An easy, lemony farro salad adds heft to this boldly-flavored chicken dinner.
Nutty, chewy farro made a hearty base for this grain salad.
Forget about your grater, your peeler, and any idea of what carrot salad should be. This is better.
Finely chopping carrots in the food processor, instead of grating them by hand, produced a delicately crunchy, light-textured base for our carrot salad. The food processor broke down the carrots in seconds, and we saved even more time by not peeling the carrots; scrubbing them was sufficient, and the skins contributed a subtle but pleasant bitterness. We added bulk and contrasting flavor to the carrots with lots of chives (chopped by hand to avoid overprocessing them in the food processor), toasted hazelnuts, and chopped fennel. A bright dressing bound it all together.
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Pickled cucumbers add brightness and crunch to these hearty vegetarian sandwiches.
Canned chickpeas made a surprising yet satisfying stand-in for tuna or chicken in these hearty sandwiches.
Making enchiladas can sometimes be a laborious process. Enter: the slow cooker.
Chicken enchiladas should offer a rich and complex combination of flavors and textures, but traditional cooking methods can be tedious. We wanted a more streamlined recipe for chicken enchiladas—one that utilized our slow cooker to make the filling and that enabled the enchiladas to be quickly assembled and finished in the oven. First we created a simple but flavorful red chile sauce with onion, garlic, spices, and tomato sauce, then braised chicken thighs directly in the sauce, which both enhanced the flavor of the sauce and ensured moist, flavorful meat for our enchilada filling. Monterey Jack cheese complemented the rich filling nicely, while canned jalapeños and fresh cilantro rounded out the flavors and provided tang and brightness. When it came time for assembly, we brushed the tortillas with oil and microwaved them to make them pliable. After experimenting with oven temperatures and times, we found that baking the assembled enchiladas covered for 15 minutes in a 450-degree oven resulted in perfectly melted cheese, and the edges of the tortillas did not dry out in the process.
This meatless main gets its savory backbone from an everyday Japanese ingredient.
For a gratin that can satisfy as a complete meal, we paired protein-rich farro and white beans with broccoli rabe. We toasted the farro to enhance its nuttiness and then cooked it in a mixture of water, vegetable broth, and white miso; the miso enhanced the creaminess of the gratin and deepened its flavor. Next, we blanched the rabe to tame its bite and lock in its vibrant color before quickly sautéing it with a generous amount of garlic and red pepper flakes. Sweet-tart sun-dried tomatoes added pops of flavor and a pleasing chewy texture. We topped it all with a mix of toasted panko and Parmesan for a salty-crunchy finish.
Manicotti may look homey, but the prep presents a tedious chore. We wanted a simpler, better recipe.
For a baked manicotti recipe with all of the flavor and none of the fuss, we discarded the slippery tube-shaped pasta and decided to spread the filling onto flat wrappers instead, which we then rolled up. For the wrappers, we found that no-boil lasagna noodles were ideal. After a quick soak in boiling water, these noodles could be spread with filling and rolled up in a few easy minutes, making for a no-hassle manicotti recipe.
Wait! Don’t Add Your Garlic Just Yet
Throw garlic into the pan with the other alliums or seasonings, and it will quickly burn and turn bitter. Here’s a simple, strategic fix.
Like a cross between sugar cookies and lemon bars, these bar cookies are chewy, sweet, and vibrant.
Using a combination of vegetable oil and melted butter created optimal chew, and a small amount of cream cheese added extra richness. Using both the zest and juice from two lemons delivered a big citrus impact in the dough, and a generous amount of sugar balanced the tart lemon while keeping the bars moist. A thin layer of a potent lemony glaze further enunciated the sweet-tart balance.
In most versions of this creamy party dip, the artichoke flavor gets lost. We set out to find it.
To amplify the spinach and artichoke flavors in this homemade version of a restaurant staple, we swapped dull, fibrous frozen spinach for sautéed fresh baby spinach and left tinny canned artichokes behind in favor of bright, tender marinated artichokes. Gouda's sweet and nutty flavor perfectly accentuated the artichokes, and it gave our dip a creamy, melty texture without causing it to congeal and turn stringy after cooling. Our streamlined method called for stirring all the ingredients together in one skillet before transferring the dip to a baking dish. After about 20 minutes in the oven, the top was golden brown and the edges were bubbling.
The rich and tender fried breads known as bhature are commonly served with chana masala.
When bhature, slim disks of dough that balloon dramatically when cooked in hot oil, are served with chickpeas simmered in a spiced tomato sauce, the pairing (common in Northern India) is called chole bhature. Though bhature are sometimes leavened with yeast, we opted for the simpler combination of baking powder and baking soda. The flour-and-yogurt dough came together quickly in the food processor, but we also kneaded it by hand to build the gluten development necessary for optimum inflation. When the dough was fried, the hot oil quickly sealed the outermost layer, forming a thin skin. Simultaneously, water in the dough turned to steam, pushing outward. The skin stretched and expanded—small bubbles first formed around the edge and eventually merged into a single large balloon.
There's nothing like a real chopped cheese sandwich from a bodega. Could we re-create it at home?
A real bodega chopped cheese sandwich—packed with ground beef and American cheese—straight off a flat-top griddle in East Harlem, is truly something else. But not wanting to travel to New York City every time the craving hit, we developed our own recipe, which was inspired by the version sold at Blue Sky Deli in East Harlem; read about our visit here. We started with 1 pound of 85 percent lean ground beef, enough to pack four soft sub rolls. Cooking the meat in a nonstick skillet and breaking it up with a wooden spoon mimicked the texture of the meat we ate in New York. Lawry's Seasoned Salt and Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning packed in tons of flavor. Wrapping the warm, assembled sandwiches tightly in parchment paper swaddled the cheese and beef to help the filling meld.
Our quiche's creamy custard is more than just the backdrop to an overload of fillings.
The success of our streamlined deep-dish quiche Lorraine recipe depended on the right ratio of eggs to liquid, plus gentle, even heat. To add the quiche’s fillings without affecting our perfect custard, we whisked a little cornstarch into the dairy component of our custard. This kept it glossy and rich and allowed us to bake our quiche Lorraine recipe longer, which firmed our custard. Finally, we found three ways to add insurance against leaks and tears in the crust of our quiche Lorraine.
Watch the Latest Episode of Cook's Country (Season 16, Ep. 3): Sisig and Wings
Bryan Roof visits Oakland, California and shares his version of Sisig and Garlic Fried Rice with host Julia Collin Davison. Tasting expert Jack Bishop discusses the importance of Knorr’s Liquid Seasoning in Filipino cooking. Toni Tipton-Martin talks about the history of chicken wings as a bar snack, and Julia makes host Bridget Lancaster Soy Sauce Chicken Wings.
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