Make some magic in your kitchen with tips on these 4 take out favorites for restaurant quality meals at home.

Burgers & Fries

THE BEEF – Use 80/20 beef for a juicer burger

THE FLIPP – Grill or stovetop: Place the burger on the hot surface and flip once the edges are crisp and brown – and only flip once.

COOK TIME – The burger should be three-fourths done before you flip it.

The Soak — Homemade fries should be soaked in water for about 30 minutes to draw out starch.

FRY TWICE – Using a heavy-duty, deep pan on the stovetop, fry fries in oil at about 300 degrees for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and then fry again, (in the same pan) at 400 degrees until golden brown.

Delicious homemade hamburger on wooden background. Rustic style. Retro toned.

STIR FRY BOWLS

WOKS REALLY WORK — Restaurants use them because the sides of the pan serve as a cooking surface, too.

A LITTLE AT A TIME — Your ingredients need space and heat to cook thoroughly, so don’t crowd things, which leads to unappetizing steaming.  Cook in batches instead.

NOT ALL VEGGIES ARE CREATED EQUAL

Some take longer to cook, so add them to the pan gradually so the oil stays hot and the veggies stay crisp.

Udon stir-fry noodles with chicken in bowl on dark stone background copy space

PIZZA

500 > above.  Preheat your oven this high if possible.

A PIZZA STONE — Worth the investment for a crispier crust that resembles wood-fired restaurant style.

A HOT STONE — Preheat the stone, it might take as long as an hour.

THE PROCESS — Roll dough onto parchment and transfer to the heated stone; poke holes in the dough with a fork and bake for 7ish minutes. Add toppings and bake until done.

FRIED CHICKEN

Let your chicken come to room temperature (it takes about a half hour) before cooking. That helps the cooking oil maintain its temp when you add the chicken.

BRINE & DRAIN — The best restaurant fried chicken is brined with a seasoned liquid (typically buttermilk) for at least four hours. Fry it in a heavy-duty pan on the stove. Then place chicken on a cooling rack over a baking sheet, not on paper towels, which makes it soggy.

HOT, BUT NOT TOO HOT — Oil – vegetable, canola or peanut but NOT olive – should be no more than 375 when you add chicken. While cook, aim for a temperature between 300-325.

Fried chicken and vegetables with sauce

Happy Valentine’s Day cooking to you and your special someone!

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