Main Dish In Skills
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What’s the Difference? Blue Corn Meal vs. Harinilla
Thanks for all the excellent blue cornmeal recipe suggestions, everyone! We think we’ll save it for something fun for the Fourth of July–stay tuned…As we were reading over the tortilla recipe on our bag of cornmeal, we noticed that the recipe called the flour “harinilla.”At first, we assumed that this was a Spanish term for blue cornmeal, but when we were looking up recipes, we learned that there’s actually a significant difference!
May 3, 2019
Weeknight Meal Tip: Simmer Sauces
Simmer sauces are an easy and healthy way to make a quick, delicious meal for your family. It’s simple – add your choice of vegetables, tofu, meat, chicken, or seafood to a pan, add a jar of simmer sauce, cover, and cook over low heat. While that’s cooking you can prepare a salad, fold the laundry, or catch up on your email.We love simmer sauces, particularly ones that have a foreign flavor. Pictured here are Persian and Indian simmer sauces.
May 3, 2019
Look! Pipette-Shaped Pasta
We certainly do love our pasta around here and we’re always on the lookout for new ways to jazz up our humble dishes. This pipette-shaped pasta recently appeared on our grocery store shelves, and we’ve quickly decided it’s our top choice for the coming cold season dishes!Their shape is somewhat similar to macaroni, but the tube is wider and actually dips down in the middle like the pipe it’s named after.
May 3, 2019
Word of Mouth: Al Dente
Al Dente; adjective, Italian: Literally, “to the tooth.” In practice, this means cooked just enough to still be firm, where the center still remains a bit under-cooked and the pasta still offers resistance when chewed.In medieval times, pasta was cooked for an hour or more until it was soft, mushy, and offered no resistance. This was typical of all cooking at the time (ie, cooking food to death!
May 3, 2019
Handy Pantry Staple: Duck Confit in Cans
I know, I know. You’re thinking: “Canned duck? Are you kidding me?” But trust me on this one, really. I love keeping a can of duck confit in my pantry, and unlike other foods in cans, it’s actually really delicious!If there’s a night when I am really busy and want to eat something tasty, or I have a surprise dinner guest (gasp!) these cans of canard goodness are a lifesaver!
May 3, 2019
What Makes Bread So Special? Peter Reinhart’s Speech from the Taste3 Conference
If you’ve spent even a little time poking around the bread baking world, you have likely heard the name Peter Reinhart. As an instructor at Johnson and Wales and the author of several books on bread baking, he has built a career out of his love for bread!Our fellow Kitchn writer Dana recently sent us a link to Reinhart’s talk on “What Makes Bread So Special?” from the Taste3 Conference last July. This talk sums up everything we love about both Reinhart and baking bread!
May 3, 2019
What’s the Difference? Flour, Cornstarch, Potato Starch, and Arrowroot
Last week, we talked about how starches are used to thicken sauces, puddings, pie fillings, and soups like the one above. This week, we’ll check out the different kinds of starches that get used in cooking and why you might choose to use one over the other…Starches can vary widely in terms of how quickly they thicken, how much they thicken, the quality of the thickening, and their flavor after thickening.
May 2, 2019
Good Question: What is Polenta?
Susan is looking for some clarification on types of cornmeal. Can we help her out?I have a burning question! What is the difference between corn meal and polenta? Can I use regular corn meal (the stuff I use to make corn bread) to make polenta? Or do I have to track down a box that is specifically labeled “polenta”? And for the trifecta, what is masa harina? Could I use that to make polenta, or just tortillas?Susan, this is a great question and a tough one to answer.
