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My father used to say, “Chuck doesn’t do anything in halves.” He was right: sometimes its a virtue and sometimes a curse. He and my mother taught me to cook, sometimes using cookbooks, like Julia Child's, but more frequently just winging it. This site is a roller coaster ride of recipes, articles, ingredients and anything else that involves cooking and presenting food. There is something here for everybody from beginners to experts.

2 weeks of Hummus Testing

Finally, some major progress on the hummus front. I've made hummus every night for 2 weeks. That is a serious boat load of hummus! Weeks of testing and studying garlic chemistry did not get the results I wanted. Smashing garlic with lemon to retard the chemical reaction in garlic that creates pungency resulted in too little garlic character and just adding fresh minced garlic was too pungent and biting. Roasted garlic was an improvement but required planning ahead. Roasting in the microwave was pretty much a failure. So I thought about how I approach making a garlicky dish like shrimp scampi...cook crushed garlic in olive oil with gentle heat, taking care not to brown it. Simple! No microwave, no crushing in lemon juice, no roasting. This is so basic I just didn't see it.

Here is a recipe featuring this technique with black bean hummus.

Cooking Temps

Chicken breast 165

Chicken thigh 170 or more

Pork med well 145

Pork med 140

Rack of lamb med rare 131

Beef very rare 125

Beef rare 130

Beef med rare 135

Duck Breast 126

Salmon med 118

Disclaimer: USDA stds dictate much higher temps. To be super safe, cook everything until it is dry and crunchy