At a recent dinner party, a friend asked me whether it was really necessary to sear meat before cooking it, especially if it was just getting slow-cooked in a braise or a stew anyway. My friend logically pointed out that if it wasn't an important step, then why go to the extra trouble or dirty more dishes?
For coffee and tea lovers torn over what to drink in the morning, you may never have to choose again: scientists have brewed a tea made from the leaves of the coffee plant. They're calling it the coffee tea leaf. Behold the future, friends.
Have you recently felt the presence of ghosts, seen giant insects attacking your car or found yourself rolling on the floor without explanation? No? Clearly you haven't been consuming enough of the five foods Bon Appetit says can cause hallucinations — although there is a good chance you had one of them this morning.
There is no lack of tips and tutorials for seasoning cast iron, but very few of them actually explain the science behind the process — which is a shame, since knowing a little more about complicated-sounded scientific terms like "polymerization" and "drying oil" can help you choose the best oil for creating a hard, smooth, impermeable non-stick surface on your cast iron cookware.
If you've ever cooked salmon, you've probably noticed an unappetizing white, chunky foam appear on the surface of the fish. It's called albumin and the folks at America's Test Kitchen recently shared some insight on how it forms and what you can do to minimize it.
Q: I am looking for a great cookbook that explains different cooking methods as well as the science behind why certain things are prepared a certain way. If it would also explain why certain ingredients work better than other in certain recipes I'd be over the moon. Any suggestions?
When cooked properly, tough cuts of meat like beef shank and pork shoulder transform into fork-tender meat swimming in a rich braising sauce. How does this magic happen — and how long does it take to get there? America's Test Kitchen ran some tests that make it clear why tough meat tastes best when its braising liquid is full of gelatin.
A few weeks ago after peeling and slicing a butternut squash, the skin of my hands became tight and red, and started peeling a little. It went away within 24 hours and I didn't think about it again, until I happened to read the comments on a recipe for roasted butternut squash pasta from several years ago. Many readers mentioned experiencing the same symptoms after cutting up butternut squash, which led me to some answers about this strange condition, including the best way to manage it.