Sachets of aromatic herbs, such as the classic bouquet garni of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves, add flavor to simmering soups, stews, stocks, and braises. But fishing these cheesecloth bundles out of the pot can be difficult. The next time you use one of the herb packets, tie a length of butcher's twine to the sachet, and then tie the loose end to one of the pot's handles. (Be sure the twine stays clear of the burner.) When the time comes, the bouquet garni will be easy to retrieve and remove.
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When you're looking for a cool, healthy treat, think granita. Then take a shortcut and enjoy this easy version. The refreshing dessert is typically made by freezing a mixture of sugar, water, and flavorings and scraping it often as ice crystals form. This variation calls for just one ingredient and no scraping. Freeze any juice -- we used grapefruit -- in an ice cube tray; pliable silicone ones are ideal. When solid, pulse 3 to 5 cubes per serving in a food processor until shards form. Serve the granita in a pretty glass. (Or freeze it in an airtight container for a day or two.)
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2009
Chiffonade are shredded or finely cut vegetables or herbs, often used as garnish.
To make a chiffonade, wash and thoroughly dry leafy greens or fresh herbs, such as basil and sage. Then stack them, with the largest leaves on the bottom. Roll them up, and cut them crosswise into slivers using a sharp chefs knife. The resulting ribbons provide dishes with a potent burst of flavor. Try sprinkling a chiffonade of basil over pizza. Or prepare kale or collard greens this way (making slightly wider ribbons), and saute with olive oil.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
For fluffier mashed potatoes, try this: After boiling and draining the spuds, return them to the pot. Stir over low heat for several minutes, until all the moisture has evaporated, and then mash as usual.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2007
The next time you need to season meat, poultry, or fish, use a fine sieve to do the job. Pour in the spice, hold the sieve over the food, and tap gently. The food will be evenly coated, and your hands will stay clean.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
If love is like a rose, then these mango tartlets resembling the romantic blooms are truly the food of love -- minus the thorns. The diminutive desserts make for a light and fragrant accompaniment to your wedding cake, thanks to the airy pate-brisee crust and a vanilla-infused filling of creme fraiche. Arrange strips of the fruit to form "petals" and garnish with a mint leaf.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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