Archives for Ask the Chef

bell peppers (400x400)

Different Colors of Bell Peppers

by Kimberly Hays 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?

egg yolks (400x400)

Storing Egg Yolks & Whites

by Elizabeth Skipper June 9th, 2015| Ask the Chef
Fairly often in my cooking a recipe will call for only an egg white or yolk. It feels wasteful to discard the unused half, but I am concerned about the storage of it. How long can I keep just a white or a yolk in the refrigerator?

Eggs are highly

Rolled vs. Flat Omelets

by Elizabeth Skipper June 2nd, 2015| Ask the Chef

Is there any difference, besides the look, between a rolled and folded omelet? Does it change the texture? Or is one better for different ingredients? I’ve never made a rolled omelet but am thinking about trying it.

To me, there’s no difference. You make the omelet and either roll or
chicken (400x400)

Brining Chicken

by Elizabeth Skipper May 26th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I’ve read that brining chicken keeps it moist when grilling. Some of the recipes seem to have a lot of salt, and I don’t want to have chicken that is too salty. Is there a specific ratio of water to salt and sugar that I can follow?

With very little
strawberry (400x400)

Dips for Strawberries

by Elizabeth Skipper May 19th, 2015| Ask the Chef
With strawberries coming into season soon, I wanted to find a way to serve them as a finger food at get-togethers. I know it could serve them plain, but I would like to offer a dip. Any suggestions for something not too sweet?

Strawberries – good, ripe ones – are
asparagus (2) (400x400)

How to Peel Asparagus

by Elizabeth Skipper May 12th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I read your article on cooking asparagus and wondered about peeling thick asparagus. My questions are this- how can I tell at what thickness I should peel the asparagus? If it needs to be peeled, how high up the stem do I peel?

Asparagus comes in thicknesses from pencil-thin to
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