For over a year now, we've been talking with cooking experts (chefs and cooks, cookbook authors, food writers, recipe developers) about what they feel are their top five essential things a home cook should know, do, own, or understand in order to be a great cook.
In honor of the Big Feast day tomorrow, we combed our Expert Essentials archives, pulling out nuggets of kitchen wisdom to help you make it though your cooking marathon with body and mind intact. Read on for our special Thanksgiving edition, with appearances from Deborah Madison, Yotam Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater, and more of our favorite voices in the kitchen.
I am as guilty as the next person for leaving the selection of sweet dessert wines until last. But Thanksgiving is as much about pie as it is about the big bird, so here are some tips on both choosing and understanding the sweet wines that can really complement the end of the meal.
Q: I recently bought a shiny, new range that has convection baking and roasting. I am also hosting Thanksgiving for a wonderful group of approximately 14 friends. I still haven't fully gotten the hang of baking with convection and have yet to roast any meat. Do you have any specific tips for cooking a turkey using convection?
On Thanksgiving, you want to give your guests plenty of good food, good company and good memories to last the year. What you don't want to give them is food poisoning. With that in mind, here are a few friendly reminders for safely cooking and serving a Thanksgiving meal.
I know what you're thinking: a banana tree? In Brooklyn? Yes, indeed. Joey and Antoni live in a 600-square-foot studio that's decorated in a mix of industrial, mid-century modern, and "1960s beach babe," complete with two banana trees!
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah typically arrives in December, but I start getting excited for it sometime around Labor Day. I love lighting the menorah (Hanukkah candelabra) and watching the candles' reflection, warm and comforting, in my window. And I crave the overall feeling of coziness that comes with the season. But what I long for most are the latkes — fried potato pancakes that Jewish families fry up during the eight-day holiday. Their unique mix of starch, crunch, salt, and oil is the ideal accompaniment for a frosty holiday evening.
Rendering lard was one of those things I had on my list: big, complicated cooking projects I wanted to try. Months ago, one of my favorite farmers' market vendors offered me a bag of pork fat. Who wouldn't take a free bag of pork fat? He suggested that I try rendering it and I couldn't wait to give it a try.
So why did I leave it in the freezer for so long? I figured I would need a whole day. As it happens, it's a lot easier than that and I can do it right in my slow cooker.
This actually happened to a friend of ours last year: She had cleaned out the turkey, rubbed it with her marinade, and was ready to put it in the oven when she realized that she had a roasting pan but no rack! If you find yourself without a "real" roasting rack with hours to go before dinner, here are some quick solutions to MacGyver your way to roasted perfection.