Blog Posts by Food52

  • How to Make Chocolate Bark Without a Recipe

    At Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

    Today: Chocolate bark is the easiest (and prettiest) gift you can make, and there are no rules -- and no recipe required. Ben Mims shows us how.

    How to Make Chocolate Bark Without a Recipe from Food52

    When it comes to candy making, there's nothing simpler or more satisfying than chocolate bark. There's no fiddling with wayward candy thermometers, stirring until your arm cramps, or boiling sugar napalm to steer clear of for fear of burning your flesh; just melted chocolate and whatever crunchy goodies you fancy. It looks beautiful in a scattered, organic Pollack kinda way, which explains why it's synonymous with gift giving during the holidays.

    The most popular during Christmastime is crushed peppermint candies over white chocolate, sporting the vivid red and white we expect, and producing that velvety after-dinner mint texture and taste we need after

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  • Whole Wheat, Triple-Ginger Gingersnaps

    It's always more fun to DIY. Every week at Food52, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

    Today: Megan Fleiner from passports & pancakes shares a cookie recipe that puts the ginger in ginger snap.

    If the holidays could be condensed into a single baked good, I think it would be a ginger snap. They're full of warm spices, sweetened with rich molasses, and perfect served warm with a glass of milk. One bite and I am instantly transported to a spot in front of the fireplace, stockings hanging overhead.

    This recipe gives you a triple dose of ginger -- ground, fresh, and candied. Each one contributes a slightly different flavor variation, yielding the perfect amount of spice. I like the whole wheat flour and light brown sugar combination the most, but you can swap all-purpose flour or dark brown sugar if that's what you have on hand.

    >>RELATED: How to make your own candied ginger.

    If you are in the

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  • How to Make Punch Without a Recipe

    At Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

    Today: Food52's Assistant Editor Kenzi Wilbur shows us how to make boozy party punch with whatever is lingering in your liquor cabinet.

    How to Make Punch Without a Recipe from Food52

    Let's be real: it isn't a holiday party until there's punch. Who else is going to give you the courage to let loose all of your cocktail party facts, your recitation of the Classics, and your casual mentionings of the latest profile in the New Yorker?

    Yes, you'll need a large bowl of it -- but you won't need a recipe. All you'll need is a ratio, and the ability to stir. (You won't even need a punch bowl -- use the best large bowl in your cabinet -- though you get bonus points for pulling out the fine crystal.)

    Just pour, gently mix, and serve; then pass the good will -- bestowing this ratio on your friends will be your best cocktail party knowledge yet.

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  • How to Make Buche De Noel (Christmas Yule Log)

    Every other Friday on Food52, Yossy Arefi from Apt. 2B Baking Co. shares dessert projects that demand a little extra time and effort. Because your weekends should always be sweet.

    Today: Welcome in the holiday season with this traditional French cake.

    Buche de Noel on Food52

    There are just about a million ways to make the traditional log-shaped Christmas cake, a Bûche de Nöel, but they all have three main components: cake, filling, and frosting. (They actually have four components, if you count all of the fun bits and bobs you can use for decoration.)

    This version utilizes a flourless chocolate cake -- which makes it gluten-free! -- from famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel (yes, the cronut guy is actually a fantastic pastry chef). He used to make mini Bûches de Nöel for all of the diners at Daniel Boulud's eponymous restaurant around the holidays.

    Buche de Noel on Food52

    Inside, you'll find a simple coffee and mascarpone cream flecked with vanilla beans and finally, the whole thing is coated with rich chocolate

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  • Dinner Tonight: Butternut Squash Soup + Turnip Green Frittata

    There's something about frittatas. It's not just that "frittata" is a fun word to say (along with croquembouche). Frittatas are inherently classy and casual -- they guarantee an enjoyable meal, a leisurely conversation, a relaxed dinner over a bottle of wine. You could make it for your kids and they would be thrilled by the prospect of having eggs for dinner -- or you could make it for an unfussy first date. The bottom line is: You can't go wrong with a frittata. And the butternut squash soup adds a slight sweetness to the meal, coming together in the time that it takes to bake and set the frittata.

    Want to make it vegetarian? Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Looking for the meat? Don't -- this meal is surprisingly filling, and the eggs pack in the protein. You don't have to use turnip greens, either; any dark, leafy green will do.

    Turnip Greens Frittata by Amanda Hesser

    Serves 4

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large or 2 small white potatoes, skin on and finely diced (no

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  • The Simplest and Best Roast Lamb with Potatoes

    Every Tuesday at Food52, Italian expat Emiko Davies is taking us on a grand tour of Italy, showing us how to make classic, fiercely regional dishes at home.

