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chefs13

The Quintessential eG Kitchen Tips/Trucs

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I own some 25-30 13 inch aluminum serving trays (cost is $1-2) and use them for all prep work, baking items, toasting croutons, roasting veggies etc. They are simple to clean and can be used many times over before tossing in tha garbage.

I use them for so many things around the kitcken, it's scary. Saves time, frees up pots, pans etc. - simply an amazing tool.

We buy the 30-packs of 1/2-size aluminum catering pans at Costco and use them for many different things. In the spring and fall we have reason to bake a lot of brownies and bread puddings to transport then serve. Those pans, lined with parchment paper are our mainstay.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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When a recipe calls for white wine I substitute for martini extra dry (the one in the green bottle). That way I don't have to open a bottle of white wine just to use a little bit of it.

Also, it makes the food taste A LOT better than using cheap white wine.

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To reduce the saltiness in slices of ham, you can soak them in milk for around 20 minutes. Rinse them off then dry them with a paper towel. The ham will not pick up any flavors of the milk.

Can anyone explain the logic behind soaking things in milk to make their flavors milder? I've also seen this referred to for making meat less gamey, but I don't see how the science would work (or how it would be much better than water).

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When a recipe calls for white wine I substitute for martini extra dry (the one in the green bottle). That way I don't have to open a bottle of white wine just to use a little bit of it.

Also, it makes the food taste A LOT better than using cheap white wine.

Interesting. If you have leftover wine you didn't drink in time, or that you took home from a restaurant and there wasn't enough to drink, you could also keep it in the fridge for cooking. You can still use it for cooking after its not really good for drinking anymore.

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When a recipe calls for white wine I substitute for martini extra dry (the one in the green bottle). That way I don't have to open a bottle of white wine just to use a little bit of it.

Also, it makes the food taste A LOT better than using cheap white wine.

Interesting. If you have leftover wine you didn't drink in time, or that you took home from a restaurant and there wasn't enough to drink, you could also keep it in the fridge for cooking. You can still use it for cooking after its not really good for drinking anymore.

The thing is I don't use wine I couldn't drink to cook, so no keeping in the fridge for me.

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if it tastes bad to you to drink, you will add that taste to your food if you chose to use it that way.

the vermouth suggestion is a good one and an old one: it does not go bad as its alcohol strength is high enough. but the refrig. can also help you with keeping that vermouth better tasting if you dont use it too often.

the white vermouth works well for this. I have yet to find a dry full bodied red that will also keep. I just open another bottle!


Edited by rotuts (log)

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To reduce the saltiness in slices of ham, you can soak them in milk for around 20 minutes. Rinse them off then dry them with a paper towel. The ham will not pick up any flavors of the milk.

Why milk and not water?

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I use those small wine bottles that come in four packs for cooking. No waste that way and I can have a wide selection stashed in the cupboard. If you poke around in the liquor store you can find stuff that's good enough for the job.

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When a recipe calls for white wine I substitute for martini extra dry (the one in the green bottle). That way I don't have to open a bottle of white wine just to use a little bit of it.

Also, it makes the food taste A LOT better than using cheap white wine.

Interesting. If you have leftover wine you didn't drink in time, or that you took home from a restaurant and there wasn't enough to drink, you could also keep it in the fridge for cooking. You can still use it for cooking after its not really good for drinking anymore.

The thing is I don't use wine I couldn't drink to cook, so no keeping in the fridge for me.

I'm not suggesting using BAD wine, merely wine that has gone flat but still has the proper flavor, if I understand correctly (I don't drink myself, only cook with wine, and I pretty much stay with fortified wines/alcohol as a result, since it takes a long, long time to use up a bottle.)

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I've recently found that rolled millet flakes make a solid stand-in for bread crumbs, both in coatings, and in things like panades and meatballs (I'm aware that consuming substantial amounts of millet – e.g. a lot of millet bread daily – carries the risk of a potential suppressive effect on the thyroid gland, but unless you're eating crazy amounts of 'breaded' foods/meatballs/etc., you should be fine).

