Author Topic: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade  (Read 9562 times)

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Bijou

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2013, 11:57:00 PM »
I have onions in the freezer, too, but they were chopped by some lady in an onion factory somewhere, bagged up and sent to the grocery store for me to buy.   ;)

Speaking of onions, I had a salad yesterday with some onions  and boy do they hang around in your mouth...through toothpaste, through flossing, through mouthwash.  So I put a few fennel seeds in my mouth and chewed them up real good for a few minutes and then spit them out (excuse the image).  It worked like a charm.  Now I know how to get rid of onion mouth.  I read that you can do the same with anise seeds. 
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Bijou

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 12:07:57 AM »
As I mentioned in the other thread, I mix up eggs to be scrambled directly in the skillet...no bowl, whisk, blender or anything to wash. 
I also mix a serving of Second Nature egg substitute with a real egg to do a scramble. 

Tostadas:  Instead of serving the salad on a crispy tortilla, which always falls apart, I make a bowl of salad of shredded Iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro leaves, chopped onion, chopped olives and avocado and stir in some pre-shredded 2 percent sharp cheddar and Monterey jack.  Then I make a dressing of mayo, yogurt, pico pica hot sauce and lime juice and put that on the salad.  I cut some king size corn tortillas in wedges (8 per tortilla), fry them until crispy and serve along side the salad.  You could just use corn tortilla chips and heat them in the oven before serving.  If you like refried beans along side, you could have those, too.
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Bijou

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 12:11:09 AM »
Caramelizing onions instead of just frying them until soft, really intensifies the flavor of whatever you are making.  I never just cook them until soft.  I add the garlic and let it get a little golden, too.

When using spices in a recipe, heat them in a little oil for a few seconds to really bring out the flavor.  If you are doing this with chilies, chili flakes or cayenne powder be careful not to do it too long or too high because the fumes can really choke you up and you'll be coughing like mad. 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 12:13:56 AM by Bijou »
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Bijou

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2013, 12:16:14 AM »
If I am adding an kind of pasta to a soup, I never cook it in the soup.  I cook them separately and drain them well before adding. 
If I am using fresh mushrooms in a pasta sauce I don't add any water to the sauce because the mushrooms release so much.
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Bijou

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2013, 12:22:01 AM »
I keep thinking of things....
choosing lemons or limes:
Pick a small sized one that is heavy for it's size.  (I pick up a few, one by one, and 'weigh' them in the palm of my hand until I find one that is small and heavy.  I use that one for a comparison for all the other ones I am buying.   
Avocado:
I like the ones that when you barely press on the stem it gives a little.  And that are just barely getting past the firm side.  For some reason I think that the little depressed area just below the stem should not be soft.  If it gives too much I pass that one up.
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

StarFaerie

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2013, 02:53:40 AM »
When mashing potatoes use a handheld  mixer to do the mashing. Smoothest mash I've ever had.

Fliss

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2013, 04:56:36 AM »

We grow about 15 different types of herbs, as well as garlic and chilli, and dry them using a 'Hotbox'. It's a large galvenised tool box, 1m long by 50cm tall by 60cm wide. We installed 2 L-shaped strips inside it at the top to hold 4 teflon trays, and use offcuts to do the same at the bottom of the box. The entire box is painted dark green, so it gets very hot.

The stuff to be dried is put in the trays, the box is closed, and the whole box is put out the backyard in the sun, sitting on top of two milk crates. The metal gains and holds heat, while still letting the moisture out. We've dried everything in it, without any problems. It takes about 3 days to do what would normally take a week in the electric dryer.

I'm going to try banana and apricots next summer and see if that works as well.

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o_gal

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2013, 10:23:08 AM »
One of the best tips is one that I got from The Frugal Gourmet: Buy a 1 cup measure ladle.

Then, whenever you are making stock or soup or anything liquid, you will also be able to measure out exactly 1 cup. I just used it last week after making stock. I could easily ladle 2 cups into each ziplock freezer bag.

emwithme

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2013, 10:24:25 AM »
When your recipe says to fry onions and garlic together, put the onions in first and let them soften slightly before adding the garlic, otherwise they will "fight" in the pan and there'll be something *wrong* with the flavour (I'm synaesthetic so to me it tastes like angry and I can't put it into non-synasthetic words). 

When cooking minced/ground beef for eg a bolognese sauce or (my speciality) a cottage pie, add a splash of balsamic vinegar just as it finishes browning.  It will add a divine sweetness that is there, but not overtly. 

If your recipe calls for lemon/lime zest, but no juice (or the zest of three but the juice of one), chop the "naked" fruits into pieces and freeze - they are fabulous in gin&tonic (or similar drinks) - they cool the drink and add a zing of flavour, without watering the drink down like ice does.  [I have a friend who makes a lovely lemon drizzle cake and then gives me three naked lemons for my G&T].

Thipu1

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2013, 10:55:56 AM »
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.

Oh yes.  Clean as you cook is a given in our house.  Because we usually cook together, one does the 'Dop Mah' work (getting ingredients ready and cleaning the bowls after the ingredients are added) while the other does the actual cooking.  When you only have to face plates, a pan and flatware in the sink after dinner, clean-up is so much easier. 

amylouky

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2013, 11:02:34 AM »
I cut EVERYTHING with a pizza cutter. Having small ones in the house that still need their food cut is so much easier that way. It goes right through almost anything, even soft bread which I hate trying to cut with a knife.

Coralreef

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2013, 02:31:41 PM »
Cutting : I cut pizza, bread sticks, green onions, etc. with kitchen scissors.  Get high quality ones, they last for years.

Mushrooms : I cook them in a pan with butter to remove the excess water.  That way, the pizza does not get soggy during cooking.

With fresh herbs, I freeze them in a bit of water in an ice cube tray.  That gets transfered into a ziploc bag. 


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Figgie

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2013, 02:36:05 PM »
Stick flour, cornmeal, dried pasta and rice in the freezer for 2-3 days.  It kills off those horrid moths.  I generally store any flour that isn't in my canister in the freezer. 

AmethystAnne

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2013, 02:40:09 PM »
I use a jelly roll pan instead of the countertop when rolling out the dough for yeast rolls or biscuits.

The flour gets all over the place when I use the countertop. It stays mostly confined to the pan.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2013, 02:42:43 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!

I cut them in quarters before boiling; they cook faster that way.
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