Spice of Blythe: Cooking 911!

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DALLAS -- Ahh!  You're in the kitchen!  You don't know what to do!  You have to cook for people!

Before you call Cooking 911 (which might not be a good idea, since it isn't a real thing), let's have a chat.

As a chef, people always ask me for the secrets to my dishes.  The things that I know that they don't.  And I'm not talking about butter - everybody knows that's one of my secrets.

Let's start with a good, sharp knife.  It doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be sharp and well-maintained.  It'll take care of you if you take care of it.

Kosher salt.  You might be one of those people who thinks all the salt you need comes in a blue box, but what you really want is Kosher salt.  It's lower salinity and bigger granules make it way easier to control the flavor of your food.

And what about cooking oil?  There's so many choices out there, but what you really want (unless you're sauteing) is olive oil.  It's a great finishing oil and adds a nice flavor to anything it touches.

Ever wonder how pro kitchens make their food really pop?  The secret is fresh herbs.  There's a wide variety to choose from, and they each bring something different to the table.  You can buy them at the grocery store or grow them yourself, but either way you should always have them handy.

That brings us to the dirtiest secret of all: boxed wine.  Look, you may not want to drink it, but trust me, it is perfect for braising or sauteing, or just adding that flavor to anything that needs it.

So what's the Spice of Blythe?  Don't be afraid!  Just be prepared.  A few chef-inspired upgrades will go a long way toward making you the king or queen of your kitchen!