 15 minutes to develop full flavor. To add heat to our stir-fried Thai beef recipe, we introduced an easily controlled heat source—Asian chili-garlic paste—that also added toasty garlicky flavors along with heat.
Make European-Style Butter at Home for a Fraction of the Price
The tangy cultured butter favored in Europe is pricier than the so-called sweet-cream sticks more common here. Fortunately, it’s easy (and cheaper) to make this complex, nutty-flavored butter at home.
It's never too early for extra-crispy tater tots.
Breakfast burritos first appeared on a menu in 1975 at Tia Sophia's in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but now they're beloved around the United States as a handheld, hearty, and customizable morning meal. For our version, we wanted potatoes that stayed extra-crispy. Frozen tater tots, thawed and then smashed flat in the skillet, did the trick. Along with the tots, we added fluffy scrambled eggs; sharp cheddar cheese; and Mexican-style chorizo, which imbued the rest of the burrito with its savory garlic and paprika seasonings. A potent chipotle sour cream sauce provided tang and heat without adding excess moisture, keeping the burritos neat and portable. Browning the rolled burritos in a hot skillet right before serving produced a crispy golden exterior and helped them stay sealed.
Yogurt brings milky tang to the soothing Armenian soup known as tanabour.
Tanabour, or spas, is a nourishing, filling, and thoroughly satisfying Armenian grain-and-yogurt soup. Though tanabour can be made using a wide variety of grains, ours uses pearl barley, since—lacking hulls—it cooks to a tender, plump consistency without breaking down entirely. We used Greek yogurt, since it gave the soup the requisite thickness and dairy richness without leaving it overly tart. We added an egg yolk to give the soup further richness and a silky consistency. Finally, we garnished the soup with cilantro and Aleppo pepper–infused melted butter.
Chickpeas add nutty depth—and substance—to this vegetarian egg dish.
Using convenience products such as canned chickpeas and jarred roasted red peppers made this a quick, hearty meal.
We turned this great Indian classic into an easy weeknight dinner.
We found a few ways to simulate tandoori chicken that marinates for 24 hours before being cooked at a very high heat in a traditional beehive-shaped clay oven. For marinated flavor in no time, we rubbed the chicken with spices, then dipped it in yogurt. Next we cooked it in a low-temperature oven before giving it a quick broil to char the exterior. The result: a chicken tandoori recipe with juicy, well-seasoned meat and a lightly charred crust.
These rich, flavorful Spicy Sichuan-Style Noodles make a hearty dinner on a busy night.
We wanted to create a dish inspired by dan dan mian, a popular Sichuan noodle dish with a spicy, savory sauce. Our sauce was simple to put together with pantry staples. Fresh or dried Asian noodles worked best in our recipe, but linguine was good in a pinch.
We tested seven supermarket products to find the best unsalted butter for everyday use.
In the test kitchen, we go through 30 to 40 pounds of unsalted butter a week as we bake cakes and cookies, make frostings and pancake batter, and cook pan sauces, roast chicken, and sautéed vegetables. We use unsalted butter almost exclusively because the sodium level of the salted stuff can vary and we prefer to control the seasoning of our food.
No one will believe you made these rich, buttery, chocolate-studded muffins at home.
Our goal was a moist, just-sweet-enough, generously sized bakery-style muffin with plenty of rich chocolate and butter flavor and a characteristically domed top. Using chopped semisweet chocolate instead of chips gave us a combination of chunks and shards of chocolate pieces. This allowed for the chocolate to meld into the muffin better than chips while also keeping some soft, melty chocolate pockets. Bar chocolate also resulted in zero waxiness at room temperature. Mixing the chocolate in with the dry ingredients instead of folding it in at the end prevented the batter from forming too much gluten, maintaining a tender crumb. To create moist and flavorful muffins, we incorporated sour cream and used nutty browned butter and lots of vanilla. Baking the muffins on a higher rack and at 400 degrees initiated a quick rise to give them nicely domed tops.
Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking techniques produce a quick take on this dinnertime staple.
This recipe works by elevating a ground beef filling with melted cheese and spices to give it a richness reminiscent of long-braised beef. When crafting the enchilada sauce, we used whole dried chiles for a deeper and more complex flavor than can be achieved when using commercial chili powder. Brushing the tortillas lightly with oil and briefly baking them helped waterproof them so that they didn't get soggy when baked in the enchilada sauce. Fresh herbs and a spritz of lime brightened the dish and provided balance for the rich, cheesy filling.
Not a fan of mushrooms? These crunchy morsels might convert you.
Our goal was to develop a recipe for fried mushrooms with perfectly seasoned, crispy exteriors and tender (not soggy or wet) interiors. Because smaller varieties of mushrooms can overcook and sog out, we chose to use portobello mushrooms cut into ½-inch-thick slices. These meaty slices could withstand enough time in the hot oil for the crispy coating to become golden brown without overcooking. For a breading that would adhere to the mushrooms and stay crispy, we coated the mushrooms with a light batter of flour, water, egg, and salt followed by a crispy, cheesy mixture of panko and Parmesan cheese seasoned with oregano and red pepper flakes. We found that shallow frying the mushrooms in just 2 cups of oil in a skillet resulted in even browning, while deep frying made the mushrooms float, and when we tried to flip them, they just flipped right back, so we couldn't get browning on both sides. These fries are delicious with jarred marinara sauce, but we also developed a creamy dip to pair with them. The mixture of sour cream, jarred hot cherry peppers, parsley, garlic, honey, and salt made the perfect companion to our mushroom fries.
The cocoa powder debate has always been Dutch-processed versus natural. Our research settles it.
When we want big chocolate flavor in everything from cookies and cakes to puddings and pies, we turn to cocoa powder. It has a higher proportion of flavorful cocoa solids than any other form of chocolate, so ounce for ounce, it tastes more intensely chocolaty. It's made in two styles—Dutch-processed and natural—and there's fierce debate in the baking world about which is best. Both styles have staunch supporters who are convinced that using the wrong type will ruin a dessert. For years, we also viewed Dutched and natural cocoa powders as distinctly different products. But when we last ev...
For deeply flavored, tender, bright-green beans for salad, we looked to the sea.
For deeply flavored, tender, bright-green beans for salad, we looked to the sea.
Like a decadent brownie, but there's no baking involved.
These truffle-like treats hit the spot as the ultimate homemade chocolate snack, without requiring the hassle of an oven. Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies created a decadent, fudgy base, which was bound together with melted chocolate chips, butter, and sweetened condensed milk. After chilling, an extra layer of melted chocolate added more complexity and creaminess.
With the proper technique, you can stir-fry like a pro.
For a stir-fry with well-browned, tender and savory beef, just follow these guidelines. Start with full-flavored flank steak. Marinate the beef in soy sauce to ensure that each slice is well-seasoned. Use a large skillet and cook in batches to get the best browning. Add aromatics like ginger and garlic at the last minute to prevent them from scorching.
Dough, sauce, and no cheese? Philly tomato pie challenges the pizza equation.
This South Philadelphia specialty boasts a tender yet chewy crust topped with a bright, savory tomato sauce; this version is inspired by our visit to Cacia's Bakery in Philadelphia. We achieved the signature chewy-soft crust by using less water by weight in proportion to the weight of the flour. This yielded fine holes and a pleasantly spongy chew. Letting the dough rise twice—pressing it into the pan in between—gave it maximum yeasty flavor. For the invigorating, sweet-tart, herby sauce, we started with a savory base of onion and garlic and then added a hefty amount of dried oregano along with red pepper flakes for kick. One can of tomato sauce provided just the right tomato flavor and texture, and a tablespoon of sugar contributed the sauce's signature sweetness.
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