11:15 AM ET, July 25th, 2014
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.
Despite the cozy image conjured by the name, few people actually make home fries at home, probably because the dish calls for more time, elbow grease, and stovetop space than most cooks care to devote. We wanted nicely crisped home fries with tender interiors that would serve six to eight hungry people—and wouldn’t chain the cook to the stove for an hour. Because if you’re making a beautiful batch of perfectly scrambled eggs, you probably need some equally good potatoes to go alongside.
Since time was a priority, we decided to parcook the spuds before roasting them in the oven. Parcooking would dramatically cut down on roasting time, while finishing them in the oven would allow us to make a big batch.
10:45 AM ET, July 22nd, 2014
Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Bernie Herman is the department chair and George B. Tindall Professor of American Studies and Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill. He lives in Chapel Hill and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He wrote this essay for the place-themed issue #52 of the SFA's Gravy quarterly.
The Bayford Oyster House extends over the shallows of Nassawadox Creek, abutting the channel where the tides of the Chesapeake Bay ebb and flow. The heart of the two-story wood building, erected around 1902, serves seasonally for shedding soft-shell crabs. During the rest of the year it functions as a storage area, stacked with soft-shell crab floats, blue plastic drums crammed with gill nets, and the flotsam of fish and eel traps, blue-crab and peeler pots, floats, line, and salt water–worn hand tools. The creek side of the oyster house fronts a working dock where watermen land their catch. The landward side abuts the one-story shucking hall and office, added when the business was in full swing through the mid 1960s, before disease struck the oyster beds and shucking operations closed. The old post office and store stands next door, remembered by Bayford denizens for its bear-paw sandwich of hard cheddar and rag bologna on a sugar-glazed bun.
09:15 AM ET, July 17th, 2014
Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
12:00 PM ET, April 23rd, 2014
Eatocracy's Managing Editor Kat Kinsman attempts to vegetable garden on a roof deck in Brooklyn, NY in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b. Feel free to taunt, advise or encourage her efforts as this series progresses.
I have a rotten knack for turning any pleasurable pastime into an exhausting and pricey project and in doing so, sucking all the joy and fun out of it. Gardening is no different.
It started in college as a cheap, meditative hobby that kept me grounded in the midst of academic mayhem, and occasionally introduced a vitamin or two into my ramen-based body. The undertakings grew grandiose and far less calming as I got older and set down roots in futon-free apartments with my name actually on the lease.
What was once a matter of nestling dollar store seeds into soil-filled buckets on the roof, or poorly deer-proofing my $15-per-year community garden plot next to the town's sewage treatment plant, became an expensive indulgence. Then it became an obligation.
04:00 PM ET, March 12th, 2014
The wine industry is in love with the word "terroir," but there's a note of ambiguity about what it actually means. Simply defined, it conveys a sense of place - the complete environment from the soil to the climate – that gives each wine a distinct flavor. It’s the vines’ calling card.
In addition to the agricultural boundaries, many people broaden that landscape to include all the living creatures that exist within it. By that definition, a Labrador retriever named Willow has been a bedrock at Bedell Cellars.
She’s been riding shotgun in a pickup to the winery since she was 10 weeks old, alongside her owner Donna Rudolph. A dozen years later, she’s become the self-appointed patroller of the vines, chasing deer, groundhogs and rabbits.
07:00 PM ET, February 25th, 2014
This is the eighteenth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
You should cook. Yes, you. Even if you don't want to.
This isn't like saying that you should learn Ovid in the original Latin for the enrichment of your soul, or requiring that you hunker and hone your julienne and demi-glace skills until you emerge victorious in a battle overseen by Alton Brown or Anthony Bourdain. This is about getting yourself fed and taking a modicum of responsibility for it.
You eat, right? Maybe even more than once a day? (Or even if you ingest some combination of nutrients solely through methods that don't require chewing, smoothies have to taste like something, don't they?) And I'm going to go ahead and assume that you'd like to continue living in your body for the next while. Assembling foodstuffs for intake without the intermediary of a drive-thru speaker, menu, or segmented tray and microwave is the ideal way to facilitate that.
Yet people object, throw their hands in the air and simply refuse. Here's why they're wrong.
12:15 PM ET, November 13th, 2013
Marisa Miller is a married mother of two who never imagined she'd find herself relying on the kindness of others to feed her family. As a former chef, her life was filled with abundant food, and her husband had a lucrative job. Between the two of them, an organic, grass-fed, sustainable and delicious life seemed assured.
