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Share your cooking secrets

 
Shadow Killer
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User ID: 23997102
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09/18/2012 12:47 PM
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Share your cooking secrets
I will start things off..

Save the rinds from the parmesan cheese that you grate yourself, and add them to your minestrone soup while it is cooking for an extra bit of punch.
Shadow Killer (OP)

User ID: 23997102
Australia
09/18/2012 01:03 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
Ok.. I give you one more but then you have to share the love..


This is gold..

to eliminate tears while cutting onions first cut out a cone shape piece from the end of the onion where the hairs grow out.. this is where all the eye watery stuff is located.

The amount of onion you have to remove is quite small but if you dont believe me start with a larger cone shape and work your way down.
Anonymous Coward
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Canada
09/18/2012 01:09 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
I will start things off..

Save the rinds from the parmesan cheese that you grate yourself, and add them to your minestrone soup while it is cooking for an extra bit of punch.
 Quoting: Shadow Killer


Here's a good one. Get someone else to do it.ohyeah
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/18/2012 01:09 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
use 1/2 onion to clean a hot bbq grill, it cleans and makes it nonstick.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:11 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
Secret sauce...on everything
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19045680
United States
09/18/2012 01:13 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
When making a fumet ( Fish stock ) never boil the stock, you'll extract all the collagen from the fish heads/bones and end up with a gelatinous cloudy mess. Start with cold water, bring very slowly up to a simmer and cut heat off, you end up with a fumet that needs no clarification like a normal stock/bouillon, and won't set like jello when cold.
indiandave

User ID: 12897990
United States
09/18/2012 01:13 PM

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Re: Share your cooking secrets
I will start things off..

Save the rinds from the parmesan cheese that you grate yourself, and add them to your minestrone soup while it is cooking for an extra bit of punch.
 Quoting: Shadow Killer


Here's a good one. Get someone else to do it.ohyeah
 Quoting: Inchworm


That made me laugh.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19045680
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09/18/2012 01:15 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
If you purchase some small magnets, you can line the inside of your oven with aluminum foil, it makes cleanup quick and easy. Just use the magnets to hold up the foil.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:21 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To get a really nice crust on seared scallops, you have to press them for water since they sually all have water retention chemicals added to them to add weight. This is known as " bringing a product up to market " in the food business, it's something they do for more profit.

So, take 2 sheet trays, lay a white food grade cloth in one and lay your scallops down on it. Cover with another piece of cloth over the top, place other sheet tray on top and add some weight, in kitchens we just used #10 cans, but you can use anything, even bricks.

Place the whole thing in the cooler overnight, it'll press excess moisture from the scallops and allow you to sear a really nice crust on them.
Shadow Killer (OP)

User ID: 23997102
Australia
09/18/2012 01:26 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
If you purchase some small magnets, you can line the inside of your oven with aluminum foil, it makes cleanup quick and easy. Just use the magnets to hold up the foil.
 Quoting: !saac


Nice one, thanks.

I wish the last person who owned my oven knew that one!!
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:29 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To make easy seafood sausages

Prepare quenelle batter like normal, omit breadcrumbs if you have a recipe that calls for them.

An easy batter would be to throw some cleaned shrimps into a food processor, whiz to a paste with salt and pepper, plus whatever seasonings you want, pulse with a little white wine, finish with a pulse or two of heavy cream, chill in fridge.

Drop a spoonful of the chilled batter on a square of saran wrap ( about 1 foot in length ) and fold the plastic over the mixture, then roll into a tube. Grab both end and twirl until it forms the shape of a sausage.

Dunk these into simmering water for about 3-4 minutes, depending on how large you make them, then chill them in ice water.

They can be used like any normal sausage, grilled, in saute dishes, soups and stews, etc, can also be made with just about any mix of seafood.
stillhere

User ID: 16315970
United States
09/18/2012 01:33 PM

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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To make easy seafood sausages

Prepare quenelle batter like normal, omit breadcrumbs if you have a recipe that calls for them.

An easy batter would be to throw some cleaned shrimps into a food processor, whiz to a paste with salt and pepper, plus whatever seasonings you want, pulse with a little white wine, finish with a pulse or two of heavy cream, chill in fridge.

Drop a spoonful of the chilled batter on a square of saran wrap ( about 1 foot in length ) and fold the plastic over the mixture, then roll into a tube. Grab both end and twirl until it forms the shape of a sausage.

