Dan Rinaldi, a firefighter in Providence, Rhode Island, leaned on his state's fresh seafood for this dish. He says battered squid tossed with hot cherry peppers is a great representation of where he lives and of his Italian roots.
Thin cuts of steak such as flat iron and hanger are great for weeknight meals because they’re full of flavor and cook up fast. But a flavorful spice rub and quick marinade easily elevate the meat to a meal worthy of a special occasion.
Spiralizing zucchini into “noodles” often translates into a wan and watery dish, a poor imitation of the pasta it attempts to emulate. Generally, it’s better to let an ingredient shine on its own merits.
Street vendors cross East Asia scrunch small pieces of meat onto skewers and baste them over hot coals with a sweet and savory sauce. Amid the sizzle and aromatic puffs of smoke, the sauce thickens to a luscious glaze, and — importantly — the meat cooks up fast.
Western cooks too often go too light on fresh herbs, treating them more as garnish than flavoring. We prefer the Thai approach, which uses ingredients such as basil, mint and cilantro by the fistful.
Tomatoes may get more attention, but throughout Italy, lemon also often finds its way into pasta.
Along the Amalfi coast, ring-shaped calamarata pasta is paired with clams, parsley, garlic and fried strips of a sweet local lemon.
Peru’s lomo saltado is fusion cooking at its easiest and most approachable, a quick stir-fry of soy-marinated beef, tomatoes and hot peppers that reflects the country’s cultural — and culinary —influences, from Incan farmers to Chinese immigrants.
There are two camps of Mother’s Day celebrators: those who like nothing more than a lavish brunch/lunch/dinner at a restaurant, and those who hope for a homey celebration enjoyed while wearing a pair of fuzzy slippers.
Surprise Mom — if you can — with this elegant but kid-friendly dessert for Mother’s Day.
This treat, from our book “COOKish,” which limits recipes to just six ingredients without sacrificing flavor, takes just 20 minutes and can be tucked into the back of the freezer up to a week in advance.
In the riot of colors and smells that is Cape Town, South Africa, we found a vibrant one-pot chicken and vegetable dish that turned our idea of what a curry is on its head. From a distance, this Cape Malay curry reads Indian, or maybe Indonesian, but get closer and it distinguishes itself as uniquely South African.
J. Kenji López-Alt has written a new cookbook with handy tips, fascinating asides and some 200 dishes all related to the wok. One recipe in “The Wok” is for a version of mapo tofu that is similar to what he ate growing up, though instead of plain ground beef his mom would use the dish as an opportunity to use up leftover dumpling filling.
Classic risotto is made with starchy medium-grain Italian rice, such as Arborio or carnaroli. It is toasted then cooked, sometimes slowly, over low heat as broth is ladled into the pan in stages. While the liquid absorbs, the cook stirs, stirs and keeps stirring.
There are lots of classic dishes for Easter dinner: rack or leg of lamb, baked ham, Easter Bread, asparagus sides. But no one wants to miss dessert on a holiday, so make it a good one!
Carrots often make an appearance at Easter in some guise, often as a side dish.
Think of the classic French sauce gribiche as a dolled-up egg salad. But instead of adding mayonnaise to hard-cooked eggs, the eggs are mashed with bold ingredients like capers, mustard and herbs to a creamy consistency.
An unusual jar of honey and a ripping hot sheet pan were the keys to remaking what too often can be a forgettable side dish — roasted carrots.
First, the honey. We’ve seen our fair share of infused varieties, everything from ginger and saffron to lavender and matcha green tea.
Evidence of French colonial rule is dotted throughout Vietnam, particularly in the cuisine. Coffee, butter, roasting and beef are all French legacies, even if the coffee comes loaded with sweetened condensed milk and the beef is stir-fried with soy and fish sauces.
The secret to a great fried rice is all in the leftovers.
Freshly cooked rice often results in a soggy, gluey dish because it continues to cook as ingredients are added to the pan. But chilling previously cooked rice changes its starches, yielding light, separate grains.
Kale salads may be all the rage, but served raw, the sturdy green can be off-puttingly tough. So we looked at its cousin, cabbage, for clues on how to tame the texture without cooking it.
Kimchi and sauerkraut recipes use a salt massage to soften leaves, and we were pleased to find the same technique does wonders for the texture of kale.
Travel to the far north of Italy and the terrain gets rougher, the weather colder, and the pastas more rustic. For centuries, buckwheat was one of the few grains hardy enough to survive in Valtellina, a small valley in the shadow of the Alps, and it shows in the food.
In Tunisia, partiers and laborers line up during the pre-dawn hours for the same thing — steaming bowls of lablabi, a hearty soup of chickpeas and stale baguette that tastes so much better than it sounds.
It’s been a bit since the traybake crossed the Atlantic from Britain, where a host of cooking personalities popularized a technique that combines big flavor and weeknight convenience onto one pan.
But for the uninitiated, meat and vegetables are placed on a baking sheet along with some seasonings, then go into the oven together.
An excerpt and recipe from “The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook” by Lisa Steele (Harper Horizon, 2022):
Chocolates may be the easy route for a last-minute Valentine’s Day, but there’s still time to pull off a quick homemade chocolate dessert. It’s pudding, but with a sophisticated twist from the Middle East.
Tamarind remains a bit of a mystery to most cooks in the United States, but its sweet and sour pulp is appreciated by cooks from its native range in tropical Africa to India, Mexico and beyond. The pods resemble a long, bulbous peanut, but the flavor evokes some combination of lemons, dates and apricots — which makes it a powerhouse ingredient packed with flavor.