But things changed. Her husband left that job to pursue a career in a field about which he was passionate, and in the height of the recession, his salary was cut by 60%. The family became food insecure in a matter of months.
Their household income is just above the qualifying levels to receive SNAP, WIC or any other kind of assistance. After bills, Miller has just $100 left over for food, gas, clothing, band-aids, toilet paper and other necessities. She supplements her grocery-buying with trips to her local Sacramento, California, food pantry and an awful lot of thoughtful, creative cooking and meal planning.
"No one is living off Top Ramen in this house," Miller told Eatocracy in an e-mail exchange.
Here's what she had to say about dignity, practicality and perception when you're struggling to feed your family.
06:00 PM ET, October 28th, 2013
This is the fifteenth installment of "Eat This List" - a semi-regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
Getting tapped as a judge for a barbecue competition sounds like a carnivore's dream come true, especially when it's at the level of The Jack. For 25 years, cooking teams from around the world have converged upon Lynchburg, Tennessee to battle for smoke-soaked supremacy at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
This past Saturday, 25,000 barbecue devotees showed up to cheer on the 76 United States and 23 international teams that had qualified to participate by winning at the state level or various prestigious competitions. Chicken, ribs, pork and brisket were mandatory categories, and sauce, cook's choice and dessert were optional.
I got to taste them all.
I've been Kansas City Barbeque Society certified since 2008 and judged other food events, so this wasn't my first rodeo, but nothing compares to a competition where a $10,000 prize and such high-test bragging rights are on the line. Richmond, Virginia's Cool Smoke team took home the Grand Champion title, as well as Rockwell, Iowa's Pig Skin BBQ for a separately-judged Winner's Circle of previous Jack champs.
Judges like me left with full stomachs, sauce-stained clothes and some insight into what it takes to judge - and win - at competitive barbecue.
01:45 AM ET, June 18th, 2013
Vegetables are leafy, crunchy, luscious, colorful little presents the earth gives out to say it loves us. They're packed with the vitamins and nutrients we need to keep from perishing of all manner of dreadful pirate diseases like rickets, scurvy and beriberi.
The least we can do is prepare them as deliciously as possible. Here's our best advice for making the most of the season's bounty.
07:30 AM ET, April 28th, 2012
In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and trends we're attempting to do the same.
As food writers and reporters, we toss out a lot of terms - sustainable, pescetarian, free-range - and just assume that everyone's on the same page. If they're not, the conversation suffers, and we can't have that, now can we?
Here's a round-up of concepts and words we've explained thus far.
02:46 PM ET, July 25th, 2014
The crazy chicken is coming to Wall Street.
If you're not from the West, you may not have heard of El Pollo Loco. But if you're an investor, you may smell something juicy cooking this week.
El Pollo Loco, which specializes in Mexican-style grilled chicken, is expected to begin trading Friday.
The restaurant chain is aiming to raise $107 million in an initial public offering of more than 7.1 million shares priced at $15, the company said Thursday. That is at the upper end of its previously-announced range. El Pollo Loco plans to list its stock under the ticker "LOCO" on Nasdaq.
11:45 AM ET, July 24th, 2014
McDonald's is standing by a troubled supplier, even after allegations the company processed tainted and expired meat in China.
Chinese authorities this week suspended operations at a Shanghai Husi food plant, a subsidiary of Illinois-based OSI Group. The government intervened after a Chinese broadcaster aired footage of workers using their bare hands at a Husi factory to process expired meat, and even food that had fallen on the floor.
01:00 AM ET, July 24th, 2014
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.
It’s not like anyone needs a good reason to drink tequila, right? But if you do, July 24 is the holiday for you: It’s National Tequila Day!
The origins of this particular holiday are unclear. Did someone once do the most body shots in history? Drink the biggest margarita every mixed? Who knows. I’ve decided the best way to celebrate is to take advantage of the increasingly good tequilas—and their close cousin mezcal—at the places that specialize in them.
Here’s a generous handful of them. Now, go celebrate National Tequila Day.
01:00 PM ET, July 23rd, 2014
Editor's note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN's Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
The dog photos are difficult to view.
They show man's best friend being stuffed into wire cages and trucked, illegally, across borders in Southeast Asia. The destination: restaurants in Vietnam.
That thought alone - that someone would sit in a public restaurant and order dog from a menu - is likely enough to get most "dog people" to stop reading this column, much less look at the photo essay featured this week by CNN's photo blog.
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