The Have To Know Food Preparation Techniques

college of hands of chefs in the process of cooking Sometimes preparing food to either cook or bake can seem like a tedious job. Yes a job which takes up far too much time that you just don’t have.

But there are ways to save time with your food prep so you can spend more time doing other things you like or want to get done. Check out these creative food preparation techniques to help you save time in the kitchen.

Peeling Garlic Cloves

Image GIF Credit: America Cooks For Health

Peeling Garlic Cloves – Lay the clove on the cutting board and place the side of your knife over the garlic.

Place the knife on the garlic clove and with the palm of your hand push lightly over the glove, and the papery skin will peel fight off.

Need to peel multiple garlic cloves? Hit the head of the garlic with the palm of your hand, and then put all the cloves in a large jar.

Place the lid on tightly and shake vigorously. Remove lid, and pour garlic cloves and paper skin into a large bowl. You’ll have these cloves peeled in less than ten seconds.

How To Soften Frozen Butter Fast – You know putting the frozen butter in the microwave can often end up melting instead of softening. You can never get it quite right. So instead, take a cheese grater to the frozen butter and shred it. It will be softened before you know it.

Peeling Pearl Onions – These little devils can be a royal pain to peel. Well, not anymore. Chop off the tip of the onion – the end opposite the root end.

Cook in boiling water for two minutes and drain. When they’re cool enough to touch, simply squeeze each one at the root end, and they’ll slip right out. Chop off the remaining roots, and you’re done.

Shucking Ears Of CornCorn on the cob is the perfect summer side dish, but preparing it can be a shucking mess. No longer do you have to sit there and peel ears of corn and pull off every little hairy strand.

Some individuals do, but if you don’t have any concerns using a microwave, than put two ears of corn in with the husks still on and microwave for 8 minutes – that’s 4 minutes for each ear of corn place into the microwave. Remove with a pot holder, cut off the end without the stringy parts, then simply squeeze the ear of corn right out of its husk, silky pieces and all.

Removing Tough Stems – You don’t even need a knife to separate those tough stems from vegetables like kale, collard greens, and chard. With one hand, hold a leaf at the bottom by the thickest part of the stem. Use your other hand to gently pinch the leaf with your index finger and thumb, and then pull it up and off along the stem.

Removing An Avocado Pit – Slice your avocado in half, lengthwise. Take your knife and chop into the exposed pit, then twist and pull. Out comes the pit. Watch your fingers when you remove the pit from the blade of the knife. Now you can scoop out all of the yummy avocado goodness.

How To Peel A Hard Boiled Egg – Soft boil the eggs for about 12 minutes (or until eggs are hard boiled) with about two inches of water above the eggs and one teaspoon of baking soda.

How to cool boiled eggsRemove eggs from water. While still warm, give one end of the egg a tap on the counter and remove the shell pieces from the tip. Repeat with the other end of the egg.

Now cup your hands with the egg, raise your cupped hands with the egg to your mouth and blow. The egg falls right out of the shell! No peeling necessary.

Be sure to get your hard boiled eggs into cold water right away. If not you will have some issues as demonstrated here in the image to your right.

Peeling A Potato – Simply cut the peel lengthwise with a knife, all around the potato. Put in a pot of boiling water and boil until it’s soft inside. Then immediately remove from the water into ice water. Allow to soak in the ice water for 10 seconds and remove. Rub between your hands and the peel falls right off.

a womans hand squeezing a lemonHow To Get All Of The Juice Out Of Citrus Fruits – No need to purchase expensive juicing tools. Get all of the juice out with a simple pair of tongs.

Cut the fruit in half, place between tongs over a bowl or pitcher with the cut half down, and squeeze. You’ll be amazed at how much juice you have been missing from your fruit.

You can also place the palm of your hand over the citrus fruit while rolling it back and forth over the kitchen counter-top. Cut the fruit in half and see all the juice squeezed from it.

How To Peel A Kiwi – Slice both ends off the kiwi. Put a tablespoon between the flesh of the fruit and the skin and move the spoon all around the kiwi. This will ease the kiwi right out of its peel.

Fishing Out Egg Shells – We’ve all accidentally dropped a small fragment of egg shell in the mixing bowl from time to time. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to fish this minuscule piece of shell out of the yolk, but it can be one of the most frustrating moments of cooking when it happens.

Simply wet the tip of your finger with water and lightly place your finger over the egg shell, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly that piece of shell will stick right to your finger.

cutting round vegetables Cutting Round Vegetables – Nothing can be more frustrating like chasing down that carrot, or potato to chop it up.

Next time you have to cut a round vegetable, cut a thin slice along the length of the vegetable to create a flat side, turn it cut-side down on the cutting board and slice away.

