Ask Chef Jeff

Spiced Up Coffee

Posted on Jul. 31, 2023 by Grace Olson

Q. “Do you have any ideas about how to spice up my coffee in the morning? I love Starbucks but I need to pump the brakes on how often I stop!” —Rosalind, Fremont For starters, buy the best coffee you can afford. Keep in mind that you can afford any coffee for home use since READ MORE

Sauce: Before or After?

Q. “Are you supposed to use sauce before or after you grill chicken breasts? Or do you baste during the process?” —Brendan, Neenah A. Basting can be approached two different ways: to help retain moisture and to enhance the finished product. When basting to help retain moisture, basting can be done at any time after READ MORE

Fish Fry Switch Up

“My family loves Friday Fish Frys at home. We’re looking for a new recipe for breading and seasoning. What’s your favorite? —Charlie, Hortonville A. Friday Fish Frys, whether in our favorite restaurants and taverns or at home, are a Wisconsin staple. The debate usually involves the preference of breaded or battered fish. Both can be READ MORE

Hollandaise Disaster!

Q. I’ve tried to make hollandaise sauce and it was a disaster! What are your tips for making it silky smooth? —Elowen, Greenville A. Hollandaise is one of the five “mother sauces” by which all other sauces are derived. It is an “emulsified” sauce, which means there are two ingredients that are permanently combined that READ MORE

Inexpensive Cuts of Meat

Q. When can you “skimp” on meat and use inexpensive cuts? For what recipes? —Lizzie, Omro A. Meat cuts can be broken down into two basic categories: tender cuts and less tender cuts. These categories are determined by where the cuts come from on the carcass of the animal. Muscles that move more are generally tougher READ MORE

Poaching an Egg

Q. “Poaching an egg is still a mystery to me. Please help with easy steps.” —Andy, Appleton A. To properly poach an egg, start by preparing your poaching liquid. In a medium kettle, fill it about two inches deep with water and add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to it. The acid will READ MORE

Pre-Shredded Cheese: Sacrilege?

Q. Is buying pre-shredded cheese culinary sacrilege? If so, is there any way to make grating cheese less of an arduous task? —Lance, Kaukauna A. In today’s world of convenience, I’m not sure I would include utilizing pre-shredded cheese in the same conversation as other topics I would consider to be “culinary sacrilege.” That said, READ MORE

Oil Obsessed

Q. “I see so many different kinds of oils on the market like grapeseed, walnut and sesame oils. Do you like one kind of oil over the others, and when is the best time to use each?” —Joey, Grand Chute A. Oils can basically be categorized into two types: oils that are used for cooking READ MORE

Chickpea Change-up

Q. “Hummus aside, what can I do with chickpeas? My kids love them, but I want to change up the way I serve them.” —John, Kimberly A. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine and offer a host of health benefits. They are a member of the legume family READ MORE

Worth Going Out For

Q. What is something you would seldom cook at home and why not? —Mitchell, Little Chute A. There are a number of foods that I very seldom cook at home. At the top of this list is fried foods. I have several reasons for this, including the fact that I do not own a deep READ MORE