Chefs answer readers’ food questions: Can I freeze the lasagna? What kind of holiday salad should I make?

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As Staten Island’s cooks would have it, the topic of Italian food dominates readers’ questions this holiday season. In past years of doling out cooking advice at this time of year, experience tells us to address such concerns by turning to our local experts.

Here are the top three burning food queries our readers have shared in the last week.

Lasagna

Meat Lasagna at Marie’s Gourmet in Silver Lake (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)Pamela Silvestri

Question: The lasagna…can I freeze it? And, can I prepare my lasagna ahead of time for the holidays?

Answer: The answer is yes, a lasagna that’s fully cooked can be frozen, then thawed out and reheated, coaches chef Giacomo Alaio of Patrizia’s.

“That’s the best way,” he assures.

Cookbook author and food blogger Camille Mule Pizzo of Quartine Kitchen Facebook fame advises to use “no boil” lasagna sheets for an easy lift.

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4 best sous vide machines for cooking restaurant-quality food, according to professional chefs


Getty Images/iStockphoto

You don’t have to be a Michelin-star chef to master the technique of sous vide in the kitchen. This French method, in which food cooks in a vacuum-sealed bag typically placed in temperature-controlled water, allows for cooking a range of meats, fish and produce — from steak au poivre and halibut, to barbecue tofu and caramelized onions. Using this cooking method, foods retain their moisture, “resulting in a moister final product,” explains chef Daniel Carpenter of virtual restaurant operator Nextbite, who develops the company’s restaurant concepts and menus. The result is often a perfectly-cooked cut of just about anything, and at price you can often stomach: For example, the highly recommended Anova Precision Sous Vide cooker with WiFi is on sale at Williams Sonoma for $139.95. Here are our chef-recommended picks for sous vide equipment:

Simple to use and affordable

Anova Precision Sous Vide Cooker with Wifi

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