Learning To Cook With Kids

In the last installment of “Learning to Cook with Kids,” chef and culinary educator Cleo Bell revealed some of her best practices for cooking with kids. Her big takeaway: Set a tone of respect and trust in the kitchen and kids will rise to the occasion. She also broke down the best types of recipes for young cooks to follow. Her approach is to introduce kids to a broad array of ingredients and techniques—the wider the range of foods, she says, the more foods they’re likely to try.Learning

Not only does cooking help instill curiosity by getting kids to figure out what they enjoy eating, but they also can build a sense of pride in their growing self-reliance—especially when they learn to cook foods that might usually be prepared for them. If a child loves chocolate chip cookies, for example, they might love them more when they learn to make their own.

Read on for some further recipe ideas for teaching your kids to cook.

Basics are Best

If there were a basic repertoire for young cooks, it would definitely start with chocolate chip cookies. “Anything baking-related,” says Bell, “and kids get excited.” Classic for a reason, chocolate chippers also introduce kids to a few key steps that they’ll then remember for other baking projects, such as cracking eggs, creaming butter and sugar together, and measuring dry and wet ingredients separately.

Pancakes or waffles could be next—and though the steps are similar to cookies, mixing a waffle batter requires a different technique (gently folding so that gluten doesn’t get overdeveloped) that can then be translated to crepes and muffins as skills advance.

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Teach Technique

Bell is a fan of teaching kids to cook eggs lots of different ways. “Kids love learning to crack eggs,” she says. (I can attest to this.) Between scrambled, sunny-side-up, hard-boiled, fried, or in an omelet or frittata, there’s no shortage of techniques to master when it comes to eggs. Bell favors frittatas, she says, because they offer a chance to sneak in some vegetables.

The day my older son made his first grilled cheese sandwich was a big day—he was so pleased with his ability to get the cheese melted and gooey while the outside got golden and crisp. Because grilled cheese ingredients are easy to come by, and the sandwich itself never gets old, it’s a good one for kids to master early on.

Burgers and meatballs give young cooks another chance to flex their budding chops. The techniques are simple, but it’s fun for kids to shape and season the meat; when they cook and assemble an entire burger, they’re often amazed at the thing they created.

As their confidence increases, let kids dive into more involved recipes, like strawberry shortcake —the biscuits require a special touch that takes some learning. If kids don’t get it right at first, no worries. Learning to cook is a perfect way to adopt a growth mindset—just because the first round of biscuits didn’t turn out right, doesn’t mean you’re a bad biscuit baker. Just try again.

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The recent focaccia garden trend, where bakers decorate a sheet of dough with artfully arranged vegetables, is another project kids love, says Bell: Tactile, creative, and tasty—with a lesson about yeasted dough for good measure.

Chef Cal Peternell conceived his 2014 cookbook 12 Recipes as a handbook for his son who was going off to college.

He wanted his kid to have all of the basics all in one place, so he could cook for himself as he grew into his independence. Basics like vinaigrette for salads and roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and roasted chicken, are alldishes that kids can learn now, and cook for a lifetime.

Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

It seems to happen every night: You get through a long day of work, and the last thing you want to do is cook dinner. But you don’t have to order gut-busting delivery just to save time. Instead, use these simple kitchen time-savers that all take about a minute to do.

Hacks

With these simple kitchen hacks, you’ll save calories and fat as well as time. That means you’ll have a little wiggle room to squeeze in a workout, spend time with your family, or just catch up on your favorite Netflix show. And while these hacks are all about time-saving, you can get even more brilliant tricks for smart swaps and waist-friendly culinary secrets with these 32 Kitchen Hacks for Healthy Eating!

Read the full recipe before cooking

This seems so simple, but sometimes we get in such a rush to cook that we forget to read the recipe before starting. Keep a time-consuming step from blindsiding you by reading through the whole recipe before you start. That way, you’ll be prepared for any daunting step before you get to it. Want to really be prepared? Use this read-ahead time to assemble your ingredients in prep bowls so you won’t be digging through your spice cabinet at the last second.

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Crush garlic with the side of a kitchen knife

Skip the painstaking process of peeling garlic cloves. Simply place the clove under the flat side of a wide knife blade and crush it with the heel of your hand. If you’re making a paste, chop the garlic after smashing it and then smash it again with your hand or the knife until it’s the consistency you want.

