Home
Home
 
 

African Food

American Food

Asian Food

European Food

Mediterranean Food

Seafood

Vegetarian Food

Desserts

Soups

 

  Cooking and baking tips to help you prepare better and healthier food
  Conversion Tool, Equivalencies and Measurements
  Most Commonly Used Terms in Cooking
 
 
  Cooking and Baking Tips

Cooking and Baking Tips

Granny's cooking and baking tips - a collection of timeless wisdom:

 

* To slice meat into thin strips, as for Chinese dishes - partially freeze and it will slice easily.

* A roast with the bone in will cook faster than a boneless roast - the bone carries the
   heat to the inside of the roast quicker.

* For a juicer hamburger add cold water to the beef before grilling (1/2 cup to 1 pound of meat).

* To keep cauliflower white while cooking - add a little milk to the water.

* Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the
   crispness of french-fried potatoes.

* Buy mushrooms before they "open." When stems and caps are attached snugly,
   mushrooms are truly fresh.

* Lettuce keeps better if you store in refrigerator without washing first so that the leaves
   are dry. Wash the day you are going to use.

* Do not use metal bowls when mixing salads. Use wooden, glass or china.

* A Perfect Pastry Crust? In your favorite recipe, substitute a 4:1 ratio of lard:butter.

* To make your own corn meal mix: combine 1 cup corn meal, 1 cup all-purpose flour,
   1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons baking powder. You can store it in a tightly
   covered container for up to 6 months.

* It's important to let a roast -- beef, pork, lamb or poultry -- sit a little while before carving.
   That allows the juices to retreat back into the meat. If you carve a roast too soon,
   much of its goodness will spill out onto the carving board.

* 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.

* When slicing a hard boiled egg, try wetting the knife just before cutting. If that doesn't
   do the trick, try applying a bit of cooking spray to the edge.

* Rescue stale or soggy chips and crackers: Preheat the oven to 300F. Spread the chips
   or crackers in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool,
   then seal in a plastic bag or container.

* 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.

* Store freshly cut basil on your kitchen counter in a glass with the water level covering
   only the stems. Change the water occasionally. It will keep for weeks this way,
   even develop roots! Basil hates to be cold, so NEVER put it in the refrigerator.
   Also, regular cutting encourages new growth and healthier plants.

* A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove
   every strand of corn silk.

* Fresh eggs' shells are rough and chalky; old eggs are smooth and shiny.

* No "curly" bacon for breakfast when you dip it into cold water before frying.

* When working with dough, don't flour your hands; coat them with olive oil to prevent sticking.

* Use a gentle touch when shaping ground beef patties. Overhandling will result in a firm,
   compact texture after cooking. Don't press or flatten with spatula during cooking.

* Never heat pesto sauce - the basil will turn black and taste bitter.

* Butter pie pastry scraps: sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake like cookies.

* A jar lid or a couple of marbles 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 or burns.

* When mincing garlic, sprinkle on a little salt so the pieces won't stick to your knife or
   cutting board.

* If your cake recipe calls for nuts, heat them first in the oven, then dust with flour before
   adding to the batter to keep them from settling to the bottom of the pan.

* Noodles, spaghetti and other starches won't boil over if you rub the inside of the pot with
   vegetable oil.

* Brown gravy in a hurry with a bit of instant coffee straight from the jar... no bitter taste, either.

* To hasten the cooking of foods in a double boiler, add salt to the water in the outer boiler.

* Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

* To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

* Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing
   will go away.

* Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles
   and sauces.

* If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a on-slip
   grip that makes opening jars easy.

* Add a little lemon and lime to tuna to add zest and flavor to tuna sandwiches. Use cucumbers
   soaked in vinegar and pepper in sandwich instead of tomatoes. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise.

* Instead of the water your recipe calls for, try juices, bouillon, or water you've cooked vegetables in.

* Instead of milk, try buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. It can add a whole new flavor and
   improve nutrition.

