How to Get the Most Out of Kitchen Basics
Even those with culinary confidence sometimes have simple kitchen questions. Cooking instructor and blogger Rob Endelman answers questions and shows how to get the most out of kitchen basics—from olive oils and healthy fats to fresh ground pepper.
How to Get the Most Out of Kitchen Basics
Emily Rodney: When I cook, I want my food to have the best flavor possible. Do I
take the time to grind my own peppercorns or do I just grab for the
I am Emily Rodney in New York City with the food instructor and
blogger to see what he thinks is right. So, let’s go behind the
burner and meet the chef.
I am here with Rob Endelman, chef and blogger, and you teach
people how to cook, eat and live healthier lives. So, we have a lot
of products here and we are going to start with Sciabica’s Olive
Oil. What is the benefit of olive oil?
Rob Endelman: Well, olive oil is a healthy fat. Do not be scared of the word fat. A
lot of people think fat “stay away.” No. They are healthy fats and
olive oil is one of them, things like olive oil, avocado, wild salmon,
nuts are really healthy for you. Our body needs fat.
Emily Rodney: This specific brand actually has jalapeño flavored or basil flavored,
let’s try a little bit.
Rob Endelman: We are going to taste.
Emily Rodney: This is delicious. You really taste that olive coming out. Very
nicely, you can use it for salads, you can use it for just dipping. So
then, we have these canned organic roma tomatoes and tell me
Rob Endelman: Whole peeled tomatoes are great. Canned tomatoes are great to
have in your kitchen to able to just whip up a quick tomato sauce. I
like to tell people to use these whole peeled tomatoes or any of the
canned tomatoes to avoid using the jarred commercial sauce,
which are full of a lot of sugar and other ingredients. This is a great
Emily Rodney: You know what is going into your sauce when you have the full
tomato [Voice Overlap].
Rob Endelman: This is just tomatoes. Literally, there is nothing else in there and
that is what we should be looking for when we do our shopping.
That is what so much of this food is, is just basic ingredients as
close to it’s natural state as possible without all of the process and
all of the process, I mean all of the synthetic additives that
unfortunately is just so rampant and wide spread in our food
Emily Rodney: Here we have a popular item in the kitchen, a pepper mill. A lot of
people have pepper shakers that have the pre-ground pepper but
what is the benefit of having a pepper mill?
Rob Endelman: Flavor.
Emily Rodney: Definitely.
Rob Endelman: As simple as that. We have peppercorns here which we put into the
pepper mill and by grinding your own pepper -- that is the ground
pepper that you can also buy in the canister that was ground -- who
knows when? Every second, every minute, everyday, it is sitting in
your cabinet, it is losing flavor and is losing nutrition. This pepper,
when you grind these peppercorns yourself, it is a great flavor.
Emily Rodney: Tell me about this bread.
Rob Endelman: It is a whole wheat bread that I bought at Fairway which here in
New York City I do a lot of shopping at Fairway and also whole
foods in addition to Farmers Markets. So, this is a whole wheat
bread. Now, a lot of people avoid buying freshly baked loaves and
bread because they are scared of throwing out half a loaf if they do
not eat the whole thing which happens a lot.
Emily Rodney: Or you end up eating at the entire day, which I intend to.
Rob Endelman: Which is not a worst thing because -- for my grandfather, I love
bread. Anyway, what you can do is let us say you have half a loaf
leftover, cut some slices and then put those slices into a plastic bag.
Put that plastic bag with the bread into the freezer. It will stay
indefinitely and then whenever you want a slice of bread, just pop
it in the toaster oven and you are good to go and that way, you do
not waste a couple of dollars by throwing out half of your bread.
Emily Rodney: That is a really great trick. So, pre-slice your bread and just put it
in the freezer and take it out when you need a snack. So now, we
have a Murray’s free range chicken thighs. Is it an organic brand?
Why do you like to use Murray’s?
Rob Endelman: Murray’s chickens are not organic, no antibiotics. I try to avoid. I
try to counsel people to avoid hormones, antibiotics and pesticides,
synthetic additives, food colorings in their food. It’s very, very
important. A lot of scientist and doctors think that this is one of the
reasons, these synthetics additives, why we are getting sick.
Emily Rodney: Now, we have peanut butter, which I love. It has a little bit of
protein. Which peanut butter do you have?
Rob Endelman: There is no brand name on it and again, just following through on
this theme, as close to basic as possible. All the ingredients here
are peanuts, just ground peanuts, as simple as that. A lot of
commercial jarred brands will have hydrogenated oils and sugars
added to them and we do not need that.
At first, your palate may not be used to, just that true peanut flavor
because you’re used to all of these other sugars and whatnot in
your peanut butter. Give it a week, give it two weeks. It is no
different in exercise. When you start to exercise, your body revolts,
your palate’s going to say “Hey, where is my sugar? Where is my
thickening agent?” But after a week or so, you are going to love
this peanut butter and again, the same holds true for all of these
Emily Rodney: Last but not the least, my favorite, chocolate and you have Green
& Black’s organic chocolate.
Rob Endelman: Chocolate can be very, very healthy for you. It’s high in
antioxidants. This is 85%. The higher the number, the greater the
cocoa content. The less, more sugar. Again, let your palate get use
to it. If you are not a chocolate lover, it may taste a little strange at
Emily Rodney: Great! So Rob, thank you so much for having me and where can
we find more information?
Rob Endelman: I write a blog daily, Monday through Friday about all of these
information I cover all the time, it is called The Delicious Truth
and the URL is www.thedelicioustruthblog.com and I cover all of
these issues. There are recipes. There are issues about marketing
and just better selections that you make to cook, eat and live better.
Emily Rodney: Okay. The Delicious Truth, I am definitely going to go check that
Rob Endelman: Great!
Emily Rodney: Thank you again.
Rob Endelman: You’re welcome. Thanks.
Emily Rodney: Stay tune to Behind the Burner where we give you the tips, tricks
and techniques that are lighting the culinary world on fire.
For Q&A, photos and more visit behindtheburner.com
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