Techniques

How to Make Compound Butter

Mixing up a compound butter is a great way to combine fresh herbs, local Vermont sweeteners, and our amazing cultured butter from Ploughgate Creamery. You can store compound butter in the fridge for weeks, or in the freezer for months. It's a great shortcut for adding flavor to just about any dish from breakfast to dinner.

As a general rule of thumb:
1/2 cup butter + 4 teaspoons of herbs, sweetener, or spices = compound butter


Directions:

  • If you start with unsalted butter, you can add some salt into your seasoning. If you start with salted butter, avoid adding more to overpower the herbs.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix away until combined. You can use a fork, a hand mixer, or a food processor, depending on how much you want to make.
  •  Spread on some quality bread and eat!
  • To preserve, wrap in plastic or store in a glass container, and keep in the fridge or freezer.

Try some of these combinations!
Rosemary + Garlic
Rosemary + Thyme + Sage
Honey + Sriracha
Maple + Cinnamon
Lemon + Herb
Roasted Garlic
Cilantro + Lime

How to Make Quick Pickled Onions

thekitchn_pickledredonions

How To Make Quick-Pickled Onions

Ingredients
1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

Flavorings (optional):
1 small clove of garlic, halved
5 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
3 small springs of thyme
1 small dried chili

Equipment
Kettle for boiling water
Knife and cutting board
Sieve or colander
Clean jar or container

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.

  2. Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.

  3. Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.

  4. Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.

  5. Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.

10 Ways to Cook Irresistible Carrots

Brought to you by the wonderful minds at The Kitchn

1. Cumin and Coriander

Cut carrots in two-inch lengths. Combine ground cumin and coriander with olive oil to make a spice rub; toss carrots to coat them. Season well with salt and pepper. Spread out the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet; cover tightly with foil. Roast carrots at 425°F for about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring once or twice until browned and tender, about 30 minutes more.

2. Brown Butter and Nuts

Blanch carrots until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, heat an oven and baking sheet to 450°F. Toss carrots with melted brown butter and spread them out on the hot baking sheet. Roast the carrots until caramelized and tender. Toss with toasted hazelnuts (or walnuts or almonds), and finish with a sprinkle of thyme and/or parsley.

3. Honey or Maple Syrup

Play up carrots' sweetness with honey or maple syrup (then add a splash of balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice to balance them). Toss carrots with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Add chopped rosemary or other herbs here if you wish.) Spread out the carrots on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes at 400°F, shaking the pan or stirring after 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, honey or maple syrup, and a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Drizzle the mixture over the carrots and stir to evenly coat them. Continue to roast the carrots until tender and browned on the edges. (Soak your baking sheet.)

4. Balsamic Vinegar

A splash of balsamic vinegar or a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar helps to balance carrots' sweetness. Toss carrots in balsamic vinegar just before the last 10 minutes of roasting or just after they finish. Alternatively, serve roasted carrots with a drizzle of syrupy reduced balsamic vinegar.

5. Orange, Ginger, and Cilantro

Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, minced ginger (some minced garlic, too, if you wish), and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the carrots in the marinade (reserve about 1/4 cup, to toss with the carrots after cooking). Spread the carrots out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and roast at 425°F for about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring once or twice until browned and tender, about 30 minutes more.

6. Tahini

Roast carrots until caramelized and tender, then toss warm carrots with a spoonful of tahini and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt and black sesame seeds. Finish with chopped cilantro, parsley, thyme, or oregano.

7. Goat Cheese, Feta, and Yogurt

Finish any roasted carrots with a sprinkle of goat cheese or feta, a dollop of ricotta, or a spoonful of Greek yogurt combined with a shaving of raw garlic or a slash of lemon juice.

8. Walnuts, Almonds, and Other Nuts and Seeds

Finish any roasted carrots with a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds for crunch and a nutty taste.

9. Harissa

Whisk together olive oil, harissa, and a splash of lemon juice and honey. Toss the carrots in the mixture to coat them. Preheat a baking sheet at 425°F, then spread out the carrots on the sheet; roast until tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally, 35 to 40 minutes. If needed, toss with another small spoonful of harissa. Garnish with parsley or cilantro. (See #7 and #8 — also good additions.)

