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Sara Moulton

Don’t settle for dull gravy. Learn how to crank the flavor

Just because Thanksgiving mostly is about tradition doesn’t mean that we aren’t open to going off script when it comes to side dishes and exactly how to cook the big bird. But the gravy? It’s where innovation goes to die! Generally, we’re content to just pour some store-bought chicken broth, along with a little butter […]

Not feeding a crowd this Thanksgiving? Roast a turkey breast

Let’s say that this year’s Thanksgiving feast is going to be a more intimate affair than the usual cast of thousands, yet you still want turkey. It can be done. Instead of cooking up a whole bird, why not go with a turkey breast? “Because,” you reasonably reply, “white meat turkey tends to turn out […]

Cook the apples, lose the gap! Mastering a better apple pie

Any number of tasks may strike you as easy as pie, but anyone who’s ever actually made a pie can tell you that it actually requires some care if you want it to turn out well. Consider apple pie. Its ingredients are few and elemental: apples, of course, along with sugar, flavoring and pie crust. […]

Entertaining a gaggle of ghouls? Time to dress up popcorn

It’s that time of year again, when gaggles of little ghosts, goblins and ghouls expect sweet treats. Whether you are hosting a graveyard’s worth of spooks or need to supply the treats for a classroom party, this year consider ditching candy in favor of an easy treat you can cook up yourself. I’m talking about […]

October 28, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Master the easy art of cooking dried beans from scratch

Until I went off to college and became a vegetarian out of financial necessity, beans really weren’t a part of my life. But once I found myself pinching pennies while sharing a house with three other women, beans became a great and affordable source of bulk and protein. And though the initial motivation was saving […]

October 14, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

How to do right by summer’s bounty of luscious tomatoes

If you’re like me, you believe that a fresh, ripe tomato is one of the best things about summer. And this tart is an ode to the tomato in season – and a lesson about how to make the most of it. Let’s start with how to choose the best tomatoes. First, pick up your […]

September 23, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

A little care, a little brine can produce stellar pork chops

Let’s face it, a cookout on Labor Day, that bittersweet farewell to summer, tends to attract the hedonistic hordes. Your challenge as host is to come up with something that’s simple to prepare, but not boring. These pork chops do the job splendidly. Once upon a time pork chops were pretty rich. These days they’re […]

September 02, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Ditch rice; go with a new grain for better stuffed peppers

Usually, there are two big problems with stuffed peppers: the peppers and the stuffing. Bland, bland, bland. The dish is a great idea. Stuff something delicious into something healthy and equally delicious. Except stuffed peppers never seem to turn out that way. But what if there was a way to make this dish actually taste […]

August 26, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Serving breakfast for dinner, with a bit of pasta in the mix

This is the ultimate breakfast-for-dinner dish: bacon, eggs and toast (in the form of buttery crumbs), combined with spaghetti. Comfort food to the highest degree, it’s especially satisfying after a stressful day at school or the office. And all of the ingredients, except for the bacon, are cooked in one skillet. Most of us fry […]

August 12, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged , ,

Why buy when DIY produces healthier, cheaper peanut butter?

For many parents, back to school time means back to packing lunch for the kids. And that means it’s time to revisit that old lunchbox mainstay, the peanut butter sandwich. The star ingredient tends to come one of two ways – heavily processed or ultra-natural. The more processed peanut butters generally are pumped up with […]

August 05, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Mastering the fine art of a deceptively simple tossed salad

Summer time is salad time. When it’s hot out and the garden is bountiful, everyone’s in the mood for a light and refreshing entree salad. And what could be easier? You just toss together a bunch of lettuce with some cooked protein, add an excellent dressing, and boom! You’re done. Or not. Turns out that […]

July 08, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Great potato salad comes down to how and when you season it

I’m not a fan of potato salad that tastes like a bunch of spuds smothered in mayo. I want more. At the very least, I want to taste the potatoes. Trouble is, potatoes are pretty bland if not properly seasoned. They also need to be seasoned at the right moment during the cooking process. Here’s […]

June 24, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

No local lobster handy? Get a lobster roll fix with shrimp

My dad, a native New Englander, is a huge fan of lobster rolls, those heavily-buttered hot dog buns stuffed with chunks of mayonnaise-rich lobster and maybe a little celery for crunch. Wildly flavorful and obscenely indulgent, lobster rolls are a summertime fixture at every seafood shack in New England. Problem is, they can be pricey. […]

June 10, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

In time for strawberry season – a master class in shortcakes

The arrival of local strawberries is a sure sign that warm weather is on its way. So to celebrate, I’m sharing what I consider the absolute best biscuit recipe I’ve ever encountered. It was while I was working in Gourmet magazine’s test kitchen during the ’80s that I was put on the quest for the […]

