Methods and Techniques

I have a recipe that calls for flour and butter and then says to combine them to make a "beurre manié" but it doesn't explain what that is or how it is made. Can you please explain. - Josh Beurre manié (pronounced Burr mahn-ee-AY) is a common way of using flour to thicken sauces, stews or soups. The term means... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Why is it that whenever I make scrambled eggs they end up in a puddle of yellowish water? - Gwen As is so often the case in cooking, the culprit is overheated protein. When you scramble eggs, initially the protein molecules in the eggs unfold into long strings that cross-bind with each other to form a network. That network holds... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Maybe not to everyone's liking, but if you are a fan of cooked marrow bones, they are easy to make at home. The rick, unctuous taste of warmed marrow spread on toast is both unique and delicious. Start at your butcher by getting 3 or 4 pieces of marrow bone 1½-2" (3.5-5 cm) thick, cut crosswise as in the picture... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


I have a recipe for vol-au-vent pastry that says to dock the shell before blind baking it. I know what blind baking is, but what is 'docking'? -Jerry To dock something means to poke it with holes. This is done with flat breads, crackers and pastries when you don't want them to expand too much during baking. It works by... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Is it okay to use extra virgin olive oil to season a pan? - Mary I wouldn't recommend using extra virgin olive oil, simply because you are paying a premium for the extra virgin part. That said, pretty much any cooking oil can be used to season frying pans. I use regular olive oil to season my cast iron pans,... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


How do you convert solid coconut oil weight to fluid ounces? -Marleen In order to know how many fluid ounces there are for a given weight of coconut oil, or any other ingredient, the first thing you need is a conversion factor. It turns out that the USDA has a very helpful tool, called their Nutrient Database (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/index.html). To use... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Chef-Induced Oscillation

When I was learning to be a glider pilot, one of the things I learned about was Pilot-Induced Oscillations (PIOs), which are formally defined as "sustained or uncontrollable oscillations resulting from efforts of the pilot to control the aircraft." Basically, the pilot tries to correct a situation, over-reacts, tries to correct for the over-reaction, and so on, making the matter... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Okra - A Slimy Puzzle

I have a great gumbo recipe, except for the okra, which makes it slimy. Is there any way to prevent the sliminess? -Bob (& Kay) I haven't cooked with okra much, only a time or two, largely because it isn't that common in the produce markets I use, but I know what you mean about sliminess. In Ghostbusters II, singing... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Despite its reputation as being the hallmark of a skilled chef, a beautiful cheese soufflé is surprisingly simple to do, takes very little effort, and wows dinner guests. And, contrary to popular myth, you don't need to tiptoe around the kitchen while it is baking. Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Rising to the Top - Of the Peanut Butter, That Is

How can I remove the oil from the top of a jar of peanut butter? Also, can I use the oil for cooking? - Tony Like you, I suspect, I prefer so-called "natural" peanut butter with no added ingredients over those made with hydrogenated oils and sugar. I find the other stuff gives it an unpleaseant texture and a cloyingly... Read more →




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward