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Celebrate Oktoberfest (or just a crisp fall day!) at home with made-from-scratch Bavarian soft pretzels, served fresh from the oven.
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Homemade berry syrup, a buttermilk hack, and a toasty butter trick are just a few of the keys to flapjack fame.
On a recent trip to Oaxaca, I was mesmerized with the fruity, smoky pasilla de Oaxaca chiles so much that I brought back a bag of the chiles, as well as a basalt molcajete, in my suitcase. The deep flavor the chiles impart to beef is exceptional; if you can’t find them, chipotle morita or chipotle meco chiles are good substitutes.
Fava beans are one of spring’s most coveted ingredients, and my favorite way of preparing them is to smash them with mint and pecorino into a chunky spread for topping toast. Once the favas are blanched and shelled, the spread comes together in mere minutes. It makes a fine snack to start a party, but perch a poached egg on top and you’ve got breakfast or lunch.
Yes, you can (and should) make salad in a mortar. When hardy vegetables, like cabbage, are lightly crushed in a tall Thai-style clay mortar with a long wooden pestle, they are tenderized just enough to yield a pleasing soft crunch. Bruised Thai basil, cilantro, and mint permeate this dish, with a dressing of fish sauce and lime, pounded chiles, garlic, and ginger. Serve it alongside grilled or roasted fish or chicken and steamed jasmine rice.
Whether it's made from clay, marble, or volcanic rock, each of these ancient tools has its own superpower in the kitchen. 
Food & Wine Cooks contributor Andrea Slonecker channeled her lifelong love of pancakes to take this breakfast basic to a delicious new level. Toasty browned butter infuses the barely-sweet batter, which fries up on the griddle into fluffy, lacy-edged flapjacks. To top it off, her super-fast sheet pan fruit syrup comes together in just minutes; frozen berries burst in the oven, releasing their juices to mingle with caramelly brown sugar and a little bit of lemon for balance. Trust us—one bite and you’ll never reach for a box mix again.
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Hard- or soft-cooked eggs are one of the first things many people learn to cook, yet there’s much discrepancy surrounding this fundamental technique. Some insist that starting the eggs in cold water, slowly bringing the water to a boil, and keeping them at a boil until they reach the desired doneness is the best way, while others proclaim that after the boil is reached the pan should be pulled from the flame to allow the eggs to gently cook in the residual heat.In my book, Eggs on Top, I researched the best way to cook eggs in their shells, and I’m confident you’ll find this technique your new go-to for tender whites and vibrant golden, lusciously thickened yolks that slowly flow—a texture I refer to as “molten.” The secret is to not actually boil eggs at all, rather cook them at a bare simmer to keep the whites soft and tender and the shells from cracking against each other.The cooking method I preach is to sink the raw eggs into already-simmering water for five minutes. This initial shock of heat helps make it easy to peel the eggs after cooking. (Sometimes the shells are so loose they practically fall off in my hand!) For easier peeling, it’s commonly recommended that we use eggs that are a bit older for in-shell cookery, but doesn’t that defeat the point of buying farm-fresh eggs? Luckily with this method, even the freshest of fresh eggs peels with ease.For this to be effective, be sure to start with room-temperature eggs rather than ones that are just out of the refrigerator. If you’re in a hurry to bring cold eggs to room temperature, do as I do and temper them in a bowl of warm tap water first to prevent the shells from cracking from the big temperature swing.I like to roll those perfect soft-cooked eggs in minced parsley, lending flavor and a stunning presentation to this spring salad with roasted broccoli rabe and creamy avocado dressing. Spring is the season when warm and cold ingredients ought to mingle on one plate, and this salad brings all that to life. To serve, keep the soft-cooked eggs and the roasted rabe on the warm side, rather than cold, and compose the salad on plates with a bit of artistic flare. Then I would tell you to pour a glass of Chablis and enjoy this spring situation for lunch or dinner, whatever suits your fancy.
