Everything you need to know to cook with this popular tear-inducing vegetable

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Photo by K8 on Unsplash

The humble onion. When cut, can make a grown man cry. When cooked, is delicious enough to be its own dish or be a supporting player in another dish. When eaten raw, adds amazing sharpness and sweetness to the dish.

Onions are my favorite vegetable. I love them in all shapes and forms, from caramelized onions, to raw onions on a burger, to sautéed onions in the base of a sauce, to onion rings. If you cook frequently, then you know that onions are used in cuisines all around the world and are one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. …


The key to any great pie starts with the crust

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Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

One of America’s most beloved dishes that no Thanksgiving table is complete without—pie. From pumpkin to apple to pecan, there are so many different ways to fill a pie, but they all start with an amazing crust.

Baking a pie from scratch may seem like a daunting task for many home cooks, but with the right techniques, anyone can bake a professional-tasting pie right in their home. After all, it only takes 4 ingredients — flour, fat, water, salt.

Impress your family and friends this Thanksgiving with the most tender and flavorful pie of their lives (along with the most beautiful and juicy turkey). …


Lessons from a food blogger on why you shouldn’t always stick to a recipe

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Photo by Fernando Aguilar on Unsplash

Yup you read that right. I’m the proud co-founder and co-chef of the food blog The Mini Chef, and I’m telling you to not follow recipes. Sound counterintuitive? It’s not. Whether you’re a home cook just trying to cook delicious food for your friends and family or you’re an aspiring chef, the first step to cooking better food is to stop relying on recipes.

When I started cooking, I followed recipes religiously. …


The keys to a perfect turkey: crispy skin and juicy meat

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By SJ . from Unsplash

It’s almost that time of the year already. Everyone gathered together over a beautiful spread of Thanksgiving dishes. Smack in the center of the table? A beautiful, golden-brown turkey with scrumptious, juicy meat. This is the American (Thanksgiving) dream.

However, as anyone who has roasted a turkey will tell you, it is no easy task to do it perfectly. I myself learned how hard it is two years ago when I tried my hand at making a classic Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. While the turkey looked good, the breast meat had unfortunately dried out, making it bland and hard to chew. …


Why even in the age of food delivery apps, cooking is a valuable life skill that everyone must learn

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Photo by Hemant Latawa on Unsplash

With so many food delivery apps throwing promotion after promotion in our faces, why would anyone want to cook their own meals? From Grubhub+, to Uber Eats Pass, to Dashpass, these companies are making it easier than ever to never have to touch your stove again.

I’ll be honest, I’ve fallen prey to these food delivery apps. In college, I can count on one hand the number of times I cooked a meal. Even after graduating and living by myself, I could rarely muster up the energy to cook, even though I enjoyed it. …


Learning how flour is used in both baking and cooking will make you a better chef

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Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash

Flour. It’s one of the most used ingredients in the entire world. It’s used in everything from pasta, dumplings, and pancakes in cooking, and it’s used in almost every baked good you can think of.

If you are a home cook, then you’ve probably worked with flour hundreds of times in your life. Personally, I check the baking aisle of every supermarket I go to to see if I can snag a great deal on some flour because we go through flour so quickly in our home.

However, there are so many different kinds of flour out there, how do you know when to use which one? Sure you could use all-purpose flour for everything, but what about cake flour? Or 00 flour? …


This workhorse of the kitchen can cook everything from stir-fries to roast chicken to stews

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Photo by Blake Carpenter on Unsplash

The cast iron skillet. Nothing else can compare to its versatility and durability. This simple piece of equipment can cost you as little as $15 and last you multiple generations, all while being able to cook almost any dish you want.

Pizza, cinnamon rolls, pies. These are a few more things that can be cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Does this sound too good to be true? Then you’re in for a surprise, because the cast iron skillet really is that good. The only downside is that they can be pretty heavy, but a little exercise never hurts.

For home cooking, if you’re only cooking for yourself or one other, a 10-inch cast iron skillet is a perfect size. If you’re cooking for a family, a 12-inch skillet will serve you better. Either way, there are enough recipes out there for one-pan cast iron meals that you’ll be set for the rest of your life. …


Soy sauce is the not-so-secret secret ingredient behind some of the most popular Asian dishes

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Photo by Kevin Lee

What do some of the most popular Asian (in the colloquial sense meaning East Asian) dishes — lo mein from China, bulgogi from Korea, shoyu ramen from Japan — have in common? They all rely on soy sauce for much of their flavor.

Soy sauce is a simple ingredient that you will find if you walk into any Asian home. It’ll probably be sitting by the stove because it’s used so often that it’d be a waste of time to put it away, and it needs to be within reach at all times. It’s used in everything from stir-fries to soups or even as the base of other sauces, like teriyaki sauce. …


Learn about the different types of chocolate used in baking and how to use them to their full potential

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Brownies. Molten lava cake. Chocolate ganache. Truffles. Pain au chocolat. For many, those words alone conjure up feelings of warmth, comfort, and home.

Chocolate is one of the most popular ingredients in baking, used to make some of the best and most decadent desserts around the world. In fact, it’s so ubiquitous that you’d be hard-pressed to find a culture in which chocolate isn’t used.

Because of its widespread use, you’ve most likely baked with chocolate at some point or another in your life. Whether it was making late-night brownies from a brownie mix, or trying to impress your crush with a chocolate cake for their birthday, I’m willing to bet almost every one of you reading this has used chocolate in baking before. …


And how it’s already made me more productive and energized

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Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Covid-19 hasn’t been easy. We’ve been cooped up in our apartments or homes for months, with seemingly no end in sight. It’s no wonder that my entire life started feeling like a slog.

My day had become a well-oiled machine, but instead of a Ferrari, it was more like a Useless Machine. I’d wake up, start working, try to work on recipes for my food blog, and then spend the rest of the time watching TV before going to bed, ready to repeat the monotony the next day.

Over the last few months, I noticed that things I used to find exciting, like creating recipes and cooking, started to feel like chores. I would rather sit on my couch and watch another episode of Masterchef than go out to buy groceries and cook. …

About

Kevin Lee

Software engineer by day, food enthusiast by night. Co-founder of The Mini Chef (www.theminichef.com)

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