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Posts Categorized: Cooking Techniques

Traditional Gravy Technique

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To a traditionalist, the thought of a gravy-less Thanksgiving is culinary heresy.   Good gravy is no mere condiment; it’s the tie that binds.  But too often gravy is a last-minute affair, thrown together without much advance preparation or thought.  Many of us have experienced the result:  either dull, greasy gravy or thin, acidic pan juices…
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Cornbread Stuffing Techniques

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Cornbread stuffing is a southern classic.  I set out to make a cornbread stuffing with a toasted top, moist interior, and satisfying rich flavor.  Over the years, I found that most cornbread stuffing are much too dry.  The cornbread turns into stale, loose nuggets that refuse to bind with any of the other ingredients.  On…
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Roast Turkey For A Crowd

Posted by & filed under Cooking Techniques.

Most recipes recommend roasting 12 to 14 pound turkeys, a size that is easy to handle and that delivers superior flavor.  But what if you have more than 10 people coming to dinner?  Roasting two turkeys is not an option for most home cooks.  Here is my method for cooking a massive bird, enough to…
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Poaching Eggs

Posted by & filed under Cooking Techniques.

Poaching is a great way to treat an egg provided you know the best way to poach.  A poached egg should e a lovely, tender white pouch cooked evenly all the way through.  The top of the egg yolk should look slightly pink and, when cut, should run just a little.  The white that surrounds…
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How to Make a Great Carbonnade

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A basic beef stew can be altered in dozens of ways, usually by adding more ingredients to the pot.  But you can also go to the other way and  strip beef stew down to its bare bones (to its beef).  If you also trade in the carrots and potatoes for a plethora of onions and…
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Technique for Making Creamed Corn

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Although creamed corn is available any time of the year out of a can, it doesn’t compare with the clean, sweet flavor of late-summer corn gently simmered with fresh cream.  But if you don’t handle the fresh corn and cream correctly, you wind-up with that overcooked, just-out-of-the-can flavor your were trying to avoid. Many recipes…
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Pizza Basic

Posted by & filed under Cooking Techniques.

Unless you build a brick oven in your kitchen, it’s not possible to duplicate pizzeria style pies at home.  Commercial pizza ovens can reach 800 degrees, home ovens just can’t compete.  That said, homemade pizza is delicious even if different from the pies you get when you eat out.  The crust is chewier, crisper, and…
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Why Aging Tenderizes Beef

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Meat is aged to develop its flavor and improve its texture.  This process depends on certain enzymes, whose function while the animal is alive is to digest proteins.  After the animal is slaughtered, the cells that contain these enzymes start too break down, releasing the enzymes into the meat, where they attack the cell proteins…
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Prime Rib Cooking Technique

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A prime rib is a little like a turkey:  you probably cook only one a year, usually for an important occasion such as Christmas.  Although you know there are alternative cooking methods that might deliver a better roast, they’re too risky.  You don’t want to be remembered as the cook who carved slices of almost-raw standing…
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Techniques for Preparing Steamed Clams and Mussels

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Clams and mussels are both bivavles, and they can be prepared in the same fashion.  The main challenge when preparing clams and mussels is getting rid of the grit.  These two-shelled creatures are easy to cook:  when they open, they are done.  However, perfectly cooked clams and mussels can be made inedible by lingering sand. …
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