KITCHEN BUTLER DIY

Apartment living is tough enough, but when you use your living space as your work space plus you’re a home chef, making room for even the necessities becomes a challenge. I solved my lack of space for pots and skillets by buying a wooden stool and large nails with large heads. Then I pounded themContinue reading “KITCHEN BUTLER DIY”

RE: Preparation Times For Recipes

It takes a lot longer to develop a recipe than it does to replicate a recipe. For that reason the prep times are not given. To estimate the time for each procedure after the fact would not be accurate enough for my tastes. The number of ingredients aren’t necessarily an indicator of preparation time.  

Simmering With Lids

When putting a lid on any sauce that’s going to simmer for a while, occasionally take a peek beneath the lid to make sure it isn’t boiling rapidly. Sauces tend to do that when you’re not looking. If the burner is on the lowest setting and it’s still boiling rapidly, which happens sometimes, especially withContinue reading “Simmering With Lids”

Softening Up Non-Dairy Ice-Cream

My freezer temperature has only one setting that has no bearing on anything else. If the refrigerator is plugged in, no matter the setting for the refrigerator part, the freezer acts the same way – like a blast of cold arctic air. We never have to worry about waiting for ice. It’s not just thatContinue reading “Softening Up Non-Dairy Ice-Cream”

Discoloration Prevention

This is an easy one. Tired of seeing your apple cubes and banana slices turn brown right before your eyes, before you’ve hardly finished cutting them? Here’s a solution that works. Combine the juice of 1-2 oranges (fresh) in bowl with a strong sprinkling of turmeric. Stir to dissolve. Then as you cut the fruit,Continue reading “Discoloration Prevention”

Specialty Salts

Now that I’ve experienced them I’m always going to have them in my pantry, that is, as long as I can afford these high priced salts. The two I’m talking about here are pink Himalayan salt and Celtic salt. I don’t really have a favorite, but I definitely use more of the pink, probably becauseContinue reading “Specialty Salts”

Salmonella and Milk In The Wine

Did you know that many wine companies use egg whites and/or potassium caseinate (an animal milk protein) to purify their wines? They discovered years ago that unwanted particles in the wine would stick to these substances when added to the wine, making the removal of them easier, leaving a pure and clarified product. You probablyContinue reading “Salmonella and Milk In The Wine”

The X-MAS TREE effect in plate presentation

When a chef is critiquing a plate of food one of the things they look for is color – all the major food colors. You get so accustomed to that x-mas tree of colors on your plate, that if one is missing you go into x-mas tree withdrawal. Oh my God, I lost the  cookingContinue reading “The X-MAS TREE effect in plate presentation”

FENNEL SEED – the perfect plant meat spice

It’s not the same as star anise. It’s close, or should I say star anise is close to fennel seed – a cousin, seems like the same DNA, but is it really? I mean, do I really want to be putting licorice into my savory sauces? That’s what star anise is, basically, the taste ofContinue reading “FENNEL SEED – the perfect plant meat spice”

GARLIC: POWDER vs GRANULATED

Garlic powder textures like cornstarch. Granulated garlic textures like salt, but doesn’t melt or dissolve. The finer the granulation, the better. Shop around. Most markets now carry only the granulated, yet label it as garlic powder. Ninety-nine percent of the time I use granulated labeled as powder. I know it’s confusing, but that’s what manufacturersContinue reading “GARLIC: POWDER vs GRANULATED”

MINOR’S MUSHROOM BASE

I buy Minor’s Mushroom Base at Gordon’s Food Store. It can also be purchased online at amazon.com and elsewhere. It’s a great product that enhances the mushroom flavor of whatever dish you use it in. It’s salty, because it’s highly concentrated, so you don’t need much. It’s also gluten-free.  

