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Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Sichuan Peppercorns?

If you're not familiar with the numbing, tongue-tingling bite of Sichuan peppercorns, they can be a nerve-wracking ingredient to bring into your kitchen. So we asked chefs around the country to show just how versatile this spice can be, and how to incorporate into food well beyond the Sichuan standards, without the pain. More

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Winter Squash?

Winter squashes are some of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to rich, warming comfort dishes; there's so much to do with them beyond the purées and soups we often turn to out of habit. Here, the pros help us use the acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squashes we love so much in new ways. More

How to Taste (and Fall in Love With) Raw Honey

Good raw honey is practically a different product from the "Grade A Amber" plastic bears that line supermarket shelves. Bursting with caramel or butterscotch; fragrant with citrus, minerals, or the intoxicating aromas peonies and jasmine; jammy with berries and currants and dried fruit—that's the kind of honey worth relishing. Here's how to get the most out of it. More

Hey Chef, What Savory Dishes Can I Make With Chocolate?

@SilentRhetoric: "Savory applications for vanilla" is going on the list! I'll try to remember to tag you when it comes out.

Hey Chef, What Savory Dishes Can I Make With Chocolate?

@Scoffier: Hey! A few chefs interviewed did mention mole, actually, but this column focuses on "outside of the box" applications of the ingredients so that we have new ideas at the ready that we might not have thought of before (I wouldn't peg any of these answers as 'trendy', right?). Since mole is probably the most common usage of chocolate in a savory way, I didn't include it.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: What Happens When a Restaurant Dies

@crystalbunny: You made my morning.

@Menkey: Four. I'm with you.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Pickle Brine?

@PizzaDinosaur: A few chefs did talk about drinking it straight or using it in cocktails / picklebacks (though others are SO over picklebacks). This ingredient got more love from chefs than any I've thrown at them so far. But I tried to get a bit more obscure ones or very versatile ones with specific instructions in them. I sheepishly admit to drinking brine straight, too, and once had a client who would drain the brine from hearts of palm jars after I was done with them like it was her job. Yummy stuff.

@smprada: Link fixed! Thanks for pointing it out. My fault.

And I'd say vinegar-based brines are a safe assumption, as I asked them for ideas that would work both with homemade pickles and generic ones bought at any grocer's nationwide. I don't think any of these address acid-less fermentation. Thanks for helping clarify!

How Thanksgiving, the 'Yankee Abolitionist Holiday,' Won Over the South

Loved this. Agree with the "more, please!" comments!

The Food Lab: How to Poach Eggs for a Party

Wish I had known this when a hired cook, too. Bravo.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Tales From Opening Day

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Curry Powder?

@Ocean @tikkal: I got that curried apple butter recipe from Chef Greco for you, updated in the text above!

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Curry Powder?

@huskerchad @Maxfalkowitz: a Curry syrup is coming up when chefs weigh in on curry PASTE!

The Food Lab's Emergency Cooking Kit: How to Fit All the Tools You Need in One Small Box

Agree with the additions of scale, Pyrex 2-cup, microplane and flexible cutting board. I'd throw in a knife sharpener, too. And, if it were a big enough box, a commercial 1/2 sheet pan for baking and roasting veggies. Or two quarters in a smaller box. And a standard English tea pot, because I'm useless with making anything else without loose Earl Gray.

And I'm with you guys on the Y peeler. I feel like I have gorilla mitts for hands when I use one.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Mint?

@akay1: We did one with basil a bit back (click on the HEY CHEF category tag and it'll go to it). The upcoming list is set for a while as we go into more autumn ingredients, but I'll add parsley on for next spring!

Everything You Need to Know About Keeping Bees and Producing Your Own Honey



1) There are certain factors that can increase your chances of getting stung, like wearing certain colognes or eating certain foods (check out Marina's book for her first colony hiving experience involving bees and bananas). It would have been too in depth to put ALL the reasons in here, but those I spoke with mention getting used to it (in general, they weren't saying you could out-grown an allergy).

2) Taking to a new hive basically is reliant on the queen: she's delivered in a "queen cage" (a small box with a sugar cork that she's transported in with 2 attendants), which is placed in the hive until she eats her way out, basically making the hive her home. Swarming to another home happens with the colony runs out of room to store honey, which is why keeping an eye out and making sure they have extra space is vital.

3) I personally have no idea. Hopefully someone here may, but this is where I'd suggest finding a beekeeping group in your neighborhood; they'll not only know about that kind of stuff, but can walk you through the specifics of what to expect in your neck of the woods.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: My Lease Safari

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Honey?

@Red Ran Amber: Gonna have a bit on creamed honey in the third part of our miniseries on honey, when we go into tasting notes, types and honey from around the world. Here's part one, stay tuned! http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/07/how-honey-gets-made-bees.html

The Secret Lives of Honeybees: How Honey Gets Made

@Shayrose thanks for that insight! I have one or two more beekeepers to speak with for the second part of this series, and I'll ask them for tips on affordable ways to collect honey from invasive hives.

