Ask the Chef: A Culinary Institute of America Professor Tells All
Eric Schawaroch, associate professor of Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America, answers local cooking questions.
Culinary Institute of America / Phil Mansfield
Q: How should I store an open bottle of wine? Does it matter if it is red or white?
—Ann Marie, Stone Ridge
ES: When I open a bottle of wine and don’t finish it, I have what they call a Vacu-vin — which is a rubber stopper and a pump which removes the air from the bottle, creates a vacuum, and seals it. Without this, the wine would not taste as good within a week. If I don’t plan on drinking the rest, I put some cheesecloth on top and turn it into great vinegar.
Q: I’ve heard of glass pans shattering in the oven. How do I know if my glass pan is safe to bake with?
—Jake, Salt Point
ES: I do like to bake or cook in glass pans. I recommend using brands that are well known and can be trusted. Always inspect them for cracks and discard any that are cracked. Also, it is very important not to take the glass pans right from the freezer into the oven. They need to come to room temperature first, as they cannot withstand the rapid change in temperature.
Q: How can I dice a tomato without the juices running out?
ES: Using a very sharp knife is the best way to stop the juices running out of it.
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