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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

1. You can learn a lot by reading the comments other people leave about online recipes. I've made super-salty soup one too many times! Reading feedback from others who say "Be sure to reduce the salt" can really save a recipe—and reduce its sodium content!

2. Always crack an egg on a flat surface, never the edge of a bowl. Otherwise you'll risk shell shards and possible contamination of your food

3. Don't throw out those last drips of jam in the jar; shake up a fruity vinaigrette instead. Add equal parts oil and vinegar to the jar, give it a good shake, and season with salt and pepper to taste

4.Cooking doesn't have to be entirely from scratch every single meal. Making easy homemade sauce for store-bought pasta still counts! 

5.Soak bitter greens, like arugula or kale, in a bowl of ice water in the fridge for about an hour to cut their bitterness. Run the leaves through your salad spinner several times with a paper towel to get them nice and dry and crisp.

6.When grilling flank or skirt steak, marinate it for 10 minutes after cooking instead of before. It adds amazing, full flavor in a tenth of the time.

7.When a savory dish needs a little oomph, try a squeeze of lemon instead of salt. A hit of citrus can make the whole recipe come to life.

8.Add hot sauce to your leftover pizza. It will taste great the next day, plus the chilies have antimicrobial properties that may help leftovers last longer.

9.Each time I make a batch of cookies, I bake one test cookie first. That way, if the oven is a little off that day, I can adjust the baking time accordingly and the rest of the cookies still come out perfectly.

10.For a satisfyingly thick but dairy-free soup, add some cashew cream. It's delicious and easy to make: Soak one cup of raw cashews in water for six to eight hours, drain and rinse them, and blend with 3/4 cup water until smooth.

11.Read the recipe thoroughly, and then wing it. Use your senses—taste, touch, smell—pay attention, and play with the ingredients. You might make a few mistakes, but you'll learn so much more.

12.Never throw away the rind of a piece of cheese. Drop it into a pot of soup—any kind!—for added flavor. Remove it with a spoon and discard before serving.

13.When making dough, freeze the butter and grate it into the dry ingredients. You'll handle the cold dough less, resulting in more tender and flaky piecrusts, biscuits, or scones. 

14.When making a whole roast chicken, salt it, then chill it, uncovered, in the fridge for the day. This helps season the bird and dries out the skin so it crisps perfectly when cooked. Remove it from the fridge an hour before you plan to put it in the oven, and add herbs and aromatics like garlic or shallots. 

15.To cut an avocado more easily, slice it while it's still in the skin. Not using the whole thing? Leave the pit in the remaining avocado to prevent browning. 

16.Learn how to sharpen your knives and do it often. The most dangerous thing you can have in your kitchen is a dull knife. You're more likely to cut yourself because you have to press harder.

17.Store fresh herbs as you would fresh flowers: in a jar of water on your countertop. Pluck off what you need, change the water daily, and they'll last two to three times longer than they would in the fridge. You'll get the most extra mileage from flat-leaf parsley.

18.When you're not sure what to do with an exotic veggie, roast it! Everything from sunchokes to rutabaga tastes great tossed with a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked in the oven at 400°F until tender.

19.Avoid messy stains and get at a pomegranate's arils faster by slicing it in half, then submerging it in a bowl of water. The seeds will sink while the pith floats, making them easy to separate.

20.Replace the bread crumbs in pasta dishes with finely chopped nuts for extra flavor and a shot of protein. Try almonds on top of bechamel-based mac 'n' cheese. 

21.When sauteing onions, add a pinch of baking soda. It speeds browning and cuts cooking time practically in half. 

22. A runny-yolked fried egg adds instant richness to pasta, rice and grain dishes, even pizza. 

23.When adding ground spices to bread or cake batter, cream the spices with the butter and sugar instead of adding them with the other dry ingredients. The fat in the butter helps disperse the flavors of the spices for a much more intense taste.

24.The secret to making a great cocktail is all in the ice. Use filtered water so the ice doesn't impart any off flavors to the drink, and go big—the larger the ice chunk, the less you'll water down your drink.

25.Light italian salad dressing is a marvelous shortcut for adding flavor to homemade salsa. Add 1/4 cup to three cups of salsa
Written by Food Stylist Malaysian Admin