Month: March 2020

Spaghetti With Canned-Clam Sauce Recipe

Spaghetti With Canned-Clam Sauce Recipe

Photograph: Sho Spaeth It’s tempting to claim that this recipe for clam sauce, made with canned clams, is a product of coronavirus. It would be easy to frame it as a nimble pivot on the part of our recipe team—particularly a specific, man-of-the-people recipe team…

Spaghetti With Canned-Clam Sauce

Spaghetti With Canned-Clam Sauce

When you need some clams but all you got is cans. Get Recipe! Source link

How Are You Using Food to Stay Connected?

How Are You Using Food to Stay Connected?


[Photograph: Tara Austen Weaver] Remember three weeks ago, when we didn’t have to stay six feet away from everyone?

I can’t remember another time in my life when I wanted so badly to connect with other people.

I miss the barista at my Brooklyn coffee shop. I miss the grocery store clerk who bags my groceries and asks me about life whenever I finish a tipsy shopping trip well past midnight. I miss my neighbor, the one who never fails to wave as he passes by with his tiny dog following right behind.

Social distancing has left many of us feeling very lonely, very nostalgic, and very nervous. Those are all, I think, reasonable reactions to the moment we are facing. But every day I do my very best to fight the anxiety and gloom by connecting with someone else.

Sometimes that means propping up my phone and FaceTiming my mom while I make myself breakfast and a cup of coffee. Like absolutely every other human in America, I’ve done happy hour on Zoom—once this is over, I hope I never see a Zoom invite link again—with friends. I’ve gone on Instagram Live to talk with strangers, asking them what they plan to make for dinner, or what they’ve picked up at the store to stock their pantries. All of these virtual happy hours, conversations about food, check-ins with old friends over a drink, feel normal. Or, at least, they feel as close to normal as anything does right now.

But as helpful as cooking and technology have been to me as I try to find some sense of normalcy and connection, I have friends who are exhausted by the prospect of another video call, and would much rather curl up in a ball and eat mac and cheese from the pot. We’re all coping with this bizarre, frightening moment in different ways. I would love to hear how you are taking care of yourself these days, and using food as a way to stay connected to the ones you love. Are you cooking with friends? Hosting “dinner parties” on Skype? Let me how you’re staying connected and well fed in the comments below.

I know we all could use a few more good ideas.

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Easy Stovetop ‘Nduja Mac and Cheese Recipe

Easy Stovetop ‘Nduja Mac and Cheese Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] It’s hard to improve on the beautiful simplicity of Kenji’s three-ingredient stovetop macaroni and cheese, known in some circles as the “6-6-6 mac,” but if there’s one ingredient that can easily meld into the mac mix, it’s our favorite Calabrian sausage, ‘nduja.…

Easy Stovetop ‘Nduja Mac and Cheese Recipe

Easy Stovetop ‘Nduja Mac and Cheese Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] It’s hard to improve on the beautiful simplicity of Kenji’s three-ingredient stovetop macaroni and cheese, known in some circles as the “6-6-6 mac,” but if there’s one ingredient that can easily meld into the mac mix, it’s our favorite Calabrian sausage, ‘nduja.…

19 Cooking Projects to Do When You’re Home All Day

19 Cooking Projects to Do When You’re Home All Day


[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

If you’ve been on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook at any point in the last two weeks, you’ve seen a friend or long lost relative making a loaf of bread. You’ve scrolled past batch upon batch of cookies. You can’t even count the jars of pickling and fermenting vegetables that have graced your feed. The days of self-isolation cooking are upon us, and that means lots of deep-dive cooking projects, the kinds we used to actively avoid during the week because they simply took too long. But now that our home is also our office and gym, it’s not too difficult to step away from the computer midday to proof dough or check on a slowly braising chunk of meat in the kitchen.

We welcome a distraction from the craziness of life, and oftentimes, that distraction comes in the form of an elaborate recipe. Without further ado, here are 19 cooking projects to keep you busy during social distancing.

Savory Projects

Simple Crusty White Bread

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

It looks like 2020 is the year we all become semi-professional bread bakers. But you don’t have to start with a terribly complicated loaf that’ll have your head spinning. This simply white bread recipe will still demand all of your attention, and when the resting and shaping and resting (again) is done, you’ll be the proud owner of a crusty, airy, perfect loaf of bread.

