Tips and Tricks

Cooking is an art that really can be learned … What I love the most is that, unlike the world itself, in the kitchen you get what you give. If I find a solid recipe, gather nice ingredients, and follow the instructions, I will produce something good to eat. Life may be unpredictable, but pasta puttanesca is not.” Alyssa Shelasky, Apron Anxiety

Here is some advice from little ol’ me. Some is super basic, but it’s the little things that make a difference! I’ll update this page as I learn right along with you.

Ingredients:

  • Always use freshly ground black pepper, freshly squeezed juice and real wine (If you’re like me and started cooking when underage, have someone buy the alcohol for you; cooking wine just doesn’t cut it!)
  • Add extra clove of garlic and a dash more vanilla never hurt anyone (just not in the same meal!)

Technique:

  • Smash garlic by pounding it with your fist on the blade of a wide chef’s knife for easy peeling–best trick I’ve learned yet!
  • Allow proteins to come to room temperature before putting them in the oven or pan to ensure more even cooking.
  • Go here to learn how to perfectly DICE an onion. You’ll get pretty, even pieces for nice presentation and even cooking. Thanks, Food Network!
  • Bake at a lower temperature (like 325 degrees) when using a glass dish. (Thanks, Grandma!)
  • Here are some great tips for preparing cakes from Sweetapolita!
  • Crack your eggs in a separate container before adding them to a batter, etc.; no one wants to come across a piece of shell, and it can be hard to fish out!
  • If you are separating a ton of eggs to use just the whites (especially if you are making a meringue or something where it is very important to have purity), crack each white into a bowl, then add it to another “done bowl” if there is no yolk or shell in it. You don’t want to risk contaminating the whole batch of good whites with one egg’s yolk or shell.

General Advice:

  • ALWAYS read a recipe through from start to finish before preparing your food. You have a much better chance at successfully timing the elements of your dish and producing the best product possible.

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