Category Archives: Cooking

What does cook until thick mean?

Coating the back of a spoon

“Stir until thick” (or “stir until thickened”) might be one of the most difficult expressions in cooking to interpret when you’re just starting out. How can you tell when your sauce/custard/pudding is thick? How do you know it is thick enough? And what does “coat the back of a spoon” mean? The reason that these questions are so confusing is that there is no standard ... Read More »

Browned butter vs. clarified butter

melting butter

Last week I talked about how to make browned butter, butter that is cooked until the milk solids in it become brown and toasty, giving the butter a warm brown color and a wonderfully rich flavor. It is not the same as clarified butter. Clarified butter is also used in a liquid state, but is made in a different way. It starts with regular unsalted ... Read More »

What is browned butter?

melting butter

Browned butter is pretty much what it sounds like: butter that has been cooked until it is brown. The slightly more formal name for this is “beurre noisette,” or hazelnut butter – a double reference to the light brown color of the cooked butter and the lovely nutty flavor that it acquires during the cooking process. If you’ve ever cooked with butter, using it to ... Read More »

In Season Spring Fruits

I’m incredibly lucky to live in California, a state that not only produces fantastic produce, but does so year-round. As a result, you might think that I don’t pay too much attention to what is in season and what isn’t simply because so much is available. But I do. Despite the availability of decent strawberries in December, for instance, nothing beats fresh fruits and veggies ... Read More »

CI’s egg taste test

eggs

Can you describe the flavor of an egg? I’m not entirely sure that I can. Chicken meat is the same way: you can’t exactly describe it, but you know it when you taste it because it is such a familiar flavor. There are many different types and qualities of chickens and, if you eat meat on a regular basis, you’re probably well aware that not ... Read More »

The Kitchen Sync Cookbook

Kitchen Sync Cookbook

I love all of my cookbooks and use them often. But these days, more often than ever before, I’m looking for recipes (or recipe inspiration) online, too. Cookbooks are easy to take into the kitchen. Computers – even laptops – are somewhat less so. The problem is not gaining access to the recipe, but handling the book/laptop while you’re trying to handle various ingredients and ... Read More »

How to store leftover egg yolks and leftover egg whites

CIMG0373

There are plenty of recipes out there that call for only egg whites or only egg yolks. Angel food cake springs to mind as the most obvious example, since it calls for 10-12 egg whites only, but you can end up with a few leftover after making something as simple as an egg white omelette. Storing egg whites and egg yolks is simple, though the ... Read More »

What is agave syrup?

Partida Agave

Agave syrup – also known as agave nectar – is one of those things that was relegated to obscurity in less-trafficked natural foods markets for years, but has recently encountered a substantial upsurge in popularity. The result of this is a much more high profile position in the grocery story, though not everyone has experience with it yet. The syrup is made from agave plants ... Read More »

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