Chef's Notes Plus

Stuffed Peppers Without a Recipe

There are tons of stuffed pepper recipes in the world, but you don’t need a recipe to make a hearty make-ahead dinner with all the ingredients your family likes best. There are four primary components of a basic stuffed pepper: the pepper, the substance, the flavor, and the sauce. The […]

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How to Make a Basic Braise—Just in Time for Autumn

Braising, barbecuing, and slow-roasting are all long, low cooking methods that utilize less tender, fattier cuts of meats with a lot of connective tissue. But braising stands apart in that it includes liquid in the cooking process. It is also a combination cooking method—one that uses both dry and moist […]

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All About Chocolate

Bewildering arrays of cocoa and chocolate products exist and vary widely in quality and availability. The first step in properly selecting these products is to understand the makeup of each and their uses. Bittersweet/semisweet chocolate Often simply called dark chocolate, the FDA regulates that this type of chocolate must contain […]

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Learn More About Wheat

As you become a more proficient as a baker, you are able to pay less attention to your recipe and more attention to your ingredients. Understanding the forms and functions of an ingredient gives you the information you need to experiment, and even small swaps can make a huge impact. […]

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Using Leftover Parmesan Rinds

If you are regularly splurging on beautiful craggy pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano (or, it’s more local cousin Parmesan), you should enjoy every last bit. That includes the rind! As a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano ages, it develops a natural protective layer that, over time, becomes dry and hard. That layer is full […]

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Turkey Burgers Without a Recipe

Turkey burgers have a reputation as the bland, virtuous cousin of the beef hamburger. And some can be, since ground turkey doesn’t bring much to the flavor table as an ingredient. But a turkey burger doesn’t have to be a boring substitute for something you would rather eat—it can be […]

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Ingredient Spotlight: Chicken Thighs

If you’re talking about white meat versus dark meat, it is probably either Thanksgiving or you are ordering fried chicken. In most other instances, chicken doesn’t demand a lot of conversation. For years, we’ve lived in a white meat society, using the boneless, skinless breast in nearly every application, from […]

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Ingredient ID: Cultured Dairy Products

Buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and crème fraîche are all dairy products that have a characteristic sour and tangy flavor due to the addition of a bacterial culture or lactic acid. After the addition of the culture, these products are heated, allowing the bacteria to convert the sugars to lactic acid, […]

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Celebrating Julia Child

It may come as no surprise that the halls of The Culinary Institute of America echo with admiration for the grande dame of approachable French cuisine: Julia Child. She was not the first powerhouse woman chef—and if today’s CIA students have any say in the matter, she certainly won’t be […]

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Bacon Lardons

Lardons are 1/4-inch thick pieces of bacon cut from a thick slab that are typically cooked until crisp. Commonly used in French cooking, lardons add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes, from salads and quiches to stews, potatoes, and vegetable dishes. Lardons can only be made from slab […]