Christine Gallary's Recent Articles
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5 Extra-Easy Ways to Make Pizza in the Toaster Oven
I’ve always wanted to hug the person who invented the toaster oven. I often use it multiple times a day, from toasting slices of bread for breakfast to baking cookies for dessert. One of my favorite toaster oven uses is for quick pizzas — especially in the summer, when I don’t want to heat up the whole kitchen by turning on the regular oven. To make things even easier, I also skip the pizza dough. Here are five other pizza bases you can use in the toaster oven instead!
Jul 8, 2015
For Less Greasy Pizza, Microwave Pepperoni First
Confession: I’m a pizza blotter. I don’t always do it, but when I encounter especially greasy slices of pepperoni pizza, I grab a napkin and dab at those orange pools, finding a bit of satisfaction that the grease is now on the napkin and won’t end up in my stomach. But what if I told you that when you’re making pizza at home, you can remove some of the grease before you even put the pepperoni on the pizza? The magic lies in the microwave!
Jul 7, 2015
The Best Ways to Store Leftover Pizza
Whenever we get pizza delivered for dinner, we always order a larger one than we’ll be able to eat in one sitting. Why? Simply because we want leftovers. Once we discovered how easy it is to reheat a slice of pizza on the stove, having a few extra slices around means an easy lunch or snack. But what’s the best way to store leftover pizza? Can you just shove the pizza box into the refrigerator?
Jul 6, 2015
The Right Internal Temperature for Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are sold fully cooked, so do you need to grill or heat them? While they are generally safe to eat as is for most people, there are some food safety guidelines to keep in mind when you’re cooking hot dogs. There are some people (pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems) who are more at-risk for food-borne illnesses like listeriosis. Heating hot dogs until they are steaming hot will help kill listeria.
Jul 3, 2015
How To Clean a Charcoal Grill
Whether it’s your own grill or one that’s up for shared use in a park, charcoal grills do require some cleaning and maintenance to make sure they function well and cook your food properly. Here’s what to do. If you own a charcoal grill, you should give it a deep clean at least once during the grilling season, or even twice if you grill often. Why? You don’t want carbon or ash buildup in your grill, or rust buildup on the grill grates.
Jul 2, 2015
Did You Know You Can Freeze Leftover Whipped Cream?
Whipped cream is one of life’s little luxuries that makes everything it touches just a wee bit better. Whether you like it to melt into your hot cocoa, crown your hot fudge sundae, or gild your pie or apple crisp, it’s amazing how just taking a whisk to some heavy cream transforms it so beautifully. But what about that leftover whipped cream that didn’t get served? Should you just toss it?
Jul 1, 2015
10 Tips for Perfect Grilled Chicken
Grilled chicken is a rite of passage for summer cooking.
Jul 1, 2015
I Like American Cheese, and I’m Not Ashamed
We all have guilty-pleasure foods, ones we sometimes don’t like to reveal to others, but secretly enjoy. American cheese should be one of mine, but to be honest, I’ve shed the guilt for liking it and am here to proclaim: All hail American cheese! I like cheese of any kind, and there’s rarely a dish that can’t be made better with the addition of cheese in my book, but I didn’t grow up eating very much cheese since my Chinese parents didn’t like it.
Jun 26, 2015
The 10 Most Annoying Food Packaging Quirks
Food-packaging technology is part of what ensures the food we buy stays intact during the shipping, shelving, and shopping that needs to happen before we bring it home from the store. For the most part, packaging is fairly effective — even ingenious. However, there are some foods that are packaged in ways that make me shake my fist in frustration: “Why, oh why, do they make it so hard?” Come on, I know you feel me here.
Jun 25, 2015
6 Ways to Put Ice Cream Scoops to Use
I’m not a fan of unitaskers, so if a gadget finds a permanent home in my kitchen, it’s got to pull its weight and hopefully do more than just its original task. In fact, I get a fun rush when I figure out new uses for gadgets, and ice cream scoops are no exception. I rarely eat ice cream at home, but I proudly own three (yes, three!) different sizes of ice cream scoops and would never give up a single one. I use them constantly for everyday cooking.
