Chef's Notes Plus

Choosing the Right Equipment for Grilling and Smoking

Having the correct tools for the job certainly makes cooking easier, and that’s especially true when it comes to barbecuing and smoking. Think about your specific needs, and plan any equipment purchases accordingly. For example, if you don’t plan on making a lot of barbecue, you can get by with […]

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The Basics of Hot Water Canning

Our world sometimes feels much larger than it once did, and at a time when we can buy produce from half a world away whenever we want it, some traditional methods of food preservation, like canning, may seem like old news. But for many of us, there is a sort […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Flavoring Homemade Ice Cream

As the summer settles in, there is no greater joy than a scoop of ice cream on a hot day. No matter your favorite flavor, from simple vanilla to the rockiest rocky road, an ice cream cone is the ultimate way to treat yourself. Near our San Antonio campus, where […]

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Tasting (and Enjoying!) Wine

Even if you’re exploring wine for the first time, we encourage you to develop the “mental habit” of tasting wine. Not that every sip of wine that enters your mouth has to be analyzed and commented on, but you will collect lots of data if you take a few minutes […]

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Introduction to South African Wines

South Africa is a land of contrasts, especially within the hundred miles from the east, south, and west coastlines that define this wine land. It is situated at a crossroads of climatic and cultural influences that have helped to define South African history and its wines. Climatically, both the Atlantic […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Velvety Roasted Eggplant

For some veggies, we use the phrase roasting as a general term for cooking a vegetable whole to get after the tender flesh, like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. For eggplant, we scoop the velvety cooked flesh from the skin of the eggplant. This can be done in the oven (actual […]

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All About Caviar

Caviar is the salted roe of fish, traditionally sturgeon, which is prized for its briny delicate flavor. Due to overfishing, politics, and pollution, the supplies have dwindled and the price has increased, leading to a flood of alternative varieties from many sources. The delicate berries of true caviar come from […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Ice Cream

Churned frozen desserts like ice cream, sherbet, and sorbet get their soft, spoonable texture from being stirred with a paddle (known as a dasher) while they are cooled to below the freezing point in an ice-cream maker. The stirring action ensures that the ice crystals remain tiny and introduces enough […]

Chef's Notes Plus

10 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Dad

Owing to its place in the calendar, Father’s Day has evolved into a major grilling holiday. That means dads all over the country are celebrated with steaks, when maybe some dads really want something a little sweet for their special day. If you have that kind of dad in your […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Drying Techniques for Preserving Foods

Whether it’s for long-term storage, sweet treats, or prep for a long hike, drying foods is a great way of not just preserving food by extending its shelf life, but also reducing their size and weight for efficient storage or carrying. There are multiple techniques for drying and dehydrating foods. […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Cooling Cakes

In baking, every step matters—from mixing to baking, but just as importantly, cooling! While we often romanticize baked goods fresh from the oven, most baked items like cakes (and yes, breads!) are best once cooled. Baking is a series of chemical and physical reactions spurred by the heat of the […]

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Guide to Radishes (and What To Do With Them)

When I first moved to the United States from Germany, where I grew up and began my career, I was surprised at how little radishes are used in American cuisine. They are, to me, delicious! Not to mention inexpensive, long-lasting, and full of nutrients. Radishes are root vegetables of which […]