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Pepper Profile Chipotles

Generally speaking, chipotle in English refers to any smoked chile pepper. The Spanish word chipotle is a contraction of chilpotle in the Náhuatl language of the Aztecs, where chil referred to the hot pepper and potle was derived from poctli, meaning smoked. The word was apparently reversed from Náhuatl, where it originally was spelled pochilli. Other early spellings in Mexico are tzilpoctil, tzonchilli, and texochilli. The most commonly smoked chiles are jalapeños, named for the city of Jalapa in the state of Veracruz. They are also known in Mexico as cuaresmeños, or... read more

Dry Rub Marinades

If the mosquito is the most ubiquitous phenomenon of the summer, surely the backyard barbecue runs a close second. And what the barbecue inevitably spawns is the marinade, that delectable emollient that at once soothes and enhances the fare of the evening. Most often a marinade consists of a moderately priced oil, an acid, such as wine or vinegar, and seasonings - a combination similar to a salad dressing. Food authorities preach that the acid tenderizes the meat, while the seasonings suspended in the oil flavor it. Until recently, recipes for dry marinades (most often a... read more

Dry Brining

Dry Brining is about salting for flavor and moisture retention ahead of cooking instead of wet brining and the sort of diluted flavor some perceive from that technique.   This technique is best used on cuts of meat that have not been presalted, either with a salt solution, or koshering. You need to be in complete control of the amount of salt. You'll need to seek out minimally processed meat, poultry especially, for this technique. Generally speaking, poultry and lamb work best with this technique.   First, some definitions of terms, paraphrased or copied from... read more

Roast Rack Of Lamb

Historically, feasting on lamb was a traditional means of ushering in the spring season.  The natural breeding cycle of sheep produces lamb in the months of March and April; hence the term spring lamb.  This however, is an informal definition.A lamb is a sheep less than one year old.  A baby lamb is six to eight weeks old while a spring lamb is three to five months of age.  After a year it is referred to as a yearling and once it reaches its second birthday it becomes mutton.  As the sheep ages its meat will become darker colored, develop a stronger, gamier taste, and be... read more

On the Road with Dega Catering and the Dave Matthews Band

  When the kitchen is always in motion, how do you feed one of the biggest bands in the world? Dega Catering is the long-running food crew charged with fueling the Dave Matthews Band as the group snakes its way across the country during their nearly annual summer concert tours. Feeding the band members, riggers, drivers, stagehands, sound technicians and guests with restaurant quality food can be daunting. Executing the food that is befitting the demands of a rigorous tour schedule is a feat all its own. Fold in the desire to minimize a negative environmental impact,... read more

Der Kuchen

It's 8:15 on a chilly November morning and I'm standing in a large empty kitchen stirring flour, yeast, and water in a small bowl and feeling a little stressed. I'm also thinking of my mother. She, of course, is not the reason I am feeling stressed; it's because of the busy day ahead of me. Though my mother has been gone for many years and the thought of her still comforts me. The recipe that I'm making—kuchen, or German coffee cake—is hers, and this is the reason I think of her at this moment.   Whenever I make this recipe I also cannot help but think of... read more

Food On Film The Big Night And Dinner Rush

Restaurants and chefs are hot topics these days. Open any newspaper or magazine (including this one) and you’re bound to see some sort of restaurant news. Chefs are treated as celebrities and restaurants as nightclubs; i.e. adult playgrounds. I’ve read that some food writers describe America’s obsession with food as “the new sex”…personally, I’m not buying that one. At any rate, movies are no different, these too often portray—and glamorize—food and the foodservice industry. This is nothing new, of course, big screen “food movies” have been popular for years— Babette’s... read more

Arena Charcoal Grill By Barbecook

When it comes to summertime cooking just about everyone heads for their outdoor grill. For most that simply means turning a dial and hitting an igniter switch to light the propane fuel of their gas grill. While you surely can't beat the convenience of the gas grills available, it is hard to compare the flavor of foods cooked over gas to that of food cooked over charcoal.   Although cooking over charcoal offers a superior flavor compared to gas, it not only requires more time but also a greater degree of cooking skill (in my opinion). This makes the idea of grilling... read more

How To Make Spring Rolls

by: Chef Jim Berman Springtime is sensational for reinvention. All around us there are new vegetables poking up there first little leaves of the season. The gift wrapping is an early morning shower, shrouding the plantings in a damp haze. There are wonderful fruits hitting the market from closer rather than further away. Different specimens of ingredients are afoot. With invention comes innovation. And improvisation. So, with so many delicious components for our meals, it is meaningful to play with your food rather than simply prepare it. Look at those lime-green... read more

What Is Sauerkraut

So you know how it tastes, but do you know anything else about Sauerkraut? What is Sauerkraut?Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented in salt. Where did the word Sauerkraut come from? The word Sauerkraut means “sour cabbage” in German. Who invented Sauerkraut?Credit the Chinese for the creation of Sauerkraut more than 2,300 years ago. Originally it consisted of shredded cabbage that was pickled in wine. Workers building the Great Wall of China were among the first to enjoy it. Around the end of the 16th century, salt was used in place of wine in the fermentation... read more

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