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Top 10 Secrets Of Great Chefs: Meat To Beans

Updated on December 29, 2009

So you just inhaled the best dessert ever. Or maybe you're still waking up in the middle of the night... your mouth watering from dreams of the most scrumptious four-course meal. Ever asked yourself how your favorite restaurant prepares such perfect culinary creations? If between bites you find yourself wondering, "How'd they do that?" you should know that there are some tips and tricks used by some of the world's best (and richest and most famous) chefs that will help bring that professional Michelin starred exquisite and delectable flavor to your own kitchen no matter where you are.

Meat Ar-rest

It doesn't matter if you pan fry it, BBQ it, oven bake it, or any other application of dry heat, the single best thing you can do for any meat when you pull it off the heat is let it rest! When the meat is searing hot and you cut into it, all the juice (and flavor) will pour out, leaving dry stringy chewy junk behind. Even the thinnest steak should rest for 5 minutes, and with larger roasts, up to 20 minutes are suggested.

Maaaaaaaaaaahvelous Mashed Potatoes

There's more to America's favorite side dish than you may think: Make them with Yukon gold potatoes. These are like potatoes that already have butter in them and the world's best diet tip. Yukon golds are custom-built for mashed potatoes. Cut the potatoes into pieces so they cook faster. Once they're soft, immediately remove them from the water before they got waterlogged (this prevents them from getting grainy). Try using a food mill for the pureeing. Do it quickly so they stay hot. Add hot cream, butter, some kosher salt and a small amount of white pepper (it becomes strong easily). Fold with a large rubber spatula, so as to not overmix. Overmixing or adding cold ingredients makes them gluey. Enjoy!

Beans Beans Good For Your Heart, The More You Eat The More You...

Cooking beans is an art form. Soak them first and discard the soaking water. Make sure when you soak the beans that you use cool water in an amount that is two times their volume. They must all be submerged through the entire soaking period or you will have most of your beans soft and silky, and the ones that were not submerged will be hard as rocks. Remember to add your flavorings at the beginning of cooking (crispy bacon, ham hocks, onions, bay leaves, garlic, cumin and coriander). Simmer the beans gently so as to not break the skins. Add the salt when the beans are 90 percent cooked. Adding salt earlier will result in beans that seem to never cook. In the end, the skins will also be tough. Adding the salt when they're close to done will also allow them to better absorb the salt. Then take about five percent of the beans and their liquid, puree then in a blender and add them back in. This makes a creamy sauce that everyone loves.

Continued in Top 10 Secrets Of Great Chefs: Fish & Seafood


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