Moist chicken breast. It’s the little black dress (LBD) of the dinner table. Okay, maybe it’s not quite as sexy, but let’s face it, it’s easy, able to be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, and goes with everything else in your pantry. But just like your favorite LBD, you have to find the right cut, and know how to treat it, to really rock it. I’m the first to fess up to having served my fair share of cardboard-y chicken breasts in my day, but trust me, you’ll feel way better about yourself when you up your chicken game. There is hope for you and your chicken dinner yet. Here are my three favorite methods for ensuring that every bite of chicken that lands on your dinner table is moist and delicious—and sexy enough for a night out even if you’re planning to chow it on the sofa while bingeing on the latest season of your favorite reality TV show.
Cake fails cause your baking adventures to end in tears? Does your cake stick to the pan or come out dry as the Sahara Desert? Never fear, here are some fail-safe techniques for making a beautiful cake that everyone will be talking about. (In a GOOD way!)
Salt will wake up the flavor of your food. How much salt is enough salt? You’ll know it when you taste it. If you taste a dish and it feels “meh,” pause to intentionally taste for the salt. Are you detecting it at all? Then add another large pinch. Taste it again. Keep doing that until you taste the dish and feel a *ziiiiiing!!!* That’s when you know you’ve got enough salt. In restaurants, chefs know how to salt food properly. That’s what makes the food taste so good, and what keeps people coming back.
Today we’re going to talk about the single-most important flavor factor for a lot of different dishes: mirepoix. (Pronounced meer-PWAH.) Yes, this is a very fancy-pants sounding word*, 😂 but what really matters is that it can SERIOUSLY up your game while cooking. A mirepoix is a simple mixture of chopped onions, celery, and carrots that you cook gently on the stove until the vegetables develop complex flavors, usually until they are browned. You then use these cooked vegetables as the base for the rest of your dish (such as stocks, soups, and sauces).
Have you ever sat down determined to cook a recipe, only to come across one or two mystery cooking terms or words that stops you cold in your tracks? Like, “sweat the onions,” “brine the meat,” or “fold the batter?” And from there, you’re totally lost. Unknown cooking terms can cause all sorts of havoc in the kitchen. But don’t worry. It happens to the best of us! Today we’re going to talk about some of the most commonly misunderstood cooking terms you’ll see in recipes. These are words, phrases, and techniques that might trip you up if you run across them while cooking. While there are an endless number of culinary terms to learn, there are only a few you really need to know to become a better cook. I’ve compiled them all here for you in one place.
Here’s a super simple concept that’s going to make your cooking SO much easier: it’s the idea of “kitchen zones.” First off, I want to say that it doesn’t matter if you have a tiny kitchen — or what we call in my house a “one-butt kitchen,” because there’s only room for one pair of buns. Kitchen zones make cooking SO much easier because it’s the first step of kitchen organization, and organization leads to easier execution. Each kitchen generally has four kitchen zones. In smaller kitchens these zones often overlap, and that’s totally fine. Here’s a quick video that will explain the zones and show you how to organize them.
Let’s take a step back and thank whichever higher power you hold dear for the internet. The mess of wires and anonymous commenters that gives us shopping from home. Because I love you, I’m going to give you my top-5 list of awesome culinary-based Christmas gifts for 2017. Every single one of these things can be purchased while in the form of a blanket burrito on your couch while binging Netflix. No pants, shoes, or makeup required. Halle-freaking-lujah.
Fearless Fresh Cooking Cheat Sheets are like having a cooking teacher right there in the kitchen with you. These colorful cooking guides are full of easy-to-read recipe tables that allow you to mix and match ingredients, so you can create flavorful dishes with complete ease. For the next two weeks I’m offering all Cooking Cheat Sheets sets in a bundle at a discounted rate of 15% off + free shipping. If you order now, you will get the your cheat sheets will ship the first week of November.
This avocado sauce recipe is a great example of how to increase flavor with almost no effort. Not only does it hit almost every mandatory flavor note, it also whips up in less than a minute. As a sauce it’s incredibly flavorful and very flexible, so you can serve it however you like it best — thin, like a sauce, or thick and chunky, like the best guacamole you’ve ever eaten. If you’re serving it in tacos, over enchiladas, or on top of chicken/fish/veggies, blend it to a smooth consistency so that it seeps into every nook and cranny of your dish. If you’re eating it like a dip or serving it on top of bread, leave it chunkier so that it’s easier to eat.
This farro salad is healthy, yes, but also hearty and incredibly flavorful. Whole grain farro fills you up while an impressively assertive cast of flavors makes this one of those two- or three-helping dishes: sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, green onions, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and some welcomely bitter green arugula to round the whole thing out. This farro salad hits so many flavor notes, and perfectly, that I’ve been eating it for dinner with nothing else without feeling deprived in any way.