GEMELLI WITH TOMATOES, SALAMI AND FONTINA
Talk to the best cooks in Italy, and they’ll tell you the secret to great pasta is an ingredient many American cooks throw out — the starchy pasta cooking water.
In restaurants across Chengdu, China, there is a singular dish the evokes a tingling response — crispy stir-fried chicken on a plate piled high with thin red chilis.
It’s called la zi ji, and as intimidating as it looks, it’s not nearly as spicy as its appearance intimates.
A great way to add flavor to a pasta dish is to toast the noodles in oil, which brings out nutty notes that add complexity to the final result. And a great example of this lesson is sopa seca, which translates to “dry soup” from the Spanish.
Traditions understandably rule the holiday table, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be updated. One simple update to a wintry seasonal salad is to cook the dressing, which slightly softens sturdy bitter greens while adding bold flavor.
We rarely appreciate cauliflower for what it is. We grill slabs of it and pretend it’s steak. We mash it like potatoes. We even mangle it into pizza crusts.
But cooks around the world, from Greece to Israel to China, have shown us how good it can be.
All coconut milk is not created equal. Canned coconut milk — both regular and light — is made from finely ground coconut meat that’s recombined with water for a uniform, viscous texture that can easily overwhelm other ingredients.
A recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's “Vegan, at Times”:
I have served this many times to non-vegans and they always go for seconds. I use cashew or almond milk for their mild flavor, but you can always experiment with other plant-based milks.
Whether it’s an entire spit-roasted pig or the more accessible skillet-braised shoulder, pork frequently is the focus of feasts during religious festivals in Bali, a pocket of Hindu tradition in majority-Muslim Indonesia.
Thanksgiving leftovers are an easy meal to put on repeat, but the turkey gets drier and drier with each day. The key to salvaging it — other than sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise — is rehydrating it in a flavorful sauce that turns it into a completely different meal.
The lacquered look of a glazed roasted chicken may be alluring, but it can be a trial to execute well. The sugar in glazes caramelizes in the oven, adding deep sweet-savory notes and intensifying browning.
Kimchi is a powerhouse Korean ingredient of seasoned cabbage packing spice, crunch and that savory umami factor that comes from fermented foods. It transforms whatever meal it’s added to, and we treat the richly flavorful liquid it’s packed in as a separate ingredient.
After years of debating whether marinades are worth the effort, we’ve decided to mostly skip them, especially when it comes to steak on a weeknight.
That’s because the ingredients in marinades do a poor job of penetrating the surface of the meat, and liquids actually inhibit the flavor that comes from searing meat because it has to first boil off.
The shortcut to a tastier salad does not reside in those plastic premixed bottles. Oil and vinegar work in a pinch, but at Milk Street we’ve discovered a world of simple salad dressings that go well beyond the basic vinaigrette.
Burnt food is every cook’s nightmare, but you shouldn’t be afraid of a good char. It’s a fine line, but charring sweeter vegetables such as corn or sweet potatoes builds flavor by introducing a bit of bitterness that balances their natural sugars.
My dad, Jack, used to reminisce about small fried apple fritters that his mother, Elizabeth, would make for him when he was a kid. Of course, like many passed-down family recipes, this one wasn’t written down anywhere, so Mama went to work, trying to figure out how to make them just like his mama had.
After eating our way through Vietnam, it became clear that contrast was one of the defining features of the cuisine. Tender and crunchy. Spicy and fresh. Hot and cool. Many times all in the same dish.
Eton mess — Britain’s luscious mixture of berries, whipped cream and broken meringue cookies — takes its name from the English boarding school, where it is served during cricket matches. All the ingredients are layered in a jar, which gives the dessert an appealing premise.
Many Americans think of only a handful of countries when they hear the word Mediterranean. But that sea is surrounded by a diverse set of peoples and cuisines that have been blending — deliciously — for millennia.
In her book “Cook Once Dinner Fix,” Cassy Joy Garcia includes this double recipe for a whole chicken:
Across Southeast Asia, sidewalk hawkers offer sizzling meat skewers bathed in the smoky aroma of smoldering wood coals and a seemingly endless combination of savory sauces.
n Thailand, they might be pork slathered in coconut cream, or in Singapore, they could be charred chicken smothered in spicy peanut sauce.
In the market squares of Sicily and Calabria, street vendors baste thick swordfish chops with a bright blend of lemon juice and olive oil, grilling them over smoldering coals and filling the air with an alluring mix of char and sweet.
Mild chicken pairs perfectly with assertive seasonings, so we often search out ingredients that deliver bold, one-stroke flavor solutions. For a stir-fry packed with tons of savoriness, a combination of Chinese oyster sauce and Korean gochujang, a fermented red chili paste, delivers just that, plus a balancing, pleasant sweetness.
Sweet corn and briny clams could be the most classic of American pairings. Hundreds of years before Europeans arrived on New England shores, Native Americans created the clambake by digging pits in the sand to steam them with lobster.
This time of year, everyone asks me how they can become a better griller. It all comes down to the following 10 tips, the most important of which is knowing the difference between direct and indirect cooking.
To the uninitiated, the Italian pairing of melon and prosciutto may sound odd. But anyone who tries it learns the sweet fruit combines with salty richness into a deceptively simple whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Our travels around the world have taught us many things, but one lesson is clear: Breakfast in one country makes a wonderful dinner in another.
In Beirut, chickpeas, yogurt, pita and tahini make a crunchy, velvety salad that’s good any time of day.