Chef's Secrets to make life easier in the kitchen
Here are a few of my tips I have learned over the decades of cooking in a professional kitchen. One of the greatest lessons one can learn in the kitchen is how to work organized and efficient. I have spent my career teaching staff and students how to work smarter, not harder. When we owned the restaurant, we wrote that mantra on the walk-in door so we could see it every day as a reminder to be more mindful of our intentions of the day. As I continue to log hours behind the stove, I still learn lessons and I hope I never stop. Cooking is a journey, never a destination. Here are some random thoughts about cooking smarter for you to think about when you are in the kitchen.
While cooking cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, avoid odors by adding a slice of bread. It will pour off with the water.
Let bread dough rise in a plastic bag, it can be punched down and kneaded without drying out.
Egg whites warmed to room temperature before beating will yield greater volume.
For the fullest flavors in salad dressings, mix the seasoning with vinegar before adding the oil. Oil coats herbs and traps the flavors.
Season Cole slaw, deviled eggs, salad dressings with leftover pickled jalapeno juice.
When a small amount of lemon juice is needed, don’t cut the lemon, just pierce with a skewer and squeeze. Refrigerate lemon after finished.
Add Maple Syrup to pancake batter for extra flavor.
Correct excess amount of salt in cooking with a pinch of sugar. For soups or stews, drop a raw, peeled potato for five minutes and remove.
To prevent scratching or damaging pans put paper towels in-between them when storing.
To crisp celery, radishes, carrots, and other water-loving vegetables place in a pan of ice water. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
To soften cold butter, slice thinly into a warm bowl or if frozen, grate onto plastic wrap.
To dispose easily of bacon grease, form a piece of aluminum foil around a cereal bowl and pour the grease in and let cool. Toss the foil when grease is solid.
First in, first out. Write the date on everything you put in the freezer so older items can be used first.
A slice of lemon or lime in a bottle of green olives in brine will add a fresh citrus flavor.