Susan Waggoner

Potatoes: The Ultimate Guide

Ever wonder why the leftover Idaho bakers that tasted great last night taste awful reheated? Or what potato will make the best hash browns? Here are the answers to your […]

Welsh Rarebit. . . or is it Rabbit? Either Way, It’s Delicious.

On my 10th Christmas, Santa left a cookbook in my stocking. It was the first cookbook I ever owned, a small, spiral bound thing called Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy […]

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Braising

Braising is one of the oldest known cooking methods, and one sees plenty of braised dishes on menus about town. Yet few people seem to know exactly what braising is, […]

What is Demi-glace Sauce?

There’s a good deal of confusion surrounding demi-glace. Many confuse it with the process of de-glazing – which is adding wine or stock to a pan to lift bits of […]

Aïoli, Sauce of the Ancients

Aïoli, pronounced eye-YO-lee, is most often associated with Provence, the region of southwestern France famous for its lavender fields, the numerous shades of ochre mined from its cliffs, and its […]

Hollandaise Sauce: The Gold Standard’s Origin

Hollandaise sauce has a reputation worthy of Cleopatra: tempting, beguiling, and notoriously hard to handle. The reputation is well-earned – but who’s going to pass up a chance to hang […]

Béchamel Sauce: The Workhorse

Photo Credit: Venice Gastronaut Béchamel sauce is a key ingredient in hundreds of recipes, from simple dishes like creamed peas to elegant cheese soufflés. At one time considered a sauce […]

Velouté Sauce: The Versatile Stranger

Photo Credit: Bamitbach  Don’t know a Sauce Velouté from a Sauce Mornay? Me neither. So the other day when I was making a soup recipe that called for “a quart […]

Marinara Sauce: The Sauce that Shook the World

Marinara sauce is one of the world’s great sauces. And, I would venture to guess, the sauce that’s made the most often, found on the most grocery shelves, and served […]

What is Béarnaise Sauce?

You may have seen Béarnaise on a menu and wanted to ask, just what is Béarnaise sauce? Well, no mysteries here. Sauce Béarnaise, to use the French phrasing, is one […]

How To Make Clarified Butter

What is Clarified Butter? Clarified butter, also known as drawn butter, is butter from which the milk solids have been removed. Milk solids are the white bits that rise to […]

What are Mother Sauces?

Before explaining the five mother sauces, let’s back up and look at what a sauce itself is. In the most basic sense, a sauce is a liquid that has been […]

What is Bagna Càuda?

Recently, when I told a cousin that I was planning to make bagna càuda for a party, she replied, “What is bagna càuda?” I was surprised because this cousin and […]

What is Coq au Vin?

Contrary to what its pronunciation suggests, coq au vin is not a new food truck dispensing hot chocolate, although that’s not a bad idea either. The literal translation – “rooster […]

What is Prosciutto?

You know it’s delicious. And expensive. And it lays just right across a slice of melon. But have you ever wondered, Exactly what is prosciutto and how did it get […]

Mustard: Mankind’s First Flavoring?

Next time you spread mustard on your ham sandwich, consider this: you’re just repeating history, and very ancient history at that. Mustard seeds were chewed with meat to add flavor […]

Mushrooms’ Beginning and How To Cook Them Properly

Their makeup is 90% water. For the first 3,000 years, no one could figure out how to propagate them, and finding them in the wild took more energy than the […]

As Russian as it Gets: The History of Beef Stroganoff

The commonly accepted history of Beef Stroganoff is that a French chef who worked for a wealthy St. Petersburg family created the dish for a cooking contest in 1891. Following […]

From Haute to Hoagie: The History of Mayonnaise

Eggs, Oil, and Dangerous Liaisons Try this for six degrees of separation: what links John Malkovich, Colin Firth, and mayonnaise? Malkovich and Firth both played the seductive, amoral Vicomte de […]

How to Make Mayonnaise the Way It Was Intended

I confess to loving mayonnaise in all its forms, and became an even bigger fan after writing a brief history of it. This recipe is the result of my quest […]

How to Make Mango Chutney

Thousands of years ago, Hindu cooks discovered that spices went well with fruit, and that spices and sugary fruit mixed together slowed food spoilage. And then there were the flavors […]

How to Make Delicious Slow and Crispy Egg-Fried Rice

Chinese cuisine may have been the first example of waste-not-want-not gourmet food. Leftover rice tonight? Fried rice tomorrow! Overcooked rice on the bottom of the pot? Deep fry it and […]

How to Make General Tso’s Chicken at Home

Yes, there really was a General Tso. He lived in the 19th century and is one of Hunan province’s greatest heroes. Contrary to popular myth, however, he never tasted the […]

Fast, Beautiful Blondes: How to Make Mustard From Scratch

Sweet or hot, whole grained or smooth, Americans love mustard. Which is why, when I ran out a few months ago, it was a near tragedy. Not about to fling […]

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