Simple Crusty White Bread Recipe »

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Fresh Mozzarella

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

What if you used the loaf of bread you just made (from the recipe above this one) as the base for a grilled cheese sandwich. You’ll be making the grilled cheese with homemade mozzarella, of course, because it’s the kind of cooking project practically designed for days when you’re stuck at home. And while it might sound like a production, making mozzarella from scratch is actually quite simple. An hour after you begin heating milk and citric acid in a pot, you’ll have beautiful, springy balls of fresh cheese.

Fresh Mozzarella Recipe »

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Ragù Bolognese

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

By no means is ragù bolognese a weeknight pasta sauce, which is great, considering we’ve got all the time in the world to watch sauce simmer. You’ll slowly cook down a mixture of aromatic vegetables, ground meat, tomato paste, and stock until the mixture forms a rich, comforting sauce. You can stop there and jar up the bolognese, or go a step further and use the meat sauce to make a classic Lasagne alla Bolognese

Ragù Bolognese Recipe »

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Mexican Tamales, Four Ways

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Tamale-making is a production often reserved for family gatherings, because it takes quite a few hands to efficiently form, wrap, and cook a large batch. But if you’ve got the time, tamales can be a great solo project, too. A variety of meat, cheese, and vegetable fillings are carefully placed at the center of a dollop of masa dough, then wrapped in corn husk like a present to be cooked. As a bonus, tamales freeze well, so you can make lots, and reserve a batch for later.

Mexican Tamales, Four Ways »

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Miso Tori Paitan Ramen

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

When we talk about ramen, we’re not referring to the stuff you heat up in a Styrofoam cup (okay, sometimes we are). We’re talking about a lengthy process of making noodles and broth from scratch. Start by making your own springy, chewy ramen noodles, which you’ll add to a bowl of creamy Miso Tori Paitan Ramen. And once you’ve gotten the hang of these two recipes, try your hand at one of our other ramen recipes.

Miso Tori Paitan Ramen Recipe »

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Traditional French Cassoulet

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Cassoulet is a wonderfully simple dish, but it is not quick to make. Salt pork, chicken thighs, and garlic sausage cook along with herbs, garlic, and vegetables until every ingredient in the pot is meltingly tender. You’ll want to soak the beans overnight in salted water before you start this project, so that they cook evenly and become creamy.

Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe »

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Low-and-Slow Pulled Pork (Smoked Pork Shoulder)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

If you’re lucky enough to have a smoker, now is a great time to get outside and use it. Low heat, plenty of time, and generous seasoning transform pork shoulder into a tender, flavorful pile of pulled pork. Ideally, you’ll season the shoulder a full 24 hours in advance, so the salt can deeply flavor the meat. Once that process is finished, you’ll rub the shoulder with an even coating of mustard (and optionally, hot sauce), which will create a dark, crisp bark as the meat cooks.

Low-and-Slow Pulled Pork (Smoked Pork Shoulder) Recipe »

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The Ultimate Beef Wellington

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Beef Wellington on a weeknight? Sure, why not! This elaborate and impressive dish features a perfectly cooked tenderloin, encased in a golden-brown puff pastry shell. You can use frozen puff pastry, or you can really lean in to the process and make it yourself. As if puff pastry and tenderloin weren’t luxurious enough, this Wellington also features layers of prosciutto, foie gras, and an aromatic mushroom mixture.

The Ultimate Beef Wellington Recipe »

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Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Now is the time to start one—or all!—of those fermenting and pickling products you were 100% sure you’d tackle in 2019. Maybe start with sauerkraut, which will take between three and six weeks to fully ferment but only requires three ingredients: cabbage, salt, and caraway seeds or juniper berries. Ideally, you’ll combine the ingredients in a fermentation crock, but if you don’t happen to have one, you can make sauerkraut in a Ball jar. You’ll know your sauerkraut is ready when it tastes, well, sour. That means you could take it all the way to the six-week mark or if you like it a little more mild, you can dig in after just three.

Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut Recipe »

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Choucroute Garnie à l’Alsacienne

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This feast of pork and sauerkraut isn’t exactly a one-pan dinner, but you’ll be well rewarded for your time and energy. To make this dish, you’ll carefully cook various pieces of pork—shoulder, loin, slab bacon, sausage, chops—so that each cut is cooked to perfection. Once all of the components are ready, you’ll arrange the meat on a large platter, along with tender potatoes and that sauerkraut you’ve been tending to the last several weeks.

Choucroute Garnie à l’Alsacienne Recipe »

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Homemade Yogurt

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Making yogurt is a great cooking project because you most likely already have the two necessary ingredients in your fridge. With milk, just a tiny bit of store-bought yogurt (one that contains live active cultures), a little heat, and some time, you can make jars of your own sweet and tangy yogurt.

Homemade Yogurt Recipe »

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Nixtamalized Corn Tortillas, For Tacos

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

We’ll talk taco fillings in a minute, but even the best meats and vegetables don’t make a great taco if the tortillas aren’t delicious. The process of nixtamalizing the corn for these tortillas involves cooking and soaking dried corn kernels with some form of slaked lime. This process gives the tortillas their characteristic savory flavor, improves their texture, and ups their nutritional value. Once you’ve got corn tortillas down to a science, it’s time to make tacos.

Nixtamalized Corn Tortillas, For Tacos Recipe »

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No-Waste Tacos de Carnitas With Salsa Verde

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

So you’ve made your tortillas, now you need to fill them! Crisp carnitas is a great place to start. The pork cooks slowly in a baking dish with oil, oranges, onions, and aromatics until the meat is impossibly tender. To give the dish its signature texture, the pork is then transferred to the oven where the broiler works its magic, evenly crisping the meat.

No-Waste Tacos de Carnitas With Salsa Verde Recipe »

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Cochinita Pibil (Yucatán-Style Barbecued Pork)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Technically, you can’t make cochinita pibil without a pib, a Mayan oven consisting of a hole in the ground, lined with hot stones. But you can imitate the earthy, smoky flavor of that traditional cooking method quite well. That’s what we do here, blackening garlic, toasting spices, and rubbing the pork down with a flavorful marinade before the shoulder is wrapped in banana leaves. The banana leaves trap moisture and protect the tightly wrapped parcel as it cooks slowly on a grill. This might not be real-deal cooked-in-the-ground cochinita pibil, but once you taste it, you won’t have any complaints.

Cochinita Pibil (Yucatán-Style Barbecued Pork) Recipe »

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Sweet Projects

Homemade Cannoli

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

It is really hard to find good cannoli at a bakery. Luckily, with a little patience, they’re quite easy to pull off at home. The trick is to start with the freshest, best ricotta you can find. That mild cheese will become a sweet, silky filling for crisp homemade shells. The process will take you several hours, but once the cannoli are fried and filled, you’ll want to eat them immediately.

Homemade Cannoli Recipe »

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

We have an excellent fast and easy chocolate chip cookie recipe that will take you under an hour, from start to finish. This recipe, on the other hand, will demand some patience, and a little self-control (that means not eating all of the cookie dough). The trick here is browning your butter, then letting the dough rest overnight. During the rest, enzymes in the dough will break down large carbohydrates, improving caramelization and browning when you bake the cookies the next day. This might seem like a long wait time for a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but once you bite into one, you’ll understand why we keep coming back to this recipe.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe »

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Mocha Mascarpone Icebox Cake

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This cake won’t really take you very long to assemble, but you’ll have to let it set in the freezer for a full day. You’ll start by baking a batch of shatteringly crisp cookies. Once the cookies are ready, you’ll alternate between layers of cookie and a whipped mascarpone filling until your elegant cake is fully assembled. Start the cake in the morning, and when you finish your work for the day, it will be perfectly set and ready to slice into.

Mocha Mascarpone Icebox Cake Recipe »

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BraveTart’s Easy, Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This is a great time to make the classic apple pie you’ve been thinking about for months but never got around to baking. Between prepping, baking, and resting the pie, you’re in for a project that’ll take up the better part of an evening, but you won’t regret a single hour spent. We don’t stray too far from tradition for this pie, aiming to keep it as close to the one you might have grown up eating as possible. But little tweaks here and there—like macerating the fruit so more can fit into the pie and using a combination of warm spices to develop deep flavor—make for an apple pie unlike any other.

