by Nancy Sweet, director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College
What are the best websites for finding really good recipes?
On the internet, there are an overwhelming number of places to find recipes. From very well-known magazines like Food and Wine to an individual blogger in a small town in the Midwest, food information is abundant. From these offerings, one can find recipes, videos, menus and cooking tips, and many have apps available for your phone or tablet.
Below are a few of the larger-scale sites that have proven to have a great variety of recipes that produce great results.
Epicurious is a full service site for consumers interested in recipes, menu planning, all around food information, food trends and expert chef tips. The website was created by Condé Nast in 1995 and includes recipes from the magazines Gourmet (now electronic) and Bon Appetit. A new service on the site is the “Buy Ingredients” button. For over 34,000 recipes with one click, you’ll be able to purchase an entire recipe’s worth of ingredients from an online grocery store.
Plan your order in the morning before work, fire it off at lunch, and walk in the front door and everything you need to make dinner will be there waiting. Talk about convenience! On the Ingredients page this week they are featuring an article “27 Ways To Use Up A Jar Of Jelly.”
Cooking with the New York Times
You could spend days perusing this site as they offer over 17,000 recipes from their collections – and they recently compiled many of the best ones into a James Beard Award winning cookbook! One page on the website allows you to fine tune your recipe choice and select vegetarian or healthy recipes. The site is updated daily with suggestions on what to cook based on what is fresh in the store or being harvested on the farm. There is a “learn to cook” section that features videos on everything from filleting a fish to crimping pie dough. In addition, you can sign up for emails from them that highlight certain recipes while also providing a lot of back information on the hows and whys of the recipes. This week’s site included the following recipe for Gazpacho.
*About 2 pounds ripe, red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
*1 Italian frying (cubanelle) pepper or another long, light green pepper, such as Anaheim, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks
*1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
*1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
*1 clove garlic
*2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste
*½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling
Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender or, if using a hand blender, in a deep bowl. (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.
Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or the back of a ladle. Discard the solids. Transfer to a large pitcher (preferably glass) and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Serve in glasses, over ice if desired. A few drops of olive oil on top are a nice touch.
The Splendid Table
The Splendid Table is a radio show (along with this fabulous website) started in 1994 by James Beard award winning cookbook author Lynn Rosetta Kaspar. Her show really goes past the recipe, and digs into the science, history and culture of the nuances of the recipe. It also discusses current food issues, policies, and the need for change in the current food system. She describes her show as “the radio program for people who love to eat.” On the website, you can find fantastic recipes such as Summer Tomato Pudding and Turkish Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish, and interesting articles such as “All gnocchis are dumplings but not all dumplings are gnocchis.”
Turkish Spiced Chicken with Hot Green Relish
For the chicken:
*6 tablespoons olive oil
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*2 garlic cloves, grated
*salt and pepper
*6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
For the relish:
*2 garlic cloves, chopped
*sea salt flakes
*1 green chile
*1 red chile
*1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
*leaves from 8 sprigs of mint, torn
*1/3 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
*2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
*good squeeze of lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
To marinate the chicken, mix the regular oil, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper together to make a marinade. Make little slits all over the underside of the pieces of chicken with the point of a knife. Put the chicken into a dish. Add the marinade and roll the chicken in it to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Make the relish just before you cook the chicken. Put the garlic and salt into a mortar and bash it with a pestle until it is crushed. Halve and seed both chiles and chop them roughly. Add them to the mortar with the cilantro, mint, and olives and bash everything together, gradually adding the virgin olive oil and balsamic until you have a rough paste (it should be chunky, not puréed). Add lemon juice to taste and set aside.
Heat a ridged grill pan. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, shake off the excess, and set it on the pan. Start off cooking it on medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for another 4 minutes. The chicken should be cooked right through and charred, but not burnt.
Serve the chicken with lemon wedges, rice or flatbread, a bowl of Greek yogurt, and the relish. Cucumber and a green salad are good, too.
From A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley 2015.
Allrecipes, is the world’s largest social community for home cooks. It houses more than a million recipes and utilizes 19 websites, 2 mobile apps and 15 eBooks serving cooks in 23 countries and 12 languages. Home cooks use Allrecipes to discover and pass on their favorite food experiences. Community members can share recipes, photos, reviews, blogs and even recipe boxes. The Pro version takes the work out of meal planning and provides menus with shopping lists. All you have to do is cook!
If you are looking for a less “corporate” site check out Mel’s Kitchen. Mel is a food loving “chocolate-obsessed mom” who had a need to share her favorite recipes. She writes her goal is “finding joy in making other people I love happy through delicious food.” Recipes on her site feature “real” food for a “real” family. Her site includes 30-minute meals, healthy recipes (no high fructose corn syrup here) and cooking tips.
If you love to cook you are probably already watching the Cooking Channel. This site features their shows and top global chefs share their best recipes and demonstrate their specialties in cooking technique videos. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, try “Offbeat Eats.” The program is a celebration of America’s roadside rebel chefs, the people who create quirky eateries that are off the beaten path and serve up deliciously offbeat food and experiences.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value-Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org