Ever been to a restaurant where your asparagus or corned-beef hash came topped with a cartoonishly perfect fried egg? That sunshine-yellow yolk; that smooth, flawless white.
Toasting buns: a controversial topic. On one hand, toasting imparts that nice crispness—plus the sexy grill marks—that discerning guests will expect when you have them over for a backyard meat party. Trouble is, while the outside gets nice and toasty, the rest of the bun becomes dry, crumbly, and stodgy.
Brisket is a pitmaster’s mainstay. But let’s face it, even at the best places it’s often the least interesting option on the menu—dry, bland, blah. Tired of the ho-hum stuff (and never one to shy away from a challenge), our kitchen crew set out to make a better brisket, with juicy, smoky meat and a sticky, satisfying bark. Just to up the ante, they decided to develop it without the aid of a smoker, instead testing recipes indoors and using liquid smoke and nitrites to evoke a smoky flavor and signature pink ring at the edge of the meat—both hallmarks of first-rate ‘cue.
What happens when you take an eager young development chef and ask him to create an extraordinary version of a common carnival snack? You wind up with four—count ‘em four—different versions, including a buckwheat dog made with spicy lamb sausages, a rye dog anchored by bratwurst, and a breakfast dog in which pancake batter clings lovingly to a salty little morning-meal link.
This simple trick has two benefits: First, you no longer have to guiltily trash leftover fresh herbs that you grew in your garden or bought at Whole Foods for a gazillion dollars. Second, you wind up with a little nugget of herby-fatty flavor that you can toss into the bag with your sous vide steak, melt over fresh pasta or soup, fold into eggs, and so on and so forth.
Introducing: the ChefSteps approach to homemade yogurt. Topped with bright berries and crunchy granola or drizzled atop slow-cooked lamb chops, this creamy concoction will make your Pinterest followers go sage-green with envy. Little do they know, it’s also incredibly easy to make.
Love fresh oysters, but can’t deal with the frustrations that come with opening them? Often, shuckers approach their oysters from the back, using a special tool to crank open that thick, tough bit of business. Your arm gets sore, it takes forever, and annoying bits of shell get stuck in that beautiful bivalve meat.