Cooking ground beef on the stove top seems simple enough, but so much can go wrong. Have you ever crowded the pan too much, and found yourself with rubbery, steamed ground beef? Does your beef seep out a ton of liquid, or do you struggle to chop the meat up into bite-size pieces, resulting in "meat rocks" (as one editor's boyfriend hilariously dubs it)? If cooking perfectly ground beef eludes you, have no fear. These pictures will show you how to properly brown ground beef — or any ground meat, for that matter — so that your tacos, tomato sauce, and sloppy joes turn out tasty every time.
Oysters can be daunting to eat and prepare, but at their freshest, their sweet-saline taste is worth the effort. Scott Garrett, executive chef at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica, CA, gives us the lowdown on selection, storing, shucking, and — the best part — eating. Watch this tutorial and never be daunted by oysters again.
While you can always shred chicken with your hands, this tends to give you chicken chunks rather than fluffy shreds. Instead, shred the chicken with a fork. It's easier to tear the meat with a metal utensil, plus it's a cleaner, more sanitary process. Keep reading to learn how to shred chicken with a fork and how to use it in recipes.
Turn to the fold-over omelet for a meal that comes together in mere minutes. Food host Brandi Milloy shows you how to construct a festive Spring vegetable fold-over version with asparagus, bright-green basil pesto, and fresh goat cheese. If you're looking for a heartier bite, then try another spin-off of the classic: the oven-baked frittata, which is made by sautéing bacon and aromatics in a cast-iron skillet, then sprinkling the dish with cheddar and popping it into the oven to finish.
The best part about these techniques? They open the door to infinite fillings, from vegetables to meats to cheeses and even seafood. Watch our video to get started.
Asparagus is delectable whether roasted, steamed, blanched, or in one of our favorite preparations: raw and ribboned. Remove heat from the equation, and asparagus's true nature shines, tasting grassier, lighter, and crisp. Moreover, willowy ribbons are visually pleasing, an important consideration, as — let's face it — we all eat with our eyes first.
Thankfully, this elegant preparation is extremely simple, and requires naught but a very sharp vegetable peeler and a small amount of patience for prep work. To begin, rinse the asparagus stalks and snap off their woody, desiccated ends.
If you're toasting a small amount of nuts, a cup or so, use a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. There's no need to add oil to the pan, as the nuts have enough themselves. Be sure to stir them around frequently so they don't burn. If you plan to toast up a bunch of nuts, spread them evenly on a baking sheet and roast them at 350°F for about 15 to 20 minutes. Use your toasted nuts however you want, like tossed in a salad, or just enjoy them on their own. What nuts do you toast?
To try panfrying at home, place a large, thick skillet with a flat bottom atop a stove. Fill the pan a third of the way full with a high-heat oil like canola, refined peanut, or safflower. Heat the oil on a medium-high flame until it shimmers (about 325°F to 350°F). Transfer your protein to the pan, carefully positioning the food in the pan away from your body, to prevent any hot oil from splashing on you. Leave a few inches between each piece, to make it easier to flip the food and to ensure that plenty of hot oil circulates evenly throughout the pan.
Keep a watchful eye on the flame and food. Keep in mind that every time you add new food to the pan, the temperature of the oil will drop, and if the temperature's too cool, items can become soggy and oil-logged; adjust the flame accordingly to keep the oil hot and shimmery. Once the items are cooked on both sides, transfer them to a wire rack lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil and to cool the food slightly before serving. Toss any remaining oil or save it in a container to return to a health food store (most have recycling bins for used oil).
Poaching an ingredient doesn't require too much liquid — just enough to cover the ingredients.
A few ideal poaching liquids include water, milk, stock, or wine (my personal favorite). Depending on what I'm making I like to add whole spices to flavor the liquid, like bay leaf or peppercorns with salmon poached in white wine. What's your favorite thing to poach? Do you have any tried-and-true poaching recipes or tips?
Looking for a quick, easy, and enticing way to incorporate more vegetables into your life? Roasting may very well be just the solution you need. Not only does the blast of high heat cook vegetables to fork-tender in next to no time, but it also magically caramelizes the edges, making each bite slightly sweet and all the more enticing.
Little more than a bit of prep work and roughly 20-30 minutes of cook time separates your meal from the addition of a brightly colored, mouth-watering, and rather healthy side. And while methods vary slightly from vegetable to vegetable, follow these general guidelines:
- Preheat the oven: Aside from tomatoes and other delicate produce, which shine when slow-roasted at a lower temperature (try 200°F), most vegetables benefit from a blast of high heat, as it promotes browning and caramelization; generally, 400-450°F is a good place to start.
- Prep the vegetables: Usually this just means a quick scrub with a vegetable brush and a rough chop (1-inch cubes is pretty standard), but some produce like Winter squash requires a bit of peeling and even the removal of seeds but is still very easy to prep. For oddballs like brussels sprouts, trim off the woody stems, peel away any dried-out and tough outer leaves and halve the tiny cabbages so that they have a flat surface to rest on (flat surfaces allow the most pan contact and browning). Smaller root vegetables like carrots can be left whole (just trim off excess carrot tops).