Frequently Asked Questions

How to:

Make a Bechamel

A béchamel is a beautiful and decadent sauce that can start or end any dish. It is simply butter, flour and milk. Those are always your three ingredients. It’s like a blank creamy canvas. Here’s how you do it:

1.  Melt your butter in a pan. Let’s use a small portion for this example – two tablespoons.

2.  Add in 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk together (so that it doesn’t form any lumps).

3.  Cook these two ingredients together until the taste of the flour cooks out (about 2 minutes) and then gradually add in about a cup of milk.
4.  Whisk together until it forms a thick and creamy béchamel then add in your seasonings (usually salt, pepper and nutmeg)!

Scramble, hard boil, & poach an egg

Scramble
The key to a successful scrambled egg is low heat. People get very impatient with eggs and that’s exactly the opposite of how you need to treat eggs. Patience is key.

1.  Whisk your eggs (2) with a splash of milk, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.

2.  Heat up your pan on a low, simmering heat and add in a 1 tablespoon of butter.

3.  Pour your egg mixture into the pan and stir, pretty much the entire time. This ensures you will have light, fluffy eggs.
4.  Once the eggs are cooked and fluffy, fold in some chopped parsley, chives and basil and voila!

Poach
People are afraid of making poached eggs. I was afraid of making poached eggs, until I made them. And, then I realized that I had this fear for absolutely no reason. Let me explain why.

1.  Bring a pot of water to a simmer (which is right before it boils).

2.  Splash some white vinegar in the water and create a whirlpool (swirling a spoon into the water until it forms the whirpool).
3.  Crack your egg into a small bowl to ensure the yolk doesn’t crack. It’s also easier to put the egg in the water via a bowl then cracking in straight in.
4.  Gently put your egg into the water and let it cook for 3 minutes.

5.  Remove and put immediately on a paper towel to drain any excess water and season with salt and pepper. Now how easy was that?  

Hard Boil
My sisters and I are always making deviled eggs. However, we seem to have a hard time peeling the skin off before we make them. I was determined to find the solution and here it is!

1.  Place your eggs into a pot. Cover your eggs with cold water just an inch above the eggs (do not put too much water in the pot). Bring this to a boil.

2.  Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let sit for about 14-15 minutes.

3.  Remove the eggs from the pot and place into a colander and rinse under cool water for a few minutes.

4.  Boom- perfect hard boiled eggs!!

Soft Boiled Eggs
I will never forget the first time I tried my grandmother’s soft boiled eggs. This was one of her favorite breakfast items growing up and it quickly became one of mine. As I’ve mentioned in the “About Me” section, she cooks everything perfectly – to the second. So when she says cook the eggs for 6 minutes, you do exactly that. Here’s her recipe.

1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.

2.  Slowly place your eggs into the pot of boiling water and cook them for exactly 6 minutes.

3.  Remove them from the pan and rinse under cool water.

4.  Serve them in a bowl with 1 piece of crisp, toast (chopped into small pieces) and season with salt and pepper.

Grill a grilled cheese

There is nothing worse than a grilled cheese with half melted cheese in the center. It might be one of the most disappointing feelings I’ve had. So, to ensure this NEVER happens to you, here’s how to grill it to perfection every time.
1.  Butter your bread (I like good old fashion country white) generously on both sides. This is key to an evenly grilled, grilled cheese.

2.  You should choose a nice melty cheese for this sammy as well. Fontina is melty, cheddar is melty, gruyere is melty. Don’t put any hard stuff (aka parmesan cheese) on the insides.

3.  Put your pan on medium to low heat. Another essential. DO NOT OVER HEAT YOUR PAN. You will burn the outside of the sandwich and leave the inside cold and sad.

4.  Grill both sides (with a press on it) on medium to low heat for about 5ish minutes
on each side. You can check during the process to see if your bread is getting too brown, and then lower you heat.

5.  And there you have the perfect grilled cheese!!

Grate Cheese

I know this sounds really stupid and obvious, but there are a few tricks to grating cheese perfectly. Here’s a few.

1.  If you are grating any soft cheese (mozzarella, fontina, brie) make sure to freeze them for 30 min or so before you grate. This will help the cheese to not fall apart as you grate them

2.  The smaller you grate your grate, the easier it is to melt. So if you are making a mac-n-cheese and you want that creamy consistency, make sure to grate your cheese finely

3.  I recently discovered that a large zester is an excellent grating device. It grates it finely and it large quantities.

Blanche vegetables

Whenever I serve vegetables as a side dish, 99.9% of the time, I blanche them. I think it’s a quick and easy cooking technique that ensures you have a crisp, fresh, and colorful side dish. Here’s how you do it..

1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil

2.  Put a handful of ice cubes into a bowl and top with ice cold water. You are making an ice bath to shock your vegetables.

3.  Season the water with salt (2 tablespoons or so) and drop whatever vegetable you are blanching into the boiling water.

4.  Let the vegetables for cook in the water for about 4-5 minutes (little less if you like them crunchier, a little more if you like them softer)

5.  Drain the vegetables in a colander and then throw ‘em in the ice bath. This will bring out the color of your vegetable and stock the cooking process instantly. Then you have some blanched veggies!

Bake chicken

Chicken is the kind of meat that is extremely dry and bland if you do not cook the correct way. On the other hand, it can be succulent, healthy, flavorful and SO easy to prepare with these few steps.

1.  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If you are baking chicken, I highly recommend you use a thick chicken breast. It’s the best cut of meat for this particular technique.

2.  Make sure to season the hell of your chicken. Salt, pepper, herbs, don’t under season.

3.  Place your chicken on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove, let rest for 3-4 minutes and you will ALWAYS have juicy, perfectly baked chicken!

Dredge

If you like to eat a lot of breaded anything- you will need to know how to dredge your protein, vegetable, potato, etc. It’s what makes those fried, baked, dishes so crunchy and delicious. It is the process to form a crust. Here’s how you do it!

1. Get out 3 shallow dishes. Fill each one with eggs, flour, and bread crumbs.

2. The process is always this. Flour, first, then egg, then breadcrumbs. The egg should always be beaten with a little splash of water.

3. Make sure you fully coat your protein, veggie, what have you, in flour and then shake off the excess. Then soak it in your egg wash (eggs beaten with water), and then coat it in your bread crumbs!

4. There! You just dredged your first piece of chicken!