Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts

How to Render Bacon Fat

Cooking bacon over low heat melts the solid fat, rendering it from the meat. It’s so versatile, and a little goes a long way, so it’s our tactic for bringing a smoky presence to a dish without adding a lot of fat. Cut up the bacon. Rather than cooking full strips, use kitchen shears to snip cold bacon into ¾-inch […]

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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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How to Tell When Mushrooms Are Bad

They’re already fungi, so how can I tell if mushrooms have gone bad? Good question! A slimy film is the telltale sign of a spoiled mushroom. If you catch it early and cook ’em up right away you can get another day out of your ‘shrooms, but once the slime starts, it’s a slippery slope toward the darkening in color and mushy texture that indicate mold […]

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Help Me, Kenji — Flavorful Convenience Products You Should Keep On Hand

—Q: Are there flavorful convenience products I should keep on hand? A: Yes. Get some Flavor Bombs: store-bought products that instantly transform soup, sauce, salad, or even a main course into something much more interesting. Here are a few I always keep on hand. Harissa, a spice paste from Tunisia, is packed with rich chile flavor and a good amount […]

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What’s the Best Way to Cook and Shred Chicken?

  When you want moist, plump, shredded chicken—I’m thinking about casseroles, soups, chicken salads—try poaching your chicken. When you sauté, grill, or sear, you end up with a crust on the outside; it’s delicious, no doubt, but sometimes you just want softer pieces. Shredding the meat is easy once you have nicely cooked chicken. Check out the video to see how […]

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Does Honey Ever Go Bad?

Short answer: Honey will never go bad on its own. It is true that jars of sealed honey buried in ancient Egyptian tombs are still perfectly safe to eat. Long answer: Honey will go bad if handled poorly by the beekeeper or by the consumer. The bees turn flower nectar into honey inside of the hive, removing moisture in the […]

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Exotic Flavor in a Flash: Aleppo Pepper

I’m always looking for fast, nutritionally neutral ways to jazz up dishes, and a favorite of mine is Aleppo pepper. Named for the town in northern Syria, Aleppo pepper is made from dried and coarsely ground halaby chiles and can be used much like crushed red pepper in recipes and dishes. It has a smoky, sweet (almost fruity) backbone and a […]

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How do I swap liquid egg substitute for fresh eggs in a recipe?

Swapping liquid egg substitute for whole eggs is simple. Measure 1/4 cup substitute for every whole large egg in your recipe. It’s true in reverse, too: Use 1 whole egg for every 1/4 cup of egg substitute listed in a recipe if you would rather use fresh eggs instead of substitute. Add the substitute at the same step that you would […]

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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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Hard-Boiled Egg Ideas: Lightened-Up Scotch Eggs

I adore hard-cooked eggs for several reasons: They’re cheap, ridiculously versatile, and great to have on hand—they last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days if peeled and about a week if left in the shell. They also now have a clean bill of health. This isn’t new news, exactly, but the 2015 federal nutrition guidelines (still under review […]

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