Dunk these into simmering water for about 3-4 minutes, depending on how large you make them, then chill them in ice water.

They can be used like any normal sausage, grilled, in saute dishes, soups and stews, etc, can also be made with just about any mix of seafood.
 Quoting: !saac


Your tips are wonderful--I only worry about plastic in boiling water--possibly line it with parchment paper? (so the plastic toxins don't get in the food)
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
nwo_watcher_911

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09/18/2012 01:33 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
How about home made Fajitas, or any other kind of food which requires seasoning packets??


Just think: "Lawry's Chicken Fajitas packet"


All you need is 1 packet, because we aren't going to use the powder in it, we are going to steal the ingredients from the ingredients list!!! (and we are going to leave out all of the preservatives, fillers, msg, canola/corn oils, gmo soy, etc etc.



[link to www.lawrys.com]

All you need to do for good recipes is to look at the ingredients.. Fajitas has (in order from most to least):

Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper, Chili Pepper, Parsley, Oregano, Cumin, Garlic, and a squirt of Lime, instead of "citric acid"

How much better does those ingredients sound??

Try this with asain and mexican food packets, or any other food seasoning packet. Add more or less of your favorite spice to suit your own tastes!

Also: Chicken + Green Curry
nwo_watcher_911
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1508876
United States
09/18/2012 01:36 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
For next to no tears onion cutting soak it in ice water after cutting in half.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 20106058
United States
09/18/2012 01:38 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
How about home made Fajitas, or any other kind of food which requires seasoning packets??


Just think: "Lawry's Chicken Fajitas packet"


All you need is 1 packet, because we aren't going to use the powder in it, we are going to steal the ingredients from the ingredients list!!! (and we are going to leave out all of the preservatives, fillers, msg, canola/corn oils, gmo soy, etc etc.



[link to www.lawrys.com]

All you need to do for good recipes is to look at the ingredients.. Fajitas has (in order from most to least):

Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper, Chili Pepper, Parsley, Oregano, Cumin, Garlic, and a squirt of Lime, instead of "citric acid"

How much better does those ingredients sound??

Try this with asain and mexican food packets, or any other food seasoning packet. Add more or less of your favorite spice to suit your own tastes!

Also: Chicken + Green Curry
 Quoting: nwo_watcher_911


awesome :)

hf
stillhere

User ID: 16315970
United States
09/18/2012 01:38 PM

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Re: Share your cooking secrets
OK, I have a few....

when cutting onions when your eyes really tear up--run some cold water and let your fingers rest in the stream--gets rid of the pain right away--have no idea why--but works!

Eggs--sunny side up--I hate over done eggs, heat pan, (never use nonstick), I use butter till it is bubbly but not burning the butter--a low/medium heat--crack the eggs into the pan, and turn the heat off--cover and they will be done to perfection in a few minutes and never over cooked!

Parchment paper--I love parchment paper--

I line pans, use on cookie sheets---makes for easy clean-up. Wrap fish in it to bake...

I use the non-bleached brown parchment paper.
"You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.”
Michael Levy
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/18/2012 01:39 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
For next to no tears onion cutting soak it in ice water after cutting in half.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1508876


I have heard about putting a piece of bread in your mouth too...but I have this electric chopper thing...love it chuckle

hf
AtsuiPanda
Viva la revolucion!

User ID: 16510251
United States
09/18/2012 01:40 PM

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Re: Share your cooking secrets
1. Pizza
2. Microwave
3. Cut
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19045680
United States
09/18/2012 01:40 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
When peeling carrots, run the peeler back and forth, instead of start at one end and lifting the peeler away from what you're peeling.

This cuts your time way down.

To peel large amounts of garlic, place a colander inside a pot of simmering water, drop in garlic cloves, lift out after about 10-20 seconds ( test with one to see if skin slips off before removing all of them ) shock in an ice water bath.

The skins should easily slip off the cloves, no peeling needed.

If you place an onion/onions in the freezer for 5-10 minutes ( depending on how many ) you won't cry when cutting it.

When you deep-fry capers, the flower buds open up into little flowers, makes a nice garnish for a puttanesca dish.

Freezing extra firm tofu will give it a meatier texture.

When you need large amounts of parsley, like some line cooks and chefs do, don't strip the leaves and chop them, take the bunch and fold the leaves into a bundle, then chiffonade into thin strips, this way the parsley isn't all smashed up. Most cooks and chefs absolutely mutilate their greens by chopping, no matter how sharp the knife is.

