Think Like a Chef

Mad Delicious Lesson: Make-Ahead Whole-Grain Salads

In early summer, when much of the fresh produce (think summer squash, melons, and lettuces) is water-heavy, it’s a challenge to build a grain salad that holds up well enough to make ahead. Smart choices with your components make the difference between sad sogginess and a vibrant, flavor-packed salad. Think of both texture and taste: English cucumbers and fresh blueberries […]

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Today’s Special: Marco Canora’s Quinoa Salad with Salmon

A healthy-cooking hero gives his fresh take on panzanella. In A Good Food Day, Marco Canora‘s cookbook overflowing with deliciously healthy dishes, the acclaimed New York City chef recalls how panzanella—Tuscan-style bread-and-tomato salad—has long been a staple for him in the summer. Traditional panzanella uses unsalted, stale Tuscan bread to soak up the vinaigrette and tomato juices. “Once when I […]

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Mad Delicious Lesson: Sweet Vidalia Onions

Vidalia onions (and other sweet onion varieties) are grown in low-sulfur soils, and that makes them much lower in pyruvic acid—the stuff that makes onions punchy. And while a raw Vidalia is apple-mild, a little char lends a ton of flavor. This recipe riffs on an old French culinary trick—the oignon brûlé—a charred, halved onion used to add depth to […]

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Can I Prep Potatoes Ahead of Time?

Anyone who has tried to get ahead by peeling or chopping potatoes in advance of cooking knows what happens—brown city. When you slice into a spud, you expose its natural phenols to oxygen, a chemical reaction that results in an almost immediate pinkish hue. They’re still safe to eat, and it doesn’t change the taste, but who wants to serve mauve potatoes? […]

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What Is Beef Consommé?

Maybe it’s the bone broth trend that has people commenting on consommé, but we’ve noticed a lot of you asking about what it is. Well, allow me to clarify. OK, that (bad) joke becomes more clear (if not more amusing) once you know that consommé is clarified meat broth. Let’s break it down. To make beef consommé, you start with brown […]

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Today’s Special: Sweet Pea Soup with Yogurt and Pine Nuts from Iron Gate’s Tony Chittum

Spring produce doesn’t get much more iconic than the sweet green English pea. “I love to use peas this time of year because they’re at the absolute peak of their sweetness,” says Tony Chittum, chef of Washington, D.C.’s venerable Iron Gate restaurant. Chittum plays up the pea’s classic status by pairing it in a velvety pureed soup with one of […]

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Help Me, Kenji — How to Cook Fish Without Stinking Up the House

Q: How can I cook fish without stinking up my house? A: Stick with methods that cook the fish gently while simultaneously creating barriers that prevent fishy aromatic compounds from making it into the air. My techniques of choice? Cooking en papillote and baking with a crisp coating. Cooking en papillote—a fancy-pants French term for “in parchment”—works for any fish […]

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Today’s Special: Bucatini with Meyer Lemon Cream from Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland, Oregon

Leave it to Portland’s queen of simple ­elegance to devise an early spring pasta dish that ­balances creamy comfort with clean, citrusy brightness—using just six ­ingredients. One of the many things we love about Jenn Louis’ food is her remarkable restraint and instinctive understanding of how to make a star ingredient shine. Here she honors Meyer lemons, which are reaching […]

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Today’s Special: Roasted Cauliflower with Dijon Vinaigrette from Chef Michael Leviton of Lumière

Dismissed for generations as bland, boiled, and boring, cauliflower has recently blossomed into the It Veggie at restaurants around the country. Michael Leviton, chef-owner of Lumière, one of the Boston area’s most esteemed restaurants, recalls how enterprising chefs some years back started featuring cauliflower puree on their menus instead of mashed potatoes, introducing the public to its versatility. “Then after […]

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Talking Shrimp with Chef Chris Hastings

Think all shrimp are simply shrimp? That idea doesn’t swim well with Alabama Gulf Seafood and James Beard Award winning chef, Chris Hastings, who want you to know just how different varieties of shrimp can be. We sat down with Hastings to get the scoop on this popular Cooking Light dinnertime star. “Each [variety of shrimp] has its own characteristics […]

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