May 2, 2019
Quick Tip: Cooking the Best Pasta for Cold Salad
You’ve heard us say it again and again: always cook pasta in a large amount of well-salted boiling water until al dente. But when it comes to pasta saladsFor pasta destined for a picnic salad, we like to do two things:1. Cook it in even more heavily salted water.2. Cook it just a little beyond al dente. When cooking pasta for salad, we usually double the amount of salt we normally put in the pasta water, adding roughly 4 tablespoons of salt for 4 quarts of water.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Acorn Noodles
I was at my boyfriend’s mother’s house the other day when she eagerly showed us a huge, heavy box of noodles she had purchased at her Korean church. These special noodles resembled buckwheat soba, but they contained an unusual ingredient – acorns!Korean acorn noodles, or dotori guksu, are made from a mixture of acorn flour, buckwheat or wheat flour, and salt. The acorn flour is ground from red or white acorns, which have been eaten in Korea since Neolithic times.
May 2, 2019
Learning To Love Wheat Bran
Confession: we’re trying valiantly to overcome an aversion to wheat bran. Thanks to one-too-many encounters with dense tasteless homemade bran muffins in our younger years, this is definitely an uphill battle (sorry, Mom!).But we’re intrepid cooks and willing to be convinced! How do you use wheat bran in your cooking?Wheat bran comes from the dense, outer hull of the wheat grain and is a by-product of making wheat flour.
May 2, 2019
Word of Mouth: Pumpernickel
Pumpernickel, noun – An incredibly dense and strongly flavored dark bread made with a blend of coarse and fine rye flour originating in Germany.We love the heartiness and deep, almost bitter flavor of pumpernickel bread, especially with a little sharp cheese melted over the top! Making an authentic loaf of pumpernickel is one of our winter goals, plus we think it would look lovely on our Thanksgiving table!Do you like pumpernickel bread? Ever made it yourself?
May 2, 2019
No-Knead Bread Hack: Making a Sandwich Loaf Instead
Thanks in large part to the no-knead bread revolutionThe no-knead bread is so wet and sticky that it can be difficult to shape into anything except a round loaf. Here’s what to do to make it workable:After the dough has risen and you’re ready to shape the loaf, sprinkle the counter liberally with a handful of flour and turn the dough out on top.
May 2, 2019
Seeking Suggestions: Ways to Use Up Leftover Tortillas?
We made a big batch of enchiladas over the weekend, but somehow we still have about a dozen corn tortillas leftover. Have any suggestions for what to do with them?At this point, we’re thinking of freezing them until the next time we get a craving for Mexican food. You can freeze tortillas separated by wax paper so that it’s easy to take out only the number needed, and we’ve heard that they re-heat well just in a dry skillet.
May 2, 2019
Kidding Around: In Praise of Silly-Shaped Pasta
As kids, a bowl of mac and cheese just seemed to taste better if the pasta was in the shape of our favorite cartoon character. As adults…well…we still love pasta that comes in silly shapes! What about you?Besides the fun shapes, we actually really like the texture of pasta like this. Because all the little corners and joints take a bit longer to cook, the outside parts get really soft. Every bite is a little squishy and a little chewy!
May 2, 2019
How To Make a Pasta Casserole Out of Thin Air, Leftovers, and Love
In cooking there are few dishes that lend themselves to what cooks wistfully wish after, which is cooking without a recipe. The romantic cook in us all wishes to cook like a grandma or a trained chef — by sense and feel and grasping after a taste you know you can achieve through instinct alone. But cooking like that doesn’t come out of thin air.
May 2, 2019
Kitchen Mysteries: Why Stir Pasta as It Cooks?
Some of us probably learned the hard way that it’s a good idea to stir pasta once or twice after dropping it in the boiling water – a congealed hockey puck of half-cooked pasta is not generally what we intended for dinner! But have you ever wondered why this happens? Or why it’s a good idea to stir pasta?The way we see it, stirring pasta is a good idea for two reasons. First of all, dried pasta has a tendency to sink to the bottom of the pan right after you add it.