Sometimes called the vanilla of Southeast Asia, pandan leaves offer a sweet grassy note and faint nuttiness to both desserts and savory dishes. I’ve tasted their unique flavor in steamed rice at Southeast Asian restaurants, wrapped around grilled chicken and fish, and baked into a surprisingly delicious Thai-style durian custard. My favorite health spa even adds it to their water instead of cucumbers or lemons. But I find the leaves particularly delicious infused into creamy ingredients like coconut milk and dairy.This recipe is inspired by a trip I took to Vietnam and my resulting obsession with pandan tea. One day I was frantically putting together a menu for an impromptu dinner party, but I was stuck on what to do for the dessert finale. On this particular day I was sipping my late-afternoon cup of pandan tea (a souvenir from that trip) when the idea struck to steep some of the dried leaves into cream and make a pandan-flavored panna cotta.Panna cotta is my go-to quick dessert. It’s simple to throw together before friends show up and does its magical congealing thing in the fridge while the evening progresses. Aside from the ease in making it, I find the cool, ethereal lightness is really nice at the end of a big meal; it manages to be rich without being heavy. The key is to avoid adding too much gelatin—we’re going for just barely holding its shape and super jiggly here, as opposed to the springy texture of Jell-O.One of my favorite Thai treats is mango sticky rice, and the best version I know has pandan in the coconut sauce that’s spooned on top. With that in mind, I chose mangos for the topping for this pandan-scented dessert. March is prime Ataulfo—aka Champagne—mango season, so be sure to search them out. They are those smaller, kidney-shaped yellow mangos you’ll find at any grocer with a good produce section, but especially at Asian or Latin markets. With extra sweetness and richer flavor than other mangos, they’re perfectly delicious just diced—no need to macerate in sugar or employ other such tricks. But a sprinkling of crushed pink peppercorns on top does add pretty color and a little fragrant punch to complete the dish.I first tried this recipe with the dried pandan leaf tea I’d brought back from Vietnam, but stateside it’s easier to find frozen pandan leaves in the freezer aisle at Asian markets; they revive beautifully once thawed.
Food & Wine Cooks contributor Andrea Slonecker channeled her lifelong love of pancakes to take this breakfast basic to a delicious new level. Toasty browned butter infuses the barely-sweet batter, which fries up on the griddle into fluffy, lacy-edged flapjacks. To top it off, her super-fast sheet pan fruit syrup comes together in just minutes; frozen berries burst in the oven, releasing their juices to mingle with caramelly brown sugar and a little bit of lemon for balance. Trust us—one bite and you’ll never reach for a box mix again.
Hard- or soft-cooked eggs are one of the first things many people learn to cook, yet there’s much discrepancy surrounding this fundamental technique. Some insist that starting the eggs in cold water, slowly bringing the water to a boil, and keeping them at a boil until they reach the desired doneness is the best way, while others proclaim that after the boil is reached the pan should be pulled from the flame to allow the eggs to gently cook in the residual heat.In my book, Eggs on Top, I researched the best way to cook eggs in their shells, and I’m confident you’ll find this technique your new go-to for tender whites and vibrant golden, lusciously thickened yolks that slowly flow—a texture I refer to as “molten.” The secret is to not actually boil eggs at all, rather cook them at a bare simmer to keep the whites soft and tender and the shells from cracking against each other.The cooking method I preach is to sink the raw eggs into already-simmering water for five minutes. This initial shock of heat helps make it easy to peel the eggs after cooking. (Sometimes the shells are so loose they practically fall off in my hand!) For easier peeling, it’s commonly recommended that we use eggs that are a bit older for in-shell cookery, but doesn’t that defeat the point of buying farm-fresh eggs? Luckily with this method, even the freshest of fresh eggs peels with ease.For this to be effective, be sure to start with room-temperature eggs rather than ones that are just out of the refrigerator. If you’re in a hurry to bring cold eggs to room temperature, do as I do and temper them in a bowl of warm tap water first to prevent the shells from cracking from the big temperature swing.I like to roll those perfect soft-cooked eggs in minced parsley, lending flavor and a stunning presentation to this spring salad with roasted broccoli rabe and creamy avocado dressing. Spring is the season when warm and cold ingredients ought to mingle on one plate, and this salad brings all that to life. To serve, keep the soft-cooked eggs and the roasted rabe on the warm side, rather than cold, and compose the salad on plates with a bit of artistic flare. Then I would tell you to pour a glass of Chablis and enjoy this spring situation for lunch or dinner, whatever suits your fancy.
