onion
onion
Image by author

Just kidding. There really isn’t a perfect way. Like anything in cooking, the perfect way to caramelize onions is the way that works for you.

Today, I’m going to focus more on the factors that impact the process than I am on the specific steps you should take. There are plenty of amazing recipes out there for caramelized onions like this one, this one, and this video. (If you aren’t familiar with caramelized onions, then I’d recommend checking out one of those recipes or the video first.)

I believe if you know the factors at play, you can be more…


Dried chile peppers are intimidating.

They’re leathery, shriveled, and all entangled together. In fact, they look like they belong on a witch’s shelf because they might poison you. 🧙‍♀️

Kind of scary, right? But I’m going to give you a quick pep(per) talk! 📣

Dried chile peppers are a flavor powerhouse! They give off a depth of smoky, fruity, and rich flavor. And because they have a long shelf life (even longer if you store them in the freezer), they’re the perfect item to keep in a well-stocked pantry.

It’s worth overcoming our fear of the mystical, dried chile pepper…So…


When I take the time to cook dried beans, I’m never disappointed. But dried beans are finicky. You need to soak them to reduce the amount of time they take to cook. You have to cook them at a low simmer, so they don’t disintegrate. And there are certain factors that change the way they cook.

But beans are worth it, friends. So let’s talk about the factors that affect how beans cook:

  1. Dropping acid 🤪
  2. Turning up the base 🔊
  3. Swimming in salty water 🧂

If you’re interested, learn more about the basics of cooking dried beans.

🤪 Dropping Acid

  1. Stagger your…

Image by Salt Sear Savor

One of my goals with writing is to make people feel comfortable cooking without a recipe. And coming up with a dish on the fly can be intimidating. But even if you’ve never cooked without a recipe before, you at least have toast! Whether you call it bruschetta, crostini, molletes, tartine, or toast, putting delicious ingredients on bread is universal.

Do you know what I love about toast? It’s the perfect way to practice creating a dish without a recipe. And it might even give you ideas to improve an existing one. How? Well making toast has set boundaries for…


bowl of rice
bowl of rice

Rice is the perfect side dish. But let’s be honest with ourselves. It can be a little bland. And sometimes that’s okay! You want a simple bowl of rice to contrast a rich curry. And you wouldn’t want the rice to overpower fresh, buttery, raw salmon. 🍣 But sometimes, we want more.

Use rice to sneak extra flavor into a meal. Whether it’s in a burrito, served as a pilaf on the side, or the base for stir fry, rice makes a difference in what you taste. So go against the grain. 😉

Let’s talk about making the rice less…


The way to make a burger that even I would like.

Burger
Burger
Photo by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

If I’m being honest with you, I don’t like burgers.

They’ve never done much for me. They tend to be dense, lacking flavor, and overwhelmed by boring raw onions and stale white bread.

Problem is…my wife loves burgers. So in order to save my marriage, I decided to dive into learning how to make one darn good burger. One that even I would like.

Here are the tips I’ve picked up…

1. Salt on, not in, your burger

Kenji Lopez-Alt falsified my instincts to treat a burger patty like a meatball…

After an experiment where he dropped pans on burger patties (probably as fun as it sounds)…


Let’s talk stir-frying. And let me start by saying that I’m very much a novice in this area. But I’m learning.

So I wanted to share some tips I’ve picked up lately from Grace Young and Fuchsia Dunlop. They have helped me level up my stir-fry game from a white belt to…maybe a green belt. 🥋

Let’s wok and roll. 🍜🥡🥢

Stir-Fry Tips

1). Properly pre-heat

Make sure your wok or pan is properly pre-heated. You want it to be sizzling hot! The high temperature helps sear the meat and vegetables, imparting flavor from the Maillard Reaction and leaving them crisp.

Here’s a good rule…


Mise en place (pronounced meez ahn plahs) is a French culinary concept that translates as “put in place”. It sounds a bit fancy. And maybe a little intimidating. But it’s really just a mindset.

The best cooks do most of their cooking before they ever step into the kitchen.

What’s your plan?

Before you stand up to cook, figure out your plan.

And to clarify, I love improvising in the kitchen. But just because I’m making up a meal and not following a recipe doesn’t mean I’m not planning.

You always need a plan of attack. It’s how you ensure everything comes together…


Roasting.

Roasted vegetables are hands down my favorite way to get my greens in. So while you can roast pork tenderloin or even peaches, today I’m going to talk about roasting vegetables.

I’m of the opinion that people who don’t like vegetables just haven’t had them roasted yet. So come on over to the charred side.

You just have to keep a few things in mind.

Keep it simple. And salty.

You just need salt and some form of fat (usually oil) to roast vegetables. Honestly, that’s it.

Well, I guess you’ll need a sheet pan. And having a big bowl for tossing them in…


We love pasta in our family. It’s comfort food at its finest. Growing up, when we went to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we didn’t have turkey or ham. We had pasta. And it was amazing! (Okay, we did at least have pumpkin pie 🥧. We aren’t that un-American 😉.)

So while my wife and I try to eat pretty healthy, pasta is always in the rotation. Through trial and error and learning from cooks smarter than me — like my grandfather — I’ve figured out a few tips for making better pasta.

#1 — Salt your pasta water. And then salt it some more.

When you cook pasta, the…

Luciano Vizza

On a mission to cook better. Sharing what I learn in a weekly newsletter: https://saltsearsavor.com

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