Technique

Technique Tuesday: Preserved Lemon

Written on April 15, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

A Moroccan pantry staple, preserved lemons are traditionally made by brining the whole fruit in lemon juice with plenty of salt. After a few weeks, the citrus becomes super soft and entirely edible. If you can’t find preserved lemons at a specialty-food store, you can make them at home. To get the same results in a fraction of the time, try our genius test kitchen shortcut from our recipe for Moroccan Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers. Removing the peel from the lemon and cooking it in a salty solution re-creates the intense flavor and satiny texture of slow-cured preserves in just 10 minutes.

 

HOW-TO: In a small skillet, combine 1/4 cup thin lemon peel strips, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and simmer until the peel is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Tip: Use your preserved lemon to brighten up all sorts of dishes. Below are some of our suggestions.

MUDDLE with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, then top with some club soda for a sparkling preserved lemonade.

 

FINELY CHOP with fresh parsley and garlic and toss with EVOO and pasta or with roasted carrots.

 

WHISK with white wine vinegar, EVOO and a touch of honey for a vinaigrette. Toss with leafy greens or a three bean salad.

 

PUREE with room temperature butter in a food processor. Serve with hot rolls or put a pat on top of grilled fish.

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Technique Tuesday: DIY Buttermilk

Written on April 1, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Though we don’t use it a lot, buttermilk is a great addition to recipes for a tangy, tender bite. But rather than buying a whole bottle only to throw most of it out, you can make your own buttermilk using ingredients you most likely always have on hand! Simply pour 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or any other acidic fruit juice, such as kiwi) or white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Then, pour in enough milk to measure 1 cup. Let the mixture sit until it curdles, 5 to 10 minutes, and start cooking! The only April Fool here will be your taste buds!

Use this homemade buttermilk in pancakes, biscuits, chicken and more. Here are some recipes to get you inspired:

 

Buttermilk Chicken Kebabs with Chopped Salad

 

From Seersucker Brooklyn, Chef Rob Newton’s Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

 

Buttermilk Cake with Candied Citrus

 

Grilled Cheese-and-Chicken-Sausage Waffles

 
 

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Technique Tuesday: Six Cool Whips!

Written on March 18, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Dessert just got a little crazy! Pour 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream into a bowl, then beat in these fun, flavorful additions.

 

 

1. Purple Cow

Mix it in: Whip the cream to soft peaks. Whisk 5 tbsp. grape jelly until smooth, add to the cream, then whip to stiff peaks.

Serve with: Peanut butter pie

 

2. Double Coconut

Mix it in: Whip the cream to soft peaks. Whisk 5 tbsp. cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez; whip to stiff peaks. Fold in 2 tbsp. toasted coconut.

Serve with: Chopped pineapple

 

3. Green Apple-Licious

Mix it in: Add 2 tsbp. crushed green apple Jolly Rancher candies to the cream. Chill until candies dissolve; whip to stiff peaks.

Serve with: Butterscotch sundae

 

4. Lemon Cream

Mix it in: Whip the cream to soft peaks. Whisk 5 tbsp. lemon curd; whip to stiff peaks.

Serve with: Strawberry shortcake

 

5. Chocolate Cloud

Mix it in: Whip the cream to soft peaks. Whisk 5 tbsp. chocolate syrup; whip to stiff peaks.

Serve with: Vanilla Pudding

 

6. Pepperminty

Mix it in: Add 1 1/2 tbsp. crushed peppermints to the cream. Chill until candies dissolve; whip to stiff peaks.

Serve with: Hot chocolate

 

 

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Egg Separator: Is It Worth It?

Written on February 22, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

We think not! Here’s the thing: Separating an egg doesn’t require any kind of gadget at all. Try one of our test kitchen’s two recommended methods instead, and you’ll be glad not to have another tool hogging precious drawer space.

 

 

For cooks with good hand-eye coordination:

Crack an egg in half, then slide the yolk back and forth between the halved shells, letting the whites drip into a bowl. A tip: Make sure to crack your egg with a firm tap on the rim of the bowl to avoid jagged edges that can piece the yolk.

 

For those who want an easier, if messier, way:

Crack the egg into your hand and let the white drain through your fingers into a bowl. You’ll need a good hand-washing afterward, but what you won’t have to wash is another tool!

 

BTW: If you’re still gung ho about buying an egg separator, feel free to spend $5, not $15: Plastic models work as well as pricier stainless steal ones.

 

 

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Technique Tuesday: Meet Marsala

Written on February 12, 2014 at 11:05 am , by

Ever see Marsala wine in a recipe and wonder, “Can I just drink it?” Guess what: You can sip the Sicilian beverage (especially today, on National Drink Wine Day)! It tastes great with cured meats and aged cheeses. But remember that it’s fortified, so a grape spirit, such as brandy, has been added to preserve the wine. There are dry and sweet versions: Dry has a rich, smoky flavor that’s ideal for sauces (think chicken marsala); sweet is sometimes used to give tiramisu its boozy kick. Try using it in these dishes:

 

Mushroom Soup with Marsala

Red Chicken Marsala

Sliced Steak & Mushroom Sandwiches

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Technique Tuesday: Hash Brown Heaven!

