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Virtually every beer batter fish recipe looks crispy coming out of the fryer, and some even stay crispy for a few minutes, but then the inevitable sogginess sets in, and by the time you take that last bite, you’re wondering why you just didn’t bake it. Well, with this simple formula, and a few easy tricks, you can achieve what many think impossible; a fried fish where the last bite is as crisp as the first.

The keys here are keeping your batter really cold, and your fish really dry. If you use frozen fish, make sure it’s fully thawed, and you’ve carefully blotted off any excess moisture, before giving it a light coating of starch. I like rice flour for this, but as I said in the video cornstarch, or potato starch will also work.

If you do want to season yours differently, you can apply whatever you want directly to the fish before it goes in the beer batter. Keep in mind that salt draws out water, so don’t go too heavy, and make sure your fish is as dry as possible before it gets dunked into your ice-cold batter. I generally keep things very simple, but the occasional spoon of Indian spice, or chili powder makes for a nice change of pace.

If you make your batter ahead, which is fine, be sure to keep it in the fridge, and if you’re doing a large number of portions, maybe place the batter over a bowl of ice, so it stays cold as you fry. Other than keeping things cold and dry, not much can go wrong, except maybe calling your “crisps” chips, which will definitely trigger your British friends. Anyway, they’ll be fine, and so will you after making this easy, and crispy-to-the-last-bite beer batter fish. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions Fish & Chips:

For the fish:
4 (six-ounce) pieces of boneless white fish, such as cod, haddock, etc., cut in half lengthwise into 8 strips
salt to taste
enough rice flour to lightly coat

For the batter:
1 cup self-rising flour (or all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp fine salt)
2 tablespoons rice flour, or cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
about 1 cup lager-style beer, plus more as needed to adjust
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This spring vegetable tart only looks hard to make, and would be a perfect centerpiece for any special occasion meal, just as long as you put it out on the table a little bit early, since we’ll need to allow enough time for all the Instagramming that follows. And please, no flash photography.

As long as you use a wide array of colorful vegetables, and tuck them into a gnarly base of greens, this easy cheese tart/salad can’t help but look gorgeous. In fact, the hardest things will be deciding which vegetables to use, and how to prepare them.

As I said in the video, you can go with anything from raw to roasted, but my favorite way to prep the vegetables, is to simply blanch them briefly in boiling, salted water. Just cook them for a few minutes to take off the raw edge, and then plunge them into cold water, before draining, and dressing.

Above and beyond the veggies, this cheese filling will work with any soft cheese, but I think the tanginess of the goat cheese is an important factor, so if you use something milder, you may want to sneak in some lemon juice. Regardless, of what specific ingredients you use, I really hope you give this gorgeous vegetable tart technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for a 10-inch round Spring Vegetable Tart:
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (round or rectangular)
(This tart can be made with any type of shell, including piecrust, phyllo, etc.)
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water (for brushing, and then for the filling)
For the filling:
1 1/4 cups goat cheese
salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne to taste
1/4 cup freshly chopped herbs, like dill, parsley, thyme, tarragon, basil, chives, etc.
the rest of the egg wash
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the vegetables:
2 handfuls mixed colorful salad greens (including something light and frizzy if possible)
2 to 3 cups of bite-sized fresh vegetables, briefly blanched in salted water
1/2 cup thinly sliced raw radishes, and cherry tomatoes
For the dressing (this is what I used, but your favorite salad dressing will work):
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste
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These easy to make soufflé pancakes use the same basic technique as their extremely trendy Japanese cousins, but are much easier, don’t require a mold, and actually taste like pancakes. Of course, these won’t garner the same love on Instagram, but hey, what we sacrifice in verticality, we more than make up for in less hot air.

The fully inflated version just isn’t dense enough to satisfy me as a pancake, and mostly makes me want to bake actual soufflés. By the way, no matter what pancake recipe you like best, if it has eggs in it, you can do the same thing with the whites, and it almost always improves the texture.

I joked about putting hot pancakes on cold plates in the video, but in the restaurant business, this is no laughing matter. It’s one way you can tell whether pros or amateurs are running the place. At home, I usually just turn my oven to the lowest setting, and warm the plates in there, ideally next to some bacon.

Running them under hot water also works, as does zapping them in the microwave for 20 seconds. Regardless of the plate’s temperature beneath them, or what you top these with, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 4 large or 6 smaller Soufflé Pancakes:
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon self-rising flour
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons butter for cooking
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These easy to make soufflé pancakes use the same basic technique as their extremely trendy Japanese cousins, but are much easier, don’t require a mold, and actually taste like pancakes. Of course, these won’t garner the same love on Instagram, but hey, what we sacrifice in verticality, we more than make up for in less hot air.

The fully inflated version just isn’t dense enough to satisfy me as a pancake, and mostly makes me want to bake actual soufflés. By the way, no matter what pancake recipe you like best, if it has eggs in it, you can do the same thing with the whites, and it almost always improves the texture.