Grate Parmesan cheese at room temperature

Ask any chef, and they’ll tell you to keep Parmesan cheese at room temperature at all times. There’s a good reason: Warm Parmesan grates much, much faster than cold cheese. If you’d rather keep your block refrigerated, that’s absolutely fine—just bring it to room temperature before cooking.

Boil water in an electric kettle

Boiling water can take upwards of 10 minutes, but it takes only a minute or so in an electric kettle. Genius!

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Wear gloves when working with meat

Working with meats can be a total time suck because you risk cross-contamination—and serious illness—if you handle other ingredients right after prepping the meat. Washing your hands multiple times increases the cooking time considerably, so only prep meat when you’re wearing gloves—and then take them off for the rest of the cooking process.

Use the float test to check egg freshness

Can’t remember when you bought those eggs? Don’t fret; eggs are typically good well past their expiration dates. But you can always do the “float test” to check their freshness before you ruin dinner—and other food—by adding spoiled eggs. It’s simple: Just put an egg in a bowl of water. If they float, they’re bad; if they sink and lay horizontally, they’re good to go.

Build a meal strategy

Don’t decide what you’re having for dinner right before you start cooking. Instead, make a master meal plan for the week ahead on Sundays and then write out the ingredients you’ll need for each. It makes for easier shopping—and you only have to refer to your plan before starting the dinner-making process.

The Butcherbox 4Th Of July Menu

The Fourth of July is the perfect holiday to showcase the best of summer cooking, from meaty grilled masterpieces to beautiful stone fruits—or maybe both!

July

We’ve compiled a Fourth of July menu, from which you can mix and match to make your ideal summer food spread. We’ve got everything covered, including appetizers to munch on while you grill, char-kissed mains, bright side dishes, and even a dessert you can make on the grill.

On this menu, you’ll find celebratory recipes like:

  • Baked wings with tangy yogurt dip
  • Greek bison burgers
  • Peachy BBQ chicken thighs
  • Potato salad with grilled bacon and herbs
  • Grilled peach shortcake
  • And more!

We hope your holiday is filled with family, great food, and a healthy dose of vitamin D. Happy Fourth of July!

Appetizers

Deviled Egg Trio

Deviled eggs are an enduring appetizer, for good reason. But this deviled egg trio goes above and beyond with new flavors, including avocado, bacon, and smoked salmon.

If you haven’t made deviled eggs before, the classic recipe calls for hard-boiled eggs, cut in half with the yolks separated. Add to your yolk mixture some mayonnaise, dry mustard, and salt, then fill your egg white halves with the mixture.

Now, if you want to mix things up, try experimenting with mashed avocado in place of mayo, or adding crispy bacon or smoked salmon. Yum.

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Easy Baked Wings with Tangy Yogurt Dip

Spicy, crispy, and tangy: These easy baked wings with tangy yogurt dip may be the best chicken wings you’ve ever had. You’ll want them on your Fourth of July spread.

These easy baked wings are a good bit healthier than their fried counterparts, but every bit as flavor-packed. They’re gluten-free, to boot.

It’s the spicy rub that makes these chicken wings shine, complete with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. Don’t forget about the glistening melted butter that helps them to crisp up.

Finally, the tangy yogurt sauce comes together with a bit of Greek yogurt, reserved dry rub, sour cream, a bit more cayenne, and a few more key ingredients.

Bacon Guacamole

Looking for a Fourth of July appetizer that takes barely any effort at all? Try this bacon guacamole.

This recipe is just your basic guacamole, made all the better with crispy bacon. Just cook up some bacon and crumble it, then work it into guacamole made with avocados, lime juice, minced garlic, fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Appetizers don’t have to be hard, and this endlessly dippable bacon guacamole is a testament to that.

Entrées

Burgers on Fourth of July just make sense. But this year, try mixing things up with this Greek bison burger recipe.

These burgers are tangy, savory, and so satisfying, thanks to a burger patty made with ground bison, feta, kalamata olives, garlic, oregano, and black pepper. No need for extra salt, as the feta and olives provide plenty.

