Make milk foam with no expensive coffee machine


For a cappuccino lover like me, it's a huge frustration not to be able to prepare my favorite coffee at home. The issue? Milk foam. In coffee shops, the milk foam is made using one of the functions of those huge coffee machines that cost a fortune. No one buys those things except the ultra-rich coffee addicts and fancy coffee shop owners. And I am neither so I only get to … [Read more...]

The ultimate fried chicken, part 3: the breading and the glaze


You've seasoned the chicken and fried it perfectly. This third and (maybe) last part of the ultimate fried chicken series is about the little extras -- the variations that make a fried chicken recipe unique. Let's start with the breading or the crumb coating.Does fried chicken need to be coated with crumbs?No, the breading is optional. It is traditional in some … [Read more...]

The ultimate fried chicken, part 2: the frying part

The ultimate fried chicken: seasonings, frying techniques, endless variations

Does fried chicken require deep frying? Ideally, yes. But how many home kitchens have a deep fryer? Even if a heavy deep pan will do, how many home cooks are willing to dump a gallon of cooking oil into a pan for one meal? Not me.I'm a wok person. It's the singular cooking pan than I simply cannot do without. You can take away the cast iron frying pan, the glass and … [Read more...]

The ultimate fried chicken, part 1: season ahead or just before cooking?


There are so many myths about how to cook fried chicken that I've lost count. Some are so ridiculous that I can't even imagine who dreamed them up. The worst I've heard is that the chicken must be seasoned just before frying because letting it sit in salt or any marinade with acid in it will dry the meat. Really?The seasoning is what gives the cooked fried chicken its … [Read more...]

Secret to a good vegetable stir fry: the freshest ingredients


Why are some vegetable stir fries better than others? There are several factors.1) A better combination of vegetables; 2) Proper stir frying; 3) A good balance in flavors; 4) The freshest ingredients; or 5) All of the above.Numbers 1 and 3 are a matter of personal preference. Number 2 is a skill that can be learned (see stir frying basics). Numbers 4 and 5 are … [Read more...]

How I transformed a vegetarian pasta into a meaty dish


Last weekend, I cooked a pasta dish which I hoped would satisfy Sam's vegetarian requirements and Alex's carnivorous diet. I chopped a lot of vegetables, sauteed them in a mixture of butter and olive oil, added herbs, seasoned them well, and then I simmered everything slowly until the vegetables were soft and the sauce was chunky.It was a delicious vegetarian sauce, … [Read more...]

Easy grilled cheese pasta topping


One of the most popular posts in my recipe blog is the baked macaroni. With its rich and creamy cheese topping, it's a real crowd pleaser. But cooking baked macaroni is a rather involved process -- something that my daughters will ask me to do but not do themselves as the procedure involves using a lot of bowls and pans, and no one wants to wash a sink full of dirty … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 experimented anyway AND learned from my mistakes. … [Read more...]