Best of The Forum: Banana Bread and a Most Violent Steak

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Welcome to Best of the Forum (BotF), a series in which we highlight fascinating bits from the ongoing conversations happening among our awesome community of cooks. Let’s get to it.

Bloody brilliant

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.

Speaking of sexy plates

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.

Go bananas

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.

Join ChefSteps today for amazing recipes, tons of techniques, and access to our lively forum of enthusiastic cooks.

Best of the Forum: Honoring Boulud, Nailing Nopal, and an Exciting Announcement

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Welcome to Best of the Forum (BotF), a series in which we highlight fascinating bits from the ongoing conversations happening among our awesome community of cooks. Let’s get to it.

Daniel Boulud and You

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.

Nopal? No problem.

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.

Get embed with us!

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. 

Best of the Forum: Dumplings, Kid Food, and One Rich Dish

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Hmmm. What to do with all that leftover duck liver?

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.

Oh, and speaking of liver…

Apparently forum friend Rob ain’t afraid to combine some rich flavors. Check out this decadent-yet-easy dinner: English Muffin, Chicken Liver Pâté, and a perfect sous vide egg. Bonus: This would also make the sickest breakfast in bed ever.

You’ll eat it and you’ll like it.

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. 

Best of the Forum: Cool Carrots, Coffee Talk, and One Badass Dinner Party

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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.

Crazy-Cool Carrots

Remember how your mom told you not to play with your food? Jeremy White doesn’t. He did some epic carrot games this week. Want help with those modernist techniques? Ask him all about them.

“The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.”

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.

Seven Courses and a Show

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.

Sign up at ChefSteps today to get chatting with our lively community of cooks.

Best of the Forum: Sausage-Making, Chicken Wings, and the Organic Food Fight

Prolific forum member Cheryl—spent the week making sausages, as well as these lovely Valentine's candies.

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.

Join ChefSteps today for access to hundreds of recipes, techniques, and comprehensive classes.

Best of the Forum: Ramen, Food TV, Two Pretty Plates

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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.

Rad-looking ramen

David Henley presented us with a pretty killer photo of his Caramelized Pork Ramen with Roasted Curry Acorn Squash. Doesn’t look like the work of a newbie ramen-maker, but we’ll take him at his word.

Join the ChefSteps forum today to meet our entire community of super-cool cooks.

Best of the Forum: Risotto, Foie Gras, and Fried Rice

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Inspiring dishes, like Hot Curry Shrimp Fried Rice from ChefSteps member Henry Wicker, abound on the forum.

Welcome to Best of the Forum (BotF), a new series in which we highlight fascinating bits from the ongoing conversation happening among our awesome community of cooks. Let’s get to it.

A Strong Start

Forum newbie Evan describes himself as a “young cook” just starting to prepare food for dinner parties. Dang, though, those dishes look pretty killer to us. Among Evan’s offerings? A foolproof Crème Brûlée, part of our Cooking Sous Vide: Beyond the Basics class. 

Foie for All!

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.

Pressure Points

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!