Think Like a Chef

You never stop learning
LOADED CHOWDER

LOADED CHOWDER

Chowder, the rich and creamy soup full of chunks of ingredients that almost make it like a stew, is a meal in a bowl. It fights off a chill, fills you up and warms the soul. We love Chowders!
LOADED CHOWDER!

LOADED CHOWDER!

Chowder, the rich and creamy soup full of chunks of ingredients that almost make it like a stew, is a meal in a bowl. It fights off a chill, fills you up and warms the soul. We love Chowders!
MAC n' CHEESE; A Love Story

MAC n' CHEESE; A Love Story

What makes the all-American classic Mac n’ Cheese so good? It’s the creamy, cheesy goodness that warms your soul. I love Mac n’ Cheese and I do think that the best Mac n' Cheese is made from a mix of creamy and hard cheeses of varying strengths and flavors. You can always use whatever is left in your cheese drawer and mix 'em up...or consider a thoughtful blend of cheeses to offer the sharpness of Gruyere, the creaminess of Fontina, the smooth flavor of Jack, the saltiness of Parmigiano, the subtle tanginess of goat and the richness of white Cheddar. And always be mindful of add-ins, as they only make the casserole better; crispy bacon, cooked lobster…you just can't go wrong.

One of the key elements of a great Mac n’ Cheese is the Mornay sauce that surrounds and permeates the pasta as it bakes. Mornay is a Becahmel Sauce, the cream sauce that makes up one of the five Mother Sauces in the French repertoire, with the addition of cheese. A fancy name for creamy, delectable goodness. And it’s so much simpler to make than it’s fancy French name! Flour, butter and milk are cooked into a Béchamel to which, traditionally, grated cheddar and Gruyere are added, resulting in a rich, creamy sauce that won't break down during baking.

For toppings, consider the bottom of the container of Brioche croutons, as the crumbs make a rich, toasty, textured topping. We like crunch, so I combine Panko or Japanese bread crumbs with Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded cheddar and melted butter, for the ultimate topping. The sauce-to-pasta ratio is very important, so add a little cooked pasta at a time to the cheese sauce to ensure that you have plenty of creamy goodness.

MAKE-AHEAD TURKEY GRAVY

MAKE-AHEAD TURKEY GRAVY

Searching for a way to save time on Thanksgiving and reduce the last-minute kitchen stress? Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy is a wonderful and tasty way to make the complications of the big feast just a little bit easier.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make your own Turkey Stock using wings and necks from the butcher, and roast the pieces first to get dark color and rich flavor, when you make the stock. Simple onions, celery, carrots and peppercorns (and any other scraps you have lying around) will make a great stock. Or, buy good quality, low-sodium chicken broth and follow the recipe below for a simple solution to last-minute stovetop gravy.
Make the basic version of this gravy way ahead of time (like today!) and heat it up just before serving, then trick it out with last-minute extras like pan drippings (that’s the most important Chef’s note here!) or add-ins. This is grand gravy that is guaranteed to be lump-free and delicious.
MANGO MOJITO BBQ SAUCE

MANGO MOJITO BBQ SAUCE

For all the fruit lovers out there, this sauce is the bomb! Use as a marinade or as a finishing sauce for grilled meat, chicken or fish.
MASTER YOUR KNIFE SKILLS IN 2014

MASTER YOUR KNIFE SKILLS IN 2014

Become a better cook this year by arming yourself with the best tools. A kitchen knife is the extension of any great cook’s hand and knowing basic knife skills is essential to proper prep and delicious dishes. With that said, the “how to dice an onion” demo will follow in the weeks to come, but first, you must know your knife before you can use it. The following is a tutorial on how to choose a knife. I believe that every chef should have 3 essential knives in their collection; a Chef’s Knife, a Paring Knife and a Serrated Knife. The rest are all a bonus, and certainly wonderful to have.
MASTERING BBQ SAUCE (ROOT BEER BBQ SAUCE…with a KICK)

MASTERING BBQ SAUCE (ROOT BEER BBQ SAUCE…with a KICK)

We love our weekends of grilling. And any good barbecue starts with a great sauce. Thick, smoky, tangy or sweet, it’s easy to create a signature sauce that will keep your friends and family coming back for more all Summer long.
Here’s the beauty of it too…Barbecue sauce freezes remarkably well. We always make a double batch and freeze it for later use, then thaw it in the fridge a day ahead of our next party and voila, homemade sauce; again! No matter the flavor profile you like, there’s a sauce for you. We’re sharing our three favorite recipes below, so that you can find one that suits your palate and amps up this weekend’s grilled feast. Enjoy~ Root beer, orange juice, ketchup and brown sugar combine to make a truly delicious, sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. The sauce may be made and refrigerated up to 1 week in advance.
MASTERING MERINGUE
  • Time: 1 1/2 HOURS

MASTERING MERINGUE

Meringue can form the basis of truly wonderful desserts and cookies, but don’t shy away from the classic technique that daunts many great cooks - it takes minimal effort but offers dramatic results. Making a meringue is simple; all you need are some egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Mastering meringue is easy if you follow a few easy steps. And, practice plus patience makes perfect.
MASTERING THE VERY BEST ROAST CHICKEN

MASTERING THE VERY BEST ROAST CHICKEN

Think big, crisp, and gloriously golden and you have a roast chicken that reigns supreme. It’s a tall but simple order and one that is achieved through timeless experimentation. Lucky for you, we’ve done the work for you.

My Mom, Lana, has always made a pretty delicious roast chicken. But every recipe has room for improvement, and over the years, we have enjoyed wonderful hours of cooking together, and many a roast chicken. And today, we think we have added a necessary and juicy, delicious component to our family recipe. With Thomas Keller’s inspiration, our brine just got better, and we had to share it with you.

The very best roast chicken is brined in a lemony, aromatic, herbaceous mixture of salt, honey, herbs, lemon and more. After 12 hours of a delightful swim, the chicken comes out of the brine plumped and flavorful. A boost of flavor from thyme and lemon add to the chicken’s aroma and essence during cooking, and the high heat is credited for moist, juicy meat and a crisp, scrumptious skin. Resting the bird is essential, to guarantee success. So try our recipe…and please let us know how splendidly your Sunday Dinner turns out.

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