How I reheat meat stews


A lot of people consider stew as a cold weather dish, something substantial and eaten steaming hot to warm the body but, for me, a stew doesn’t require cold weather at all. I cook stew whenever I get the craving and, the thicker the sauce and the more colorful the assortment of vegetables, the better. And I always cook more than enough for one meal because stew always tastes better after sitting in the fridge overnight or longer. The vegetables and meat get more time to absorb the flavors in the sauce so that, after reheating, the stew is richer and bolder.

So, I much prefer reheated stew. But reheating stew can be tricky. The sauce can dry out and cause scorching so the reheating process has to be over low fire. Adding water, broth or wine is not that great an option for me because the addition either dilutes or changes the rich flavors that have painstakingly developed while the stew sat in the fridge overnight. But the low fire and the rather lengthy reheating time can damage the vegetables too. They can get overcooked and turn soggy and, worse, they can break apart especially since the stew needs occasional stirring as it reheats.

How to I prevent dried out sauce, scorching and overcooked vegetables in a stew? »

What to do with leftover lasagna noodles


Newbie cooks are notoriously fearful of making mistakes in the kitchen. I know I was when I was just starting to learn because my mother was always breathing down my neck about the cost of food and how mistakes often meant waste. Good thing that, with a lot of encouragement from my father, I was quite the little rebel and I … »

Use leftover stir-fried veggies to make a gorgeous noodle dish


Asian-style stir-fried vegetables don't reheat well especially if the sauce had been thickened with starch. The sauce thickens considerably after chilling overnight in the fridge and it has to be reheated gently to prevent the starch from scorching. The problem with gentle reheating is that it takes long and the length of … »

How to prevent skin from forming on custard


Many liquids, when left undisturbed, form a skin on the surface. This is true with cans of paint, with meat broth, gravies, milk, custards... And that's just a short list. Why a skin forms varies. With meat broth, for instance, the fat rises to the top and, as it cools, it congeals. The skin the forms on the surface of hot … »

“When it coats the back of a spoon”


When making sauces and gravies, one of the standards for measuring the thickness of the liquid is whether it "coats the back of a spoon." The same standard is used when making the custard base for ice cream.What exactly does it mean? When does the liquid coat the back of the spoon? Surely, any liquid will coat a spoon … »

What is a fish basket and how is it used?


How a fish basket is used depends on what kind of fish basket one has. There is a floating fish basketfor fishing, and it has hinges and trap doors. I don't fish, I've never used one but I tried to search the web for information on how it is used. What I found was pretty confusing. I'm not sure if the basket is thrown into … »

Mirepoix, sofrito and deglazing: deciphering European cooking


It has often been said that as diverse as cuisines are, they share some really basic things. Grilled marinated meat is found everywhere. So is bread.And then there's the stew. Every cuisine has a version of stew which may or may not include meat or seafood. Admittedly, a Spanish stew will not necessarily taste the same … »

More than one way to peel a lot of garlic in less than a minute


In many of the recipes that call for peeled garlic, I almost always include the tip that it is so much easier and faster to peel garlic if you smash the cloves first. Then, you can hold the tip of the skin, shake it a bit and the garlic will fall off. Easy. That's what I've been doing for years.Then, a friend and fellow … »

An eggs and sausages breakfast tip


One of my favorite breakfasts -- eggs and sausages. Well-browned spicy sausages and fried eggs, sunny side up, to be more accurate. Spicy sausages? Yes, garlicky and hot, if available. Not canned Vienna sausages nor hotdogs, definitely, but real sausages. The Italian and Spanish kind are really the best. Among local … »