The Secret Lives of Honeybees: How Honey Gets Made

@badseed1980 this is the first of a three part series on bees and producing honey. Stay tuned for colony collapse issues in the next, which focuses on beekeeping! I'm now obsessed with this whole process, truly fascinating!

The Best Ice Cream, Gelato, and Soft Serve in NYC

The chocolate peanut butter at formerly-known-as-Lula's was so astoundingly, soul-restoringly delicious that I violently banged the counter in bliss, startling all and completely embarrassing myself. I've been off cow-dairy for decades for health reasons, and never assume to find ice cream I can eat that's relatively natural and whole (meaning using nuts and cleaner sweeteners rather than the highly-processed soy, starch and fillers found in many large-brand alternatives). Psyched for this and Victory to be on my list, and that others without restrictions find them as delicious, too.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Basil?

@opie301: I'll get back to you ASAP on this, thanks!

Chef Stephanie Izard's Kitchen Essentials

@Gumbercules: I'm in the same boat with the Plugra. I had to make a wedding cake on a tiny island in the Caribbean (the process on SE, links in profile), and I almost CRIED when I found Plugra in a grocery store, and cheaper than I get in NYC! Makes a huge difference.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Soy Sauce?

@PSFam: Ponzu sauce is now on the list!! Thanks!

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Dip (aka Magic Shell), Ice Cream's Most Magical Topping

This is my favorite thing in the world today. A mega-fun potentially dairy-free (depending on chocolate) topping for the copious amounts of dairy-free recipes / takes on Max creations coming out of my kitchen this summer? I'm on board. Thanks!

How 3 of New York's Top Pastry Chefs Helped Me Make a Wedding Cake: Part Four

@lawyerjen @samanthaalison: The recipes are now linked in the bottom!

@DavidNY: He was referring to a picture frame leveler, to sit on the top/center of each tier and make sure they were even when stacked. It was more for back-up purposes; he told me eyeballing would most likely be more than adequate.

And thanks everyone! It was a really fun experience :)

What You Should Know About Eating Out With Allergies

@Emimmy: I find specifying what dairy IS can be helpful, as some don't make the connect between milk and cheese, for some reason. In New York this is most often for me when in restaurants where English isn't a first language (I can do this now in a few others:), or anywhere with a younger / less of a career server who I'm unsure of. And send it back and ask again, respectfully of course - they'll learn :)

How 3 of New York's Top Pastry Chefs Helped Me Make a Wedding Cake: Part Three

@IslandGirlBaker: Thanks for being able to commiserate with me on the challenges! As you'll read in part 4 (tomorrow!), I kept my hotel room air conditioned to Arctic temperatures and continually was fridge-ing the layers. The venue didn't have a/c either! Fun fun! And I met some lovely people at the St. Croix Food and Wine experience that offered their mixers and professional kitchens for me next time :) Lessons learned!

@whatandyate: THANK YOU! That's such an appreciated compliment. Ron did jokingly offer me a job :) I saw him last night and he was very proud. We have a sweet little romance going on ;)

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Bitter Greens?

@Revenous! Woohoo! I love it when this website inspires me, too, and feel lucky to get to relay information from the pros. The using of any green to make a pesto is definitely something I'll be utilizing in the coming months when I've over pruned my basil!

@AnnieNT: would love to know your methods / ratio for this. I don't pickle enough, but I love pickled cabbages and such, so have a feeling I'd love greens in the same manner.

@LaurieP: I wonder if they were mustard greens? I eat them often and haven't found them spicy much... but maybe this is the case of several variations of a green? @Ben Jay did a great piece on Asian greens and may be a good reference for us to find out: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/asian-green-guide.html

The Tea Cup and the Dragon: Secrets of China's Favorite Green Tea

When outsiders try to learn about tea, they're usually stymied by the industry's mindboggling complexity, and a marketplace rife with misinformation and counterfeit product doesn't do much to help. That's why I've made the journey to one of China's tea capitals: to learn how and why this little leaf from a plain-looking shrub drives a whole economy wild. More

The Serious Eats Field Guide to Asian Greens

When you walk into the produce section of your local Asian supermarket, you'll probably be greeted by a dazzling but daunting display of unusual greens. They're all great, and easy to cook, but it helps to be armed with some knowledge to tell your shoots from your choys. More

We Chat With: Our Favorite Quotes from Chefs This Year

We've been interviewing some of New York's most interesting chefs—24 and counting—and often get asked if we encounter a lot of ego and attitude. For the most part, the answer is a resounding "no!" Instead, we've found extremely passionate, focused, humble, close-to-Type-A personalities who, more than anything, believe in creating delicious food and connecting with it to other people. Here are some of our favorite remarks from those interviews. More