10. Avocado

Roast carrots in two-inch lengths or roast small carrots whole. Pulverize garlic, ground cumin, fresh herbs of your choice, and lemon or orange zest in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Blend in olive oil, salt, and pepper (and red pepper flakes if you wish). Toss and rub the carrots in the paste-like mixture and roast until tender and browned. Toss the hot, cooked carrots in a splash of lemon juice or orange juice, or red wine or balsamic vinegar.

Serve with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt over the top, and if you wish, a handful of greens or a spoonful of cheese or yogurt (see #7).

Traditional Sauerkraut

Published by Sandor Katz in wildfermentation.com on April 2012

Sandor Ellix Katz, the creator of this site, has earned the nickname “Sandorkraut” for his love of sauerkraut. This is Sandorkaut’s easy sauerkraut recipe from his book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (Chelsea Green, 2003).

Timeframe: 1-4 weeks (or more)

Special Equipment:

  • Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket, one-gallon capacity or greater
  • Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
  • One-gallon jug filled with water (or a scrubbed and boiled rock)
  • Cloth cover (like a pillowcase or towel)

Ingredients (for 1 gallon):

  • 5 pounds cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt

Process:

  1. Chop or grate cabbage, finely or coarsely, with or without hearts, however you like it. I love to mix green and red cabbage to end up with bright pink kraut. Place cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it.
  2. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you go. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage (through osmosis), and this creates the brine in which the cabbage can ferment and sour without rotting. The salt also has the effect of keeping the cabbage crunchy, by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it. 3 tablespoons of salt is a rough guideline for 5 pounds of cabbage. I never measure the salt; I just shake some on after I chop up each cabbage. I use more salt in summer, less in winter.
  3. Add other vegetables. Grate carrots for a coleslaw-like kraut. Other vegetables I’ve added include onions, garlic, seaweed, greens, Brussels sprouts, small whole heads of cabbage, turnips, beets, and burdock roots. You can also add fruits (apples, whole or sliced, are classic), and herbs and spices (caraway seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds, and juniper berries are classic, but anything you like will work). Experiment.
  4. Mix ingredients together and pack into crock. Pack just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down hard using your fists or any (other) sturdy kitchen implement. The tamping packs the kraut tight in the crock and helps force water out of the cabbage.
  5. Cover kraut with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside the crock. Place a clean weight (a glass jug filled with water) on the cover. This weight is to force water out of the cabbage and then keep the cabbage submerged under the brine. Cover the whole thing with a cloth to keep dust and flies out.
  6. Press down on the weight to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of it. Continue doing this periodically (as often as you think of it, every few hours), until the brine rises above the cover. This can take up to about 24 hours, as the salt draws water out of the cabbage slowly. Some cabbage, particularly if it is old, simply contains less water. If the brine does not rise above the plate level by the next day, add enough salt water to bring the brine level above the plate. Add about a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
  7. Leave the crock to ferment. I generally store the crock in an unobtrusive corner of the kitchen where I won’t forget about it, but where it won’t be in anybody’s way. You could also store it in a cool basement if you want a slower fermentation that will preserve for longer.
  8. Check the kraut every day or two. The volume reduces as the fermentation proceeds. Sometimes mold appears on the surface. Many books refer to this mold as “scum,” but I prefer to think of it as a bloom. Skim what you can off of the surface; it will break up and you will probably not be able to remove all of it. Don’t worry about this. It’s just a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. The kraut itself is under the anaerobic protection of the brine. Rinse off the plate and the weight. Taste the kraut. Generally it starts to be tangy after a few days, and the taste gets stronger as time passes. In the cool temperatures of a cellar in winter, kraut can keep improving for months and months. In the summer or in a heated room, its life cycle is more rapid. Eventually it becomes soft and the flavor turns less pleasant.
  9. Enjoy. I generally scoop out a bowl- or jarful at a time and keep it in the fridge. I start when the kraut is young and enjoy its evolving flavor over the course of a few weeks. Try the sauerkraut juice that will be left in the bowl after the kraut is eaten. Sauerkraut juice is a rare delicacy and unparalleled digestive tonic. Each time you scoop some kraut out of the crock, you have to repack it carefully. Make sure the kraut is packed tight in the crock, the surface is level, and the cover and weight are clean. Sometimes brine evaporates, so if the kraut is not submerged below brine just add salted water as necessary. Some people preserve kraut by canning and heat-processing it. This can be done; but so much of the power of sauerkraut is its aliveness that I wonder: Why kill it?
  10. Develop a rhythm. I try to start a new batch before the previous batch runs out. I remove the remaining kraut from the crock, repack it with fresh salted cabbage, then pour the old kraut and its juices over the new kraut. This gives the new batch a boost with an active culture starter.

