What foods are you scared to attempt in the kitchen? In honor of Halloween, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst tries to exorcise a few common culinary phobias. She brings Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson her takes on fried chicken, chocolate soufflé and apple pie.
There are a few tricks (and many treats) to frying chicken. Ask your butcher to cut the bird into eight to 10 pieces so you are not frying huge pieces.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
Serve with hot pepper sauce and/or lemon wedges and plenty of napkins. Serves 4.
Over and over I hear that home cooks are “scared” to make pie crust. Some of the comments: “It always flakes apart,” or, “Mine tastes like cardboard.”
I, too, used to shy away from making pie crust. But then I realized that it was actually crazy easy.
Body temperature can be a problem. If you tend to run hot, you want to be very careful about overhandling the pastry. My solution? Work with a food processor. By letting the machine gently pulse the dough, I barely handle it at all. The butter needs to be well chilled and the water needs to be ice cold — I add one or two ice cubes to cold water to get it icy cold!
I promise you that, despite soufflé’s image of being a fussy, difficult dish, this recipe is very straightforward. There are, however, a few tricks.
One is preparing your baking dish: Whether you use small ramekins, a traditional soufflé dish or an ovenproof skillet, be sure to butter the bottom and sides of the dish, making sure the sugar coats all the sides. Also, you want to whip the egg whites on medium speed — not high — to incorporate as much air as possible.
Be patient. And most important of all, have everyone sitting down, spoons ready to eat as soon as the soufflé comes out of the oven. The dramatic “ooh-la-la” rise will not last long. You can serve with vanilla-scented whipped cream, but you really don’t need it.
You can make the soufflé batter and let it sit, unrefrigerated, for up to an hour before baking. Serves 5 to 6.
*Use 4 whole eggs plus 1 egg white.