Skip to main content


Latest Posts

Thursday, April 17 2008

All cooks learn tricks and techniques in the kitchen to create cooking shortcuts or to enhance a finished product. Here are some tips to make food preparation more efficient and enjoyable.

Garlic: Garlic tends to burn easily so it is advisable to add it last when you sauté it with onion or other vegetables. To peel a large quantity of garlic easily, you can bake the whole bulb in the oven at 300F until the individual cloves start to open. Garlic will make yeast less active so use caution when adding it to bread recipes.

Spinach: When cooking fresh spinach, wash it thoroughly and then place it in a skillet on medium heat and stir gently until wilted. The water on the leaves from washing is enough to cook it. Serve with butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Basil: Basil will quickly spoil if refrigerated. Store it at room temperature by placing the basil in a glass with only the stems in the water, just like you would a bouquet of flowers.

Soy Sauce: Soy sauce can be used to flavor and color gravy. Just add a couple of teaspoons in place of the salt when preparing your gravy.

Mashed Potatoes: To make mashed potatoes fluffy, add a pinch of baking soda along with the milk and butter.

Hot Peppers: Wear disposable rubber gloves when dicing hot chili peppers to protect your hands from burning. And be very careful not to get any juice near your eyes. If you are cooking a dish that calls for hot peppers and want to make it milder, remove the seeds since they contain the most heat.

Fish: Soak frozen fish in milk before cooking to get rid of the fishy taste.

Zest: Recipes sometimes call for zest which is the finely grated rind of lemon or other citrus fruit. For convenience, store the skins of lemons and other citrus fruits in the freezer for when you need to add zest to a recipe.

Cheese: If there is mold on the outside of cheese, just cut off the moldy portion before using. Cheese can be frozen although the texture will be different after freezing. In that case, it is excellent melted.

Homemade Soup: Soup can be thickened by blending a portion in your blender and adding it back to the pot. Soup will be more flavorful if you sauté the vegetables such as onion, celery and carrot in olive oil before adding the stock and other ingredients. When you have small amounts of leftover veggies, gravy, meat and pasta save them in your freezer to add to homemade soup.

Browning Meat: Dry meat well with paper towel before cooking to help it brown better.

Herbs and Seasonings: When using your slow cooker or cooking any dish for a long period of time, add fresh herbs about an hour before the end of the cooking time. Dry herbs and spices can be added at the beginning. Be cautious when using seasonings because flavors will become more concentrated during the cooking process, and you can always add more if necessary. When cooking beans, always add salt at the end or they will be tough.

Pasta: Cooked pasta should not be rinsed unless it is being used in a cold dish.

Rice: When you are too busy to pay attention to rice cooking on the stove, cook it in the oven instead. Use the same proportions: 1 cup of rice for 2 cups of water; place in a covered casserole dish and bake for 45min-1 hour at 350F.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful and add to your cooking enjoyment.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

Post comment
Email Address

(max 750 characters)
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.