Never wash mushrooms! If the fungi have dirt or debris on them, simply brush it off with a cloth. Water will saturate the mushroom, leaving them tasteless and soggy.
Leave your butter out. You can actually leave butter out non-refrigerated for several days. Soft butter is easier to work with, and won’t tear your bread apart when you try to spread it.
Make sure your meat is room temperature before cooking. Cold meat seizes up, and can become tough. Also, make sure your meat sits for a few minutes after cooking- this enables the fats to solidify, producing a juicy, more flavorful piece or meat.
When making meatballs or meatloaf, add some water to the mixture- the end result will be a moist and delicious.
When making quick breads or cookies mix the dough just until it comes together. Overworked gluten will yield a gummy product.
Just because it reads Organic, doesn’t mean the nutritional content differs from a non-organic product.
Don’t buy pre-chopped garlic in water. The H2O dilutes the flavor of the garlic. Pure is always better.
Combine those bottles of left-over white and red wines to use for cooking later. Left-over wine? Where?
Always rinse your rice before cooking until the water runs clear. Clean rice, free of excess starch will come out fluffy, not clumpy.
For perfect hard-boiled eggs- start the eggs in a large pot with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Slowly bring the water to a boil- cook for 8-10 minutes, then let sit for another 5 minutes. Cool the eggs in ice water, and store.
Place your fresh herbs in a wet-wrapped paper towel in the crisper. Or place them in a vase just like a bouquet of fresh flowers.
To keep your salt-shakers from clogging, throw a few kernels of uncooked rice in.
Pancakes are lighter and fluffier if you fold in a few whipped egg-whites.
If you’re looking for a tenderizing marinade, use something with a tomato base in it. The acid helps break down the fibers in the meat.
Always wash your poultry before cooking it- you can actually remove most of the harmful bacteria by doing this.
Season EVERYTHING you cook. TASTE everything before you serve it to you guests/customers.
Contrary to popular belief, the only way to tell if you have picked a good watermelon is by cutting it open and tasting it.
Just because your cheese has a little mold on it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Cut the mold off, and eat away!
Old honey will often crystallize and become solid. When this happens, put it in a warm water bath or microwave until the sugar crystals melt.
When clarifying butter, instead of skimming the milk solids off, do nothing at all. Eventually, the water and excess milk will evaporate leaving you with perfectly clarified butter.
Try using almond, or rice milk instead of soy. Increasing studies are showing that soy products can leach vitamins and minerals from your body.
Before settling on an olive oil, try as many as possible. Most good Italian stores will let you sample different oils… pick the variety that tastes best to you. Try using extra virgin when you can- this term means that the oil is made from the first pressing of the olives.
Don’t put oil in your pasta water- ever. Oil will prevent sauces from sticking to the noodles. And no, cold water doesn’t boil faster than hot water.
If you’re trying to cut calories when baking, try substituting apple sauce where you would use butter or oils.
Unbleached flour is better for you than regular processed flour.
Skim milk isn’t necessarily better than 1% or 2%. Your body needs the fat in order to metabolize the proteins. The same goes with eggs- a few yolks aren’t going to kill you.
Don’t add water or milk to your scrambled eggs or omelets- it dilutes the taste.
Lemon juice is an excellent preservative, and keeps food from discoloring.
Don’t trim all that fat from your meats before cooking- remember, fat=flavor.
Save your veggie trimmings in a plastic bag in the fridge- they’re great for soups, stocks and sauces.
If you put a small amount of butter or oil in your pancake/waffle batter, they won’t stick to the pan/waffle maker when they’re done.
Don’t use soap on your Teflon pans. A swipe with a damp paper towel is all it takes!
Sponges are havens for bacteria. If you choose to use a sponge, replace it every two days. Plastic dish brushes are cleaner. Clean your dish brushes in the dishwasher every time you run a cycle.
Chef Chuck Kerber