Kitchen Techniques Every Passionate Cook Must Know

Want to kick your kitchen game up a notch? Learn these techniques and watch as your food gets even more delicious.

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SEARING

Searing can add a tasty caramelized crust to your favorite dish. Start with a hot pan. Add a think coat of oil – enough to make the pan gleam – and add what you’d like to cook. Let it hiss and watch the crust form, then flip.

DICING AN ONION

Halve the onion from top to bottom and place the flat sides down on the board. Peel off the skin, face the root end away from you, and make vertical cuts. When you’re done, make horizontal cuts. Don’t cut all the way through the root.

MAKE PAN SAUCE

After searing, put those extra brown morsels on the bottom of your pan to use. Add wine, stock or vinegar to your hot pan. Scrape up those leftover bits on the pan and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Remove it from the pan and stir in some cold butter cubes.

TEMPERING

Every cook should know how to blend ingredients that are different temperatures – especially of they work with eggs or chocolates. When chocolate isn’t tempered, unsightly white blotches of cocoa might appear. So heat your chocolate, and let it cool by stirring in a solid chunk. When the chocolate is about 88° F, remove the remaining chunks and dip away!

MAKE VINAIGRETTE

Here’s the secret. One part vinegar, three parts oil. Add a pinch of salt to the vinegar and a little Dijon mustard. Now use both hands – one to pour the oil and one to whisk the mixture. Keep going until it’s all blended.

BLANCH VEGETABLES

To soften the taste of your veggies, blanch them. Boil a pot of very salty water and dump the vegetables into it. Once they’re cooked, plunge then into ice water. This will stop the cooking process and make your veggies cool and crisp.

MAKE YOUR OWN STOCK

Throw some chicken in a pot of water with onion, carrots and celery. Bring it to boil, reduce the temperature, and let it simmer for a few hours. Skim off the fat, strain it through a sieve, and put it in a fridge. Your soups and sauces will never be the same.

MAKE WHIPPED CREAM

Become a master of desserts with this skill! Put your metal mixing bowl and whisk or beaters in the freezer. When they’re cold, pour a pint of heavy cream and whisk aggressively until the mixture becomes cloudy. As it thickens, add some powdered sugar and vanilla for extra flavor.

 

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How to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh

Eating more fruits and vegetables is a requirement for every healthy eater. But when you buy more fresh produce, do yo end up throwing away more than you eat?

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Storing fresh produce is a little more complicated than you might think. If you want to prevent spoilage, certain foods shouldn’t be stored together at all, while others that we commonly keep in the fridge should actually be left on the counter top. To keep your produce optimally fresh and cut down on food waste, use this guide.

Countertop Storage Tips

There’s nothing as inviting as a big bowl of crisp apples on the kitchen counter. To keep those apples crisp and all countertop-stored produce fresh, store them out of direct sunlight, either directly on the countertop, in an uncovered bowl, or inside a perforated plastic bag.

Refrigerator Storage Tips

For produce that is best stored in the refrigerator, remember the following guidelines:

  • Keep produce in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. to perforate bags, punch holes in the bag with a sharp object, spacing them about as far apart as the holes you see in supermarket apple bags.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate, in different drawers, because ethylene can build up in the fridge, causing spoilage.
  • When storing herbs (an interestingly, asparagus too), snip off the ends, store upright in a glass of water (like flowers in a vase) and cover with a plastic bag.

Food is expensive, and most people can’t afford to waste it. Print this handy tips to print in your kitchen so you can refer to it after every shopping trip. :)

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Cutting Food Costs

1. Meals should be planned on a weekly basis. Although not exactly course to course, variety is they key to a balanced diet.

2. Never with an empty stomach. You’ll tend to be more impulsive in buying unnecessary stuff. Don’t rush. Take your time in shopping.

3. Have a grocery list handy in the kitchen, and jot down any item as soon as you run low. This will save a lot of trips to the grocery due to forgotten items.

4. It’s handy to bring along a calculator to compare the bargain between two similarly priced items in proportion with their contents.

5. When trying out a new product, always buy the small package. This will cost more, but just in case you don’t like it, you lose less.

6. Cheaper cuts of meat doesn’t mean inferior quality. One just has to pay more attention in cooking it. Less tender cuts are good for stews and dishes requiring long cooking time. Buy meat and other frozen products at the end of shopping; that way they won’t thaw and promote bacteria growth.

7. Consider using livers and kidneys in the menu. They are rich in iron and less in fat.

8. To get better-tasting meat, cut up all the meat together and let them sit in a communal marinade. So even when frying there will be better-tasting meat. And don’t throw away the bones, they make for good tasting stock or broth.

9. When meat is a little scarce, try adding beans. Small amounts will hardly be noticeable in most dishes.

10. Aside from common fish people buy, there are a lot of other varieties that taste as good but cost a lot less.

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