For more than 20 years, the test kitchen has been the birthplace of the recipes found throughout the pages of Martha Stewart Living, and along the way, the food department has amassed a wealth of easy recipes and time-saving techniques. To say the least, our food experts know a good idea when they see one. Working side-by-side in a test kitchen, one eye on their cutting board and the other on their neighbors, is the next best thing to standing next to cook-wise grandmothers at the stove. With their swapping of tips and techniques as commonplace as passing the olive oil, we thought it was time for the rest of us to take advantage of some of that insider info. In the feature “Test-Kitchen Wisdom” in the June issue of Living, we went behind the scenes to discover the lessons Martha, Lucinda Scala Quinn, and the Living food editors have learned over the years.
What followed was a save-worthy, spread-around list of their favorite tricks, time-savers, and “aha” moments that they’ve learned cooking side-by-side and pulling cooking inspiration from out in the world. A perfect example? The one-pan pasta: At a tiny restaurant in the Puglia region of Italy, we saw a chef place dried pasta in a skillet with water, tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, and a glug of olive oil, and then cook everything together. Once the water has dried away, you are left with perfectly al dente pasta in a creamy sauce that coats every strand. It has been one of our “back pocket” recipes ever since. The test kitchen wasn’t alone in thinking they were onto something; check out our Pinterest page to see how many others have pinned the recipe to their “back pockets.”
To share the wealth and wisdom, each week we’ll host a Wisdom Wednesday discussion on Twitter (follow us @MS_Living). Have a burning culinary question? Post it in advance with #KitchenWisdom, and be sure to tune in every Wednesday from 12 to 1pm EST to read answers straight from the experts themselves, with tips and tricks to add to your kitchen arsenal.
(Photo: Marcus Nilsson)