Author Topic: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade  (Read 9661 times)

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norrina

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2013, 04:39:21 PM »
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.

Another avocado tip: Gently remove the stem and look at the color under the stem. If it's green, the avocado is good. If it's brown, the avocado is rotten.



Calistoga

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2013, 04:48:42 PM »
For home made stock.

If you ever make a whole chicken, save the bones to boil for stock. Once you have a nice broth, pour it in to an ice cube tray and pop in the freezer. Once the broth is frozen, you can pop the cubes out and put them in a ziplock bag. Whenever you need stock, you've now got it in convienant little servings.

lady_disdain

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2013, 04:50:45 PM »
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).


Yup. After cracking a rotten egg directly onto a hot pan, I will never do that again. Hot sulfur is not a pleasant smell and it took days to get the kitchen smelling fresh again.

lady_disdain

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2013, 04:53:06 PM »
For home made stock.

If you ever make a whole chicken, save the bones to boil for stock. Once you have a nice broth, pour it in to an ice cube tray and pop in the freezer. Once the broth is frozen, you can pop the cubes out and put them in a ziplock bag. Whenever you need stock, you've now got it in convienant little servings.

If you are going to freeze stock, reduce the stock before freezing. Each cube will have more "stock power" and they will take up less room in the fridge. When using, add extra water to bring it back up. If you are in a hurry, just pop the ice cubes in and your sauce or soup won't need to be reduced as much before it is ready (the flavours won't meld as well but, given enough hunger, that is not a problem).

Bijou

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #49 on: April 30, 2013, 05:33:42 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.
The bad egg problem is a good point, but I hate to do dishes with a passion, and have so far not come upon a bad egg.
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buvezdevin

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #50 on: April 30, 2013, 05:44:43 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?

I have not tried freezing herbs often, but read somewhere that freezing in olive oil works well, especially for tender herbs like basil.  Then again, I have not yet grown basil in sufficient amounts to have enough to freeze - until last year, and then I did not get to it timely.
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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #51 on: April 30, 2013, 07:12:27 PM »
Yeast does not like metal... if you are waking up "yeasties" as my Foods teacher called them, use wooden or plastic utensils and a wooden or glass bowl for the best results from your yeast.
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Firecat

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #52 on: April 30, 2013, 07:49:35 PM »
If you've been chopping onions and need to get the smell off your fingers, simply rub your fingers over something made of steel, such as the kitchen faucet. There's a chemical reaction that will get rid of the smell very quickly.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2013, 08:21:46 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.
The bad egg problem is a good point, but I hate to do dishes with a passion, and have so far not come upon a bad egg.

Bijou, I grew up with a mom who had a master's in home ec. She never broke her eggs into a bowl to scramble, just directly into a pan and stirred them up with a spatula. There was never a rotten egg or a shell in her eggs. And I kind of liked having a few bits of cooked egg whites in my eggs. I didn't like restaurant scrambled eggs because they had a uniform color.

KenveeB

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2013, 08:48:31 PM »
I'm ashamed to say that I can't think of a good tip right now, but I want to post for updates anyway!  :-[

Acadianna

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2013, 09:05:37 PM »
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.

I also have Wusthof knives, and love them.  Wusthof makes a mezzaluna set, by the way.

Dindrane

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2013, 12:43:36 AM »
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.

Another avocado tip: Gently remove the stem and look at the color under the stem. If it's green, the avocado is good. If it's brown, the avocado is rotten.

I read that trick somewhere and have been doing that the past few times I bought avocados. It's helped me pick out decent ones.

I do still rely on the "squeeze gently to test ripeness" method, though. Partly it's because avocados I can buy are expensive and often mediocre in quality, so I want to be as sure as I can be that I'm getting a good one. It also helps me gauge how quickly I can/need to use the avocado before it's too ripe. Sometimes I'm looking for avocado that I want to use right away, and other times I'm looking for one that will last for a few days before I use it (which means I can give a not-quite-ripe one a few days to ripen).

I typically test both the top and bottom initially, and then check everywhere else for bruises. If there are no super soft spots, I'll flick the stem off to see what color is underneath.


sparksals

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #57 on: May 01, 2013, 01:40:05 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 learned the pasta tip the hard way when i was learning to cook.  Left it too long and the pasta absorbed all the broth.

Giggity

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #58 on: May 01, 2013, 06:21:11 AM »
Chop up your fresh herbs, put 'em in an ice tray, pour olive oil over, freeze. May take awhile, but it's so good.
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Calistoga

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Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #59 on: May 01, 2013, 10:29:34 AM »
On the knife thing- TAKE CARE OF YOUR KNIVES!

If you're chopping and want to rake up your veggies/herbs in to a little pile, do it with the flat back of the knife, not the sharp blade. Scraping with the blade of your knife can dull it faster.

Please please please get some kind of storage block for your knives. I keep my good ones in a knife roll, but a block or magnetic strip is great too. Throwing a nice sharp knife in a drawer where it knocks against other knifes and stuff will dull it.

Quote
If you are going to freeze stock, reduce the stock before freezing. Each cube will have more "stock power" and they will take up less room in the fridge. When using, add extra water to bring it back up. If you are in a hurry, just pop the ice cubes in and your sauce or soup won't need to be reduced as much before it is ready (the flavours won't meld as well but, given enough hunger, that is not a problem).

This. Definitely.