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477 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

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

The Restaurant Evolution

Today, our nation is facing multiples negative impacts within the economy overall, that is causing many changes in the labor market as well. Many industries have been affected putting on the street thousands of people. The food service industry, at the same time have been affected by eliminating or combining two different job positions into one.   For example, in multiples kitchen today many cooks are facing high volume of work responsibilities, not only cooking but to prepare, organize the storage, cooler, freezer, wash, peel, and cut hundreds of pounds of carrots,... read more

How To Make Latkes Potato Pancakes

Written by: Jim Berman CCI Some time in early fall, I decided my long-term goal would be to open my deli. I grew up on deli food and miss it so - the soft, seeded-rye; stinky chopped chicken livers; the dew on the windows from the corned beefs… corning; the grease-glazed knishes; mountains of yellow potato salad. Delaware is not a haven for such gastronomical delights beyond chicken 'n dumplings and steamed crabs. My very indiscriminate love of good food was born of my experience with really good deli food. So, in seven years, I want to open a deli. I have never been... read more

A November Sunday in Torremolinos

- Torremolinos, sunday 10th of november. Sunday is when the Spanish families come out, many in their best sunday clothes, going to church, have a tapa, go for a coffee and a pastry and enjoy their sunday. Also, this time of the year, many Spanish people from other parts of Spain seem to visit Andalucía. It's just past noon and I decided to go for a walk on my own outside the town center and have a tapa later on. I'm in the neighbourhood of one of my favorite places in Torremolinos, Jamón.es, wine and tapa bar annex wine and Spanish charcuterie shop. Jamón.es is an... read more

Trussing The Lost Art

    by Ruben Urias   The popularity of cooking in America has inspired many home cooks to attempt techniques that are all but forgotten.  Fortunately, many of these techniques do not substantially increase prep time, yet add immensely to the finished dish, not to mention the pride of the cook.  One such technique that will improve your poultry dishes is the use of trussing.      Trussing is the simple process of tying your poultry with butchers twine prior to roasting.  The process of trussing compacts your bird to give it an appealing, uniform shape and help... read more

Malaga, a walk along tapa bars

- Málaga is this town in Andalucía where I always want to come back to for the past 30 years. Let's explain first that I prefer to reside in a nearby town, Torremolinos, which has a metro-style small train that travels continuously to Málaga in less than half an hour for only a few euros. It allows me to visit Málaga as many times as I like. Especially these last years, Málaga has grown into a place that seems to attract more and more city-trippers and other tourists... I heard Málaga many times being called "Little Barcelona", and that is so true! Málaga is not exactly... read more

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