Chef's Notes Plus

Using Salt Cod

Salt cod is a staple ingredient in cuisines around the globe, including Latin American, Italian, and Spanish cuisine. Some of the most beautiful stalls in La Boqueria, Barcelona’s bustling central market, are devoted to salt cod. You might think of salt cod as a dry, salty preserved fish product that […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Affordable Wines for your Holiday Table

Paying less doesn’t mean having to do without anymore. When planning a dinner party, we spend ample time designing the menu, only then to find ourselves having to make a critical decision – go over budget buying six bottles of wine just to impress everyone or settling for an unknown […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Plant-Forward Main Courses for Holiday Entertaining

Thanksgiving is just the start of a very food-focused holiday season. And with the star of the show generally being a turkey, followed by seasonal roasts in every shape and size, if you are not a meat eater, you may feel like these dinners just aren’t for you. But we […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Working with Chesnuts

Chestnuts have sustained communities over the centuries. They are a relatively starchy nut, perfect for cooking in thick creamy soups or added to stuffings. Preparing Chestnuts Cut an X on the flatter of the nut’s two sides. Try to keep your cut shallow so that you don’t cut into the […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Making Homemade Croutons

Some things are just better homemade, and croutons happen to be one of those things. Croutons and rusks (rusks = big croutons!) keep well for several days in an airtight container, so make a large batch if you have enough bread on hand. To make croutons, remove the crust from […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Potato, Po-tah-do: Know Your ‘Taters

Potato varieties differ in starch and moisture content, skin and flesh color, and shape. Sweet potatoes and yams, although not botanically related to the potato, share several characteristics with it and can be treated in the same manner. Each cooking technique produces a markedly different texture, flavor, and appearance in […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Master Sugar Cooking Technique

Sugar is the defining ingredient of candy making. It provides sweetness, bulk, flavor, mouthfeel, and preservation to candies of every description. Without sugar, there simply would not be such a thing as candy. In chocolates, the sugar is already contained in the chocolate itself, and we may add little or […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Making Chocolate Curls to Dress Up Dessert

Chocolate shavings and curls are the simplest way to finish a show-stopping cake or other special occasion dessert. To create chocolate shavings and curls, you need a good-sized block of chocolate at room temperature. You can use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate for your curls. Look for larger […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Keep it Simple with Pumpkin Purée

Despite the abundance of pumpkin-flavored foods at every turn, we spend surprisingly little time handling actual pumpkins. After all, as proponents of “homemade is best,” an apple pie starts with apples, a cherry pie starts with cherries. But a pumpkin pie starts with…a can of pumpkin purée? Using prepared pumpkin […]