Source: http://www.wildfermentation.com/making-sauerkraut-2/

Roasted Potato Wedges

Published by thepioneerwoman.com on April 2009

INGREDIENTS

  • Potatoes (Russets work well)
  • 1/4 cup (approximately) Olive Oil
  • Salt To Taste
  • Fresh Herbs, to taste

Optional Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Paprika

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Wash potatoes.
  3. Cut potatoes into wedges.
  4. Toss with oil, butter, salt, pepper, and whatever else you’d like: garlic, balsamic, spices, etc.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Shake around. Stir.
  7. Roast for another 20 minutes. Check ‘em. Keep cookin’ ‘em.
  8. Take ‘em out. Check the seasoning. Add more if necessary.
  9. Sprinkle with herbs.
  10. Serve immediately.

Source: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/roasted-potato-wedges/

Classic Butternut Squash Soup + Three Flavor Twists

Published by wholefoodsmarket.com

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 

Method:
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender.

 

Three Twists

Apple, Gorgonzola and Almond Butternut Soup
Stir 1 cup unsweetened applesauce into puréed soup. Garnish each serving with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, toasted almonds, a few slices of thinly sliced apple and a small sprig of fresh thyme.

Thai-Style Butternut Soup
Stir a tablespoon of red curry paste and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger into carrot, celery and onion mixture. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk with broth. Purée soup and garnish each serving with toasted coconut flakes and chopped fresh cilantro.

Southwestern-Style Butternut Soup
Add a tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo sauce to carrot, celery and onion mixture. Garnish soup with crumbled queso fresco, toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped fresh cilantro.

 

Source: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/classic-butternut-squash-soup

How to Make Any Puréed Vegetable Soup

Published by Kenzi Wilbur in food52.com on April 2013

It’s six o’clock, you’re just coming home from work, and a plan for dinner is about as distant as the grocery store is from your front door. (Even if your front door is a grocery store, it's too far. Your stomach is growling. Things are dire.) There is no time for grocery runs, there is no time for recipes. When life does this to you, make soup.

The ingredients for any puréed soup are probably languishing in your crisper drawer right now -- have a head of cauliflower? A bunch of spinach that’s only a little wilted? Set them free. They were born for this.

 

1. Heat your pan with a little bit of fat (olive oil, butter, goose fat, what have you) and add some chopped allium. Onions? Great. Leeks too? Even better. Cover the pan and sweat these until they’re translucent.
2. Now add in whatever's in your fridge. Cauliflower works well, as do roots, as do greens. (Cut in uniform sizes so they’ll cook evenly.) Season. Salt and pepper are non-negotiable, but experiment at will: curry for cauliflower, ginger and cumin for carrots, Herbs de Provence in anything if you’ve ever wondered what that tastes like.
3. Pour in liquid to cover -- stock will be best, but if you don’t organize your life in a Google spreadsheet and have quarts of it in the freezer, use water and compensate with seasonings and spices. Simmer till tender.
4. Blend.
5. Fortify with dairy if you must. A slip of cream or milk will add a richness to your soup, but you can just as easily skip this step. If you're stirring in a sauce, now's the time for that, too. Then eat! And bring the leftovers to work the next day.

 

Source: http://food52.com/blog/6248-how-to-make-any-pureed-vegetable-soup-in-5-steps

How to Peel Celery Root

Published by Emily Han in thekitchn.com on February 2010

We're always interested in learning How To Peel Things, and when Kitchn reader Niamh recently asked about celery root, we were inspired to try a few different techniques. Knobby and often hairy, celery root (also known as celeriac) may seem daunting to peel but it's actually quite simple. Here's the best technique we found:

Celery root's skin is too tough and bumpy to peel with a vegetable peeler. We had the best results using a sharp chef's knife, although if the root is small, a paring knife will work. The only other thing you need is a cutting board.

  • Place the celery root on its side and cut off the top and bottom. (If the root came with greens attached, you can save them for stock.)
  • Stand the root upright. It should be stable.
  • Cut the remaining peel off in vertical strips from top to bottom, following the shape of the root.
  • Continue cutting until you have removed all of the skin.
  • You may now rinse the celery root and chop it into cubes, matchsticks, or whatever your recipe calls for. The exposed flesh will turn brown quickly, so if you wish to retain the white color, rub it with a cut lemon or have a bowl of water mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice to submerge the pieces in as you cut them.

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-peel-celery-root-74548

Molly Stevens' Basic Roast Chicken

Published by mollystevenscooks.com

This is what I make when I want a straight-up, no-fuss delicious roast chicken: I season the chicken (in advance if there’s time), set it on a few thick slices of onion or lemon (my choice is usually based on what I have on hand) in a skillet or gratin dish, and pop it in a hot oven and just wait for it to be done. The slices in the bottom of the pan eliminate the need for a roasting rack while keeping the skin from sticking to the bottom pan. They also add a bit of flavor to the drippings, the lemon adding some brightness and the onion a little savory sweetness. (You can even use both together, though you’ll have half a lemon and half an onion leftover.) The best tasting, juiciest chicken starts at the market. I cannot emphasize enough that your roast chicken can only be as good as the bird itself. This means avoiding chicken from the big-name commodity producers whose intentions are to raise poultry as quickly as possible for the least amount of expense and instead looking for a chicken from a smaller producer who cares about flavor and quality. The next step is to salt the bird (Step 1 below) at least 8 hours (and up to 48 hours) before roasting. The salt not only adds flavor, but it also works wonders to make the chicken more tender.

Ingredients
One 3½- to 4½-pound chicken, preferably not a factory-farmed one
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 lemon or 1 medium onion, ends cut off, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, softened


Instructions

  1. Season the chicken, preferably at least 8 hours (and up to 48 hours) in advance. Over the sink, remove the giblets (they are usually tucked into the cavity), and discard or reserve for another use. Hold the chicken over the drain and let any juices run out. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. With your fingers, pull away and discard any large deposits of fat from the neck or body cavity opening. Sprinkle the salt all over the surface of the chicken, including the back, thighs and drumsticks, and put a little into the cavity as well. Arrange the salted chicken on a wire rack (a cake cooling rack or roasting rack works well) set in a baking dish or some kind of tray to catch any drips. (The rack allows the air to circulate and promotes a crisper skin all over, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If space is tight or you don’t have a rack that fits, just set the chicken in a dish.) Refrigerate, ideally uncovered but a loose covering of plastic wrap is fine, for at least 8 and up to 48 hours.
  2. Heat the oven. Center an oven rack and heat the oven to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection). Let the chicken stand at room temperature while the oven heats.
  3. Roast the chicken. Arrange the lemon or onion slices in a single layer in the center of a large ovenproof skillet or a gratin dish (11- to 12-inch works well; you can also use a small, low-sided roasting pan). Place the chicken on top of the lemon or onion, and tuck the wing tips back so they are secure under the neck bone. Rub the olive oil or butter evenly over the breast and legs, and roast, with the legs facing the rear of the oven until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh, and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees, for a total of 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken and the strength of your oven. Lift the chicken with a meat fork or sturdy tongs inserted in the cavity, and carefully tilt to pour the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan.
  4. Rest and carve. Transfer the chicken to a carving board (preferably one with a trough to catch the drippings) and let the chicken rest for 10 to 20 minutes before caring and serving.

