Perhaps one of your culinary resolutions for 2012 was to make more things from scratch. If that is the case, we applaud you: Making store-bought items from scratch is a great way to improve basic cooking techniques and understand what goes into the foods we know and love. Not only do you get to control what goes into your food this way, but the flavors are often fresher and bolder than their store bought counterparts. Here are some homemade recipes that we think you should try.
Barbecue Sauce: All you need is 10 minutes to make a tangy, thick, and piquant barbecue sauce. The final product adds depth of flavor to everything from pork ribs to brisket to barbecued oysters.
Breadcrumbs: Store-bought breadcrumbs can have a slightly stale consistency, but you’ll never encounter that problem when you make your own. Use them in pasta dishes, breaded on chicken or fish, or as a topping for creamed collard greens.
Chicken Cutlets: You’ll kick yourself for paying such a pretty penny to buy chicken cutlets when you discover how easy they are to butcher yourself.
Chicken Stock: Don’t ever throw roast chicken bones or rotisserie carcasses away. Instead, utilize the ingredient fully by simmering a batch of your own homemade chicken stock, which can be used in soups, stews, and gravies.
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Harissa: If you aren’t familiar with the Tunisian garlic and chile paste known as harissa, you should be. Softened chiles, garlic, lemon, and lesser-known spices add heat and brightness to steak sandwiches and vegetable tagines.
Pappardelle: Pasta lovers, consider making hand-cut pappardelle. With its wide surface and unparalleled elasticity, it’s the ultimate pasta.
Vinaigrette: If you don’t already make your own salad dressing, it’s the easiest item to cut from the store-bought list. A simple dijon vinaigrette comes together in less than five minutes and doesn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup or mysterious preservatives.
Croutons: Oven-baked croutons aren’t just easy to make and versatile in their use. They also happen to be a crispy snack and a brilliant use for leftover bread.