Cooking Tips for Home Cooks

September 15, 2012 2 Comments

Cooking Tips for Home Cooks

A Collection of Some Great General Cooking Tips

Every where I look I find interesting cooking tips and informative cooking facts so I’m going to start gathering them here. If I find there is way to categorize them, I will.

Of course I’m always interested in any tips you may have so please share them in the comments below.

General Tips

arrow Don’t toss those Parmesan rinds. Use them when preparing your favorite marinara sauce or bean soups. Be sure to remove them when done so you can use them again.

arrow Prepare what you need before you start. It’s how the pros do it and it simplifies the process when you are scrambling to put it all together.

arrow When using a broiler to cook steaks, pre-heat oven until it’s really hot. This will sear the outside of the meat and keep the juices in. And don’t use a fork to turn the steaks, use thongs or a spatula to prevent juices from leaking out.

arrow Buy yourself a potato ricer for mashed potatoes. It a great gadget to have in your kitchen, it looks like a giant garlic press, costs about six bucks, but there’s nothing better for smooth airy mashed potatoes.

arrow A folding steamer platform that sits in almost any pot works great for your steamed veggies. Important, be careful not to overcook the broccoli, you want it to be crisp but tender.

arrow Invest in a salad spinner. They’re inexpensive and work great. There’s nothing more unappealing than soggy lettuce. And speaking of lettuce, you may have grown up on iceberg, but try some red or green leaf lettuce for a little diversity.

arrow Never cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink!

arrow You can substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves with 1 teaspoon. of dried, but fresh is better. Try using a spray olive oil to coat your roasting pan.

arrow Any brine-cured black olives can be substituted for Kalmata and remember to tell your guests there are pits so they don’t break a tooth.

arrow To roast garlic, sprinkle the bulb with a little olive oil and white wine, salt and pepper, wrap it in tin foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for approximately one hour.

arrow Try using a hand blender to puree the soup….it’s easier than transferring to food processor.

arrow Mushrooms should be wiped off with a damp cloth and not washed under the faucet since they are like sponges and will absorb the water.

arrow Make sure your roasting pan is the correct size and is placed on the middle rack.

arrow When roasting, save the pan juices for your gravy.

arrow Leeks are full of hard to get at sand and dirt, chop them first, then give them a bath in cold water and drain in a colander.

arrow ry using carrots instead of sugar to sweeten your sauces.

arrow Cracked pepper corns: I opt for putting the peppercorns in a zip lock bag and cracking them on my cutting board with a hammer. Noisy, but it worked. Otherwise, set your pepper mill to course grain instead.

arrow When buying cabbage, look for heads that appear heavier than their size with crisp leaves.

Grilling Tips:

arrow Be sure your grill is hot enough before starting.

arrow Grill meat and veggies about 4 inches from heat source and chicken about 6-8 inches away.

arrow To add more flavor, try adding pre soaked chunks of natural hardwoods like hickory.

arrow Make sure grill is clean before cooking.

arrow To prevent sticking, brush or spray a light coating of oil on grid.

arrow If your grill has a top, close it to allow smoke to add it’s flavor.

arrow To keep poultry from drying out, grill with bone in and baste continuously.

arrow Poultry dark meat takes longer than white meat so start it sooner.

arrow Sear chicken on the skin side first.

Check out my grilling techniques page

Baking Potatoes

arrow Use a potato with a high starch content …it makes for a puffier baked potato. Good starchy potatoes are: russet and Idaho.

arrow Look for potatoes that have a smooth skin and no sprouts. Stay away from those with wrinkly skin or soft spots.

arrow Store your potatoes in a cool dark spot away from your onions.

arrow And don’t store them for months on end. A couple of weeks is what you should plan for.

arrow Be sure to read my Two Points of View on Baking Potatoes

Roasting a Turkey

arrow Check out my Turkey Tip Page

 

 

 

Last modified on Mon 13 February 2017 4:12 pm

Filed in: Tips and Facts

Comments (2)

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  1. Egg Chef says:

    One of the biggest time savers for me is chopping all my veggies the way I need them as soon as I get home from the grocery. That way it’s easy to use them when I need them, as salad toppings, scrambled eggs additions, or smoothie ingredients. It’s a lot less wasteful.

  2. Julia says:

    I love these tips! I’m kind of an amateur cook myself

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