Jun 25, 2015
What You Need to Know About Squash Blossoms, the Flower We Love to Fry
There’s so much to be excited about when summer produce rolls around: cherries, stone fruit, corn! With each week that passes, I see subtle changes in what’s available at the farmers market, and the new offerings are never boring. And one of my favorite things to see? Golden, orange-yellow squash blossoms, piled high and glowing.
Jun 24, 2015
How Do I Keep a Roasted Leg of Lamb Warm?
Q: I need to roast a leg of lamb and bring it to dinner at a friend’s house. How do I keep the lamb warm? Is there a way I can reheat it at my friend’s without drying it? I’d love to know if there’s a system that can also be applied to other roasts. Thank you! Sent by Giuliana Editor: Large, whole pieces of meat actually stay warm for quite a long time and benefit from the resting time, so the meat stays nice and juicy.
Jun 24, 2015
Do You Know What the “Danger Zone” Temperatures Are for Food?
The USDA has a whole page dedicated to what they’ve called the “Danger Zone.” Do you know what that is, and how it relates to food safety? It’s worth knowing this important temperature zone and what happens when food is within this range.
Jun 19, 2015
The Best Moment to Salt Your Burgers
The steps for making burgers seem simple enough: Take ground beef, form it into patties, and cook with your preferred method. Since you’re not making meatloaf or meatballs with the ground meat, you don’t need any special seasonings — just some good ol’ salt and pepper. But does it really matter when you season the meat? Can you do it ahead of time, or should you wait until the very last minute? Turns out that timing is actually very important!
Jun 18, 2015
Where Can I Find a Replacement Knob for My Dutch Oven?
Q: I dropped the lid to my five-quart round black enamel Cuisinart Dutch oven, smashing the knob but doing no other damage. Cuisinart does not have replacement knobs. Without a replacement, this renders a $100 pot useless. Had I not acknowledged dropping it, they seemed ready to replace the entire item, which is as silly as not selling replacement knobs. Any advice?
Jun 17, 2015
Can I Make Gravy from the Drippings of a Roast Leg of Lamb?
Q: After I roast a leg of lamb, could I make a gravy with the drippings? This is my first time roasting lamb, and I am having company. Sent by Mary Editor: You definitely can, and the gravy is delicious! Just use the same technique as you would for making gravy for roast turkey drippings. Here’s a tutorial post: How To Make Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Readers, any tips on making gravy from roast lamb drippings?
Jun 10, 2015
The Best Ground Beef for Great Burgers
What makes a good burger? There have been endless debates about grilling vs. stovetop, size of the patty, bun choice, condiments, cheese, and seasoning, but let’s get down to the very first choice you have to make: buying the ground beef. Start with the right ground beef and you’re well on your way to making a tasty burger, no matter your cooking method or garnishes. When buying beef for burgers, there’s just one basic rule of thumb: Go for ground beef with a high fat content.
Jun 10, 2015
5 Greens Beyond Arugula to Eat This Summer
There’s nothing wrong with the more popular lettuces, and arugula and romaine are often mainstays in my crisper drawer. But I encourage you to expand your lettuce horizons — there are so many other tasty greens out there to explore. Make your salads more fun and interesting, and give these five greens that I’m loving right now a try! These might be, hands down, one of my favorite lettuces.
Jun 8, 2015
The Only Time You Can Safely Refreeze Meat or Poultry
Thawing something from the freezer to cook for dinner has saved us from many a last-minute grocery store run, but what happens if you forget about what you thawed or your plans change? Can you safely throw that meat or poultry back in the freezer to cook another time? You can, but only in one instance! If you defrosted meat or poultry in the refrigerator, you can refreeze it without cooking it.
Jun 5, 2015
How Far in Advance Can I Make Baked Risotto?
Q: How far in advance can I make baked risotto? I have a potluck on Saturday night and was thinking of bringing one, and then realized I have to be there early to set up! Can I make it a few hours in advance and then warm it up there or will it be gummy? Thank you! Sent by Molly Editor: Risotto is one of those tricky dishes to prepare in advance, but it can definitely be done.