    Today: Go Roman for your Christmas roast.

    This may look like it is just a roast lamb. But it's not just any roast lamb. This is abbacchio, the roast leg of lamb that graces Roman tables for special occasions, usually Christmas and Easter. And for it to be real, true abbacchio -- we're talking about a delicacy famous throughout Lazio -- it must be milkfed or suckling lamb.

    Proper abbacchio romano (a product that even has prestigious Protected Geographical Indication status) is a delicate and lean specialty that follows ancient traditions and seasonal cycles: The free-range mother sheep graze on the open pastures of Lazio, producing full-flavored milk for their babies, which in turn produces healthy, happy, and delicious lamb. And when it comes to butchering, another tradition makes sure none of the lamb is wasted;

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  • Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

    Today: Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser brings us her family's all-purpose, Postal Service-friendly, lasts-forever Holiday Cut-Out Cookie.

    This is my mother's recipe. She's a stickler for details, which plays to her advantage when it comes to baking. Her cut-out cookies are always the thinnest and prettiest and have the most restrained amount of decoration. Contrary to the plump and pale versions you often see, cut-out cookies should be very thin with browned edges, so they're crisp and nutty!

    Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

    Makes 80 cookies (depending on the cookie cutter size; you can halve or quarter the recipe)

    1 1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
    4 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    8 cups all-purpose flour
    1 egg white
    Finely chopped walnuts or sliced almonds (optional)
    Sanding sugar (optional)
    Dried citron or candied cherries, finely chopped (optional)

    1. A day before baking the cookies: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle

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  • Genius Miso-Creamed Kale

    Every week on Food52.com, Senior Editor Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.

    Today: Creamed greens were always comfort food, but now they don't need the steak on the side.

    Creamed spinach -- let's own it -- is just an excuse to eat swirls of cream.

    The greens are almost an afterthought to get it to sit up on the plate, a thickening agent. You could be eating creamed mesclun -- would you know the difference?

    And there's nothing wrong with that. Some go to the steakhouse for the sides alone. But there's so much potential to tease out from the presence of a good green, and add even more dignity to cream's noble head start.

    Enter: kale. Specifically, lacinato. Unlike spinach, it doesn't lose its structure, and shrink into pudding.

    You've met kale, right? It's that thing you ate for lunch the past three days. But while we usually pigeonhole it into salad and smoothies, this is kale for the holidays. (Thanks for letting us borrow your kale for a minute,

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  • Dinner Tonight: Soy Saucy Chicken + Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    There is nothing better than a meal that hits the spot. It's like a hug from that friend who gives the best hugs -- it makes you stop in your tracks and demands you enjoy the moment because nothing else is better. Soy sauce chicken is comfort food at its best. In fact, it belongs right alongside pancakes-for-dinner, and hot-chocolate-in-PJs, and mac-n-cheese-by-Mom. It just makes sense. Add in Brussels sprouts in a fish sauce (trust us) vinaigrette, and then you have something competing with those hugs. Plus, after tonight, you'll have a new weeknight staple, and a not sad desk lunch the next day -- one that your nosy coworker wont be able to stop eyeballing.

    The Menu

    Soy Saucy Chicken and Eggs by monkeymom

    Serves 6

    6 eggs
    4 cloves garlic, smashed
    2 slices ginger
    2 lbs chicken thighs (on the bone)
    1/2 cup rice wine
    1 cup diced tomatoes (or 3 Tbsp tomato paste)
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1 Tbsp brown sugar
    3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (dried or fresh)
    Dried red chili peppers (optional)

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  • The Best White Cake with Maple Frosting

    How to improve on light, fluffy white cake? Top it with maple syrup-sweetened marshmallow-y frosting.

    For birthdays and holidays, it's easy to overcomplicate the cake. But spending all day on a multi-tiered buttercream-coated affair doesn't mean it's going to taste any more delicious than a simple fluffy white cake made with just as much care in a whole lot less time.

    Enter this white cake, a recipe passed down from the author's grandmother, which calls for nothing more than standard baking ingredients (milk, sugar, shortening, flour, eggs, vanilla) and the simplest three-ingredient frosting.

    >>RELATED: Want more maple syrup? Try this Maple Walnut Cream Tart

    Making the cake is a breeze: Just cream your sugar and shortening, add your wet ingredients, fold in the dry ingredients, and bake. Top with your maple-y, marshmallow-like frosting, which is made by whipping hot maple syrup into stiff egg whites until thick and glossy.

    >>RELATED: On the darker side: Genius

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