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Photography by Simon Emmett
| Credit: Photography by Simon Emmett

I started "30 Minute Meals" as a class where I would instruct people (in person back then!) in six basic skills and provide them with five recipes to match each skill. The premise 

was: If you give me three hours, I can teach you how to make 30 different meals. That's an entire month's worth of fast and delicious dinners you can learn in one night.

Our whole team is focused on that premise in this issue. The skills we're teaching are as universal and timeless as searing a steak, buying the best seafood, and making one of my
all-time favorites, a proper cutlet. Trendier, more of-the-moment lessons also pop up, like how to do a killer cast-iron skillet pizza and how to cook vegan well. We asked experts—like Angie Mar, steak queen of Manhattan; Joshua McFadden, veggie king of Portland, Oregon; and one of my faves, Evan Funke, who preaches the gospel of handmade pasta—to share their hard-won wisdom. Plus, make sure your tools are tip-top with our Test Kitchen Knife Takeover: everything you need to know to be prepared…and sharp!

Shortcuts do exist (see last month's issue), but the most tried-and-true shortcut begins with having some simple techniques down to a science and at your fingertips when you need them. A few recipes can open up worlds of cooking, and you'll learn, by trying and maybe failing and trying again, how to feed yourself and your family forever. Even if you're a master home cook, you can refresh your skills and learn a few new tricks here. Whoever you are and however you cook, this is a must-save issue.

Listen Up

I've been cooking with my dear friend Andrew Kaplan for many years. Now, with his new podcast, CookTracks, you can cook along with me and others anytime you want. Listen and learn as I make my Pepperoni Pizzaiola Burger with Sweet Heat. Or try Stephanie Izard's Tasty Eggy Kimchi Bacon Thing or Gail Simmons's My Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich. Visit to start listening. And go to @rachaelraymag on Facebook or Instagram to let me know what you want to hear and want to cook going forward. I'm listening—and I hope you will, too.

Click here to listen to me on the CookTracks podcast.


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