ask rach: food & cooking
food and cooking questions
What is the difference between a rice cooker and a slow cooker?
They are not one in the same but you don't need both because your oven is a slow cooker! If you cook something stove-top in a Dutch oven, you can then just transfer it to the oven at a low heat (275-325°F) and slow braise anything for hours. "
How do you clean a hand grater after grating garlic?
We throw ours in the dishwasher or you could use soap and water. "
What spices should I use for making a great steak?
Kosher salt, lots of black pepper, olive oil, fresh herbs and minced garlic. "
What determines which kind of pots and pans are used for cooking?
There are no rules. Use what you like! If you don’t use non-stick, you may need additional oil, butter, or cooking fat of some kind. Mine come in stainless steel, hard anodized, porcelain enamel … there are a ton of varieties but no set rules! "
What’s the difference between EVOO and regular olive oil?
Most grocery store EVOO is thin enough for cooking but real expensive fruity EVOO is too heavy for high temperatures, so use that for dipping or as a dressing. "
Is there a way to salvage meat with freezer burn?
Nope! Time to throw it out. "
How do you personally not cry while cutting onions?
I do cry! Who cares. There are lots of things you can try to do to prevent crying, but I say just cut the onions and throw ‘em in the pan. "
I was just curious, do you narrate as you cook at home? It occurred to me that with all of your shows and talking your audience through cooking, are you able to turn it off when you cook at home for your self and your family or do you find yourself talking through recipes as you cook?
- Sandy from Arizona City, AZ
No, I am very quiet when I am home. John and I often cook together. We talk when we eat; we try not to talk when our mouths are full. We want to be able to hear the music or Law and Order in the background."
Do you have a favorite pizza place in New York?
- Dave from Nashville, TN
A few! Lombardi's, Una Pizza Napolitana, Gabby's (they won best pizza in NY on our show). As for John, he likes a slice from Joe's (on Bleeker and 6th Avenue)."
What was the very first meal you cooked for your family by yourself?
- Shirlie from Kodiak, AL
I made lasagna roll ups with spinach filling and gorgonzola sauce for my mom. Paired it with mimosas - yuck! But, I was 11 or 12 so I didn't know much about wine pairing! I knew she liked mimosas on Sundays. The recipe is in my first kids book, Cooking Rocks!"
I noticed in several of your recipes both in your cookbooks and on the internet you use cubanelle peppers. Is there a substitute for this ingredient? I can't seem to find them in my area.
- Sharon from Oceanside, CA
You can use any mild peppers. Sometimes cubanelle peppers are marked Italian peppers or mild frying peppers. They should be easy to find in any large chain store."
Whenever I microwave baked potatoes they are hard in the middle. What is the best way to microwave them? Thanks for your time! You rock!!
- Amy from Columbia, TN
Poke a few holes in the top of the potatoes with a fork and try microwaving them for 7 - 9 minutes on high."
When you use salt in cooking, which salt do you use? Table salt, sea salt, or kosher salt?
- Turh from Wallingford, CT
I use Kosher salt and sea salt."
Now that EVOO has made it into the dictionary, what made-up word of yours would be next on your list to have added?
- Rebecca from Encino, CA
Yum-O, of course!"
Hey Rach, did you always want to be a cook when you were growing up? Or did you ever have another career goal in mind?
- Chris from Queens, NY
I grew up in the restaurant business, I didn't really think about it one way or another. I had another career as a food buyer."
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