bachelor's cookbook


tips & tricks:

  1. always pre-heat a saucepan before adding the butter or oil. this will keep your food from sticking to the pan.
  2. boil potatoes or eggs with lots of salt in the water. this makes the skin or shell peel off easily.
  3. flip sautee items in a skillet by snapping the pan towards you, not up or away from you.
  4. make sure the skillet is dry and sizzling before adding wine or spirits to flame off foods. water in the skillet will put steam into the fumes so that they will not light.
  5. a tiny pinch of powdered garlic will have the same effect as using msg. it brings out the flavor of the dish without adding a garlic taste.
  6. if a dish cooked in liquids (like a stew) is too salty, add a cut-up peeled potato during cooking. it will absorb much of the salt and can be thrown away before serving.
  7. never season a dish cooked with broth until just before serving. broths already contain salt and pepper which becomes stronger as the liquid cooks way.
  8. cooking wines contain a tablespoon or more of salt to keep them from turning. adjust your seasonings accordingly.
  9. use really cheap wines in cooking. the good stuff has such a delicate flavor that it cooks out before serving.
  10. marked down beef in the supermarket is actually better than the fresh stuff. it has had a chance to age for a couple of days making it more tender, more flavorful, and it will cook more consistently. (besides, it's cheaper!)
  11. test a roast's doneness by sticking a metal spear through the center for a count of 3. when you pull the spear out, place the center against your lower lip to check the temperature. cold = rare. warm = medium rare. hot = well done. works better than thermometers.
  12. after browning meats for dishes which will be stewed or braised, always add hot water. cold water makes the cooked meat shrink and it will come out tough.
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