All About Seasonings

A Grain of Salt

When I was a kid, my mother cooked with salt and pepper. If she was feeling very adventurous, she’d break out the Adolf’s Meat Tenderizer.  So, when I decided I wanted to learn to cook, spices and seasonings opened a whole new world for me.

Every culture has its own spicing and seasoning secrets. Learning which herbs and spices to use to prepare food with a French, Greek or Italian feel really freed me up to experiment. And learning to use whole spices, only freshly grinding what I need brought extra flavor to our dinner table.

Soy Sauce and Tamari – What Is The Difference

May 13, 2013 6 Comments
Soy Sauce and Tamari – What Is The Difference

Do You Know The Difference Between Tamari Sauce and Soy Sauce? I admit that I’ve never really given this much thought, but to my untrained eyes at least, soy sauce and tamari look pretty much alike. So there must be some reason that both are available. So I did some digging, and this is what […]

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Salt | All About Salt Video

September 21, 2012 0 Comments
Salt | All About Salt Video

Salt and How To Use It To Season Food Everything you wanted to know about salt and why it is the most important seasoning in the kitchen. Professional chefs depend on it to bring out the flavor of the ingredients they are cooking with. This video, Salt of the Season, by my friend Peter Hertzmann, […]

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Cooking with Hot Peppers

September 16, 2012 6 Comments
Cooking with Hot Peppers

Four Recipes for Cooking With Hot Peppers By contributing writer Mark R. Vogel Some Like It Hot Do you like hot food? I mean really hot food? Are you a chile head? Then let’s talk hot peppers. Chile peppers, of which there are almost 200 varieties, have been cultivated since 6200 B.C. All chile peppers […]

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Spices and How to Cook With Them

September 14, 2012 5 Comments
Spices and How to Cook With Them

Spice Up Your Life! By: Mark R. Vogel The Quest for Herbs & Spices Every school kid is taught that Columbus discovered the new world. But few of them know why. Columbus was seeking an alternative route to India in an attempt to break the monopoly that Venice held on the world spice trade. Little […]

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Cilantro How to Use It In Cooking

September 10, 2012 7 Comments
Cilantro How to Use It In Cooking

If you have never heard of cilantro (sih-LAHN-troh), you may know it by its other name – coriander (KOR-ee-an-der). Most of us are more familiar with coriander seeds that are not seeds at all but the dried fruit of the coriander plant. Coriander goes way back in history. In fact, the seeds have been found […]

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Barbecue Ribs – Rubs and Sauce Recipes

July 24, 2011 0 Comments
Barbecue Ribs – Rubs and Sauce Recipes

  Rib Rubs and Sauces Did you read my post on Barbecue Ribs? It describes some of the different styles of ribs based on location around the country. Some areas use rubs, some sauces, some both. Here I’d like to share with you a few recipe selections for both rubs and sauces that you can […]

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Sage – All About Sage

January 12, 2011 4 Comments
Sage – All About Sage

All About Sage and How It Is Used in Veal Saltimboca Here is another post from contributing writer Chef Mark R. Vogel. When I hear of sage I immediately think of using it with chicken but as you will see in this article, there are lots of ways it can be used and is a […]

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Worcestershire Sauce

November 30, 2010 7 Comments
Worcestershire Sauce

What’s This Here Sauce As a home cook who has never been to culinary school and has been teaching myself to cook for as long as I’ve been posting on the Internet, I am always thrilled to learn something new from my professional chef friends. It is why I started The Reluctant Gourmet web site […]

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How To Cook With Sesame Seeds

May 19, 2010 0 Comments
How To Cook With Sesame Seeds

Open Sesame By Contributing Food Writer Chef Mark R. Vogel Ali Baba is a fictional character from the Arabian tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”  One day while working in the forest he observed the “forty thieves” entering their secret cave where all of their purloined treasure was stashed. To open the cave they […]

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Spices – Grinding Your Own

April 20, 2010 4 Comments
Spices – Grinding Your Own

Back to the Grind More often than not in life, when we expend additional effort and time on an endeavor, our results are more fruitful.  This is absolutely true in the culinary world.  There are three main reasons why a top notch restaurant staffed with professional chefs can produce a superior meal as compared to […]

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