tips & tricks:
- always pre-heat a saucepan before adding the butter
or oil. this will keep your food from sticking to the pan.
- boil potatoes or eggs with lots of salt in the water.
this makes the skin or shell peel off easily.
- flip sautee items in a skillet by snapping the pan
towards you, not up or away from you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- cooking wines contain a tablespoon or more of salt
to keep them from turning. adjust your seasonings accordingly.
- use really cheap wines in cooking. the good stuff has
such a delicate flavor that it cooks out before serving.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.