Oven-Roasted Pablano Peppers and Hatch Chilies

OVEN-ROASTED PABLANO PEPPERS AND HATCH CHILIS 1-1/4 lbs. fresh pablano chilies, or 4 X-lg., washed and drained 1-1/3 lbs. fresh hatch chilies, or 10 lg. (also called green chilies), washed and drained Place all peppers on wire rack over large baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning once halfway through. … Continue reading Oven-Roasted Pablano Peppers and Hatch Chilies

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BOILING FRESH ASPARAGUS

BOILING FRESH ASPARAGUS Although I often steam asparagus, especially when I'm looking for a crisper, bright green texture and appearance, the best way to make sure every nook and cranny of the tips are sanitized properly is to boil them. I know nobody likes to do that, but it does produce a cleaner, stronger asparagus … Continue reading BOILING FRESH ASPARAGUS

Pre-cooking Your Mushrooms

1 lb. fresh white button mushrooms, washed well, then quartered like a cross 5 oz. fresh Shitake mushrooms, washed well, stems removed from the caps with a knife and discarded 1 jumbo fresh Portobello mushroom cap, washed well, stem removed and discarded, sliced into 3/8 inch wide steaks, then crosswise into 3/4 inch wide segments 4 … Continue reading Pre-cooking Your Mushrooms

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 with … Continue reading Simmering With Lids

Making Orange Rind Matchsticks

MAKING ORANGE RIND MATCHSTICKS The next time you peel an orange to eat, save the peel, especially if it's a thick peel. Why waste all that flavor when you can prepare it to use as a condiment/seasoning/flavoring in many dishes. All it involves is removing the pithe (white part of the orange peel) from the … Continue reading Making Orange Rind Matchsticks

Preserving Bananas

Steve told me how to do this years ago. He discovered it by accident, trying to keep bananas from rotting so quickly. It works every time. I don't know the science behind it, but the proof is in the result. This is what you do: When you bring a bunch of bananas home from market, rather … Continue reading Preserving Bananas

Drying Macaroni For Macaroni Salads

  DRYING MACARONI FOR MACARONI SALADS For a more dense macaroni chew experience, partially dry-cook elbows before adding them to your salad. A simple procedure makes a world of difference. Makes 1 pound 1 lb. box elbow macaroni - I used Mueller's brand - my mother said it wasn't as starchy feeling as the other … Continue reading Drying Macaroni For Macaroni Salads

Best Lime Squeeze

Limes are difficult to squeeze. Even when you firmly roll them on the counter under your hand to loosen the membranes they, unlike the lemon, do not respond as well. If you have a microwave this is what to do: First wash the lime. Next, on the side of the lime make about a 3/4 … Continue reading Best Lime Squeeze

Making Pumpkin Seed Snow

MAKING PUMPKIN SEED SNOW All you need to make Pumpkin Seed Snow are raw, shelled pumpkin seeds and an electric coffee bean grinder. Fill the well of the grinder leaving enough head space for the 'swell'. Process till seeds become fluffy, pausing a few times to scrape up snow from bottom of well and to … Continue reading Making Pumpkin Seed Snow

Cooking Red And Brown Rice

RED: 3 c. water 2 t. salt 2 c. rinsed red rice Bring to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff. The original recipe on the package calls for 1-3/4 cup water for 1 cup rice. Now that I've done it two ways. I … Continue reading Cooking Red And Brown Rice

SKINNING ALMONDS

SKINNING ALMONDS Almonds are hard nuts. Even while chewing they seem to never soften up. Do a parboil, a soak, then a peel for extra eye-appeal and they might just change your mind! Makes 4 cups almonds after soaking 3 c. whole raw, unsalted almonds 6 c. water In large saucepan bring almonds and water … Continue reading SKINNING ALMONDS

Pink Lentils

Pink lentils, although smaller and thinner than the garden variety light brown lentil, absorb more water quicker, fluffing up more like rice than legumes. The first time I saw these in the market, many years ago, I was awed. Wow. Pink legumes. Of course I had to have some, only to be disappointed to see … Continue reading Pink Lentils

Making Powdered Herbs

Normally we don't garnish with dried herbs, because the rough feel on the mouth throws the texture achievement of the entire dish into chaos. However, there is a way to utilize the potency of a dried herb by turning it to powder. We use paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg et al as garnish and they're all powdered. … Continue reading Making Powdered Herbs

AFC DRY SEED BOUILLON

AFC DRY SEED BOUILLON  Get out your coffee grinder and clean it up - no coffee grounds visible in the well, not even one. We're going to grind and pulverize some seeds, then make a mix out of it, to use in a variety of  applications - for home or restaurant. Makes approx. 9 cups … Continue reading AFC DRY SEED BOUILLON

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 that … Continue 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

Whip Topping, how to make

To date, Rich's is the only company I'm aware of that sells dairy-free soy-based liquid that can be whipped into the equivalent of dairy whipped cream. Check out their website to see where you can purchase it. It's sold frozen, so look in the frozen foods department of your grocery store. All you do is … Continue reading Whip Topping, how to make

