from the issue

Inside Our Test Kitchen: Get smart about syrup

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

Word of Mouth: The New Vegetable Cookbooks

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.

If you like… Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen Read more

8 Fruity and Cheesy Recipes

This summer, we’re revamping fruit salads every which way to make them anything but boring. It’s amazing what a little heat, spice, and cheese can do! Our plum & goat cheese fruit salad, in particular, is kind of surprising but super-delicious. We know every cheese board gets better with grapes or jam, but if you haven’t taken your fruit-cheese relationship beyond that, you really should! Rich, creamy dairy is a natural partner for sweet, juicy, seasonal produce — and it’ll make your fruit-based dishes feel more substantial, too. Here are 8 fun recipes to get you started.

Plum & Goat Cheese Carpaccio with Mint 

Read more

Corn recipes for every type of craving

What are you in the mood for right now? Something salty? Spicy? Cheesy? We all have those dishes we just can’t get enough of — the ones we could happily make for dinner every single night if our families would let us, or the ones we just have to order every time we see it on a menu. Our July/August 2016 cover shows off our favorite corn-toppers for summer, all inspired by classic comfort flavors we love. So the next time you’re craving creamy queso or fresh avocado or buttery garlic, reach for some fresh corn cobs and top ‘em to your hearts content!

Think you could you polish off this Spicy Cilantro Queso all by yourself?

Try Jalapeño-Lime Corn on the Cob!

Are you a regular at every barbecue joint within 10 miles of your house? Read more

Around the world in 5 skewers

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

Read more

Kitchen Cameo: Jesse Tyler Ferguson makes Chicken Tikka Masala

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

The Great Supermarket Grill-Off!

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:

Read more

Is it hot in here?! 5 recipes for chile season

Chile peppers thrive in summertime, so as the weather heats up, so should your dishes! From Anaheim (mild) to Fresno (medium) to Habanero (spicy) and a million chiles in between, there’s a pepper out there for everyone who can stand a little heat in the kitchen. Our June 2016 issue has the rundown on how to buy, store, prep and cook chiles, plus cool fun facts. (Did you know that 89% of a chile’s heat is concentrated in its veins, the white spongy sections inside a pepper? Stop blaming those seeds!) Try these five recipes to put a little pep in your step this summer.

Grilled Habanero Steak Sandwiches

Some like it hot, and this sandwich is for them! Habaneros, which are fruity and super-fiery, likely originated in Cuba; the name means “from Havana.” Read more

The Year of the Vegetable: Building the Best-Ever Veggie Burger

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.

Photo: @dana_bowen

Veggie Patty

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.

Photo: @allisonkimchi

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.

Photo: @umieats

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.

Photo: @anniebabex3

 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.

Photo: @blissisthis

Craving more? Check out how to make veggie-based tacos, build-your-own vegetable bowls and more in our June 2016 issue, on newsstands now!

When life gives you lemongrass

What looks like leeks, smells like lemons and tastes great? Lemongrass, an aromatic plant that gives dishes like chicken curry or beef satay their signature fragrant flavor. Look for the fresh stuff at Asian markets, and choose firm stalks with green leaves. Before using, trim the tops and ends, and remove any loose outer leaves. Lemongrass is stringy so slice it thin for stir-fries or stews, or pulse it in a food processor for sauces or curries. To give chicken soup a lemony lift, whack the stalk with the flat edge of a knife blade to release its oils, add to the broth… then inhale.

Want to incorporate lemongrass into your cooking? Add these recipes to your repertoire!

Coconut Cod with Rice Noodles

Pomegranate-Lemongrass Fizz

Beef and Lemongrass Soup