Written on February 11, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Buy a bag of frozen shredded spuds, then mix, pan-fry and top your way to the best-ever breakfast potatoes.

1. Lumberjack Special

Stir it in: chopped browned breakfast sausage

Top it off: butter, maple syrup

 

2. Spicy Ranchero

Stir it in: shredded pepper jack cheese, spicy salsa

Top it off: sour cream, chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime

 

3. Cheeseburger & Fries

Stir it in: browned ground beef, shredded yellow cheddar

Top it off: pickle slices, finely chopped onion

 

4. Veggie Confetti

Stir it in: shredded carrots, parsnips and beets, squeezed dry

Top it off: chopped fresh thyme, sage and parsley

 

5. French Onion

Stir it in: caramelized onions, chopped fresh thyme

Top it off: shredded gruyere

 

6. Everything but the Bagel

Stir it in: sliced red onion, capers

Top it off: sliced smoked salmon, cream cheese

 

By Nina Elder

 

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The Ultimate Scrambled Eggs

Written on January 28, 2014 at 10:58 am , by

 

In our brand new March issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, our Food Editor, Katie Barreira goes on a culinary journey to discover the ultimate recipe for scrambled eggs. She consults 12 of the world’s most renowned chefs for the best advice, from how high to heat the pan, to the perfect scrambling technique. Here are their results:

 

Wally Joe (chef, partner and general manager of ACRE restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee)

In an 8-inch nonstick pan, melt ½ tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Crack 3 eggs into the pan and wait for them to set just slightly. Season with salt and pepper, then stir the eggs with a silicone spatula until they’re soft, creamy and not entirely cooked through, about 2 minutes.

 

Tom Colicchio (chef/owner of Craft restaurants, Heritage Steak and ’wichcraft, as well as the executive chef of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, New York)

In a bowl, whisk 3 large eggs until foamy. In a round-bottomed chef’s pan, melt about 2 tbsp. butter over medium-low heat.  Add the eggs and whisk constantly until they start to cook, then switch to a silicone spatula. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Add a pat of butter and season with salt and pepper.

 

Michael Ruhlman (author, whose food reference books include The Elements of Cooking and Ruhlman’s Twenty. The second of his single-subject technique-focused cookbooks, Egg, comes out in April)

In a bowl, use a whisk, handheld mixer or immersion blender to whip 4 eggs until uniformly mixed and pale yellow in color. In a double boiler, melt 1 tbsp. butter. Add the eggs and ¼ to ½ tsp. salt. Using a silicone spatula, stir gently and continuously for 30 seconds. Then stir every few seconds until the first curds form, about 1 minute. Lift and fold the curds into the liquid egg in the bottom of the pan. Continue to fold and stir until the eggs are about two-thirds cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the top pan and stir until the curds appear to be sauced by the runny egg.

 

Anne Burrell (host of Worst Cooks in America on Food Network and is a best-selling author. Her second cookbook, Own Your Kitchen, was published in 2013)

In a bowl, using a fork, beat 4 eggs with 4 tsp. water and a healthy pinch of salt until it’s a homogeneous mixture. In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp. EVOO over medium-low heat. Add the eggs and cook slowly, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula. Cook until eggs are no longer runny but still really soft.

 

Linton Hopkins (chef/owner of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch in Atlanta)

In a bowl, whisk 4 eggs with an honest pinch of salt. Add 2 tbsp. butter to a cold 8-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter foams but doesn’t brown, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and, using a wooden spatula, gently stir the eggs for about 30 seconds, making sure to scrape the edges and the bottom of the pan; this will ensure that the eggs do not cook too quickly from direct contact with the hot skillet. Then gently fold the eggs, creating big, soft curds. When the eggs are halfway cooked, about 1 minute, turn off the heat (this will prevent the eggs from overcooking and keep them moist), and continue folding until eggs are done to your liking. The total cook time should be 2 to 3 minutes.

 

Marc Murphy (chef-owner of Benchmarc Restaurants, which include Kingside, Landmarc and Ditch Plains in New York City, and he has appeared regularly as a judge on Chopped, Iron Chef America and other culinary shows)

In a bowl, season 6 eggs with 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese. Whisk until the whites and yolks are just blended. In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbsp. butter over low. Add the eggs to the skillet and, using a silicone spatula continuously stir eggs until just set, 4 to 6 minutes. About 1 minute before eggs are done, remove from heat so they don’t get too dry, and keep stirring for about 20 seconds.

