Refine That Palate: Chef Jody Adams Dishes Cooking Tips at the Boston Wine Expo

Last Sunday, instead of my usual afternoon of brunch and Bloody Marys, I headed down to the Seaport Boston Hotel and World Trade Center for the 23rd-annual Boston Wine Expo. Oenophiles from Oregon, Italy, and beyond gathered to promote their best-selling bottles, while local chefs from hot spots like The Tip Tap Room, towne, and Tavern Road gave cooking demonstrations to eager foodies.

First up on my must-see list? Chef Jody Adams, a James Beard Award winner (it’s kind of a big deal in the biz), author, and founding force behind two acclaimed area restaurants, Rialto and Trade. In addition to serving up her tasty Tomato and Farro Soup – a recipe we just happened to find on her blog, The Garum Factory – Adams spilled a few priceless kitchen tips for aspiring cooks.

Jody Adams Tips

Images by Marisa DiSarno

  1. The health benefits of olive oil decrease as it’s heated. So, if the recipe says to heat until sizzling, don’t waste your money on quality EVOO. Opt for regular olive oil instead.
  2. When chopping garlic, remove the root end last. Cut the clove in half up to the root, slice from root to end, then chop off the root.
  3. Sharp knives are essential. When chopping onions or shallots, smooth slices reduce the chance of releasing the acidic gases that cause you to tear up.
  4. The rinds on Parmesan cheese? Completely edible. That’s right, they’re not made of wax. Parmigiano-Reggiano (or “Italian Gold,” as Adams describes it) is expensive. Instead of tossing the rinds, pop them in a cheesecloth and use for extra flavor in soups and stocks.
  5. Acidic foods like tomatoes can often be sour for the palate. Add carrots, which contain natural sugar, to balance the acidity. Or, toss in a pinch of sugar.

 

Bonus: Wine pairing for the Tomato and Farro Soup? Chianti.

For further vino pairings, look out for our Esterlina Vineyards Boutique on Wednesday, February 19, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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February 18, 2014