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Cooking Tips For The Brand New Cook

Actually, the idea for this post came from a question from a young man, out on his own for the first time who had discovered he actually enjoyed puttering about the kitchen and wanted some cooking tips. He had some specific questions about grilling meats but generally wanted to know about cooking.

My first thought was to tell him to get a really good cook book such as The Joy of Cooking and simply start by standing in front of the stove.   But then I thought he does need that book (every kitchen needs that book) but I need to give him a couple of tips to get him started.

So I started with just a couple of little tips and just as I thought I was through I thought of a couple more and before I knew it the list had become quite long.   There are so many little gems you just can't narrow it down to just a few.

So here is a longer than short little list of tips for the kitchen.   I'm sure you have a few yourself you would have added had you been the one making the list.   Feel free to add them at the bottom.    You probably have some I've never heard.

  • If you over salt your soup, gravy or sauce put a peeled potato in it and cook for 15 min and it will absorb some of the salt.
  • When you're measuring honey, molasses or corn syrup, spray your measuring glass or spoon with nonstick spray first
  • How to tell if an egg is still good: Fill a pan with water and put the whole egg in (still in shell). If it floats, it’s bad. If it stays on the bottom it’s still good.
  • Use parchment paper for baking. It'll save a lot of burnt cookies.
  • To boil eggs, place eggs in cold, salted water and bring to a full rolling boil. Remove pan from heat, cover and let stand for 9 minutes. Rinse the eggs in cold water. The salt will make your eggs easier to peel the eggs.
  • Mix a quarter teaspoon of sugar in a cup full of water, then pour over your frozen vegetables just before steaming and it’ll make them taste fresh.
  • Always use tongs to turn the meat when barbecuing. A fork will punch holes in the flesh and allow the natural juices to escape along with the flavor, leaving the meat dry and chewy.
  • To marinate meat, put sauce and meat in a plastic bag and leave overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Add cold water to hamburger meat before grilling for a juicer hamburger (1/2 cup to 1 pound of meat).
  • Let raw potatoes sit in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of your french-fried potatoes.
  • Do not use metal bowls, forks or spoons when mixing salads. Only use wood, glass or china.
  • When cooking any kind of strawberry dessert, add a splash of aged Balsamic vinegar to the recipe to enhance the flavor of the strawberries.
  • Wet your knife before cutting a boiled egg to make a clean slice.
  • Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds and double the juice you get before squeezing.
  • Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off.
  • The best way to store fresh celery is to wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator--it will keep for weeks.
  • A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn to remove corn silk.
  • Dip your bacon in cold water just before frying and it won't curl up.
  • Before cooking noodles, spaghetti and other starches rub the inside of the pan with vegetable oil and they won't boil over.
  • To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
  • When separating eggs, break them into a funnel. The whites will go through leaving the yolk intact in the funnel.
  • Make your own celery flakes. Just cut and wash the leaves off your celery stalks then dry them in the oven at about 150 ° until thoroughly dry. Crumble and store in an old spice container.
  • Here's a link with grilling times for your meat.
  • Have 2 separate cutting boards. One for meats and one for vegetables.
  • This one is not really about cooking, but it has to do with the kitchen - when the disposal starts to smell, toss some lemon rinds.
  • To slice meat into thin strips - partially freeze and it will slice nicely.
  • To cut up onions, place in the freezer for 15 minutes before you begin and there will be no tears.
  • A jar lid in the bottom half of a double-boiler will rattle when the water gets low and warn you to add more before the pan scorches.
  • Add a little lemon and lime to tuna to add zest and flavor to tuna sandwiches.
  • Never brown just one pound of hamburger, always brown two, and put half in a freezer bag an freeze to use at a later date when you're in a rush.
  • Marshmallows won't dry out when frozen.
  • Poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes will disappear when done.
  • For fluffier, whiter rice, add one teaspoon of lemon juice per quart of water. To add extra flavor and nutrition, cook it in liquid from cooking vegetables.
  • When picking a melon, smell it for freshness and ripeness. (It should smell like the fruit it is) Check to see that the fruit is heavy in weight and that the spot on the end where it has been plucked from the vine is soft.
  • If a recipe calls for 1 cup sour cream, you may substitute 2/3 cup cottage cheese blended until smooth with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/3 cup buttermilk.
  • To remove egg shells from batter (I hate when this happens), use the remaining shell to attract the piece.
  • Keep your popcorn fresh by storing it in the freezer.
  • Now this one is devious. If you're passing off take-out as your own cooking or are warming prepared food for guest, throw some onions on to saute and your kitchen will smell wonderful and homey. (Put on a pot of coffee as well and you'll have them drooling.)
  • When using rice, keep in mind that 1 cup of uncooked long-grain white rice makes 3 cups cooked.
  • Marinate red meats in wine to tenderize and chicken in buttermilk.
  • A simple way to sharpen kitchen shears: cut a piece of steel wool.

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Around The Kitchen | » Cooking Tips For The Brand New Cook | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen