My Favorite Tips/Practices in the KitchenPosted: April 9, 2012
Most important; Shoes off, music on, favorite beverage in hand — enjoy your time in the kitchen.
1) USE a spatula- the single most important tool in your kitchen to avoid waste…many people do not take the time to get the last bit of mayo or sauce or even cookie dough out of the bowl…
2) When you’re browning meat, you should blot the surface dry with a paper towel so the meat doesn’t release moisture when it hits the hot oil. Too much moisture makes the meat steam instead of sear, and you will lose that rich brown crust.
3) After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.
4) After making eggs sunny-side up, deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar, or beef or chicken stock then drizzle the sauce on the eggs to add another dimension to the dish.
5) Remember schmaltz? Your mom and grandmother probably used a lot of it in their home cooking. Schmaltz, or chicken fat, has a great flavor and richness; it has a deeper flavor than duck fat and can be used on nearly everything. I also love poaching fish in it. Just make sure you are using organic chickens…otherwise it’s better to not eat the fat…too toxic.
6) Always season meat and fish evenly; sprinkle salt and pepper as though it’s “snowing.” This will avoid clumping or ending up with too much seasoning in some areas and none in others.
7) For best results when you’re baking, leave butter and eggs at room temperature overnight.
8) For an easy weeknight meal, save and freeze leftover sauces from previous meals in ice cube trays. The cubes can be reheated in a sauté pan when you need a quick sauce.
9) Instead of placing a chicken on a roasting rack, cut thick slices of onion, put them in an oiled pan, then place the chicken on top. The onion will absorb the chicken juices. After roasting, let the chicken rest while you make a sauce with the onions by adding a little stock or water to the pan and cooking it for about 3 minutes on high heat.
10) A braised or slow-roasted whole beef roast or pork shoulder can be made into several dishes and sandwiches all week.
11) Fresh basil keeps much better and longer at room temperature with the stems in water.
12) When you grill, or pan fry, pull your steaks out of the refrigerator one hour ahead of time so they can come to room temperature.
13) To optimize the juice you get from a lemon or lime, roll it hard under your palm for a minute before juicing.
14) Don’t be afraid to ask the butcher or fishmonger to see the products up close and to smell for freshness. Fish should never smell fishy.
15) When baking cookies, be sure your dough is thoroughly chilled when it goes on your baking pan. This will allow the leavening ingredients to work before the butter flattens out and your cookies lose their textural distinctions
16) Wash potatoes after you peel them, they will be way easier to peel when dry.