How to Make Compote With Any Fruit You Have

Here 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: Transform your season’s harvest into a simple, versa…

Here 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: Transform your season's harvest into a simple, versatile compote, without fancy canning equipment—and without a recipe.

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How to Make a Grain Bowl With Whatever’s in Your Fridge

I realize that I may be alone here when I say that bowls are my favorite piece of dishware. (What, you don’t have a favorite eating vessel?)
Hear me out: Unlike plates, which waste sauce and discourage you from mixing a meal’s different components, bow…

I realize that I may be alone here when I say that bowls are my favorite piece of dishware. (What, you don't have a favorite eating vessel?)

Hear me out: Unlike plates, which waste sauce and discourage you from mixing a meal's different components, bowls are vessels that empower you to layer multiple flavors and top everything off with a grand finale of dressing. Which brings me to grain bowls.

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The Secret to New York City’s Best Mozzarella Sticks

I had been seeing the name all over New York City, first at Smorgasburg (an open-air food market in Brooklyn), then at Chelsea Market: Big Mozz.

Their specialty (in case you hadn’t guessed) is extra-large mozzarella sticks. Bigger than the kind you’d …

I had been seeing the name all over New York City, first at Smorgasburg (an open-air food market in Brooklyn), then at Chelsea Market: Big Mozz.

Their specialty (in case you hadn't guessed) is extra-large mozzarella sticks. Bigger than the kind you'd find in the frozen section of the grocery store, yet structurally sound and far more flavorful. Every time I happened upon one of their stalls, I couldn't help but grab a basket of fresh-from-the-fryer mozz sticks and devour them in five minutes flat.

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What Is an Egg Cream, Anyway?

A well-made chocolate egg cream is hard to find. The beverage was invented by Louis Auster in 1980, and remained popular throughout the early 20th century. Famously containing neither eggs nor cream, the sweet treat was once poured freely by soda jerks…

A well-made chocolate egg cream is hard to find. The beverage was invented by Louis Auster in 1980, and remained popular throughout the early 20th century. Famously containing neither eggs nor cream, the sweet treat was once poured freely by soda jerks in candy stores throughout Bay Ridge and the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Recently, it’s been popping up on menus as a relic of the past or a novelty; but, if you order it, odds are you will be disappointed with the taste. Not many people know how to make it well anymore—egg creams often come out too chocolatey, too watery, too thin-tasting.

what is an egg cream?

When made correctly, a chocolate egg cream is made with cold, whole milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer water in just the right proportions. Not eggs or cream. Not chocolate milk or ice cream. Too much chocolate results in a drink that's cloyingly sweet. Too much seltzer from the soda fountain, and the drink will taste diluted, a bubbly embodiment of disappointment. An egg cream is the perfect balance of sweetness, richness, and effervescence. And a very good egg cream is a frothy, refreshing treat. As for why it’s called “egg cream?” Auster’s grandson, Stanley Auster, has one theory: That the name had simply gotten mangled over time. The drink had been originally called “echt” (or “genuine, real” in Yiddish) cream, as in “good cream,” but somehow “egg” had stuck.

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How to Make Cheesecake—No Recipe Required

At one end of the dessert spectrum is the cleansing, frosty sorbet—sharp and refreshing and crisp. At the other is the cheesecake, which, like a velvet turtleneck, is cushy and luxurious and really only appealing once the temperature drops below 60 deg…

At one end of the dessert spectrum is the cleansing, frosty sorbet—sharp and refreshing and crisp. At the other is the cheesecake, which, like a velvet turtleneck, is cushy and luxurious and really only appealing once the temperature drops below 60 degrees.

Cheesecakes are beloved and legendary and I have to be honest: While wooed by my love of dairy products, I tend to find cheesecakes exhausting. Not making them—that part is fun—but eating them. It’s a heavy end to what’s often, come the cooler months, a heavy meal, and the cake itself is regularly too sweet and served in wedges so large they seem to float on the dinner table like cruise ships.