May 20, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

You need this one-pan approach to getting dinner done fast

As kitchen wisdom goes, I often think the best tricks are the simplest. One-pan cooking, for example. The ability to cook an entire meal on a single rimmed sheet pan – an act that leaves you with nothing but that one pan to clean when dinner’s over – to me is nothing short of magic. […]

April 22, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Freshness, not thickness, matters when buying asparagus

When shopping for asparagus, people often focus on the wrong thing – how thick the stalks are. They think thinner is better. Truth is, asparagus can be delicious regardless of how thick it is. More important is how fresh the asparagus is. That’s where the flavor is. Freshly-harvested asparagus boasts a smooth, firm stalk and […]

April 08, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Getting evenly roasted Brussels sprouts is all about space

With Passover nearly here, I thought it might be nice to suggest a side dish – roasted Brussels sprouts – to complement the feast’s traditional items. Brussels sprouts are the tiniest member of the cabbage family. And I’ll confess that I used to hate them. In the old days they were not only boiled, but […]

April 01, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

This Easter, master perfectly creamy scalloped potatoes

With Easter on its way, my mind has turned to scalloped potatoes, always a big hit at a holiday feast. And really, what’s not to love? We’re talking about sliced potatoes baked in a cream sauce, then topped with cheese or crumbs or both! Still, it takes some care to ensure that the potatoes are […]

March 18, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

In the Super Bowl of pizza, this DIY beats take-out any day

Make pizza from scratch for a Super Bowl party? Come on! Why bother when you can snap your fingers and have it delivered to your door? Here’s why: Homemade pizza tastes better than anything you can buy and it takes much less time and effort than you would think. Making the dough takes just 10 […]

January 28, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

The secret to great tofu is all in the pressing

My mom started traveling abroad when I was in high school. And after each of her trips, we cooked a meal from the country she’d just visited. It was after her trip to Italy that I became a huge fan of veal. Veal, of course, is notoriously bland, so what’s the appeal? I love it […]

January 07, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Slow cooker short ribs that are worth the trouble

Many people love the idea of a slow cooker because it seems so simple – open the pot, insert ingredients, cover the pot, turn on the heat, then leave it alone. Eight hours later, after a hard day at the office or chasing the kids, you uncover the pot and spoon out a perfectly cooked, […]

November 05, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Tips for breaking through an artichoke’s armor

Artichokes are the armadillos of the vegetable kingdom. There is a tender and succulent heart at the center of each specimen, but getting past its armor of prickly leaves can be daunting. How tough are those leaves? In my innocent younger years, I once tried to pulverize some artichoke leaves in my kitchen sink disposal […]

October 15, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

Ever walk past a French bakery with one of those impossibly elegant apple tarts in the window, the ones with the apple slices fanned out in the shape of a flower? Nothing you could ever make at home, right? Wrong. It’s so much easier than it looks. That’s because all you really need is the […]

October 01, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Bean there, done that? Learn to love dried beans

I didn’t appreciate the numerous lovable qualities of dried beans until my college years, when I was living on my own in a house with several other women, all of us strapped for cash. As soon as we discovered that beans are a tasty, economical and nutrient-rich alternative to animal-based protein, they began turning up […]

September 24, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Turning your zucchini abundance into no-fry fries

Those darn zucchini! There’s an army of them occupying your garden right now and each one is as big as a blimp. What if I told you there’s a way to transform the whole lot of them into a delicious dish resembling french fries, but without all the calories? The secret involves cutting your zucchini […]

September 10, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

Ripe, plentiful blueberries are such a highlight of summer that some of us are prone to getting the blueberry blues during the rest of the year. Happily, imported and frozen blueberries make it easy to enjoy them all the time. In fact, if you’re really on your game, you can pick extra now and freeze […]

August 27, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Celebrate the season with a triple-tomato salad

At the peak of ripeness, an in-season tomato is one of the things that makes life worth living. Happily, that season is upon us. And this recipe is my ode to that summer tomato. All kinds of tomatoes are at the best just now, big and small, beefsteak and cherry. At the base of this […]

August 13, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Bulking up the classic BLT without adding fat

In terms of flavor and texture, it’s hard to beat a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, reportedly one of the most popular sandwiches in America. Trouble is, it’s not exactly filling. I’ve always thought of the BLT as an air sandwich; it packs plenty of calories but demonstrates very little staying power. So here I’ve […]

July 23, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Phyllo stands in for crust in healthy cherry pie

My all-time favorite dessert is cherry pie. Yes, I rank it higher than any chocolate concoction you can name. I even like the gluey, over-thickened versions served up in diners. But I admit I felt slightly virtuous when I discovered recently that cherries are such a healthy ingredient, rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Naturally, […]

July 09, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Just for Dad, a healthy take on jalapeno poppers

What to do on Father’s Day when it’s time to eat and you want to serve something manly and filling? Other than steak, that is. Here’s a nominee that re-engineers a classic sports bar appetizer – jalapeno poppers. Standard jalapeno poppers are thumb-sized hot peppers stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, then breaded and […]

June 11, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,
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