Chef Sara Moulton Answers Your Cooking Questions

PHOTO: Pie in oven

Celebrated author and TV chef Sara Moulton is the food editor at "Good Morning America."

You've written to her with questions about what you'd like to learn in the kitchen, and she has responded.

Sara Moulton Answers Your Questions

Jill Tolleson: Can you help me understand what heavy cream is? I find recipes that state heavy cream and then say to whip it. I have bought half and half AND whipping cream. Half and half will not whip. I'm always buying the wrong thing. How do I know how/when to used these two products?

Sara's Answer:


I don't blame you, it is confusing. Heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream has a higher fat content than any other cream – at least 36 percent, while whipping cream (without that word "heavy" in there) has a butterfat content of 30- 36 percent. Both of them can be whipped but heavy cream will whip up much faster and to a firmer consistency that plain old whipping cream.

Meanwhile, light cream with 18-30 percent fat and half and half with 10-18 percent cannot be whipped.

It is important when you are whipping cream to make sure that it is very cold before you start beating it.

Shirley Jones: Is it safe to boil eggs ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use within a few days? Peeled or in shells?

Sara's Answer:


I got this right off "The Incredible Egg" website, which is the very useful website of the egg board:

"As soon as you've cooled them, refrigerate hard-boiled eggs in their shells and use them within one week."

Denny Schultz: Dear SARA: I recently bought 1/4 of a cow and three friends took a quarter each. Well, I got the BEEF TONGUE! I know they did this as a joke. Well, not to be out done, I said, "no problem, I'll cook it and share the finished product with you." Well, guess what. I WAS BLUFFING! Worst yet, I can't even find a recipe that's not South American. How do you cook a beef tongue and what would go with it. Keeping in mind that this is Chattanooga,Tennessee, (Southern Cooking and Grilling), nothing too exotic please. Help from a big FAN. Thanks, Denny Schultz

Sara's Answer:


You are in luck. I just happen to be reviewing a cookbook in advance of publication, "The Great Meat Book," by a highly qualified meat specialist Bruce Aidells. It is going to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on October 2 of this year. Bruce just happens to have a recipe for pickled tongue in this tome and he has offered to share it with you.

Here you go! (By the way, I did not ask for info about Insta-Cure No. 1 since I doubt you are smoking the tongue):

Pickled Beef Tongue
Beef tongue should be well washed before pickling. A beef tongue weighs around 2 to 3 pounds and can be pickled using the same recipe as the kosher-style corned beef or the recipe below. 1 gallon of Basic Wet-Brine should be enough for 2 to 4 tongues, a half gallon being enough for 1 or 2 tongues.
1 or 2 whole beef tongue, well washed and scrubbed
1/2 recipe Basic Wet-Brine (see below)
Insta-Cure No. 1 (optional)
1/4 cup pickling spice store bought or homemade (see recipe below)

Combine the Basic Wet-Brine and pickling spices and cure tongues for 5 days for smaller 2 pound tongues and 6 days for larger 3 pound tongues. After 2 days remove tongue, stir brine and replace tongues. When finished curing, wash tongue well and wrap in plastic wrap or store in a zipper-lock bag in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Pickled tongue will keep for 2 to 3 days.

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