A homemade birthday cake? You bet. There are few ways to better say “I think you are pretty special” than baking someone a cake from scratch. And the best news is that if you take your time and follow the directions carefully, you’ll be turning out picture-perfect cakes from the get-go. Don’t overmix, and don’t overbake. And check out these easy tips for assembling the cake. (Have you ever heard of a crumb coat? It will change your cake-baking life.) Get ready for open-mouthed gasps of joy and lots of celebrating!
Tag: how to
It’s a common predicament: You buy a bag of baby carrots, eat a few, and then let the rest of them sit at the bottom of the vegetable bin until they become either a slimy mess or dried-out little nubs. Here are easy ways to use up the rest of that bag, get more veggies in your family’s diet and feel good about yourself! Check out the full gallery for all 14 delicious ideas.
When the familiar smell of potatoes frying in oil begins wafting through the house, you know that Hanukkah is in full swing. Though your family’s latke recipe is likely a matter of time-honored tradition, your potato-frying technique is something that should be perfected fry after fry, year after year. Here are five rules for making your crispiest potato pancakes yet, to be followed whether you celebrate Hanukkah each year or simply can’t resist this holiday tradition.
If you’re making a sauce, soup or stew with meat, a layer of fat will probably appear on the surface. To remove it, position your pot halfway off the burner: The fat will migrate to the cooler side. Then gently lower a ladle onto the surface of the fat (try not to disturb the surface too much or you’ll stir the fat back in). Better yet, if you have time, chill the dish: The fat will congeal and you can scoop it off.
Removing the stems from leafy greens like kale and chard is an oddly satisfying task. Here are two methods:
1. Hold the end of the stem in one hand (left image) and run your knife down both sides of the stem (away from you) to shave off the leaves.
2. Pull the leaves together (right image) and grab them with one hand. Then rip out the stem with the other hand.
(Photographs by Melissa Punch/Studio D.)
Try a new take on sangria this summer: sparkling red wine poured over fruit sorbet. You can prepare it in about 30 seconds — no fruit chopping required. For these, we paired lambrusco (sparkling Italian red wine) with scoops of lemon, peach and orange sorbets. Try your own flavor combo or just drink the lambrusco by itself: It’s the perfect wine for a cookout.
(Photograph by Kang Kim)
In Food Network Magazine, we occasionally make Southeast Asian-inspired recipes that call for fish sauce, like the Rice Noodle-Shrimp Salad (pictured above) in our June issue. This sauce is a staple of Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and really the entire region, and is usually made from fermented anchovies. Sounds scary, we know, and it can smell scary, too — very pungent. But it can be surprisingly subtle and can add an astounding depth of flavor as well as authenticity to a dish. We’re lucky that we can now find fish sauce in the Asian section of most big grocery stores. But if you are lucky enough to live near an Asian market, you will likely see several different brands on the shelf, each of different origins and with its own subtly unique flavor.
In November of last year, right before we started developing our recipes for June, I had the good fortune of visiting Vietnam. The food, of course, was amazing. And while there, I was surprised to learn about the variety of fish sauces and fish sauce blends they used. The most common variety by far is nuoc cham: fish sauce diluted with water, sugar and lime juice, usually seasoned with garlic and fresh chilies. Not only is it delicious, but because its flavor is slightly more subdued, it is the perfect starting point for fish sauce novices. In the Rice Noodle-Shrimp Salad, I created my own version of nuoc cham as the salad dressing. It imparts tons of flavor to the rice noodles, but it’s also extremely versatile: It’s great as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken, for instance.
Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:
Don’t let extra burger buns go to waste: Use them as a binder for chicken or veggie burgers, meatloaf or meatballs. For Food Network Magazine‘s Pesto Chicken Burgers (pictured above), we tore up a bun and mixed it with water to make a panade, a mixture of liquid and starch that holds ingredients together. Use this trick for any recipe that calls for breadcrumbs as a binder.
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.
If you forgot the card this Mother’s Day, you can bake your message into a muffin instead: Cut a thin strip of parchment paper, write a note with a nontoxic marker, then fold the note in half lengthwise (so the ink faces the inside). Fold it one more time and push it into the muffin batter, leaving the ends poking out; bake as usual.
(Photograph by Kang Kim)