I always love to find useful tricks in the kitchen that make chef life easier and meals more enjoyable. As summer approaches, I thought I’d share some of my favorite culinary tips to make your cooking experience easier. These are only a few that I have recently used and I’d love to hear some of yours! From one cook to another, lets share some dishy secrets 🙂
When grilling certain bone-in meats such as ribs and chicken parts, parboil first. Drizzle meat with EVOO. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings you plan to use. Bake in a dish with little excess room at 350-375 degrees for about 40 minutes. (Sometimes I cook chicken a little longer.) Then, your meat won’t burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside when you are ready to place it on the grill! You can also parboil sausage in order to keep it moist and avoid it bursting on the grill. As an added tip, if you are using a wet sauce like BBQ, wait until the last few minutes of cooking to baste it, otherwise the sugars will burn.
Leeks are a great alternative to onions during the spring and summer months but they can be awful to clean if you don’t know the trick! First, trim the ends off. Half the leek and slice in small pieces. Place in a big bowl of water and swish around. The dirt trapped inside the layers will be rinsed by the movement of the water and fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then strain out the leeks with a slotted spoon.
Corn on the cob is another summer classic and I love to grill it until it’s nice and charred and then make it into a salad. Getting the kernels off the cob isn’t always the easiest so using a bundt pan is a great tool! It holds the ear while you cut the kernels and as an added bonus, it catches them as they fall! You may want to let the corn cool a bit first though, or use a towel to hold the corn.
We use A LOT of basil in my house. It is, quite frankly, my favorite herb. While I usually grow it during the warm summer months, when I do buy it in the grocery store I like to make it last as long as possible. First, don’t store basil in the fridge, it doesn’t like it in there! Think about where you find it in the grocery store…not in the refrigeration section. Instead, take the basil out of the package place the stems into a tall glass with some water. “Tent” the basil with a large zip lock and you have your own little basil green house. Change the water every few days and your basil will live happily for much longer 🙂
Oh man, the bananas have gone brown. Don’t throw it away! Take them out of there skin, place them in a plastic bag and pop them in the freezer. Save them for smoothies or breads which call for brown bananas as a key ingredient!
I hope these tips make your life easier and don’t forget to share a tip or two with me! Just leave a comment on my blog 🙂
Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian