Make This One Batch of Pimento Cheese and Use it in Everything

Growing up in Mississippi, I ate a lot of pimento cheese, mainly on crackers or in sandwiches with white bread. If these were the only two ways I ever consumed this wondrous spread, I would be happy, but pimento cheese can be so much more. Below you will find a multitude of tasty uses for “the caviar of the South.”

Source: Make This One Batch of Pimento Cheese and Use it in Everything

Try using Crystal [hot sauce] instead of Louisiana. It has less salt (so you can put more) and more/deeper cayenne flavour— note that I say flavour, not heat, because the label claims this uses “aged” peppers.

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Mix the Perfect Fruit Salad With the Mad-Libs Method

Here the analogy ends, because, while not even a Snoop Dogg remix could save “We Are the World,” a better fruit salad is well within reach. The trick is to dress it up with the same little flourishes that make savory salads so enticing.

Source: The Mad-Libs Method for Perfect Fruit Salad in Any Season

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Make Delicious, Snappy Sichuan Green Beans Without a Wok

Gan bian si ji dou—Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans with chilies and pickles—are one of the best and most mistranslated vegetable dishes in the world. The real version should be bright and light, featuring beans with blistered skins and snappy interiors and tossed with chili-flavored oil, Sichuan peppercorns, scallions, garlic, ginger, and chopped preserved mustard root. It’s a pretty far cry from the oily, drab, pork-smothered versions you find in Chinese take-out joints. While a bit of minced pork is not totally out of the question, it’s hardly a required ingredient.

Source: The Food Lab: For the Best Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans, Ditch the Wok and Turn on the Broiler

A word of caution – green [snap] beans have a fair amount of vitamin K in them:

  • 1 ounce/28 grams of green snap beans contains 4 mcg of vitamin K, 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • 1 cup/110 grams of green snap beans contains 15.8 mcg of vitamin K, 20% DV

Make a Creamy, Fiber-Packed Pasta Sauce Out of Beans

I have a passion for beans, which developed back when I used to cook for the Tuscan chef Cesare Casella. The Tuscans are famous for their beans (they’re sometimes called the mangiafagioli—bean eaters—in Italy), and Cesare is no exception. When I worked for him, he’d import thousands of pounds of beans every year from Italy, and I learned plenty of tricks from him on how to use them.

One of those tricks was this simple pasta with a sauce made from puréed beans, which I’ve made with chickpeas here. It couldn’t be easier to make: You simply sauté some garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, add some cooked beans along with some of their cooking water, then purée it to make a smooth, creamy sauce. Add a handful of whole cooked beans for some texture, and you’re basically done.

Source: How to Turn Beans Into a Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce

Mashed beans pretty much all work the same. If you are having issues with lentils, you’re probably forgetting to ditch the lentil husks.

Upgrade a Batch of Chili With Cinnamon, Cocoa, or Even Coffee

Chili is personal, and you have your favorite recipe. I respect that. I’m not here to argue with your one true chili love.

But I would bet that there are some ways that you could make your tried-and-true recipe even better. I’m just talking about little things to add extra flavor here or give some richness there—small tweaks that, when tallied up, amount to a more fantastic chili.

Source: 10 Ways to Make Your Favorite Chili Recipe Even Better

Some will think cinnamon in chili is an abomination. And I like cinnamon. In ice cream. On apples. In chewing gum. But in chili?  It’s worth an experiment – cinnamon can do some interesting things in more savory dishes.

Toast and Season Your Rice Before Boiling for Unbelievable Flavor

The secret to a better pot of rice lies in seasoning and flavoring the grains before they even hit that pot of boiling water.

Source: The Tastier Way to Cook Rice

Instead of transferring it to the boiling pot, you could combine this tip with Alton Brown’s pour-over method to really take your rice to the next level. Either way, it’s an easy enough step, and it makes for extra tasty rice.

The Secret to Amazing Tomato-Based Sauce: Roasting It In the Oven

It starts the usual way sauces do—sauté onion and garlic, add some chile flakes, then booze, then tomatoes, but then it swerves off course. Here’s the secret to its success: You take this perfectly adequate sauce and roast it in the oven for an hour and a half.

Source: A Genius Technique for the Best Vodka Pasta (And Better Marinara, Too)

I sometimes start my sauce by caramelizing my tomato paste in olive oil over the heat, then deglazing that with about 1/4 bottle of red wine. The sweet caramelized tomato paste/wine combo makes things really punchy in the end, even through a long simmer.

One-Pan Pasta Is Easy to Make, Filling, and Requires Next to No Cleanup

I was skeptical until I read this charming background story on Food52–apparently it comes from a legit chef in Puglia by way of two super fun women who worked for Martha and were having a great night out.

The Late Night in Puglia That Gave Us Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta (+ 7 New Ones)

Make Easy, Delicious Cold Noodles with This Simple Soy Vinaigrette

Here’s to easy hangover food 😉 😀

  • Chard is really high in vitamin K – I don’t recommend taking up the habit if you don’t regularly eat it already.
  • The video measures the liquid in grams – the recipe here has common measurements.
  • The chef strains out the ginger and garlic… This appears to be a bit of ad libbing. While the original directions state to “strain”, it does not specifically call out garlic and/or ginger.