Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cooking Secrets

“What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.”
- Nora Ephron
Men’s Health magazine has 30 Top Chef Secrets:

30. Bake your Bacon at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes for perfect crispness
29. Keep a cutting board from slipping by placing a moist towel under it
27. Know when to add salt. If you salt vegetables early, the water is drawn out and they steam instead of brown. Add salt at the end of cooking.
26. Steaks and chops are easier to cook evenly when the center is warmed up beforehand. They suggest placing meat in a sealed bag in lukewarm water for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
25. Restore limp vegetables with an ice water bath
24. Brighten the flavor of seafood and salads with a misting of sherry or rice vinegar from a spray bottle
23. Cut awkward-to-slice vegetables—such as mushrooms, carrots, and peppers—by first cleaving them in half. Then rest the flat parts on the cutting board.
22. If meat is overcooked, slice it thinly, and cover with a dash of oil and an acidic sauce like tomatoes, fresh lime juice, or a few spoonful’s of vinaigrette. The acid and oil will restore moisture and fat to the mistreated meat.
21. Serve hot food on warm plates - heat dishes at 150°F for 10 minutes before plating. Server cold food on cold plates - lightly chill plates in a freezer to boost the crispness of summer salads.
19. Always cook fish with the skin side down for the first 75 percent of the cooking time (about 5 minutes), and then flip it briefly to the flesh side to finish.
17. Pat meat and fish dry before cooking
16. Wednesday is the least busy day at grocery stores.
14. Dense meats like steak, pork, or chicken legs can burn on the outside before they're fully cooked through. Insert a clean stainless-steel rod or nail into the thickest part of meats to help cook the insides.
13. Try pan roasting foods. Sear one side of meat in a hot pan, then flip and place the pan in an oven to roast at 400°F
12. Zap lemons, limes, or oranges for 15 seconds in the microwave before squeezing them to get more juice.
10. Don’t use Teflon coated pans with high heat. This will destroy the pan.
9. Try cooking with a 50:50 mixture of butter and olive oil. This gives the flavor of butter with the higher heat tolerance of oil.
8. Never refrigerate tomatoes, peaches, potatoes, onions, bread, and garlic.
7. After cooking pasta add the starchy water to the sauce to help it adhere to the pasta, and create a creamier, more flavorful final product.
5. Let the meat rest after cooking: Wait 5 minutes before biting into burgers or grilled chicken, 7 minutes before cutting into steaks, and at least 15 minutes before carving a turkey or a larger roast.
3. Don't overcrowd the pan: ingredient overload makes a pan's temperature plummet, and foods end up steaming rather than caramelizing
2. Too much salt? Use a splash of vinegar to counterbalance.
1. Don’t use a salt shaker. Pinch kosher salt straight from a dish. The coarse grains and the touch of your fingers give you maximum control.

Bottom Line

Cooking is both Art and Science. It helps to know the science basics about salt, heat, caramelization, etc and have a flair for creative mixing of flavors.


Interesting date today  1/11/11. 
Veteran's Day will be numerically interesting this year with 11/11/11.

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Blogger Dan.Eliot said...

It seems that recently more and more people are switching to a meatless diet. Becoming a vegetarian can have several benefits, ranging from weight loss to disease prevention.However, switching to a vegetarian lifestyle can be a difficult adjustment at first. A few cooking tips for vegetarians can help any vegan newcomer get started on the right footing. Learn more:

cooking tips

January 11, 2011 at 4:04 AM  

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