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454 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Making Sense Of Food Thickeners Part I

  • by PeteModerator

How Do I Thicken My Soup?We rarely think when it comes to thickening soups and sauces.  We usually just reach for that box of cornstarch are whip up a quick batch of roux, never really thinking of what we are doing.  But do you really understand when to use one thickening agent over another?  Why do most gravies use flour or a roux and why do many fruit desserts use cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca?  In part I of this series we will examine the myriad of varieties of thickeners out there and when you should use each.  In part II we will focus completely on the use of... 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

How To Roast A Chicken And Other Savory Foods

To look in any dictionary under the word "roast" will most likely yield a definition such as "to cook foods using dry heat in a contained oven or near an open flame". Sounds simple, right? As with anything though, a roast can be made as uncomplicated or elaborate as one decides. I personally like to keep things simple. Once, while taking a course on French Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, I witnessed a chef roasting three capon. As simple as it sounds it was one of the most beautiful yet laborious roasts I had ever seen. First he slid the thinnest slivers of black... read more

Broccoli

Super Sprouts It's interesting how a person's taste changes from childhood to adulthood, what they like and don't like. Personally, my tastes were like most kids when I was a child (you couldn't have gotten me to eat a vegetable for anything). As a teenager I thought that I was eating enough vegetables if I ate a hamburger that had a leaf of soggy iceberg lettuce on it. Ditto for the celery that came with chicken wings. Adulthood of course brought a more discerning view of vegetables. Their healthful properties go without saying, and as a professional cook I also enjoy... read more

Grilling The Perfect Steak

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin Part I  Choosing Your Steak Yes, I know, it is still the middle of winter, so why am I writing an article on grilling steaks?  Because, if you are like me, then grilling is a year round pursuit.  Sure, my grills see almost constant use during the summer, but they are also in use for a good part of the winter.  I have even been known to grill in subzero weather and with blizzards raging around me.  What better way is there to chase the winter blues away than firing up the grill and grilling up some of your favorite foods?  For me one of... read more

How to, What To, When To Sear

How to, What to, When to Sear Jim Berman CCI       Searing is profoundly necessary in the contemporary kitchen. Quick hits of serious heat can be a formidable technique for the right ingredients. And you can get some outlandish results. So why does searing prove elusive to even some otherwise competent cooks?   Fundamentally, the searing experience should start with a screaming hot sauté pan and a trace amount of high temperature-tolerant oil. The pan, preferably steel or cast iron should be dashed with a coating of fat. I stay away from the non-stick... read more

Santoku

The Japanese term santoku [三得] means “three virtues,” which has a distinct Buddhist connotation. Somewhere around 1920 or so, this term was applied to a hybrid Western-style knife, manufactured in Japan and constructed with the modern Japanese housewife in mind. Far more recently, the term has come to refer to an approximate blade shape that has gained a large market-share in Western, perhaps especially American, home kitchens. Despite the hype and advertising schemes applied, the knife in question is in no reasonable sense traditional to Japan. No clear figures are... read more

How To Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time

For most of us, rice is a staple not only in our diet, but also in our cooking repertoire. Cooking rice is a rather straight-forward process of placing the desired amount of rice in a pot of boiling water and allowing the rice to simmer until all the water is absorbed, leaving fluffy grains of rice.   Sounds simple enough, right? As anyone who’s ever faced down a pile of lumpy, clumpy mound of rice stuck to the bottom of a pot can attest, cooking rice perfectly every time is harder than it seems.   Before you even think about adding rice to your boiling... read more

History Of Chinese Noodles

Whenever I mention that I write on the history of food, someone is bound to ask "When was pasta invented?" For Europe, that's a tricky question to answer. For China, though, we have a pretty good idea: about 300 BC. We have it on the authority of Shu Hsi, an official editor of ancient texts and one of the most learned men of China. A pasta enthusiast, in about 300 AD he composed a poem "A Rhapsody on Pasta." Although today we don't think of poems as culinary reference works, they were back then. Shu Hsi's rhapsody was effectively a pasta encyclopedia. The Chinese... read more

How To Use A Chef Knife Part II

In our last class session, we discussed the importance of knives and learned how to judge the quality of a knife. In this class we will look at which knives any well-organized kitchen should have, and how to keep them sharp. A trip to a cooking store will reveal a wide array of different knives. They vary in length, thickness and function. While each knife is valuable, I consider the following 5 knives essential tools for any serious cooking: Chef knife-This is the workhorse knife that chefs reach for the most often, and for that reason it is the most important... read more

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