Chef's Notes Plus

How To: Cook Asparagus

When the local crop of asparagus first starts to trickle into the market, we can’t wait to get it home. Tender and sweet, asparagus is wildly versatile and easy to cook, making it a favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Asparagus can be sold in several sizes, from pencil-thin and […]

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Virtual Vacation: Street Foods of China

Throughout history, food for the “common,” everyday people has been produced and consumed as a communal affair. Retreating to one’s private quarters to eat a meal alone or in a very small group is a relatively recent development, found mostly in industrialized regions. Interestingly, many cultures struggle to understand the […]

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How to Use Store-Bought Pastry Doughs

You may make your own puff pastry and phyllo dough, but many times, using a good-quality prepared pastry can be the difference between dessert or no dessert! Luckily, both of these store-bought doughs are easy to work with and can result in perfect pastries with just some simple strategies. Puff […]

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12 Best Easter Brunch Recipes

Easter brunch is the holiday meal of our dreams, since you can have sweet, savory, and definitely a little bit of both! Try a few of our favorite spring brunch recipes for your holiday table, and don’t be afraid to mix and match! Cherry and Cheese Blintzes with Mixed Berry […]

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The Perfect Cocktail for a Taste of Spring

As we ease on down that road toward spring, you might start dipping your toe back into outdoor living. It starts with two minutes of staring into the sunshine before you huddle back under the blanket, but before you know it, you’ll be reading your newspaper al fresco with a […]

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Tying a Roast

Tying a roast with secure knots that have the right tension is one of the simplest and most frequently required types of meat fabrication and preparation. It ensures that the roast will cook evenly and that it will retain its shape after roasting. Though a perfectly tied roast is a […]

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Savory Pies for Any Time of Day

Pies typically fall into one of three categories: fruit, cream, and custard. But there is one often-overlooked member of our pie family that deserves more attention than it gets. Savory pies! Pies can be filled with nearly any vegetable, cheese, or other savory ingredient, though the most familiar version is […]

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Culinary School: How to Make Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel is classical white sauce that is made with milk thickened with a roux. Blond roux is traditionally used, and the amount of roux will determine the sauce’s consistency.  Vegetables or aromatics are sometimes added to strengthen the flavor, but they are normally strained out after cooking to preserve the […]

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Vegetable Purées for Plant-Forward Cooking

Plants are quadruple-threat ingredients, adding flavor, texture, color, and nutrients to any dish. They’re versatile, and we eat them raw or roasted, whole or bite-sized, simple or seasoned, and every possible way in between. In the plant-forward kitchen, vegetables are even more useful, because they can be used not just […]

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Choosing Wood for your Grill or Smoker

Smoke is a key component that contributes to the flavor and texture of barbecued meat. Smoke comes from burning wood, either by placing it directly on the coals of a charcoal grill, or in a separate box or chamber in a gas grill or smoker. There is a learning curve […]

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Raise the BAR on Your Cookie Game

Bar cookies are baked in one large pan and portioned after baking. This term is used for traditional cookies like brownies and blondies, but baking cookies in this manner also creates the opportunity to layer flavors and textures, resulting in new varieties of delicious cookies. Just as with drop cookies, […]

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The Great Debate: Grits or Polenta?

People tend to be polenta people or grits people. But like most great debates, we’re a lot more similar than we think. Both polenta and grits are cereals made from stone-ground corn. When cooked, they soften and release starch into the cooking liquid, creating a soft and creamy mixture that […]