A homemade tzatziki makes every bite creamy and delicious. Serve these bison burgers sandwiched between pita halves for a fully Mediterannean-inspired meal.

Just Peachy! BBQ Chicken Thighs

Sweet and juicy, these Just Peachy! BBQ chicken thighs make fruit part of the main dish, and wow, do they succeed.

With ripe peaches aplenty in summer, this recipe is perfect for the Fourth of July. To make it, you’ll start by whipping up a quick and easy BBQ sauce, made with onion, ketchup, Tamari, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, and more.

Meanwhile, halve and pit your peaches, and slather your chicken in the homemade sauce. Grill both to perfection. From here, you can serve it all atop a vibrant salad, or alongside some great side dishes. We’ve got a few suggestions for those later in the list.

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Sirloin Cap with Peppers and Onions

Sirloin cap, aka coulotte or picanha, may be a lesser-known cut, but one bite of this sirloin cap with peppers and onions recipe and you’ll wonder why.

This cut is large enough to feed a family and grills up beautifully with very little effort. It’s the marinade that imparts bright, bold flavors to this sirloin cap, thanks to a (literal, as in you’ll use a blender) blend of garlic, onion, Fresno pepper, sugar, beer, orange juice, and more.

Once you’ve grilled your sirloin cap, peppers, and onions, you can fold it inside warm tortillas with fresh avocado and a spritz of lime. Amazing.

Side Dishes

Summer Potato Salad with Grilled Bacon and Herbs

If it’s the Fourth of July, you’ve probably already got your grill fired up. You had may as well throw on some bacon and corn and make this summer potato salad with grilled bacon and herbs.

Beyond grilled corn and bacon, you’ll just need to boil some red potatoes and toss it all with some fresh herbs and dressing. To make that dressing, combine champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.

It’s bright, vibrant, and zingy.

Grilled Veggies with Aged Balsamic

Nothing tastes better than char-kissed veggies, so whip up these grilled veggies with aged balsamic while you’re working on your entrée.

While you can customize this side dish with almost any veggie you’d like, we’ve used a colorful blend of red onion, asparagus, portobello mushrooms, corn, Japanese eggplant, and more.

Because the grill imparts so much flavor, the seasoning for these veggies is simple. Just sprinkle with salt, pepper, and drizzle on aged balsamic.

Dessert

Grilled Peach Shortcake

Skip the strawberries and opt for grilled peach shortcake this Fourth of July. Sweet, caramelized grilled peaches, tall, buttery biscuits, and thick, decadent whipped cream—need we say more?

Make the shortcakes ahead of time by baking them in the oven. They’re a tall, sweet biscuit that pairs wonderfully with caramelized fruit and whipped cream. To grill your peaches, simply cut and grill flesh-side down on the hot side of the grill. When they’re done grilling, slice them and toss with sugar.

The Most Instagrammable Mimosa Bar Ever

Making the ultimate mimosa bar is easier than you think, and we’ve got the steps to help you create an ultimate brunch celebration at home. (Bonus: It will look great to the friends you invite via Zoom and in any screenshots your guests take.)Mimosa

Here are some of our social media tricks for making the perfect scene for entertaining:

1. Setting the space. Whether you prefer to use a large dining room table, a corner of your counter space, or your kitchen island we recommend you designate a space for your “Mimosa Bar.”

Think of it like the ultimate Instagrammable opportunity —even if the rest of the kitchen is chaotic. Put down a decorative napkin or tablecloth, use natural or candlelight to create some ambiance, and use the fruit you’re not juicing as decor.

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2. Prep the night before. Pick out your prettiest glasses! If you don’t have a carafe to display orange juice, consider using a vase or a mason jar.

Pro tip: Wrap a ribbon or some twine around the jar and add a tag for some charm!  If you don’t have an ice tin to keep the champagne chilled, what else do you have? A small cooler or even a mixing bowl could do the trick!

3. Get your garnishes together. Sliced oranges, a sprig of rosemary, and small dishes with sugar or dried rosemary help create a scene straight out of a lifestyle blog. So get creative and wow your friends and followers.

