Fava bean season is long over in my area, but I'm looking ahead to next spring and filing away this tip for easier fava bean peeling from food scientist Harold McGee. He recently stumbled onto a trick that accomplishes the laborious task of peeling off fava skins in half the time — all you need is one common kitchen staple.
I'll admit that in my cooking lifetime I've been known to use a few, er, creative techniques to prep my fruits and veggies. (It's amazing I still have all my fingers!) If artichokes and pomegranates, mangos and squash get the better of your knife skills, then this post is for you. From how to peel a head of garlic in 10 seconds to how to cut a grapefruit, from the best way to dice an onion to the super easy way to peel ginger, these 20 tips and techniques will change the way you work with produce. Let the learning begin!
Adding a dollop of whipped cream is about as fancy as it gets when I serve dessert, but I am still inspired by Gilt Taste's look inside the mind of pastry chef Michael Laiskonis, which details his thought process while creating the dessert pictured above. Though I'll likely never create anything as lovely (or time-consuming!) as Laiskonis's dish, I still picked up a few tips for making my plates more beautiful.
You know the expression, "A picture's worth a thousand words.' Well, in this case it's absolutely true! Our Small Cool Kitchens 2012 Contest just got started. Want to enter the contest? We draw so much inspiration from you and your kitchens, so here are a few ways to improve the photos you submit.
We're canning, you're canning, just about everyone is canning these days. And we think that's pretty fantastic. But before you fill your kitchen with steaming hot glass jars and pounds of tomatoes, we have a few insider tips that might just make your next canning session go a lot more smoothly.
I am not a tall person. I level out at about 5 foot nothing, in my stockinged-feet. My hand are proportional to my height; they're small and square. For this reason, I've always avoided full-sized chef's knives, opting for smaller 8-inch knives. Full-sized knives make me nervous; can I handle them? Can I take advantage of their weight, or will they be harder to use safely? Well, chef Sara Moulton is petite herself, but she has a convincing argument. Yes, even small people need big knives.
Think blind chefs can't possibly cook at full speed? Just watch Christine Ha blaze through the competition on MasterChef. She shares some amazing tips and tricks on how she can cook without being able to see, with BBC News. Many tips apply to all chefs, too.
A little while back during Reader Request Week, we had several folks ask about herbs. "How should I be pruning them?" "How do I plant them?" "How can I get the most out of them so there's plenty to cook with?" We went straight to the source with Tara Heibel from Sprout Home in Chicago to get our facts straight. Here's a video from Tara speaking directly to you, our Kitchn readers, with her best tips on getting the most out of your herbs.
Last week Food & Wine held their annual festival in Aspen, Colorado. We weren't there, but we've scoured the reports of people who were for interesting tidbits and culinary tips. Thanks to Melissa Clark and Susan Edgerley from The New York Times, here are 10 takeaways especially applicable to home cooks!
As we wrote about yesterday, last Sunday on The Splendid Table, chef Adam Perry Lang spoke with Lynne Rossetto Kasper about his new grilling cookbook, Charred & Scruffed. During the segment, he shared a few of his trademark grilling tips, like constant flipping. But he also talked about how deliberately roughing up the surface of meat adds more flavor. It's an unusual technique, but since this is Grilling Week, we're open to new ideas!