Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

brown sugar carrots plated

Did you know carrots are a member of the parsley family (Daucus carota)? They have lacy green foliage, an edible orange taproot with a mild, sweet flavor and crisp texture, and a tapering shape. Carrots come in a variety of sizes; also known as an underground cherry. They are a beautiful side dish to any … Read more

Garnishing

Strawberry Garnishing

Garnishing is simply any attempt to add color and/or flavor so as to accent or dress up a dish you are serving. A garnish ties everything together! Whether you are cooking at the White House or just at your house, it can go a long way towards making an otherwise hum-drum meal appear interesting and … Read more

Food Thickening Agents

Food Thickening Agent

I’ve decided to devote a separate page to food thickening agents. Why? Well, as noted elsewhere in my website, attaining a certain expertise with sauce making is a big part of becoming a gourmet cook. And one cannot achieve this without a good understanding of the various food thickening agents used to finish the many … Read more

Dry Heat Cooking Methods

dry heat cooking methods - grilling

Dry heat cooking methods include broiling, grilling, roasting, baking, sauteing, pan-frying, and deep-frying. Obviously, it would be very hard to be a gourmet cook and not be familiar with all of these cooking methods. Certain meats and vegetables thrive under the broiler, while others cry out for the roaster. It all depends on the cuts … Read more

How To Cook A Turkey And Gravy

cooked turkey 2 plated

It is really quite easy to cook a turkey and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, what a better time to learn! If your cooking for the family and friends, the anxiety has already started. Right? You want to present them with the best Thanksgiving turkey they’ve ever tasted, but it can be quite a … Read more

Food Strainers

Food Strainers

A big part of being a gourmet cook is knowing which tool best suits which purpose . . . and having that tool at hand. This definitely goes for food strainers, as using the wrong one is hardly better than using none at all. Trust me. Chinois and China Cap Both of these are cone-shaped … Read more

What Is A Leek?

leek

A leek is a member of the lily family. They look like large, overgrown scallions with a fat white tip and wide green leaves. Their flavor is sweeter and stronger than scallions, but milder than common bulb onions. Trim the root end from the leek. Cut away the dark green top. Slice the white portion … Read more

Food Processing Equipment

Food Processing Equipment

One of the real benefits of living in the modern age is our modern-day food processing equipment. Imagine how much time and effort it used to take to make homemade peanut butter or knead enough dough for a few loaves of bread. And, believe it or not, people used to have to go out for … Read more

Food Presentation Tips

Food Presentation Tips

Here are a few food presentation tips to help you begin to understand this incredibly important aspect of gourmet cooking. How food is plated, or arranged on the plate and garnished, figures deeply in one’s reaction to it. It even affects how we think the food tastes. A plate of food is like a painting, … Read more

Mise En Place | Everything In Its Place

Mise En Place | Everything In Its Place

Mise En Place (MEEZ ahn plahs) is a French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine, up to the point of cooking. Mise En Place (meez ahn plahs) means literally, “to put in place” or “everything in its place.” The concept is: A cook should have … Read more

How To Rescue a Broken Hollandaise Sauce

eggs benedit with home fries

      A properly made hollandaise sauce is smooth, buttery, pale lemon-yellow-colored and very rich.  It is lump-free and should not exhibit any signs of separation.  The buttery flavor should dominate but not mask the flavors of the egg, lemon and vinegar.  Occasionally, a hollandaise will break or separate and appear thin, grainy or even … Read more

Plating Food

“Plating food” refers to placing food on a plate in as appealing a manner as possible. Many cooks give short shrift to this concept, but let me assure you, presentation is a very important part of the dining experience because we eat with our eyes first. One of the things we all most enjoy about … Read more

Cooking Stocks

cooking stocks

Cooking stocks are an integral part of any well-stocked (no pun intended) kitchen. To be considered a chef, versus a mere cook, you need to know how to make and use good stocks. I kid you not. Stocks may seem intimidating because you think you need to make the stock fresh before you start the … Read more

Combination Cooking/Braising and Stewing

combination cooking/braising and stewing

My favorite two types of combination cooking methods are braising and stewing. I don’t know why, but some would-be cooks seem to shy away from these two methods of cooking. Maybe it’s because they are referred to as “combination” methods of cooking, and therefore must be more complicated or difficult than “regular” cooking. But it’s … Read more

Beef Tenderloin Cooking

beef tenderloin cooking

I probably shouldn’t do this, but I am going to share a secret method of beef tenderloin cooking with you that will wow everyone you feed it to. Consider this a “Thank You” gift from me for visiting this, my new website, my labor of love. I took a wonderful seminar from a chef named … Read more

Beef Cooking Times

The correct beef cooking times will become second nature to you as you advance on your path toward becoming a gourmet cook. I am quite comfortable relying on the “touch” approach, and you will be too. But I recommend that you stick with a meat thermometer at first. Chefs generally gauge beef cooking times by … Read more

Best Fried Chicken Recipes

best fried chicken recipes

Below you will find the two best fried chicken recipes I have ever tasted. I know, I know, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of gourmet cooking isn’t fried chicken. Well, I don’t care. I love fried chicken! Now, there is fried chicken and there is good fried chicken. I’m sure … Read more

Cooking Equivalent Measurements Table

Here’s the simple Cooking Equivalent Measurements Table I relied on when starting out. As you get going on becoming a gourmet cook, refer to it often, as proper measurements are critically important. However, as you become more and more familiar with the effects of herbs and spices and so forth, you will need to rely … Read more

Cooking Food With Wine

cooking food with wine

The main reason for cooking food with wine is the benefit of added flavor! When you are cooking food with wine, there is one basic rule to remember: always use a good wine. That doesn’t mean you have to use an expensive wine, simply use a good tasting wine, or one that you like to … Read more

Tips for Cooking Lamb

tips for cooking lamb

When it comes to cooking lamb, I am always amazed at the number of people who automatically and fervently proclaim their distaste for the idea. All they know for sure is that they don’t like lamb. Period. Every now and then, though, I find an open minded person who is willing to actually give one … Read more