The Basics rss

How to Make the Best Quesadillas

The world owes Mexico a lot for its invention of the quesadilla. We’d be hard-pressed to find another dish as addictive that can come together so quickly with so little effort. Quesadillas are infinitely adaptable: make them a meal with large flour tortillas, or gluten-free with corn tortillas. A little low-fat cheese and a lot of vegetables, and they could almost pass for a health food; on the flip side, a generous pile of shredded Jack could be the remedy for a bad hangover. READ MORE

How to Make the Best Steamed Mussels

Steamed mussels are a great choice for an easy dinner party – if you buy them fresh at the market you can simply open a bottle of white wine, pour yourself a glass, and use the rest of it to add to a delicious pan sauce that begs for a crusty baguette to sop up the juices. This dish is impressive and not one you’d have every day, even though fundamentally this recipe is so straightforward that you could easily have dinner for two on the table in a half hour on a weeknight. (You don’t even have to measure!) Once you’ve mastered this technique you can steam mussels effortlessly and feel free to buy a pound or two whenever they look particularly tempting at the fish market. READ MORE

How to Make the Best Vegetable Stir-Fry

Stir-fries have come a long way from the brown-sauced, crunchy cauliflower and rubbery chicken concoctions of years past. With a few simple techniques and fresh ingredients, you can put your CSA box to good use, your vegan friends can come to dinner, and you can throw together a homemade meal in less time than it takes to rifle through your drawer filled with takeout menus. As a bonus, there's no tastier way to get swimsuit ready for summer! READ MORE

How to Make the Best Flank Steak

Original story by Chow Food Team, updated by Miki Kawasaki

You’d think that once our prehistoric ancestors figured out that meat + fire = good, the logistics for cooking a steak would have been soon to follow. Heck, somebody, anybody, down the line could have come up with a definitive answer on the subject. This never happened, however. The debate over the best way of cooking beef to temperature and getting a nice, crusty sear is as heated as ever, and there are plenty of exhaustive explanations to back each side up. Steak ranks high on the list of things that seem so fundamental yet are improbably difficult to agree upon, right up there with world peace and Sunday brunch. READ MORE

How to Make the Best Vegetable Chips

If you haven't had a veggie chip epiphany yet, it's tough to describe the curious mix of gluttonous joy and health-food smugness one feels as one power-eats a sheet pan of hot, crackly kale or crispy carrot chips. It goes something like: "sweet Lord, I can't stop eating these" and "I'll never jaw my way through a kale salad again!" and "I'm getting vitamins and fiber–WOOO!" READ MORE

How to Make the Best Seared Chicken Breast

Boneless chicken breasts are easy to find, low in fat, high in protein, and consistently tender, all factors that contribute to them being the most popular cut of poultry in the country. Yet despite the fact that we eat chicken breast all the time, it can be surprisingly hard to make just right. By its nature, the cut is unevenly shaped, which means it’s prone to being either slightly undercooked or grossly overcooked. READ MORE

How to Sear-Roast Lamb Loin Chops

How to Sear-Roast Lamb Loin Chops Simple pan-searing, then oven-roasting, makes for perfectly cooked lamb chops: crusty on the outside and juicy on the inside. READ MORE

How to Make Ranch Dressing

How to Make Ranch Dressing A creamy, tart dressing that is so easy to make. Throw away your goopy, preservative-laden bottled dressings and start shaking up your own. READ MORE

How to Make Coleslaw

How to Make Cole Slaw A little creamy, a little vinegary, but not watery.
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How to Make Fish Baked in Parchment

Fast, healthy, and flavorful.