February 9, 2013 |
As part of a great California olive oil boom, now at least a dozen olive oil vendors are selling at local farmers markets, up from only a couple a decade ago. Most offer a good product, but there are few who, like Michael O'Brien of Paso Gold , provide local, fresh, high-quality, certified organic oil, sold by the farmer himself in the agricultural section of the market. The combination of new varieties from Europe, high-density systems and mechanized harvest led to a surge in plantings of olives for oil, from a few hundred acres two decades ago to about 30,000 today, said Paul Vossen , a University of California farm advisor.
February 9, 2013 |
While it looks like it might be a vegetable that was simply picked very early, "baby broccoli" is actually a fully mature example of a variety called Italian sprouting broccoli. It has got the same delicious mixture of sweet and bitter that regular broccoli has, but in a form that is concentrated more in the long, leggy stems than in the fully flowering heads. The main drawback with most sprouting broccoli is that those stems can get big and tough enough that they need to be peeled.
February 7, 2013 |
A touch of fresh-toasted bread crumbs can literally transform a dish, whether sprinkling them over vegetables or gratins, they even work magic drizzled over desserts. And they can elevate a simple pasta dish, too, as Food editor Russ Parsons shows in this amazing (and simple) recipe for spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs . For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix several dishes in an hour or less.
February 6, 2013 |
As you cook stocks, soups and stews, or slowly braise the evening's dinner, you're bound to notice fat rise to the surface of the pot or pan. There are several ways to remove unwanted fat: Use a ladle or spoon to gently skim the fat from the surface of the liquid. Make sure the heat is low enough under the pot or pan that the liquid is only barely bubbling, if at all. Simmering and boiling liquids will make it difficult for the fat to form on the surface. Chill the liquid: If you're making a stock, strain the stock, then chill it in the refrigerator.
February 4, 2013 |
This recipe is a perfect way to use up leftover salmon, and also works well with other leftover fish -- or even chicken -- just change up the herbs as desired to suit your taste. For this version, flake grilled salmon over a salad of steamed red potatoes, avocado and watercress and toss with a simply seasoned lemon and olive oil-based dressing. It takes only about 40 minutes to prepare. If you don't have leftover salmon and would like to try the dish with fresh salmon, grill a seasoned fillet over moderate heat until the flesh lightens in color and firms throughout, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the fillet.
February 1, 2013 |
The next time you're going to throw some steaks on the grill, take them out of the refrigerator a little early to take off the chill before cooking. "Tempering" the meat allows it to cook more evenly, so the inside can actually cook as the outside works up a nice char. Place your steaks or other meats in a cool, safe spot indoors to take off the chill, 20 or so minutes for thin cuts and longer if you're cooking something big -- famous Italian butcher Dario Cecchini calls for leaving a thick porterhouse out five to six hours when grilling his Bistecca fiorentina (the recipe follows below)
January 15, 2013 |
This quick lentil salad from chef and writer Deborah Madison is rich and filling enough to be served on its own (you might never know it's vegetarian) or as a generous side. Lentils are flavored with fragrant bay leaf and garlic, then tossed with a bright lemon vinaigrette, chopped roasted red peppers and fresh thyme, marjoram, parsley and mint. Fold in chopped feta, add a drizzle of olive oil and it's ready to serve in less than an hour. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food Editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.
January 12, 2013 |
If you'd like to try our cooking class at your own home, here's an outline of how to go about it. Of course, feel free to improvise. Roast Chicken: Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before roasting. Rinse it well and pat it thoroughly dry. Sprinkle with salt (about 1 tablespoon for every 5 pounds of weight), and rub it with softened butter (about 1 tablespoon). Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet and scatter wedges of fennel and onion around it. Roast in a 400-degree oven.
December 31, 2012
Black-eyed peas are the New Year's tradition -- a Southern tradition, for the most part, brought to the Carolinas and Georgia from West Africa via the West Indies -- believed to bring luck and prosperity. Make them with pork fat, make them vegetarian , make them even luckier by adding greens (which supposedly represent paper money). Here are a few recipes: black-eyed peas and sausage; warm black-eyed pea salad with wilted mustard greens and bacon; and vegetarian black-eyed peas and mushrooms.