Using Basil Stems in Recipes

Published March 1, 2014.

Cilantro stems can be used in recipes. Is this also the case with basil stems?

Dried vs. Fresh Lemon Grass

Published September 1, 2013.

Can dried lemon grass be substituted for fresh?

A Better Way to Store (and Use) Vanilla Beans

Published September 1, 2013.

Vanilla beans supply flavor that’s superior to vanilla extract, but they also require a little more maintenance.

Leave Out Lower-Fiber Vegetables When Freezing Stew

Published September 1, 2013.

Freezing stew offers make-ahead convenience, but not all vegetables handle freezing and reheating well. Which vegetables work well for this purpose, and which ones don't?

Maximize Your Brine

Published September 1, 2013.

Could we pack more meat into the same volume of brine to save space in the fridge?

Lessening a Chile Pepper's Burn on Skin or in Mouth

Published July 1, 2013.

Are there good ways for getting rid of the irritating burn that can happen when you accidentally touch a fresh hot chile?

Enhancing Flavor with Kombu

Published July 1, 2013.

A little kelp can help out the flavor of your soups and sauces in a big way.

Keeping Basil Green in Pesto

Published May 1, 2013.

We found two proven methods on how to keep the basil from discoloring over time.

Grinding Cardamom

Published May 1, 2013.

We often recommend grinding whole spices for greater flavor complexity. Does this also apply to spices like cardamom, which is already quite potent when it's available preground?

What Kind of Mustard Should Be Used in a Vinaigrette?

Published May 1, 2013.

What types of mustard, aside from Dijon, can be used when making vinaigrette?

Getting the Most out of Saffron

Published March 1, 2013.

Can saffron’s flavor be intensified by toasting it in a foil packet?

Making a Vegetarian Substitute for Fish Sauce

Published March 1, 2013.

Is there a homemade vegetarian substitute for fish sauce?

For Meatier Flavor, Season with Sherry

Published March 1, 2013.

To enhance meaty, umami flavors in food, we typically turn to ingredients like soy sauce and anchovies, which are rich in the glutamates and nucleotides that create this savory taste. But when we read that British chef Heston Blumenthal uses sherry—an ingredient not known to contain these compounds—for the same purpose, it piqued our interest.

When to Salt Burgers

Published January 1, 2013.

When you add salt to your burger, you're doing more than just seasoning the meat, and timing is everything.

Taking the Bite out of Garlic

Published January 1, 2013.

Want to mellow raw garlic's harsh bite? Just a few minutes in the microwave will do the trick.

Blooming in Oil for Flavor

Published January 1, 2013.

Blooming spices or herbs in fat before the liquid goes into the pot can extract far more flavor than by simply simmering these ingredients in water.

Best Bang for Your Bay Leaf

Published July 1, 2012.

How best to extract this herb's flavor?

Keeping Salad Dressing Together with Garlic

Published May 1, 2012.

This common vinaigrette ingredient has untapped emulsifying potential.

Not Your Typical Hot Sauce

Published May 1, 2012.

Unconventional Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce really does live up to the hype.

Garlic Safety

Published May 1, 2012.

If garlic can't be safely stored in oil for more than 24 hours (due to risk of botulism), what about vinaigrette made with garlic?

Microwave-Fried Herbs

Published March 1, 2012.

If you could fry up a handful of fresh herbs without dirtying a pan, why wouldn't you?

Pickling Salt

Published January 1, 2012.

Many pickle recipes call for pickling salt. What is this ingredient? And is there a substitute?

Demystifying Cardamom

Published January 1, 2012.

Some spice shops carry three different kinds of cardamom pods: white, green, and black. How do they differ?

Preserving Salt's Crunch

Published November 1, 2011.

We were disappointed when the flaky sea salt we sprinkled on fish fillets, steaks, and chicken breasts dissolved almost instantly in the food’s juices. So we went in search of a way to maintain the crunch.

How to Use Elephant Garlic

Published November 1, 2011.

Can you use enormous “elephant garlic” just like regular garlic?

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