Jun 5, 2015
Why Daikon Radishes Deserve More Love
Growing up and eating mainly Chinese and Asian food, the only radishes I ate were daikon radishes. In fact, I didn’t even know that other radishes existed! I’ve now grown to love the eye-catching, colorful, smaller radishes, but the big and humble daikon radish still holds a special place in my heart. Daikon radishes are one of the largest radishes, ranging from six to 15 inches in length, and two to three inches in diameter.
Jun 3, 2015
Tip Test: Is This the Best Way to Store Your Ice Cream?
Going out for ice cream is so easy: order your scoop, and someone with strong arm muscles reaches down into the freezer, carves out perfectly round scoops with ease, and hands you your cone. I never seem to be able to recreate these smooth movements at home, though, since my ice cream is always rock-hard straight from the freezer.
Jun 3, 2015
Yes, You Can Cook Radishes! Here Are 5 Tasty Ways
Radishes are so pretty and irresistible, coming in all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes. And while they’re usually eaten raw — dipped in good butter and flaky salt, or sliced thin onto salads — these jewel-toned vegetables can also be cooked like most other root vegetables. What happens when radishes get cooked? Their characteristic spicy bite mellows out, plus they turn nice and juicy. Here are five delicious ways to cook radishes — give them a try!
Jun 1, 2015
What’s the Best Way to Serve Pasta Evenly?
Q: I’m a lifelong pasta fiend, and like many cooks, I keep Junk-from-the-Fridge Pasta in my regular rotation. However, I have always had trouble with the last step: tossing the pasta and sauce together to get that nice, even distribution of pasta, sauce, and other ingredients (veg, meat, etc.). Somebody gets a plate of mostly toppings, and somebody gets a plate of lightly sauced pasta, but no one gets the middle ground.
Jun 1, 2015
Why Sharpening Your Knives Is Like Going to the Dentist
The words dentist and knives together in the same sentence don’t sound very pleasant, do they? Don’t worry, they have nothing to do with any painful dental work, but instead are a good way to think about knife honing and sharpening! We have talked about how a honing steel doesn’t actually sharpen knives, but actually just realigns the edge of the knife back to the center. One extremely wise comment came in from our reader: This analogy is absolutely perfect.
May 28, 2015
5 Ways to Use Worcestershire Sauce
I’ve always found Worcestershire sauce such a funny ingredient — how exactly do you pronounce it? And did you know it’s not vegetarian Regardless of its funny quirks, it always has a place in my refrigerator door, especially since it’s one of the key ingredients in my husband’s grilled steak marinade. But what else can this fermented, pungent condiment be used for?
May 20, 2015
What Can an Egg Poacher Be Used for Besides Poaching Eggs?
Q: How else can Calphalon Kitchen Essentials 4 Cup Egg Poacher be used besides poaching eggs? Can you please share some recipes and tips? Sent by Millie Editor: Readers, any advice on how to make this unitasker more useful in the kitchen?
May 19, 2015
The Best Place to Thaw Frozen Food
There are lots of ways to thaw frozen food: you can put it in the refrigerator, run it under cold water, leave it out on the counter, or even use the defrost setting on your microwave. Which method is the best and safest one to use? The refrigerator is the safest method of thawing food because it keeps the food out of the “Danger Zone” (temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria multiplies rapidly) the whole time it is defrosting.
May 15, 2015
Does an Aluminum Surface Thaw Food Faster?
As much as we all probably strive to plan ahead and make getting dinner on the table easy and stress-free, let’s face it: it doesn’t always happen, even with the best of intentions. Even if you’ve got a freezer stocked full of meat, you can’t do much with it until it’s defrosted. And while the best place to thaw is in the refrigerator, what happens when you forgot to do it and dinner has to happen soon?
