9 american classics better than ever


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One of the most fun—and frustrating—parts about cooking is that just when you think you’ve perfected your favorite recipe, you try someone else’s version and realize there’s more that can be done: Your fried chicken could be crunchier; your cheeseburger could be more flavorful; your chicken salad could be more interesting.

9 american classics better than ever

There’s always more to learn, but luckily, we have Ashley Rodriguez—the writer and photographer behind Not Without Salt—to do some of this work for us. She’s been cracking the code on our favorite comfort foods, figuring out what makes them lovable and then tweaking them so they’re even better.

You might already have go-to recipes for these 9 classics, but try Ashley’s improvements at least once. They just might make you a convert.

Fried Chicken
Start with a dry brine and add dried herbs and spices to saturate the meat with flavor.
Before the chicken pieces are fried, coat them in buttermilk and egg, then dredge them in flour that’s laced with baking powder and cornstarch for a crust with lift, lightness, and a crackling finish.
Dip the chicken pieces into the buttermilk and flour mixture two times so that the ratio of meat to perfectly thick, crisp, and well-seasoned crust is practically 1:1.

Add even more fat and flavor by grating cold butter into the patty—when the cold, thinly grated butter hits a screaming hot griddle, its steam creates pockets that tenderize and season the beef.
Use a blend sharp cheddar, Fontina, and mayonnaise to create a rich, tangy sauce that melts and softens the moment it hits the hot patty.

Chicken Salad with Pickled Grapes and Celery Leaves
Add something pickled—tart pickled grapes add the perfect subtle bite to this salad (and to cheese plates, other salads, snacks, and cocktail garnishes).
Toss out the mayonnaise and replace it with light, tangy crème fraîche and a vinaigrette made from a bit of the pickled grape brine, Dijon, and olive oil.

Chocolate Quick Puff Pastry
Add chocolate—the rich, bittersweet cocoa powder yields a dark pastry with a sweet, crackly crust and an earthy chocolate flavor.
Top the pastry with cream, fruit, cinnamon, and sugar, or simply serve it alongside ice cream or afternoon coffee.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pudding with Candied Pretzels
Cap layers of chocolate and peanut butter pudding with a cool whipped cream and caramel-coated, slightly-salty pretzel sticks.
Balance the sweetness with a little dusting of flaky salt.

Make-Your-Own Chopped Salad
Chop everything so that it's roughly the same size—all of it rather small—so that you can practically eat it with a spoon.
Use what you have on hand, but salami (specifically finocchiona), sharp cheddar, and a bright, shallot-laced vinaigrette are always welcome.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add turbinado sugar, dark brown sugar, puddles of bittersweet chocolate, and a hit of flaky salt.
Use the dough, minus the chocolate, as a base for any number of cookies: dried cherry, white chocolate and cardamom; chopped dates and walnut; or oatmeal and rum raisin (just replace some of the flour with oatmeal).

Vanilla Bean Lemonade
Sweeten the lemonade with vanilla simple syrup: The vanilla rounds out the tartness and calms the tart lemon in a fragrant, almost floral way.

Muscovado Sugar Cookies
wap out white sugar for muscovado to create a deep molasses flavor and pockets of caramelized sugar.
Eliminate the egg for a crumbly texture that’s more like shortbread and less like cake.
Muscovado Sugar Cookies

Makes 22 to 24 cookies

1 ½ sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, soft
½ cup (80 grams) muscovado sugar (sifted if you don’t want little sugar clumps)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light, about 5 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times during the process to be sure all the butter and sugar are getting properly creamed.
Add the vanilla extract, then mix to combine.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. This aerates the flour and combines the ingredients together without the messy step of sifting.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms. This takes about 30 second to 1 minute, as the dough first appears crumbly and dry but eventually comes together.
Place the dough on a sheet of parchment and roll it into a log about 1 ½ inches wide by 8 inches long. Wrap the parchment like a Tootsie Roll and squeeze the dough together to form a tight log. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight, which is preferred.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Slice the cookies ¼-inch thick and place 12 on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are just golden.
Let cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Store in an airtight container, where the cookies will keep for up to 1 week. The dough can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.

Fuente: www.yahoo.com
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