Sara's Kitchen Revelations

Turkey Roasting Discoveries

March 19th, 2010  |  Filed under Useful Info
Let me explain. First the dry brine idea. Cook’s Illustrated, the magazine that has been in the forefront of brining (because many years ago Pam Anderson, their food editor, ran a recipe for brining a turkey after she discovered it in one of Jean Anderson’s cookbooks. Jean had learned this method on one of her trips to Portugal and unfortunately, neither Pam nor Jean get the proper credit for introducing America to this amazing process), featured a recipe for dry… more »


Wonton Skins

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
One of my favorite “secret” ingredients is prepared wonton skins. They are found in the freezer section of the supermarket and occasionally in the refrigerated section. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and cook up just like fresh Italian pasta. I keep them in my freezer to make “homemade” ravioli or lasagna as well as wontons or Asian dumplings.… more »


Wondra Flour

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
When I am sautéing a piece of fish, chicken or other protein and I want to dip it in flour, I now reach for Wondra flour. Wondra is the kind of flour my grandmother used to use to thicken gravies. According to The Nutrition Bible… by Jean Anderson and Barbara Deskins this kind of flour “has been moistened and dried into granules that blend instantly in hot and cold liquids. Though a good choice for cooks who can’t get the more »


Rick's Picks

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
The memory of pickling dilly beans in Vermont with his parents in the 1970s inspired Rick Field to begin making pickles in his Brooklyn apartment in 1997. After lots of research, he began turning vegetables from the local farmers’ market into a creative collection of award-winning pickles with names you won’t forget. Today you can pick up Windy City Wasa Beans, Phat Beets, Smokra, Whup Asp, Slices of Life, and lots more at gourmet stores, the Union Square Market in… more »


Kenyon's Johnny Cake Corn Meal

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
Kenyon’s Grist Mill in South Kingston, Rhode Island has been producing stone-ground cornmeal for traditional New England Johnny cakes since 1886. In a site that has been a Grist Mill since the early 1700s, they slowly grind all their whole-grain meals and flours with the original granite millstones to produce an exceptional texture. The products are available in grocery stores across Southern New England, gourmet shops, and directly from the mill by visiting their web site, www.kenyonsgristmill.com, or calling 800-7-KENYON.… more »


Jamison Farms

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
Thinking about lamb? Take a look at the first choice of chefs and food writers. In rural Pennsylvania, the Jamisons raise about 5,000 lambs a year on a 100% natural diet. A variety of cuts of fresh lamb as well as stews, soups, sausages, pies and other prepared foods are available by mail at www.jamisonfarm.com or by calling 800-237-5262.… more »


Organic Nectars 100% Raw Agave Syrup

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
At one of my stops when I was on Book Tour, Lisa Protter of Organic Nectars gave me a sample of their raw agave syrup to taste. She told me that the all-natural, unrefined syrup is unprocessed, chemical-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, certified organic, certified kosher, and is low glycemic, making it suitable for adults who are monitoring their sugar or have food allergies. I was immediately interested because I get frequent e-mails from people who have or are cooking for… more »


Smoked Paprika

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
A few years ago American chefs and food writers started using smoked paprika in their recipes and you’ll be surprised how much flavor a little of this special seasoning can bring to a dish. Available in sweet, bittersweet, or hot, smoked paprika is made in Spain from peppers that are dried slowly over an oak-burning fire for several weeks. It can be used anywhere you would use regular paprika and in addition, can bring the flavor usually associated with smoked… more »


Les Lavandes Pumpkin Seed Oil

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Favorite Ingredients
Pumpkin Seed Oil makes a welcome gift for food lovers any time of the year. Arnabal International is the importer of a selection of essential oils, flavored oils, balsamic vinegars, and flavored vinegars that are created in Provence by a chef-owned company, Trois Etoiles. The nutty, roasted flavor and spicy aroma of the rich, dark pumpkin seed oil makes it a distinctive addition to salads, soups, and poultry dishes. The products are available in gourmet shops nationwide or go to… more »


Flat Whisk

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Kitchen Tools
My favorite tool for making smooth gravy is a flat whisk. Unlike the usual balloon whisk, it fits easily into the edge of the pan and allows you to loosen the flour and thickened gravy that collects there. The 8 sturdy stainless steel wires are strong enough to deglaze a roasting pan and make a roux, yet flexible enough to whip the lumps out of gravy in no time. Flat whisks are available in cookware shops and at many sites… more »


Citrus Juicer

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Kitchen Tools
Several years ago, I rediscovered these easy-to-use, color-coded lemon, lime, and orange squeezers. Made of sturdy die-cast aluminum with an optional baked-on finish these squeezers turn citrus halves inside out to give you an incredible amount of juice without the seeds. They can be stored in a kitchen drawer, are easy to clean, and dishwasher safe. Prices vary from $12.95 to $15.95 depending upon finish and size. They are available in kitchenware stores nationwide and by mail from Broadway Panhandler.… more »


Double Skewers

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Kitchen Tools
The skewers I use on the show, which are my favorites, were invented by my friend Elizabeth Karmel, who has a wonderful website called www.Girlsatthegrill.com. She used to work for a company that manufactures grills and is my go to person about everything related to grilling. You can find them at LaPrimaShops.com.… more »


Molcajete

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Kitchen Tools
You’ve seen them in Mexican restaurants. Made of volcanic rock, this Mexican version of a mortar and pestle can be used for grinding all sorts of ingredients but is most often used for preparing and serving guacamole. Available in many gourmet kitchen equipment shops, they are available by mail from Williams-Sonoma.… more »


Food Cubers

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Kitchen Tools
With the arrival of harvest time, I have started getting e-mails about the clever little containers I use for freezing measured amounts of stock and other leftover foods. They are perfect for freezing measured amounts of fruits and vegetables from your garden or the farmers’ market. While you can put things in resealable zip lock bags or in ice cube trays, if you try this kitchen gadget called “food cubers” which I discovered several years ago when we were doing… more »


Being Left Handed

March 18th, 2010  |  Filed under Useful Info
I get a lot of questions about being left handed and how it affects the way I do things. Actually, it doesn’t affect me at all. There are several inconveniences I have to suffer of course because this is a right handed world. Every time I have to sign one of those charge it machines at the supermarket the pen is on the wrong side and it is a tad awkward. Ditto day planners and journals where the center fasteners… more »