When you get to the point where it starts to roll again, flip it onto the flat side from your last cut and continue to slice.

Separate Egg Yolks From Egg Whites – This might not be a time saver, but it’s a fun way to separate an egg. Crack an egg into a bowl. Gently squeeze an empty plastic water bottle and hold it over the egg yolk. It should suck up just the egg yolk, allowing you to transfer it to another bowl.

Prevent A Pot From Boiling Over – They say a watched pot never boils, but if you don’t watch it then you have a mess on your hands. So to keep that pot from boiling over. Simply place a wooden spoon over the top of the pot. Any spoon will do really, but a wooden spoon won’t get scalding hot.

These are just a few food preparation tips we have used. There are many more. Tell us, what are some of your  Food Preparation Techniques?

What Others Are Reading:

Apple Mango and Radish Salad

Apple Mango and Radish SaladThe principle cleansing system of the body is the liver, it is always working at burning fat and cleaning and purifying the blood. The liver produces bile for healthy digestion of food, and then disposes of toxins, a by-product of the food we consume.

It also cleans the blood of medicines, alcoholic beverages, and external toxins we may breath in or that could be absorbed by the skin.

Keeping the liver functioning well is vital if we want good health. There are several foods that promote the liver to detox our bodies regularly, and radishes are one of those foods.

Our featured recipe is Apple Mango and Radish Salad, and besides tasting great it is healthy for you and your liver as well.

The recipe contains fresh dill, and scientific studies have shown the oil of dill is toxic to five bacteria’s that are harmful to us, including Staphylococcus aureus. A study at the University of Vienna reported that dill extracts taken from seeds, and that were stored for 35 years, were still able to kill several fungal strains such as the mold Aspergillus niger and the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans.

What makes this salad so wonderful tasting is the flavor of the dressing.

The dressing consists of:

2 tsp. creamed horseradish

1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

½ cup sour cream

You mix up those three ingredients and pour it over:

2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

8-12 radishes, sliced thinly

2 celery stalks, sliced thinly

1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks

Once you have poured the dressing, mix in with the fruits and vegetables until well coated.

Apple Mango and Radish Salad -close upThe salad pairs well with any barbecued food, or to take to a potluck.

Enjoy the color, the flavor, and health benefits of Apple Mango and Radish Salad.

What Others are Saying About Foods that Promote Liver Function:

Thai Chicken with Linguini

Thai Chicken with Linguini

Another Asian dish from the kitchen of Splendid Recipes and More. I actually came up with this recipe when I was out to lunch one day at the Cheesecake Factory. If I recall on their menu it said”Thai Chicken and Liguini.” They were selling a plate for about $10 or $12. In your own kitchen you can make this recipe to serve 4 to 6 plates for under $3.00 each.

Here is what you will need.

16 oz. linguini cooked

4 lbs. chicken breast

2 cups carrots, cut Julianne style

2 cups celery, cut Julianne style

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tbsp. avocado oil

1 cup hot peanut sauce (see end of article for home-made peanut sauce)

1 cup peanuts, unsalted

 

Most Asian recipes call for vegetables cut Julianne style or on the diagonal. Vegetables cut this way take less time to cook as more surface area is exposed to the heat source. Vegetables cook faster, leaving them crunchy and most of the nutrition is not cooked out.

Here is an illustration of a very easy way to cut carrots Julianne style.

First wash your carrot. From left to right (image), cut the carrot into 1.5 to 2 inch sections. Square the carrot, by thinly slicing outer skin of carrot. Next cut squared carrot into 4 slices. Then cut each slice into match sticks (about 4 slices).

cutting carrot Julianne style

To cut your celery Julianne style is about the same. But there is no need to square the celery or remove the outer skin.

cutting celery Julianne style

Wash celery and then cut into 1.5 to 2 inch sections. Next face rounded side of celery up and slice down the middle. With each section, cut into about 4 match sticks.

Most people though do not like to contend with the stringy part of the celery. Even though the celery is cut Julianne style, you can still have strings, though much smaller. This is how I like to cut my celery, at an angle. There is no strings to contend with, using this cut.

cutting celery at an angle

Cutting the celery in this way, also exposes more surface to the heat source and cooking the celery fast, and leaving it crunchy.

Now on to preparing Thai Chicken with Linguini.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Cut each chicken breast into ¼ inch chunks. In a large frying pan; heat oil. Add minced garlic and sauté. Add vegetables and sauté until tender and then add chicken and cook until pink is gone.

Pour about ½ cup of peanut sauce into pan over chicken and vegetable mixture and mix in well.  Add peanuts mix some more and add the final ½ cup peanut sauce and mix. Remove from pan and put onto a large serving dish.

close-up of Thai Chicken with Linguini

Plate and serve.

