What’s the best dish for a beginner cook to try

Posted on Posted in Cooking & Kitchen



What’s the best dish for a beginner cook to try? We asked star chefs from all over the country for their recommendations. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich with a Fried Egg

“You learn temperature control, working with butter and not burning it, caramelization, that you can screw up easily if you don’t control temperature and egg cookery,” says Hawaii chef Robert McGee. “Make it with American cheese on white bread, not the artisanal stuff, because you’re a neophyte and can’t waste good ingredients.”

egg and cheese sandwich

2. Pizza
“I wouldn’t be afraid to jump in there and get your hands dirty,” says chef Matt Jennings of Boston’s forthcoming Townsman. “Any dough, whether bread or pasta or gnocchi or dumplings—that’s probably the best way to start. As a kid I used to have pizza nights with my dad. We would turn the kitchen into a complete disaster. I’d end up with flour in my pockets the next day at school. But that’s part of cooking—you’ve got to be able to jump in and enjoy it.” Here’s an easy way to make perfect pizza margherita.

3. Risotto
“I’d recommend risotto,” says Miami chef Michelle Bernstein. “If you follow the recipe of a traditional risotto, if you have the stock hot and don’t cook it over 20 minutes, it should be good. Risotto is easy to make, but you have to pay attention. And definitely stay off your stupid cellphone.” Here, F&W’s step-by-step instructions for creamy risotto.

4. Roast Chicken
“Perfecting a roast chicken with vegetables is an art,” says legendary New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse. “I have a cast-iron vertical chicken roaster, but I’ve also used a basic roasting pan that I’ll line with my potatoes and root vegetables. If the root vegetables are large, I’ll either cut them or blanch them a little so they all cook evenly. Depending on the size of the chicken, 50 minutes to an hour is ideal. You’ve really got to rub the seasoning into it. Some herbs inside the carcass is nice, like thyme or a little rosemary. Then sea salt and cracked pepper. Sometimes I do citrus like orange or lemon; sometimes I’ll squeeze the citrus juice on the outside before I rub the seasoning on.”

5. Spaghetti Carbonara
“Dishes like that have stood the test of time for a reason: People like it,” says Michael Tusk, the chef/co-owner of San Francisco’s Quince and Cotogna. “It also doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, so you can focus on what kind of spaghetti would be best, what kind of guanciale, black pepper, eggs, Parmigiano or Pecorino. It’s a dish I like to make because it makes me think a lot. It’s got a lot of steps. It only takes 10-12 minutes, but a lot goes on in that 10-minute span. Sometimes I’ll test my cooks on it when they’re doing a tryout.”

6. Apple Pie
“You really get a sense for using your hands and using your mind while you’re dealing with the apples: peeling, removing the seeds, monitoring the apples as they cook so they’re not too mushy or too hard,” says chef Joey Campanaro of Little Owl in New York City. “There’s a learning curve: getting the crust flaky, following a recipe, understanding that fruits and vegetables are 90 percent water. Apple pies usually get screwed up when you make them, but they still taste good. It’s good to start with something that will still taste delicious, even if it doesn’t look perfect.” Here, a foolproof way to make pie crust.

7. Whole Roasted Fish
“It’s not very hard to do, and results are great,” says chef Chip Roman of Blackfish in Conshohocken, PA. “Use a slender fish like branzino or trout because the cooking time will be more even and quicker. When the dorsal fin pulls right out, you know the fish is done.” For more, check out F&W’s easy instructions for roasting a whole fish.

8. Cream-Based Soup
“They all have the same basic ingredients,” says Portland’s St. Jack chef Aaron Barnett. “Garlic, onions, your vegetable of choice, your liquid of choice (whether chicken stock or vegetable stock or water), then cream and butter. The key is how you finish it at the end. Adjusting the salt, the acid, it’s all a matter of tasting. That’s one of the ways I get my cooks to learn how to work their palate out, by adjusting a soup so it tastes the best to them.”

9. Marshmallows
“The best thing for someone getting into baking to make: marshmallows,” says pastry chef Stella Parks of BraveTart.com. “You mix corn syrup, sugar and water and boil it to about 250 degrees, which makes it firmer. Cool the syrup to 212 degrees and pour it into a standing mixer along with gelatin, whip it together and pour it into a brownie pan, like you would with jello. And you let it cool, cut out the marshmallows and you’re done. The work-to-reward level with marshmallows is very high. You can flavor them in so many ways, and it’s a good way to impress friends.” Here are F&W’s easy step-by-step instructions for making marshmallows.

