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Dear Readers,

Letters to the Editor welcomes your comments, questions, criticisms and suggestions. Looking for a specific recipe or trying to find a product? Please don't send those requests as a Letter to the Editor—we receive too many individual requests to reply to all of them here. Try our Message Boards or our Search page first.

If you would like to write a Letter to the Editor use our feedback form.

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Thanks.

- The Editors

 

Kate's Mailbag

Hi Kate,

Just discovered Global Gourmet & love it. Could you please define what "pan roasting" means to you. It's a term I often see on menus and I'm not sure what the method is. Thanks for your help.

Regards,

JWW
DjangoV@[email-address-removed]

 
Dear JWW,

Pan roasting basically uses a skillet to cook foods on high heat, with little oil. This results in a nicely browned exterior, known as caramelization, a process which also occurs in oven roasting, where foods are surrounded by hot, dry heat. Caramelization involves cooking the natural sugars in meats and vegetables until they brown and deepen in flavor. In my book Cooking with Kids For Dummies, my 7-chapter tutorial on the basics of cooking is a great resource for adults teaching kids to cook, as well as a handy reference for any cook. Here's what I say about "caramelization"—which is essential to successful pan roasting and oven roasting:

- You need a high, dry heat to caramelize, and using an oil or other fat helps reach the desired temperature (moist heat, such as steam, won't work). You can do this by sautéing and frying, and the techniques of roasting, broiling, and grilling.

- The key to caramelizing foods is to let the surface cook uninterrupted until it begins to brown. Don't keep lifting the food and moving it around—the sugars will never get hot enough or concentrated enough to caramelize.

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

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Chicken

Dear Ms. Heyhoe,

I just found your website and have greatly enjoyed reading it already. My husband & I lived in Korea about 10 years ago and I especially enjoy reading about your experiences. The idea of having a translator on a trip sounds wonderful. Korean was too difficult to attempt during our short life there ("How much does this cost?" and "Chap Chay Bop? (sp?)" were our stock phrases, along with pointing a lot). Strangely enough, I taught English there even though I could not speak Korean. We found S. Korea a very fascinating place.

I am intrigued by your Succulent Chinese Chicken recipe. Several of my cookbooks recommend this method, however, they are not nearly as new as your book & I'm wondering about food safety (we have young children). Is the method sufficient for killing the bad germs/bacteria/whatever or do we just have to know that this is a risk? Thank you in advance,

Sincerely,

Rebecca
mongospecs*compuserve.com

 
Dear Rebecca,

A great question, but rest assured, there's absolutely *no* risk in serving the Succulent Chinese Chicken to your kids or anyone. The chicken cooks through completely, but because it's simmered for a short time before resting in the hot liquid, it cooks much more gently than being rapidly boiled, which tends to dry out and leach the natural juices from the chicken. Try the recipe and you'll see that the chicken is perfectly opaque inside, a visual sign of thorough cooking. And I guarantee you'll start using this method whenever you need poached chicken meat or a good soup. By the way, this recipe for Succulent Chinese Chicken is from my book Cooking with Kids For Dummies. (Do be sure to avoid cross-contamination with raw poultry by thoroughly washing hands, utensils and cutting boards before they come in contact with other foods.)

Enjoy!

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

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Hi Kate,

Make it easier for us to find kid recipes for Home Ec.!!! Important!

Half Moon Bay (California) Library Public Access hmb*pls.lib.ca.us

 
Dear Half Moon Bay student,

I suggest you buy my book Cooking with Kids For Dummies. You can find sample recipes and purchase it at cookingwithkids.com. You can also use the Search feature at globalgourmet.com to explore different types of recipes.

Thanks for asking!

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

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Dear Global Gourmet,

My class is researching seeds. One student brought in pine nuts (Pignoli—pine nut). We are not sure what plant this nut comes from. Do you know?

susan_c*gjcs.k12.in.us

 
Dear Susan,

Pine nuts come from the pine cones of several varieties of pine trees. The cones have to be heated to remove the pine nuts, making them very expensive. The Italian pine nut comes from the stone pine, but they also grow in other types of pines found in China, Mexico, North Africa and the Southwestern US. They make good eating!

Best,

Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

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Hi Kate!

I love your yummy-healthy-conscious recipes. I copied the 15-Minute Potato Salad recipe but missed the grainy mustard sauce. How can I get it from the internet. Thanks in advance for your kindness.

Norma Perez
normap*netcom.ca

 
Dear Norma,

Thanks for the kind words. If you enjoy my cooking as much as you say, you should buy my book, Cooking with Kids For Dummies -- it's packed with great tips, quick and healthy recipes, and fun time-savers (even if you don't have kids, the recipes are meant for all members of the family and it even includes a basic cooking tutorial!).

The Grainy Mustard Sauce is contained within the online recipe for 15-Minute Potato Salad

Be well!