I joked about putting hot pancakes on cold plates in the video, but in the restaurant business, this is no laughing matter. It’s one way you can tell whether pros or amateurs are running the place. At home, I usually just turn my oven to the lowest setting, and warm the plates in there, ideally next to some bacon.

Running them under hot water also works, as does zapping them in the microwave for 20 seconds. Regardless of the plate’s temperature beneath them, or what you top these with, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 4 large or 6 smaller Soufflé Pancakes:
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon self-rising flour
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons butter for cooking
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There’s no way to prove that corporate pizza chain restaurants got the idea for stuffing their crusts with cheese from Khachapuri, but that’s definitely the story I’m going with. 

Nevertheless, this Georgian cheese bread is such an amazing treat, it’s probably only a matter of time before these things are being delivered all over the country, right along side the usual pizza, garlic knots, and chicken wings.

While they do take a little bit of finesse to pull off at home, the dough is very simple, and the pay off is well worth the effort. You can obviously customize the cheese blend, but I strongly suggest that feta be part of the equation. The stretchy mozzarella, and creamy Jack are nice, but they’re not the most flavorful cheeses ever, which is why the sharper bite the feta brings works so well.

Besides working with the wet, sticky dough, the only real challenge here is not over cooking your eggs. In fact, I have it on good authority that some folks don’t even place these back in the oven after the eggs are introduced, but rather just stir the raw egg into the molten hot, cheesy center, and “cook” it that way. That’s up to you, but the point is, we want…we need, a runny yolk here. Anyway, since you can’t get this delivered quite yet, I really do hope you give these gorgeous Khachapuri a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 Khachapuri:
For the dough:
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup warm water
1 package dry active yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra for final kneading
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3/4 teaspoon fine salt)
For the cheese blend:
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
8 ounces feta cheese
For the rest:
1 tablespoon butter, cut in 4 slices
2 large eggs
sea salt for the top
cayenne, optional

- Bake at 475 F. for 15 minutes, fill with egg, and bake another 3 or 4 minutes, until the egg is almost, but not quite set.
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There’s no way to prove that corporate pizza chain restaurants got the idea for stuffing their crusts with cheese from Khachapuri, but that’s definitely the story I’m going with. 

Nevertheless, this Georgian cheese bread is such an amazing treat, it’s probably only a matter of time before these things are being delivered all over the country, right along side the usual pizza, garlic knots, and chicken wings.

While they do take a little bit of finesse to pull off at home, the dough is very simple, and the pay off is well worth the effort. You can obviously customize the cheese blend, but I strongly suggest that feta be part of the equation. The stretchy mozzarella, and creamy Jack are nice, but they’re not the most flavorful cheeses ever, which is why the sharper bite the feta brings works so well.

Besides working with the wet, sticky dough, the only real challenge here is not over cooking your eggs. In fact, I have it on good authority that some folks don’t even place these back in the oven after the eggs are introduced, but rather just stir the raw egg into the molten hot, cheesy center, and “cook” it that way. That’s up to you, but the point is, we want…we need, a runny yolk here. Anyway, since you can’t get this delivered quite yet, I really do hope you give these gorgeous Khachapuri a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 Khachapuri:
For the dough:
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup warm water
1 package dry active yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra for final kneading
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3/4 teaspoon fine salt)
For the cheese blend:
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
8 ounces feta cheese
For the rest:
1 tablespoon butter, cut in 4 slices
2 large eggs
sea salt for the top
cayenne, optional

- Bake at 475 F. for 15 minutes, fill with egg, and bake another 3 or 4 minutes, until the egg is almost, but not quite set.
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If you have a bunch of cold, leftover rice around, you should probably just use the classic method, but if you don’t, this easy oven method for making fried rice will not only produce something very similar in taste, but the texture of your rice comes out perfectly every time.

That’s because we’re using the same method as we do for rice pilaf, where the grains of rice get coated in fat before absorbing the cooking liquid. This ensures plump, tender, separate grains, and never sticky clumps of rice. By the way, this technique will work no matter what you include in your mixture, as long as you’re using long-grain rice, and cooking it in a similarly sized pan.

That’s not to say you can’t use other types of rice, or other size pans, but that will change the cooking time, so just something to keep in mind. Also, as I warned in the video, some sesame oils can be very strongly flavored, and if that’s the kind you have, the amount I poured over the top of my egg could overpower the dish, so be careful. Okay, that’s it for the warnings. I really do hope you give this baked “fried” rice a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large portions:
(I used a 11.5” x 8” x 2.5” pan, but your standard 9” x 12” casserole dish will work the same)
2 cups white long grain rice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil (mine was mild, so you may need to adjust this down)
optional 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, depending on the saltiness of your broth and ham.
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced peppers
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup green peas
1 cup diced ham or Chinese barbecue pork
3 cups boiling hot chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili paste, optional

- Bake at 400 F. for 32 minutes, and let rest for 10 minutes before unwrapping and fluffing.
- To brown the top, place in a 475 F. oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or under the broiler for a few minutes until the surface is nice and crusty.
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I’ve wanted to do another “one-pan” pasta video, where we cook everything right in the sauce, like we did in our famous Orecchiette with Sausage and Arugula recipe, but then I happened to see someone eating mac and cheese on TV, and those plans changed.