Always chiffonade, especially if you want it to last without getting schmeggy.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19045680
United States
09/18/2012 01:44 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To make easy seafood sausages

Prepare quenelle batter like normal, omit breadcrumbs if you have a recipe that calls for them.

An easy batter would be to throw some cleaned shrimps into a food processor, whiz to a paste with salt and pepper, plus whatever seasonings you want, pulse with a little white wine, finish with a pulse or two of heavy cream, chill in fridge.

Drop a spoonful of the chilled batter on a square of saran wrap ( about 1 foot in length ) and fold the plastic over the mixture, then roll into a tube. Grab both end and twirl until it forms the shape of a sausage.

Dunk these into simmering water for about 3-4 minutes, depending on how large you make them, then chill them in ice water.

They can be used like any normal sausage, grilled, in saute dishes, soups and stews, etc, can also be made with just about any mix of seafood.
 Quoting: !saac


Your tips are wonderful--I only worry about plastic in boiling water--possibly line it with parchment paper? (so the plastic toxins don't get in the food)
 Quoting: stillhere


I can sadly assure you there are far worse things in our food, especially when you eat out. The plastic that chefs in restaurant kitchens use is usually formulated for higher heat then normal Saran wrap, so yes, maybe try something different.

You could always try foil and baking/broiling, then temping them to see if finished.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:54 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
When making gnocchi, it is essential that you dry your potatoes on a sheet tray in the oven, after boiling, at about 300f, until the edges of the potato start to turn white.

Cool the papas before passing through a food mill or ricer.

In addition to having a much better texture, you won't have to work the flour and potato together as much, and you'll avoiding stretching the gluten in the flour, which makes chewy gnocchi.

It also allows you to be able to brown them in a pan, which gives them a nice little crunch on the outside, not a traditional way to serve gnocchi, but something different.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/18/2012 01:56 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
OK, I have a few....

when cutting onions when your eyes really tear up--run some cold water and let your fingers rest in the stream--gets rid of the pain right away--have no idea why--but works!

Eggs--sunny side up--I hate over done eggs, heat pan, (never use nonstick), I use butter till it is bubbly but not burning the butter--a low/medium heat--crack the eggs into the pan, and turn the heat off--cover and they will be done to perfection in a few minutes and never over cooked!

Parchment paper--I love parchment paper--

I line pans, use on cookie sheets---makes for easy clean-up. Wrap fish in it to bake...

I use the non-bleached brown parchment paper.
 Quoting: stillhere


also if ya put a Ie Cube in the covered skillet it will steam causing a nice skin on the top of the eggs.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:57 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
When making any beef based dishes that have a gravy, use left over coffee to add to the liquid while cooking. It adds a richer beef taste and nobody ever knows coffee is in it.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/18/2012 02:08 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
Toasting black peppercorns in the oven before grinding them adds a nice flavor.

You can poach an egg in a pinch, in a saute pan, by tilting the pan, adding about two tablespoons of water, add the egg and gently rock the pan back and forth. An old cook's trick for a request to add a poached egg to a dish, ala minute.

Never store carrots next to ethylene-producing fruits or veggies, like apples or strawberries for example. Ethylene will cause the terpene concentration in the carrots to go up, which gives them a bitter and soap-like flavor.

When making fluted mushrooms ( carved ) for a garnish, you can use the tip of a paring knife to press all sorts of designs into the mushroom. You can get quite creative with it too.

Don't store white asparagus, it gets tough and stringy.

Throw all your leftover cheese scraps into the food processor with a little salt, pepper, white wine, maybe a squeeze of lemon, some garlic, and some chopped herbs, whiz to paste and chill til firm. Serve with toast points, crackers, etc. Called " Fromage blanc ", great way to get rid of cheese scraps/rinds.
Face Palmer
Yo mamma pulls catapults to gondor

User ID: 24013859
Germany
09/18/2012 02:14 PM

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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To not hassle with cutting onions, I buy pre-cut deep frozen ones.
"The world will soon wake up to the reality that everyone is broke and can collect nothing from the bankrupt, who are owed unlimited amounts by the insolvent, who are attempting to make late payments on a bank holiday in the wrong country, with an unacceptable currency, against defaulted collateral, of which nobody is sure who holds title."

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 02:20 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To shred cooked chicken breasts, sandwich them in between layers of plastic wraps and either punch them, or beat them with a pan, side of a meat mallet, or a can. Quick way to shred chicken, especially in bulk.