BraveTart’s Easy, Old-Fashioned Apple Pie Recipe »

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Triple Coconut Cake

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

If you love coconut, this triple coconut cake is most definitely for you. Coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut frosting might seem like too much of a good thing, but the four ingredients provide taste and texture without becoming overwhelming. The cake itself is super-moist, and the layers of creamy coconut frosting are light enough that you’ll look forward to finding a little bit in every bite.

Triple Coconut Cake Recipe »

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Who’s Laughing Now?: Why I Love the AeroGarden

Who’s Laughing Now?: Why I Love the AeroGarden

[Photograph: Courtesy of AeroGarden] I’ve been using my AeroGarden for 531 days. I know this because it says so right on the tiny dashboard. (It’s smart enough to alert me when it needs nutrients and water but not smart enough to listen to my conversations,…

Special Sauce: Kenji on Coronavirus and Its Impact on Restaurants

Special Sauce: Kenji on Coronavirus and Its Impact on Restaurants

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Editor’s note: The Coronavirus story is unfolding at a breakneck pace. That means that something said that was true at the time may no longer be so. On this episode please note that Lola, the Tom Douglas restaurant in the Hotel…

We Commissioned 6 Pasta Songs to Serenade You Through Starch Madness

We Commissioned 6 Pasta Songs to Serenade You Through Starch Madness


[Graphics: Vicky Wasik]

For those of us who are healthy and employed right now, one of the hardest things about social distancing restrictions is that it can be hard to know how to help those more directly affected by the pandemic. Many volunteer operations, though well-intended, may actually be playing a role in spreading the virus. And if you’re worried about job security yourself, ordering lots of takeout or making large donations may not be in the cards. Though sanctioned volunteer opportunities abound in certain sectors (particularly healthcare), those of us with limited qualifications and/or finances may be struggling to find ways to support those around us.

Which is why, with the restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment industries hit especially hard in these last few weeks, I’ve been grateful for the work my friend Sophie has been doing on her Instagram account, TheGoodKindofViral. She bills it as “the good corona news you’ve been looking for: where to donate, community tips, and what the coolest artists are doing while quarantined,” and it’s quickly proved an uplifting directory of the remarkably creative ways in which the more precariously employed members of affected industries are banding together, finding new sources of income, volunteering their time, and more.

When I saw that a woman named Jaclene Sini had posted an offer to write custom songs to deliver some joy while earning a few bucks, I was immediately taken with the idea that Serious Eats should hire her to write a theme song for Starch Madness, our new pasta bracket competition. So taken, in fact, that I decided we should do the same with five additional local artists.* Each has a different musical style and background, but all six are facing similar financial challenges and career derailments due to the pandemic.

* Disclosure: I know (and am eager to support!) two of these artists personally.

My instructions were brief: I asked that each artist shoot a 30-second music video about pasta that includes the words “Starch Madness.” You can read more about each artist and view the utterly delightful results of this challenge below.

Jaclene Sini

Can you tell me about yourself?

I live in Brooklyn, NY, and work a true gig lifestyle—food service, design freelance, ID check at music venues, and playing music on the side solo and with my band, Bugmouth.

How have you been affected by COVID-19?

The pandemic has basically removed all sources of income for me aside from the few hours a week I still get from the bagel shop! And that comes with mixed feelings because breaking quarantine even for work stresses me out!

What can our readers do to support you and others in your industry?

PLEASE join mutual aid funds if you have money to spare. There are tons of places online to donate money to people lacking income during this time, and there are a lot of resources to donate time doing grocery delivery for immunocompromised people. Here are some links to sign up to or for help:

Can our readers commission songs from you?

I’m absolutely available for more commissions! Please message me at @jaclene_ on Instagram with your song ideas!

Ronnie Lee

Can you tell me about yourself?

I’m born and raised Newburgh, NY. I work in retail and do hair to make a living, but I’m also a performer, comedian, and filmmaker.

How have you been affected by COVID-19?

My primary job is at a The North Face outlet in Woodbury Commons, a mall that’s now shut down. Because of social distancing, I also can’t do hair, so all my sources of income have dried up.

What can our readers do to support you and others in your industry?

Share this article and my work, or just support it with likes or comments!

Can our readers commission songs from you?