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4. Mocktails are just as good as cocktails. Make it fun for the kids and moms-to-be by setting out some seltzer and sparkling water. And, if you have any decorative straws, share them enthusiastically—any kids present will likely go through any and all variations you have.

5. Show off your home décor. Whether you share the set up with the family at home, on your weekly family Zoom call, or your social networks, you can feel great about setting up an Insta-worthy space with the things you have lying around the house. So go grab the succulents off your window sill and pour another one!

Now that you have your set up, it’s time to move on to the main meal!

4 new Products perfect for grilling season

season You asked, and we answered. We believe in giving members what they’re looking for, plus new and unique options they can’t easily find anywhere else. Take a look at what’s new from ButcherBox, just in time for summer grilling.

season

Burgers: Same Beef, New Look

It’s finally summer—our favorite season to fire up the grill and enjoy delicious meals with family. While we can’t be at your cookouts, we’re always here to make sure your experience with our 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef is as great as the product itself. We believe that you should have great food that’s easy to cook and store. That’s why our burgers are now individually quick frozen, specifically made to cook from frozen, and come in a handy resealable bag.

The patties are flash-frozen within minutes of being made, helping to maintain natural moisture and resulting in a juicier cooked burger. Our new resealable bag protects freshness and flavor, so you can use as many burgers as you need as often as you need. Don’t worry about defrosting the whole pack—simply take as many as you want and cook right from frozen. Less time spent prepping means more time enjoying great weather and food.

Cooking tips

These patties are best when prepared from frozen. Cook on your outdoor grill, under the broiler, or in a frying pan. For a medium burger, cook until the internal temperature of the patty reaches 160°F and enjoy.

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Ground Bison: Beef’s Cooler Cousin

Summer and adventure go hand-in-hand, and sometimes the best adventures happen in your kitchen. Put on some good tunes, grab your boldest apron, and experiment with our ground bison. You can use it in lots of ways—making a burger is just one. Our pasture-raised, 100% grass-fed ground bison is lean and rich with umami flavor. It can easily be swapped for ground beef in any of your favorite recipes. Generally, it’s a unique way to bring more protein and flavor to meals without excess fat. Be the cool cousin with the bison at the next family barbecue!

Cooking tips

Bison cooks quicker than beef, so keep an eye out while you’re grilling. Happy eating! For a unique grilled bison burger, try our Greek Bison Burger recipe.

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Salmon Burgers: Something New for Burger Night

Need a break from your usual burger? Switch it up with seafood. Have our wild-caught, sustainably harvested salmon in a new way. It’s okay if you spent all day soaking up the sun and forgot to defrost something for dinner—these patties are made to cook from frozen. They’re a quick, easy, and tasty choice for the whole family to enjoy.

Cooking tips

Grill, pan-fry, or bake. Be sure to cook to an internal temperature of 165°F before you enjoy. For a some tips on how to top your salmon burger check out our Guide To the Perfect Salmon Burger Toppings.

Bonus: New Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are a burger’s best friend, so we couldn’t forget them. Not to mention, they’re the unsung hero of the summer cookout. Our franks are made with high-quality heritage-breed pork and 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef you can feel good about serving to your family this season. They’re uncured, sugar-free, and naturally smoked with no artificial flavors or fillers. Don’t forget, our hot dogs aren’t preserved. Make sure to keep them refrigerated below 40°F to preserve the deliciousness.

easy ways to make your Takeout at home

Almost everyone has a go-to takeout spot—or several. But, if you’re itching for creamy and spicy chicken tikka masala, or a drive-thru worthy fried chicken sandwich, you might be surprised at how simple it is to replicate your favorites at home.

takeout

This compilation features several recipes for whipping up common takeout dishes at home. You’ll find recipes for:

  • A succulent meatball sub
  • Homemade orange chicken
  • A foolproof 3-ingredient burger
  • Copycat chicken burrito bowls
  • And more!

Many of these recipes take very little time to cook at home, meaning they’re faster than picking up takeout or delivery anyways. Enjoy!

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1. Pork and Beef Meatball Sub

If you’re a meatball sub lover, this pork and beef meatball sub is just as good as the ones from your favorite sandwich shop—or possibly, better.

