Follow us on Facebook for our Thursday Tips and learn how to take your kitchen creations from good, to AH-MAY-ZING! You don’t have to have a culinary degree to create restaurant quality dishes, cooking is about trial and error and learning why food does what it does. Cooking is less an art and more a learned skill. So here are some tips that you might find useful to help you create tasty and attractive dishes that will impress your friends
When cooking pasta do not add oil to the water! This will prevent whatever sauce you are going to add from sticking to the pasta. Also try grating a little parmesan cheese to freshly cooked pasta. This will aide the sauce in sticking to the pasta.
When chopping fresh herbs throw a bit of salt down on the cutting board to prevent the herbs from flying about willy nilly.
REST YOUR MEAT- this allows the juices in the meat to distribute evenly throughout the piece of meat ensuring you don’t end up with a steak that is juicy in the center but dry throughout the rest of the cut. A typical strip steak or chicken breast should rest covered with foil about five minutes. A whole chicken or a whole roast should rest at 20 minutes before cutting into them.
Today is a cold and rainy day. Today’s tip…have the hot apple cider and whipped vodka drink special in the lounge!
Season your food from start to finish. This will help your soups sauces stocks develop depth of flavor, instead of just tasting salty. A well seasoned dish does not taste like salt.
Don’t overcrowd your sauté pan when sautéing meats or fish. This will steam the meat instead of giving you that nice brown crust we all dream about.
Save your fat!!!! Bacon fat and chicken fat can be used to enhance flavors of lots of things. Sweat your vegetables in it for soups, use bacon fat instead of butter for grilled sandwiches, add it to ground beef for meatloaf or burgers. Use it to sauté spinach, kale, swiss chard or cabbage for a tasty side dish. Pop some popcorn and lightly toss in a bit of bacon fat and parmesan cheese. You could also heat up bacon fat and fry left over baked potatoes for potato skins! Trust me on this a little bit of fat can elevate your dish from good to holy wow delicious!
Always…ALWAYS …start with a sizzling hot pan. This prevents food from sticking to your pan and will give you a beautiful crust on meats and fish.
Sauces and stocks are always better home made. You may not feel like you have the time needed to produce these. To make life easier, try making chicken stock or demi glace in large batches and then freezing in ice cube trays for future use. When ready to use simply pop out a cube and heat in a sauté pan over medium heat.