1. Food

Gourmet Cooking Techniques

Gourmet cooking doesn't need to be difficult. Once you understand some basic cooking techniques, you'll be creating five-star meals like a pro.

How to Peel an Avocado
Fresh avocado is a real treat. Eat it plain, as guacamole, or in your favorite recipe. Here are is a simple technique for peeling an avocado and removing the pit (with photos).

Easy Duck Confit
You have probably heard of duck confit before but may not know how to prepare it or even what it is exactly. Duck Confit is a centuries old French method of preserving meat. The leg of the duck is salted (sometimes with additional herbs), then slowly cooked in its own fat.

How to Cut a Pineapple
Fresh cut pineapple is much more flavorful than the canned variety. There is more than one way to peel a pineapple. Here is my preferred method for peeling and cutting a pineapple accompanied by step-by-step photos.

How to Cut Open a Pomegranate
Pomegranates are in season during the fall and winter months. The edible seeds (actually called arils, the tiny seed is surrounded by a juice sac) and juice, which have a wonderful sweet flavor, are great for cooking or enjoying on their own. Here is one method of cutting open a pomegranate that minimizes the mess and gives you the greatest...

How to Make Gnocchi
Gnocchi (pronounced nyoh-kee) is Italian for dumplings. Traditionally it is made from potatoes and flour. Eggs or cheese are often added. The gnocchi is shaped into balls, cooked in boiling water, and served with butter, Parmesan, or any number of sauces. The dough can also be chilled and then baked or fried.

How to Make Fresh Pasta
Making your own pasta is a skill every cook should now. It's a very simple process and uses only three ingredients. Your dinner guests, however, will be deservedly impressed. Let me show you how easy it is with my step-by-step recipe.

How to Make Fresh Ravioli
Ravioli doesn't have to being boring kid stuff from a can. Once you learn the basics, you can fill your ravioli with anything you can imagine from sweet, cheesy concoctions to savory meats or even dessert raviolis. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions for a meal sure to impress your family or guests.

Making Crepes
Making crepes at home is as easy as cooking pancakes. You don't need a special crepe pan, either, a small nonstick pan will work just fine. Here is my simple step-by-step method for making crepes. The accompanying photos will show you exactly how to create these delicious treats for your guests or family.

How to Prepare an Artichoke
You love artichokes. You may have been tempted to buy raw artichokes in the produce section of the supermarket. But how do you turn a giant green pinecone-looking vegetable into the delectable little morsels of artichoke heart? It's really quite simple and here is a step-by-step method to show you how. You'll be pleasantly rewarded with the...

Cooking With Edible Flowers
Many varieties of flowers are edible and, in fact, taste wonderful. Adding flowers to a dish can add color, taste, and an unexpected surprise for your dinner guests. There are, however, a few rules you should follow before tossing in some flowers from your garden into tonight’s salad: 1. Positively identify the flower you want to use. 2. Make sure the flower is free of chemicals and bugs. 3. The flower should taste good and compliment the dish you wish to add it to.

How to Sharpen a Knife
Keeping your kitchen knives sharp is an important skill that every cook should know. Not only do sharp knives make your cutting tasks easier but they are also much safer than dull knives. Here is a quick and easy lesson to keep that knife honed to a razor edge.

Poaching: Simple, Low-Fat, and Flavorful
Poaching is a simple technique for cooking dishes that are flavorful and low-fat. Let me show you how easy this method is and enjoy some wonderful dishes in the process.

How to Open an Oyster
Raw oysters on the half shell are a culinary treat that everyone should experience at least once in their lives, hopefully several times. The only way to properly ensure that your oysters are fresh is to open them yourself. Opening oysters is really a quite simple task, although it does take a bit of practice. Always start with oysters that...

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