Two questions from a reader in the UK:
- I want to know how to make food crispy in an oven that always makes it soggy-but-burned (no matter what).
- Unfortunately, you may need a new oven that isn't old and British :) It also depends on what you are trying to make crispy: Veggies- put the oven on broil, toss in a little olive oil, and roast quickly on the top rack. Oven Fried Chicken, for example- Coat with breadcrumbs, spray with oil from a spray bottle or drizzle lightly with oil, and bake at 350 f. If you cover anything with aluminum foil, it will obviously get soggy... the burned part could be a mystery...Also, if you have a cast iron skillet or grill pan, getting it good and hot in the oven before laying your food on it can make nice crispy grill marks.
- How about what kind of cheese or chocolate is the best to melt for fondue?
- The classic cheese to use for fondue is Gruyere (a Swiss cheese). Don't use something like cheddar that just sweats when it heats up- and try something creamy like mozzerella mixed in with the Gruyere if its flavor is too strong for you on its own. Mix in a little white wine to get the conistency you like, and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.
- For chocolate, there is no wrong choice. Use dark, semi-sweet, or milk. Bars, chips, whatever you like. Mix in a little cream again, and add a few splashes of raspberry liquor, a scoop of peanut butter, maybe some cayenne pepper, or keep it plain. YUM!!!!