Broiled Salmon with Kimchi

Nobody Broils dinner anymore. Most people like to grill.

When trying to prepare a broiled dish at home using a residential stove broiler can produce less than desirable results.

A typical 30″ Gas range has a better searing effect than many electric ranges.  When you cook with many of todays luxury brand wall ovens and dual fuel electric ovens, the broiler has multi-pass element that provide an excellent high heat.

When I worked in a restaurant during high school several of the items on the menu were broiled. We had shish kebob, shaslik, broiled haddock, shrimp, scrod, scallop…typical New England fair, you get the point.

Many restaurants are successful with these dishes because they are flavorful and perceived ‘healthy’ since it’s not fried in oil. But… most restaurants add a lot of butter during the cooking process.

A commercial broiler which is typically gas powered, has a high that provides searing that is better than most grills. Since it does not flare up you don’t get the noted carcinogens associated with grilling over an open flame that produces Heterocyclic Amines (Certainly more studies have to be done to all types of cooking methods using high heat and searing proteins in the process).

How can you prepare a broiled dish without all the added fats?

The Gaggenau Combi-Steam oven has a Broil feature called Grill with Humidity that incorporates moisture with heat from a infrared broiler under glass.


This dish is a simple preparation of Salmon Steaks with prepared Kimchi showcases the ease of cooking with this method. The purpose is to show how fast and easy it is to broil although please understand positioning of the pan for even cooking. I placed the pan into the oven during the heating process to provide a sear to the steak when placed on the rack. Be careful when remove the hot pan from the oven and place on your stove top with the vent hood on. Slowly add some hot water to the pan to loosen up any burnt on dripping.


Video of broiling Salmon with humidity


The Best Way to Reheat Leftovers

I don’t like to Hate anything.

The word Hate produces wasted energy but when I hear “I hate leftovers and just throw them out” it drives me nuts.

Listen, either some chef, a cook, your mom a friend or You went through the trouble of making this food. It cost either You or Someone some money. If it was good, you still had some remaining, went through the effort of bringing it home and placed it in the refrigerator, why not ‘Like’ it?

Back to me rolling my eyes on reheating in a microwave. I know many do this but seriously, the results are terrible and produce the Hate Flavor and Consistency.

Certainly the heat up time is quick since most plates of food average about 3 1/2 minutes but with uneven results.

When food is placed in the refrigerator, it takes a while to bring it down to temperature and in the process it begins to loose some moisture. The dryness only gets worse when using the microwave to heat it up since the microwave heats the remaining moisture, can evaporate it and dry out your food.

Using the Steam or Humidity along with the Convection heat breaks down the cold barrier and introduces enough moisture to ‘refresh’ your food.

In this video below, I reheated grilled chicken in which is famous for being dry the next day when you are trying to heat a quick lunch or dinner.

I placed it in for 8 minutes but it was really ready in about 6. Most dishes take about that long but keep in mind that thicker portions like Lasagna or bone in chicken need a more time.

You can simply place either the food onto the pan that came with your oven or use a oven safe plate on the oven rack. (Check the take away container your food was packed in because many can safely heat in an oven up to 325˚f) Select the Reheat Mode and adjust the temperature if necessary. Steam Convection ovens are preset at 250˚f and can go up to 325˚f. Most food is fine at 250˚f but will just take a few minutes longer. When reheating breads and pizza, set the oven on before you place the food in.

If your oven has a Meat Probe, place it into the food and set to an internal temperature of 165˚f . If you are reheating leftover beef that was cooked to medium rare or medium then set the probe to 140˚f. This takes the guesswork from determine if it is properly heated through.

Video of Reheating Food in a Steam Oven

Divine Design Cooking

Gaggenau Cooking Video

Divine Cooking

Divine Design Center showroom in Boston’s Battery Wharf is a must visit.

I am fortunate enough to be cooking in one of their beautifully designed kitchens, DOCA MUEBLES DE COCINA. In addition to educating their clients and staff on luxury brand appliances, I showcase various cooking techniques offered by Gaggenau.

