Tip of the Month 7/1/2015


 

salt

SALT to Taste:  Don’t think for a moment that salt is salt.  If you are into cooking then you know that salt is an important commodity!  Salts have become very trendy, however – red salt from Hawaii, Jurassic salt from Utah, and a multitude of sea salts from Europe.  At $30 a pound, you need to use good judgement when selecting salts for your kitchen and recipes.  For regular cooking, nothing beats 70 cents per pound kosher salt.  It blends well, is clean-tasting, easy to cook with, and additive free.  I haven’t used table salt in years.  It always seems to taste really salty and harsh.  The reality is that it isn’t any saltier than other salts, it’s just that the crystals are small and don’t dissolve well.  Because of this, the crystals tend to linger on the surface of the tongue.   All of the qualities of expensive salts get lost during cooking.  Their value is geared towards finished food, for example sprinkling on top of food just before serving.  My favorite finishing salt is Fleur de sel and Maldon sea salts.




Tip of the Month 6/1/2015


 

herbs

Fresh herbs versus Dried:  Because dried herbs lack the moisture of fresh herbs, their flavor is much more concentrated.  The general rule is to use one-third the amount of dried herbs as you would use fresh.  If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon dried instead.  In addition, when cooking with fresh herbs, it’s best to add them at the end of the recipe, so the heat doesn’t destroy their bright color and flavor.  If using dried herbs, add them in the beginning.  This way their flavor has time to better infuse the dish.




Tip of the Month 5/1/2015


Does Garlic ever go bad? How should I store it?

sproutinggarlic

Yes. When garlic cloves start to shrivel and soften, and dark spots appear, they’ve seen better days. Eating garlic at this stage won’t make you sick, but it can taste hotter, which isn’t always what you want. Garlic is in it’s peak in June and July when new crops are harvested but it is certainly available all year round. Look for bulbs with fat cloves, store in an open container in a cool place. Please not the fridge! This encourages sprouting. This pesky green shoot can be bitter so it should be removed. At this point the garlic takes on a milder flavor, which some may like.




Tip of the Month 3/1/2015


Tip of the week #1

Brown spots on your cauliflower?  Why not use a potato peeler to remove those yucky spots.

Cauliflower




Tip of the Month 8/1/2015


 

breadbeefinskillet

Skimming the Fat:  To remove excess grease from browned ground beef or sausage, “blot” the extra fat from the pan using a piece of bread.  This also works for skimming fat off the top of soup or chili, and it’s great for absorbing oil when cleaning off the bottom of the pan.  Try it!




Tip of the Month - 4/1/2015


When a recipe calls for butter that’s been melted and cooled, melt just a little over half of the amount called for in the microwave, then stir in the remaining butter.  The heat from the melted butter will melt the rest as the added butter cools down the entire mixture.

melted butter




Tip of the Month 4/1/2015


Making whipped cream? I recommend using pasteurized heavy cream to make whipped cream. It has a higher milk fat content than whipping cream and has a richer flavor and nearly doubles in volume. Plus the volume holds longer because of its higher milk fat content. It must contain at least 36% milk fat but no more than 40%. And while you are mixing the heavy cream in a mixer, add a touch of pure vanilla and a bit of sugar! Yum!




Tip of the Month - 3/1/2015


Sized Right

When rolling dough to a specific dimension, placing masking tape on the work surface in the shape and size needed takes the guess work out of measuring.  I just roll until I get to the edge of the tape – no more stopping to measure in the middle of rolling.

dough

 

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Tip of the Month 2/17/2015


Stay-Clean Twine

twinebainmarie

To keep butcher’s twine clean and tangle-free, I feed it through a hole cut into one corner of a resealable plastic bag.  That way it’s always sanitary and easy to use when I need it.  Another way is to place it inside a bain marie and pull the string as needed.  Either way, it stays clean.

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Tip of the Month - 1/10/2015


Looking for a quick cutter?

 

PAMcookiedough

The plastic cap from a nonstick spray can is a perfect substitute for a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter.  The edge is sharp enough to cleanly cut through the cookie dough.  With just a slight squeeze of the lid, the dough easily releases from the cap.

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