Dish Types In Skills
Page 29
Soft and Pretty: Eggs en Cocotte
For such an elegant little dish, eggs en cocotte are remarkably simple to make. We can even do it half-awake on a Saturday morning while we’re waiting for the coffee to brew. Oh, and then the absolute luxury of dipping that first piece of buttered toast into the warm yolk. Yes, we’ll be making these eggs this weekend. What about you?This dish is sometimes called baked eggs or shirred eggs, but all the recipes are generally the same.
Oct 16, 2009
What is Ponzu?
If you like cooking Asian food at home, then you should have a bottle of ponzu in your cupboard. It is an essential condiment and marinade with a wonderful, zingy flavor that pairs well with vegetables, seafood, and meats. Sadly, it’s very little-known outside of Japan and it deserves more widespread knowledge.Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce used in Japanese cuisine as a marinade or an addition to soy sauce. It is made with rice wine, rice vinegar, bonito fish flakes, and seaweed.
Sep 24, 2009
Food Science: Why Salad Greens Wilt
On a hot summer evening, a big leafy salad for dinner sounds just about perfect. That is, until the greens start to wilt and the dressing gets all watery. We always figured this phenomenon had something to do with the liquid in the salad dressing, but it turns out the culprit is a different ingredient!In his book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, Mark Bittman explains some of the science behind wilting greens.
Jul 21, 2009
Food Science: Why Carbonated Soda Explodes When Shaken
As kids, we always thought it was a pretty funny joke to shake up a bottle of soda and leave it for the next unsuspecting person. Our sense of humor has improved since then, happily – and we’ve gotten a lot more curious! Why does shaking fizzy drinks make them even fizzier? And more importantly, once shaken, how can we avoid getting a shower?Carbonated drinks are made by forcing carbon gas into a beverage under pressure.
Jul 14, 2009
Food Science: Why Bread Crusts Crack
Far from being a bad thing, hairline cracks like those in the photo above are the sign of a fantastic, shatteringly-crisp crust. We’ve heard that this is something to which many bakers actually aspire! Here’s how it happens:From what we’ve gathered from our various bread books, a crunchy crust on your loaf of bread is the result of moisture and high heat during baking.
Jun 16, 2009
Stop! Don’t Re-Roll Your Scraps!
Every food guru on the planet tell us that re-rerolling our scraps of dough, be it cookies, pie crusts or biscuits, won’t make for the prettiest goods. Although we all know it’s true, we usually try to weasel out a few more usable pieces. Instead of ending up with those few odd shaped outcasts, try this easy tip that will further another meal down the road…It’s a simple fact that cutting circles from square pieces of dough leaves left over bits and pieces.
Jun 8, 2009
Good Question: Vinegar Alternative for Salad Dressings?
Here’s a good question from Brian about salad dressings. He says: I am wondering about salad dressings. I love salads but I am struggling at making homemade salad dressings. It might be because i’m not a big vinegar fan. For some reason I don’t like the taste. What do you suggest for a healthier alternative to vinegar salad dressings? Brian, this subject is near and dear to our hearts.
Mar 25, 2009
Quick Tip: Use Tea Balls To Flavor Soup
Do you use a bouquet garni to flavor your soups? If so, try tucking them into a tea ball instead of cheesecloth.We came across this idea at Williams Sonoma – it’s so simple and obvious, but we’d never thought to try it. Cheesecloth and muslin bags are great, but this is a good alternative. Plus, it’s reusable.We found a few other tea infusers that could work well with spices too, including a couple of heart-shaped versions. A little cheesy, sure.
Feb 11, 2009
Food Science: Why Some Batters Need to Rest
Many recipes for batter foods like crêpes and our very own Big Pancakes say to let the mixture rest briefly before proceeding to cooking. This may seem like a strange step, but there’s more going on during that rest than meets the eye…During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency.
