Tom Douglas’s Key 3

Tom Douglas runs 13 restaurants and bakeries in Seattle. He shares the techniques behind his three most important recipes.


Fragrant Tuscan Herb Salt

Recipe 1 of 3 from this weekend’s Key 3 guest, Sally Schneider.

You can use it as an essential seasoning to “salt” roasts of all kinds from pork and beef to chicken, game birds, and duck. It’s also great on vegetables of all kinds, dried beans, popcorn, potatoes, even a bloody Mary for a last minute flavor-enhancement. It gives herbal notes to my fried egg in the morning. It is great on popcorn.


Andrea Reusing: The Key 3

In her recipe for overnight braised short ribs, Andrea Reusing says, “You basically take things you have in the house — mushrooms, garlic, a bay leaf — and throw them in the oven with the ribs for as long as you can sleep. Six or seven hours. Then, when you wake up in the morning, you have this amazing smell in the kitchen, you open the oven and you have lunch.”

Those ribs, a turnip soup and tomato salad are her Key 3.


Lidia Bastianich: The Key 3

In this installment of The Key 3, Lidia Bastianich shares with Lynne the techniques behind three of her classic recipes: Ziti with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, Linguine with White Clam Sauce and Anna’s Spaghetti and Pesto Trapanese.


Thai expert Andy Ricker is the first guest in a new series called The Key 3, in which chefs share THE three recipes or techniques everyone should know. Excerpts from his picks:

1. Steamed Fish

In America, we don’t seem to steam food very much, but it’s one of the great techniques of cooking. In Asian cuisines, steaming is very, very important and probably as popular as frying or baking. … With the steaming technique, you’re not stepping on the flavor of the fish by frying it. You’re not adding that element of oil flavor or fry flavor. You just have that pure flavor of the fish itself.

2. Steamed Rice

There’s no reason not to use a rice cooker. Rice cookers are easy, cheap and everybody in Asia uses them now. One more trick: When the rice is done cooking, allow it to sit in the rice cooker for about 20-25 minutes with the lid on. This allows it to cure. Some of the steam dissipates and it gives each individual grain of rice the chance to form its own little world. It keeps the rice from being too sticky or too mushy.

3. Boiled Eggs

Always start with room temperature eggs. This is important. When we drop them into the boiling water and start the timer, we know that it’s always going to come out with the same consistency. It ensures proper doneness. … The trick is that, when the timer goes off, we immediately pull them out of the water and shock them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process

[Andy Ricker: The Key 3]


What makes a good cook

Good cooks don’t waste anything. If a cup of celery is needed for stock, the leftover leaves are stashed in the freezer. As are bones (both raw and roasted), pan drippings, the last dribbles of olive oil, vegetable peels and trimmings and the remains of the wine glass. Stale bread is made into croutons or breadcrumbs. The last handful of rice thickens soup. You get the idea.

-Sally Swift’s latest post on the How To Eat Weekends blog