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Archives for Ask the Chef

beets (400x400)

Best Way to Roast Beets

by Elizabeth Skipper September 1st, 2015| Ask the Chef
I’ve seen recipes that call for roasted beets. Researching that, some people recommend wrapping the beets in foil and some don’t. Do you have an opinion as to which works the best?

Sure do. I vote for using the aluminum foil. Beets being as dense as they are, it takes
potato salad (400x400)

Potatoes for Potato Salad

by Elizabeth Skipper August 25th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I don’t make potato salad all that often. When I do, I’m never sure which potatoes are best for it. Do you have a recommendation?

It’s simple. Just remember to never use an Idaho, russet, or other kind called a baking potato. Those varieties are high in starch compared to
hot dogs (400x400)

Cooking Hot Dogs Wrapped in Bacon

by Elizabeth Skipper August 18th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I’ve seen hot dogs wrapped in bacon. I’m wondering how would be the best way to cook them. I want the hot dog to be hot and the bacon to be fully cooked. How do I accomplish this without over- or under- cooking either?

Oh, doesn’t this bring back memories
cornbread (400x400)

Adding Fresh Corn to Cornbread

by Elizabeth Skipper August 11th, 2015| Ask the Chef
With local corn available for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to serve it often. I want to try adding some to cornbread. If I do this, should I cook the corn before adding it to the batter, or should I add raw corn?

Hmm, I’ve always added cooked
dips (400x400)

Room Temperature Dips

by Elizabeth Skipper August 4th, 2015| Ask the Chef
When I go to the beach, I like to bring finger foods. One of the things I like best is an assortment of veggies and dip.  What I am wondering is if there any dips that don’t require refrigeration? 

What are called “TCS” foods (for Time and Temperature Control for
bell peppers (400x400)

Different Colors of Bell Peppers

by Elizabeth Skipper July 28th, 2015| Ask the Chef
Bell peppers come in many different colors. I find the orange, red, and yellow to be more enjoyable than green, as they have a sweeter flavor. Is there any difference between the yellow, red, and orange that I’m missing?

Red bell peppers are sweeter than green ones because they’re mature.
zucchini in sauce (400x400)

Zucchini in Marinara Sauce

by Elizabeth Skipper July 21st, 2015| Ask the Chef
I am having difficulty getting my zucchini to be al dente when I add it to my marinara. I’ve tried steaming it and then adding it to the sauce and alternately adding it to my sauce raw. I have had both overcooked and undercooked zucchinis. Any advice on the
zucchini for grilling (400x400)

Overgrown Zucchini

by Elizabeth Skipper July 14th, 2015| Ask the Chef
It hasn’t happened yet, but at some point this summer I will discover an oversized zucchini in my garden. What can I do with it when the seeds are so big and the skin is thicker? I’m open to any ideas so I don’t have to turn it into
spinach salad plate (400x400)

Substitute for Baby Spinach

by Elizabeth Skipper July 7th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I am making a salad that calls for baby spinach. I’ve noticed that sometimes the baby spinach in the produce department looks pretty bad. What green would be the closest replacement for baby spinach?

Getting close to a replacement for baby spinach in salads is going to be a stretch.
spinach (400x400)

Baby vs. Regular Spinach

by Elizabeth Skipper June 30th, 2015| Ask the Chef
When making salads, I always use baby spinach; regular spinach would be too tough. However, if I am sautéing, braising, or cooking in any other manner, does it matter whether I use baby or regular spinach?

You know how much regular spinach shrinks when cooked? The loss of volume is
Vegetable tray

Dips for Crudités Trays

by Elizabeth Skipper June 23rd, 2015| Ask the Chef


When I make a crudité tray, I always make a dip using sour cream and a packet of salad dressing mix. I want to try something different; do you have any suggestions? (I typically include carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli as the veggies, in case that matters.)

Ranch dip and
colored carrots (400x400)

Multi-Colored Carrots

by Elizabeth Skipper June 16th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I’ve seen multi-colored carrots in dishes at restaurants. I haven’t ever bought them to cook at home, as they are harder to find and tend to be more expensive. Is there any benefit to spending the money on them, or should I stick with my more frugal, orange carrots?

Are
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