Every Day with Rachael Ray Staff

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: What the Heck is Ponzu?

This citrus-spiked soy sauce is a Japanese cooking staple. It’s a go-to ingredient because its components hit on all five flavors: sweet (mirin, or rice wine), sour (rice wine vinegar), salty (soy sauce), bitter (yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, or a combination of lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange) and umami (seaweed and dried bonito flakes). To really make your stir-fry sing, add a healthy dash of ponzu during the last few minutes of cooking. you can also use it as a dumpling dipper, a fish marinade or a salad dressing– whisk it with a bit of sesame oil before tossing with greens.

Try ponzu in our Shrimp & Snap Pea Stir-Fry!

 

 

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Color Me Curry

Breadcrumb Battle

Battle of the Guacamole

Bar Coach: Master the Muddle

You don’t need to buy a cocktail muddler to make smashing good drinks. Chances are, you have a tool that can crush herbs already on hand. Three to try: the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula (the fatter the better), the handle of an ice cream scoop or the flat end of a tapered rolling pin. Now that you’ve got the gear, here’s how to use it (like in our brand new Cucumber-Basil Smash!):

 

 

 

1. Place the ingredients you want to muddle (usually fresh herbs and sugar) in the bottom of a pint glass, shaker or sturdy pitcher (for big batches).
2. Using the muddler, press down on the mixture in the bottom of the glass and gently twist. Stop as soon as the herbs release their aromatic oils. (You’ll smell ‘em!) And go easy with the squishing! The idea is to release the fragrance of the herbs without ripping the leaves, which can unleash bitter chlorophyll into your cocktail.

 

Here are some more cocktail ideas for you to muddle up!

 

 

Almond-Coconut Mojito

Pink Grapefruit and Basil Mojito Mocktail

Blackberry Cooler Cocktail

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Drink Up! It’s Mango Season

Where’s the Beef?

Moo-ve over, hamburger! These new patties prove that summer grilling can sizzle even without red meat.

 


 
 

1. Make a smoky turkey burger

 

The patty: Ball Park Flame Grilled Turkey Patty ($8.29 for 6)

The bread: Whole-wheat bun

The toppings: BBQ sauce, sliced smoked cheddar, pickles, red-leaf lettuce
 
 
 
 
 
 

2. Make a masala burger

 

The patty: Gardein Garden Veggie Burger ($4.49 for 4)

The bread: Grilled naan

The toppings: Greek yogurt with curry, sliced tomato, cilantro

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

3. Make a brat burger

 

The patty: Johnsonville Cheddar Bratwurst Grillers ($4.49 for 4)

The bread: Kaiser roll

The toppings: Sweet and sour red cabbage, German potato salad, grainy mustard

 
 
 

4. Make a brunch burger

 

The patty: MacKnight Atlantic Salmon Burgers ($4.97 for 4)

The bread: Pumpernickel toast

The toppings: Sliced red onion, sliced cucumber, cream cheese with fresh chives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Color Me Curry

Most Thai curry pastes that you find at the supermarket have the same base: garlic, shallots, herbs and spices like coriander and cumin seed. But chiles are what give these flavor-packed sauces their colorful personalities. Spicy red curry paste gets its brick-like hue and earthy flavor from dried red chiles. Yellow curry paste, the mildest of the bunch, is usually a combo of red chiles and turmeric or curry powder. Fresh green chiles give green curry its tint, which may lead people to believe it’s mild. But since green chiles (like the legendary bird’s-eye) can be screaming hot, this one often packs the most heat of all. Bring on the coconut milk!

 

For Red Curry Paste Try:

Vegetable Red Curry

 

For Green Curry Paste Try:

Curried Lamb

 

For Yellow Curry Paste Try:

Smoked Sausage Soup

 
 

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Breadcrumb Battle

In this corner, featherweight champion of the breadcrumbs: fresh! And in the other, the workhorse of the breadcrumb world: dry! In this culinary bout, we’d be hard pressed to pick a winner. The dry guys are best for coating foods, especially those that you’re gonna fry because they don’t absorb too much oil. Fluffy, fresh breadcrumbs are a little larger, so they add a nice crunch when broiled on top of a casserole. They also soak up lots of liquid, making them a great binder for meatballs. Whichever kind your recipe requires, they’re easy to make at home!

 

 

FOR FRESH

1. Remove and discard crusts from a few slices of day-old bread. (Fresh bread can clump together in the food processor.)

2. Tear bread into large pieces.

3. In a food processor, pulse to pea-size crumbs.

 

 

 

FOR DRIED

1. Spread fresh breadcrumbs (see above) on a baking sheet.

2. Bake at 325 degrees until dry and light-golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. In a food processor, pulse to very fine crumbs.

 

 

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Battle of the Rice

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Meatless Monday: Tofu 101

Tofu’s texture ranges from firm and chewy to soft and silky. Next time you shop, use our handy chart to pick the right block of bean curd for your meal.

 

 

EXTRA FIRM: Dense and dry. Holds its shape during high-heat cooking. Marinate cubes or thick slices, then grill or sear as you would steak.

 

 

FIRM: Springy and tender. Holds its shape but crumbles easily. Crumble and sauté for a tofu scramble or cut into cubes or thin slices and stir-fry.

 

 

SOFT: Delicate and moist. Just firm enough to hold its shape, but mashes easily. Dice and stir into soups like miso, or mash with a fork, season and sub for ricotta in stuffed shells.

 

 

SILKEN: Smooth, creamy and very moist. Blend into creamy dips instead of sour cream, or use in smoothies in place of milk.