Surf & Turf for Lunch
If you have ever had a Rotisserie chicken, you know that it is moist and flavorful. Typically this is done on the outdoor grill. The Gaggenau 400 Series 30” Wall oven offers this feature with a simple set up of your food on the included Spit and frame that locks in to the roasting pan. The heat is provided by the upper broil element and can be adjusted for quantity and enhanced with the convection fan.
Thinking beyond chicken I wanted to provide a nice vegetable for lunch so Cauliflower was the choice. Seasoned with tumeric, salt, pepper, allspice and some butter, the crispy exterior provided a nice crunch to the light flavor of the spice accompanied with roasted chic peas and fresh herbs.
The large window of the oven showcases what’s cooking and allows you to easily keep tabs on the progress of your food.
The Steam Convection Oven is my go to oven for many dishes and todays appliance choice for the ‘Surf’ and dessert.
Convection cooks fish perfectly but sometime it may dry it out. Having the addition of steam in the cooking process avoids the dryness without having to swim the fish in butter. Todays Codfish with Pistachio Crust was a hit!
I experimented with a new recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Butterscotch Banana Cakes. This oven provides the speed with convection and enough moisture so the batter bakes without drying out.
The Gaggenau Vario Grill produces todays ‘Turf ‘dish of cuban style marinated Chicken. The lava rocks under the burner offer a bbq flash of flavor back to the food without smoking out the kitchen. When grilling is done, carefully rinse the warm grates with hot water for an easy cleanup.
Gaggenau appliances offer more than just a pretty face. The precision and cooking options are inspirational to the amateur and seasoned cook.

Tax Free Shopping?

What is Free?

Webster defines it as:

a : relieved from or lacking something and especially something unpleasant or burdensome <free from pain>

In this fine state of Massachusetts, the powers that be reward us with a weekend celebration that is today’s version of throwing tea into the harbor, ridding us of that loathsome 6.25% tax (on purchases under $2500).

These wonderful representatives of our political system wave a magic wand to the burden of the added tax.

Oh how we celebrate. Lines form outside of stores and people fill their shopping carts with items that just can’t pass up, do to the tax they wont have to pay.

Do you really need it?

Have you really worked out the math?

So if you go to a store we will call, The Easter Tree Shop, (not that there is anything wrong with this store, I am just using them as an example 😉 and you buy let’s say $200 worth of  easter lights, paper, candles, etc you have saved $12.50


That is definitely worth getting in your car, driving miles, waiting in line to Save $12.50. 🙂

I think we need to evaluate what our time is worth.

Figuring what you currently make at your job per hour, whether you are salaried or hourly. Are you at least saving the same amount based on the time you spent to buy the item?

Choose what we need to have as opposed to want to have. I.E. Furnace, refrigerator, hot water heater, home improvement items vs big screen tv, massage chair, back yard batting cage, new rims for the ride, etc.

Many of the items that you are shopping for might already have discounts and rebates. If some of these purchases require a service technician to install don’t forget to add that cost back into the mix.

The street definition of Free:

“you don’t get something for nothing”

What does this blog post have to do with food you may ask?

The best cook top maybe Two sticks, Kindling and a Pan

     +  = DINNER

There are hundreds of options out in the market place for your kitchen appliance choice.

There are all sorts of burner caps that distribute heat in a way that the description can tempt you into believing that you MUST HAVE THIS IN YOUR HOME.

Here is my observation.

Through the years that I have been testing home cooking appliances, many brands have offered, in their opinion, the Best in some sort of category. Best is something that is personally preferred. What is Best for one person maybe a Worst for the next.

It is hard to provide the high output burner for the home chef with all the bells and whistles.

Many times I have heard “Why don’t they make one that has an…” – excellent high heat, a low simmer, easy to clean, light weight grates, heavy steady grates, sealed only, open burner, semi sealed, small burner for the smaller pan, a top that doesn’t scratch, a top that is easy to clean, a top that you don’t have to clean, a star burner, a dual flame burner, a multi flame burner, a single burner that sends the flame in various directions, even heat distribution from the burner, a burner that easily comes apart to clean, a burner that doesn’t come apart so no pieces are lost, color top, black top only, stainless steel top, glass top, etc. I believe you get the point.

For anyone who has worked in a food service kitchen, you know that you get a high heat and you don’t necessarily care about the rest.

When high heat requests translate to the Home Appliance Marketplace, it stumbles upon a few more road blocks such as the requirements that allow it to be installed in the home. Someone cannot just go to a restaurant supply store or an auction and get a true professional piece of equipment and install it in the home.

Don’t get me wrong, I know people who have done this. What they don’t understand or believe would happen is they could have a fire in the home. The radiant heat coming from the cook surface may heat a wall and create a fire within the wall in homes with old wood frames. Not to mention the fact that many true pro range tops have a lit pilot that can go out and fill the kitchen with gas. Most restaurants have ventilation that allows this gas to escape. This is a safe provision but not necessarily the most cost effective. Professional kitchens also have a fire protection system that can kick on in the event of an open fire. This is generally cost prohibitive for the home.