* Steak Sauce With A Kick: Deglaze your frying pan (after searing your New York steaks)
   with brandy. Add two tablespoons of butter, a little white wine and a splash of Grand Marnier.
   Serve over steaks - you'll never use steak sauce again.

* When browning ground meat, brown several pounds and drain. Divide evenly in freezer containers
   and freeze. Unthaw in microwave for quick fixing next time.

* Ground spices really should be replaced every 6 months or so! Unless you know you will use
   them up fairly quickly, buy a bottle in partnership with a friend and split the contents.
   You'll each benefit from fresh spices.

* Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does. Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and
   they will stay fresher, longer.

* Place green fruits in a perforated plastic bag. The holes will allow air to circulate while retaining
   the ethylene gas that fruits produce during ripening.

* 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 to rice, cook it in liquid reserved from cooking vegetables.

* Cheese won't harden if you butter the exposed edges before storing.

* Sausage patties rolled in flour before frying won't crack open during cooking.

* Two drops of yellow food coloring added to boiling noodles will make them look homemade.

* When separating eggs, break them into a funnel. The whites will go through leaving the yolk
   intact in the funnel.

* Fresh fish freeze well in a milk carton filled with water.

* Make your own celery flakes. Just cut and wash the leaves from the celery stalks; place them
   in the oven on low heat or in the hot sun until thoroughly dry. Crumble and store in an
   air-tight container.

* When picking a melon, smell it for freshness and ripeness. 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.

* When tossing a salad with a basic vinaigrette, always make the vinaigrette at least 1/2 hour
   ahead of time and let the mixture sit to allow the flavors to marry. Pour the vinaigrette down
   the side of the bowl, not directly on the greens, for a more evenly dressed salad.

* For the perfect boiled egg, cover eggs with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to
   a full boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let the eggs sit for 8-9 minutes.
   Drain the water and place the eggs in ice water to cool to stop the cooking process.

* When braising meat, cook it at a low temperature for a long time to keep the meat tender and
   have it retain all the juices.

* When cooking any kind of strawberry dessert, add a splash of aged Balsamic vinegar to the
   recipe to enhance the flavor of the strawberries.

* For fresh flavor in orange juice add the juice of one lemon.

* Tenderize pot roast or stewing meat by using two cups of hot tea as a cooking liquid.

* When making roux for a recipe, make extra and keep in the refrigerator for future use.

* Chefs pound meat not to tenderize the meat, but to help even the meat so it cooks evenly.

* To remove egg shells from a batter, use the remaining shell to attract the piece.

* If a recipe calls for 1 cup sour cream, you may substitute 1 cup cottage cheese blended
   until smooth with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/3 cup buttermilk.

* When using fresh herbs such as dill, chives, parsley, etc., hold them together in small
   bunches and snip with kitchen scissors. It is a lot faster this way, and you'll find the herbs
   will be light and fluffy, not bruised and wet as they often get when chopped.

* When going on a picnic, keep sandwiches from becoming soggy by packing lettuce and
   condiments in separate containers. Add them to sandwiches just before serving.

* Maple-flavored syrup, commonly found on the shelves in the store and in restaurants, is actually
   corn syrup flavored with a bit of pure maple syrup to keep the cost down.

* Thaw fish in milk for fresher flavor.

* Put meat used for stir frying in freezer for 45 min. to 1 hr. to make slicing easier.

* You can correct greasy gravy by adding a little baking soda to it.

* If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.

* Keep popcorn fresh and encourage more kernels to pop by storing in the freezer.

* Lemons stored in a sealed jar of water will produce twice the juice.

* Use paper bags rather than plastic to store lettuce and celery in the crisper. They will
   stay fresh longer.

* Bread will stay fresh longer if a celery rib is stored with it in the package.

* Save butter wrappers in the freezer to use for greasing pans when baking.

* To keep salt from clogging in the shaker, add 1/2 teaspoon of uncooked rice.

* If guests are coming and you're behind making dinner, throw some onions on to saute and
   your kitchen will smell wonderful and homey.