May 13, 2015
Remove Unwanted Odors from Cutting Boards with Just One Ingredient
I recently had to make an intense salad dressing that called for mincing up 18 anchovy fillets and six garlic cloves. Pungent and tasty, but my cutting board took a smelly beating from making this recipe. Here’s my favorite way of getting unwanted odors out of my cutting boards! Some people use the lemon and salt method to clean wooden cutting boards, but I find the remaining lemon scent, while pleasant, might not be something I would want to scent everything I’m cutting up.
May 7, 2015
5 Tips for Egg-Separating Success
Eggs are small marvels, and it’s amazing that just by separating the eggs from the yolks, you can make lofty meringues or luxurious lemon curd. Getting them separated cleanly is important if you want the recipe to turn out properly, but this is not a difficult task. Here are a few tips to ensure separating success! I’ve always found that cold eggs separate more easily because the whites and yolks are still firm from the cold.
May 7, 2015
The Best Way to Make Meatloaf & Meatballs That Are Always Tasty
One thing I find frustrating about baking is that, most of the time, you don’t really know how something will taste or turn out until the very end. You keep your fingers crossed that the cake, muffins, or cookies will be delicious, but you can’t taste along the way and fix something if it doesn’t taste quite right.
May 6, 2015
I Tasted Halva for the First Time, and Here’s What I Made with It
I’m not sure when halva first crossed my radar — it might have been mentioned in some of the many food blogs I scan every week, in a food magazine, or on a restaurant menu, but I’ve been wondering what it is for a while. I knew it had sesame in it, and since I love sesame desserts, I put it on my to-try list. I recently was able to get my hands on some, and here’s what I thought of this Middle Eastern confection!
May 6, 2015
10 Things to Buy at a Mexican Grocery Store
Do you shop in Mexican or Latin American grocery stores? If not, you may be missing out on some good ingredients — not to mention good deals on groceries you usually buy elsewhere. We sat down and talked to Top Chef Season 12 finalist Melissa King about some of her experiences with Mexican cuisine, and she shared with us some of the ingredients she always stocks up on when she’s shopping in those stores!
May 1, 2015
Why Black Pepper Doesn’t Actually Belong On Everything You Cook
“Season with salt and pepper.” This is one of the most commonly used instructions in cooking, and as a result, we probably instinctively season almost all of our food with these two ingredients. But let’s take a step back and really think about this. Is pepper really an all-purpose seasoning that works with everything? When I first started dating my husband, we didn’t cook together very often.
Apr 29, 2015
What’s the Difference Between a Dutch Oven and a French Oven?
What’s not to love about Dutch ovens? They come in bright, beautiful colors; they can go straight from the oven to the tabletop; and you can braise, deep-fry, or even bake bread in them. This kitchen workhorse is usually a sign of a serious cook, and lots of recipes call for using a Dutch oven — but then what is a French oven? Are a Dutch oven and French oven the same thing with different names?
Apr 28, 2015
Is It Still Safe to Eat Soup That Was Frozen Uncovered?
Q: Inspired by all the freezer talk, I went ahead and froze some minestrone soup. I used a quart-sized plastic food storage container (similar to a yogurt container). I froze the soup three weeks ago. When I went to move the container to the fridge to thaw, I saw that, somehow, the lid had come off in the freezer, leaving the soup exposed. I don’t know when this happened. Is my soup consumable? Or should I toss it, lesson learned, and buy some different containers?
Apr 27, 2015
Why Is My Sourdough Bread So Dense?
Q: I’d like my sourdough bread to rise more and be less dense. Wanting no other additives, I mix 4 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup sourdough starter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 2 cups water. The resulting dough is very sticky. I mix just long enough to combine, let it rise about eight hours. Then I pour it into the bread pan, tap (as opposed to punch) it down just a little, and leave it for one hour in the oven preheated to 200°F and turned off.
Apr 23, 2015
What Are Some Options for Baking Outdoors?
Q: How can I bake in the summer without cooking my family? I live in Houston, and it’s oppressive to turn on the oven in the summer. I have a patio and a Weber grill, which I love for the amazing flavor it gives a steak or pizza, but a peach pie or a birthday cake doesn’t benefit from the uneven heat and smoke flavor that you get with a charcoal grill. Is there a good option for outdoor baking that won’t heat up the kitchen?
