Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chef Tips: Selecting a Pepper

Did you know that pepper is the worlds most used spice? And it comes in so many varieties, its easy to get confused and not know what to buy! Well, Im here to make it easier on you!

Today's Chef Tip is the battle of the peppers. Which one is right for seasoning food at the table, which is better for cooking, etc.
So lets get started with plain old table grade ground black pepper. This is the stuff you get at restaurants on your table, or even on your own table at home.
This is the same pepper that you would have in a pepper mill, however, it is ground to a uniform shape, sometimes coarse, sometimes not, and is available at almost any grocery store or market, for a low price.
The flavor is bold, not as bold as fresh ground, but is good for having at your dinner table, but not so much for cooking!

Next is pepper corns that you will grind yourself in a pepper mill (pictured above). This is my preferred method for cooking. A pepper mill will grind your pepper into all different sizes of grind, and will give a bold, rich flavor to your food! This is why Chef's prefer it.

Pepper mills come in all different sizes, shapes, and looks. But no matter what they look like, they all work the same.

Now, let's discuss the new "Grinders" from McCormick. These little bottles are a wonderful alternative to having a large pepper mill on your table, and have better flavor than ground pepper from a jar. They are also very affordable! (I got mine for $1.99 at walmart!)

And I know there are so many other varieties of pepper, like pink pepper corns, or a multi-peppercorn mix, etc. These all have their specific uses, and will most likely show up in a recipe if you need it. But I wanted to make sure that we covered the basis of regular every day pepper!

So get your pepper mills out ladies and grind away! :)

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