Administrator: Hello! Welcome to the chat with chef Cat Cora. Please send us your questions.

ken: What's the trick to make a crispy biscotti instead of a softer, stale biscotti with no snap to it?

Cat Cora: Well Ken, I think the best way to insure crisp biscotti is make them your self :) That way you know what the shelf life has been or how long they have been hanging around. If you dont have time for that, then before your purchase from your local coffee shop or bakery, just ask when they were made.

seantgla: Do you find it difficult to mix Southern ingredients in modern dishes?

Cat Cora: Also, if you happen to get one that isn't crispy, pop it in the oven for a few minutes and crisp it up! Bon Appetit!

Administrator: Are there any really complicated Greek traditional dishes? Like in French cooking?

Cat Cora: Seangla, hi! I find that it is pretty easy. I will tell you why, because many of the ingredients used in Southern cuisine have really been made popular in mainstream cuisines. Black-eyed peas are now being used in fancy black-eyed pea cakes, like a crab cake. Watermelon is now being put into cosmopolitans and gazpacho.

ken: Hello Cat, back to my biscotti problem, my wife and I make them ourselves; when they come out of the oven, they are crisp and snappy for a few hours then go soft. Are we missing an ingredient?

Cat Cora: Administrator, braised lamb w favas are a more classic style dish w French technique, Cinnamon Stewed Chicken again uses a more classic preparation and then Milk Pie is a custard with phyllo dough that is baked, so yes they can be complex.

Cat Cora: Ken, check your recipe. Maybe you want to find a recipe that uses more dry ingredient (flour) than wet. It may be that there is just too much wet that softens the biscuit as it sits.

Administrator: Tell us why your new book is called "Cooking from the Hip?"

Cat Cora: Administrator, Cooking From The Hip is a title of an article I wrote for 4 years for the Contra Costa Times in the Bay Area. It is really off the cuff cooking similar to what I do on Iron Chef.

seantgla: What's your favorite summer dish?

Cat Cora: It is all about taking ordinary ingredients and making them spectacular

Cat Cora: Seangla, wow that is like asking which is my favorite child :) No really, I love grilling in the summer so anything that I can grill it gets thrown on.

Eric: I understand you're from Jackson, Miss. Have you ever eaten at a place called Kiefer's?

Cat Cora: Seangla, so I love grilling stone fruit, artichokes, kabobs, just about anything!

ken: How much time pressure do the chefs feel during the Iron Chef competitions? Is it difficult to complete the courses in sixty minutes?

Cat Cora: Eric, I LOVE Keifers! Those guys are good friends of mine and they have yummy food!