10. Garden Salad
“The most important thing is to know how to make a garden salad,” says chef Nico Monday of The Market Restaurant in Gloucester, MA. “And to do that you have to be able to make a really good vinaigrette. People often overdo it. Here’s how to do it: Take a mortar and pestle, pound a fresh clove of garlic, put a little salt in there and a good quality vinegar, whisk in olive oil, salt, fresh cracked pepper, dice a shallot and you’re done.”

Article source: Food And Wine: 10 Dishes every beginner cook should master

3 Ceramic Cookware Sets You Should Buy In 2017

Posted on Posted in Cookware Tips, Kitchen Hacks, Pots & Pans

What is ceramic cookware?

Ceramic cookware sets are hailed in the top of the cookware line due to their non-toxic nature, and their ability to not allow food to stick. What is ceramic cookware? The category consists of many different utensils, ranging from pots to pans, but the general concept includes baking them in kilns and then glazing them with Perfluorooctanoic Acid. What is that? Perfluorooctanoic Acid is a chemical used mainly for glazing ceramics in the USA. It is also known as C8 or PFOA. Made in the 1940s, it is a plastic that is extremely strong and durable, and doesn’t get waxy or burned, and is used in almost all sorts of consumer use appliances.

Today, we will be discussing some of the best ceramic pots and pans sets that are currently dominating the market, so that you will get one that is not only famous, but will also last you for a long time.


GreenLife Soft Grip 14pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set:

GreenLife Soft Grip 14pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set

This is currently the best buy for this year, as it proves not only to be easy to use, but is also sturdy and durable. It is dishwasher-safe, oven safe, can handle temperatures over 350oF, and is made of lightweight aluminum, what more can you want? It has 14 pieces, and comes in 3 colors, namely Black, Red and Turquoise. The set includes 2 frypan variations, 2 saucepans, 4 nylon utensils, a large stockpot and sauté pans. The set looks modern and minimalistic, and the stay-cool Bakelite handles are soft and comfortable to hold, meaning you get a good and consistent look and feet throughout your whole cooking experience.


Cuisinart 59-10R Elements 10-Piece Cookware Set:

Cuisinart 59-10R Elements 10-Piece Cookware Set

This set has fewer pieces than the GreenLife Soft Grip set, but is no less in the competition. It only comes in Red color, and has 10 pieces, which include saucepans, sauté pans, stockpots and skillets, all in different sizes for your various tasks. The handles are comfy, and all the pieces are light, but the only problem is the weight of the glass lids. They are really heavy and ruin the lightweight feel of the whole set. Overall, it is a really good set at a reasonable price, if you look over the minor flaws, like seriously, who thinks about bolts not being ceramic coated?


GreenPan Lima 12pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set:

GreenPan Lima 12pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set

This set is perfect if you want to have kitchen equipment that is versatile. This cookware set is coated with a special material called Thermalon, which is just like regular ceramic, but have better heat distribution than other sets. The set is easy to use and clean, but the only drawback is that the handles tend to get hot. If you don’t care about that and cook at medium heat, leave the other ones and get this one, as it is a better budget choice!

Combination Cooking Methods

Posted on Posted in Cooking & Kitchen

There are 2 types of cooking methods: dry-heat cooking and moist-heat cooking. A third type is the combination cooking method.

Braised foods involve both dry and moist heat cooking methods. Foods to be braised are usually large pieces such as meats.
Procedures for Braising Foods
1. Prepare the foods to be braised.
2. Heat a small amount of fat in a heavy pan.
3. Sear the food on all sides.
4. Add any other ingredients and saute.
5. Add flour or roux, if desired.
6. Add the cooking liquid; it should partially cover the food.
7. Add seasonings.
8. Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. Baste and turn the food when needed.
9. Prepare a sauce from the braising liquid if desired.

Stewing is also the combination of dry and moist heat cooking methods. Stewing usually uses smaller pieces of food that are first cooked either by browning in fat or oil. Cooking is finished in a liquid or sauce.
Procedure for Stewing Foods
1. Cut food into small pieces.
2. Heat a small amount of fat in a pan. Sear the food on all sides developing color.
3. Add any other ingredients and saute.
4. Add flour or roux.
5. Gradually add the cooking liquid, stirring to prevent lumps. The liquid should completely cover the food.
6. Cover and simmer until tender.