Ingredient Profiles

We like playing in our test kitchen. The geekery is at its finest when we’re researching ingredients: their history, uses in cooking and unique qualities. Then we get to play with them.

Below is a full listing of the ingredients we’ve featured so far, from apples to zucchini. If you’re looking for our posts in chronological order, keep on scrolling. Now go play in the kitchen!

Note: You can peruse our full recipe list to see what we did with all those ingredients.

Apples: The Seductive Fruit
Artichokes: The Ultimate Finger Food
Avocados: Nature’s Butter
Baby Vegetables: The First Flavors of Spring
Basil: A Basil Primer
Basil: Uniquely Common
Beets: Just Beet It
Berries: Naked Deliciousness
Bread: The Wonder of Bread
Cardamom: Heaven’s Scent
Caviar: An Endangered Pleasure
Champagne: Cause for Celebration
Cheese: The Cheese Course
Chestnuts: The Taste of December
Chocolate: Savory Chocolate
Chocolate: The Sweetest Indulgence. Or Not.
Cilantro: Herb with an Attitude
Cocktails: Cocktails, Anyone?
Coffee: Not Just for Beverages
Corn: Sweet Versatility
Cranberries: Beyond Thanksgiving Dinner
Cream: Creamy Delights
Fennel: Fabulous Fennel
Figs: A Feast of Figs
Fish: A Culinary Quandary
Foie Gras: The Art of Foie Gras
Game Meats & Birds: Game for a Taste
Garlic: The “Stinking Rose”
Ginger: The Feisty Rhizome
Honey: Oh, Honey…
Hors d’Oeuvres: Little Bites of Heaven
Lamb: Spring…Lamb
Lavender: Sweet Blooming Lavender
Lemongrass: Perfumed Allure
Lemons: Pucker Up, Sweetheart
Lobster: The Sophisticated Crustacean
Mascarpone: Mellow Mascarpone
Morels: Mmmorels
Nutmeg: The Stirring Spice
Olive Oil: The Golden Elixir
Oranges: The Taste of Sunshine
Peaches: Summer’s Sweet Signature
Pears: Pear-Luscious September
Pecans: Nuttin’ Like ‘Em
Peppers: Taste the Rainbow
Port Wine: Any Port in a Storm
Pumpkins: Into the Pumpkin Patch
Root Vegetables: Hidden Jewels of the Harvest
Rosemary: The Scent of Inspiration
Sage: Sensually Satisfying Sage
Salmon: In the Pink
Seafood: The Taste of the Sea
Shrimp: America’s Favorite Seafood
Spinach: An Unexpected Indulgence
Stone Fruit: Drupey Drawers of Goodness
Summer Squash: Delicious & Nutritious
Sweet Potatoes: Tasty Tubers
Tarragon: The Sweet Taste of Spring
Tea: Tea Time
Tomatoes: A Tomato Primer
Tomatoes: The Tomato Parade
Truffles: The Truffle Hunt
Turkey: Talkin’ Turkey
Vanilla: Vivacious Vanilla
Winter Squash: A Must for Fall

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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


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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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.

Hors d’Oeuvres: Little Bites of Heaven

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Hors d’oeuvres can encompass a wide variety of foods, and range from casual finger foods to elegant nibbles.

Beets: Just Beet It

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Healthy and delicious, beets are arguably one of the most underrated vegetables in the garden.

Winter Squash: A Must For Fall

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We love it when the air gets crisp, the leaves crunch under our feet and the fall colors radiate throughout the atmosphere.

Into the Pumpkin Patch

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History, picking and cooking. We’ve got all the important details here — including some ridiculously good recipes to kick off autumn’s splendor.

Corn: Sweet Versatility

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If it weren’t for corn, the American settlers likely would have starved to death, so we owe the cob a little tip of the hat.

Spinach: An Unexpected Indulgence

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When carefully selected and prepared, spinach has a fresh, crisp texture and slightly bitter taste that are both refreshing and enticing.

Chocolate: The Sweetest Indulgence. Or Not.

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Chocolate has been touted as an aphrodisiac for many a century, on many a continent. While there is likely some truth to the legend, perhaps much of it is a fanciful excuse for treating ourselves to this decadent taste of heaven, savory or sweet.