Your Best Cooking Tips

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  • I took a cooking class recently and the chef gave a recipe for an easy, cheap food wash.  She said to always wash your food in something like this, not just rinse it off in the sink.  There could be hidden dirt and icky stuff you might not get.  I was amazed at the strawberries that had been bought at AJ's and then rinsed with regular water.  She put it in this wash and tons more dirt came out!  So, now I use it all the time and yup, my food tastes so much better and clean.  Plus I don't have to worry about poisoning myself.  

    2 oz white vinegar
    1 tbsp baking soda
    1 tbsp kosher salt
    1 qt lukewarm water

    Right before using veggies or fruit soak in this mixture for 3-5 minutes and then rinse off.  
  • Wow - such great tips!

    If you are not already checking out America's Test Kitchen I would really recommend it - helps to understand the science behind cooking.  

    My tip is - if the recipe is calling for butter - USE BUTTER.  Better to eat 1 fantastic cookie than 10 crappy ones.  

    I would also echo the tip to fully read the recipe before starting any cooking.  I also read to the end several times while making a complex recipe so I can remind myself of the pacing and the next steps . 
  • Does anyone have any tips for making hollandaise sauce?  I was in New Orleans this past weekend and had "alligator hash" at a very nice restaurant - four kinds of potato (sweet potato, red potato, potato, and Andean purple potato), alligator meat, andouille sausage, two perfectly poached eggs, and Tabasco hollandaise sauce.  I want to replicate it, the sauce most of all.  So if one of the Kittens has any advice to offer I'll accept it gratefully!
  • Does anyone have any tips for making hollandaise sauce?  I was in New Orleans this past weekend and had "alligator hash" at a very nice restaurant - four kinds of potato (sweet potato, red potato, potato, and Andean purple potato), alligator meat, andouille sausage, two perfectly poached eggs, and Tabasco hollandaise sauce.  I want to replicate it, the sauce most of all.  So if one of the Kittens has any advice to offer I'll accept it gratefully!
    I wrote a blogpost on hollandaise years ago http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/ask-foodycat-hollandaise-sauce.html
  • Does anyone have any tips for making hollandaise sauce?  I was in New Orleans this past weekend and had "alligator hash" at a very nice restaurant - four kinds of potato (sweet potato, red potato, potato, and Andean purple potato), alligator meat, andouille sausage, two perfectly poached eggs, and Tabasco hollandaise sauce.  I want to replicate it, the sauce most of all.  So if one of the Kittens has any advice to offer I'll accept it gratefully!
    I wrote a blogpost on hollandaise years ago http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/ask-foodycat-hollandaise-sauce.html
    Thanks!!
  • Posted in the TLounge but thought I'd ask here anyway - anyone have any good fish stock recipes?  I have a fish head that's begging to be used.  (Can't stand food waste, plus I'm all about homemade stock and using the best and freshest you can get.)
  • Posted in the TLounge but thought I'd ask here anyway - anyone have any good fish stock recipes?  I have a fish head that's begging to be used.  (Can't stand food waste, plus I'm all about homemade stock and using the best and freshest you can get.)
    It doesn't need nearly as long as a chicken or beef stock. Less than an hour. Chuck your heads/bones etc into a pot with water just to cover. I keep the aromats really simple with fish - a slice of onion, a celery stalk if you have one, and a handful of peppercorns. Bring to the boil gently, then reduce to a very subtle simmer for 45 minutes. Cool, strain & freeze until you need it.


  • edited August 2015
    @foodycatAlicia  I'll have to try your version of hollandaise. It sounds really tasty. 
    I have made a version that uses the immersion blender, oh wait, that's mayonnaise, but it's a little tricky too, can be bland, tastes horrible if the oil isn't fresh, never make with EVOO. So it's a tiny bit like the hollandaise.
    I've also cheated and stirred some lemon juice into mayo. It's not bad at all for a real quickie.
    Also good points on fish stock.
  • foodycatAlicia,  Your version of Hollandaise sounds delicious and interesting, but I found a version in Theory and Practice of Good Cooking by James Beard that it super easy.  It takes a food processor, though.  I think there's a blender version too.

    Food Processor Hollandaise   -makes 3/4 cup   from Theory and Practice of Good Cooking by James Beard. Knopf.1977
    4 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
    Dash of Tabasco
    1/4 pound (I stick) unsalted butter, melted and hot

    With the metal blade in place, add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and Tabaco to the bowl of the processor. Process for 3 seconds and still processing, pour in the bubbling hot melted butter.  It is essential that the butter be bubbling hot or the sauce won't thicken.

    This method is fairly foolproof.  Damn! It's been way too long since I made hollandaise. 
  • Qitkat said:
    @foodycatAlicia  I'll have to try your version of hollandaise. It sounds really tasty. 
    I have made a version that uses the immersion blender, oh wait, that's mayonnaise, but it's a little tricky too, can be bland, tastes horrible if the oil isn't fresh, never make with EVOO. So it's a tiny bit like the hollandaise.
    I've also cheated and stirred some lemon juice into mayo. It's not bad at all for a real quickie.
    Also good points on fish stock.
    Mayonnaise is one of the classic emulsion sauces, so it is very much like mayonnaise! You are still trying to coax the eggyolk to hold fat molecules.

    If you do try mayo with EVOO do a half/half blend with a neutral tasting oil - mayo for some reason really intensifies the flavour of the oil and a very peppery EVOO can be a bit much.
  • This is interesting...and just a great thing to know about the saltiness-levels in different types/brands of salt:

    Smitten Kitchen:  Not all salts are created equally.

    ("1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = roughly 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton’s kosher salt = roughly 1 3/4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt")
  • This is interesting...and just a great thing to know about the saltiness-levels in different types/brands of salt:

    Smitten Kitchen:  Not all salts are created equally.

    ("1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = roughly 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton’s kosher salt = roughly 1 3/4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt")

    I have really gotten into different salts lately. Black salt, red salt, pink salt. Plus enfused salt like smoked garlic or gauva lime salt. It really changes a dish.
  • There is a correct way to remove the pits from avocados! I think most people know this, but I met someone who didn't and it blew his mind.

    After you slice the avocado in half hold the half with the pit in your hand and then carefully, but firmly hit the pit with the sharp edge of the knife. The knife should be embedded in the pit, then just twist the knife a bit and the pit should pop right out. 

    image
  • That's a gorgeous knife!

    I was working with someone a while ago who cut avocados in half the other way - so there was a skinny half and a plump half. Weird.
  • @foodycatAlicia that is weird. People are weird. I hope you showed them how to do it the other way!
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