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Monday, October 4, 2010

Tricks of the Trade: Food Chatter

So how come all those fancy TV chefs never show you where or how they cut corners? Why don't you ever see the cool tricks that save time or money? Well come on now...why would they give up those secrets?? You'd have no reason to be captivated by them if you knew some of the kitchen secrets, would you?

Obviously I am not a professional but I do know my way around the kitchen enough that I am clued into some of those secrets and this past weekend my girlfriend asked me why I never told her about a clever time and money saving trick. That got me to thinking about such things...

There aren't a huge selection of kitchen games one can play that will make food magically appear. Clearly.  But everyone has a few things they do that allow for a little extra relaxation time out of the kitchen.

For instance...

* Naturally when you are attempting to boil water you should cover the pot and turn it on high. And we all know that salted water will boil faster than unsalted water

* Using a food processor to chop vegetables like carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, other herbs, etc. makes life so much easier!

* Use the left over butter wrapper to grease the bottom of a baking pan

* Use "Baker's Joy" instead of butter and flour to grease the bottom of a baking pan

* Use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to make pizza or pasta dough rather than do it by hand

* Use a stand mixer to make whipped cream, rather than using a hand held mixer

* Use a paper towel or a coffee filter when straining liquids

* Drain fried foods on brown paper lunch bags rather than paper towels - keeps crisp longer with paper bags

* When peeling many potatoes, drop the peeled ones into cold water bath - otherwise they begin to turn green

* Squeeze a fresh lime over a half-cut avocado and seal using plastic wrap and refrigerate up to one day. Keep the pit in the left over half...

* When wrapping artisanal cheeses, wrap in fresh parchment paper and then wrap again in plastic wrap.  Cheeses will last much longer wrapped this way. Also, use fresh wrapping each time you dig in and need to rewrap!

* Bring baking ingredients to room temperature before using - eggs and butter, especially.

* To remove garlic smell from hands after using, squeeze fresh lemon juice over hands and wash with soap and water. Next rub a stainless spoon with hands and rewash hands.

There are so many more - and I'll bet you know of a ton of tricks, as well.  But let's keep the best ones to ourselves!!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

These are great. Thanks!