Author Topic: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade  (Read 9522 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Miss Tickle

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 211
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #60 on: May 01, 2013, 11:03:09 AM »
The trick to getting eggshells out to use the eggshell. For whatever reason, the little shell bit doesn't slip away from the 'mother" eggshell. I hope that makes sense. I always check my eggs for freshness before cracking by placing in cold water.  If they lay flat they're good and fresh, if they stand up, not so fresh (and different freshness works for different recipes) and if they float throw them out.
 
Here's another:  You can absorb excess moisture in your crisper with crystal cat litter. (sodium silicate) It's the same stuff they put in pill bottles that say "DO NOT EAT" and if you put a little in a bag of some sort you can use over and over.  When the crystals lose their colour you just pop them in the oven on low for a while and they'll refresh. I usually use the toe off a pair of runny nylons. Yes, I still have to wear nylons to work.

What else…

Keep asparagus upright in a steep sided dish with a little water and it will last much longer. Same with herbs and celery. Plus it makes your fridge look like a garden centre.

Ice cube trays are also good for freezing pesto and wine for sauces and flat soda or juice for drinks.  In the summer I'll add a slice of lemon or lime and a berry or two for a nice twist. 

If you like ice water through the day but hate waiting until it melts, freeze your bottle half full, lying on it's side. Then you can fill the other half with water.

Cream of Tartar and vinegar will remove the black gunk that builds up on pots and pans. (It will also help remove mold and mildew for showers and bathtubs).

Fresh fish floats too (most of the time) but if your fish is iffy, thaw it in milk and usually that will eliminate most of the fishy smell.
 
Soaking game meat in cola overnight will help reduce the gamey flavour.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6797
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #61 on: May 01, 2013, 11:14:30 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.

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?

I've never seen the recipe for red chicken soup.  It's one of those old-fashioned concoctions that call for a 'handful' of this, a 'pinch' of that a piece of butter 'the size of a nut'.  You know the sort of thing. 

You boil down a carcass for broth then add sautéed onions, chopped carrots, and chopped celery with
 herbs of your choice. If you handle the carcass right, bits of chicken meat will be included.

  The red comes from either fresh tomatoes or a small can of tomato sauce.  The preferred way to eat it was not as a soup but as a dish of tiny, silky noodles with the soup as a sauce. 

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1882
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #62 on: May 01, 2013, 11:18:00 AM »
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?

It depends on the type of herb. For "spriggy" herbs like rosemary and thyme, I freeze them whole in a plastic baggie and break off what I need. This doesn't work so well for leafy herbs like basil and parsley, which turn black. I chop and freeze those with water in an ice cube tray. Olive oil might be even better than water.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

LadyJaneinMD

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2540
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #63 on: May 01, 2013, 11:38:06 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]

And never never NEVER put your sharp knives into the dishwasher!!   In fact, wash and dry them as soon as you can after you are done with them, and hang them back up.   Don't let them soak in water, so don't let anything dry on them enough to need soaking.

I have knives that I have owned for more than 30 years now, and they're still good.  They were cheap knives to begin with, too.  I've sharpened them, of course, several times. (with a sharpening stone).

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6463
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #64 on: May 01, 2013, 02:17:48 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?

I've never seen the recipe for red chicken soup.  It's one of those old-fashioned concoctions that call for a 'handful' of this, a 'pinch' of that a piece of butter 'the size of a nut'.  You know the sort of thing. 

You boil down a carcass for broth then add sautéed onions, chopped carrots, and chopped celery with
 herbs of your choice. If you handle the carcass right, bits of chicken meat will be included.

  The red comes from either fresh tomatoes or a small can of tomato sauce.  The preferred way to eat it was not as a soup but as a dish of tiny, silky noodles with the soup as a sauce.
Thanks... I was first imagining something with a red curry sauce. But then I realized you were probably referring to a chicken soup with tomato sauce added versus chicken soup without tomatoes. But you inspired me to make up Really Red Chicken Soup... chicken soup with tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red lentils, and red beans :)

SouthernBelle

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 105
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #65 on: May 01, 2013, 02:47:53 PM »
Re:  Knife storage

If you are like me, counter space is at a premium.  I went to the big box hardware store and bought a magnetic strip made for heavier tools.  I attached it under my upper cabinets, at the corner for depth.  My knives are at hand, but out of site.

