Make your own flavorful broth for poaching chicken or fish by adding vegetables and herbs to simmering water. It’s called a court-bouillon (or “short broth”), and you can customize it with your favorite flavors (we used garlic, scallions and fennel fronds for Food Network Magazine‘s Poached Chicken with Garlic-Herb Sauce, pictured above). Don’t throw out the liquid when you’re done poaching: Store it in the fridge and use it like regular chicken broth.
You don’t need a special basket to grill vegetables. Just slice them on the bias to expose more surface area — this prevents pieces of skinny vegetables like zucchini or yellow squash from falling through the grate, and it lets more of the vegetable come in contact with both your marinade and the grill.
(Photograph by Justin Walker)
by Jacob Schiffman
I came across the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu during a sushi bar crawl almost 10 years ago. It’s really tart, with a complex, tangy flavor that’s part grapefruit and lemon, part orange, and all delicious. You can use the rind, the juice or both.
The first time I had yuzu, it added sharp tartness to a mayo-based sauce for hamachi (yellowtail). I then started seeing it in condiments for tempura-fried foods, dipping sauces for french fries at bars, on specialty cocktail menus and even in fancy pastries. Chefs ask for it all the time on Iron Chef America — while they mostly ask for the yuzu juice, in my experience as a buyer for Food Network, I’ve seen everything from yuzu marmalade and yuzu mayo to yuzu candy and yuzu vinegar. And sometimes (rarely) I’ve seen fresh yuzu in markets (pictured above) in the late fall through early winter. No matter the format, I think you’ll be seeing a lot more yuzu in the future.
How do you yuzu? Tell us in the comments below.
Meatballs are like burgers: The more you mess with the meat, the tougher they’ll be. Mix the ingredients with your hands until just combined — don’t overwork. And skip the browning; try poaching the meatballs in a broth or sauce, like we did in Food Network Magazine‘s Greek Meatball Stew. They’ll absorb the liquid and turn out extra tender.
Thin cuts of pork can dry out quickly, so try giving them a quick brine first. Pierce chops, cutlets or other thin cuts with a fork, then soak in heavily salted cold water for 15 to 30 minutes; drain and pat dry before cooking. You can add vinegar, sugar, herbs or other flavors to the brine, too. Just remember to go easy on the salt when you cook the meat.
Give it a try with this recipe: Pork Chops With Bean Salad (pictured above)
Timing is everything when you are salting vegetables. To get crisp, browned veggies like the mushrooms in Food Network Magazine‘s Skillet Chicken and Ravioli (pictured above), salt them at the end of cooking — after they’ve browned. To get soft, saucy vegetables like caramelized onions, add salt early on: It draws out moisture, which helps break them down.
There are so many good choices in the canned tomato aisle now. We used fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles to spice up the Greek Meatball Stew in the May issue of Food Network Magazine. Fire-roasted tomatoes also add a great smoky flavor to marinara sauce. Or buy canned cherry tomatoes and crush them in a saucepan for a slightly sweet, chunky pasta sauce.
Next time you make burritos, try these construction tips.
1. Layer the fillings horizontally across the lower half of your tortilla (not the middle), starting with absorbent ingredients like rice. Put the cheese against something hot like meat or beans so it will melt.
2. Fold up the bottom of the tortilla and tuck it under the filling.
3. Fold in the two sides.
4. Tightly roll up the burrito.
(Photographs by Christopher Testani)
Combine a soft cheese, like goat cheese or ricotta, with chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grated garlic or a favorite condiment to make a quick sandwich spread. (Food Network Magazine mixed goat cheese with hot sauce and pepitas for the Ham and Goat Cheese Sandwich pictured above.) You can also use the spread on crostini, or dollop it onto hot pasta for a fun, fast dinner.
Swirl a few tablespoons of cold butter into a pan sauce before you serve it — you’ll be amazed by how it improves the texture. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk them in a few at a time, then remove the sauce from the heat and cover to keep warm. If the sauce gets too hot, the butter can separate and make the sauce oily. If this happens, just whisk in a few tablespoons of water.
(Photograph by Christopher Testani)