Kate
The Global Gourmet

Waiter

 

Chocolate Tasting

Dear Global Gourmet,

Is there such a thing as a Chocolate Tasting, much as there is with wine? For instance, what complimentary foods and beverages should be served? How should one "clean" one's palate between chocolates? Is there an order within which the different chocolates should be tasted? Is there a list of what tasters should be judging (i.e., color, texture, sweetness, bitterness, wax factor, after taste)? Is there a preferred temperature? Any suggestions as to where I might find such answers?

Eric Rigney
coloratura*earthlink.net

 
Hello Eric,

I write the I Love Chocolate column for The Global Gourmet, and your question was forwarded to me. A chocolate tasting party is a great idea, and I'll give you information on the "how-to's" below:

 
Holding a Chocolate (and Champagne) Tasting

Note: Much of this information is adapted from a passage in Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet, by Lora Brody (The Stephen Greene Press/Pelham Books: New York, 1990).

Ms. Brody suggests that you can have your guests dress up for this occasion. I don't think that's absolutely necessary, but I do think it'd be great fun for a New Year's Eve party.

Ms. Brody serves champagnes/sparkling wines in order from lightest to heaviest . She suggests the following:

1. Freixenet Cordon Negro, or Seguras Vuidas, 1977
2. Francoise Monopole Blanc de Blanc, non vintage
3. Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noir, non vintage
4. Billecart Salmon, non vintage, or Deutz Rose, 1975
5. Taittanger, non vintage, or Jouet Perrier, non vintage
6. Laurent Perrier, or Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin, both non vintage

She adds that you can either taste the champagnes first, take a break, then taste the chocolates; do the reverse; or intersperse the two. Of course, if you want to do just a chocolate tasting, that's perfectly fine.

For the chocolates themselves, first decide whether you want to stick to one type (all milk, all bittersweet, etc.) or whether you want to try several types. Ms. Brody points out that people don't need huge samples to taste (a one-and-one-half-inch square is large enough), and that she usually includes 6 to 8 dark chocolates (bittersweet, semisweet, and sweet dark), 3 or 4 milk chocolates, and 2 white chocolates in a tasting. Be sure to have lots of cold or ice water for people to drink; if you want to be more technically correct about it, people should cleanse their palates by eating a piece of a saltine cracker with an unsalted top, then drinking water, after every sample they taste.

Give each chocolate an identifying code (if you're tasting 12 chocolates, for example, you can either number them 1 to 12 or make up a random three-digit or three-letter code for each, such as "865" or "BGW"). Break or cut up the chocolates, and put each into a plastic bag with the corresponding code taped on the outside. Make a list of all the chocolates you use, including brand, code, stating whether it's milk, dark, etc., which country produces it, ingredient, weight of the bar, and cost. Keep this information and the chocolate labels for those who have any further questions. I'd recommend tasting chocolates in order from lightest to darkest, as I don't think anyone can judge a white chocolate fairly if they've just sampled a bittersweet! Ms. Brody takes 12-inch paper plates and writes in magic marker around the rim the different codes; guests are instructed to taste each sample, then put the rest down by the corresponding code on the plate so they can re-taste it if they wish. When all of the chocolates have been tasted, you can share the brands (and any other requested information) with your guests.

As far as brands--oh, boy! There are so many these days I hardly know how to tell you where to start. But I'll give you a list of recommendations, and you can choose from among them. For information on where to find these chocolates, please refer to the November 1999 edition of my "I Love Chocolate" column; if you're holding your tasting before November, please get back to me and I'll send you the information before then. These chocolates are listed by brands, in no particular order: Lindt, Merckens, Valrhona, Callebaut, Peter's, Guittard, Scharffen Berger (semisweet and bittersweet only), Van Leer, Carma, Chocovic, Tobler, Cadbury, Maillard Eagle Sweet (sweet dark chocolate only, I think), Ghirardelli, Godiva, Michel Cluizel, Cacao Barry, Omanhene (a dark milk chocolate only), Cote D'Or, El Rey. Hope this is helpful; the above guidelines are quite flexible, of course. Have a great tasting!

Best regards,
Stephanie Zonis
sdziadwm@[email-address-removed]

 

Newsletter

Dear Madam / Sir,

I'd like a subscription to your email eGG-Roll newsletter please.

I think Global Gourmet is fantastic !!!

Thanks alot.

All the best from...

Elisabeth Kreide
EKreide@[email-address-removed]

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Dear Global Gourmet,

Please subscribe me to your eGG-Roll newsletter. And thank you for your duck recipe, it was excellent.

Jerry and Pazit
ak468*prodigy.net

 
Dear Jerry & Pazit,

Not sure which duck recipe you referred to, but we have many. Enter the word "duck" via the Search link on our site to locate recipes.

The Global Gourmet

 

Guessaholics

Dear Global Gourmet,

Your contest is so much fun, I would enter it even if you didn't give away such great prizes!! Thanks again,

Betty Arnold
BetsinBtown*webtv.net

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Dear Global Gourmet,

I love the Gourmet Guess quiz and site.

Janell Rosenberg
Englewood CO
rosey*idcomm.com

 

Previous Letters to the Editor

 

This page created November 1999


 


 
 

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