||Tips From The
from the pro's
| November 2002
If you are a serious home cook, cooking student or new
chef you're gonna dig this new feature. Each month we
will post our readers' cooking tips...
Cooking With Olive Oil
Do not saute (fry) food in good olive oil. High quality
olive oils contain small particles from the olives that
the oil was pressed from. When these are introduced to
intense heat the particles burn and give the oil and the
item that is being cooked a bitter taste.
Cleaning A Cooking Dish
When you burn sugar on a dessert - creme brulee for example,
the best way to clean the serving dish is to wrap an ice-cube
in a kitchen towel and rub this around the inside edge
of the warm dish. It works a treat.
Do not buy marinated fish from your supermarket, often
(not always) when fish is nearing the end of its shelf
life it gets thrown into a marinade to mask its deteriorating
flavor. By a nice piece of fish and marinade it yourself.
Eggs - Which Is Cooked Which Is Raw...
If you ever have hard boiled eggs in your fridge and they
get mixed up with raw ones there is a way to figure out
the raw from the cooked without cracking a shell... Take
one egg at a time, place it on its side on a flat surface
and spin it around. Once it is spinning place your finger
on it, stopping it in its place, then quickly remove your
finger. If the egg is cooked it will not move however,
if the egg is raw it will begin to spin again due to the
momentum of the liquid inside.
Give Your Cooking A Little Zip
Use grated lemon zest in addition to lemon juice for a
little extra zip in your recipes.
Left Over Bread?
Never throw good bread away. Cut into thin slices and
brush with a little butter or olive oil, then toast til
crunchy and let cool. Keep in ziploc bags or airtight
containers and you have a great crouton to smear anything
on. Or serve them with salads.
Susan Spicer Bayona/New Orleans
Cooking With Wine
Do not waste money. Generally speaking you do not need
to use expensive wine to cook with and you do not need
to use too much - more wine does not make a merrier dish!
Use a medium dry wine like a pinot grigio, chardonnay
(white) and cabernet sauvingnon or chianti (red). The
most important thing is to cook down the wine (simmer
until the liquid has reduced by about half) that way you
are left with its delightful flavor and not the rough
If you find it difficult to figure out when a piece of
fish is cooked do this. Obtain a thin metal skewer. Test
the fish by piercing it with the skewer, keep it in the
fish for five seconds - then place the skewer on your
bottom lip. If the metal is cold - the fish is still rare,
if it is warm - it's cooked, if it is hot - it's well
done. This works well when testing meat too.
Sauces & Fish
When cooking with limited resources it can be difficult
to make a good sauce - this is especially true when cooking
at home. So my suggestion to someone in that situation
is to make vinaigrette, with the addition of diced tomato
and chopped chives you have a super way to finish a fish
dish - minus the headache and the last minute preparation!
Balsamic & Beef
A little balsamic vinegar goes along way and a drizzle
of this stuff works really well with beef in lieu of a
time consuming sauce. It can be expensive though, so if
you cannot afford the good gear, buy a less expensive
type and simmer it in a pan until it has cooked down by
two thirds, allow it to cool, use it and keep a few pennies
in your pocket.
Jeremy Emmerson - Chicago
When sautéing mushrooms do not season them until you have
nearly finished the cooking. If you add salt at the beginning
of the cooking process it will draw the moisture from
the mushroom and they will boil in their own liquid.
Mark Flatt - Amsterdam
Trim the mushrooms and immerse them into a sink or bowl
full of cold water, swish them around and then lift them
out ? leaving the debris behind. Place them on a tray
that has three sheets of baking parchment (grease proof
paper) on it and place them in the fridge. Leave them
overnight ? they will be dry by the morning.
Eren & Davis - Chicago
Using Parmesan Cheese
Always use a good quality aged Parmesan. It may cost twice
as much as the cheaper kind but you only need to use half
as much so the cost ends up being the same with a far
Parmesan Rind & Risotto
Did you ever wonder what to do with the rind that encases
Parmesan cheese? Remove it and add it to the stock you
are making your risotto with ? it adds great flavor! Chef
Palo - London
Whether you are cooking at home or professionally, if
you cannot afford expensive fish but want to create an
up scale dish, incorporate a high end item with a less
expensive fish; Roasted salmon with a crab butter sauce
Chris Baun - Cape Town
Using a cookbook?
When following a recipe in a cookbook always read all
the way to the end before starting.
Mise en place
Mise en place (advanced preparation) - makes life easier!!
Make sure that you have everything prepared and organized
before getting into the actual cooking.
Don't be afraid to mess up. Practice makes perfect...whether
it's cooking, playing the piano or skiing.
Wine and vinaigrettes
Sometimes wine and vinaigrettes do not go well together.
If your vinaigrette is too acidic it might overpower the
wine. Try to mellow the vinaigrette by adding shallots
or roasted garlic.
Chef Mehmet Gürs - Downtown Restaurants Istanbul
Always use the freshest ingredients possible. Good quality
products makes a chefs job or home cooks job that much
Serve fruits and vegetables that are in season. They taste
better, are fresher, and usually less expensive. Definitely
a win win situation.
Chef Sarah Stegner, The Dining Room - Chicago
Do you have a cooking tip that you want to share? If so