May 2, 2019
8 Ways to Make Any Pasta Sauce Instantly More Amazing
Pasta with basic tomato sauce is a weekly — ok, sometimes nightly — occurrence in our house. To keep things interesting, I’ll finish the sauce off with…well, whatever happens to be in the fridge! Here are a few of my favorite finishing touches for a simple bowl of pasta. I use these add-ins to finish quick stove-top tomato sauces all the time, but they can work well with just about any sauce you’re making, or even become the sauce itself.
May 2, 2019
Grain Mills: A Good Investment?
We never even considered milling our own grain until we started doing a lot more multi-grain baking and cooking. Those quinoa and spelt flours get expensive! It sure would be nice to buy the whole-grains or nuts for these flours in bulk and grind them ourselves at home. Do any of you do this?We’ve been using our food processor to do some very basic milling. Pour in the nut or grain, give it a few good pulses, and manage to get a fairly decent flour.
May 2, 2019
Baking Tip: Soak Whole Grain Flours Overnight
We’ve been doing a lot of baking with whole grains recently, and we see one technique pop up again and again. This is the idea of soaking the grains overnight before using them in the recipe. When it came up again in the comment thread for our Homemade Soba Noodles, we thought it was high time to learn more.
May 2, 2019
Change It Up! 6 Alternatives to Tomato Sauce on Pizza
We tend to eat a lot of pizza during the summer months. Not only is pizza the perfect vehicle for fresh seasonal toppings, but we can make them on the grill or the stove top without heating up the kitchen. But we do get tired of using the same old tomato sauce as the base time and again.It seems like almost any sauce that you’d toss with pasta or pre-dinner dip can make a good base for a pizza if you pair it with the right toppings.
May 2, 2019
Quick Tip: Thicken Sauces with Pasta Cooking Water
It feels counter-intuitive to add water to a sauce in order to thicken it, but this trick works! As any Italian home cook will tell you, just a little starchy cooking water gives the sauce extra body and an almost creamy mouthfeel. Have you ever tried this?All we do is dip out about a half a cup of the cooking water just before draining the pasta. It will look cloudy and yellowish from the starch. Stir this into your simmering sauce a few tablespoons at a time.
May 2, 2019
Pantry Staples: Pearl Barley
I get a little panicky if I realize I’m low on barley. I can’t ever seem to get enough of its chewy texture or nutty-sweet flavor, and I depend it for rounding out quick weeknight meals. I probably eat more barley these days than rice! It’s definitely a good one to have in the pantry.Pearl, or pearled, barley has the outer hull and some of the outer bran removed. This gives it a more uniform shape and it’s signature polished, pearly appearance.
May 2, 2019
The Best Shape? Wagon Wheel Mac n’ Cheese
The other night, I was laid up with a bad kitchen injury and a dear friend offered to make me dinner. Little did I know that she’d inspire not only a cheese column but also the future of my mac n’ cheese making.My friend’s mac n’ cheese is actually her signature dish, so her skills are already pretty solid. A key element, of course, is high-quality cheese, of which she has a range of trusted picks.
May 2, 2019
Crispy & Crunchy: 5 Best Toppings for Casseroles
In our opinion, a golden-brown crust is the hallmark of an excellent casserole. It’s the pièce de resistance, the finishing touch, that indefinable something that makes a casserole irresistible. There are many pantry ingredients that can help finish our casseroles with a flourish. Here are our favorites.You don’t really need a lot of topping to get good flavor and crunchiness. Just a sprinkling, enough for a little burst in every bite, is all you need.
May 2, 2019
Make-Ahead Lunch Tip: Quickly Cool Rice & Beans on a Baking Sheet
I don’t know about you, but my evenings often involve a last-minute scramble to get the next day’s lunches prepped and portioned before bedtime. The last thing I want to do is wait around for a pot of rice or a batch of beans to cool down. That’s when I pull out my baking sheet. Grains, beans, and legumes left in the pot can take a long time to cool to room temperature. Both the pot and whatever is inside it tend to hold that heat in rather than letting it go.