Source: http://mollystevenscooks.com/recipes-page/basic-roast-chicken/

HOW TO MAKE Stuffed Roasted Squash

Published by Emma Christensen in thekitchn.com on October 2013

  • Makes 1 squash, serves 2


What You Need


Ingredients

  • 1 winter squash, like acorn, kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicata, spaghetti or any other grapefruit-sized (or slightly larger) squash
  • 2 to 3 cups of filling:
  • General amounts for filling — to equal 2 to 3 cups total:
  • 1/2 to 1 cup protein — sausage, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu
  • 1 to 2 cups veggies — onions, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, greens
  • 1/2 cup cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, millet, farro, rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons herbs or spices

Equipment
Chef's knife
Spoon
Baking dish
Aluminum foil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the squash for roasting: Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Slice the squash in half from stem to root and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Transfer the squash to a baking dish: Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with foil and place the dish in the oven.
  3. Roast the squash: Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash.
  4. Prepare the filling: While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. Depending on the size of your squash, 2 to 3 cups of combined ingredients is usually sufficient. You can combine leftovers from other meals (cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, etc.) or you can prepare a fresh filling. Cook any raw meats and raw vegetables and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the spices, salt, and pepper to your liking.
  5. Stuff the squash halves: Flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Rub the inside with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the filling between the halves — it's fine to really stuff the wells and also to mound the filling on top.
  6. Bake the stuffed squash halves until bubbly: Re-cover the pan with the foil and bake the halves for another 15 to 20 minutes until both are hot and bubbly. Top with extra cheese and serve immediately.


Recipe Notes
Stuffed Squash for a Crowd: This recipe is easily multiplied to feed whatever sized gathering you are hosting. The squashes and the fllling can also be prepped in advance and warmed just before serving. One half of a squash is typically a good main course meal for an adult.

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-stuffed-roasted-squash-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-101662#_

Moist and Tender Stovetop Chicken Breast

Published by Faith Durand in thekitchn.com on September 2015

What You Need
Ingredients
1 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, of similar size
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, unsalted butter, or combination of both

Equipment
Heavy Mason jar or wide drinking glass
Wide (10-inch) sauté pan with lid
Tongs or spatula

Instructions

  1. Flatten the chicken breasts: Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness with the bottom of a wide jar or glass. You can also (carefully!) use the handle of a heavy chef's knife.
  2. Season the chicken breasts: Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
  3. Prepare the pan: Heat the sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the olive oil (or butter, if using). Swirl the pan so it is lightly covered with the olive oil.
  4. Cook the chicken breasts for 1 minute without moving: Turn the heat to medium. Add the chicken breasts. Cook for just about 1 minute to help them get a little golden on one side (you are not actually searing or browning them).
  5. Flip the chicken breasts: Then flip each chicken breast over.
  6. Turn the heat down to low: Turn the heat to low.
  7. Cover the pan and cook on low for 10 minutes. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. Do not lift the lid; do not peek.
  8. Turn off the heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes: After 10 minutes have elapsed, turn off the heat. (If you have an electric stove, remove the pan from the heat.) Reset the timer for 10 minutes and leave the chicken breasts in the pan. Again, do not lift the lid; do not peek.
  9. Remove lid and take temperature: After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off, and your chicken is done. Make sure there is no pink in the middle of the chicken breasts. If you want to be absolutely sure it is cooked, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check (the chicken should be at least 165°F). Slice and eat. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.


Recipe Notes

  • Dredge in seasoned flour: You can also dredge the chicken breasts in flour before cooking. Season the flour with spices or fresh herbs and make sure the chicken is golden on one side before you flip it over. This will give your chicken a very subtle crust.
  • Quick brine: You can make your boneless skinless chicken breasts even juicier and more flavorful with a super-quick brine. Even just 15 minutes in a simple brine will make them juicier.

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-moist-tender-chicken-breasts-every-time-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-36891