I'm a huge fan of recipes, and while I love adapting them, I equally enjoy following the exact instructions. However, the other day I had a random realization: I never measure salt or pepper. Even if a recipe calls for a specific amount, I prefer to season to taste. How about you? Do you take the time to measure salt and pepper if a recipe calls for it?
This week, I attended the first session of the 25th annual Chefs' Holidays, a monthlong culinary event that takes place at The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, CA, each Winter. The celebrity chef-studded affair, which included kitchen tours, cooking lessons, and a blowout gala dinner, proved to be as educational as it was recreational.
One of the highlights was a cooking demonstration led by headliner David Kinch. The James Beard-nominated chef (who defeated Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America!) is the brainchild behind Manresa, the Los Gatos, CA-based restaurant at the forefront of California cuisine. But despite his haute background, Kinch focused much of his lesson on one simple principle: season properly. Learn the chef's rules for seasoning when you read more.
I've always thought white pepper has a funky smell, but figured it was just me. So when lauren wrote in to ask about white pepper's unpleasant odor, it was a revelation. I had no idea anyone else felt the same way!
Unlike its black counterpart, white pepper can possess a medicinal or barnyard-like smell. Although white pepper and black pepper originate from the same berries, black peppercorns are harvested before the berries have fully ripened. White peppercorns, on the other hand, have been fully ripened, soaked, fermented for up to two weeks, and then hulled.
According to food science expert Harold McGee, these off-flavors will develop during the fermentation process if the peppercorns have not been properly maintained in constantly flowing water. Before seasoning a dish with white pepper, taste it to make sure it doesn't exhibit any unpleasantness.
I've got an undeniable affinity for all things spicy, and I put freshly ground black pepper on just about everything. But without fail, when I season a dish with salt and pepper, I resist the great urge to sneeze. Pepper makes me sneeze so much that merely looking at the picture has me thinking a sneeze is coming on! So why does pepper prompt such a strong physical reaction? As it turns out, the piquant flavor that we love so much in pepper is also the reason why the spice makes us sneeze. Pepper contains piperine, a fiery irritant that inflames the nerve endings that reside inside our noses. Sneezing is an innate reflex reaction to this chemical in pepper, as a way to rid your nasal passages of this compound. Got a burning question? Contact us. Source
Like Rachael Ray's garbage bowl, the shape and form of these salt and pepper shakers ($19.95) are instantly recognizable thanks to celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. On her shows, Lawson uses a variety of whimsical and unique cooking tools, such as her mezzaluna or handle-less salad tongs. Naturally all of these products are available to the public at the Food Network store.
I like how they're holders rather than shakers, but can't help but wonder if it's all a marketing scheme. Does Nigella really use a similar product in her home? Thoughts?
The other day I was browsing Shopstyle Living when I came across these disturbingly ugly wind-up bird salt and pepper shakers. Seeing these circusy, clown-like shakers on a dinner table might scare me. And "Please pass me the pepper" becomes, "Please wind up the pepper birdie and send it rolling over," which is fun, but could be dangerous. What if the bird is too wound up, flies right off the table, and spills salt all over the floor? Am I the only one who finds these shakers revoltingly tacky? What do you think?
Last night, the soup I made was a little off in the seasonings. I'm pretty sure it's because my new kitchen doesn't have a pepper grinder! My kitchen is far from being complete, but I can't function one more day without freshly ground black pepper. Luckily I asked you to help me find one. You scoured the internet for a pepper grinder that is easy to turn when hands are wet, and grinds a good amount of pepper with each turn. You saved the mills in the Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keyword tag Pepper Grinder.
I really love the lime green pepper mill that gruaig_rua discovered, but I haven't decided the color scheme for my new kitchen yet. That's why I think this classic stainless steel pepper grinder — also found by gruiag_rua — is perfect instead. It's functional, but fashionable and will fit into any kitchen's decor.
Take a look at all the fabulous finds by scrolling to the right below.
For more on the bookmarking function please refer to geeksugar's helpful how to.
I saw this lover-ly salt and pepper shaker set from industrial designer Corina Garona and just had to find out what you guys think. The inner blob is the salt shaker and the outer is pepper. They'd look great in a minimalist environment, but I think they're organic enough to blend in to other settings. What do you guys think? Love it or hate it?