Chef's Notes Plus

How to Read the Label on Chocolate

Calling all chocolate lovers, we want to talk about our favorite ingredient! If you love baking cookies, you may already have a favorite brand or variety of chocolate chips. But when it comes to pastry and candy recipes that showcase chocolate, the options can seem endless—and endlessly confusing. But that’s […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Soups and Stews for Chilly Nights Ahead

The week after Thanksgiving is the unofficial start of winter, as far as we’re concerned. With twinkling lights appearing around the neighborhood and the smell of fireplaces crackling in the distance, there is nothing greater than a pot of soup or stew simmering on the stovetop. Try one of our […]

Chef's Notes Plus

How to: Make Chowders

Good chowders have a rich flavor, balancing the main flavoring ingredient(s) and supporting aromatic and finishing flavors, a velvety texture, and a lightly thickened consistency, similar to heavy cream. If you are making a shellfish-based chowder (clams, mussels, oysters, etc.), before beginning, steam the main ingredient in stock or water […]

Chef's Notes Plus

How to Carve Your Thanksgiving Turkey

To make the most of large roasted foods, such as turkey, they must be carved into portions correctly. After roasting a turkey and letting it rest, transfer the bird to a carving board (a cutting board with an indentation around the edges that captures the juices released during carving). If […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Making Clarified Butter

Clarified butter is a staple in professional kitchens. Made by melting butter to break the water and fat emulsion, you first skim away the milk solids and then the pure butterfat—the clarified butter itself. Unlike vegetable oils, which are 100% fat, butter is a mixture of water, milk solids, and […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Be This Year’s Best Guest with These Recipes

One of the biggest challenges for dinner guests on Thanksgiving is choosing a dish to bring along that won’t take up precious oven space for reheating. It’s too risky! That’s why we always choose something that can be served cold, or better yet, at room temperature. Here are some of […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Dress Up Your Mashed Potatoes Without a Recipe

Mashed potatoes are a staple at the Thanksgiving dinner table. But that doesn’t mean they have to be the same year after year (not that anyone has ever complained about a perfectly creamy mashed potato). If you start with a great base recipe—here’s our favorite—you can turn a simple mashed […]

Chef's Notes Plus

It’s Turkey Time!

Spooky season is behind us, which can only mean one thing. It’s turkey time, and by that we mean it is truly turkey time, so call your favorite farm, market, or restaurant to pre-order your bird. If it’s too soon to order, set an alarm! If you get a jump […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Our Favorite Not-So-Spooky Halloween Treats

Whether you’re a kid or kid-at-heart, Halloween is a fun calendar-sanctioned reason to eat candy, and we are here for it. If you need a little inspiration for some treats for your holiday get together, start with a few of our favorite ghoul-worthy nibbles. Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Cupcakes Pumpkin Date Cake […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Recipes Between the Lines: Deglaze

Deglazing is a fundamental technique used in all styles of cooking because it is our primary means of preserving an ingredient’s flavor. Dry cooking techniques, like sautéing and roasting, rely on the evaporation of moisture from an ingredient to create a flavorful and browned exterior. As the ingredient makes contact […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Using Dried Mushrooms

Dried mushrooms are big flavor in a tiny package, and they are one of our go-to pantry staples for adding savory richness (also known as umami) to stews, risottos, sauces, or broths—and more! When shopping for dried mushrooms, look for whole varieties, since they’ll generally hold their flavor better than […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Volume or Weight: How do the Measurements Measure Up?

It’s a popular topic of conversation in the baking community: volume or weight? Many say ingredients should be measured by weight, no question. It is more accurate and more convenient (less dirty dishes!). But in the U.S., most recipes (ours included) for home cooks and bakers are written using volume […]