May 2, 2019
Dinner Tip: “Salt the Pot, Not the Pasta”
Even the most generic dried pasta can be turned into a tasty meal if it’s salted properly. One of the best pieces of advice I was taught in culinary school was, “Salt the pot, not the pasta.” Confused? Here’s what that clever little phrase means.The idea is to salt the water in the cooking pot just as it comes to a boil. It dissolves into the water and then pasta absorbs the salt along with the water as it cooks. You’re salting from the inside out.
May 2, 2019
Want Really Thin Pizza Crust? Use a Rolling Pin
I love me some thin-crust pizza. I mean really thin. Crispy, cracker-like, and keep it coming. The best tool for making perfect thin crust pizza at home? Try a rolling pin.Don’t ask me why it took me so long to apply to my weeknight pizzas something that I use all the time to roll out thin crusts in my baking, but something finally clicked. A rolling pin works like a charm.
May 2, 2019
How Can I Make Boca Burgers Taste Better?
Q: I won’t go into the reasons it seemed to be a good idea to buy 16 Boca Burgers (original vegan style) recently, but I did.And now I’d like to know, does anyone have advice on how to make them taste better? Thanks!Sent by AnnEditor: Readers, any good ideas for Ann and her Boca Burgers?Next question?
May 2, 2019
Forgot to Salt the Pasta Water? Take a Tip from Chez Pim
If you ever need a reminder why salting the pasta water is key to good pasta, just wait until you forget to do it.I know because this is exactly what happened to me the other night. I took one bite of that pasta and thought my tastebuds had gone berserk. Talk about bland, boring, and tasteless noodles. Bleck.But other than eating a mistake like this and moving on, what can you do? Pim of Chez Pim has a very clever idea.
May 2, 2019
Beyond Pizza! Five Other Ways to Use Pizza Dough
Who would have thought that a little ball of dough could be used for so many things?Whether you make it yourself or buy it at the store, pizza dough can be used for all sorts of things. Check out these ideas:1. Calzones – Calzones are essentially double-crusted individual pizzas after all! A 1-pound ball will make 3-4 calzones.2. Pitas and Flat Breads – The recipe for pita bread is remarkably closed to the one for pizza.
May 2, 2019
Not a Fan of Whole Wheat? Try Spelt Flour!
Whole wheat can be a tough sell. Sure, it’s super healthy and very good for us, just like our moms always said. But it can also weigh down baked goods and give them that distinctive bitter wheat flavor. Now, spelt? Spelt is the best of both worlds.As you can probably guess, spelt flour is ground from the spelt grain (which is also delicious in its own right).
May 2, 2019
Quinoa for Breakfast! 5 Sweet & Savory Ideas with Quinoa
We just can’t seem to get enough quinoa in our house. Why, we’ve even started sneaking it into our breakfasts! Sound weird? Some of these breakfast ideas might change your mind.Quinoa is really a natural fit for breakfast. Its nutty, slightly sweet flavor can go savory or sweet, and the texture of the grain lends itself to porridges and baked goods alike. If you branch out into quinoa flour, there are even more possibilities.
May 2, 2019
Can I Make Pasta in a Food Processor or Stand Mixer?
Q: Really, what’s the deal with making pasta dough? Is it really necessary to make the little well and incorporate the flour slowly, or can I just bang it in my KitchenAid with the dough hook? Will the texture be different? Is there something to the slow method or is it just tradition?Sent by EricaEditor: Erica, the goal in making homemade pasta dough is to make it as dense as possible. There should be zero air pockets in the dough when you cut into it with a sharp knife.
May 2, 2019
What Can I Do With Chocolate Pasta?
Q: My mother in law brought back some chocolate pasta from a recent trip to Italy. I have no idea what to do with it.Any suggestions?Sent by KatieEditor: Katie, I’m intrigued by this recipe for chocolate pasta with Irish cream sauce:• Get the recipe: Chocolate Pasta at Poet in the PantryReaders, what would you do with chocolate pasta?Next question?