USING FRESH TURMERIC

FRESH TURMERIC Lots of people are using fresh turmeric these days. Just as with fresh ginger vs powdered ginger, the benefits of fresh turmeric vs powdered are essentially the same. But if you worry that the powdered isn’t organic and/or you just want the taste of fresh, then buy fresh. The first time I hadContinue reading “USING FRESH TURMERIC”

NEW RICE POLICY

Since reading about high arsenic levels in rice, particularly brown rice, I now rinse all bagged rice till water runs clear before cooking it. Place dried rice in wire mesh strainer. Run faucet water over rice, while holding the strainer over a saucepan, emptying pan as needed, till the water runs clear into the pan.Continue reading “NEW RICE POLICY”

TASTING

TASTING. Taste and/or smell each ingredient before you add it to a dish, then taste and smell the dish to which you’ve added it, so that you become familiar with the way in which the flavor, texture, color and aroma achievements progress. Cooking is not only an art, but a science as well. Knowing how oneContinue reading “TASTING”

SCALLIONS

SCALLIONS. Just because you have scallion in the refrigerator doesn’t mean you should garnish every dish with it. However, if you really like scallion with everything, then try varying the cut: some tiny, thin rings, some sliced the long way into 2 inch long matchstick width or smaller. Try frying up thick round disks of theContinue reading “SCALLIONS”

SALT

SALT. There’s a difference between Morton’s (or similar) table salt and sea salt. To achieve the same salt taste, it takes a little more sea salt. You be the judge, since there are also differences among sea salts. Re: Kosher salt–the rock kind. All the chefs on the food network use it. I’ve tried it, and don’tContinue reading “SALT”

PLATE PRESENTATION

PLATE PRESENTATION. How does your plate look after you’ve arranged your food on it? Garnishing illuminates a dish, but be sure that you want what’s on your plate illuminated. Food piled or thrown on like slop gives an undesirable appearance; and appearances do count. No matter what you’re serving, arrange it on the plate in aContinue reading “PLATE PRESENTATION”

PASTA

PASTA. Cooking pasta need not require oil added to the water. It’s more important that you use lots of water, and the pasta is stirred continuously from the time of insertion until past the initial melting stage (when the starch softens and individual pastas tend to stick together). Beyond this and in the presence of aContinue reading “PASTA”

ORDER IN WHICH EACH DISH IS SERVED

ORDER IN WHICH EACH DISH IS SERVED. In some meals the order in which each dish is served is critical to the enjoyment of each dish. In other meals the order makes no difference whatsoever.  In this collection, I have noted when it does make a difference. For instance, some salads work best within theContinue reading “ORDER IN WHICH EACH DISH IS SERVED”

OLIVE OILS

OLIVE OILS range in flavor from very mild to clearly distinct, with mild dishes generally requiring a mild oil, and spicy dishes a more flavorful one. But experiment with different varieties and combinations to discover your own preferences. In Italy, olive oils are graded according to their pressing and acidity level. The first pressing, if doneContinue reading “OLIVE OILS”

NON-DAIRY LIQUID CREAMER

NON-DAIRY LIQUID CREAMER. I use non-dairy liquid creamer freely in my kitchen. It is a superb product, tasting much like real cream. Depending upon where you live in the country, brand names will vary. Locate in the dairy section of the market. Much to my dismay, this product is no longer available in Cleveland, Ohio. ThereContinue reading “NON-DAIRY LIQUID CREAMER”

ALTERING RECIPES

ALTERING RECIPES. There are two common temptations to alter a recipe. First: If we have a little bit extra of an ingredient we’ll add it to the dish rather than discard or store it. Please don’t add a little extra of anything no matter what the reason. Freeze it, store it, dump it. Do anything butContinue reading “ALTERING RECIPES”

COOKING SURFACE

COOKING SURFACE: When doubling or tripling a recipe, expect all the ingredients to take longer to cook. In large recipes the amount of ingredient surface exposed to direct heat is less than with smaller recipes where a greater percentage of  ingredient surface is exposed to the heat, thereby cooking the ingredients faster. Any time you haveContinue reading “COOKING SURFACE”