Home -made Peanut Sauce

1 13.5 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk, full fat

¼ cup red curry paste

¾ cup natural creamy peanut butter, no sugar added

½ tbsp. salt

¾ cup sugar

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

½ cup water

Mix everything into a medium sauce pan and bring to a soft boil over medium heat. Wisk while the ingredients are coming to a boil. Do this for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and use in the recipe. Let the rest cool down, place in a jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate, should last about 4 months. The sauce will thicken, to loosen or make saucy again, place jar into a small pot of boiling water.

Buy your peanut butter fresh ground at your local market. This way there is no peanut or other seed oil used. These types of oils (omega-6) cause inflammation within your body.

 

What Others are Saying About Linguini and other Asian Food:

Enhanced by Zemanta

ABC of Soup Making

Collage of Prepared soups

The art of composing good soup is to proportion the different ingredients so that the flavor of one will not predominate over another. The ingredients that will compose the soup should form an agreeable finished product. That is delectable to the sight and delicious to the palate.

To accomplish this, care must be taken that the fresh vegetables and herbs are well cleaned, and that the base of the soup, be it water, chicken, beef or vegetable broth is proportioned to the quantity of meat and other ingredients. Generally a quart of water is used to a pound of meat and a quart to on pound of vegetables.

Making a good flavorful soup is done by gently stewing or simmering. For a more nutritious soup, using a slow cooker is the best. There is no risk of losing vital minerals and vitamins as the slow cooker is cooking at a constant temperature. Also if the soup is being prepared in a pressure cooker, there is no loss of moisture and no need to add any extra broth or water.

Soups will general take from three to six hours to cook. They are also much flavorful when prepared the day before. After cooking the soup and allowing it to sit for 24 hours brings out the flavor the dried herbs being used in the preparation of the soup.

Another benefit to letting it sit is easier removal of any fat from the soup. When the soup is cold, the fat is much easier to remove, as fat solidifies as it cools. If you are using fresh herbs and wish to eat the soup the same day, you can use one of these two options:

Refrigerate the soup until the fat hardens. If you place waxed paper on top first, it will peel away the hardened fat. No time to refrigerate? Try dropping a lettuce leaf in the soup. Let it collect fat, and then remove it.

When the soup appears to be too thin or too weak, arrow-root, corn starch, flour and butter, can be used to thicken it and give body to the soup. You should have no problem with thin soup if you are using barley or rice as this will thicken the soup some as well.

Various herbs, fresh or dried and vegetables are used for the purpose of making broth for the soup.

The most common vegetables used are parsnips, carrots, turnips, and beetroots including garlic, shallots and onions.

Onions, garlic and shallots should be browned or minced some with butter or olive oil to release the flavors more readily into the soup broth. It is noteworthy to say, that the older and drier the onions, garlic or shallots are, the stronger the flavor they will have.

Leeks and celery are also used in soups. These also should be browned or minced to bring out their flavors. Celery-seed can be used, but should be pounded o release its flavor as well. Though fresh celery and celery seed is equally strong in giving good flavor, celery seed does not impart the delicate sweetness of the fresh vegetable and if when used as a substitute for the fresh vegetable its flavor should be corrected by the addition of a bit of sugar.

Herbs for cooking

The addition of dried herbs such as cress-seed, parsley, thyme, lemon thyme, orange thyme, knotted marjoram, sage, mint, winter savory, and basil can be used. Dried herbs should be added at the beginning of the preparation of the soup.

Fresh herbs can be used, but should be added at the finish of the soup cooking. Dried basil is ok to use, but fresh basil is seldom used as its flavor is quickly lost with heat. Fresh, chopped basil can be used by adding it just before serving it. Fresh parsley and cilantro are added at the finish of the soup cooking.

Other ways to season soups is with bay-leaves, tarragon, chervil, burnet, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, black and white pepper, essence of anchovy, lemon-peel, and juice, orange peel and Seville orange-juice. The orange though imparts a finer flavor than the lemon, and the acid is much milder.

Other food ingredients that can be used and combined in various proportions are wine, mushrooms, and tomato sauce.

Keep in mind that soups, which are intended to constitute the principal part of a meal, certainly ought not to be flavored like sauces.

There are many ingredients that can be manipulated into an almost endless variety of excellent soups.

_________________________________________________________________

Check out our soup recipes:

Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup

Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

_______________________________________________________________

The Collage of prepared soups include:

Lentil Soup     Asian Noodle Soup       Vegetable Soup

Tomato Soup       Minestrone Soup  Broccoli Soup   Pumpkin Soup

Header Image credit: robynmac / 123RF Stock Photo

Image credit Herbs: viperagp / 123RF Stock Photo

Enhanced by Zemanta