When I was developing my recipe for buffalo chicken mac and cheese, I headed to the local butcher to buy chicken cutlets. The butcher said he didn't have any on hand, but could make some for me on the spot. But when I stood there watching him, I couldn't believe how easy it was! I vowed to share the painless process with you. For step-by-step instructions, keep reading.
One of the Barefoot Contessa's catchphrases is "How easy is that?" If you're a fan of her show, you know that she says it several times during an episode. However, sometimes I can't help but wonder: is it really that easy? Well, when it comes to her homemade ricotta cheese, yes it is!
Over the weekend I made a batch of the thick, creamy, rich cheese and was shocked by the recipe's simplicity. All you have to do is bring milk, cream, and salt to a boil, add some vinegar, and strain the mixture. It was so uncomplicated that in the future I'm going to make ricotta instead of buying it. Serve on crostini for an effortless appetizer or use in a recipe like pizza or lasagna. Learn the method now.
On Saturday mornings, I often enjoy watching Marcela Valladolid's Mexican Made Easy on Food Network. She cooks authentic cuisine with traditional ingredients. One ingredient that she always uses is Mexican crema. Somewhere between sour cream and crème fraîche, Mexican crema is a slightly sour, cooling, and creamy condiment.
Although you can purchase it at many ethnic markets, it's super easy to make at home. It's also wildly delicious: I couldn't stop myself from dunking chips into it and eating it like a dip. It pairs wonderfully with all types of Mexican food, from steak tacos to cheese quesadillas — basically anything you would have sour cream with. Ready for the recipe? Keep reading.
Normally I purchase salsa verde, the Mexican condiment that's made from tomatillos, but sometimes it's nice to make it from scratch. Like most salsa, it requires a food processor or blender for pureeing. This one gets its reddish-green color from the tomatillos, green chiles, and chipotle chilies in adobo. The ingredients are broiled in the oven before being blended, so the salsa has a nice depth of flavor. The chipotles give the salsa the perfect amount of heat. To learn how it's done, keep reading.
Although there are supermarket aisles filled with hundreds of different jars of tomato sauce, every now and then, it's rewarding to make your own. The thick sauce simmering on the stove warms the kitchen and fills the house with a delectable aroma.
This wonderful recipe makes a huge batch of sauce, so you can use some now and freeze the rest for later. The base of the sauce is a classic mirepoix, plus garlic and tons of fresh herbs. The resulting sauce is rich, slightly sweet, and one of the best tomato sauces I've ever tasted.
It's delicious simply tossed with spaghetti, but it's also great in dishes like lasagna, pizza, and eggs in purgatory. To check out the recipe, which comes from chef Marco Canora's cookbook, keep reading.
Even if time or money (or both) are tight this holiday season, you can still indulge food-loving friends in a major way. Make your own homemade hot fudge sauce, then package it nicely in a recycled glass jar and gift it to all the chocoholics you know. The key to this recipe is to use high-quality chocolate; I melted down leftover Guittard blocks I had in the pantry. Once you've got the basic proportions down, you can really start experimenting with variations: Use milk chocolate in place of dark or add cayenne for kick. Want the extremely fast recipe? Then read more.
Every once in a while, I unearth a dish that's good enough to be the recipe to end all other recipes. These discoveries are few and far between, but this weekend I found a baking recipe that's so delicious that it's ended my quest for the perfect savory cookie.
May I present the bacon cookie? The name says it all. Actually, it's a bacon, blue cheese, and pecan coin that's short and crumbly at first bite, then melts in your mouth with a nutty, sharp, cheese-like finish. You'll never — I repeat, never — be able to eat just one.
Serve it as a Christmas party appetizer, or wrap it up in cellophane baggies and give it to everyone you love. If you do, you're guaranteed to be a favorite this holiday season. Want the recipe? Yes, you do.
This holiday season, surprise your hostess with a bottle of homemade gin. Quick, easy, and inexpensive, all you need to make this festive spirit is vodka, juniper berries, and the seasonings of your choice. In our latest how-to, which we shot at Hipcooks, we show you how it's done. Watch it now!
If you've never made your own flavored vodka, I highly recommend you do it this holiday season. The method is simple: you combine vodka with fruit, herbs, or seasonings and let it infuse for about a week. Then you strain the mixture, and the liquid you are left with is homemade flavored vodka. My favorite kind to make is cranberry vodka. The cranberries turn the vodka the most brilliant shade of pink, and the taste of the vodka is far superior to any store-bought version. Since it's 100 percent natural, it has none of the cough syrup flavor that is sometimes associated with berry vodkas. Use the cranberry vodka in a martini recipe or put it in a fun bottle and give as an edible gift. Want the easy recipe?
Here, Lauren proves to everyone that making homemade gnocchi is simpler than you may think.
I have always felt that making homemade pasta was much too long of a process for me to undertake, but with this simple recipe from Fine Cooking for rustic butternut squash gnocchi, it was really easy! I explicitly followed the recipe, including roasting the butternut squash with water which ensures that it doesn't caramelize. For me, caramelizing the butternut squash enhances the flavor, so next time and for anyone else that tries this recipe, I would let it brown just a little bit since it enhances the flavor so much. The whole process is still more complicated than just buying a bag of pasta, but I think this dish would make an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving with its rich and decadent flavor. Don't fear homemade pasta any longer, and get started on your very own butternut squash gnocchi.