Sometimes called the vanilla of Southeast Asia, pandan leaves offer a sweet grassy note and faint nuttiness to both desserts and savory dishes. I’ve tasted their unique flavor in steamed rice at Southeast Asian restaurants, wrapped around grilled chicken and fish, and baked into a surprisingly delicious Thai-style durian custard. My favorite health spa even adds it to their water instead of cucumbers or lemons. But I find the leaves particularly delicious infused into creamy ingredients like coconut milk and dairy.This recipe is inspired by a trip I took to Vietnam and my resulting obsession with pandan tea. One day I was frantically putting together a menu for an impromptu dinner party, but I was stuck on what to do for the dessert finale. On this particular day I was sipping my late-afternoon cup of pandan tea (a souvenir from that trip) when the idea struck to steep some of the dried leaves into cream and make a pandan-flavored panna cotta.Panna cotta is my go-to quick dessert. It’s simple to throw together before friends show up and does its magical congealing thing in the fridge while the evening progresses. Aside from the ease in making it, I find the cool, ethereal lightness is really nice at the end of a big meal; it manages to be rich without being heavy. The key is to avoid adding too much gelatin—we’re going for just barely holding its shape and super jiggly here, as opposed to the springy texture of Jell-O.One of my favorite Thai treats is mango sticky rice, and the best version I know has pandan in the coconut sauce that’s spooned on top. With that in mind, I chose mangos for the topping for this pandan-scented dessert. March is prime Ataulfo—aka Champagne—mango season, so be sure to search them out. They are those smaller, kidney-shaped yellow mangos you’ll find at any grocer with a good produce section, but especially at Asian or Latin markets. With extra sweetness and richer flavor than other mangos, they’re perfectly delicious just diced—no need to macerate in sugar or employ other such tricks. But a sprinkling of crushed pink peppercorns on top does add pretty color and a little fragrant punch to complete the dish.I first tried this recipe with the dried pandan leaf tea I’d brought back from Vietnam, but stateside it’s easier to find frozen pandan leaves in the freezer aisle at Asian markets; they revive beautifully once thawed.
I’ll never forget the lecture and meticulous demonstration our instructor gave on the “proper” way to cook a duck breast during the last week of culinary labs before my fellow classmates and I were turned loose to operate our school’s restaurant. With all the pomp and circumstance afforded a chef in a 2-foot-high toque, he went through a completely overwhelming tutorial devised to scare us into thinking duck breast is too challenging for the average human to cook.While the method I learned in culinary school did deliver a beautiful medium-rare breast with a crisp, golden brown crust, achieving that same outcome doesn’t have to be so complicated or intimidating. Pan-searing duck breast, it turns out, is actually a relatively simple process, as long as you follow a few key steps.It’s important to score the skin and fat with a sharp knife before cooking the duck breast. Scoring provides more surface area for the fat to render so the skin crisps and develops a gorgeous deep golden color and crisp texture. It’s also key to let the breast come to room temperature and to start cooking the breast skin side down in a cold pan, both of which help the fat render at just the right pace.Once the fat is mostly rendered and that enviable crust forms, I flip the breast to finish cooking the meat to medium-rare briefly on the other side. What’s left in the pan after the meat is set aside is liquid gold—in the form of duck fat. In this recipe, you’ll use that liquid gold to finish fluffy couscous that’s steamed with orange juice and turmeric, then tossed with dates, almonds and fresh herbs. Consider this a Moroccan twist on duck a l’orange. The duck is seasoned with ras el hanout, a bold spice blend that complements the full-flavored meat. Duck breast may not be your typical weeknight fare, but with this recipe it can be.I often think of a bold yet refined Bordeaux for pairing with duck, but here the Moroccan spices seem to lean toward a more rustic, wild red. I poured an aged Tempranillo from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region—understudy to the more celebrated Rioja—and found the concentrated red-fruit notes balanced by the decent acidity of wines from this region partner nicely.