Worth the Effort

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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How to Make a Healthier Cheese Sauce

Few things can elevate green veggies or a pile of nachos quite like cheese that’s been melted down with butter into a rich, creamy sauce, then slathered on top. Sauces, however, can be calorie-packed: A from-scratch cheese-and-butter sauce contains about 90 calories in just 2 tablespoons. Go the convenience route with processed cheese and you’re looking at more than 400mg […]

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Mad Delicious Lesson: Cook Shrimp the Right Way

Shrimp benefit from delicate cooking, as sharp, aggressive heat cooks them unevenly, yielding a seized, rubbery exterior. This recipe for Twice-Cooked Garlic Shrimp is an exercise in patience, and illustrates that part one of great cooking is mastering the application of heat. Part two is the mindful harmonizing of flavors. Always get fresh shrimp if you can. Its texture and […]

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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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