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473 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Finding Comfort Between Two Slices of Bread

Finding comfort between two slices of bread   Jim Berman   There is probably more in print - and on television - about Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers than every James Beard Award winner. Combined. And that is the last the time "James Beard Award" and "Primanti Brothers" will appear in the same sentence. In case you missed the article in National Geographic, the spots on Man vs. Food and the Jon Stewart Show or are not a 'burgh resident, then you probably do not know about Primanti's goodness. From the wall-hung catalog of about 20 meat/fish choices, the rest is... read more

Barbecue, Macarons, Pizza & Burgers

Exploring A few days in Georgetown & Glover Park, Washington, DC Jim Berman   While on hiatus from my day-to-day calling, I have explored some locales that I had not really ventured to and through. Going back to sixth grade, my long-time friend, David, is a gracious host and even more generous with the space in his Glover Park home. Invited to explore the area around Washington, DC, I bounded for the iconic Wisconsin Avenue strip with its (seriously) countless restaurants, dives, bodegas, "gentlemen's clubs" and Whole Foods. Over the years, I had done the usual... read more

How To Make Pheasant Stock

For any of you who follow me on ChefTalk.com know that I am an avid upland game hunter and in particular pheasant hunting. A few fun threads regarding my antics are:             One of my biggest goals when actually hunting and animal for sport is to respect it completely by eating what I kill and using all of the bird as much as possible. A direct result of this has been using all of the bones to make stock and I have to say not only is it very simple I find it is not as strong as chicken stock. Also the stock seems to me to come out much clearer than chicken... read more

Tagging Tutorial

Tagging Overview   Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and any other major search engine has changed the game for product discoverability. Your site connects its members and visitors directly to products, and these are products people are asking about, researching, and thinking about buying - this notion is incredibly empowering. Tagging gives a site the ability to harness this intent, and lead people to make excellent purchasing decisions while making some cash yourself. This is literally a win-win, so keep reading because this is the best thing in your life.    There are various... read more

A Simple How-To Guide to Making Risotto

  • by PeteModerator

  Risotto.  The mere mention of the word often strikes fear in novice cooks.  Only stir the risotto clockwise.  Don't scrape the bottom of the pan.  Don't add boiling liquid. Don't add cold liquid.  Don't add the liquid too fast or too slow.  Don't overcook it.  Don't under cook it.  The list of do's and don'ts go on and on and on.  With all of these stipulations, and more, it's amazing that anyone can turn out perfect risotto at all.  Luckily, risotto is not nearly that finicky.  Yes, there are a few requirements to making, and serving, the perfect risotto, but it's... read more

Perfect for a cold winter's day: Mexican Hot Chocolate

With the weather still being cold especially in Houston, I was reminiscing about some of my favorite cold weather foods. One of my favorites when I was growing up was hot chocolate.  However, since I grew up in a Mexican household, we would often drink Mexican hot chocolate.  It is very similar to your everyday variety, except that traditional Mexican hot chocolate includes semi-sweet chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. In Mexico, hot chocolate remains a popular national drink. Besides the instant powder form, hot chocolate of this type is commonly sold in circular... read more

How to smoke ham hocks

This past year we purchased our annual pig from our local farmer Anthony Bauer of Bauer Custom Meats. Typically we get the ham hocks smoked at the processing plant but this year I decided to smoke them myself. This is how I did it.   First start out by creating a brine for the ham hocks. For my brine I use Brian Polcyn's brine from:  ​    The brine is like most typical brines which is water, salt, sugar and pink salt. You combine all the ingredients and the add your ham hocks. The hocks were in the brine for three days then removed and dried a bit on a rack in the... read more

Oatmeal

by: Chef Jim Berman My younger daughter is, and always has been, quite taken by the color yellow. Yellow teddy bears. Yellow butterfly stickers. Yellow paper for which to make her favorite friend's birthday card. She insists on the yellow set of badly marred, well-worn plastic fork and knife set for every meal. "Is the dishwasher clean?" you can hear before any meal, "I need my stuff."  Yellow is her signature color, if a five year-old is needing of a signature color. And besides, it's rather cute. So it was of no surprise that as we made our way across the just... read more

Why I Cook: A Chef's Manifesto

To start, I think we have to answer a more fundamental question: why do we eat?  The most basic of answers is a simple biological necessity.  If you don't eat, your body starves, shrivels up and dies.  But there is of coarse more to it than that.  If not, then why not just "evolve" food into a nutrient rich paste from which we can all derive our sustenance?  Why then did Homo erectus start using fire to cook food?  The answer lies in our love of food.  I don't think anything else could be far more rudimentary and primal than a love for food.  I mean, who does not have... read more

Decorating with Edible Paper

When I got started in cake decorating, there were few mediums and tools to work with. Everything was done with buttercream icing in different consistencies to pipe lettering, borders or flowers. Few people decorated cakes and rarely could you find a bakery offering anything remotely artistic. Today, not only has the skill evolved but all the tools used to do it. The television reality shows featuring cake decorating competitions has pushed the hobby/career to the forefront, making a carved cake the in thing to have at a wedding or special event.   The types of tools... read more

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