Section 1: Cooking Tips
“Cooking Tips Clam chowder. There’s nothing else like it. It’s difficult to explain, but it has a very distinct character and you can use anything you want. I like to blend it with bacon and jalapeño and chorizo and serve it with leeks.”
“Carne asada—it’s Mexican, it’s really quick. The key is to have everything already marinated, which is a nice idea. A whole flank steak, one pound. Grill it on a flat grill on a rack. Fill it with vegetable broth, lime juice, onion, cilantro. Cooking Tips And there you go.”
“Another really, really easy one that I use all the time is my chickpea salad, which is super easy. Really simple, really quick. Cooking Tips It’s really delicious. You can do a really light sauté with garlic and rosemary and olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. You can do a marinade with vinegar and herbs.
Techniques for Cooking
More Ingredients Than You Need
Chefs serve things like foie gras, lobster, and truffles to set a luxurious table. But they are also serving plenty of meat, vegetables and seafood. That’s why a big order of mushrooms or an extra lobster is often appreciated, says Garth Greenwell, chef at Bar Tartine.
More Ingredients Than You Need, Provided You Know How to Cook Them
Cook Like a Pro
Chefs are born cooks and often learned by rote and experience, says Joanne Chang, chef/owner of Flour Bakery in Boston. Cooking Tips So the way you practice your craft is by cooking like a pro. Chang recommends learning to make a grilled sandwich by following a recipe.
Ingredients to Know
“I like to use five of the top spices — clove, black pepper, coriander seed, cumin seed, and cardamom seed,” says Cindy Pawlcyn, The Porter House in San Francisco. “They’re wonderful with vegetables and fish, but also compliment savory, meaty dishes. For the chili you make, you can also use dried chiles and red peppers. Or use any dried herbs you like.
Tools to Have on Hand
Colander. It’s amazing what you can do with one, and it’s cheap and easy to clean and store. Cooking Tips
Slotted Spatula. This can work for every surface you’re cooking with, from foods as small as carrots to as large as pork chops. If you’re in a rush, simply don’t use a spatula. Use a bowl.
Mixing Bowls. Use plastic or ceramic.
Large Batter Bowls. I usually always keep some from the freezer because I’m more likely to actually use them for baking than for everything else. Cooking Tips I use them for cookie sheets, roasting pans and can even smash some vegetables with them to drop in the batter. Also, they come in handy to wrap up meats or poultry for picnics and to serve guests.
Air Fryer. Air fryers are wonderful.
10 Easy Recipes To Try
1. Tuscan Style Chicken Wings, Farinata And Spicy Sauce From Whole Foods
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Farinata, or flat bread, has a layered, firm, slightly crisp exterior and a slightly flaky, soft interior. This version is spicy, topped with savory chicken wings and accented with olives.
2. Mac And Cheese, Soft-Baked Blondies And Wine From Farmer’s Daughter
Farmer’s Daughter, 10339 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; 310-645-4308, farmersdaughter.com.
Farmer’s Daughter’s four-ingredient macaroni and cheese, made with coarsely shredded Parmesan and garlic, is super easy to make. Pair it with your favorite sweet wine.
3. Cajun Shrimp, Roasted Red Bell Peppers And Chicken From Five & Ten
Five & Ten, 5150 Franklin Ave., Highland Park; 323-468-5113, fivetenmarket.com.
Basic Mashed Potatoes
“[Using] unsalted butter, cream, sour cream, heavy cream and sour cream,” says McCormick Celebrity Chef Barbara Lynch.
“Gosh, this is a great way to cook corn, and I always like the idea of a vegetable that can be served whole,” says Brooks Headley, executive chef at Minibar.
Pumpkin Cream Pie
“My favorite fall dessert is a pumpkin cream pie,” says Melissa Perri, co-owner and head pastry chef of Roam Coffee & Beer Café in Washington, DC. “It’s all about balance. Start with a firm pumpkin, not frozen or canned; and then mix together the cream, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Now you’re just working on taste. Play around with the spices and balance them so the pie is sweet but not too sweet.
“I like cooking for my parents because they’re Italian, and my mom always has good ideas. One of her favourites is vegetarian lasagna: Cover the lasagna noodles with sauce and béchamel, and bake it for 10 minutes. You end up with crispy lasagna crust, and creamy sauce underneath.” — Wendy MacNaughton, chef/owner, The Celtic Pig, Sudbury, ON
“This is a no-fail recipe for a first-time pasta-maker. I would suggest using homemade ravioli instead of store-bought, if possible. Cooking Tips They will always cook up the same way and taste fresher.” — Bobby Stuckey, chef/owner, Bar Isabel, Toronto
“Growing up, my dad always made this dish for me and my sister as a special meal when we went home to visit my parents in Japan.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 cups shredded chicken breast
1 cup salsa
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
3 cups (about 6 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 cup cooked whole kernel corn
2 cups Mexican blend cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheddar cheese, shredded
1 medium poblano pepper, roasted and diced
1 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
“For a debuting home cook, I would suggest to start with a hearty and traditional apple pie—it can be as easy as using a store-bought pie crust, baking the apple filling in a hot oven for 20 minutes, then topping it with whipped cream or applesauce. Cooking Tips Then you can create your own pie crust in the future, with a recipe you’ve learned.”—Alex Raij, chef, restauranteur, and author of The New French Kitchen
“One of my best recipes for home cooks to try is making ‘rice’ using cauliflower. The texture is similar to brown rice, Cooking Tips and it can be prepared in an instant way with just water, flours, and salt. Any recipe you’d use to make brown rice will work with cauliflower—even ones with additional ingredients such as garlic, curry, and ginger.
“The produce section of the supermarket is loaded with seasonal, local ingredients perfect for making a wonderful salad that you can make fresh every day, whether it’s from tomatoes or cucumbers or whatever else you choose.” — Nicole Rucker, Food and Wine contributing editor
“I love a salad with prosciutto, capers, arugula and basil. It’s got all the veggies you need to enjoy a delicious salad without having to buy the expensive produce on the whole, but not all the bells and whistles you might want.” — Emma Bengtsson, host of The New Celebrity Chef: It’s Not Us, It’s You
“Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, especially cooked.