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.

Cilantro How to Use It In Cooking

September 10, 2012 8 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

  Barbecue 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 […]

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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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White Pepper

March 4, 2010 25 Comments
White Pepper

All About White Peppercorns In some culinary circles, there is hot debate over which sort of pepper to use, white or black. Some chefs use white pepper strictly for aesthetic reasons: they use white pepper in white or light-colored dishes and sauces so there won’t be any black flecks. Other chefs find white pepper to […]

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Panko Bread Crumbs

September 28, 2009 48 Comments
Panko Bread Crumbs

What Is Panko? Panko-crusted mahi.  Mmm.  It sounds very swanky, but what exactly is “panko?”  Panko is the Japanese word for bread crumbs. Suddenly, panko sounds much less swanky, but there are many characteristics of panko that often make them superior to American-style bread crumbs in many culinary applications. There are two general types of […]

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Salt – Does It Kill Yeast?

September 23, 2009 16 Comments
Salt – Does It Kill Yeast?

I get all sorts of questions asked of me by you guys and I try my best to give you a meaningful response but if I don’t know the answer, I reach out to experts in their field for their responses.  Here’s an example. I received the following email from Grace R. asking, Hi, I […]

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Curry – All About Curry

April 2, 2009 9 Comments
Curry – All About Curry

Curry In A Hurry What Is Curry? What exactly is curry? Where did the word originate, and what does it describe? The origins of the word curry are debated. Some people say that it was derived from a Tamil word, kari, meaning spiced sauce. If this is the case, any sort of food cooked in […]

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