Spiced Kefta

Persian food, like many of the foods from a region that’s often broadly referred to as the Middle East, takes cues from a variety of influences and cultures as people traverse borders and bring their delicious foods with them. Which is why the food in America is so diverse; people have gifted us with foods from their homelands, such as tacos, sushi, pizza, beer, and…

Persian food, like many of the foods from a region that’s often broadly referred to as the Middle East, takes cues from a variety of influences and cultures as people traverse borders and bring their delicious foods with them. Which is why the food in America is so diverse; people have gifted us with foods from their homelands, such as tacos, sushi, pizza, beer, and bagels. Similarly, France has been blessed to have beans for cassoulet, chocolat chaud (hot chocolate), and croissants.

As a cook, I like dipping into various cuisines and cultures and lately, I’ve been working on Tahdig, a Persian rice dish that’s cooked on the stovetop until the bottom gets crusty, which can take an hour or longer, and requires some patience. Once done, you take a leap of faith and turn it out onto a plate so the crispy part (the tahdig) forms a golden, crackly crown on top of a bed of fragrant, saffron-infused rice…if you do it right.

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How to Cook Pork Tenderloin to Perfection

Reasonably priced and bearing enough meat to feed the whole family, pork tenderloin is the obvious choice for many households when planning a meaty main dish. Still, if not prepared thoughtfully, pork tenderloin can go dry and dull—not what you want af…

Reasonably priced and bearing enough meat to feed the whole family, pork tenderloin is the obvious choice for many households when planning a meaty main dish. Still, if not prepared thoughtfully, pork tenderloin can go dry and dull—not what you want after spending all that energy in the kitchen. When it comes to pork tenderloin, there are a couple tricks to achieving a moist, tender roast.

What Is Pork Tenderloin? Is that Different from Pork Loin?

Pork tenderloin and pork loin are not the same thing. The former (also known as pork fillet or pork tender) is long and thin, cut from the muscle running along the spine; the latter (also known as a pork center rib roast or a center-cut pork loin roast) is a heftier slab of meat with a fat cap, cut from back by the ribs (you may know it better sliced, as a pork chop). Perfect for those “I need dinner in an hour” nights, pork tenderloin cooks up tender and quickly when properly prepped.

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Where to Buy Rabbit, Boar & Other Wild Game Meat

Before my family moved to Maine back in the mid ’90s, I’d only ever had chicken, beef, and pork, with the odd bit of duck and lamb on special occasions. Once we settled in and made friends with folks, I had my first taste of game meat—specifically, dee…

Before my family moved to Maine back in the mid ’90s, I’d only ever had chicken, beef, and pork, with the odd bit of duck and lamb on special occasions. Once we settled in and made friends with folks, I had my first taste of game meat—specifically, deer and moose. Hunting was, and continues to be, a big thing where I grew up. Every November, the handful of our friends that hunted would bag a deer, and we’d inevitably end up with some of it in our freezer. Because of that, I’ve always associated winter with venison stew.

It’s been a long time since I last lived in Maine, but I still get those annual cravings for venison. A few years back, I wondered if I could get my hands on venison online, along with any of the other types of game meat I’d since been lucky enough to try. As always, my old pal the internet provided a bounty of options. Here are my three favorite places to buy wild game meat.

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How Much Ham Per Person Is Just Right?

When it comes to planning the ham for Easter dinner (or any meal where a large-format pork will be the hero), a number of questions present themselves almost immediately: Where should I buy the ham? What type of ham should I buy? Bone-in or boneless? H…

When it comes to planning the ham for Easter dinner (or any meal where a large-format pork will be the hero), a number of questions present themselves almost immediately: Where should I buy the ham? What type of ham should I buy? Bone-in or boneless? How much ham per person? and so on. Odds are your holiday meal will be a bit smaller this year than it has been in years past, but these questions remain just as important when serving your household of three as they were when you were hosting 20. So, let’s break it down.

How much ham per person?

The best rule of thumb for ham is to plan about 1/2 pound per person when picking a bone-in ham (it’s heavier) and 1/3 pound if boneless. Look, at the end of the day, some people will eat more than expected, some will eat less—it’ll even out. If you’re making a lot of side dishes, err on the smaller side; if you texted your roommates "ham party at 3 p.m. on Sunday," consider buying more.

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How to Cook Lamb Chops to Crisp, Tender Perfection

Lamb chops are a scrumptious, savory treat, and a lovely way to bring variety to the typical rotation of chicken, beef, and pork. Quick-cooking and tender—depending on the cut, of course—lamb chops also possess a uniquely rich character that pairs well…

Lamb chops are a scrumptious, savory treat, and a lovely way to bring variety to the typical rotation of chicken, beef, and pork. Quick-cooking and tender—depending on the cut, of course—lamb chops also possess a uniquely rich character that pairs well with many different combinations of herbs and spices. Learn how to cook lamb chops to achieve the best possible result, and bring this impressive dish to the table more often.

Types of Lamb Chops

"Lamb chop" is a broad term that can refer to several different cuts of meat. To understand how to cook a lamb chop, it's important to know which cut you're cooking. The two most popular kinds are rib chops and loin chops, but you'll also see shoulder (or blade), sirloin, and leg chops in the butcher's case from time to time.

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DIY Corned Beef Is Cornier, Beefier, Better

We know how you got here—you want to know how to make corned beef. And so you will. But how did corned beef get here? Who thought to cure thick cuts of beef in salt and nitrates, and declare them ‘corned’?

According to Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: …

We know how you got here—you want to know how to make corned beef. And so you will. But how did corned beef get here? Who thought to cure thick cuts of beef in salt and nitrates, and declare them ‘corned’?

