The Best Cooking Tricks // Bon Appetit

April 18, 2014

Bon appetit is back at it again. Their recent article, the best cooking tricks we've picked up over the years, is dishing out helpful tips to add to your arsenal of cooking how-to's. I love that the article addresses trepidations around cooking and how to navigate them. For me, I get a bit nervous when I am making a mess or things getting a little nutty in the kitchen when I have guests over; so, this article was a nice reminder that cooking is not always neat which is part of the fun.

Finishing Pasta in the Pan

1. finish your pasta in the pan - having your pasta finish cooking in your sauce will infuse the flavors into your noodles. For a great finishing touch, add a bit of the starchy pasta water into the sauce with a tab of butter. 

2. don't be afraid of a little heat (and a little smoke) - There's no way to get a good sear on a steak or any piece of meat without cranking it up. And if you're cranking the heat, then you are going to generate some smoke when the meat hits the pan. It's OK—don't panic! Just be prepared to open windows and disable the smoke detector before it starts blaring. 

3. microplane (not just for cheese) - this tool is great for mincing garlic and ginger, along with spices and citrus. Use often to save time.

4. use your scissors in the kitchen - scissors are a great time saver to quickly cut up kids food or to break down a larger item into bite-size-pieces. 

Use Salt to Clean Your Cast-Iron Pans

5. use salt to clean your cast-iron pans - it's a fast and easy way to soak up the oils that could go rancid in the pan without using soap that will break down your seasoning and make your pan rusty.

6. give your veggies space - cramming as many vegetables onto a cooking sheet is not nearly as effective as spacing them out a bit for more caramelization and roasting.

Get Yourself a Fish Spatula (to Use for Everything)
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7. get yourself a fish spatula (and use for everything) - this kitchen tool is great for so many dishes other than just fish. Use it for omelettes, veggies, taking cookies off the baking sheet and more.

8. soak your brown rice - it will speed up its cooking time.

9. use an immersion blender - food processors are great and all, but for $30, you can have perfectly creamy soup with way less hassle.

10. a pressure cooker is a dream for beans - 40 minutes of unattended cooking time instead of 3 hours plus overnight soaking is a no-brainer to save time in the kitchen.

11. salt, salt, salt - properly seasoning your food is the biggest difference you can make in cooking. The more fat a dish has in it, the more salt you need to make the flavors really shine (think a burger or rich, cream-based sauce).

For Dressings, a Jar's Your Best Friend

12. for dressings, a jar is your best friend jars are great for making dressings in; simply add in your ingredients, tightly secure the lid and shake. Plus, you can make extra and store it in the same jar without dirtying another dish. 

13. the best way to clean your greens - wash your leafs and lettuces from the leaf side down to the stem side. This will keep the dirt from spreading from the stems all over your leafs. 

14. chop your onions the right way - yes there is a right way! google search or click here to watch a quick video of gordon ramsey showing you the way.

The whole article has some great info, straight from contributors and writers for bon appetit so click on the link above to read the article in its entirety


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