May 2, 2019
Does Salting Pasta Water Have Any Scientific Merit?
Sure salting pasta water results in tastier pasta, but does it really lead to more efficient cooking? The salt-in-pasta-water seems to be a common enough debate while making pasta at home or out with friends. Do you salt the water? How much? When do you add it? Do you think it really makes a difference? So this week we set out to research the science to see if it really does serve a wider purpose other than flavor.
May 2, 2019
Homemade Pasta: 5 Ways To Add Color and Flavor
Having mastered basic homemade pasta dough, we’ve started experimenting with various add-ins, from roasted vegetable purées to herbs and spices. Often times, these noodles are so pretty and flavorful that they hardly require a sauce. (On a weeknight, we’ll just toss them with olive oil and maybe a little cheese.) Flavored pastas also make fantastic gifts. Here are a few ideas…Unless otherwise noted, these ingredients may be added along with the eggs.
May 2, 2019
A Smart, Simple Tip for Better Mac & Cheese
How would you like to give your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe a super-creamy boost? Well, there’s an easy way to make it happen. And in case you were wondering, it does not involve adding extra cheese. It’s a simple trick — maybe you’ve already tried it? Aside from the cheese, a crucial component of really good macaroni and cheese is the pasta — and it’s time to rethink how you’ve been cooking it. Instead of water, cook your pasta in milk!
May 2, 2019
5 Ways to Make a Hot, Crispy Sandwich Without a Panini Press
I used to have a little countertop grill, the jawed sort with removable plates (always thought of them as dentures) for waffles, sandwiches, and grilling. But it took up too much space, and I used it precisely never, finally purging it during a move. I still love hot sandwiches, though, and I’ve found that a panini press is fairly unnecessary. Here are 5 ways to get the sandwich without the gadget. Pan on the stove, with a lid for a press.
May 2, 2019
What Are Some Good Desserts to Serve After Pizza?
Q: I am having a dinner party and serving homemade pizza. I am having a hard time coming up with a good dessert to serve, as I feel like a pie, cake, or bar might be too heavy to have after some hearty pizza. Any suggestions for a light, delicious, fall dessert?Sent by CaitlinEditor: Caitlin, what about ice cream?
May 2, 2019
Put Away the Big Pot: Have You Tried the Pasta Simmering Method?
Bring a large pot of water to a boil is usually the first step in cooking pasta — but in fact, it’s possible to cook pasta in a small amount of simmering water, perfectly and without sticking. Have you ever tried it?Cooking instructions typically recommend about 6 quarts of boiling water per pound of pasta; anything less than that and you run the risk of your pasta sticking together in a big clump.
May 2, 2019
Cooking Long Pasta in a Short Pot: Is Breaking Noodles Bad Form?
There you sit with long noodles and only a short pot in which to boil them. Suddenly the age old conflict of breaking your noodles or not is upon you. Some say it’s bad luck, some say it’s bad form. Where do you stand? Most Italians will tell you that breaking noodles is bad luck. Some folks are ok with the chaos that noodle breaking might create and snap away to make everything fit in so they can walk away from the stove.
May 2, 2019
3 Tips for Freezing Cooked Pasta
Cooking pasta isn’t rocket science, nor does it take a great deal of time. But sometimes even five to 10 minutes can seem like too much when you’re on a tight schedule. Enter: frozen cooked pasta. Frozen cooked pasta reheats quickly, and ensures you have something warm and hearty in your belly before a pot of water could even come to a boil. Want to make some in your own kitchen? Here are a few tips! Cook your pasta ahead of time to just under al dente.
May 2, 2019
Leftover Pasta? Make a Frittata!
The next time you find yourself with a neglected cup of macaroni or that last serving of spaghetti that no one seems to want, promise me you’ll try this. I’ve been making pasta frittatas ever since another Kitchn writer mentioned it years ago, and it is hands-down my favorite way to use up leftover pasta — along with whatever else is hanging around in the fridge. You make this frittata just like any other.
