So a while back, Food Network published 100 greatest cooking tips from top chefs nationwide. I narrowed them down to my top five favorites especially with the holidays creeping up so quickly.
1. “After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.” – by Gerard Craft; Niche and Taste, St. Louis (#9)
I love using garlic in almost all of my meals at home. And washing my hands with soap or using anti-bacterial solution never removed that garlicky smell. This is an awesome tip!
2. “Homemade vinaigrettes have fewer ingredients and taste better than bottled ones. No need to whisk them: Just put all the ingredients in a sealed container and shake.” – Bill Telepan; Telepan, New York City (#20)
I prefer to make homemade vinaigrette dressing for my salads. Over the weekend, I made this simple, yet, delicious dressing from Martha Stewart’s Romaine lettuce and Radish salad. All you need for the dressing is red wine vinegar, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. My guests loved this simple salad.
3. “Rest, rest, rest! Always let your meat rest — especially off a hot grill!” – Melissa d’Arabian; Ten Dollar Dinners (#46)
I enjoy grilling my meats and vegetables. Your food will taste better and for health reasons, it’s a great alternative to cooking on your stove. I use the Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill on my balcony and it has become my new best friend (next to my slow cooker). If you are looking for a small, efficient electric grill, then I highly recommend this one. You will always find me outside grilling something. Clean up is a breeze, too!
After grilling, many forget to rest their food. This is an important step that should not be overlooked if you want to keep all the flavors intact.
4. “Season fish simply and cook it with respect. The flavor of the fish is what you want. When it comes off the grill or out of the oven or pan, finish it with a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Always. There is just something about lemon and fish that is heavenly.” – Rick Moonen; RM Seafood, Las Vegas (#57)
I cook breaded flounder in a pan a few times in a month because it is quick and easy. Then, with a little sprinkle of lemon on top it is absolutely perfect!
5. “Prolong the lifespan of greens by wrapping them loosely in a damp paper towel and placing in a resealable plastic bag. That local arugula will last about four days longer.” – Hugh Acheson; Five & Ten, Athens, GA (#81)
This paper towel technique works for greens and meats (chicken, fish). It helps to absorb moisture. Greens last longer and/or meats cook better.
And here is one more bonus tip for your cooking pleasure. By combining #76 and #79, making mistakes in the kitchen is part of the fun so try to keep things simple, enjoy your cooking with a bit of lively music, and sip a nice glass of wine/beer.
A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. - Maya Angelou