Stacy Fraser's Blog
A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is virtually nonstick, so it’s worth taking the time to season (or reseason) correctly. If you have a new skillet or an old one you want to rehab, the method is the same:
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• Cover the bottom of the pan with a thick layer of kosher salt.
• Add about half an inch of oil and place over high heat.
• When the oil starts to smoke, pour the salt and oil into a heatproof bowl to cool before discarding.
• Using a ball of paper towels, rub the inside of the pan until smooth.
• When you clean your cast-iron skillet, don’t use soap or a dishwasher. Just scrub it with a stiff brush and...read full post »
The not-too-pleasant smell that can settle into the cloths you use to wash dishes or wipe up counters is from microscopic kitchen gunk that gets trapped in the fibers. Oils, fats and bacteria accumulate in the cloths as you use them. If they aren't washed frequently (using the right method), the oils become rancid and bacteria start to grow and put off a pretty funky smell, especially if you have a good sniffer.
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Wash your dish rag out after each use with dish soap and hot water (don't just rinse it). Then thoroughly wring it out and hang it in a spot where it can dry out a little in between uses. The dish soap helps dissolve any fats and a...read full post »
Save room for this! Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, there’s more than one way to make it better. Our master recipe helps you make a lightened-up version of this must-have holiday side.
1. Start With Dry (Not Stale) BreadDry bread (almost as dry as croutons) absorbs liquid and seasoning better than fresh (or even stale). To dry out your bread: Spread 10 cups 1/2- to 1-inch bread cubes (from 1-1 1/2 pounds) on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 275°F until dry to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool; transfer to a large bowl.
2. Load Up On Veg Or FruitA base of sautéed vegetables makes the best stuffing: Heat 2 Tbsp....read full post »
The moment you turn your oven on, it starts getting hot, but most take a full 20 minutes to be fully preheated—even if the indicator light (or chime) says it’s ready sooner.
The indicator signals when the air in the oven is hot enough, but for it to be well heated, the walls also need to be hot. If they’re not, most of the heat in the oven escapes when you open the door. Put in a chicken in to roast in a cool oven and it starts steaming instead of roasting. In the end, you might find yourself with a dry chicken because it lost too much moisture during the first few minutes in the oven. Plus, without enough heat to activate the chemical reaction of cooking (the Maillard reaction), that chicken just won’t brown properly or develop the rich flavor that makes it taste so good. A “too cool” oven isn’t the only reason to wait—if you rush, it might actually...read full post »
Gluten—a combination of proteins found in wheat, rye and/or barley flour—gives structure and elasticity to baked goods. When you remove gluten, the support needed to lift and lighten the treats during baking is missing. The results can be dense, gummy or crumbly. The best gluten-free (GF) baked goods are made with a blend of GF flours, starches and often natural “gums,” such as xanthan gum, to replicate a traditional texture.
You can make your own GF flour blend or keep it simple and choose one of the blends already on the market. We swapped four different GF flour blends for the wheat flour(s) in our Chocolate-Beet Cupcakes, Banana-Blueberry Muffins and Bev’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Each one produced a slightly different texture...read full post »