May 2, 2019
Help! Why Is My Mac and Cheese Oily Instead of Creamy?
Q: I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect mac and cheese recipe and have tried 5 different recipes, but I keep running into the same problems: the cheese separates, the dish is too oily, and there is no creamy texture. Most recipes I’ve tried use a roux-based cheese sauce. Is that the issue?Is there a fail proof recipe out there?
May 2, 2019
Morning, Noon or Night: 10 Tasty Ways to Top Toast
Bread has a bad reputation these days, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook one of its most irresistible forms: toast! Whole wheat or brioche, sourdough or seeded, a slice of toasted bread is a base for all kinds of toppings that make a light yet satisfying meal any time of the day.
May 2, 2019
7 Ways to Eat Canned Salmon for Dinner
I used to turn up my nose at canned salmon — and canned fish in general —but I’ve come to realize there is no better and more affordable way to incorporate healthy fish into your diet on a weekly basis. And as a busy grad student, I always appreciate having a shelf-stable protein on hand for quick weeknight dinners. And canned salmon is tasty! Here are some of my favorite ways to turn a humble can of salmon into a satisfying dinner. • 1 Make it into cakes.
May 2, 2019
Ideas for Grilled Sandwiches That Don’t Use Cheese?
Q: A big bowl of soup is a perfectly complete meal for me, but my boyfriend needs more with his soup. I’d like to begin serving him grilled sandwiches with his soup, but all the interesting recipes I’ve found include cheese as the star of the sandwich. And he doesn’t like cheese. Are there any other ways to make grilled sandwiches awesome without cheese?
May 2, 2019
Do It Yourself Venison Burgers
I realize this post has limited use. It’s unlikely that you are given venison on a regular basis, even more unlikely that you have choices as to how it’s prepared. But what is it they say? Never look a gift deer in the mouth! Or something like that. If you do have a choice, ask for your ground venison with no fat added. It’s easy to do it yourself, and you’ll know exactly where the fat came from.
May 2, 2019
Our Day-After New Year’s Meal: Easy Oyster Stew with Leftovers
Our family had a very low key, perfect New Year’s Eve. The five of us headed to Edisto Island, with my mother in law joining us for one night, for a gloriously reclusive New Year. We picked up a bushel of oysters and steamed them in the oven, toasting 2014 hours before midnight, when only two of us remained awake. The next morning, we had leftover oysters. Even in a minimalist vacation rental kitchen, oyster stew is easy.
May 2, 2019
Broccoli: The New Breadcrumbs
A new year means new goals. And for many people that includes changing food habits, cutting down on junk, and eating better. Sounds good. In theory. But resolutions around diets tend to be tedious and limiting, and are about as exciting as a bowl of wilted Brussels sprouts. And who really wants to kick off 2014 with a list of should nots and cannots? What if this year, instead of making a resolution to eat more healthfully, we make a promise to cook more playfully?
May 2, 2019
7 Myths About Cooking Pasta That Need to Go Away!
There are many myths about cooking pasta that simply aren’t correct and yet they persist. Read on for a few that we would like to see disappear! While it’s true that many things are better when they’re fresh, pasta isn’t one of them. Fresh pasta isn’t superior to dried pasta, it’s just different. Fresh pasta has a silkier, softer texture and should be used with sauces that complement it. Obviously you will need fresh pasta to make ravioli and the like.
May 2, 2019
What’s the Best Way to Reheat Meatballs and Keep Them Warm?
Q: I’m planning to make ahead your Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs for Easter. What is the best way to reheat and keep the meatballs warm throughout the party? Sent by Beth Editor: Personally, I’d warm the meatballs at 300°F on a baking sheet or casserole dish until warmed through. To keep them warm, your best bet is probably leaving them in a slow-cooker on the “warm” setting. Readers, what do you suggest?