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Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I have not read read this for thread although I think I might. But I've been doing a fair amount of cooking in the last few days and found these two things very helpful:

thoroughly cleaned foam meat trays make great spoon rests and can be discarded

And a defunct salad spinner makes a perfect garbage bowl for the counter because it drains the scraps.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I don't think I ever discard apple peels.  I toss them into the food processor and reduce them to small bits - slushy actually - and freeze for when I want to make jams or jellies without using Sure-Jel or similar product.  The apple peels contain a lot of pectin and while some people make their own pectin and are really fussy about straining it carefully to get a clear jelly, I don't really worry that much about it as I usually make jams and preserves.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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from time to time I see a nifty cooking tip , on a cooking show, a magazine , the newspaper.

 

Im after ones that are very very simple, solve a small issue elegantly, and  until you see it, you might never have thought of it yourself.

 

I think you get the idea.

 

Ill start with two :  one years old :

 

on a GreatBritishMenu show, Chef Sat Bains uses his index finger on the top of a knife's blade for extra control.  Brilliant !

 

and just now :  CI  May/June 16 :  to prevent splatters while deglazing, pour your liquid through one of those fine mesh spatter guards, which you've place on the pan first !

 

simple things like that.

 

its possible everyone does these two things, but I never would have thought of them myself.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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its only for small knife work, delicate.  just the tip involved on a small knife

 

what I mean to say is this method helps you control the tip of a small very sharp knife

 

but thanks for that info


Edited by rotuts (log)

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nice

 

I wish i could take a snap of the vid where i saw this  but there might be copyright issues

 

consider on that same small knife  :  thumb on one side, index finger extended on the top of the blade, then the third finger on the other side from the 

 

thumb  ( good for R and L handers )  other two fingers as noted.  nice sharp blade for its not about working the blade but controlling the very tip of the knife.

 

Im very keen to see if you find any significant difference.


Edited by rotuts (log)

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I suspect that for most home cooks the way they handle their knives is unlikely to lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.  In a production environment I would be much more concerned.   But there's no harm done in mentioning it.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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6 hours ago, rotuts said:

from time to time I see a nifty cooking tip , on a cooking show, a magazine , the newspaper.

 

Im after ones that are very very simple, solve a small issue elegantly, and  until you see it, you might never have thought of it yourself.

 

I think you get the idea.

 

Ill start with two :  one years old :

 

on a GreatBritishMenu show, Chef Sat Bains uses his index finger on the top of a knife's blade for extra control.  Brilliant !

 

and just now :  CI  May/June 16 :  to prevent splatters while deglazing, pour your liquid through one of those fine mesh spatter guards, which you've place on the pan first !

 

simple things like that.

 

its possible everyone does these two things, but I never would have thought of them myself.

 

 

Great topic Rotuts,. I have learnt loads from watching cooking shows and admit to perhaps watching more than I should.

 

Wandering away from techniques the first things that came to mind when I read your topic was ingredients I wouldn't have tried but for seeing them on TV shows: tonka beans and butternut squash are examples, I doubt I would have tried either if I hadn't seen them over and over on cooking programmes. Piment d'espelette is another.  

 

I doubt I would have made fresh pasta if I hadn't seen how easy the process is on a cooking show.

 

i'm sure I will think of numerous other examples with time!  

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this not being a Forum for Professional By-The-Case Prep Chefs Only, the theory of things that make for carpel tunnel fatalities seems pretty far off the wall.

 

that being said, bad information should be challenged. 

 

the worst I have ever seen was a link to some homemade video of how to sharpen a knife.  it started out with "Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle . . . "


Edited by AlaMoi (log)

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please, just s nifty simple tip you would not have otherwise thought of yourself.

 

Ill remove the knife tip   

 

but the splatter screen for de-glazing stays.

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Don't remember where I first saw it:

 

Cut a tomato in half along the equator, grate the flesh on a box grater over the bowl or pan. End up with the empty skin on the box grater.

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Was watching an episode of Sara Moulton on PBS this afternoon. She showed how she stored vanilla pods in a mason jar with about an inch of bourbon in the bottom. She claims that this keeps them from drying out.  Not the same thing as making your own vanilla extract rather just keeping a few beans in tiptop condition.   Sounds reasonable to me .

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I am not a particularly big Rachael Ray fan, but, I really 'need' a truffle shaver now (that she has used it umpteen times to slice garlic paper thin in a hurry) - and I have no truffles, nor do I expect to ever have any fresh ones.

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I saw this potato peeling tip on instagram a while back but this video came up recently on my yahoo page and reminded me: 

 

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"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

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