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706 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

The Tasting Of Choice Rare Teas

Tea tasting is at its elemental level nothing more than the act of consciously assessing a tea’s quality, or if one is doing a blind tasting it’s identity as well. It is most important to state here that tea tasting is in no way to be thought of as the ever enjoyable act of drinking tea. Here we are concerned only with the actions and activities involved in consciously cataloging the sensory impressions that tea can stimulate. Almost all of what is commonly called the sense of taste is actually the sense of smell. This can be easily experienced by holding the nose so... read more

What does Shake Shack's ChickenStack mean to restaurant menus?

      The cornerstone of the contemporary burger scene broke the internet with the launch of a chicken sandwich. Seriously. The Shake Shack chicken sandwich started trending on Twitter within minutes of the first chicken dip in the fryer. And that says something for the burger-only (mostly) establishment that kicked the stock market in the pants with an opening day initial offering that doubled, making a lot of burger investors very happy. So what does that mean for a burger-centric chain that looks to gobble some of the chicken market? Is it a sell-out for, say,... read more

Rushing Water Fisheries

In a culinary world where chefs quest for new commodities and methods of cookery it is understandable that the idea of cooking with trout does not purvey the concept of modern cuisine. Nor does it really spark the culinary imagination. This is certainly the way I felt - until I encountered the fish form Rushing Waters. In the heart of the Wisconsin countryside - Palmyra to be exact you can discover Rushing Waters Fishery. Rushing Waters is a trout farm with a difference. It is an operation that is focused on quality not quantity. A rare philosophy in the fish business... read more

A Brining We Shall Do

In my XX number of years in the kitchen, believe it or not, I have never brined anything.  Well, I did once, unfortunately I brined a turkey that already had 8% salt solution enhancement, ACK!  It was a Thanksgiving of side dishes only, so I never tried it again, until now. All of the turkeys or parts thereof, that I have prepared, I’ve  just chucked into the oven and said a pray, oh please kitchen gods, let my meal be good this once?  Recently, I have been buying Jenny-O turkey breast tenderloins that are already flavored.  It took me till now to look at more than the... read more

Stock

  One of the first lessons of any cooking course is learning how to make stocks.  Stocks form the basis of most sauces and soups.  A stock is basically the liquid that eventuates from simmering bones and/or meat with vegetables, herbs, & seasonings. Types of stock include beef, veal, chicken, fish, and vegetable. Let's peruse the stock making procedure.     Virtually all stock recipes instruct you to start with bones.  I prefer a mix of actual meat and bones.  I find the meat/bone combo to yield a deeper flavor.   For a beef stock I use cubed chuck steak.  Never... read more

Duck Varieties

There are three major duckling breeds available in the United States: White Pekin, Muscovy, and Moulard. Knowing the differences between the various breeds can help chefs and restaurateurs select the best kind of duckling for their menu or personal needs. *Information courtesy of The Duckling Council (www.duckling.com) White Pekin: The industry leader, comprising roughly 95% of national duckling consumption Mild flavor Data reviewed and approved by the USDA shows that a 3.5 ounce skinless White Pekin duckling breast has only 140 calories and 2.5 grams of fat... read more

Facebook Connect Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Connect with Facebook?" mean? For a couple of years now Facebook has been offering a service to allow folks to sign into other websites easily without having to enter a whole lot of information everywhere they go. This system has evolved over time and we've integrated it here for our members' convenience. If you'd like to hear what Facebook has to say, check out their developer's guide and help pages.     Why is this on the site? The main benefit is an easy registration process for new members who discover this forum via Facebook. Traditionally,... read more

Packing in Festive Feasting (How To Make Fruitcake w/ Photos)

By Becky Billingsley   A densely packed fruitcake lovingly laced with grape juice is a memorable holiday treat with a creamy texture using this old southern method.   Holiday dishes served at the South Carolina coast have influences from several cultures (German, Scottish, Irish, French, African), but about an hour west of Myrtle Beach the roots run deep to 17th-century England. That heritage is found in a generations-old recipe called Packed Fruitcake.   Pulitzer Prize-winning author Julia Mood Peterkin (1880-1961) wrote about old southern ways in her books and... read more

Inspiration

Let me start be saying that great cooks, either professional or home, are made not born.  But why?  What gives someone that drive to learn to cook.  What makes someone say, "I could just boil this and eat it, or I could parboil it, then saute it in butter and it will taste amazing!"  The truth is that there is no easy answer to that.  Every person that has ever put on an apron and taken on the mantle of meal maker has different reasons for why he or she does that.  For some it is personal drive to be the best at what they do.  For others it comes from their past.  For me... 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

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