Slow braise to make tough meat awesome

FILE - This Feb. 16, 2015, file photo shows red wine braised beef short ribs in Concord, N.H. Braising is a wonderful and basic cooking technique that uses a slow, wet heat in a covered pot. It's great for cuts such as chuck, flank, brisket, rump and round. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File)

How do you transform a tough, less expensive cut of meat into something tender and delicious? You braise it!

Reduce sugar in rasberry pavlova

This Nov. 18, 2016, photo shows tangy raspberry (reduced sugar) pavlova with a balsamic glaze. For the uninitiated, a pavlova (named after the famed ballerina’s fluffy tutu) is essentially a meringue shell baked at low heat until the outside is barely golden crisp, but the inside remains soft and billowy, like a creamy marshmallow. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

Pavlovas are dreamy. For the uninitiated, a pavlova (named after the famed ballerina’s fluffy tutu) is essentially a meringue shell baked at low heat until the outside is barely golden crisp, but the inside remains soft and billowy, like a creamy marshmallow. The shell then is typically filled with whipped cream, custard, or fruit compote.

Caramelized onion tart that can ease holiday strain

This undated image released by The Culinary Institute of America shows a cheese and onion tart in Hyde Park, N.Y. This dish is assembled much like a quiche. (Phil Mansfield/The Culinary Institute of America via AP)

We know that it isn’t always enough for a holiday recipe to be delicious. When you are knee-deep in holiday cooking and baking, it can feel like you never turn your oven off. So the most helpful recipes are the ones we can prepare ahead of time, and our cheese and onion tart recipe fits the bill.

Salted caramel sauce

This October 2016 photo shows salted caramel sauce in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman (Katie Workman via AP)

“Salted” and “caramel” are two words that make many people get misty in the eyes and weak in the knees.

Cheese fondue that’s healthy

This Nov. 14, 2016 photo shows cheese fondue dip in Coronado, Calif. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

Cheese fondue is the ultimate winter comfort food. Living in France in my early 30s, I fell in love with the classic recipe made with crisp white wine and nutty gruyere cheese.

Tomatillo salsa offers fresh approach to salmon

FILE -This Nov. 9, 2015, photo, shows salmon poached in green salsa and topped with baked chips in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

The French love to cook fish by poaching it in a flavored liquid, usually a combination of white wine and water, leeks or onions, and some herbs. It’s a notably lean way to roll because there’s no fat involved. And the finished product is reliably tender because it’s been cooked at a low temperature.

Cheesy, spicy crackers good enough to give as a gift

FILE - This Oct. 12, 2015, file photo, shows spicy cheese crackers in Concord, N.H. The ingredients and technique for making these crackers are similar to those used to make pie dough. Butter and flour (with added flavorings) are its bones. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File)

When I was a kid, my parents sometimes brought home tins of deliriously delicious cheese crackers. I can’t remember the brand — I think it was a British import — but I do remember that my sister and brother and I would inhale them as soon the tin was opened. All these years later the flavor of those crackers, richly cheesy and spicy, remains burned into my memory. This recipe is my attempt to resurrect them.

Pages

Subscribe to