Apr 21, 2015
Does Searing Meat Really Seal in the Juices?
A lot of braising or slow-cooked meat recipes have you start off by searing the meat first until it’s brown and crusty on the outside before you add the liquid, turn down the heat, and simmer until tender. For quick-cooking cuts of meat, like flank or skirt steak, searing may be all you have to do before it’s ready to eat. Searing meat is one of those fundamental cooking techniques worth learning, but why does it need to be done?
Apr 17, 2015
The Right Internal Temperature for Cooked Pork
Cooking pork, especially today’s leaner versions, can be a bit tricky because you want the pork to be safe to eat but not overcooked and dried out. The color of the meat is not necessarily the best indicator of doneness, so how do you know if the pork is cooked properly? All cuts of pork, with the exception of ground pork, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, and the temperature should be measured at the thickest part of the meat not touching any bone.
Apr 15, 2015
5 Things I Learned from Working in a Test Kitchen
Working in a test kitchen seems like a dream come true, right? Cook, eat, and cook some more all day long. I’ve been lucky to have worked professionally in two high-volume, bustling test kitchens. I absolutely loved my times there, despite the constant stomachaches I would experience from tasting so much food (first lesson learned: graze, don’t gorge!). I’ve tested hundreds of recipes, both mine and from other recipe developers and chefs, over the past few years.
Apr 14, 2015
What’s the Difference Between Dry and Oil-Packed Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are one of the highlights of summer produce — I stuff myself with as many tomatoes as possible while they’re at the peak of ripeness, juicy, and that perfect balance of sweet and tart. But what about the rest of the year when good tomatoes aren’t available? Sun-dried tomatoes are a great way to preserve summer tomatoes so they can be used any time of the year when you want a nice punch of tomato flavor.
Apr 10, 2015
The Correct Ratio When Substituting Dried Herbs for Fresh
As much as I love to use fresh herbs in my cooking, it isn’t always going to happen. I might have forgotten to pick some up at the grocery store, maybe the fresh herbs are too expensive and I need just a tiny amount, or maybe I’m cooking on the fly. Whatever the reason, knowing how to substitute dried herbs for fresh is invaluable for infusing great flavor into your food from your spice cabinet. Here’s how to do it!
Apr 10, 2015
5 Things Culinary School Didn’t Teach Me About Cooking
Going to culinary school was hands-down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Besides learning the butter-loaded art of classic French cooking, I got to experience living abroad in Paris, made an international roster of friends that I still keep in touch with, and even met my boyfriend (now husband) there. It was a whirlwind dream come true. I still use many of the cooking techniques and recipes I learned in school when I develop recipes, cook for photo shoots, or cook at home.
Apr 9, 2015
Everything You Need to Know About Ground Beef
Whether you use it for hamburgers, meatloaf, or for taco night, ground beef is one of the most popular ways beef is sold, and for good reason. While it’s inexpensive and usually seen as a budget cut, it’s the backbone to many classic American dishes, and even just a small amount can add a lot of meaty flavor to your dish. So where does it come from, and does it matter what kind of ground beef you buy?
Apr 8, 2015
How Do I Cook Chicken Breasts in a Convection Microwave?
Q: I was interested in trying your chicken breast oven cooking method but I have a convection microwave. Would you know whether it’s more appropriate to use the ‘Grill’ setting or the ‘Convection’ setting? The ‘Convection’ setting allows me to set the temperature. Sent by Sachit Editor: My guess is that the convection setting will be better because you can control the temperature, but I’ve never used a convection microwave.
Apr 7, 2015
Overwhipped Your Cream? There’s an Easy Way to Fix That
It happens to best of us: we turn on the mixer to whip up some cream and then a distracting phone call or text comes. Next thing you know, the cream has gone from soft and billowy to a lumpy, grainy consistency that’s not very appetizing anymore. Is it ruined and you have to start over? Nope, there’s a super-easy way to fix that overwhipped cream!
Apr 3, 2015