Test Kitchen

Our virtual test kitchen is a place where we invite you to experiment, taste, think, swoon — in short, to play with your food. All of our own kitchen experiments and research are located right here so you can see what we’ve been up to. In our perfect universe, the whole world would be one giant kitchen, so we’re trying to get as close to that ideal as possible. Here’s what we’ve got for you:

DINNER PARTIES & ENTERTAINING: Perhaps our crown jewel — and the source of our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home cookbook. Here we’ve put together the dinner party menus AND wine pairings for you. From there you can riff, play and dazzle your guests with everything from brunch to a fall harvest dinner.

HOW-TO: Wondering how to cook a lobster? Sharpen your knives? De-bone a fish? Find our quick tips here.

INGREDIENT PROFILES: We’re geeky about ingredients, so here you can find all of our Test Kitchen Dossiers. Wondering what to do with fennel? Squash? Truffles? Find the history, cooking properties and recipe ideas here.

RECIPES: We’ve built up quite a collection of recipes over the years (we’ve been here a while), so we invite you to play with our ideas — and create a few riffs of your own.

And in case you just want to browse, here are our most recent posts:

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There are as many ways to roast a turkey as there are grandmothers to teach us their cooking secrets. Everyone seems to have their favorite method for turkey, and while we do not zealously advocate one over another, we are partial to the high-heat roasting method, which produces a crisp and brown exterior without cooking the bird so long it dries out. To ensure a moist bird, buy a kosher turkey, which has been salted to draw out the blood. Otherwise, use a brining technique to ensure a moist bird. Below is one of our favorite brine mixes, which you can use for any kind of meat.

Fruit and Spice Brine Mix

Ingredients

For the fruit and spice brining mix (makes about 3 cups):
1 cup sea salt
¾ cup sugar
3 or 4 star anise
1 tablespoon whole black or pink peppercorns
6-8 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
1 tablespoon dried lemon peel
2 tablespoons dried rosemary

8 cups water
8 cups apple cider or water

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Southwestern Thanksgiving Menu

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If you are hosting the Thanksgiving festivities this year, perhaps you’re feeling the need for a little twist on tradition.

Turkey Gumbo

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Wondering what to do with the leftovers? This gumbo uses dark meat turkey instead of the traditional sausage and shrimp.

Apples: A Seductive Fruit

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In recent years you may have begun to take apples for granted; since they are available year-round in supermarkets, apples have lost their connection to a season.

Stone Fruit: Drupey Drawers of Goodness

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Beyond coloring our landscapes with clusters of elegant blooms, stone fruit trees produce sweet and utterly juicy treats. ‘Tis the season for stone fruit celebration, and our test kitchen is overflowing with all kinds of color.

Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Chickpeas and Honeyed Sauce

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This simple and rustic dish uses honey to sweeten the sauce and bring together the dish.

Chestnuts: The Taste of December

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Take an afternoon by the fire with some warm chestnuts and a spot of brandy. Go ahead, it’s the holidays.

Mulling Things Over

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The soothing fragrance of cinnamon and its mulling companions is the perfect match for red wine — and holidays.

Cocktails, Anyone?

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The origin of the term “cocktail” itself is rife with rumor and speculation, so we’ll leave that to the drink historians.