 

Gordon Ramsay (Michelin-starred chef and owner of restaurants around the globe. He has five top-rated television shows that air in more than 200 countries and is the author of 27 books, including his autobiography, Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen)

Curious how the tough-talking Ramsay whips up his perfect scrambled eggs? Watch him in action right here.

 

Rachael Ray

Watch how our magazine’s leading lady scrambles up her flavor-packed eggs!

 

Michael Mina (award-winning chef and founder of the Mina Group, which has more than 20 restaurants across the United States)

In a bowl, whisk together 8 eggs. Add the eggs to the top of a double boiler set over boiling water. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir the eggs. Don’t be too aggressive—you want to let the eggs form into small curds as they cook. (You can add all sorts of fun ingredients during this stage, such as crème fraïche, chives, cheese, etc.). Cook the eggs until they’re soft and very moist, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with sea salt and pepper.

 

Frank McMahon (chef of Hank’s Seafood Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina)

In a bowl, whisk 6 eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, combine 2 tbsp. unsalted butter and 2 or 3 oz. whole milk over medium heat. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and immediately add the eggs, stirring to combine. As the eggs begin to set, use a silicone spatula to gently push the mixture back and forth using a snowplow-like motion to form fluffy egg mounds. Just before the eggs are completely set, remove the skillet from the heat. (The eggs will continue to cook off the heat.)

 

 Elizabeth Falkner (James Beard Award–nominee and executive chef at Corvo Bianco in New York City. Her second cookbook, Cooking Off the Clock, was published in 2012)

In a bowl, whisk 4 eggs, a pinch salt and 2 tbsp. heavy cream. Heat an 8- or 10-inch nonstick skillet over high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp. butter and immediately turn the heat down to low. Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring with a silicone spatula for 15 to 20 seconds. Add 1 tbsp. butter, a few cranks of pepper and another pinch salt. Continue to cook for about 20 seconds, until the eggs are still runny, but are setting up on the edges. Remove from the heat and stir the eggs for another few seconds.

 

Ludo Lefebvre (chef and owner of awarding-winning restaurant Trois Mec in Los Angeles)

In a bowl, beat 4 eggs. Season with salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, melt ½ tbsp. butter over low heat. Add the eggs and, using a wooden spatula, stir constantly, using a figure-eight motion, until the eggs start to get a little thick, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. cold butter and stir until melted. (This will stop the cooking and add extra creaminess to the eggs.)

 

 

Technique Tuesday: Segment Your Citrus

Written on January 28, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Lately, we’ve been giving you lots of reasons to enjoy a nice, juicy orange, lemon or grapefruit (it is citrus season, after all). But how do we make those fruit segments look so darn beautiful? You, too, can upgrade your fruit salads, cocktails and desserts by cutting your oranges and grapefruits into pretty segments (“supremes” in chef lingo). Here’s how:

 

1. Prep It

Cut a small slice off the top and bottom, exposing some of the flesh. Stand the fruit up on one flat side.

 

2. Pare It

Cut from top to bottom along the curve of the fruit, removing the peel and bitter white pith.

 

3. Section It

Over a bowl, make a slice on each side of each segment along the membrane and use the knife blade to life out the freed fruit wedge.

 

4. Use It

in tons of delicious recipes, like the ones below!

 

Orange and Ice Cream Trifles

Tarragon Grapefruit Salad

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: How to Pick the Perfect Avocado

Written on January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

The best guacamole is made with creamy fleshed Hass avocados at the peak of ripeness.

Here’s how to pick ‘em:

 

 

1. Look for a forest-green fruit. Darker skin means riper flesh.

 

2. Cradle it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Guac-ready fruit will give slightly.

 

3. Flick off the stem. If it pops off easily and what’s underneath is bright green (brown means it’s overripe), you’re good to go!

Once your avocados are ready to be used…

 

Spread ‘em on toast with eggs for the perfect protein-packed breakfast.

 

Blend ‘em up with sweet ingredients for an Avocado Semifreddo.

 

Or, mix ‘em up with all sorts of ingredients for 11 different twists on guacamole!

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Technique Tuesday: Mellow Out Those Onions

Written on January 14, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Raw red or white onions should be the perfect balance of sharp and sweet, but sometimes their natural pungency can take over a dish (not to mention your breath!). Tame the burn by submerging sliced onions in an ice-water bath for about 15 minutes, which will remove the harsh natural sulfurs from the cut surfaces. Drain and pat dry before using. Bonus: The refreshing dip crisps them up, too!

 

Here are a few ways to use your mellowed out onions:

 

Mixed into our brand-new recipe for Tarragon-Grapefruit Salad.

Pup ‘em on top of our Lemon Tilapia with Garlic-Parsley Couscous.

In our Guacamole Salad alongside Hot-or-Not Grilled Sliced Chicken with Cheesy Polenta.

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