It starts with some particularly tender meatballs, made from a succulent blend of ground pork and ground beef. Milk (or heavy cream) and breadcrumbs make them extra indulgent. Once you whip up these meatballs, all you’ll need is some good sub sandwich bread and marinara sauce. Toss on some parmesan for good measure.

2. Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian dishes like curry, tikka masala, korma, and more are some of the best things to order out. With this quick chicken tikka masala recipe, you can capture the same bold flavors in your own kitchen.

Aromatic spices like garam masala and turmeric join garlic, ginger, and tomatoes for an intensely fragrant sauce. Tangy yogurt cools some of the spice and lends it a delicious creaminess, while chicken grows tender in the sauce.

You get all that in less than 25 minutes with this recipe—less time than it would take to pick up or have takeout delivered.

3. BB Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fried chicken sandwiches are a drive-thru favorite, but we think this BB fried chicken sandwich is even better.

A truly epic meal, this sandwich requires two hands, thanks to additions like bacon, a tangy pickled slaw, and creamy avocado mayo. It’s the uber-crisp fried chicken cutlet that shines, though.

To make the cutlet, you’ll dredge thinly sliced chicken breast with garbanzo bean flour (or your preferred flour), and a spice blend of chili powder, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and paprika. The cutlets are shallow-fried and emerge crunchy and warm. Yum.

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4. Homemade Orange Chicken

What would a takeout-inspired list be without homemade orange chicken? This tangy, sweet meal is a household favorite.

While the sauce may be bursting with flavor, you might be surprised to know you can make it with things you likely have lying around. The orange sauce that lacquers the chicken comes together with soy sauce, honey, orange juice, orange marmalade, ketchup, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Serve your homemade orange chicken atop a fluffy mound of rice, with your favorite veggies on the side.

5. Simple 3-Ingredient Burger

You could hit the drive-thru, or you could whip up this simple 3-ingredient burger in less than 15 minutes flat.

A burger patty requires only a few things: Ground beef, garlic powder, paprika, and some salt. Just combine these ingredients and form the mixture into some patties. From there, you can grill or pan-sear your patties to perfection. Don’t forget a slice of your favorite cheese, if you’re so inclined!

This is a great basic recipe to start with. You can pile your burger high with your desired toppings, or keep it simple with a lettuce wrap and some condiments.

6. Chicken Burrito Bowl

Replicate your favorite chicken burrito bowl at home with some basic ingredients. The flavor-packed marinade for this chicken takes it to the next level.

To make the marinade, you’ll need onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, olive oil, and some key spices. Those include cumin and oregano, among others. You’ll want to marinate your chicken for at least an hour, up to 4 hours. Then, grill it until blackened and delicious.

You can customize your burrito bowl just as you would at the takeout spot, with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, and more.

Unique Recipes for Your Summer Cookout

Looking for a cookout menu? Whether you make them for a potluck, a picnic or your own backyard barbecue, these six easy breezy recipes prove that summer cooking is no sweat.

Summer

1. Garlicky Pan Con Tomate

This addictive appetizer of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and ripe summer tomatoes will keep guests satisfied before the main course is served. Try the toast topped with tuna, capers, and a hard-boiled egg to make a filling open-faced sandwich.

2. Sweet and Spicy Tomato Glaze

Use this easy glaze as your house BBQ sauce, serve it as a dip, or use it to give ribs, chicken, or tofu a final layer of ta-da! It’s made entirely of ingredients you likely already have on hand but here’s a tip: look for tomato paste in a tube. Instead of needing to transfer any leftover tomato paste from a can into a storage container, the tube stays fresh long term in the fridge and you can squeeze out what you need.

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3. German Beet-and-Potato Salad

Apple cider vinegar and whole grain mustard create the base of the dressing for this take on German potato salad. We added beets for a hit of color and something fresh, but we couldn’t skip the bacon. Beets not your thing? This would work with an equal amount of broccoli in their place. Either way, make this one ahead as it’s even better the next day.

4. Vanilla Peaches in Rosé

Knew party trick alert: use your grill like a stove to simmer up a flavorful syrup to soak your favorite summer fruit. Try peaches, apricots, nectarines or berries (or a combination!). If you can’t find vanilla bean a splash of pure vanilla extract will do. Jus don’t skip the vanilla ice cream. Got extra syrup? Shake it up with vodka or rum and ice for an easy cocktail.