Feb 10, 2009
How To Make Whipped Chocolate Ganache
A chocolate ganache is just chocolate melted and beaten into heavy cream. It’s a magic substance; it can be a glaze, a filling, a coating, a solid truffle — it just depends on the ratio of cream to chocolate. I like a ratio of a bit more cream to chocolate for a whipped filling; this ensures that it doesn’t get too hard and difficult to spread.
Dec 9, 2008
New Favorite Indulgence: Pear Brandy
Many months ago, we bought a bottle of pear brandy to make a pear clafouti, which turned out to be a disappointment (unlike this berry one, which Faith highly recommends). The brandy sat in a cupboard, forgotten, until we pulled it out to make a version of Nora’s Thanksgiving Poinsettia cocktail.
Dec 1, 2008
Baker’s Techniques: How to do the Windowpane Test when Kneading Bread
The windowpane test is one of the best ways to tell if you’ve sufficiently kneaded your bread dough, though it can sound like a pretty bizarre instruction when you come across it in a recipe! Here’s what you do…First, cut off a small piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball.
Dec 1, 2008
Quick Tip: Flavor Soups with Cheese Rinds
We go through a healthy amount of Parmesan and Pecorino cheese in our house, and we used to just throw the rind away. This was until we discovered this trick used by chefs and Italian grandmothers for centuries!When your soup or sauce is ready to simmer, throw in an old cheese rind. The rind will soften and the flavors of the cheese will infuse throughout the dish.
Nov 10, 2008
Cultural Differences: Salad Before or After Dinner?
Americans have their salads right off the bat, prelude to the main event. At the very least, salad is served alongside the main course. In Europe, however, salad is often served after dinner. It’s considered a cleansing finish before cheese or dessert. We know two people (both Americans) who do this, and they have different reasons why…One is a Francophile who is adept in many things European when it comes to dining.
Oct 2, 2008
Word of Mouth: Sabayon
Sabayon, noun (sah-bye-on): A sweet dessert sauce made of egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala. More details and a recipe after the jump!This custard sauce has Italian origins, but was long ago adopted into classical French cuisine. You might also see it called “zabaglione” or “zabayon” in recipes and on menus.Foamy and creamy, sabayon is lighter and (typically) less sweet than milk-based creme anglaise.
Sep 9, 2008
Good Question: How Can I Make Creamier Ice Cream?
It’s just barely spring, but already our thoughts are turning to ice cream. This reader too – does anyone have any advice for Jessica?Whenever I make ice custard or cream (with or without eggs) the dessert turns out icy instead of creamy, no matter the recipe. I have an ice cream maker that uses a bowl one puts in the freezer and try to use full fat dairy products. Any tips?
Apr 14, 2008
Quick Tip: How to Fix a Broken Sauce
Sometimes a sauce will break no matter how attentive you are to its whims and needs. (See our post here with the most common reasons why emulsified sauces break.) It’s frustrating and discouraging, especially if guests are at the table and waiting for your finishing touch.But never fear! You can still pull off a fantastic sauce without missing a beat.If your sauce is just starting to break, little droplets of fat will start to form around the edges of the bowl.
Mar 27, 2008
Food Science: Why Did My Sauce Break?
It’s your average weekend morning. You’re making some hollandaise, whisking away and looking forward to a delicious velvety sauce to serve with your brunch. And then it happens. You look down and somehow, without knowing when, your sauce has broken.A broken sauce is a such a sad sight. Instead of a thick cream, suddenly you have grainy bits of fat floating in a bowl of watery liquid. Not very appetizing! So what happened?
Mar 25, 2008
Good Question: How to Make the Perfect Cafe au Lait?
All the coffe coverage has Cortney thinking about perfect cafe au lait…Any tips on how to make the perfect cafe au lait? Whether it was in Paris, Bilbao or Madrid, the ones I had in Europe were so far superior to any I have been able to find in the US. I’d like to know how to make my own! – Cortney(To All Good Questions)Cortney, this a hard one for us because we are not completely sure what makes a perfect cafe au lait.
Feb 7, 2008