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700 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Makin' Bacon

  • by PeteModerator

  It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been this excited about a project, but my recent endeavors at making bacon really got me pumped up. I mean, what’s not to love about bacon. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s smoky, and it’s got lots of crispy, chewy pork fat, Add to that, the fact that this bacon was made completely at home, from pork that a good friend raised, and you can’t go wrong. I have to admit though, I was also rather nervous. The last thing I wanted to do was to destroy the pork belly I had received with the half pig we had purchased. I’m not one to get... read more

Making the Most of Your Slow Cooker-Sauerbraten

  • by PeteModerator

  In the last few years I’ve become a convert of Crock Pots and slow cookers. In my younger days, as a chef, the mere mention of a slow cooker would elicit derisive chuckles out of me and my cohorts. Slow cookers were tools for those who didn’t know how to cook properly, or for the “happy homemaker” who couldn’t master the art of braising. These were my younger, food snob days. I’ve since then changed my tune quite dramatically. Admittedly, I still prefer to create a braised dish on the stove top or in the oven, but those require that I be home for a considerable... read more

Kung Pao Shrimp

  • by PeteModerator

  I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of Chinese food. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it, but when given the choice it is usually not my first choice. If going Asian my first choice is always Indian or Japanese. I’d also rather eat Thai if that is a choice. Again, it’s not that I dislike Chinese food, I’m just not that enamored of it. Of course, there are exceptions and with a cuisine as diverse as Chinese can be, one would be very hard pressed, indeed, to not find something one likes. My wife, on the other hand, would probably eat Chinese almost every day, if... read more

Getting Angry In The Kitchen

  • by lhoy

    Question: Short Fuse in the Kitchen     There’s so much stress in the kitchen. Often, co-workers and subordinates are disrespectful to me. How can I handle it without blowing up at them?      Answer: Dear L, thanks for your question. When you are dealing with disrespect - you have a right to be angry. The challenge is to be “good and angry” and to work through the anger in a healthy way. It's very difficult working with people who treat you this way and won't take responsibility for their actions and behavior.     Time-out: since anger rears it’s ugly... read more


  Lately there have been discussions of ciabatta on a couple of message boards. They served to give me a strong taste for some. This is Craig Ponsford's Ciabatta as presented in  ​ , by the one & only Maggie Glezer.   A nice dark crust and equal parts hole and bread!   Things start out slowly. The biga uses about 1/364 tsp. of yeast and ferments for 24 hours. How do you measure 1/364 tsp? The ever clever Maggie Glezer is all over it. You take 1/4 tsp yeast and disolve it n 1 cup of water. You then use 1/4 of the yeasted water in the biga.     Ciabatta... read more

Challah - Baloo

Maggie Glezer,  ​  of  fame, is working on a new book. It's all about challah and other traditional Jewish breads. In advance of publication, I tried her challah recipe from this month's Fine Cooking magazine.         A six stranded challah will test my braiding skills. Her diagram helped immeasurably.     Well, I didn't hurt myself.     2 hours later, ready for the oven.         I love this stuff!       Coulda baked a few minutes longer.       Shoulda cooled a bit longer, but very tasty.         read more

Making Sausage-Mexican Chorizo

  • by PeteModerator

  When I was first introduced to Mexican Chorizo I was very confused. What I knew as “Chorizo” came from Spain and it was a dried sausage, so the first time I ordered Chorizo and Eggs I was perplexed by what I received. My consternation didn’t last long, however, after taking my first bite. I immediately fell in love with this new (well at least new to me) form of sausage. And I’ve been in love ever since.   Chorizo is a great way to add a little spice and Southwest flair to just about any meat dish that calls for ground meat. I often like to add it to chili, use it... read more

Indian Inspired Vegetable Curry

  • by PeteModerator

  I’m a big fan of Indian food, but I have to admit that I haven’t spent much time cooking it. This is a situation that I am planning on remedying in the near future. But I don’t let this lack of actual experience hinder me from experimenting with the flavors of India. I have read enough and dabbled enough that I feel pretty confident that I can create a dish, that if not authentically Indian, is, at least, a well inspired creation that evokes the tastes and aromas of the subcontinent.   Probably the biggest hindrance to some one new to Indian cuisine is the large... read more

Apple Pancakes with Maple-Cider Syrup

  • by PeteModerator

  I don’t eat breakfast a lot. I think I’ve said that before, but it is worth repeating. Sometimes I grab a quick bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit on my way out the door, or if I have to stop for gas I might grab a donut and a coke (healthy I know!!!!), but that is pretty much it during the weekdays. On weekends we a much more likely to cook a breakfast even though that doesn’t happen regularly, but since we have the time and it is not something we do often we usually go all out and make up quite a spread. This past weekend it was I who decided to make breakfast,... read more

Pain a l'Ancienne

While the name translates to Ancient Bread, it couldn't be all that old. The key to this awesome bread is refrigeration. It's hard to imagine making it before the advent of the icebox. It's very simple to make as it has just flour, water, salt and yeast.    The blob above is what it looks like after about 8 minutes in the mixer.   This is a really wet dough. It feels very much like a ciabatta dough. I wouldn't try it without a mixer. It's mixed with ice water, 40º and put right into the fridge. It's this cold fermentation that necessitates the mixer. Ciabattas... read more

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