While going out for a romantic dinner can be delightful, there’s something about cooking dinner with your honey at home that feels a lot more intimate. Try something different this Valentine’s Day and spend the day cozying up in the kitchen. It is a long weekend, after all!
Start the day off with heart-shaped Spiced Pastry Bites
Between decorating the tree, crafting the perfect cocktail and making sure the roast doesn’t burn, Christmas entertaining can be stressful. One part that shouldn’t feel like a chore is making a crowd-pleasing appetizer. This introduction to your party should mimic the vibe: welcoming, easy-going and of course, delicious. And when it comes to making an appetizer that meets all three requirements on top of being a cinch to throw together, our secret weapon is store-bought puff pastry. We love it for its versatility, ease to work with and quick cooking time. These five savory (and one sweet!) puff pastry apps will make you want to have a Christmas party every day of the year!
Whether you’re gearing up for Christmas dinner or you’re just hosting friends for the holidays, there’s no better way to wow your crowd than by serving a roast. Stick to classic holiday flavors or change it up with spices, glazes and even veggies. No matter which dish suits your fancy, it’s guaranteed to steal the holiday spotlight!
Prepping meals in between the holidays can be a bit of a struggle. On one hand, you don’t want to make anything too elaborate because this is your one chance to lighten your kitchen load. On the other hand, you still want to make something delicious for your family that feels healthier than those hefty holiday meals. This week worth of dinners is here to save the day: They’re lighter than your typical winter fare but still have that wintery vibe down pat. After eating some of these, you’ll feel like the holidays never even happened!
Monday, November 30
Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences!
After spending five rigorous days mixing, folding, rolling, shaping and baking puff pastry, it’s safe to say I’m very relieved that this section of the curriculum is over. Puff pastry is incredibly versatile in how you flavor and shape it, and although there are plenty of written recipes and formulas to make items such as palmiers, mille feuille and—my favorite—cheese straws, the dough lends itself to the imagination very well.
My favorite part, however, about experimenting with a slew of ingredients, spices and herbs is a little unexpected for a pastry program: snack time!
In culinary programs, the students are surrounded by scraps and plates of food that are actually edible: some chopped vegetable here, a chicken entree there–you get the idea. However in pastry, we are mostly working with raw ingredients that can’t be consumed, like sugar, flour, eggs and butter. This was the case for our entire bread unit and during most days of my intro unit, until the final product was out of the oven. But I’ve found a way to wrangle all of the ingredients going into our dough creations and turn them into a delicious mid-class snack. I’ve also discovered some awesome flavor combinations on the way! For example:
I dipped fresh fruit into extra lemon curd from our fruit tartlets. I also took a container of the curd home and added a spoonful into Greek yogurt. It adds the perfect amount of sweet-tartness to my breakfast or snack!
To make apple tarts, we peel and thinly slice multiple apples. Since the apples add to the aesthetic of the tart, we only use the prettiest slices. Can you guess where the ugly ones end up?
These puff pastry braids were coated in parmesan cheese and paprika. The extra shards of parmesan make for a delicious pairing with my apple slices!
Finally, I’ve found my new favorite garnish or flavor profile for any sweet dough: a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger went into these palmiers. I am calling them “a chai’s best friend.”
Check back next week for more sweet tips!
Have you ever stared into your fridge (for what seems like hours) feeling uninspired by its contents? You see a smorgasbord of produce, dairy and condiments but can’t figure out how to make a cohesive meal out of what you have left? We’ve been there too, but the good news is that there’s hope! Whether you’re stuck with a bunch of herbs from that sauce you tried to make from scratch, a half-bottle of wine that didn’t get drunk or just some eggs that are about to hit their sell-by date, there are plenty of ways to use up these ingredients in creative and delicious ways. Here are some to try this week.
Got an open jar of marinara? Throw it into this Spicy Egg Bake with any extra eggs you have. It’s the perfect B-L-D!
After spending a long day in an office, we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the weather. We like to take every opportunity we can to dine al fresco with a fabulous meal that looks just as beautiful as the sunset. If you’re looking for some warm-weather inspiration (veggie-packed pastas, grilled kebabs, you name it), we’ve got you covered.
April showers are almost always a guarantee, but just because you’re stuck inside all day doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it. Try one of these delicious recipes that are cozy enough for a rainy day but still remind us of spring. Who needs May flowers with recipes this good?
Want to transform humdrum dinners into mealtime magic? It’s easy! Hit the kitchen armed with these genius tips and simple recipes from our Every Day experts, and your friends and family will wonder if you went to cooking school on your lunch break!
Lesson 4: Fix Flavor Fast
It’s happened to all of us: That pot of soup, piece of fish or bowl of pasta is just plain boring. Don’t worry! These four simple ingredients can turn a one-note dish into a plate-licking hit in a matter of minutes.
If you’ve made a visit to the farmers market within the last two months, you may have noticed an influx of a scallion-looking vegetable called a ramp. These spring onions have gained some serious popularity within the last few years, and for good reason: their strong flavor of garlic and onion is rich and enticing, and keep any spring dish tasting fresh and flavorful. Though they are also known as wild leeks, ramps are more similar in taste, texture and cooking method to scallions. Due to their potent flavor, though, you can use less of a ramp to add flavor to a dish than you would need of a scallion, leek or chive.
Can’t find a recipe that calls for ramps? Here are some good substitutions:
Blend them into pesto with pasta
Chop up the greens for hush puppies
Fold them into a goat cheese tart
Just remember! Ramps are only in season until early spring, so get ‘em while you still can!