Bottom line is that understand the industry is smart and has been at this for a while. They have great people working on the latest and greatest to get you what you need. Just try to select the best for your kitchen and understand that you can’t always have everything. If you are overwhelmed, you can always go into your yard, rub two sticks together and create a fire. Add a skillet and your in business.

Dream Kitchen turns to Nightmare

When you look through magazines or walk into a kitchen designer’s showroom you may get inspired by wonderful displays and amazing appliances.

So the seed gets planted and you begin to imagine your kitchen transformed from ‘Drab to Fab’ (to borrow an overused phrase).

But here are a few things to consider regarding a new kitchen:

Utilities– do you have enough power for what you want?

Cabinets– millions of designs, colors, quality, are you going to have enough storage space?

Kitchen Demolition– this can lead to more expenses and delays than you realize

Lighting – choose style or function?

Ventilation– Do you still smell the fish you cooked 3 days ago lingering in your house?

Flooring– Hopefully it is strong enough to hold the weight of that new Refrigerator

Sinks and faucets– This should be an easy choice (but it isn’t)

Appliances– if you haven’t been to a retail store or gone online to look at these, it is like choosing what to wear to a party that you don’t know is casual or formal

That only touches on a few considerations. What about selecting a contractor?



Yes, it’s a nightmare.

Keep in mind those wonderful showrooms and magazine photos have been put together with a lot of talent, time and money.

If you have it or can hire it – fantastic. If not follow the KISS rule.

Remembering to keep it simple stupid to avoid the anxiety attack.

This is achievable

In the future I will add some client experiences and ask a few experts to share their advice.

If you have some please share.

Oven Self Cleaning

Self Cleaning does involve – yourself.

Most people never use the clean cycle in their oven. A few bad apples back in the day caused a fire in their kitchen, rumors spread and since then everyone is petrified that they need to update the Home Insurance rider.

Look at it this way, if you cooked on your outside grill and a few days later fired up the grill again, there appears to be some residual smell from the previous culinary excursion, is there not?

The same holds true when you have several spills in the oven that you leave unattended. Eventually this primordial ooze begins to smolder, emitting a fine fragrance of burnt grease that flavors your pies like apple wood in a smoker.

I suggest that every year on the morning of your birthday, after you get out of bed, set the self-cleaning cycle on your oven. Simple enough!

In every oven you have to remove the racks. I can hear your scream :                                                 “NO WAY, THE SELF CLEANING CYCLING DOESN’T CLEAN THOSE?”

No the Robotic-oven-rack-cleaning-cycle has not been invented yet. If you leave those bad boys in your oven they will warp from the extremely high heat and never slide easily again.

Treat your oven with a little water on some heavy spills or use a cleaner such as Bon Ami or Barkeeper’s Friend.

In this series of photos of my Gaggenau, I have the side Convection Fan Cover removed so I could clean some seriously burnt on residue on the sides of the oven. Once I put the cleaned cover and fan screen back on, I replaced the side rack guides and TA-DA!

Ok it wasn’t my birthday cleaning celebration, it was my post Thanksgiving cleaning requirement so that I don’t have a smoked turkey grease flavor in my chocolate souffle.

Fire the dishwasher!

Has this ever happened to You?

Sometimes things get out of hand. Perhaps your dishwasher doesn’t like you, refuses to work and is on strike.

What else can you do but rip it out of your kitchen, load it into the Civic and drop it off at the retail store where you bought it? ( I vaguely remember a situation with a Gateway computer that ended like this)

Perhaps you should check into what you are buying before you have it delivered and installed.

Look up the installation requirements first. Check out everything in the install area before purchase, such as the cut out and the hook ups. If the proper requirements are not in place it can lead to problems.

If the floor isn’t level (which is the case in many older homes) or the unit isn’t installed properly, efficient water flow and mechanics of a machine may not live up to their potential.

Another problem could be that your purchase did not match your expectations. If you see nice features on a piece at your friend’s house or at the local showroom kitchen, make certain that you compare apples to apples when you decide what it best for you.

Your time spent dealing with the aftermath is time & money wasted. Plan ahead or reach out to me.

This way you don’t end up with dish pan hands and an unexplained hole in the kitchen.