I decided to adapt the same approach, and see what would happen if I cooked the macaroni right in the milk, before making the cheese sauce, and what happened was something just as creamy, cheesy, and delicious as recipes using more traditional techniques. Besides loving the taste, and texture, the whole procedure only took a few minutes longer than the boxed stuff; not to mention we avoided about a dozen ingredients we probably shouldn’t be eating.

This is a simple procedure, but there are a couple things to keep in mind. Be sure to turn your heat off as soon as the cheese has melted, or almost melted in. If you continue to cook the cheese it will separate and get grainy. Also, please buy high-quality cheddar, and grate it yourself. Pre-grated cheeses are of lower quality, and the shreds are coated in a cellulose power that can give the final product an odd texture.

Thanks to being a little arrogant, and a lot delusional, I assumed I had stumbled on to some new, game-changing recipe here, only to find out that literally thousands of people had discovered this great trick way before me. Which is fine, since deep down I know I could’ve invented it, but simply didn’t need to. Regardless of who gets the credit, or which high-traffic YouTube chef eventually claims to have invented it, the technique works quite well, as so I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon fine salt), plus more to taste
pinch of cayenne
pinch of dried mustard, optional (I didn’t add, but many people do)
very small pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup small elbow macaroni
2 packed cups freshly grated cheddar cheese (about 6 to 8 ounce by weight)

For the panko topping:
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
- Cook crumbs in the butter over medium heat until golden brown.
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One of my earliest “exotic” food experiences was eating potato knishes with my Dad when we’d visit Coney Island. There were the square variety, and we’d buy them from a hot dog cart, and since potatoes were my favorite food growing up, I was in heaven. I mean, mashed potatoes in a warm, flaky pastry? I’ll have two, please.

Back then they were still made with copious amounts of chicken fat, also know as “schmaltz,” which was the real secret behind their awesomeness, but you can make a perfectly fine version without that, especially if you have some leftover corned beef around. Regardless of how you fill these, the technique seen herein will work, and half the fun is trying new versions. As long as the base is mashed potato, spiked with onions fried in lots of fat, anything goes.

I think the baked version is the easiest, but if you feel so inclined, these can also be deep-fried, or pan-fried. No matter how you cook them, one of the keys is getting the dough nice and thin, so your finished product is mostly filling. Other than that, these are relatively simple to make, and the kind of snack that fills more than just an empty stomach, which is why I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 16 Knishes:
(Please Note: I only used half the dough in the video, and only made enough filling for 8 knishes, but the following ingredients will make 16 total)

For the dough:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup warm water

For the filling (might make extra):
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and boiled in salted water until tender
1/2 cup melted butter, and/or rendered chicken fat
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine salt), plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
8 ounces diced corned beef
1 cup finely chopped cooked cabbage

- Bake at 375 F. for about 40 minutes, or until golden-brown
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Every year I try to post at least one Irish recipe, and this time around I decided to do something a little out of the ordinary, and try my hand at Barmbrack. I love corned beef and cabbage as much as the next guy, but you can only film it so many different ways. Anyway, the thought of a nice, moist, dense, fruity tea cake for breakfast, with a cup of hot, black tea, sounded just about perfect, and so I started researching this ancient loaf…and researching…and researching, until I had seen and read so many recipes that I didn’t know which direction to go.

There are a huge variety of styles, from light, yeast -raised versions, to super-dense ones, similar to the often-maligned holiday fruitcake. So, I decided to just wing it, and use the force, which usually works out well, but this time, not so much. This is traditionally a Halloween treat, and my experience was equal parts trick and treat.

I’m hearing from my Irish friends on YouTube that I should have probably used baking soda, plus more tea to get a little more rise. They also say that using half wholegrain flour will inhibit the verticality as well. Notwithstanding my results, at the very least, I’ve hopefully made some of you aware of barmbrack, and maybe you’ll give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 9” x 5” loaf pan:
2 cups warm black tea
1⁄2 cup golden raisins
1⁄2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried currants
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole grain flour (I’m told this makes the loaf a lot heavier, so maybe use all regular flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I’m told I should’ve probably added a teaspoon of baking soda)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1⁄4 cup milk
2 tablespoons  reserved black tea
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey or any whiskey
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
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Author

authorI teach people how to cook. Don't let the chicken suit fool you. I have skills. Some skills.