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.
Chile con queso has fallen on hard times; often it’s just Ro‐tel diced tomatoes and chiles mixed with Velveeta, microwaved, and stirred. We wanted to keep the simplicity but ditch the plasticky flavor and waxy texture.
We started with a base of chicken broth, cream cheese, and cornstarch to help stabilize the cheese and prevent it from breaking. For the cheeses, we chose Monterey Jack for its great flavor and American cheese for its superior meltability. We kept the classic Ro‐tel tomatoes but bumped up their flavor even more with garlic and canned chipotle chile.
My folks have the kind of house where people walk in the door and feel like they’ve come home. It always smells like my mother's latest culinary creation and it pleases me to no end when someone who doesn’t live there feels comfortable enough to kick off their shoes and dig in at the dinner table.
This outwardly barren time of year makes me think of gatherings that brought a full-bodied glow to our home.
Like all good gatherings, it started out small and became a necessity because it was such a success.
It was junior year of high school, and my friends and I were slogging through AP U.S. history. The class was a behemoth of information that made it feel as though we had to relearn the entire history of our young country. After nine months of that oddly rewarding torture and joy, I can safely say that our country didn’t feel so young. But nevertheless, the study session snack marathon was born.
Editor's Note: Rick Morris is a web developer and volunteer firefighter from Canton, North Carolina. He is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The seven athletes met up two weeks ago in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program, where Rick developed a new taste for hummus.
Hummus. The very word, for those like me, not in the know, sounded like a foreign term for something gross. Globular pustules on a teenager's face. A backwoods verb for singing under one's breath (“hummus a song, Cooter”). Perhaps a brand of automobile.
Until recently, I can honestly say that I had never heard of hummus. In fact, I was somewhat taken aback when it was placed in front of me at a recent restaurant gathering. It evolved something like this...
"After double-dipping just a few times, researchers found 50 to 100 times more bacteria in the dip - and that was just from one mouth," says Sanjay Gupta.
We're gonna be waaaaaayyyyy over here with our own no-sharesies bowl of guacamole, thank you very much.
Poll: How you dippin'? | Recipes Dip, dip, hooray! | All Super Bowl food stories
Tune in to SANJAY GUPTA | MD every Saturday and Sunday at 7:30am ET on CNN.
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