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  1. Hank

    Can I flambe creme brulee?

    I saw a reference to flambeing the crust on creme brulee rather than using a torch. It seems like the alcohol flavor would be good. How do I go about this? It doesn't seem it would work unless the custard was hat so the alcohol would be volatile. Am I wrong there? Has anyone done this...
  2. Hank

    Dumb question - can't delete apparently

    .it turns out bittersweet chocolate IS dark chocolate :)
  3. Hank

    Food quantity help needed

    I'm helping with food for a memorial gathering. The menu is sipping soup, likely butternut squash or carrot ginger, and finger sandwiches, three types, one of which is vegetarian. There will also be a couple large fruit trays Currently there are 65 guests. How much soup and how many...
  4. Hank

    Breaded chicken held for 36 hours - Safety concern?

    I'm cooking for a large group. I'm planning to bread and hold chicken breasts in the refrigerator for 36 hours before baking (making chicken parm). Breading is typical flour, egg, breadcrumbs. I'm pretty sure this is fine, but mostly concerned about the egg, and I wanted to check before I...
  5. Hank

    Rosemary Broccoli

    So I just sautéed some leftover broccoli in rosemary olive oil with a little salt and pepper and it was excellent. So I'm thinking surely everyone already knows this, and I pulled out the Flavor Bible and it's not listed as a combo. So I guess I discovered something kind of new. Obviously I...
  6. Hank

    The April Monthly Challenge is Family Favorites

    Here is your chance to make the dishes Mom, Grandma, or Aunt May make and win ChefTalk glory and adoration (or dished from Dad, Grandpa, or Uncle Ben of course). Any dish that is very popular in your family qualifies as long as you make it this month. I'll do my best as judge, although I...
  7. Hank

    What to do with the fat taken from the top of veal stock?

    I made some veal stock and have a nice gelatinous result. I removed a layer of fat from the top. Can I cook with this? Any other possible uses?
  8. Hank

    My great wok just died

    I have had this steel wok for about ten years. After the original seasoning and a little touch up it has been a great tool. Then I used it last night and the seasoning completely broke down. I didn't notice any problem before I used it and no, I don't clean it with soap. Any ideas why this...
  9. Hank

    Can I reduce fish stock to make the flavor stronger?

    Can I do it like you sometimes do with other stocks?  I'm unsure since the cooking time to make fish stock is so short and it might ruin the flavor.
  10. Hank

    Should I do two rib roasts?

    I'm doing a 15 lb rib roast tonight.  Half the family is in the rare camp and half is in the medium-medium well (i know ...) camp.  I'm thinking of cutting it half and cooking one piece an hour longer to try to accommodate everyones taste.  Is there a better approach?   I am planning to cook it...
  11. Hank

    Should I do two rib roasts?

    I'm doing a 15 lb rib roast tonight.  Half the family is in the rare camp and half is in the medium-medium well (i know ...) camp.  I'm thinking of cutting it half and cooking one piece an hour longer to try to accommodate everyones taste.  Is there a better approach?   I am planning to cook it...
  12. Hank

    Banana as a leavening agent?

    Mrs. Hank is making a bar cookie recipe (below) and a variation is to add banana and leave out the baking soda.  What's the deal?  Will the banana act as a leavening agent?   Bar Cookie Basics Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat the foil with...
  13. Hank

    Lets talk steak

    I know how to season and cook steak is largely a matter personal preference.  I'm a pretty good practical cook but know I lack knowledge in the theory or science of cooking.  Here is how I prep NY and Rib-eye steaks either the grill or in a cast iron pan and finish in the oven.  Please criitque...
  14. Hank

    How to best handle some leftover grilled chicken

    I marinated a chicken, cut into pieces, in lemon, lime, and mexican spices and grilled it two days ago.  I now have some leftovers that I am using for tacos but it seems a little dry.  What is the best way to make good use of this meat?
  15. Hank

    Can I substitute ground ginger for fresh?

    I'm out of fresh so what do you guys thing?  Ground seems a whole lot different to me but I haven't used it much to understand how it will be when mixed with other ingredients and cooked.  I"m making sambal chicken skewers so there is lots of flavor going on and and I can probably leave it out...
  16. Hank

    Will tomatoes in a pasta salad lose flavor in the fridge for 6 or 8 hours?

    Or is it ok to leave the salad at room temp for that long?  It's about 75 deg today and the salad has an oil and vinegar dressing.
  17. Hank

    Is it Better To Leave A Cash Tip?

    I often leave the server a cash tip, even when I pay with a credit card.  I figure the server can then do with it as he pleases.  I have two questions.  Is this a benefit/appreciated generally by the waiter?  Does it ever look bad to the servers supervisor if they see a credit card receipt with...
  18. Hank

    March 2016 Challenge - BEEF

    Beef has not been a monthly challenge yet so here we go!  Extra points for butchering a side of beef yourself.    
  19. Hank

    The care and feeding of a new wooden rolling pin

    I have a relatively new tapered wood rolling pin.  What is the proper way to care for it?  Should it have been seasoned when new? Should it be washed after use, particularly if it gets chunks of buttery dough on it, or just wiped off and put away?  I really have no idea here.
  20. Hank

    RIP Benoît Violier

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/02/world/europe/benoit-violier-chef-dies.html?_r=0 "Towering figures of French cuisine paid homage to Mr. Violier, remarking on his self-effacing character, his kindness and a rare artistry" 
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