Author Topic: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade  (Read 10156 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2013, 03:21:14 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.

I do the same thing!  They're going to wind up a paste anyway.
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Thipu1

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2013, 03:23:58 PM »
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.

The only kind of noodles we add to a soup is the very fine noodles that go into my Grandma's red chicken soup.  The noodles are so fine that we don't need to cook them in advance.  We just decide how much soup we'll be having for a meal, take a handful of noodles and drop them into the soup.  In two or three minutes the meal is ready. 

There's nothing better than wearing a flannel nightgown and bathrobe on an evening of filthy weather and slurping down a big bowl of home-made red chicken soup with noodles. 

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2013, 06:05:21 PM »
DH and I found what has to be the easiest pasta ever. It was late and I didn't want to go down the shops and we had some bacon.

http://www.taste.com.au/kitchen/recipes/bacon+tomato+and+pasta,18387

Delia DeLyons

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2013, 06:51:22 PM »
I always preheat my frying pan before adding butter or oil. 

Generally speaking, most breakfast items for me center around 1 minute increments.  1 minute to preheat pan, 1 minute to let the butter melt, 1 minute per side of pancake or egg.  Over Medium heat, this system has not failed me, really simplifying my breakfast.

Unlike another poster, I do always break my eggs into a small bowl, in case one's bad, or there's a bit of shell to fish out (not fun to do on a hot pan.) I also salt and pepper them in the bowl and the spice sinks into the whites becoming part of the egg (I love eggs).

Use a papertowel to apply veg oil to your hot pan for pancakes - you'll never over oil.
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Julian

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2013, 07:06:40 PM »
When sauteeing, use half butter and half olive oil - the oil prevents the butter from burning, and you still get that lovely buttery taste.

And as a PP said, I keep all my flour/corn flour/custard powder etc in the freezer.  No greeblies in the flour, even the stuff I rarely use.

Dindrane

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2013, 12:56:51 AM »
We have a couple of silicone basting brushes that we use to spread small amounts of oil around in a pan. It's great when just need a little for non-stick purposes, but don't want to overdo it.

Another trick that I have is actually a tool that my parents had (and that I grew up using). They have a small, somewhat shallow wooden bowl and a mezzaluna knife that has the same curvature of the bowl. It's fantastic for chopping small quantities of herbs or nuts or even onion or garlic, and way less messy than trying to do it on a cutting board. My brother gave me a mezzaluna and chopping bowl of my own as a gift at one point, and we use them all the time.

Really good, really sharp knives make all the difference in the world. I have just three Wusthof knives that nearly take care of all of our kitchen needs: an 8" chef's knife, an 8" sandwich knife (or something like that--it's less wide than the chef's knife), and a boning knife. I'd like a shorter paring knife at some point (since it can be easier to use for cutting up fruit), and I definitely want a better bread knife (ours is only so-so), but I can totally life without those for now. I love that the Wusthof knives are heavy weight and hold their edge so well. They are so much easier to use than the cheapo knives we had before.


Library Dragon

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2013, 01:02:39 AM »
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.

Yes!  Open my freezer and you will find rice, lentils, flour, barley, etc. 

I like my mushrooms cooked, but firm.  I cook in the combo of olive oil and butter recommended up thread.  Before fully cooked I turn off the heat.  The mushrooms continue to cook, but have a nice bite.

I like to make a big batch of crepes and freeze them in packets of 6.  They keep for months and are great for quick meals or desserts.  My DS's new GF announces at the first dinner over that she's a vegetarian?  No problem.  Pull out a the crepes, defrost, and stuff with cheese and a spinach.  Ack! I forgot that I have to bring a dessert for a dinner, party, meeting, etc.  No problem.  Blend together cream cheese and jam or marmalade and spread on the crepes.  Roll and sprinkle with sugar or cocoa.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 01:14:51 AM by Library Dragon »

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Calistoga

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2013, 02:43:47 PM »
A small strainer over a large pot with a lid or tea towel makes a perfect steamer.
Over-the-door shoe organizers are perfect for packet items, like soup mix, yeast, etc.
The chicken flavoring packets from ramen noodles are excellent for seasoning fried chicken. Usually you don't even need to add salt for a small batch, just add the flavoring packet in with your flour.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2013, 02:55:35 PM »
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.

The only kind of noodles we add to a soup is the very fine noodles that go into my Grandma's red chicken soup.  The noodles are so fine that we don't need to cook them in advance.  We just decide how much soup we'll be having for a meal, take a handful of noodles and drop them into the soup.  In two or three minutes the meal is ready. 

There's nothing better than wearing a flannel nightgown and bathrobe on an evening of filthy weather and slurping down a big bowl of home-made red chicken soup with noodles.

I want to know what Red Chicken Soup is. Sounds yummy.

Bijou, why do you not like cooking your noodles in with the soup? Do you feel it thickens it too much or do you not like the starch added? Or does it have something to do with the pasta texture?

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2013, 03:28:46 PM »
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.

The only kind of noodles we add to a soup is the very fine noodles that go into my Grandma's red chicken soup.  The noodles are so fine that we don't need to cook them in advance.  We just decide how much soup we'll be having for a meal, take a handful of noodles and drop them into the soup.  In two or three minutes the meal is ready. 

There's nothing better than wearing a flannel nightgown and bathrobe on an evening of filthy weather and slurping down a big bowl of home-made red chicken soup with noodles.

I want to know what Red Chicken Soup is. Sounds yummy.

Bijou, why do you not like cooking your noodles in with the soup? Do you feel it thickens it too much or do you not like the starch added? Or does it have something to do with the pasta texture?

My guess is she likes the noodles somewhat firm, and cooking them that long leaves them floppy.
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Calistoga

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2013, 03:36:21 PM »
I've noticed that cooking them in the soup, especially if it has chunks of veggies, makes the noodles break up in to pieces. I like my noodles nice and whole.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2013, 03:52:42 PM »
When beating egg whites use a glass bowl (some metal bowls give the egg whites a metallic taste), put the egg whites in the bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  Perfect peaks every time.

From DS:  when grilling any meat, put it on the grill and leave it the ehell alone.  Flipping it every minute or (gasp!) pressing down on it will cause the juices to escape and you'll end up with dry, tasteless meat.  Also, don't be afraid of salt.  Most people don't cook with nearly enough to flavor food properly.  If you add enough while cooking, you won't need to add it later.

Ah, the joys of living with a culinary student.  He refuses to let me buy seasoned bread crumbs any more.  ::)

CakeBeret

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2013, 04:09:58 PM »
Use fresh herbs whenever possible. The flavors of fresh vs dried don't even compare. I buy fresh garlic year-round and fresh herbs when available. I'm also trying to grow my own basil, cilantro, and rosemary this year.
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2013, 04:18:46 PM »
Use fresh herbs whenever possible. The flavors of fresh vs dried don't even compare. I buy fresh garlic year-round and fresh herbs when available. I'm also trying to grow my own basil, cilantro, and rosemary this year.

I wish I had the space to use fresh.  I also wish my kitchen had a door... Bottomless Stomach Cat is fond of jumping on surfaces (to eat whatever may be there) if I leave the room for ten seconds (literally... she did just that yesterday), so I know that she'd graze on anything I tried to grow indoors, and we have hard clay for a yard.
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EmmaJ.

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2013, 04:21:22 PM »
With fresh herbs, I freeze them in a bit of water in an ice cube tray.  That gets transfered into a ziploc bag.

I put mine in a plastic baggie, then wrap in aluminum foil, then freeze.  Freezing in water is better?