 

 

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Takeout Made Meatless

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Battle of the Guacamole

We love a good guac, but between homemade and premade, do you know which kind you should be buying? We explore the options:

 

Homemade

Making guac at home puts you in the driver’s seat–chunky or smooth, spicy or mild, plain or fully loaded, the choice is yours! The fresh taste and absence of additives easily offsets a few extra pennies.

 

Store Bought
Many refrigerated guacamoles from the deli section or produce aisle contain natural ingredients and tastemuy bueno.(Skip any with ingredients you wouldn’t use at home.) These convenient dips get the green-light when you’re tight on time.

 

It’s a tie!

Choose whichever method is most efficient for you, then use it in all kinds of recipes, like these:

 

Shrimp and Guacamole Lightening Rounds

 

Guacamole-Bacon Corn on the Cob

 

Surf ‘n’ Turf Tacos

 

 

 

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Supermarket Smarts: Radishes

Battle of the Rice

A Waffle for Every Occasion

Knockout Nachos!

Cool new tortilla chips, awesome topping combos and our expert nacho-building tips will take your snack to new heights!

 

Nacho Tips

 

Build it right: For perfectly balanced bites, distribute the fixings between the layers of chips, not just on top.

Cheese it up: Don’t skimp on the queso. Shredded cheese takes up lots less space once it melts, so pile it on!

Melt it down: 350 degrees is the ideal nacho-baking temperature for melting the cheese (but not burning the chips).

 

Nacho Variations

 

Chicken Verde Nachos (pictured)

Layer with shredded chicken, salsa verde, pinto beans, roasted poblano slices and shredded mozzarella; bake.

Top with pickled jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream with lime zest, chili powder and sliced radishes

 

Veggie Delight Nachos

Layer with roasted corn kernels, grilled sweet onion slices, shredded jack cheese and black beans; bake.

Top with guacamole, sour cream and salsa

 

BLT Nachos

Layer with shredded pepper jack, chopped tomatoes and chopped cooked bacon; bake.

Top with shredded romaine hearts, halved cherry tomatoes, more chopped cooked bacon and sour cream

 

Aloha Nachos

Layer with shredded Colby jack, chopped pineapple, thinly sliced red onion and chopped pan0fried ham; bake.

Top with chopped parsley and chives

 

 

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Mexican Made Meatless

Corn Tortillas Reborn

Pumpkin Quesadillas

Technique Tuesday: Preserved Lemon

A Moroccan pantry staple, preserved lemons are traditionally made by brining the whole fruit in lemon juice with plenty of salt. After a few weeks, the citrus becomes super soft and entirely edible. If you can’t find preserved lemons at a specialty-food store, you can make them at home. To get the same results in a fraction of the time, try our genius test kitchen shortcut from our recipe for Moroccan Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers. Removing the peel from the lemon and cooking it in a salty solution re-creates the intense flavor and satiny texture of slow-cured preserves in just 10 minutes.

 

HOW-TO: In a small skillet, combine 1/4 cup thin lemon peel strips, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and simmer until the peel is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Tip: Use your preserved lemon to brighten up all sorts of dishes. Below are some of our suggestions.

MUDDLE with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, then top with some club soda for a sparkling preserved lemonade.

 

FINELY CHOP with fresh parsley and garlic and toss with EVOO and pasta or with roasted carrots.

 

WHISK with white wine vinegar, EVOO and a touch of honey for a vinaigrette. Toss with leafy greens or a three bean salad.

 

PUREE with room temperature butter in a food processor. Serve with hot rolls or put a pat on top of grilled fish.

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It’s the Bombe!

What does a “women’s” food magazine look like nowadays? While some of our readers might say “Every Day with Rachael Ray,” there’s a new(ish) mag in town devoted exclusively to celebrating women and the food that they make (and love). It’s called Cherry Bombe, if you haven’t heard of it, and this past weekend the magazine came to life in New York City at its first ever conference, deliciously called “The Cherry Bombe Jubilee.”

 

Photo courtesy of Cherry Bombe

The day-long event attracted all-stars from the culinary world (Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, Marion Nestle, plus plenty of others), as well as inspiring ladies from other walks of professional life—makeup maven Bobbi Brown shared her cosmetics success story; Laurie David, producer of An Inconvenient Truth, promoted Fed Up, her upcoming film on the link between sugar and obesity.

 

Cherry Bombe’s founders, Claudia Wu and Kerry Diamond (who also starred in our April Southern brunch feature), curated panels that ran the gamut from food politics to entrepreneurship, and real talk prevailed. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York City and the Los Angeles restaurateur Suzanne Goin had a frank (and at times grim) appraisal of what it means to juggle motherhood and have a restaurant. Goin fought back tears when she recounted a story of her son telling his babysitter, “Some kids don’t have nannies, they have moms.” (Did we mention that the moderator, Bon Appétit’s Christine Muhlke, had her own toddler in her lap for much of the interview?!)

 

Challenges were identified, to be sure (“maybe we should change the model for what we consider success for women in food,” suggested former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl in response to recent cries of inequality in the kitchen). But mostly, the discussions were encouraging for attendees, many of whom represented different parts of the food world today—cooking, academics, business ownership, farming, writing and more—and most of whom were women. “At 25 I didn’t actually know I could have a career in food,” said Reichl in a closing interview. And we all know how that turned out. If things have changed so dramatically since Reichl was 25, then think how much more they can change in the years ahead? To be discussed, perhaps, at next year’s Jubilee.

 

—Gabriella Gershenson