Here are some helpful tips for around the kitchen.
- Mise en Place: Is a French expression about the principle of getting yourself ready for work. Mostly in cooking and baking it means getting your ingredients prepared before you start. It is very important to complete your mise en place before you begin cooking/baking or else you fall behind and never catch up. Pilots use a similar expression, “staying ahead of the aircraft,” and I found while piloting that once I fell behind all the things I needed to do in the cockpit, I never caught back up. This same principle holds in the kitchen.
- When frying or sauteing, heat the pan before adding oil and let the oil get hot before adding the proteins or vegetables.
- Using dried herbs: When substituting dried herbs for fresh, a general rule of thumb is to substitute 1 tsp of dried herbs per 1 TBL of fresh herbs, dried is always stronger than fresh. To revive the dried herbs, soak in a small amount of boiling water to re-hydrate. Then delicately blend into recipe.
- When tenderizing meat (beating with a mallet or rolling pin), place meat between two sheets of film.
- Before grilling steak, take out of the fridge two hours early and let warm, lightly brush both sides with olive oil and then season generously. After grilling, let meat rest for ten minutes before slicing or serving, this will keep the meat more juicy.
- To jazz up a grilled cheese sandwich, sprinkle garlic salt on the buttered bread before grilling.
- Salmon: Wild salmon contains high omega 3 but low omega 6. Omega 3 helps with weight loss while Omega 6 increases weight gain. Farm raised salmon is high in Omega 6, contains high concentrations of lice and pesticides and the fish are fed agent orange for color and chicken shit (literary) to fatten them up. Farm raised salmon are high in carcinogens while wild are not.
- Words Matter: If you see labeling for fish that says something like “Pacific Ocean fish”, that’s farm raised, its just that the fish farm is in a seashore area. You want to look for “Wild Caught” on the label and “no color added”
- Cheese Making Tips: Number one most important tip, don’t use UHT/UP ultra high pasteurized milk, it is basically dead with all the healthy bacteria removed. 2) You need a mesophilic culture, you can buy chemicals if that’s your deal, but cultured butter milk or yogurt works better. 3) If you cannot get unpasteurized milk, you can add calcium chloride to pasteurized milk at 1/8th tsp diluted in 2 oz water and added to 2 gallons of milk – because why would you make cheese from just one gallon of milk.
- To clean the gates on your grill, stove top, or oven, put the cold grates in a garbage bag with a cup filled with ammonia. Seal the bar with twist tie and let it sit for several hours. After that the grime should wash off.
- To clean stubborn pots and pans, mix into a sink or tray of water, one half cup of baking soda and one half cup of white vinegar, then soak your pots and pans. Do not use on coated cookware.
- If you properly temper stainless steel cookware, it will be as non-sticky as Teflon or cast iron.
- To help bread items last longer, get a good bread box, bamboo makes a good material. You’d be amazed what a difference it makes. To help even more, keep an apple in the bread box, the apple will put of nitrogen that helps keep baked items fresh.
- When you store cut or mashed avocado, pour water over the top of the avocado in the storage container, that will keep air off the surface. To keep avocado looking fresh in a salad or in guacamole, squirt some lemon juice over it.
- To keep lettuce and other greens fresh longer, wrap them in paper towels and do not store them in plastic bags – the bags retain moisture. Use the crisper drawer in your fridge, it’s designed to let gases coming off the greens to escape. It is usually the lowest drawer, which has the least moisture.
- To store of freeze food for a long time, vacuum seal it. A good machine is pricey, but pays for itself.