Kaypeep

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2300
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #66 on: May 01, 2013, 04:05:37 PM »
My tips:
- Dampen a paper towel and lie it flat on the counter underneath your cutting board to keep the cutting board from sliding around on the counter.

- to save on washing dishes I will use aluminum foil to cover a pan and prevent splatters while cooking meat (instead of a pan lid) and then I'll flip the foil over and use it to wrap the meat and keep it in the fridge. (I do this when making chicken cutlets or even bacon, when I know I'll have leftovers that need to be wrapped up and stored for later.)

- When making breaded chicken cutlets, I do the breading (flour, then egg,then crumbs) and leave the cutlets to sit for a while.  The breading seems to stay on better this way than it does if I cook them right away.

- One tip I learned watching that old reality show about Rocco DiSpirito's restaurant was his mom made reknown meatballs, and she said the secret was to mix the meat and seasonings and let the mix sit overnight in the fridge, then make the meatballs with it the next day.  I started to do that it really made a difference. They tasted much better!

- Kosher Salt.  I don't use table salt for cooking (except baking) at all anymore.  Kosher salt just has a much better flavor and does so much more than common table salt.


GreenHall

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 395
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2013, 04:17:28 PM »
Not even sure why it crossed my mind the first time, but since I started adding Baking Soda in with my dishwasher detergent, it seems to be doing much better! (HARD water)

Diane AKA Traska

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4539
  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2013, 05:15:35 PM »
Not even sure why it crossed my mind the first time, but since I started adding Baking Soda in with my dishwasher detergent, it seems to be doing much better! (HARD water)

Ooooooh....
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

Maggie

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #69 on: May 01, 2013, 05:40:32 PM »
For southerners they may already know this tip but I just discovered it, add about a 1/4 tsp of baking soda when you are steeping your tea and before you add sugar.  It makes the most amazing sweet tea!

Diane AKA Traska

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4539
  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #70 on: May 01, 2013, 06:15:11 PM »
For southerners they may already know this tip but I just discovered it, add about a 1/4 tsp of baking soda when you are steeping your tea and before you add sugar.  It makes the most amazing sweet tea!

As in sweet iced tea?  Hmm... I'm due to make a batch soon...
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

Maggie

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #71 on: May 01, 2013, 06:23:03 PM »
I learned there are several things you can do to completely eliminate any bitter taste.  Pour boiling water over the tea bags and the baking soda.  Let that steep for 20-30 minutes and then pour over the sugar in the pitcher and let it dissolve.  Finally add enough water to make a gallon.  It will be the best iced tea you've ever had!  At least I think it is.  The recipe came from a restaurant in Texas. 

Ms_Cellany

  • The Queen of Squee
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5777
  • Big white goggie? No. Hasn't seen him.
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #72 on: May 01, 2013, 06:31:39 PM »
I learned there are several things you can do to completely eliminate any bitter taste.  Pour boiling water over the tea bags and the baking soda.  Let that steep for 20-30 minutes and then pour over the sugar in the pitcher and let it dissolve.  Finally add enough water to make a gallon.  It will be the best iced tea you've ever had!  At least I think it is.  The recipe came from a restaurant in Texas. 

How many tea bags and how much baking soda for a gallon?
Current fosters: Boojum (F, adult);  Rooney, Rascal, Rocket (M)

Maggie

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2013, 06:58:52 PM »
I learned there are several things you can do to completely eliminate any bitter taste.  Pour boiling water over the tea bags and the baking soda.  Let that steep for 20-30 minutes and then pour over the sugar in the pitcher and let it dissolve.  Finally add enough water to make a gallon.  It will be the best iced tea you've ever had!  At least I think it is.  The recipe came from a restaurant in Texas. 


How many tea bags and how much baking soda for a gallon?

I use about 3 of the quart size bags and the recipe says a 1/4 tsp of baking soda but I use just a little less than that.  If you like stronger tea though you can use more.  My kids say my tea is colored sweet water but yet they still drink it by the gallon :)

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6463
Re: Tricks of the (Kitchen) Trade
« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2013, 07:13:48 PM »
My tips:

- When making breaded chicken cutlets, I do the breading (flour, then egg,then crumbs) and leave the cutlets to sit for a while.  The breading seems to stay on better this way than it does if I cook them right away.


I wanted to mention that in some Cooks Illustrated article from a decade ago, they suggested doing this and putting them on a cooling rack. It does work wonders for crisping up the bread crumbs and improving adherance. I also find that I can use a lot less oil (I just spritz mine with grapeseed oil)