The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com

Frugal Café Philosophy
Save more.
Spend wisely.
Use resources responsibly.
Laugh often.
Kindle passion in life.
Give back.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frugal Café Site Search:

 

 

Photo credit: Hiromy, "I Have the Moon" | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com

 

Chefs' Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Jean-Pierre, Notes from the Chefs at America's Test Kitchen, & Naomichi Yasuda

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson

 

 

Cutlery image Jean-Pierre

Starring chef on Internet site abcCooks.com; has cooked at and/or owned several acclaimed restaurants and has hosted many cable and public television cooking shows, including being a guest chef on The Today Show.

 

"Very simple to make mashed potatoes. First thing we need is Yukon Gold potatoes. They will absorb the most dairy product, and we're going to use hot milk, not cream. The fat we're going to introduce later with a little butter."

Extracted from: "Chef Jean-Pierre's Gourmet Minutes - Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes," abcCook.com, 2006.

 

"Pesto is very easy to make. You need a food processor of some kind to be able to make a good pesto. You want to put in some fresh basil. You could put in spinach, you can make it with arugula, you can make it with cilantro. You can mix all those also. They're wonderful. Don't just do it with basil. You can use almonds, you can use peanuts, you can use pine nuts, you can use what ever nuts make you happy. Almonds are very nice—I love 'em. ...Pine nuts is the traditional way of making it, but we don't have to be traditional."

"You put in about three-quarter of a cup of olive oil, it depends on how much the quantity you're making. The idea is when you make a pesto, you make sure that there's enough olive oil to create a really nice paste. ...Pesto is wonderful to put on chicken dishes, on pasta dishes, I put it on fish, I put it on pizza, I put it on everywhere! I have it in my freezer. Whenever I need it, I take it out. ...Keep it in your freezer, and put it into ice cube trays. You need a little sauce in two minutes, you can add it to chicken. Sauté up some chicken breasts, put a little cube of pesto in there, a little bit of chicken broth, and you have a phenomenal sauce."

Extracted from: "Chef Jean-Pierre's Gourmet Minutes - The Perfect Pesto," abcCook.com, 2006.

 

Chef foods divider

 

Cutlery image Notes from the Chefs at America's Test Kitchen

"Just when should you oil your grill grate? The grill grate should be oiled hot, after being scraped clean. Oiling the grill grate once it's hot helps the oil to bond quickly to the metal and prevent proteins from sticking to the grill grate. Debris is also more readily removed from a hot grate than a cool one, and once these stuck-on bits are gone, the grate can be slicked down easily with an oil-dipped wad of paper towels."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," May 22, 2009.

 

"Want a better marinara? Use a quarter cup of grated onion to add sweetness and complexity to canned tomatoes."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," February 4, 2010.

 

"Flank steak can be a little tough unless you slice it properly: against the grain to prevent overly chewy meat."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," January 31, 2009.

 

"The right technique and ingredients can make all the difference between a good grilled cheese sandwich and a great one. Our finishing touch? Press the sandwiches down with a cake pan—mimicking a panini press—for the crispest crust. "

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," October 24, 2008.

 

"Handy Tip: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: When I bring a casserole or cake to someone’s house in a dish or other container, I tape a return address label on the bottom. This way, if I leave before everything is cleaned up, the host knows who the dish belongs to. "

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," February 1, 2010; submitted by reader Joan Schnadig, Highland Park, IL.

 

"The easiest way to core a whole apple for filling and baking is with a melon baller, so long as you are careful not to puncture the blossom end. If you don't have a melon baller at the ready, simply use a sturdy, rounded metal ½-teaspoon measure."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," September 26, 2008.

 

"Ranch dressing is a quick and flavorful way to dress up potato salad."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," July 24, 2009.

 

"Foods like tomatoes, wine, vinegar, and lemon juice are the most likely candidates to react with iron pans since their acids can release some of the metal molecules from the pan's surface, causing the cooked food to have a metallic or 'off' taste."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," January 9, 2009.

 

"For crisp roast chicken, we wanted to develop a method that would deliver both juicy meat and crisp, flavorful skin. We found that dusting the chicken with baking powder and then poking holes all over the skin allow the fat to render, crisping the skin without sacrificing the juiciness of the meat."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," February 4, 2010.

 

"Faster Boiling for Pasta: For boiling, is it faster to start with hot water? But is starting with cold water better for flavor? To find out, we brought 4 quarts each of hot and cold tap water to a boil and then added salt and pasta. The only difference we found was in the time it took the pots to reach a boil—hot water was a minute and a half faster than cold water."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," November 28, 2008.