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How to Make Pickled Eggs in Every Natural Color & Flavor Under the Sun

You know how people say salt your pasta water so it tastes like the sea? And if you don’t, no matter how much you salt your pasta sauce, you’re sort of already screwed? Pickling eggs has a similar effect. You can add all the vinegar you want to your eg…

You know how people say salt your pasta water so it tastes like the sea? And if you don't, no matter how much you salt your pasta sauce, you're sort of already screwed? Pickling eggs has a similar effect. You can add all the vinegar you want to your egg salad, but using pickled eggs will always be brighter and punchier.

But while eggshells adore natural dyes, egg whites are a bit more... how do we put this nicely... choosy. I tried pickling eggs with parsley, spinach, matcha, carrots, even Korean gochugaru—but all yielded a yellowish-grayish-brown shade of, well, eggshell.

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How to Make the Best Chicken Wings for a Crowd

Chicken wings have got a bad reputation for hanging around sketchy bars. It’s time to intervene. Because you can make chicken wings that are crispy and tender, that are doused in homemade hot sauce butter or your favorite spices, that are actually addi…

Chicken wings have got a bad reputation for hanging around sketchy bars. It's time to intervene. Because you can make chicken wings that are crispy and tender, that are doused in homemade hot sauce butter or your favorite spices, that are actually addictive and not at all dubious.

Our test kitchen director, Josh Cohen, shares his go-to method when making chicken wings for a crowd: He dry-brine-spice-rubs the night before, and slides them into the oven while "refreshing everyone's drink." Baking them on a foil-lined sheet keeps cleanup minimal, and his make-ahead blender BBQ sauce has guests saying, "Frank's who?"

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How to Make Snappy Sauerkraut at Home (You Can Do It!)

Perhaps you have heard that the more we eat fermented foods—delicious things that are probiotic, like pickles, miso, yogurt, kombucha, sourdough, kimchi, and sauerkraut) the happier our guts tend to be. Perhaps you have also heard of the microbiome—the…

Perhaps you have heard that the more we eat fermented foods—delicious things that are probiotic, like pickles, miso, yogurt, kombucha, sourdough, kimchi, and sauerkraut) the happier our guts tend to be. Perhaps you have also heard of the microbiome—the lush community of microbial flora and fauna of our bodies, which, among other things, seem to keep us healthy. If you and I have chatted about fermented foods before, you know that I am totally fascinated by the microbiome, by these good bacteria that animate us. (Aside: If I haven’t talked your ear off about it yet, check out this video from NPR. You will be astonished and fascinated and probably giddy. Then again, it could just be your microbiome talking.)

But I’m a cook, not a scientist, and I’m certainly not here to make any health claims. What I am here to say is that sauerkraut is delicious, colorful, and basically a blinking neon light in the often beige and heavy landscape of winter foods. There’s a reason kraut (and its cousins, kimchi and the deli pickle) are served with those buttery, starchy winter staples. And there’s a reason so many cultural foodways have some kraut variant, if not at their centers then certainly off to the side, to be heaped crunchily, tangily on top of whatever is at the center. It is also extremely easy to make. In fact, after a half-hour or so of active cooking, sauerkraut basically makes itself.

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How to Make Onigiri: A Perfect, Pocketable Snack

We think of sandwiches, granola bars, and muffins as great on-the-go snacks. But rice? In most cities in the U.S., you’d be hard-pressed to find a commuter snacking on rice (unless it’s puffed and in the form of a cereal bar).

The same is not true in …

We think of sandwiches, granola bars, and muffins as great on-the-go snacks. But rice? In most cities in the U.S., you'd be hard-pressed to find a commuter snacking on rice (unless it's puffed and in the form of a cereal bar).

The same is not true in Japan—balls of cooked rice called onigiri or omusubi are sold in convenience stores, elaborate food halls in department store basements, and specialty takeout restaurants. Savory and utensil-free snacks, they come in a variety of flavors and designs—some are even shaped like animals!—and wrapped in a sleeve of crisp seaweed (thus, napkin-free, too).

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How to Make Overnight Oats Without a Recipe

Here 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.
Multitasking always seems like a better idea than it is. I…

Here 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.

Multitasking always seems like a better idea than it is. It's just an innocent, time-saving technique until one day, as you're texting, listening to music, and writing an essay at the same time, you end up texting your mom about how annoying your mom is. Whoops!

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