Yes! I’d love to write you a personalized rap! Pasta Mobstas are here for all your quarantine entertainment needs!

Sean McVerry

Can you tell me about yourself?

I’m a professional musician and producer. I’ve spent the last few years pursuing my music career as well as freelancing for ad agencies, musical directing, and touring with a handful of bands.

How have you been affected by COVID-19?

I’ve already had to cancel about four shows, as well as a trip to South By Southwest. Luckily I’m able to work remotely, but any sort of live opportunities/gigs have gone to the wayside through all of this.

What can our readers do to support you and others in your industry?

I think for musicians and artists, supporting them through streaming, buying records on iTunes, and any merch sales are invaluable right now given that we can’t play out. You can find all my stuff under Sean McVerry on all streaming platforms, and just spread the word! I know everyone looks forward to the day when we can all be together at a show.

Can our readers commission songs from you?

I’m usually just working on songs all day as it is, would absolutely be open to being commissioned for folks who want some custom tunes!

Alec Stephens III

Can you tell me about yourself?

I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where I’m an actor/singer/bartender. I love collaborating on creating new works, plays, shows, and music, and I host a podcast called Bushwick Variety Show.

How have you been affected by COVID-19?

The restaurant I work at, Ed’s Lobster Bar, had to lay off pretty much everybody. Most actors and musicians I know in New York work in bars and restaurants for survival jobs, so I know a bunch of people who are without work. My wife owns and operates a lingerie boutique called The Rack Shack, and she, along with a bunch of small business owners, has been pretty much shut down.

What can our readers do to support you and others in your industry?

People can contact their representatives and try to support the work of musicians and actors they love. Ask your local small businesses what you can do to help them make it through. Money helps for sure, but also communicating, being kind, letting people know they’re appreciated helps.

Can our readers commission songs from you?

Sure, if people want to commission songs from me, I’d be open to that idea.

Wilson Flores

Can you tell me about yourself?

I live in Bed-Stuy and I am a bartender/musician. I work For Larina And Aita in the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area. I’m currently playing drums for a metal band called Blackest.

How have you been affected by COVID-19?

Well, I currently have no job. I went from working five days a week to zero. It’s strange to flip the switch just like that, to be honest. Bartending allowed me to be creative musically in my free time and my band is in the process of releasing a new record. We have the record ready to be pressed, but the timeline is a bit blurry now given the current situation.

What can our readers do to support you and others in your industry?

Buy music/merchandise from artists you enjoy. Every show and tour has been canceled and that’s $$$ right there. Show some love, because without them, you’d be going nuts at home right now. If you have the means to do so, then please donate to any organization supporting restaurant/bar workers, or any place that has a fund set up for their employees. Donate to any relief fund, really, but if your Tuesday night consists of getting a few drinks at your favorite happy hour spot, keep the bartender who no longer has that income in mind.

Can our readers commission songs from you?

Sure thing, and the weirder the better.

Christoph Carr

Can you tell me about yourself?

I live in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the famed McKibbin Lofts, and I am a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, advisor to a start-up, and I run a DIY community art space. I also volunteer at a high school running the “philosophy room” and lead discussions on equity.

How have you been affected by COVID-19?

This pandemic has stopped every source of income that I have. As a performer, the venues are closed. The website that I work for helps people organize events in non-traditional spaces and I had spent the past four months preparing for our annual trip to Austin for SXSW—we had over 50 bands scheduled to perform at the Artery.is house in Austin, which is now cancelled. The site has had to cancel over 100 events that were scheduled for late March and early April. We have had to shutter our community art space, Gamba, where we would normally host at least four events a week.

What can our readers do to support you and others in your industry?

Readers can support me by supporting my Patreon page, directly donate to the Venmo account @bkwidllife, or PayPal to [email protected]

Can our readers commission songs from you?

Yes, I am totally open to making jingles, commission work, or customized songs.

Bonus: Flauvius, a.k.a. Daniel Gritzer the Court Musician

All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.





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Instant Ramen Fried Rice Recipe

Instant Ramen Fried Rice Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] When I first learned about the instant ramen–fried rice craze sweeping Japan, I thought it’d make for a silly piece in which I’d make a few jokes about drunk food before sharing the method, so you all could make it at home,…