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5. Kiwi-Cucumber Relish

Kiwi brings an unexpected pop of sweetness and texture to this spicy relish. The green on green tones are so pretty alongside anything it’s paired with. Serve with grilled fish or chicken, sprinkled over pan-seared halloumi, or with poached shrimp. Shopping tip: To test if a kiwi is ripe, press the fruit with your thumb. If it gives slightly, then you know it’s ready to eat.

6. Crunchy Broccolini With Lemon and Pecans

Roasted broccolini takes on deliciously crispy charred edges in the oven, while a bunch of raw broccolini makes sure this easy side retains bright freshness. Tossed with a fresh lemon-honey dressing, this is a balanced and original approach to a standard green side dish. It travels well too, so go ahead and sign it up for the next potluck.

Vintage Southern Recipes

Like all regional cuisines, Southern food is the product of the people who’ve lived in the region throughout history. For example, Carolina hash originated with enslaved people, while crab cakes reportedly date back to Native American cooking. Taking inventory of a region’s vintage dishes is like taking part in a living history lesson, while also inspiring creativity at the moment.

Southern We hope as you enjoy this tour of 50 of the South’s most iconic recipes, you feel a connection with Southern history. And if you’re inspired to bring some of that history into the present day in the form of cooking, that’s even better.

Flaky Southern Biscuits

Despite the fact biscuits are ubiquitous on Southern dining tables, some fear that honest-to-goodness handmade biscuits are in danger of disappearing amid the many choices now available for ready-made refrigerated biscuit dough. And that, we think, is a crying shame, especially when rolling out biscuits from scratch requires a mere five ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand anyway. We’re talking flour, butter, baking soda, baking powder, and buttermilk. So in the name of tradition and good taste, please give these pillow-light babies a chance.

Homemade Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a staple in many a Southern refrigerator, but if you don’t happen to have any on hand, we have an easy fix, provided you do have milk, lemon juice, and 10 minutes to spare. Use your quick homemade buttermilk in our recipes for flaky Southern biscuits (above), a protein-packed version of the classic buttermilk pancake, and the good ole fashioned Southern fried chicken you’ve been thinking about since you started reading this story.

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Buttermilk Pancakes

A Southern breakfast-table classic, buttermilk pancakes are melt-in-your-mouth yummy, and guess what? They don’t have to be a carb bomb, at least not when your recipe balances the carbs with flaxseeds and Greek yogurt, which amps up the protein power.

Stuffed French Toast

Some say pancakes are the hero of the breakfast table, but there are a lot of French toast fans out there who would disagree, especially when that French toast is stuffed with strawberries, which grow easily in the South. In this case, the cream is actually your choice of ricotta or cottage cheese, which is why you can feel like you’re having a decadent morning meal while actually loading up on the protein.

Breakfast Hash

The word “hash” comes from the French, “hacher,” which means “to chop.” It makes sense considering hash is a one-pan fry consisting of chopped, leftover meat, potatoes, and onions. Traditional Southern hash may have, at one time, been one way to use up all the parts of a pig, but nowadays, you should feel free to use whatever meat you have on hand. Our Southern breakfast hash uses chicken sausage in place of pork, sweet potatoes in place of ordinary spuds, and a shake or two of Tabasco sauce for a quick bolt of heat.

Succotash

This Southern favorite that’s built on a foundation of lima beans and corn (which work in synch to create a complete protein) has an origin story in just about every state where the colonists crossed paths with Native Americans, including Massachusetts, which likes to claim succotash as its own because it was supposedly served at the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. But once you dress it up with smoky bacon and a splash of half-and-half, as we do in our version, you’re talking Southern pedigree all the way.

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Maryland Crab Cakes

Because crabs and other crustaceans were available in abundance along the Atlantic coast when the first European settlers arrived on our shores, crabs have long been on the menu throughout the entire East Coast, but nowhere more so than in Maryland, which has become synonymous with crab in all its glorious forms. Savory cakes made from minced crab meat, bread crumbs, and spices, which go back just as far, may have been adopted from English minced meat recipes as a way to make the eating of crab easier or as a way to use every last shred of meat you can scrape from the shell. But it wasn’t until 1930 that the term “crab cake” first appears in print, at which time the term was “Baltimore crab cakes.”

