Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts

Help Me, Kenji! Can you make Dutch oven recipes in a slow cooker?

Answer: Absolutely. Converting from Dutch oven to slow cooker is easy. If a recipe has any searing, sautéing, or deglazing steps— essential for optimum flavor—complete those in a pan on the stovetop. After adding the liquid, transfer everything to the slow cooker. For recipes that call for either stovetop simmering or an oven temperature above 300°, set your slow cooker […]

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Mad Delicious Lesson: No-Blanch, No-Schock Vegetables

Vegetables such as green beans are typically given the moist-heat treatment (steaming, boiling, blanching), but they end up being uncommonly intense in flavor when their built-in water content is manipulated via a dry-heat method like pan charring. Wonderful friends of mine took me to a Chinese restaurant in Bangkok famous among locals for its amazing ways with vegetables. My Pan-Charred […]

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Mad Delicious Lesson: Frying is a Light Cooking Technique

J.C. and Jo Bell revolutionized peanut butter a few years back when they were charged with creating something amazing from America’s massive peanut surplus. PB2, a powdered peanut butter, is a culinary dream ingredient. Cut 50/50 with Wondra Flour (it’s the superfine sugar of flours), it makes for an unparalleled dredge for chicken. This dish for Georgia Peanut-Fried Chicken retains […]

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Mad Delicious Lesson: The Secret to Light Dressings

Backing off on the oil not only helps control calories, it takes some of the oily “weight” off tender salad greens. Once you get the gist of this recipe for Mad Delicious Vinaigrette, featuring my secret ingredient called Mad X, you can modify and iterate like mad. Don’t just use this on salads, though. This vinaigrette can be warmed lightly […]

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SOS! Thanksgiving Edition: The 5 resources that will get you through any Turkey Day disaster

If Murphy’s Law is a real thing (and I’ve experienced several episodes that could confirm its existence), Thanksgiving might be the ultimate test. On the best of days,  Turkey Day menu-making is a well-choreographed dance that could rival some of Moscow’s finest ballerinas. It’s one part precision, one part pure luck. At least, in my opinion. For decades, I’ve watched my grandparents […]

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Help Me, Kenji — How to make tasty soups fast

Q: How do I make tasty soups fast? A: The simplest way I know of is to invest in a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker works by increasing vapor pressure on the surface of liquid, which in turn raises its boiling point, allowing it to cook hotter. The hotter your soup cooks, the faster flavors extract and recombine. In my […]

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Pizza Slide Tip: From Peel to Pan, Smoothly

Pizza stones have made crisp, chewy crusts easy to achieve at home, but getting the pie on the stone can be tricky. If you don’t have a pizza peel, use a rimless baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Don’t pile on toppings, or the crust may tear. Mimic your neighborhood pizza slinger and jerk the peel in short, smooth motions to […]

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Help Me, Kenji – How to crisp fish skin

Q: How do I crisp up fish skin? A: Start with the right fish. Many larger fish—halibut, tuna, and cod, for example—have thick, leathery skin that is not very pleasant to eat. Salmon, char, snapper, and sea bass are better choices. Next, learn what keeps skin from crisping. Liquid in any form—whether water or fat—is the enemy. So remove as […]

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Mental Mise en Place: Getting you and your kitchen ready to cook

The intent of Mad Delicious, my new cookbook from Cooking Light, is to make you a more purposeful cook, certainly to teach the “how,” but most importantly to spotlight the critical “whys” of methods, ingredients, ingredient combinations, traditions, phenomena, et al. I want you to understand the recipe you’re cooking, not just survive the process. Before you begin to cook, […]

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Can Shredded Butter Make Better Cookies?

A Cooking Light reader recently shared an interesting baking tip with us that you may have spotted on Pinterest: shredding butter straight from the freezer instead of waiting for it soften at room temperature can save you some serious time in the kitchen. So, we asked the question: Can shredded butter make better cookies? To find out, we tested a full-fat cookie recipe (Ultimate Chocolate Chip […]

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