August 5th, 2014
10:00 AM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-­time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most­ foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and on our two public television cooking shows.

Eggs Benedict relies on two tricky egg-based components—poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. If you follow our method for poaching eggs, the first part is easy. Adding vinegar to the water helps to set the whites and prevents feathery whites. Cracking the eggs into the teacups and gently sliding the eggs into the salted, acidulated water ensures they all go into the water at the same time—so they all are done at the same time.

Water temperature is key when poaching eggs. We bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat. We add the eggs and then quickly cover the pan. The gentle residual heat produces restaurant-worthy poached eggs with soft, runny yolks and perfectly formed, round whites.
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Filed under: America's Test Kitchen • Breakfast • Content Partner • Dishes • Eggs


July 30th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Summer. The grill. Burgers. Steaks. Hot dogs.

Stop.

As great as those staples of summer grilling are, it’s the very best time of the year to eat your vegetables. And so many of them are even better after spending a little time over fire.

Who would be the best person to get tips for grilling vegetables from? A ton of great chefs are big into vegetables these days, but I went to Rich Landau, chef/owner of Vedge, Philadelphia’s sensational vegetable restaurant. Landau is so good that the "The Tonight Show" bandleader Questlove asked for his recipe for pastrami-spiced beets. (“This dish makes me believe in beets,” Questlove said.)

Here are Landau’s excellent tips for prime-time summer produce, like his very favorite way to grill corn. Now, go fall in love with smoky carrot dogs and have a happy summer!
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The complicated politics of the school cafeteria
July 16th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Kat Kinsman is the managing editor of CNN Eatocracy. She wrote this essay for the place-themed issue #52 of the SFA's Gravy quarterly.

Angela H. pulled me aside in the lunchroom to tell me that everyone thought my family was poor. This was news to me. So far as I could tell, my sister and I didn’t look anything like the barefoot, swollen-bellied children on the sides of the UNICEF cartons into which we slipped spare pennies. Nor did anyone attempt to gift us with sacks of half-eaten sandwiches, the likes of which our Grandmother Ribando said starving Armenian children would be most grateful to have. (Clean your plates, girls. Clean your plates.)

I pressed her for evidence and she relished the words, tumbling them around in her mouth like a disc of butterscotch before spitting them out on her Jell-O dish: “My mom says it’s weird that your mom wraps your sandwiches in Saran Wrap instead of a Ziploc. And why do you always have carrot sticks and a couple of potato chips when we all have cookies? Did your dad lose his job or something?”

I bought my lunch for the rest of sixth grade, making sure to spring for the chocolate milk instead of white—extra nickel be damned (and sorry, faraway UNICEF urchins). It’s not that I especially enjoyed the grey-meated burgers and leathery green beans slopped on my plate by a rotating cast of conscripted parents, but I loathed the notion that my peers thought they could infer anything personal from my lunch tray.
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July 15th, 2014
05:45 PM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-­time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most­ foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and on our two public television cooking shows.

The juiciness of a perfect summer peach is sublime—except when you want to bake it into a pie. To tame the moisture, we macerate the peaches to draw out some of their juices and only add some of the juice back into the filling. We also use both cornstarch and pectin to bind it, because we find that using two thickeners leaves the pie with a clear, silky texture and none of the gumminess or gelatinous texture that larger amounts of either one alone produces.

Making a lattice top for a pie can be intimidating. But it needn’t be if you use our simple technique: Freeze strips of dough and then arrange them in our prescribed order over the filling. Done properly, this approach gives the illusion of a woven lattice with less effort.

Not only does a lattice top look beautiful, making for a great presentation, but it lets the right amount of steam out, ensuring that your pie won’t bubble over or rupture in the oven. And with some tinkering, we found a way to make one that’s easy as, well, pie.
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Filed under: America's Test Kitchen • Baked Goods • Content Partner • Dishes • Fruit • Ingredients • Pie • Summer Vegetables


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