Eating a tiny blini with all the fixins is the embodiment of posh (think czars and Fabergé eggs), and a longtime fixture of Russian cuisine. The pancake itself is soft, springy, and mild, a perfect vehicle for creamy toppings like crème fraîche and beet fluid gel. Pile a little salmon roe and fresh chervil on top, and you have a sweet, salty, and sour treat with amazing textural complexity. These blini work great as a one-bite amuse bouche, and in our humble opinion, are best washed down with a glass of champagne.
Many people prefer to leave tartare to the professionals—they’ll order it in a (nice) restaurant, but won’t even consider making it at home. There are some who believe it’s risky to prepare raw meat, and others who think tartare is difficult or complicated to make. Then there are those home cooks who have made beef tartare before, but don’t know how to up their game. Well, we’re here to dispel all your tartare-themed apprehensions. You’ll be making it at home in no time. All the time.
Home cooks are often wary of baking bread—there’s a notion that you need a special oven to get bakery-quality results. And the truth is, most home ovens lack two key components that result in the soft, pull-apart interior and browned, crisped exterior one wants in a dinner roll: a “steam injector,” which adds steam to the oven and allows the dough to expand sufficiently as it cooks—known as “oven-spring”—and enough mass, which enables the environment to stay appropriately hot and moist.
Well-loved for its rich flavor and smooth, tender texture, chiffon cake has been a staple in American baking since at least 1948. Our olive oil cake is a riff on the American classic. As legend has it, the recipe for chiffon actually first appeared in Los Angeles in 1923, when an insurance salesman and caterer named Harry Baker decided to start messing around with angel food cake in search of a more flavorful version of the popular dessert. Angel food gets its bouncy, light texture from whipped egg whites, but it lacks flavor because it doesn’t have a fat source ingredient like butter or shortening as most sweet cakes do. Baker allegedly tested over 400 recipes, trying different fats in different amounts in a largely unsuccessful attempt to richen the cake. Four years later, he finally stumbled upon the solution when he added vegetable oil (known as “salad oil” at the time) instead of a solid fat. The result was a much more flavorful version of angel food, with an even more heavenly texture.
Traditionally, roulade is a preparation reserved for boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with cheeses, vegetables, and other meat that mask the real flavor of the chicken itself. Though we love Mom’s old recipe for stuffed chicken, we wanted to develop a roulade that would better feature the real robust flavor and tender texture of a juicy, savory chicken.
Cooking the perfect steak with traditional techniques like pan-roasting or grilling is tricky. It’s difficult to know the true cooking temperature, and you must time things just right to avoid overcooking. Sous vide does away with the inconsistency, and allows for ultra-precise degrees of doneness.