May 2, 2019
When the Moment Is the Most Important Ingredient
Close your eyes. Imagine the best meal you’ve ever eaten. Maybe you were in Paris, lingering in a cafe just one block from the chic flat your friend lent you for the week. Perhaps you were in New York or San Francisco, where the chef boasted a Michelin star or three, and each course was perfectly paired with a new glass of wine.
May 2, 2019
The Best Pasta for Pasta Salads
Does the kind or shape of pasta really matter for pasta salad? In theory, you can make pasta salad with any kind of pasta that you want, but here are a couple of things to think about so that you make the best choice possible. While fresh pasta is delicious, its more delicate nature means that it isn’t a great choice for pasta salads.
May 2, 2019
Why Is My Dried Pasta So Brittle?
Q: Hi, I read your article about drying pasta. I am very interested in making pasta for my local farmers market. I have tested many batches and I think I have flavors I like. I use clothes hangers to dry, but my pasta is so brittle I won’t be able to package it. I am using 1 cup of flour and 1 egg. I use the “Dough” setting on my bread machine and still knead more by hand. I fold it several times when putting it through the pasta press. Why is my pasta so brittle? Thank you.
May 2, 2019
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Pasta
Ah, pasta — always an easy and super-satisfying meal, especially on weeknights when there’s limited time for cooking. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been cooking it for years, and by now you could probably make it with your eyes closed. But as simple as it is to cook pasta, you might be making common mistakes without even knowing it. Here are the five most common mistakes that are made when cooking pasta, plus our best tips on how to avoid them!
May 1, 2019
5 Ways to Pizza-fy Your Leftovers
A fridge full of leftovers feels like a blessing some nights, and a guilt trip on others. I don’t always want to eat the same thing for two nights in a row, but I usually can’t bear to let things go to waste. To make a repeat meal feel new again, I’ve come up with a no-fail way to revive yesterday’s dinner: I put it on a pizza.
May 1, 2019
Cooking School Day 12: Pasta & Noodles
Today’s Topic: Pasta & Noodles The Goal: 20 lessons, 20 days to become a better cook at home Enter to win The Kitchn Cookbook: Simply share and tag photos of your Kitchn Cooking School progress on Instagram and Twitter with #kitchnschool to enter for a chance to win. We’re giving away one copy for every homework assignment during The Kitchn’s Cooking School. See rules and regulations.
May 1, 2019
Hold the Bread: 5 Ways to Eat Your Favorite Sandwich as a Salad
I’m always looking for ways to get more produce into my diet. Whether it’s keeping a crudité platter in the fridge, adding cooked carrots to a sweet afternoon snack, or swapping spiraled zucchini for noodles, I’ll use any trick I can to fill my days with lots of vegetables. Here’s my favorite new way to swap out starch for greens in my lunchtime routine — turn a classic sandwich into a salad!
May 1, 2019
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Meatloaf
Meatloaf just might be one of the very best comfort foods. It’s the farthest thing from a fancy meal, but it’s homeyness is exactly what makes it so wonderful. While the ingredients and process are simple, there are a few missteps that can easily turn this hearty, comforting meal into a less-than-desirable mound of overly dry, bland meat. Here are five common mistakes to avoid, plus our best tips for making a really great meatloaf!
May 1, 2019
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Chicken Noodle Soup
There are few foods as comforting as homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s the first thing I turn to when I’m sick. And once the winter chill sets in, I feel like I could eat this warming soup for lunch day after day. Homemade chicken noodle soup is an essential go-to recipe that every home cook should have in their back pocket. But, before you get your soup simmering, be sure you’re not making one of these five common mistakes.
May 1, 2019
Why I Think of Pasta as a Crouton, Not a Main Dish
Poor pasta. That most comforting of comfort foods has really had some bad press in recent years. If you’re going gluten free, or paleo, or just following the common sense advice to eat less refined flour, pasta is not on the menu as much anymore. When I first cut back on it, I missed its ease. Pasta night is a delicious breeze of a weeknight meal. But then I discovered a use for pasta that can be summed up in one word: croutons. Look, I love pasta in all of its various forms.
