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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

An Orange Is An Orange Is An Orange

Imagine this: it's the middle of winter and something as sun drenched and vibrant as citrus fruits are in peak season. In a time when everything always seems to be in season, this may not sound that strange but it's true. Even foods that are as perpetually present in supermarkets as oranges indeed have an optimum period. Though as I write this column it's 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside and hard to imagine anything is actually in season. Oranges are a near-perfect food. One medium sized navel orange has just 80 calories, is cholesterol and sodium free and contains more... 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

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

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

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

Fire Up The Grill

Nothing epitomizes summer cooking more than grilling.  However, grilling can be very confusing.  The more recipes, cookbooks, and perspectives you encounter, the greater the diversity of opinion that arises.  When do you apply the barbeque sauce?  Gas or charcoal?  Flip the food only once or frequently?  High heat or low heat?  Dry rubs or marinades?  Cover closed or open?  It can make ya nuts.  Let's explore the different variables. Barbeque sauce.  It is generally recommended to add it toward the last end of cooking since it is high in sugar and can burn easily.  Some... read more

Champagne

In the James Bond movie "Goldeneye", 007 and the villainess are playfully racing down a scenic mountain roadway.  Bond's passenger is a young female coworker sent by M to evaluate him.  Having no stomach for his perilous antics she orders him to stop his Aston Martin immediately.  Bond complies and proceeds to seduce her, but not before opening a secret chilled compartment revealing a bottle of the 1988 Bollinger Grand Annee Champagne.  An outstanding choice, and not just for romance. Another New Years Eve is upon us and countless people the world over will celebrate... read more

The Human Equation

We conferred endlessly and futilely and arrived at the place from whence we began. Then we did what we knew we had to do in the first place, and we failed as we knew we would. - attributed to Sir Winston Churchill Whether the opening quote is accurate or not, the thought behind it deserves consideration. Are we becoming incredibly adept at ineffective procedures? Have you ever thought that there had to be a better way to run a restaurant? Does the idea that you have to work 60-80 hours a week to succeed in foodservice strike you as a suspicious notion? Most operators... read more

Apples

Sinfully DeliciousThe famed Greek writer, Homer, gave mention of apples growing in his father's garden prior to the 8th century BC. When Eve entered the Garden of Eden she found a fruit so perfect and enticing that she was in awe, and also, she was tempted. Though various historians have claimed this succulent and tempting fruit to be everything from an apricot, banana, or even a pomegranate, it is most often written that it was an apple. The Latin word for apple is pomum, which is also the Latin word for fruit, implying that the apple is the "fruit of fruits", or at... read more

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