Author Topic: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade  (Read 8885 times)

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Amara

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Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« on: April 28, 2013, 01:10:04 PM »
The useful and interesting food processor thread has me thinking that there must be a lot of e-Hellions here who have things they do in the kitchen that are tricks or shortcuts or ways of doing something that would be wonderful to share with others. Tricks of the trade as it were but ones developed as individual ways of coping with some issue. I'd love to know what yours are--and in turn I will share my no-tears onions secret:

Swimming goggles. (You can now buy glasses that purport to do the same thing.) Start by running your tongue over the eye part both front and back--the saliva prevents them from fogging up--then rinse them well under running water. Dry and put on. You can chop onions for hours without any tears. That's it, I guarantee it.

Thipu1

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 03:00:43 PM »
I'm sorry to derail the thread on the first reply.  This tip reminds me of something Mr. Thipu did in the early years of our marriage. 

The day was warm.  He'd had a good run but was going to make his signature chili for dinner.  At the time, he was also a diver and did not like to wear aprons in the kitchen. 

To chop an onion he was wearing stone crusher running shoes, a lab coat with a mask and snorkel.  He was wearing shorts under the coat but you couldn't see them.

I wish I had a photograph of that but I was laughing so hard I couldn't find the camera.

It's true, goggles help to prevent tearing when cutting onions.

 Cutting off the root end of the onion is c helpful. It's also useful to breathe through your mouth
when cutting an onion.  Holding a wooden matchstick between your teeth helps a lot.

At the very least you can say that you eyes are watering with joy over the wonderful meal you will soon enjoy. 

         

Library Dragon

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 03:32:29 PM »
I chop a large number of onions at one time and divvy them up into small Ziploc bags, put them inside another freezer bag, and freeze.  When I need 1/2 an onion I pull out a bag and there you are.  One day of tears, a month of chopped onions for cooking. 

I know there are others, but they are so automatic I cannot think of them.

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 03:45:38 PM »
^ That is a really good idea.

I get organic onions from my food share and I don't find that they make me cry.

I grow a lot of my own herbs.  I've started clipping them regularly and either drying or freezing what I can't use right away.  The plants grow better the more you snip them.  I also discovered that you can't use a dehydrator to dry the herbs.  The heat strips out all the flavour.
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Ontario

Amara

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 03:50:44 PM »
How do you dry herbs? Microwave? Dehydrator?

As for the diver's mask and snorkel, I wasn't going to tell this on myself but I did the same thing (no lab coat, though). I was a scuba diver at the time, and I had the equipment around. I must have been a sight for the neighbors at the kitchen window.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 03:52:12 PM »
No to both of those - the heat kills the flavour.  I just tie them up by their stems and hang them in an out of the way spot until they are dry.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

magician5

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 04:07:05 PM »
I use professional cookware. It's heavyweight, so it distributes heat better and prevents burning, and it's almost indestructible ... and most items are cheaper than (what I call) "prettyware". Who needs Calphalon or Le Creuset? Your local suppliers may or may not welcome the public, because they ask for too much hand-holding, but it's worth a call.

If you don't have a good resto supply store in your area,

see http://www.usfoodsculinaryequipmentandsupplies.com/

or  http://www.usfoodsculinaryequipmentandsupplies.com/

or http://www.katom.com/

or http://www.centralrestaurant.com/
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Gumbysqueak

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 04:22:46 PM »
Advice that is incredibly cheesy and overdone. Clean as you cook. Plus if you have kids out in college/world, make triple batches and freeze them. Next time they stop by they have dinners to take home.

Dazi

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 05:06:23 PM »
I do the cut a bag of onions and freeze them bit as well.  I store them in the snack size bags and dump them into a freezer bag.  I also like to freeze slightly overripe fruit, like bananas, for smoothies.

Certain times of the year, it's just cheaper to buy the precut frozen stuff.  Bird's Eye has a onion and multi color bell pepper that I like to use when the price of peppers is high and I've used up my freezer stash.

I have a Vitamix and it's worth its weight in gold.

It's been awhile since I've grown my own herbs, but the quickest way to dry them was to hang them upside down by the stems and to point a small fan at them.
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MOM21SON

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 05:17:12 PM »
mashed potatoes.

My friend showed me this.  Instead of peeling the potatoes, just wash them and boil whole.  When cooked, rinse under cold running water and the skin just falls off very quickly.

Throw back in the pot and mash!

SamiHami

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 05:36:46 PM »
I never have any issues with onions irritating my eyes. I just run them under cold water then cut them up. No need for goggles-just some cold water and a sharp knife is all it takes!

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

MOM21SON

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2013, 07:34:07 PM »
I put my onions in my 3 cup food processor.  No tears here.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 07:38:54 PM »
mashed potatoes.

My friend showed me this.  Instead of peeling the potatoes, just wash them and boil whole.  When cooked, rinse under cold running water and the skin just falls off very quickly.

Throw back in the pot and mash!

Better yet, instead of peeling potatoes, mash the skins too.  More flavorful.  :)
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Julian

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2013, 07:52:34 PM »
I keep my onions in the fridge, which cuts down the tears.

+1 on mashing potatoes with the skin on.  Yummy, and extra fibre too.

If you add too much liquid to mashed potatoes, add in a handful of grated cheese.  It thickens it up and is tasty too.  (I admit I sometimes deliberately 'oops' so I have an excuse to add the cheese...)

When making scones I melt the butter in the milk and pour in, rather than the traditional 'rub the butter into the flour'.  And I don't knead the mix.  The scones turn out light as a feather.

Keep a small pack of bacon and some Philly cream cheese in the freezer to add to dishes when needed.  It's possible to turn a 'meh, OK' dish to 'yummo!' with the addition of one or both.

SheltieMom

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2013, 09:50:20 PM »
If you put the onions in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, it really cuts the tears.
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