Worth the Effort

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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Help Me, Kenji – How to get roasted potatoes extra crispy

Q: How do I get roasted potatoes extra crispy? A: I’ve got two simple tricks, starting with a little precooking. First, parboil them before roasting. Simmering starchy baking potatoes in water (seasoned with salt) gelatinizes a layer of starch on their exterior surfaces. This layer will then dehydrate and brown as the potato roasts, creating a thick, crisp shell. It’s […]

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Mad Delicious Lesson: Silky Pureed Soups

Old-school French chefs are serious about sweating vegetables for soups, and you should be, too. Slowly cooking them in butter yields a gloriously creamy pureed soup—a potage—with nothing but water and stock, no cream, to adjust viscosity. We take sweating a touch further here, rounding out the almost citrusy aroma of celery root with chicken stock and thyme. Be patient […]

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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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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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Mad Delicious Lesson: Toast Pasta to Enhance Taste

Dry pasta lends itself to a variety of cooking techniques, so let’s toast it, and then cook it risotto-style to build a creamy sauce from the noodles. I learned this method from a chef who was from Togo but apprenticed in Italy. It was what the kitchen staff ate for lunch. He called it “Toast Pasta.” Here, in this recipe […]

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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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