May 1, 2019
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Mac & Cheese
If there was ever a food so comforting it could reach out and give you a warm hug, it’s homemade macaroni and cheese. A bowl full of carbs enveloped in rich, ultra creamy, melted cheese — in my book, it’s the ultimate comfort food. And as for making it? It’s easier than you think. Before you start grating the cheese (because, yes, you should always grate your own), be sure to avoid these common mac and cheese mistakes. Make It Now!
May 1, 2019
When to Rinse Pasta (and When to Skip It)
When it comes to cooking pasta, rinsing is one of the great debates. People have strong feelings about this — some always rinse hot pasta straight out of the pot, and others would never be caught dead doing so. Who’s correct? Both parties — sort of. Whether or not to rinse ultimately depends on how the pasta will be used. Once cooked and drained, pasta is coated with a starchy film.
May 1, 2019
10 Easy Ways to Stuff a Pita Pocket
A piece of pita bread is a little world unto itself — so round, so hollow, so open to whatever you desire for lunch. And so portable and convenient, too! But after a few too many of my old standby, kale salad-stuffed pockets, I decided I needed a little fresh inspiration for the daily marvel of the pita sandwich.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Best Time to Make Fresh Tortellini for a Dinner Party?
Q: I’m going to make fresh tortellini for a dinner party. Can I prepare it in the morning and cook later that evening? If so, what is the best way to do it? I’ve had a trial run and it came out very chewy — what did I do wrong? And finally, what would you serve on the side of spinach-and-ricotta tortellini Alfredo with prosciutto and peas? Many thanks and kind regards.
May 1, 2019
5 Pizza Toppings That Should Always Be Precooked
A great pizza has the right balance of sauce, cheese, and crust — but don’t forget about the toppings! While most toppings can just be chopped up and tossed onto the pizza before baking, there are a few that should be precooked first for better texture and flavor. Pizzas usually don’t take very long to bake, and the bake time is really to crisp the dough and melt the cheese.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Best Way to Reheat Mac & Cheese?
Q: Not having grown up in the States, I didn’t know about mac and cheese until they started stocking it in the shelves here a few years ago. I always keep a box around in case of a hurried meal, but I’ve noticed that it just doesn’t taste as good when I reheat the leftovers. I’ve tried using the microwave and oven, but the leftovers were still not as good as when fresh. Is there a way to reheat it without ruining the texture or flavor?
May 1, 2019
What Are Some Non-Cow’s Milk Cheeses I Can Use on Pizza?
Q: For several years I have not been able to eat cow’s milk cheese due to the way my skin reacts. However, other cheeses and dairy are OK (i.e., goat cheese, sheep’s milk cheese, etc.). This dietary restriction really isn’t so bad, the only thing I miss dearly is pizza! I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions for types of non-cow’s milk cheese to use that could offer a similar satisfaction as mozzarella might on pizza?
May 1, 2019
7 Pantry Staples That Will Turn Pasta into Dinner
I don’t know how things go down in your house, but on nights I don’t really feel like cooking, the solution is usually pasta. It’s quick, simple, and comforting — all the right qualities for a midweek meal. I also like to keep dinner from getting boring, so I skip the jarred sauce and top my pasta du jour with something from the pantry.
May 1, 2019
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Grilled Cheese
The grilled cheese sandwich is a classic. Perfectly melted and oozy cheese, sandwiched between two golden, crisp, buttery slices of bread — it’s simple, comforting, and utterly timeless. It’s one of the first things we learn to cook, and one we carry with us through the years. But as basic as this sandwich is, there are a few hang-ups that could stand between you and the grilled cheese of your dreams. Don’t let it happen to you.
May 1, 2019