How To Make: Black Rice

FORBIDDEN BLACK RICE Directly from the instructions on the package is the best way to cook this particular brand of Chinese black rice - LOTUS FOODS!.  Makes 3 cups 1-3/4 c. water 1 t. pink Himalayan salt 1 c. black rice, rinsed and drained in wire mesh strainer Combine water, salt and rice in medium-size … Continue reading How To Make: Black Rice

BROWNED SPAGHETTI STICKS

Browned Spaghetti Sticks For Rice Pilaf dishes 1 T. extra virgin olive oil 50 (or as many as you want) stands of dried spaghetti , broken into 4ths or 6ths Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place broken spaghetti pieces into skillet and cook till lightly browned. Shake pan or move them around with … Continue reading BROWNED SPAGHETTI STICKS

BLACK RUSSIAN CROUTONS

BLACK RUSSIAN CROUTONS Bakery-style black bread makes superior croutons for soup or salad. Why not give it a try next time you see some authentic Russian black bread! Makes as many as you want preheat oven to 250 degrees 1/2 loaf bakery-style Russian black bread or pumpernickel, cut into 1/2 inch cubes Place cubes on … Continue reading BLACK RUSSIAN CROUTONS

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  cooking … Continue reading The X-MAS TREE effect in plate presentation

PICKLED GINGER STICKS

Ever buy a big piece of ginger, use part of it, refrigerate the rest, then not get back to it till it's moldy? Yeah, me too. Ginger molds quickly. Being that it's not readily available in all markets, when I do get some fresh ginger this is what I now do with the leftover. Make … Continue reading PICKLED GINGER STICKS

WASH BEFORE YOU ZEST

If you don't wash your oranges and lemons before zesting them, and by wash I mean a thorough rub under running water, then you're feeding your customers poisons through pesticides. Nobody wants neurotoxins served up on their savory and sweet dishes.  

GRILLING VEG CHEESE SANDWICHES

Before grilling veg cheeses in a sandwich, always bring cheese to room temperature before assembling and grilling. The cheese will melt quicker.   http://chefdavies-tight.com/2016/01/04/potato-bread-quesadilla/  

STAGES OF CARAMELIZING ONION

There are several ways to saute onions - resulting in different degrees of caramelization. The first is to fry the onion in oil and/or margarine till translucent, over medium-low heat. The onion still has firmness and is essentially a stir-fried onion, like the Chinese do. I often say in a recipe to fry till translucent, … Continue reading STAGES OF CARAMELIZING ONION

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 had … Continue 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

CARAMELIZED WALNUTS

CARAMELIZED WALNUTS Easy and delicious! Walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, water, brown sugar and baking soda, cooked till caramelized and cooled till crispy! Great for topping salads or side dishes! Makes enough to top 4 salads, or side dishes 1/2 c. walnut halves or pieces 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil 2 T. water 1/4 … Continue reading CARAMELIZED WALNUTS

MAKING CUCUMBER CANOES

The standard garden-variety cucumber is the seediest. So when you don't want the seeds to complicate the texture achievement of your recipe, you simply remove them. Peel the cucumber, then cut each end off. Cut the cucumber in half from end to end. Put one half cucumber cupped in your hand, seed side up. Take … Continue reading MAKING CUCUMBER CANOES

TOASTING SESAME SEEDS

Toasting sesame seeds is much like toasting coconut. It doesn't take long. Place sesame seeds in dry skillet, without overlapping much. Turn heat to low. Watch carefully for the first signs of browning, then shake skillet till most are lightly browned and the nut aroma in the air is prominent. Remove skillet immediately from heat … Continue reading TOASTING SESAME SEEDS

SEEDING FRESH TOMATOES

Seeding a tomato actually means removing the seeds with the pulp, leaving the skin and the fleshy part attached to the skin. In other words, you don't have to pick through the pulp to remove the seeds. The pulp goes out with the seeds. Seeding tomatoes is easy to do once you do it. No … Continue reading SEEDING FRESH TOMATOES

PRE-SLICED MUSHROOMS

PRE-SLICED MUSHROOMS. It's always best to buy whole mushrooms and to slice your own. It's not difficult, nor does it take much time. This way you control the thickness, and if you want to cube or quarter them, you have that option. More often than not, groceries slice them too thin, then keep them too … Continue reading PRE-SLICED MUSHROOMS

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 one … Continue reading TASTING

SQUEEZING LEMONS AND LIMES

SQUEEZING LEMONS AND LIMES Always squeeze lemons and limes into a cup or bowl, then remove the seeds and add juice to the recipe. If squeezed into the hand to let the juice run through the fingers, the possibility always exists that a seed will slip through too, unbeknownst to you, until one of your … Continue reading SQUEEZING LEMONS AND LIMES

SIMMERING

SIMMERING generally means to cook just at or below the boiling point. When it makes a significant difference, you will be instructed as to the precise level required for any given recipe. For instance, we can simmer at a slow boil, just barely at the boiling point or just below the boiling point. If we need … Continue reading SIMMERING