Blog Posts by Epicurious.com

  • What to Cook Now: Pumpkin

    From Asia to the Middle East, Mexico to the United States, cuisines the world over use pumpkin in a dizzying variety of ways. We've collected recipes and tips for Halloween celebrations and beyond.

    Tips:

    Use the Whole Pumpkin

    For a festive touch, try serving soup in bowls made from hollowed-out pumpkins: Cut tops off several small pumpkins, remove seeds, and scrape inside walls clean. Wash thoroughly with warm water, place pumpkins on a baking sheet, and bake at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes until hot (this will help keep the soup warm). Ladle soup into "bowls" and serve.

    Save Larger Pumpkins for Carving

    For cooking, look for small sugar pumpkins rather than the larger ones used for jack-o'-lanterns. The smaller varieties are sweeter, fleshier, and less watery.

    Use Pure Pumpkin

    For many baked goods, canned pumpkin purée is as good or better than fresh. Look for cans labeled "solid-pack" rather than "pumpkin pie filling" (which has other ingredients added).

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  • When to Get Rid of a Cookbook

    My little family is moving to a new home soon, and so we've begun the necessary process of purging all the stuff we don't want to pack up, including outgrown baby clothes, outworn adult clothes, most of the contents of the mysterious kitchen junk drawer, and...this is the really hard part...one out of every ten of our books, including (gulp) cookbooks.

    Check out the 16 cookbooks every food lover should own

    It's easy to know when to get rid of some things. Shoes wear out, clothes go out of style, junk becomes junkier. And most regular old books are easy to sort through. (Hate it? Donate it.) But when is it time to say sayonara to a cookbook? And hasn't that question gotten increasingly complicated to answer in this age of great online recipe databases, including, ahem, Epi's own?

    My own cookbook jettisoning criteria follow after the jump...

    Keep the cookbook if...

    1. We have actually used three or more of the recipes in the cookbook in the past year. Mark

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  • Take a trip down memory lane with these retro treats

    The Internet-the most modern of our tools of commerce and information distribution-has become an incredible resource for people looking to buy or sell old things, whether antique furniture, baseball cards, Smurfs memorabilia, or candy. No, not the petrified M&Ms you might find buried in your couch, but classic treats like Mallo Cups, Long Boys Coconut Candy Rolls, Sugar Daddy suckers, Mary Janes, and NECCO Wafers. It's surprising to find out how many old-fashioned candies remain in production, and while they're not likely to be at your local convenience store, you can buy them with a few clicks of a mouse. So in honor of Halloween, we scoured the Web for the best in retro teeth ruination and came up with the following blasts from the past.

    There are dozens of sites selling retro candy. One of our favorites is www.bigtipscandy.com, where you can get a collection of 15 classic candy bars from around the country, many of which are normally only available in certain regions. The

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  • 10 food trends to watch over the next decade

  • Summer's Done: Freezing Whole Tomatoes

    Last week I described my process for freezing sweet corn. This week I'll talk about another way to save up the flavors of summer against the impending doldrums of winter: freezing fresh tomatoes.

    I know that many of you (including some of the commenters on last week's post) are putting to shame my mere dozen ears of corn and four pounds of tomatoes. My hat is off to you as you're loading basement shelves with mason jars and filling double-sized freezers with vacuum-sealed bags. I wish I had the time and space for such ambitious preserving projects.

    But then again, putting up food for the winter doesn't need to be an epic endeavor. A bagful of treats from the farmers market and a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon will give you some bright-tasting treats you'll be glad to have on hand when facing the duller flavors of winter food.

    My process for freezing sweet corn is somewhat tried-and-true: I've used it for the past several years. Freezing tomatoes, though, is new

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  • Vegetarian Recipes for the Start of Fall

    With combinations this robust and flavors this bright, the hardest decision is what to eat first.

    There's nothing 'crunchy granola' about this menu-it's vegetarian cooking at its most refined. A stew-stuffed pumpkin is sheer drama, and the side dishes are all worth working into your regular rotation.

    Menu

    Servings: Serves 8

    Game Plan

    1 week ahead

    Make vegetable stock for sauce

    2 days ahead

    Toast green pumpkin seeds for salad

    Roast and peel peppers for stuffed pumpkin

    Toast almonds for pilaf

    Make pastry dough

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  • Dressing Up Cacio e Pepe

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    If there is a simpler, more budget-friendly supper in the world than the Italian classic Cacio e Pepe, I'd really like to know what it is. The version in the Epicurious database (pictured above) calls for the addition of some fresh arugula, but at its purest, the dish is pasta, cheese, and black pepper. The end. But the brightness of the peppercorns mixed with the creamy-smooth texture of the spaghetti and the fragrant, tart Pecorino Romano is a flavor and texture combination I adore. It's only three ingredients, but it tastes like so much more. Its simplicity and goodness reminds me of the old story about the little prince who never ate anything that tasted better than fresh brown bread with butter.

    Unfortunately however, for some

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  • Extreme Tailgating: Cold Weather

    Whereas hot-weather tailgates are all about escaping the heat, cold-weather tailgating is all about preventing the heat from escaping. The major issue, just as with extreme heat, is ensuring your personal health. Frostbite is a real possibility, and the cold is like a vacuum that wants to suck the warmth out of your grill and food. So do as football fans up north do: Be prepared!

    Check out the essential gear you'll need for cold weather tailgating

    Tips

    • Barbecuing Is Better

    Not only does barbecuing require less direct maintenance than grilling, but your grill can also be a source of warmth as you wait for your food to cook. Says Jay "The Tailgate Guy" DiEugenio: "When you're in Green Bay or Minnesota or Buffalo and there's snow all over the place, that's when you want to go for the three to four hours to barbecue, so you can stand around and keep warm." Grilling, however, is still a fine choice-especially if it's so bitter-cold that you want to get inside ASAP.

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  • Extreme Tailgating: Hot Weather

    So you think you're a bona fide tailgater, huh? The ultimate superfan of the stadium parking lot, with a rack of ribs cooking up on your Weber, natural-hair brushes sopping with barbecue sauce, and a dry-rub-stained apron that reads, "King of the Grill."

    Heck, you wouldn't be alone. Tens of thousands of lovers of beer, burgers, and ballgames make the parking-lot pilgrimage each football season, and have been doing so for decades. Actually, it's been more than a century, if you count the plentiful picnickers at the 1869 New Brunswick, N.J., match-up between Princeton University and Rutgers University that marked the first intercollegiate football game ever. But in the last decade or so, tailgating has become a national craze, as the NFL and most teams have learned to embrace the next level of fandom.

    Chances are, however, that you haven't yet entered the ranks of the elite, the guys who are willing to risk frostbite and heat stroke to bring fellow football fanatics a brat on

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  • End of Summer: Freezing Sweet Corn

    This weekend my efforts in the kitchen had less to do with dinner tonight than with dinner in, say, January. That's when I'll be eating the corn and tomatoes I packed into my freezer. My favorite summer fruits and veggies are still available at the farmers market, so I've been buying them up and storing them away for the winter. Knowing I won't have to resort quite so much to flavorless supermarket replicas eases (a little) the regret that summer's bounty will soon be over.

    Yesterday I put up four pounds of plum tomatoes and a dozen ears of sweet corn. Next week I'll talk about the tomatoes; today I'll describe how I did the corn. I've used this simple method of freezing corn for the past several years and have had good results with it. I'm sure it's not the only, or maybe even the best way to freeze sweet corn, so I'd love to hear your thoughts and compare notes with your favorite methods.

    As always when preparing food to be put up, I make sure my hands, utensils and work

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