Only 12 Thursdays Left until Christmas!

As the temperatures drop a bit and leaves begin to fall, attention turns to…OMG…Christmas!

Can you believe it?  Today is only 12 more ThursDAYS ‘til Christmas??  Yep, Thursday, December 25.    I was at dinner last night with a friend who told me that she has most of her holiday shopping done….already!!!  I certainly felt behind.

So, to help all of you early shoppers out there, here are just a few ideas for the chefs on your 2014 list, based on budgets: [Read more…]

A “key” that will age your wine, great hostess gift!

All of our friends love the Peugeot clef du vin wine key!   After an initial bit of skepticism, a quick taste test convinced everyone.   The wine key  “ages” a glass of wine by one year for every second you leave the key in the wine.   For $79.95, that’s a great deal.

We tried the Clef du Vin was with a mid-priced, two year-old Italian red that we should have waited another three to five years to drink.  Amazing.   In 5 seconds the wine was great.  No need to use it in cooking.

We even used it on cheap wines, including a box wine.  The box wine tasted a bit better, but the Clef du Vin could not improve it by much.  Alas, it’s not a magic wand!    We even bring the Clef du Vin to restaurants, so we can buy a slightly younger wine (at a better price) and age it over dinner!  As it’s the size of a keychain, carrying it is never an issue.

This wonderful wine key is great for a hostess gift for New Years parties!  Only $79.95.

Made in America: USA Bakeware

USA Bakeware Cookie SheetI love this USA Pan bakeware.  Food just slides right off making cleanup very easy instead of a chore!  We’ve been involved in the food business for eons.  We’ve tried lots of different types of bakeware from many different companies.  USA Pan tops them all!  You can feel the strength of the pan as soon as you hold it.  We love the fact that you never hear it “ping” in the oven as you do with bakeware that is too thin.   The color of this bakeware is also light enough that your baking treats don’t over brown or bake too quickly, as can be the case with “dark” bakeware.

[Read more…]

Victorinox Cutlery Review & Guide

I am an avid reader of cooking magazines.  I love the photos, enjoy reading the recipes (even if I’ll never make them) and of course, really appreciate the product reviews.  My fav is Cooks Illustrated because of their  somewhat “scientific” and logical approach to making the best possible recipe as well as thoroughly testing products.   But, I can be skeptical, especially when it comes to knives.   We all have our favorites, so trying a new knife isn’t at the top of my list.  However, I keep reading about Victorinox Forschner or Victorinox Fibrox knives, so I decided it was time to try one.

[Read more…]

MetroKitchen Glossary: Cooking Terms Part 1

MetroKitchen experts often get questions about the definition of a variety of words or descriptions related to cooking. We thought you might find a glossary of cooking terms to be helpful. Since there are soooo many terms, we’ll do a few blogs to make it easy. ​If we’ve missed a cooking-related word that you’ve always wondered about, please let us know and we’ll add that to our glossary!

Our first in our cooking term series covers A to B. Next week, check out C thru F.

Au gratin – foods with a browned or crusted top: often made by browning a food with a bread crumb, cheese, and/or sauce topping under a broiler or salamander.

Bain MarieBain marie – a hot water bath used to gently cook food or keep cooked food hot; a container for holding food in a hot water bath.

Barding – tying thin slices of fat, such as bacon or pork fatback, over meats or poultry that have little to no natural fat covering in order to protect and moisten them during roasting.

Béarnaise – a sauce made of butter and egg yolks and flavored with a reduction of vinegar, shallots, tarragon and peppercorns.

Béchamel – a leading or mother sauce made by thickening milk with a white roux and adding seasonings.

Blanching – very briefly6 and partially cooking a food in a boiling water or hot fat; usually used to assist preparation (for example, to loosen peels from vegetables), as part of a combination cooking method, to remove undesirable flavors or to prepare a food for freezing.

Bordelaise – a brown sauce flavored with a reduction of red wine, shallots, pepper, and herbs and garnished with marrow.

Braising – a combination cooking method in which foods are first browned in hot fat, then covered and slowly cooked in a small amount of liquid over low heat; braising uses a combination of simmering and steaming to transfer heat from the liquid (conduction) and the air (convection) to the foods

Broiling – a dry-heat cooking method in which foods are cooked by heat radiating from an overhead source

Butter Flying – slicing boneless meat, fish or shrimp nearly in half so that they spread open like a book; used to increase surface area and speed cooking.

Please tell us if you’d like us to add other cooking terms to the MetroKitchen cooking glossary.