Last Morsel

Everyday Recipes

Preparation Tips

  • Before you begin cooking a dish, have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go.
  • Lemon Juice: Microwave a lemon for 15 seconds and it will double the juice you get before squeezing.
  • Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds to remove the skins easily.
  • 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.
  • To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
  • Let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least half an hour before frying to improve the crispness of french-fried potatoes.
  • Sunlight doesn't ripen tomatoes, warmth does. Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay fresher, longer.
  • Buy mushrooms before they "open." When stems and caps are attached snugly, mushrooms are truly fresh.
  • 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 and even develop roots!
  • To hasten the cooking of foods in a double boiler, add salt to the water in the outer boiler.

Cooking Meat

  • Many dishes in Asian cuisine require meat to be sliced into thin strips. To slice meat easily, first partially freeze the slices.
  • Chefs pound meat not to tenderize the meat, but to help even the meat so it cooks evenly.
  • A roast with the bone in will cook faster than a boneless roast, since the bone carries the heat to the inside of the roast quicker.
  • The Perfect Stock: After cooking chicken, fish, or beef, save the leftover bones! They can be reused to make a perfectly flavored stock! Chef Gordon Ramsay recommends simmering the bones in water with a carrot, an onion, several peppercorns, and a bay leaf for one to two hours.
  • It's important to let a roast 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.

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