Kitchen Basics

I started with plain flour and yeast and realized the flour wasn't sufficient. Without thinking, I grabbed the available flour on my shelf but discovered it was self raising after I had mixed it all. Is that still edible? What will happen to my pizza now? Thanks- Evelyn In general, if you use self-rising flour in place of plain flour... Read more →

Is it okay to use extra virgin olive oil to season a pan?- Mary I wouldn't recommend using extra virgin olive oil, simply because you are paying a premium for the extra virgin part. That said, pretty much any cooking oil can be used to season frying pans. I use regular olive oil to season my cast iron pans, but you have to be careful... Read more →

Freezing Cheeses

Sometimes I make a dish which calls for Gruyere, Jarlsberg or another pricey cheese which is sold in much larger quantities than I require. Can these cheeses be frozen and used later for another cooked dish?-Zender Cheese can be frozen, however freezing can affect the quality of the cheese. In general, higher fat cheeses will freeze... Read more →

Rising to the Top - Of the Peanut Butter, That Is

How can I remove the oil from the top of a jar of peanut butter? Also, can I use the oil for cooking?- Tony Like you, I suspect, I prefer so-called "natural" peanut butter with no added ingredients over those made with hydrogenated oils and sugar. I find the other stuff gives it an unpleaseant texture and a cloyingly sweet taste. Ground... Read more →

Frying Pan Concern - Cleaning After Cooking Chicken

How do I clean a seasoned fry pan in which I've cooked chicken?-Diane I'm not really sure what this question is getting at, but I'll hazard a guess that since chicken is notorious for contamination from salmonella, enterococcus or E. coli (among others), what you are concerned about is cross-contamination of other foods by a pan in which... Read more →

Water Needed for Large Quatities of Rice

When you cook larger quantities of rice (say, more than three cups dry rice), you need proportionally less water. Can you provide a rule of thumb or a chart? I cook both white and brown rice.-- Marcia I can find no detailed reference for the amount of water needed to cook larger quantities of rice but I notice that the instructions for... Read more →