Is it just us, or does the photo above both make you want to up your cooking game and remind you of the opening theme from Dexter? This is the work of community member Lennard Yeong, whose culinary skills and plating prowess just keep getting more impressive by the day. Want to design and plate your own killer dishes? Check out this comprehensive guide from our on-staff food artist Nicholas Gavin.
Forum member Rob has been killing it in the plating department as well. Forget Triscuits and cheddar cheese. When this guy gets a mid-morning hankering for a snack, he combines smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese, shallots, toast and pink Himalayan salt for a dish that would fit right in at a fancy restaurant. We like your style, Rob.
There’s banana bread, and then there’s the fruit-forward wonder developed by Nick Gavin. (He’s coming up a lot today, isn’t he?) It’s one of our all-time favorites, so it makes us very happy to see forum member Ethan give it the royal treatment—topping it with toasted brown butter oats, whipped mascarpone, blueberries, AND EVEN MORE BANANAS. Ready to make your own version of our Banana Bread? Be sure to stop by the forum and post a pic. We can’t wait to see what you do with the stuff.
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Designing a dish from scratch is super-satisfying and empowering, but sometimes the inspiration fairy disappears on an all-inclusive trip to Cabo (You know—strawberry daiquiris, a Jennifer Weiner novel, perhaps some light flirtation with that one beardy bartender from the poolside tiki hut.), leaving you SOL for dinner ideas.
Woah, woah, woah there, buddy. No need to fire up a frozen pizza just yet. Instead, turn to a favorite chef for inspiration. That’s what always-on-point community member Lennard did to create the whimsical homage to Chef Boulud you see above.
ChefSteps member Marc took to the forum this week to ask for advice on working with fresh nopal—aka prickly pear cactus. “Duh,” says the inspiration fairy, freshly tanned and noticeably tipsy from the complementary cocktails aboard her return flight (middle seat, US Weekly, a Caesar salad topped with jiggly chicken strips bearing faux grill marks) . “Put that cactus in your cocktail!” She has a point—prickly pear margaritas are rarely a bad idea, to be sure. But nopal can also be tossed in a salad with shrimp, mixed into salsa, grilled whole, and so much more.
Whatever you do with those spikey paddles, take advantage of forum friend Joyce’s easy prep method, beautifully photographed here.
Exciting announcement from our dev team: You can now embed ChefSteps recipes directly to your blog or website, and they’ll look all pretty too. Go! Play! Inspire yourself! Judging by the look of things, that fairy’s going to need a few days to recover.
You love to cook, they love to cook—y’all should really get together and talk about it. Join ChefSteps today to get in on the conversation.
Duck liver—everyone’s got some lying around in the fridge, right? Okay no. But if you’ve always wanted to cook with the stuff, take inspiration from community member Manfred, who rolled some up into great-looking dumplings for the gorgeous soup you see above.
Brendan Lee shared a thought-provoking article on kids’ menus, and the dangers of raising a generation who dine only on chicken fingers, mac-and-cheese, and hot dogs. This fires up several of his forum-mates, who weigh in on the prickly subject of picky eaters.
Our forum’s the best, man. Join ChefSteps today to get in on the conversation.
It was an exciting week here at ChefSteps—we launched our comprehensive and super-fun Coffee class, complete with Dark Matter, a slick new recipe named by community member Jon Low. Care to weigh in on your favorite ways to level up the stuff in your cup? Gear up your best Linda Richman accent for some coffee talk.
While we were chowing down on barbecue and watching our beloved Seahawks suffer a crushing defeat, community member Sebastian was serving this ambitious coursed feast. The party paused the meal to watch the halftime concert, but from the looks of things, Katy Perry’s got nothing on this fellow.
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Prolific forum member Cheryl spent the week making sausages, as well as these lovely Valentine’s candies.
Watching the sausage getting made, and liking it.
Debunking a popular expression, Cheryl takes us inside her process for making homemade sausage. Dig that foot-long on a bun, meat lovers.
Whatever the question, the right answer is “wings.”
We are unabashed fried chicken lovers at ChefSteps, so if you’re going to put a picture of really pretty wings on the forum, we’re going to pay attention. Check out these Buffalo-style beauties from James—then quell the inevitable craving with our recipe for crispy-tender wings. Ugh, so hungry now.
Uh-oh, someone mentioned the “O” word.
Ever notice how the word “organic” tends to bring out the fight among foodies? Our community kept it civil this week when a Question of the Day focused on the issue. Care to weigh in? The forum would love to have you.
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Salmon wrapped in prosciutto, with lentils-a beautiful dish from ChefSteps member Davo.
Welcome to Best of the Forum (BotF), a series in which we highlight fascinating bits from the ongoing conversation happening among our awesome community of cooks. Let’s get to it.
Painting with food
Wow, behold this work of art from user Stevie Provencio! In lieu of paints, Stevie worked with ChefSteps-inspired creations like Beet Fluid Gel and Reconstructed Roast (using Teres Major steak). Inspiring, right? Check out those recipes to start creating your own masterpiece tonight.
Good taste in TV
Hungry for Netflix fodder? Our forum has plenty of advice on food shows with which to fill up your queue. Heston Blumenthal proved a favorite-if you need a snack while you watch, whip up Heston-inspired Thick-Cut French Fries or Sous Vide Pork Belly. Also, if you are a big Netflix fan, you might also be interested in enjoying cookery programs from abroad. However, sometimes geographical restrictions can hold you back from enjoying food shows from overseas. Never fear though, quite often these geographical restrictions can be circumvented by using a VPN such as PureVPN. If you would like to learn more about PureVPN, you can read the full review on the Make a Website Hub website. If you do decide to use a VPN to enjoy international Netflix content just remember to do your research first to make sure that you find the right VPN for your needs. Alternatively, perhaps you want to use Netflix for free. Perhaps, in that sense, you’d like to Head Out to the Bar to watch free TV and see what Netflix shows you can catch there. It should also be noted that there are other ways to bypass these geographical restrictions too. For instance, in some cases using a proxy service can allow you to access TV shows and movies on websites like The Pirate Bay. For more information about using a Pirate Bay proxy to enjoy and download online content, just head to avoidcensorship.org. No matter how you decide to tune in, do not forget to let us know which shows that you like most in the comments below! We are always on the lookout for new and exciting recipes to sink our teeth into.
The award for snarkiest subject line of the week goes to the ever-clever Brendan Lee, who celebrates happy news in California. Care to throw your own foie gras celebration? This pretty parfait is the best argument against the ban that we know of.
How do you like your risotto? Community member Matthew Wilson has been experimenting with rice textures in his pressure cooker. Yup, you can make risotto in a pressure cooker, and a lot of other delicious things too. Want to learn more? Right this way.
Join the conversation. Head to our forum to get chatty with other enthusiastic cooks!