Kitchen Tips

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Kitchen Tips

1. The ideal frying temperature for the Chicken Schnitzel is 375 F. Oil should not be dark or smoky. Oil that is too hot will burn the bread crumbs and leave the chicken uncooked. Oil that is not hot enough will make your Schnitzel greasy and soggy. Yuck. If some bread crumbs are dropped into the oil, they will sizzle when the oil is at the right temperature.

2. If tomatoes are not ripe, place them in the warmest place in the house and they will ripen. It’s not the sun, but rather heat that will ripen those tomatoes.

3. Keep the potatoes in a cool ventilated dark place. Never put them in the fridge, this will make the starches turn into sugar resulting in sweeter potatoes. Don’t expose them to sun because this will turn them green and bitter. Remember to thoroughly clean the potatoes by always removing any sprouts or green spots.

4. If you have accidentally sprinkled too much salt into your soup, peel a medium sized potato and cut in half and place in the soup. Let it cook in the soup and absorb the extra salt. When just getting soft, remove the potato from the soup and you will see that it is less salty.

5. To stop yourself from crying, when cutting onions in the kitchen, wear swimming goggles.

6. When shopping for canned tuna, you have the choice between oil or water canned tuna. Which one should you buy? In order to get the most omega 3 fats which are essential for our diet, choose the water canned tuna. When tuna is canned together with oil it tends to lose some of its essential fats once the oil is drained from the can. When packed in water the omega 3 fats are preserved because oil and water don’t mix.

7. Olive oil should be used for frying in lower temperatures because it is more likely to smoke at higher temperatures. Generally speaking, no oil is healthy once it starts to smoke, but, olive oil is healthier than the rest of the frying oils because of what it contains. It consists of anti-oxidizing agents like vitamin E, which is very essential to us. Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, olive oil can keep for at least two years.

8. Rubbing lemon on cut apples will prevent them from browning.

9. Some believe that the eggplant comes in either male or female form. The difference is that the male eggplant has fewer seeds and therefore tends to be less bitter. You can identify the male eggplant by the round indentation on the bottom as opposed to the dash like indentation for the female eggplant. Good eggplant should be firm and glossy, the older the fruit the more bitter it becomes.

10. The best way to cook dried pasta is to place it in boiling salted water until it’s “al dente.” This means not too soft, but firm enough to eat. For one pound of pasta you should test after 5 minutes for firmness, usually the pasta will take approximately 8 minutes until done.

11. Soy sauce is made out of soybeans. There are two basic types of soy sauce to use in Chinese cooking, one is light and the other is dark. When soy sauce is dark, it means that it has been aged and it is quite thick in texture, it is usually used for marinating meat. The lighter soy sauce is saltier and is the one used mostly for cooking.

12. Do not refrigerate Nutella, but rather keep it stored in a cool dry place. If your storage space is too hot, the Nutella will lose its freshness and the oils inside the spread will separate.

13. Baking chocolate will usually have lower cocoa butter content, and this will make it less smooth and it should always be mixed together with other ingredients. It’s not a very good chocolate for eating plain. Couverture chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter and is considered a very high quality chocolate. It is usually used by professionals when either coating fruit or molding because it melts very smoothly.

14. Chocolate should usually be stored sealed and in a dry place, away from any aromatic ingredients so that it does not absorb their flavor. Chocolate should not be kept in the fridge.

15. When melting chocolate you should use a double boiler, but if you don’t have one of those, then just place a heat proof mixing bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. You must continuously stir the chocolate and then continue doing so after you remove it from the heat until all the chocolate appears smooth.

16. To ripen the avocado a little faster, you may want to try to place it in a brown paper bag and place it in your oven with only the light on.

17. If you have leftover spaghetti, make sure that you store it in the frigde without the sauce. When you are ready to eat again, just place the remaining spaghetti in a colander and pour some boiling water over it. Reheat your sauce and pour it on top of the spaghetti and eat!

18. If you have leftover pesto you can easily store it in an air tight container, make sure that you drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. This will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

19, For great textured potato latkes use Russet potatoes because they tend to be starchy and it’s the starch that helps prevent the latkes from falling apart.

20, If you have extra bread that you want to keep fresh without having to freeze and then defrost, then just place a couple of celery sticks in the bread bag and this will do the job.

21, Brown sugar will clump together once the package has been opened unless it is stored in an airtight, sealed container. The good news is that you can easily restore the sugar by placing it in a covered container in the microwave, together with an uncovered container of water, but be carful not to overheat the sugar.  If not for immediate use, you can soften the sugar by placing it in an airtight container with a piece of bread.  The moisture from the bread will be absorbed by the sugar and it will soften within 24 hours. Note that you can also buy brown sugar in granulated or liquid form.

22, If you're having a hard time measuring honey because it’s sticking to the measuring cup,sprinkle a little vegetable oil into the cup and spread it evenly. Now place the honey in the measuring cup and watch as it pours in and out of the cup very easily. 

23, Did you know that when boiling rice you should cover the top of the pan first with a towel and then place the lid on top and fold the remainder of the towel around the lid(so its doesn't burn). This will ensure that the rice cooks fluffy and will retain essential moisture.