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.
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 magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.
Homemade chicken broth can improve your cooking by leaps and bounds. But the traditional method for making chicken broth requires a whole chicken, leeks, carrots, celery, parsley sprigs, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns - not to mention at least 2 1/2 hours of simmering.
We prefer to keep it short and simple and found a faster way to a rich, flavorful broth. We use only chicken legs, onion, bay leaves, and salt in our Quicker Chicken Broth, which only takes 60 minutes to cook.
CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski, holupki and paska.
I’ve always enjoyed the Slovak food my mother and extended family prepares. We eat these dishes at every family gathering: weddings, funerals and holiday celebrations. We eagerly approach the buffet display to find the holupki and haluski that usually occupy the first few trays, but at the end of the tables are the treats.
Cookies and cakes dominate that section, but the pastry that has always delighted my palate is the kolachi nut roll. Kolachi (sometimes spelled "kolache") is the name often given to a standard type of Slavic dough-filled pastry. Our kolachi is rolled dough filled with a walnut mixture, but other families fill theirs with a poppy seed mixture.
My aunt Eleanor was always celebrated as the one whose recipe held the quality edge over the other family members'. Obviously, this unofficial title has been disputed, but I concede that hers had a slight advantage in my childhood memories.
But Eleanor’s health eventually left her unable to make the delicious kolachi. As her health was failing, she insisted that her daughter Renee learn her kolachi recipe and carry on the tradition and her legacy. My cousin Renee embraced her mother’s challenge, and carries, in my mind, the title for making the best kolachi nut roll.
No one takes as much ghoulish glee in Halloween as the staff at Martha Stewart Living. Their signature blend of sweet, cute and just a touch spooky is irresistible to treat lovers of all ages and skill levels.
Take a peek at this gallery of creepy treats, and your guests will soon be gobblin' up their favorites.
Snip a piece of black licorice twist into a small triangle for the nose, and press into place. Poke the marshmallows a few times with the toothpick to make a large hole for a candy stick. Push the candy stick into the hole, through the jaw, and into the skull. Wrap in a cellophane bag if desired.
Talk about your Fat Tuesday!
We've sunk our teeth pretty deeply into Mardi Gras already, but New Orleans isn't the only float in the food parade.
Across the U.K., royals and hoi polloi alike flip pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday. The Pennsylvania Dutch fry up fastnachts (a raised doughnut). Folks of Polish descent (and apparently, residents of Michigan) polish off plenty of pączki (extra-rich jelly or cream-filled doughnuts) with great, greasy abandon.
Editor's note: For more on Hannah Storm, don't miss "Sanjay Gupta, MD" on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday.
ESPN "SportsCenter" host Hannah Storm suffered severe burns as the result of a propane grill accident at her Connecticut home on December 11. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with her recently. Here is an edited version of that interview.
CNN: Is it hard for you to just be by that grill where this all happened, psychologically?
This is the sixth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
I'm a good cook. I'd go so far as to say I'm a damn good cook - not fussy or haute, but you could tell me that a James Beard-nominated chef was coming over to eat and I wouldn't panic. (They have, and I didn't.)
I also write about food for a living, which leads a lot of of people to infer that I've mastered a lot more in the kitchen than I actually have. I'm adventurous and fearless, but I still have a lot to learn. So, in the spirit of honesty (and letting the rest of you feel like Alton Brown in comparison), here's a handful of common cooking tasks on which I'd grade myself a C-minus or worse.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
If your New Year's resolution involved being more adventurous in the kitchen, hold on to your toques - Charles Phan is opening up his highly anticipated first cookbook, "Vietnamese Home Cooking," for you courageous, budding culinarians.
Phan is the acclaimed chef and owner of The Slanted Door, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco, California.
"These dishes all have memories for me and my family and have become favorites for one reason or another. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuisines at home, these are all very easy to make, " Phan said. "Go a step further with our wine or cocktail suggestions and everyone will think you’re a professional and might not want to leave."
Five Vietnamese Recipes to Try At Home: Charles Phan
CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski and paska.
When we were kids, stuck inside during a long, cold winter or seeking respite from the summer heat under a shade tree, my friends and I often played board games. These games could go on for quite a while, and we'd get to talking about sports and whatever else young boys think about. Eventually we'd get around to the topic of our favorite foods.
We all agreed that stuffed cabbage, known as holupki, was the best of all. Second to pizza, of course.