Blueberry Peach Cobbler]

Peaches are as iconic to Georgia as crab is to Maryland. As we mention in 35 Southern Dishes Your Grandparents Used to Make, eating a Georgia peach is a multi-sensory experience of sight, smell, and taste. But the next best thing would have to be digging into a freshly-baked peach cobbler, which is basically a crustless peach pie topped with flaky Southern biscuits. Wanna take things up a level? Throw in fresh blueberries.

Smokey Ribs

While we’re on the topic of peaches, it would be remiss not to mention this smoky ribs recipe, which amps up the sweet smokiness of its barbecue glaze with a genius combination of peaches and bourbon. Slow roasted in the oven and then blasted with hickory smoke on the grill, this BBQ classic covers all the Southern bases: ribs, peaches, hickory smoke, and BBQ.

Glazed Ham

Because you can never really run out of ways to use peaches in a Southern kitchen, we would also be remiss not to mention this quintessentially Southern glazed ham, which is accented with peach chutney and features a smoky bourbon glaze. Apart from the classic Southern taste, what’s remarkable about our glazed ham recipe is how low in calories it actually is. Dig in!

Making the most of Leftover ham

Leftover Ham is to Easter what turkey is to Thanksgiving—the chance to puzzle creatively through the leftovers is a big part of why we serve such a large piece of meat in the first place.

Leftover

Early in the week after Easter Sunday, leftover ham might be taking up precious real estate in the fridge; so now’s the time to work through what to do with all of that meat.

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Get Started

The freezer is your friend. You want to make the most of your leftovers, but you also might not be in the mood to feature ham at every meal until it’s gone.

So start by carving the meat off the bone and wrapping the bone tightly in foil, labeling it, and sticking it in the freezer. You can use the ham bone to make stock, which might become the base of some extra-flavorful beans or a split pea soup enriched with chunks of ham.

Next, dice up some of the meat and pack it in labeled freezer bags.  Freezing ham changes the texture slightly, but if you’re using it in cooked dishes, it’s barely noticeable. The diced ham can then find its way into any number of dishes, like gratin, frittata, or countless pasta preparations.

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Ham at Any Meal

Once you’ve squirreled away a freezer stash, take a look at what’s left. Ham works at every meal – here are some ideas:

For breakfast, ham and eggs are a timeless pairing. Try:

  • This amazing Asian-inspired ham omelet sandwich, which pairs thinly sliced ham and a thin omelet with buttered white bread.
  • galette complète, the famed buckwheat crepes from Brittany, France, filled with a thin slice of ham, grated Gruyere cheese, and an egg.
  • This simple frittata-like breakfast casserole combines ham, parmesan, and eggs for a quick and portable first meal of the day.

Truly, the possibilities are endless. Slice some of the leftover ham thinly and dive into any one of these sandwiches for lunch:

  • Cubano sandwich technically calls for both ham and roast pork (and sometimes salami), but if your pork stash is limited to just ham, don’t let that stop you from making your own version of the famous pressed sandwich.
  • Keep it classic with the jambon-beurre, Paris’s signature ham and butter sandwich on baguette.
  • The croque-monsieur is another delightful French ham and cheese vehicle that begs to be made once in a while. Make sure you have some good pickles and a beer to cut through all the gooey richness of this sando.

If you haven’t tired of finding inventive ways to put ham between slices of bread, there’s no reason not to eat any of the above sandwiches for dinner—but you might be ready to switch things up. To that end:

  • Add diced ham to potato croquettes for a satisfying dinner—serve with a green salad alongside.
  • Ham and peas with pasta is classic for a reason—toss diced bits of ham with frozen peas and pasta in a creamy sauce for a comforting dinner that comes together in minutes
  • Speaking of ham and peas, they can also come together for fried rice—another quick and comforting meal that makes the most of what you have on hand.

Sprinkle these meals throughout your weekly menus for up to two months—even thinly sliced ham can keep well in the freezer for that long. And don’t forget to make some soup!