When making large amounts of whipped cream in a mixer, wrap a piece of plastic wrap around the mixer so it covers the gap, from the top of the bowl, to the top of the mixer. This will allow you to make a bunch at one time without making a huge mess, just make sure the plastic is pulled tight.

For fast whipped cream, the older the cream the better, cream at room temp whips much faster, whipping in a cold bowl makes it go faster, and adding a few drops of lemon will speed up the process as well.

When soaking dry chickpeas overnight, add a little baking soda to the water, this will help break the skins down so your hummus isn't chunky.

Never cook beans with anything acidic, like tomatoes. Acids will toughen the starches in the beans, sometimes, depending on what beans you are cooking, they will never actually soften up.

When dry-roasting flour in the oven to make dark roux for something like a gumbo, toast your spices along with the flour. You can also reserve some flour and make a wet roux with bacon drippings, which adds a great flavor.

Peeling plantains under cold running water makes it very easy.

Freezing beef tenderloin makes slicing for carpaccio a cinch, also allows you to get paper-thin slices.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 02:38 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
To get a nice crust on a piece of fish with the skin still on, like salmon, place fillet on cutting board, skin side up, and scrape lengthwise with the blade of a dull knife, this will draw excess moisture out of the skin, and allows for a nice crispy golden brown crust.

When making coconut shrimp, add a small bit of flour into the coconut and rub until all chunks are broken up, this way you'll get an added crunch and avoid uncooked chunks of coconut on the shrimp.

Butcher blocks and wooden cutting boards will last much longer, and stay cleaner if occasionally scrubbed with a paste of kosher salt and water. Apply, scrub, let stand for 10 minutes, clean and rinse.

Freeze mozzarella slices before breading, makes it much easier.

Cleaning a pot which has been badly burnt is much easier if you fill it up with water and ice and let it soak first.
Anonymous Coward
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Belgium
09/18/2012 02:54 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
1. Pizza
2. Microwave
3. Cut
 Quoting: AtsuiPanda

that's outright disgusting.

soit, cooking secrets...

after cutting up vegetables, don't throw all scraps on the compost heap, use them to make a bouillon over a week's time: one small pot of water which you boil daily with the scraps; at the end of the week you'll have a nice bouillon to freeze or use.
WindyMind

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United States
09/18/2012 02:58 PM

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Re: Share your cooking secrets
I am looking for a good vegetarian lasagne recipe. Please help I have been sort of looking for 5 or 6 years and I want one.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 03:06 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
It's better when making a roast of any type, to let the meat come up to room temp before sticking it in the oven. Cold meat+hot oven = tougher roast.

Polenta can be baked in a covered dish in the oven instead of the usual tedious stove-top method.

When preparing lots of cracked eggs, for something like brunch, or breakfast prep, it's always better to whip the eggs at the last minute possible. Most restaurants who serve breakfast/brunch items pre-crack cases of eggs, which always makes for crappy scrambles.

Cinnamon and honey ice cream goes great with a port wine syrup.

A little cornstarch in a creme anglaise will keep it from breaking.

A touch of cream in a beurre blanc ( wine and butter sauce ) will prevent the sauce from breaking, although old school French chefs do not allow their cooks to add cream in a beurre blanc.

Speaking of beurre blancs, orange and rosemary is delightful in a wine butter sauce, substitute half of the wine/vermouth ( whatever you use ) for fresh strained juice, and reduce like normal before adding cold butter.

Flat beer makes great crepe batter.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/18/2012 03:17 PM
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Re: Share your cooking secrets
Veggie eggplant Parmesan lasagna

Precook lasagna noodles, set aside, make sure to cook slightly underdone, they'll finish when baked.

Cut small rounds of eggplant, about a 1/4" thick, and bread like normal ( use fresh breadcrumbs, not dry, they burn too fast ), so, flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs.

Deep-fry slices of eggplant, set aside.

Take your mixed diced vegetables, and saute them in just enough oil to coat them, saute with fresh chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Don't over cook them, this is important.

Drain any excess oil and set cooked veggies aside.

Cook marinara sauce until thick. I like to cook out the excess water because otherwise it makes the lasagna soggy.

Low heat, stir occasionally until thick, just like making apple butter.

In bottom of lasagna dish, lay one layer of fried eggplant, one layer of sauce, one layer of cooked veggies, one layer of noodles, repeat until everything's used up.

You can top and bake any way you like.

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