Maple syrup (or lack thereof) can make or break a stack of pancakes, but not all syrups are the same. Letter grades (“A” or “B”) on labels didn’t make it clear what was inside the bottle, so to fix the sticky situation, the International Maple Syrup Institute suggested more specific categories. The new guidelines would reclassify pure maple syrup sold in the supermarket as Grade A and would include one of four descriptions: golden, amber, dark or very dark.
Golden syrup has a delicate flavor; try it for sweetening tea.
Try this: Sweet-Heat Iced Tea
Use maple-y amber for your short stack. Read more
If you rely on the same veg-centric cookbooks each summer, get produce inspo from this bumper crop of recent releases. Then, look out, farmers’ market!
If you like… Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
You’ll love… The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini by Cara Mangini
As the chef behind Little Eater in Columbus, OH, Cara Mangini wrangles veggies for a living. The more than 250 step-by-step photos in her book mirror the encyclopedic Vegetable Literacy, while sharing updated essential know-how for everything from cleaning sandy greens for creamed spinach crepes to prepping fresh artichokes for the grill.
In the never-ending quest for easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs, our kitchen crew put three top techniques to the test to see which one was most, ahem, appealing. Check out the results below, along with tasty recipes you can make to test out the winning technique.
Shake ‘Em Up
Place large eggs in a large saucepan (no more than will cover the bottom) and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Cover; let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Cover the saucepan; shake the eggs until cracked all over. Run cold water into the pan until the eggs are cool, then peel under cold running water.
The results: The idea here is that the cold water slips between the white and the shell, making peeling easier. Shaking the cooked eggs in the pan cracked them quickly, but when it came to peeling, quite a bit of the white stuck to the shells.
2ND PLACE: Read more
Looking for cookout inspiration? There’s a whole universe of meat-on-a-stick out there! Take a global grilling tour and get fresh ideas for dinner, courtesy of these five skewered specialties.
Shish Kebab — This term has become the catch-all for grilled skewered food. The cross-cultural specialty is claimed by cuisines in South Asia, the Caucasus and Russia (where it’s called shashlik), the Balkans (cévak), the Middle East and beyond.
Try this: Kofta Kebabs with Herb Salad
He serves up big laughs on Modern Family, but Jesse Tyler Ferguson is currently dishing out drama as a restaurant reservationist in the one-man Broadway play Fully Committed through July 31. He and Rach get along great on her show, so we challenged him to whip up one of her recipes. First things first, we asked him about his cooking cred.
Rachael Ray Every Day: On the spectrum of “I burn everything” to “I’m a master chef,” where do your skills fall?
Jesse Tyler Ferguson: “I’m closer to being able to run my own restaurant.”
RRED: What kinds of foods to you like?
JTF: “I love Mexican, Asian and Indian flavors. Spicy is always good!”
RRED: Do you like to entertain?
JTF: “I love cooking dinner and feeding friends and family. I love meals I can prep and leave alone while they cook to enjoy my company.” Read more
We like to consider ourselves the recipe experts, but we also give props where they’re due, and man, have supermarkets been upping their recipe game lately. For our Grocery Store Grill-Off story in the July/August 2016 issue, we scoped out the sites of several well-known grocery chains, and what we found surprised us—positively!—in scale (Whole Foods has almost 4,000 dishes!), quality (still talking about the Aldi burger we tried…), and creativity (I ended up watching Stop & Shop’s videos for fun).
In order to pick our favorite, though, it all came down to the food. To have a fair test, we picked a Greek burger from each.
Here are the contestants:
As the weather gets warmer, we find ourselves craving smoothies all the time. So what did we do about it? We taste-tested over 100 store-bought smoothies to find the very best ones! In the Battle of the Bottled, we found five awesome winners available at your local supermarket— check them out in our June 2016 issue. But if you’re more of a DIY type, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite homemade smoothie recipes, too. Slurp’s up!
Store-bought: Evolution Fresh Defense Up. Stick a tiki umbrella in this combo of pineapple, mango and orange juices. It has no artificial sweeteners and delivers 310% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C per serving. ($4.99 for 15.2 oz.)
Homemade: Kiwi-Pineapple Smoothies. If you love tart and fruity smoothies, this one’s for you. Try adding coconut milk to make it more like a piña colada.
We’ve declared 2016 to be The Year of the Vegetable, and eating your veggies has never been easier (or tastier!). We’ve shown you how to take veggies from side to main in the tastiest ways possible: build-your-own bowls, good-for-you tacos, and the best-ever veggie burger. For the final part of this package, we’re switching gears to our favorite veg-forward indulgences: cocktails and desserts! Make Happy Hour even happier and decadent desserts even more special with these healthy recipes.
When it comes to tomatoes, think beyond the Bloody Mary. Matthew Biancaniello, author of Eat Your Drink, muddles Day-Glo Green Zebra tomatoes in his mojito. They have “the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity,” he says.
The star of our “Year of the Vegetable” package from the June 2016 issue is — without a doubt — the Best-Ever Veggie Burger. Take one bite and you’ll see why! It’s a mashup of our favorite elements of five of the country’s tastiest veggie burgers, at Farm Burger, Superiority Burger, Butcher & Bee, Salvation Burger and LocoL. Below, see the drool-worthy burgers that blew up our Instagram feeds and sparked our inspiration.
Nuts, grains and legumes are the “meat” of the best new veggie burgers. This patty, inspired by Superiority Burger’s top-secret formula and April Bloomfield’s Indian-influenced version at Salvation Burger in NYC, combines toasted walnuts, farro (which crisps up for a nice crust) and lentils for a protein punch.
Photo: Superiority Burger by @basictown
Photo: Salvation Burger’s veggie burger by @thecookbookgirl
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Zucchini Pickles
Skip the ketchup and get that rich-tangy flavor from oven-roasted tomatoes, like they do at Butcher & Bee in Charleston, S.C. While you’re at it, switch up your pickle, too. Butcher & Bee use pickled zucchini, not cukes, on its veggie burgers.
Iceberg Lettuce & Muenster Cheese
At Superiority Burger in NYC, chef Brooks Headley tops his meatless patties with iceberg, the queen of burger lettuces, which adds major crunch and won’t wilt like fancier lettuces do. Muenster, his cheese of choice, melts like a dream.
Balsamic Onion Relish & Sesame Seed Bun
The sweet-tart balsamic onion relish at Farm Burger‘s Georgia and Alabama outposts puts the raw onion slice to shame.
Smoky Scallion Mayo
Every self-respecting burger needs a special sauce. Charred scallions bring flame-broiled flavor to this creamy take on the grilled scallion relish at LocoL, the new California-based joint from chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson.
Veggies are having a huge moment right now, and delicious things happen when they get the taco treatment. In honor of our special vegetable package in our June 2016 issue, we’re celebrating chefs’ favorite veg-centric recipes— and let’s be honest: everything tastes better wrapped in a tortilla. You might even find yourself choosing cauliflower over carnitas next Taco Tuesday!
This vegetarian taco from Ray Garcia, chef-owner of B.S. Taqueria in L.A., was inspired by tacos al pastor, a classic recipe made with pineapple and spice-marinated pork roasted on a spit. You won’t miss the meat! Read more