According to Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: A World History, the Irish began salting, spicing, and curing beef in the Middle Ages, finding that this process preserved the meat from spoilage (and particularly from the danger of C. Botulinum, the toxin-producing bacterium best known for causing Botulism...and Botox). The Irish, most likely, originally referred to this product as spiced beef (as they still do today). But when the British seized control of the Emerald Isle, trampling its fields with cattle and its culture with Imperial force, they dubbed the preserved meat ‘corned.’ The word corn, back then, was not yet associated primarily with the American crop, instead referring broadly to grains or small pieces. In this case, the ‘corns’ were likely grains of salt, or granules of potassium nitrate, known as saltpeter (also the name of my future celebrity child).

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Our Favorite Spam Recipes Are Crisp, Meaty Heaven

Spam, that iconic American food product, is a versatile pantry staple with a history all its own, and devoted fans in countless countries around the world (especially in Asia). Whether you welcome its delicious, savory, meaty flavor with open arms or …

Spam, that iconic American food product, is a versatile pantry staple with a history all its own, and devoted fans in countless countries around the world (especially in Asia). Whether you welcome its delicious, savory, meaty flavor with open arms or shun it in favor of something a little more recognizable, Spam is here, and here to stay.

We happen to love it unabashedly, and gathered up our 11 best Spam recipes for hearty breakfasts, easy lunches, and quick, comforting dinners. That way, next time you pop open a can of the good stuff, you'll know exactly what to do.

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How to Cook Filet Mignon To Absolute Perfection

With high demand and only about eight cuts per cow, filet mignon often fetches the highest price in the butcher’s case. When you’re paying upwards of $20 per pound, cooking these precious tidbits can feel a little like a tightrope walk. Don’t be intimi…

With high demand and only about eight cuts per cow, filet mignon often fetches the highest price in the butcher's case. When you're paying upwards of $20 per pound, cooking these precious tidbits can feel a little like a tightrope walk. Don't be intimidated. By paying attention to a few important details, learning how to cook filet mignon like you've been doing it your whole life is actually quite easy.

What Is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is a choice steak, indeed. To form it, the butcher makes a cross-sectional cut from the small end of the tenderloin, a long muscle with one narrow, pointed end which runs along the lower part of the cow's spine. The flesh there doesn't do much work, and is, therefore, very, very tender.

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What Is a Charcuterie House? And Why Are(n’t) You Making One?

Listen, meat and cheese (and sometimes olives and jams and dried fruits) arranged artfully across a surface is a good thing. I like charcuterie boards. They’re endlessly customizable, nice to look at when done right, generally crowd-pleasing and pretty…

Listen, meat and cheese (and sometimes olives and jams and dried fruits) arranged artfully across a surface is a good thing. I like charcuterie boards. They’re endlessly customizable, nice to look at when done right, generally crowd-pleasing and pretty low-maintenance.

In recent years, we’ve watched charcuterie boards soar in popularity. They’re on restaurant menus, at dinner parties, on Instagram (in a big, big way) and, like any trend, they’ve morphed with the times: they’ve gotten bigger and more elaborate. But two recent charcuterations (that’s charcuterie iterations, mind you) are giving me pause.

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Steak Street Tacos with Chipotle Lime Coleslaw

Here’s a satisfying street taco recipe that comes together in a flash. It’s topped with a tangy chipotle-lime coleslaw that provides flavor, spice and crunch to these satisfyingly savory street tacos. When Aristotle said the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, he was talking about tacos, right? Because these tacos are made […]

Here’s a satisfying street taco recipe that comes together in a flash. It’s topped with a tangy chipotle-lime coleslaw that provides flavor, spice and crunch to these satisfyingly savory street tacos.

When Aristotle said the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, he was talking about tacos, right? Because these tacos are made up of some seriously good parts: thin slices of savory seared steak, toasted flour tortillas, a tangy chipotle-lime slaw, and a sprinkle of pickled jalapeños and fresh cilantro.

Four steak street tacos on a black rectangular plate, with limes, pickled jalapenos and chipotle slaw

The perfect taco hits all the right notes, combining spicy and sweet, soft and crunchy, salty and tangy.

And these steak street tacos do just that, with thin slices of steak browned to perfection, and topped with a bright and crunchy slaw made with a mix of Duke’s Mayonnaise, smoky chipotle, and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Closeup of the filling of a steak street taco, topped with micro cilantro leaves and pickled jalapenos

What makes it a street taco and not just a regular taco? The size, essentially.

Street tacos are generally smaller, about 4-5″ in diameter versus a more typical 6″ corn tortilla or 8″ flour tortilla. The handheld size makes them easy to eat standing in the street. We’ve found both corn and flour tortillas labeled ‘street taco size’ recently, and although we opted to use flour here, you could really use either.

Even better… warm the tortillas in the same skillet with all the flavorful fat and brown bits leftover from cooking the steak. Inspired in part by a drool-worthy binge-watch of the Taco Chronicles series (which I highly recommend checking out), specifically the episode on Suadero tacos. This particular kind of taco is made with seasoned beef cooked long and slow in a bath of its own fat (beef confit, essentially); the tortillas are also drenched in fat and toasted prior to being loaded up with the juicy, flavorful meat and simple toppings.

While our steak tacos are not even close to authentic Suadero tacos (the thin slices of steak cook in mere minutes, rather than slow cooking for hours as is traditional), we were certainly inspired by the preparation and especially the brilliant step of fat-soaking the tortillas.

Since we can’t exactly travel to Mexico right now to enjoy the real thing, this will have to do.

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