5 Unusual but Amazing Ingredients to grill

grill Grilling transforms food in a way no other cooking technique does quite so well. The smoke and flame create a deep browning that brings new flavors to the plate.

grill

We know how this is done in meat and fish and most vegetables and fruits, but there are some other ingredients you may not have thought about that sizzle to perfection over the coals.

Pasta

If you’ve got any leftover cooked pasta in the fridge…grill it! All you need is a grill pan with small holes (preferably nonstick) that you can place on top of the grates. While you can use freshly cooked pasta, the key is for the pasta to dry out a bit—hence why leftover pasta is best. Choose pasta shapes that have ample crevices to catch the flame, like fusilli, gemelli, and farfalle.

Spaghetti and smaller pasta shapes will inevitably break apart and/or fall through the holes.

How to Grill Pasta

Oil the grill pan and set on the grates over the flame to heat. Once hot, place pasta in the pan (you should hear it sizzle). Toss for 30 seconds with your grill spatula, then drizzle a little vinaigrette of your choice over the pasta and continue to shuffle the pasta around in the pan.

When the vinaigrette hits the coals, smoke and flame will erupt—that’s a wonderful thing! This reaction is the catalyst for flavoring the pasta. Keep cooking the pasta until it begins to brown and char slightly. Then, you’re done!

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How to Serve Grilled Pasta

Mix the grilled pasta with any vegetables you’ve grilled, drizzle a little more vinaigrette on top, and serve. You can also cook vegetables along with the pasta in the grill pan.

Cheese

No, I’m not talking about grilled cheese sandwiches on the grill (which, yes, you should try that too), but there are cheeses out there that can hold their own over the coals. Halloumi, juustoleipä (Scandinavian “bread cheese”), queso panela, kasseri, or simply “grilling cheese” are cheeses with a rigid protein structure that can withstand high heat.

How to Grill Cheese

Set up your grill to a medium-high heat. Cut cheese ¼-½ inch thick, and place slices directly onto the grill. Watch the cheese—less than a minute per side is all it really needs to achieve substantial grill marks.

How to Serve Grilled Cheese

You can eat these grilled cheese slices on their own for a tasty snack, serve alongside grilled vegetables, or place in a salad.

Citrus

Grilling lemons, limes, and oranges caramelizes their sugars and provides a welcome contrast to their acidity.

How to Grill Fruits

Cut citrus into slices or wedges and place flesh side down on a hot grill until the citrus browns and forms some grill marks. If you want to place the citrus slices or wedges in a cocktail, you can grill them with a little sugar for extra caramelization and sweetness.

How to Serve Grilled Citrus

Spritz the grilled citrus over grilled meat and fish in place of added salt (trust me!), juice and/or place grilled citrus wedges into cocktails, or juice the wedges to use in a vinaigrette.

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Avocado

Avocados are incredibly simple to grill. The idea here is that grilling softens the avocado flesh so it’s extra creamy.

How to Grill Avocados

Heat your grill to 350°F, halve and pit the avocados, drizzle olive oil over each unpeeled half, sprinkle salt and pepper and any additional spices, and place flesh side down on the grate. Cook for 2-3 minutes until grill marks form. That’s it.

How to Serve Grilled Avocado

You can make guacamole from these avocados, or serve each half as is with fresh salsa and crema. Also, you can replace meat in your favorite taco recipes with grilled avocado for a different take on “Taco Tuesday.”

Whole Eggs

Yes, you read that right—you can put a whole egg in its shell on the grill. Bon Appetit introduced me to the concept, and it’s both easy and genius. The resulting egg will show a little color on the whites and exhibit a mild yet noticeable grilled flavor.

How to Grill Eggs

Place eggs directly onto the grates, cover, and let them cook to your desired doneness: 6 minutes for an oozy egg, 10 minutes for a jammy egg, and about 14 minutes for a hard-cooked egg. Place eggs in an ice bath, then peel.

There will inevitably be trial and error with this process. If the eggshell gets too hot, it will crack, and some egg white may ooze out.

How to Serve Grilled Eggs

For a take on salade lyonnaise, serve egg in a salad with bitter greens, bacon, and a bright vinaigrette. Cut into the jammy egg with a fork and let the richness meld in with the salad. You can also place sliced grilled eggs on toast either plain or with (grilled!) avocado.