* Egg whites should always be at room temperature before whipping. Be certain there is no yolk
   in the whites and that the bowl and beaters are perfectly clean. Cream, on the other hand,
   should be well-chilled. For the largest volume, chill the bowl and beaters before whipping.

* When using spaghetti, keep in mind that 8 ounces of uncooked pasta makes 4 cups cooked.

* When using all-purpose flour, keep in mind that one pound flour is the equivalent to 4 cups.

* When using dried beans and peas, keep in mind that 1 cup dry beans or peas makes
   2 1/2 cups cooked.

* When using rice, keep in mind that 1 cup of uncooked long-grain white rice makes 3 cups cooked.

* When using granulated sugar, keep in mind that one pound sugar is the equivalent to 2 cups.

* Ultimate Disposable Pastry Bag: Take a heavy-duty zipper-seal plastic bag and snip off
   one corner, making a slightly curved cut. Using a standard two-piece plastic coupler
   (available wherever cake decorating supplies are sold), insert the larger piece into the hole.
   Choose a tip and secure it with the coupler's ring. Fill the bag and zip the top closed. Decorate
   away, then remove the coupler/tip assembly and toss the bag. No messy cleanup!

* One way to preserve the flavor of fresh herbs is to make herb butter. Let the butter soften,
   then add finely chopped herbs in any combination, abbout 2 to 4 tablespoons per stick of butter.
   The butter freezes well, and you can serve it spread on French bread or with seafood or chicken.

* Pancakes are lighter and fluffier when you substitute club soda for milk in the batter.

* Before opening a package of bacon, roll it. This helps separate the slices for easy removal of
   individual slices.

* Drain deep fried foods on brown paper grocery bags as opposed to paper towels to retain crispness.

* Whenever possible, warm your dinner plates slightly in the oven before serving so the meal
   stays a little bit hotter.

* To make lighter and fluffier mashed potatoes, add a pinch or two of baking powder to the
   potatoes before whipping.

* Cookies will spread if your dough is too pliable by allowing butter to get too soft. If your cookies
   are spreading too much, try refrigerating the dough for a couple of hours before baking.

* Cookie dough can be frozen up to three months in an airtight container or refrigerated three to
   four days.

* Check cookies at minimum baking time.

* Let cookies cool completely before storing. Store different types of cookies in separate containers
   so they'll keep their original flavor and texture.

* Marinate red meats in wine to tenderize.

* Marinate chicken in buttermilk to tenderize.

* Use margarine instead of butter to panfry or saute. Butter burns quickly.

* Instead of adding raw garlic to sauces, saute the garlic first for a milder flavor.

* Thaw frozen meat and poultry in the refrigerator and not on the kitchen counter where bacteria
   can grow.

* Add a small amount of lemon juice to the artichoke cooking water to retain the color of
   the artichoke.

* A low-calorie solution for high-fat frying of corn tortillas is to place them in the oven, directly on
   the rack. Bake at 350°F / 180°C, to desired crispness. The tortillas will automatically fold over into taco shell
   form with just a little postioning help.

* A simple way to sharpen kitchen shears: cut a piece of steel wool.

* Don't just keep dental floss in your medicine cabinet. Keep some in the kitchen. It's a great tool.
   Unflavored dental floss is often better than a& knife to cleanly cut all kinds of soft foods, soft cheese,
   rolled dough, layered cake and cheesecake.

* If lettuce starts turning a little brown (but not slimy) it may not be suitable for salads, but it is
   for sauteing. Sauteed salad greens like lettuce, radicchio, and endive make an unusual but tasty
   side dish. Saute lettuces just as you would spinach. Cook them quickly in a little olive oil,
   minced garlic, and salt. They taste great, and you cant tell that the greens were once a little brown.

 

 

 
A Collection Of Granny's Timeless Wisdom
20 cancer-fighting foods
Bad foods that are actually great for your waist
More»

 

 
 
 


Tags:
Recipe, Cooking, Recipe Collection, Cooking Ingredients, Cooking Tips, Cooking Conversion Tool, Food Glossary, Holiday Cooking Recipes.