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473 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

History Of Chef Titles

Defining The Different Titles In The Kitchen Our first class session of culinary 101 will answer a subject that many of our ChefTalk viewers have been asking about--what the different positions or divisions of the kitchen are. We will define each of the classical kitchen positions. Not every professional kitchen has a different person for each of these positions (i.e. in smaller establishments often one cook might perform the responsibilities of several different stations or positions). Chef: The term literally means "the chief" in French. Every kitchen has a chef or... read more

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

Mexican Food Recipes Champurrado

With late winter storms postponing spring indefinitely, the allure of the common cup of cocoa is certain to wear thin. So now is the perfect time to try and make something new, like a cup of the traditional Mexican hot chocolate drink, champurrado. Champurrado is a rich and decadent hot chocolate drink, spiced with cinnamon and anise. It also distinguishes itself from its American counterparts by being thickened with masa, then whipped, into a frothy, fluffy cup of goodness. When prepared properly, champurrado is not unlike a traditional cup of cappuccino—espresso... 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 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

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

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Registration Issues Why do I need to validate my email? I never got my email validation email. I forgot my password. What should I do? How do I change my user name, email address, and password?   Using The Site How are forums, articles, and product reviews different? Do you have tutorials on using the site? Where is my forum signature? What are subscriptions? What is the difference between the Rich Text Editor and the BB Code Editor? If I read something that violates the site rules, what should I do? Why did I receive... 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

A Guide To Substitutions For Herbs And Spices

  • by PeteModerator

Written By Chef Peter Martin As foodies, we are very lucky that we live in today's world.  Never in the history of mankind have we had access to so many foods and cuisines.  It's not uncommon to eat Chinese food one night, Italian the next, and Mexican the following night.  Even in the smallest of towns you can find at least 1 or 2 of these more common ethnic cuisines.  In major metropolitan areas, the choices are even vaster, with choices ranging from Thai, Ethiopian and Peruvian to Russian, Japanese, and all manner of European cuisines.  Grocery stores have even... 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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