 

"Warm spinach salads can be limp and lifeless, with the spinach turning to mush when the hot vinaigrette is added. We developed an unusual technique to combat this problem: Prepare the dressing in a Dutch oven, then add the spinach, cover the pot, and allow the spinach to steam with the dressing for a mere 15 seconds. This produces a perfect, evenly wilted salad."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," March 13, 2009.

 

"Enjoying the Whole Enchilada: Chicken enchiladas offer a rich, complex combination of flavors, textures, and ingredients. The tortilla is the glue that holds it all together—so the last thing you want is for it to be mushy, turn soggy, or crack. Traditionally, tortillas are quickly dipped in hot oil to prevent getting soggy during their time in the oven, but this is a cumbersome, time-consuming technique. We tried steaming the tortillas over a pot of boiling water, which was a sorry, soggy failure, and microwaving them proved no better at maintaining a pliant yet solid wrapper. But when we used vegetable oil spray to coat both sides of the tortillas and warmed them in the oven, we got the same results as the traditional method, without all the muss and fuss."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," February 10, 2010.

 

"Don't Waste Tomato Paste: Squeezing the entire contents out of a tube of tomato or anchovy paste can be difficult. To make it easier, try this technique: Place the tube on a flat work surface. Starting at the far side of the tube and pressing down gently, guide a rolling pin (or wooden spoon handle) along the length of the tube."

Extracted from: America's Test Kitchen newsletter, "Kitchen Tips That Work," March 13, 2009.

 

 

Chef foods divider

 

Cutlery image Naomichi Yasuda

Owner/chef at Sushi Yasuda, New York City's top-rated Japanese restaurant.

"There are two Japans: old Japan and new Japan. Old Japan is what I follow here at Sushi Yasuda and focus more on traditional sushi making, with special attention paid to the rice and to correct portion size. Here at Sushi Yasuda, rice is very important and I make and season my own rice, like they used to in Japan... Big cuts are seen as a positive thing in this new sushi world, which is not necessarily true. Also, people think that the fresher a fish is the better it is. This is generally true, but some fish are actually better after a day or two of preparation. Old Japan is standard. I am standard. You see nothing extraordinary here."

Extracted from: Livadiotis, Christina, Sushi Chef Secrets: Naomichi Yasuda, Zagat website (http://www.zagat.com/Blog/Detail.aspx?SCID=42&BLGID=13415), June 11, 2008.

 

 

<< Back to Directory of Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies

 

 

Related Reading and Recipes:
Fill Their Stomachs for Pennies: Potatoes for All!
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Pearl Bailey’s Spinach with Oil & Garlic
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Fab Food Friday Fotos and Recipes: Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts, Asian Meatballs, Chocolate Cheesecake, Oxtail Suet Pudding, Marmalade Chicken, Pumpkin Risotto, Gluten-Free Leek & Potato Soup, Warm Spinach Mushroom Salad, More Frugal Recipes
Save Money, Cut It Yourself: How to Properly Cut a Whole Chicken into Pieces
Vegetable Stock Recipes: Rosemary Potatoes
Celebrity Recipes: Emeril Lagasse's Boiled Artichokes
Celebrity Recipes: Rachael Ray's Chicken Cacciatore Stoup
Celebrity Recipes: Aretha Franklin's Holiday Meat Loaf
Celebrity Recipes: Jamie Oliver's Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic, Chilli, and Parsley
Celebrity Recipes: Bruce Jenner's All-American Blueberry Muffins
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Thanksgiving Google Logo Tribute Today... Artwork by Popular TV Chef Ina Garten, "The Barefoot Contessa," Plus Her Thanksgiving Recipes & Video Cooking Demos
Descoware: Vintage Cookware Still Popular... and a Bargain to Boot
"The Biggest Loser" White House Salad Recipe
Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Wolfgang Puck & Dave Lieberman
Pardon My French... Homemade French Dressing from Grandma's Depression Era, That Is — Mystery Chef's Cheap DIY Recipes
DIY: Salt-Free Herb/Spice Blends for Salt Substitutes
Boy or Girl: Which Turkey Gender Is Most Tender?
Save Those Bones! Meat Stock to the Rescue
Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Rachael Ray, Leo Chun, Jeff Smith
Video Demo: Garlic Broccoli Stir Fry, with Keith Snow
Free Daily Nutrition Requirements Calculator