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The Splendid Table
This Week's Episode
How to clean clams and mussels before cooking
To clean mollusks scrub their shells and submerge them in a bowl of ice water, salt and cornmeal.
What to use as a substitute for alcohol
Cooking without alcohol? Substitute vinegar, broth and maybe a little butter.
What is the best way to hard boil an egg?
Dear Lynne, Why is it so difficult to hard boil an egg? I get a green ring around the yolk, or I peel the egg and take half the white with it.
How should the butcher prepare my cow?
Buying part of a cow? Here is what to tell the butcher.
To adapt low kitchen counters, stack butcher block cutting boards
Collect big, thick butcher block cutting boards and stack them to the height that is right for you.
How to (graciously) pay for your portion of the bill when dining out
If your dining companions won't let you pay for your portion of the bill, try explaining your situation. If that doesn't work, offer to buy them wine in exchange for the meal.
4 types of pears and what to do with them
With the heirloom trend, a lot of new (at least to us) pears are showing up in markets, but what you will always find is the standard quartet.
Frozen Olive Oil
If your olive oil freezes, it's still OK to use.
How to make store-bought, slice-and-bake cookies more gourmet
To dress up store-bought cookie dough, there are two approaches: before baking and after baking.
What's the difference between a skillet, a fry pan and a saute pan?
A sauté pan has straight sides while a skillet or fry pan has sloping sides.
How to make crisp roasted potatoes
The secret to crisp roasted potatoes? Giving them ample space and using good olive oil.
How to select the right wine glass
When selecting wine glasses, you want clear, colorless, undecorated glass.
Sage flowers can add another dimension to a dish
You don't want to do a lot to sage flowers because they are fragile in aroma and taste.
A salt primer: iodized table salt, kosher salt and sea salt
Lynne explains the differences between iodized table salt, kosher salt and sea salt.
When it comes to buying gadgets that slice, dice and chop, you want 'husband material'
A lot of the very inexpensive gadgets that slice, dice and chop tend to not do a very good job or they fall apart just when you come to love them. It's kind of like having a boyfriend who lets you down.
How to free yourself from recipes and begin improvising in the kitchen
One idea: Take a recipe you're comfortable with and change the main ingredient.
What to look for in a wok if you have an electric stovetop
Look for a flat-bottom wok with a long, wooden handle. Or, you could use an independent propane gas unit as your heat source.
How to make store-bought red onions sweeter
Soak sliced onions in ice water for 20 to 30 minutes or sprinkle them with an acid such as vinegar.
Always wash pre-washed salad mixes again, and other tips for cleaning greens
Lynne explains how to rinse fresh, unpackaged greens. If you do buy those "pre-washed" salad mixes, always wash them again.
Some of the best brands of packaged pasta you might want to try
Lynne shares a sampling of reliable pasta brands. (Hint: If the box says to rinse the pasta, don't waste your time.)
Use cold butter to put the puff in puff pastry
Attention to temperature is paramount in making good puff pastry.
The best way to roast a chicken? Fast and hot, with a vertical roaster
"I've come to the conclusion that the best way to roast a chicken is fast and hot," Lynne says. "But an even better way is to use a vertical roaster."
What to use instead of tasteless Roma tomatoes
Roma or plum tomatoes are relatively tasteless. When tomatoes are in season, there are many other choices with far more flavor.
Skip nonstick cooking spray. It's more expensive than oil, and tastes terrible
If you want a thin film of oil on your pan, take a good-quality oil, moisten a paper towel with it and rub it on the pan.
How to get the best olive oil
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