Posts Tagged 'Chefs tip'

CHEF’S TIP: Forgetting ingredients?

Annie Copps

Annie Copps from Yankee magazine is one of the funniest cooks out there and knows all too well how easy it is to get distracted when you’re having a good time at the stove. Don’t want to forget an ingredient? Annie recommends doing what we call in the biz mise-en-place. That’s a French way of saying pre-measure your ingredients before you start the recipe, dummy- but it sounds so much nicer in French. Now, if only I could be so enthusiastic about washing-up!

CHEF’S TIP: Feeling hot hot hot!

jimmy bannos

Jimmy Bannos cooks cajun style out of his Chicago restaurant Heaven on Seven. There are two ingredients in particular that stand out in Jimmy’s cooking- butter and hot peppers, and more is more by his books. Except when it comes to too much heat, because there certainly can never be enough butter. Jimmy’s trick for keeping more of the hot pepper flavour with less of the consequential heat- cut away the white mebrane as well as the seeds. What most people don’t know is that more of the heat comes from the membrane than the seeds, says Mr Bannos. Oh and don’t forget to wash your hands with lots of soap before touching skin or going to the bathroom. Ouch!

CHEF’S TIP: Maximising your bbq flavour

Adam Perry Lang

Adam Perry Lang is the owner and head chef of Daisy Mays in NYC- and boy does he know BBQ. Adam knows that cooking BBQ is not about one element on the plate but about every element tasting good and he also has a very good tip for maximising the flavour of you BBQ.  When cooking your steak/ burger/chop (you name it) start it off on the grill to get some nice char marks and then finish cooking it slowly on the same pan that you’re cooking up some nice caramelising onions, peppers or chiles. The flavours will infuse straight into the inner core of your meat and you won’t taste it finer this side of the Mason Dixon Line. Though it may not still be BBQ season- this tip can easily be relocated to the home kitchen using a grill pan- If only all chef’s were so considerate.

Daisy Mays BBQ
623 11th Ave. (corner of 46th St.) in NYC.

CHEF’S TIP: Baking powder- who knew?

Rick Tramonto

Rick Tramonto is a multi-award winning chef based in Chicago- but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the kindest most gentle-natured chefs I’ve had the privilege to meet. Who says all head chef’s have to be mean? With all those awards in the bank I was pretty sure he’d come up with a winning tip for my readers and he did not disappoint.

So, you’re entertaining guests for brunch and you really want to pull something out of the oven with the wow factor and it’s not going to be that loaf of bread that hasn’t risen an inch all morning. Add a pinch of baking powder to your beaten eggs when making a  frittata and you will be rewarded with an impressive puffy rise- not quite as dramatic as a soufflé but it does make eggs in a pan look a wee bit grand.

Osteria di Tramonto
The Westin Chicago North Shore hotel
601 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Wheeling, IL, 60090

CHEF’S TIP: Handling an avocado

I’ve never been vague about who my favourites are and here you are with one of them! Rarely do I get all gooey and gushy around a guest but Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson has me over whipping cream and curdling eggs every time. She’s elegant, articulate, witty and happens to also be a big fan of making being in the kitchen something enjoyable rather than a chore. It is a great honour to have her provide this weeks chef’s culinary goddess tip.

Avocados can be pesky little buggers when it comes to getting them neatly chopped or sliced without them slipping out of your hands. Nigella has just the trick for perfectly scooped balls of avocado and it won’t require any unnecessary kitchen gadget purchases. Use a rounded teaspoon measure to scoop out balls without having to peel away the skin- which also happens to mean that you won’t be left with green fingernails either. Domestic Goddess indeed.

CHEF’S TIP: Less mess with cup measures

No hot shot celebrity chef this week- just me! This weeks chef tip comes straight from yours truly and it’s one that keeps me sane whilst trying to test recipes using the not so familiar American cups. The thing that drives me crazy is measuring dry ingredients whilst trying not to waste excess ingredients and getting a flour garnish for my counter tops as well.

So, if you too find yourself overflowing the cup more often than not try this tip. Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper/wax paper, heck newspaper will do if that’s all you have and measure your dry ingredients over the paper. Any powdery overflow will handily be caught in the paper which can then be poured directly back into the ingredient bag- leaving you with less mess and less waste = a happy baker. 🙂

CHEF’S TIP: Making a super supermarket list

Any level of cook can appreciate a tip that will get them through a busy market faster with as few bruises on their ankles as possible.  Italian celebrity chef Giada De Laurentis has just the trick. Instead of fussing about writing your list separated into veg, meats and dried goods etc write it in the order that you walk through the supermarket.

So at your local market you walk straight into the produce aisle- more specifically (for me) the lettuce and salad ingredients. Further down the aisle I hit the potatoes, garlic ginger and chiles and onions and then and its yogurt at the aisles bend before turning into the fruit aisle.

So my list would go:

1 packet mixed lettuce

1 cucumber

1 garlic bulb

2 chiles

Fage 2% yogurt

4 honey crisp apples etc

It happens to be something that I already do- and it helps me get in and out in record time. Who says you can only be so organised?

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