Editor's Note: February 27 is National Chili Day. 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.
A great beef chili should be a mainstay of every home. In its essence, chili is a form of beef stew and employs a long, slow, moist-heat cooking process to tenderize tough meat. For the best meat, you need to choose cuts from the shoulder; blade steaks or a chuck-eye roast provide plenty of flavor and a silky texture.
This recipe uses a twist on the ready-made chili powder, which can give chili a gritty feel, as well as a rather dull flavor. Instead, we toast dried chiles and then process them with flavorful ingredients and chicken broth to make a deeply flavored, smooth textured paste.
Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's contributor, Virginia Willis, is the author of cookbooks "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y’all." She is a contributing editor to Southern Living and a frequent contributor to Taste of the South. She also wrote Eatocracy's most-commented post of all time.
In this series for the Southern Foodways Alliance, I'm examining iconic Southern foods that so completely belong to summer that if you haven’t relished them before Labor Day, you should consider yourself deprived of the entire season. My plan is to share a little history and a few recipes that I hope you will enjoy.
This week, I’m finishing up with a recipe for a barbecued pork butt, sharing a bit of history and a practical recipe for those who want to go low and slow, but don’t have the time or patience for a professional Memphis-in-May competition pace.
Editor's Note: In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, we could all probably use a cold drink. Here to help us are Karl Injex and Navarro Carr, the owner and bar manager respectively of the Sound Table in Atlanta.Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.
The Genever julep is its lighter-spirited relative; substituting gin for the brown water. (Genever, sometimes referred to as Holland or Dutch gin, is oak-aged and less dry than the later styles like Old Tom gin.)
A heap of crushed ice keeps the drink frigid, while the mint adds a tongue-tingling sensation. Fun fact: Menthol, the organic compound in mint, stimulates the same nerve receptors in your mouth that cold temperatures do - hence the cooling sensation.
Despite the urge to gulp down anything cold in a glistening arm's reach, sipping is advised.
While Pat LaFrieda Jr.'s notable sandwich has cheese, steak and onions on toasted bread, it's definitely not a cheese steak. It’s in a league of its own.
"This has nothing to do with Philly cheese steak," LaFrieda said, with an air of pumped-up regional pride.
The third-generation butcher conceived the sandwich as a hat tip to the Brooklyn sandwich shops he grew up visiting.
The sandwich features black Angus beef topped with Monterey Jack cheese and caramelized onions, and served au jus on a toasted baguette. It debuted at LaFrieda's concession stand in 2012 at the New York Mets' Citi Field, and hungry fans have formed a meaty, cheesy, greasy bond with it ever since.
While filet mignon (a very tender cut from the small end of the tenderloin) may seem extravagant, LaFrieda says it's a natural choice for the sandwich. If the beef is too tough, the whole piece of steak will pull out of the sandwich with one bite, so tenderness is key.
Here's how to make the heavy hitter at home.
Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week – we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us are Karl Injex and Navarro Carr, the owner and bar manager respectively of the Sound Table in Atlanta.Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.
The first rule of Pegu Club? Don't talk, drink.
In "The Savoy Cocktail Book," famed mixologist Harry Craddock wrote of the gin-based libation: "The favourite cocktail of the Pegu Club, Burma, and one that has traveled, and is asked for, around the world."
Rudyard Kipling also patronized the popular gentleman's social club in British colonial Rangoon. In his collection of travel letters entitled "From Sea to Sea," he wrote: "The Pegu Club seemed to be full of men on their way up or down, and the conversation was but an echo of the murmur of conquest far away to the north."
Now that the club is deserted and a derelict reminder of colonial rule, the only way to visit the Far East watering hole is by making its namesake cocktail at home.
Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week - we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us is Greg Best, the mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta. Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.
This drink was conceived in an effort to be contrarian to the contrarians. It’s no secret that there are many affiliated to bar culture who can’t help but cringe when the word "vodka" is mentioned in their presence. I’ve never understood this, because it’s the first thing most drinking folks ask for. Sure, I understand that it’s not the most expressive or exciting spirit to play with, but let’s face it, it’s not going anywhere.
Enter the Punch Wagon. Delightfully refreshing, bright and snappy, this is a perfect example of what I’d call a "gateway cocktail," or "trust-building drink." Using well-known ingredients in a playful recipe allows for the feel of a user-friendly cocktail experience without some of the more eccentric trappings that we drink geeks are prone to.
One of a bagel’s greatest virtues is that it's a single serving of fresh-from-the-oven bread, baked just for you.
Even better: if you do the baking yourself, there's usually at least 11 more just like it cooling nearby, creating a perfect excuse for a weekend get-together.
For the owners of Surfside Bagels in Far Rockaway, New York, the hand-rolled boiled and baked bread should be dense and chewy. Its exterior, shiny; its interior, yeasty but not too sweet. Fortunately, they’re willing to spread their knowledge.
While you were scribbling down your 2013 resolutions, is there any chance you thought to include "Get really good at making cocktails"? Nope?
Well, the year is young and we're here to help: "we" being Turner's photography director Mark Hill and Greg Best, mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.
In a 62-33 vote, Louisiana House of Representatives declared the Sazerac to be New Orleans' official cocktail. It's a potent blend of rye whiskey, sugar, two kinds of bitters (including the city's native Peychaud's), lemon peel and a little hint of absinthe. For many years, that last one got in the way because it was banned in the United States. New Orleanians made do with Herbsaint - a kindred licorice-tasting pastis - until absinthe's legality was reinstated in 2007.
Just in case you still have eggnog to spike or plums to sugar before the gang arrives, consider us Santa's little helpers.
We're sharing our time-tested Christmas tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Christmas with a jolly smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on December 26 with your sanity intact.
Here are a few helpful holiday posts that may make your holiday bright.