Ask A Chef

Many of you send me questions about your own cooking at home and although I try to answer what I can, I often have to refer to one of my chef friends for a better answer. This page will highlight some of the questions I get from you and the anwers I receive from the chefs.Here are some of the questions and answers I’ve received.
 

Are Whole Grains Really Better for You?

April 11, 2012 0 Comments
Are Whole Grains Really Better for You?

What I Learned About Whole Grains and White Flour My wife and I try to eat whole grain breads even though I grew up on Wonder Bread.  You know – the one with the colored dots on the white bag that “helps build strong bodies eight ways?”  But my girls?  They’ll only eat white bread.  […]

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Dutch Oven for a Crock Pot?

November 4, 2011 6 Comments
Dutch Oven for a Crock Pot?

Can I Substitute a Dutch Oven for a Crock Pot? I got this question in my inbox a few days ago.  I think it’s a pretty good question.  The beauty of a crock pot is that the heat comes from the bottom and the sides and is kept low and consistent with a thermostat.  The […]

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Is Oven Rack Position Important?

September 20, 2011 27 Comments
Is Oven Rack Position Important?

How Important Is Oven Rack Position? Someone emailed this question to me a while back:  Which oven rack position do you use for different applications? For instance, baking cakes, cookies, etc; braising, breads, roasting meats, etc.”¨  Thanks I realized that I had never really given much thought to which rack to use.  I usually just […]

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Help – Beef Stew Tastes Doughy

August 10, 2011 2 Comments
Help – Beef Stew Tastes Doughy

How to Fix a Doughy Tasting Beef Stew Here’s a quick post today in response to a question I received from Dave. He asks: I made a lovely beef stew,removed meat and veg, made a flour/water slurry to thicken gravy. When we ate it you got a doughy taste. how to fix please. Dave, when […]

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BBQ – What is Barbecue?

July 12, 2011 11 Comments
BBQ – What is Barbecue?

Shedding Some Light on Barbecue Ask ten people in ten different cities what “barbecue” is, and you will likely get ten different answers.  Some will say it’s just grilling.  Others might talk about smoking or steaming.  Some say barbecue means beef.  Others will call foul and say that pork is the meat of choice when […]

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Still Even More Baking Questions Answered

June 17, 2011 3 Comments
Still Even More Baking Questions Answered

Learn More About Baking This week I received a bunch more baking questions from readers. Great questions but I’m not much of a baker so again I asked my friend Chef Jenni for help. Readers want to know about pre-making tarts, white sugar substitutes, baking soda questions and more. Here are a few of the […]

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Is Chicken Stock the Same as Chicken Broth?

June 10, 2011 45 Comments
Is Chicken Stock the Same as Chicken Broth?

The Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth I am constantly asked, “What’s the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?” Many cooks and chefs use the words “stock” and “broth” interchangeably.  I have done a lot of research on the subject to clear up this issue, both for myself and for my readers.  My […]

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What Do You Want Me To Write About?

May 13, 2011 65 Comments
What Do You Want Me To Write About?

Back in 1997, over 14 years ago, I created The Reluctant Gourmet website as a way to teach myself how to cook. I was newly married, enjoyed good food and wanted to learn how to make it myself.  I had to eat so why not learn to cook and eat well! I was fortunate at […]

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Pound Cake Recipe and Crust Fix

March 10, 2011 7 Comments
Pound Cake Recipe and Crust Fix

Simple Pound Cake Recipe Plus Crust Fix Yet another baking problem requiring an answer. I’m not much of a baker (yet) although my 13 year old daughter loves to bake and her mom (my wife) is a very good baker. In fact she made an Apple Pear Cake recipe given to her from our friend […]

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Even More Baking Questions

March 4, 2011 4 Comments
Even More Baking Questions

Your Baking Questions Answered As you know from previous posts, The Reluctant Gourmet receives lots of questions on various culinary topics including baking and pastry making. I am not a professional chef nor a baker but I try to answer what I can from personal experiences and when I can’t answer a question, I ask […]

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Culinary Schools

Ice Cream Sundays

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe On a recent trip to State College, PA, my wife stopped at Tait Farms to pick up some local products including a Strawberry Dark Chocolate Sauce that my daughter thought would be a great ingredient to try in a new gelato or ice cream. I also had some Dark […]

August 13, 2014 0 Comments
Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

How About Some Chocolate Ice Cream with a Bit of Trail Mix While I was down in the basement working out, I heard my youngest daughter upstairs in the kitchen preparing something.  My daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a walker to get around so I could hear the wheels rolling back and forth as […]

July 25, 2014 5 Comments
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

 We Used Starbucks Hot Chocolate Mix For This One Maddie and I were thinking about making some homemade ice cream and since chocolate is her favorite, we thought we would give that a try. I looked in the recipe book that came with my new Cuisinart Ice Cream Gelato Maker and found a basic recipe […]

July 10, 2014 0 Comments
Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Fresh Seasonal Strawberries Make For Great Gelato By now you know I am the proud owner of a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker given to me by my neighbors Bob and Barbara for my recent birthday and I’ve been experimenting with it to learn how to make great homemade ice cream and […]

June 29, 2014 0 Comments
Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream & Gelato I celebrated a big birthday at the beginning of the month and my wife invited some friends over including my neighbor who gave me a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker (ICE-100) as a birthday present.  This past weekend, my youngest daughter and I put […]

June 20, 2014 5 Comments

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