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738 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Soup Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli   Cranberry beans (borlotti beans) - cleaned and soaked over night    (or two cans rinsed cannellini beans)   4oz thick cut pancetta diced medium and browned in pan with olive oil   Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped celery, cook until softened   add couple of garlic cloves sliced fine, 2 tbl oregano, red pepper flakes and some anchovies (or a bit of paste), cook.   if I'm using canned beans I'll sometimes add some ground beef that was cooked/drained in a separate skillet at this stage.  (The real beans, that have soaked overnight, really seem to stand up... read more

Peanut Butter Banana Pie with Pretzel Crust

  • by PeteModerator

  This past weekend I celebrated my 40th birthday. I wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be. Sure, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not as young as I used to be, but I also came to the realization that you are only as old as you feel. I certainly don’t act and feel like I thought 40 year olds act and felt, when I was a teenager.   The weekend was rather low key. No major party, just good times with family. My parents made the trip up from Indiana and my brother and his wife came up from Madison, WI to help me celebrate, and to have our family... read more

Tea 101: A Beginner's Guide Part II The Basics

  • by PeteModerator

  In Part I of this series I introduced you to the world of tea.  In this part we will explore the basics of tea; purchasing, storing and brewing.  Of these topics, brewing is the most complex, and this is where many opinions can be found, many of which claim that they are the best, or only way to brew proper cups of tea.  I try to not get too caught up in the minutiae as, to me, brewing and drinking tea should relaxing endeavor, but there are certain guidelines regarding steeping times and temperatures that do need to be followed in order to brew a good cup of... read more

History And Descriptions Of Chilies

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin Sweet Heat It all starts with a slight tingling in the mouth that quickly turns into a light burning sensation.  Your nose starts to run and perspiration beads on your forehead as your eyes turn blurry with tears.  By now your mouth has become a raging river of molten lava, or so it seems.  You have just swallowed a powerful alkaloid that has caused your brain to release neurotransmitters telling your body you are in big trouble.  So who is this insidious poisoner so intent on seeing you suffer?  You are, and mostly likely you will attempt... read more

Chicken Salad - A Lesson in Presentation

  • by PeteModerator

  One of the most important lessons I learned as a young, professional chef was that presentation is everything. Even in the finest of restaurants you can serve the most mundane of foods if you create a spectacular, or beautiful, way to present it. Soups were a classic example of this. Many of the soups we made, at some of the best restaurants, I worked at, in Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans, were soups that people make at home every day. The only difference was in the presentation. Vegetables were not roughly chopped, but meticulously cut into perfect little cubes.... read more

Basic Knife Care

  It's a common misconception that knives are suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher. The truth is, the dishwasher is considerably more aggressive in its action than cleaning by hand.  Highly concentrated cleaning agents, long periods in hot steam and even the residue of certain kinds of food can lead to spots or corrosive actions on the knife blade. It is recommended cleaning knives by hand, using a soft cloth and mild cleaning agent. After cleaning, the knife should be carefully wiped dry to avoid spotting of the blade.   Certain handle materials, and designs... 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

Fish Descriptions Part Ii

ChefTalk.com would like to thank Chef Charles Weber of Riva Restaurant in Chicago, Il. for sharing some of his fast knowledge about fish. Recently Chef Weber put together a comprehensive document of fish descriptions for his wait staff to help educate them about the subject. At our last Chef's Journal we asked Chef Weber if he would share it with the ChefTalk community and he was more than happy to do so. The list is very comprehensive, in fact, the list is so comprehensive that we have broken it up into two parts. SEARCH TIP *(If you are looking for a particular... read more

Why Do You Cook?

Why Do You Cook? Andres Cantu “It’s like I always knew,” explains San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez, the culinary dynamo behind True Flavors Catering and El Machito, among others. Having grown up in his father’s restaurant, Hernandez had no doubt that cooking would remain the focal point of his life’s work.   There aren’t many of us who can claim such provenance, yet here we are: boiling and broiling, slicing and dicing, turning and burning, all with varying degrees of passion. Slippery floors, stainless steel corners, boiling water, fryers, fires, blades, soaking... read more

Flavorful Fall Harvest

  The meaning of life is a rutabaga.             --Garrison Keillor     By: Chef Joe George   This dog days of summer are a memory. It’s time to batten down the hatches for the cold months. And if you’re a person who likes to cook and eat by the seasons using local ingredients, this may mean getting creative in order to keep meals interesting. The summer months are easier, I think: vegetables seem to have more flavor when the sun is shining (maybe it’s my imagination), and herbs that are almost easier to grow than they are to purchase will brighten any... read more

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