Chef's Notes Plus

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 […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Brines for Tender and Flavorful Meats

Curing meats, poultry, and fish in a salt and water solution is known as brining or wet curing. Brining provides depth in flavor, tenderness, and a moister final product. The base of a brine is salt and water, and sometimes sugar. Kosher salt is preferred because it doesn’t have any […]

Soups and Stews


Ingredients 3 lb beef (top blade chuck or shank) One 3- to 4-lb chicken 3 medium yellow onions 3 carrots 3 celery stalks 3 fresh or canned plum tomatoes 1 sachet containing 3 whole cloves, 8 black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, and 3 thyme sprigs […]

Grilling, Main Dishes

Grilled Lamb Kebobs with Walnut-Herb Sauce

Makes 8 servings Grilled lamb is a nice change of pace from the typical chicken or steak kebobs, and we are especially fond of this combination of lightly marinated lamb shoulder and the flavorful walnut-herb sauce, bright and tangy from lots of lemon. Use the same marinade and pairings for […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Home School: Make a Marinade Without a Recipe

I’m not sure when grilling season officially starts (maybe because there is not actually an official grilling season), but I’m ready to get started. Everyone has the fundamentals of grilling covered: fire, meat, veggies, go! But the under-appreciated old standby that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is the marinade. […]

Chef's Notes Plus

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 […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Identifying Cuts of Meat

Knowing how to cook is more than knowing techniques, it’s also important to know all about the best ingredients for the dish you hope to prepare. Different cooking methods call for different cuts of meat, and the first step to making the right choice is simply understanding the physiology of […]

Chef's Blog

Keep Calm and Grill On!

Lance Rood, Culinary Demonstrator, CIA at Copia Summertime is just around the corner. With warmer days and nights ahead it’s time to clean off the grill and enjoy the deep flavors of the flames. We’ve put together great tips to make your summer grilling experience easy and flavorful. So, fire […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Pre-Salt Meat for Perfect Results Every Time

If may sound a little basic, but today’s lesson is about seasoning meat before you cook it. Revolutionary, right? Sure, of course, we all know how important adequately seasoning food with salt is. Salt, in all of its varieties, primes our taste buds to enjoy food. But salt also primes […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Regional Food Spotlight: Pork Roll

If you’ve grown up and stayed close to your hometown, you may take your favorite foods for granted. During your childhood, your world is small, and things that are familiar to you are surely familiar to everyone else, right? But for those of us who find ourselves far from home, […]