Are all salts the same?

The two major brands of Kosher salt – Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products.    Cooking magazine editors are no strangers to the complaints department. Frequently, readers make liberal substitutions or skip over steps in recipes. “I cut half the sugar, replaced the white flour with rye, and only used egg whites. This …

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How ‘Ennobling’ Helped Italian Aristocrats Solve the Problem of Garlic

The ingredient would have otherwise been too cheap to grace noble tables. Peasant food in action in Annibale Carracci’s The Beaneater, c. 1585. PUBLIC DOMAIN FOR THE 16TH-CENTURY ITALIAN NOBLE, garlic posed a unique, culinary dilemma. To demonstrate status, a person of taste and means served food prepared with the finest, rarest spices, such as …

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Ambergris – The Whale excrement that once flavoured ice cream.

Occasionally, a rogue squid beak gets lodged in a sperm whale’s intestines. To protect its soft innards against the sharp irritant, the animal produces a waxy secretion called ambergris (“gray amber”), much like an oyster forming a pearl. Excreted ambergris is turned into a rock-like mass by saltwater and sunshine. By the time the weather-beaten …

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Flavours that pretend to be something else

If you drink mango juice, you could be forgiven for thinking mango is the main ingredient, but that’s often not true. Food substitutions to enhance flavour are surprisingly common. In a world where modern chemistry has allowed almost anything to be flavoured or coloured like almost anything else, you can stumble across some surprising substitutions. …

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Real Chicken Soup

As a retired chef (13 good restaurants over 3 global sites)..with no illusions, I have an ‘essential’ view. It’s easy. Save ALL cut-offs from vegetables except cucumber, celery leaves (bitter), potato peels (rot) , or anything you don’t want to ‘enhance’ you flavor with….say, cinnamon. Save ALL bones, no matter what carcass – they will …

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How to pick the right salt or substitute and when to use them

The right amount of salt will elevate food’s flavour.  Good old table salt is perfect for cooking. As any cook will tell you, salt is much more than just a dining table afterthought. “Salt is vital for building layers of flavour,” says Shelagh Ryan, co-owner of London’s Lantana Cafes. “I like to add it at …

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Brine your fries too! Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s trick to making perfect french fries at his Los Angeles restaurant Petit Trois is to soak them in salt water before frying them. This seasons them from the inside out and removes excess starch for a crispier, more flavorful fry. See the full video here.

Too much salt?

6 William Meppem Be careful not to overseason slow-cooked dishes. What happens if I add too much salt to my cooking? M. Kennedy If you mean that you are consistently cooking and eating very salty food then you will probably die, most likely from cardiovascular disease. See your doctor. If you have accidently overseasoned a dish, …

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While you might have seen carbonara in Italian restaurants, the real deal is nothing like the one you get there. In a pan render some bacon (you can also use pancetta or guanciale) until very crispy at low heat. Strain the bacon fat off and reserve. Cook your spaghetti as usual but stop short of …

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Salting Food

Seriously though, chefs use way more salt than the average home cook and theycontinue to add salt throughout the recipe, tasting it as they go. Here are a few tip videos that I like that help explain some crucial salting techniques: Pre-Salting Chicken – how salting your chicken before doing anything else makes it that …

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