TODAY fans tweeted their kitchen problems to #spillthebeans, and this morning Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay shared their expert advice on-air. Check out their answers to your culinary questions below:
Giada: In my opinion, what you need to look for is a knife that feels good in your hands. We all have different-sized hands, so you want something you feel like you can control. For a lot of women, it’s a paring knife, and for other people, it’s a chef’s knife. I think the most important thing is that it’s a sharp knife. But I will admit to the fact that I’m not a good knife sharpener.
Bobby: Usually a knife set comes with a knife sharpening steel, and what it really does is realign the blade. It doesn't necessarily sharpen it as a stone would. A good way to use it is to take the steel and use the friction against the knife on both sides.
Giada: I plan out my menu, keeping in mind what has to be hot and when it will be served. Most importantly, I keep my dishes simple. For example, the sole I made yesterday on the show has 10 total ingredients — and that includes salt and pepper! When Bobby cooked fish on TODAY with me last year, he made halibut that had over 30 ingredients! I have no idea how he does it...
Bobby: It’s all about prioritizing. The biggest time for questions about how to get things to the table is during the holidays. I make lists so I actually have a plan. The real question is how do you get everything to the table hot. For Thanksgiving, I have chicken stock that I pour over dishes to warm them as they are coming out.
Question from Al: Bobby, you're known as the king of the burger. What's your secret to success when prepping the burger meat itself?
Bobby: I like my burgers incredibly simple when it comes to the patty itself. I use meat that's 80 percent beef, 20 percent fat. Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
Giada: I like to season the meat. I don’t like to bite into a burger and not taste the salt and pepper. I also love to add some sweetness, like orange marmalade. That's one of my secrets to success.
Giada: I believe in plastic for any kind of meat and wood for everything else. What I like to do is clean with Clorox and water. I spray it and let it sit for a minute. Then I put it under hot water and scrub. Bobby doesn't do that, but I want to make sure it’s clean.
Bobby: I think that's a little much. I use antibacterial soap, very hot water and a brush.
Giada: Yeah, well sometimes that doesn't work!
Giada and Bobby: Don't cook the garlic that long. Use low heat and add it at the last minute.
Bobby: I like to smash it, mince it and leave it in the dish.
Giada: I like to put the whole clove of garlic in for flavor, and then take it out so it doesn't get too overpowering.
Giada: My biggest critics are my husband, Todd, and daughter, Jade! If someone doesn't like what you're cooking, tell them they're doing the cooking next time around!