Bachelor Cooking 101 >> Basic Techniques >> Kitchen Hints
To help water boil faster cover the pot. Otherwise the heat is going to waste. And yes, hot water will boil quicker than cold water.
If you have a favorite pizza joint ask them if they won’t sell you their pizza dough. Most pizza dough bakes between 425 and 475 degrees, and can vary depending on the ingredients, so you might have to do some experimenting.
Liven up popcorn with spices or seasonings, either dry or wet. Parmesan cheese, paprika or lemon-pepper makes for a great dry flavoring. If you’re going to butter your popcorn add a spice to your butter, such as cinnamon. Got a favorite flavor? Share it with us!
To shred cooked chicken tear it apart with two forks.
Wash your hands after chopping onions or jalapenos – if you touch you eyes without doing so you’ll know why! And we’ve had friends who had to throw away their contacts because they tried to put them in after chopping chilies.
To get more juice out of a citrus fruit, microwave it for about 15 seconds. Then, before juicing, press hard on the fruit as you roll it on the counter. Cut an end off and squeeze. If you place your palm under the opening you can catch the seeds.
Lemon juice will slow the oxidization (browning) of apples and avocados.
Use fruit preservers as a quick sweet glaze for chicken or pork. Mix it with vinegar for a sweet and sour sauce.
To prepare an avocado, remove the little brown stem thingy from the top. Slice long-ways around the avocado, twist to separate (don't cut through the pit). Half of the pit should be showing, hit the pit hard with the blade of your knife. Twist to remove the pit.
If you use a lot of green chilies, and use them often, freeze them in ice cube trays. You’ll have individual serving sizes. Keep the trays tightly covered with plastic so the chilies don’t develop freezer burn.
Perk up soggy lettuce by soaking in cold water with some lemon juice. To store, place in a zip lock bag with paper towels to absorb moisture.
Fresh ginger can be kept in the freezer. Wrap it in plastic wrap first.
To make it easy to cut beef or chicken place the meat in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
When cutting round vegetables like carrots slice a small portion off the bottom. This will create a stable base for slicing.
When cutting food with slippery surfaces like jalapenos slice the ingredient in half, and slice with the inside facing the cutting board. Or maybe you should cut with the inside face down so it won't be inclined to move -- we haven't made up our mind!
To make slicing easier leave them bunched together with the rubber bands they come with. Arrange the roots end so they are even with each other. Start at the top of the bunch and slice downward to the root end, discarding the roots.
[Hint]When slicing for Chinese food rotate slice diagonally and rotate the stem for a pleasing shape.
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Don’t spoon out tomato paste! Use a can opener to open both sides of the can. Then use one of the cut ends to push the paste to the desired amount through the can and into the sauce. Leftover paste can be wrapped in the can with plastic and frozen.
An inch diamter of spaghetti or angle-hair pasta is about two servings.
Wipe the top of cans before opening: they may be covered with dust or sprayed with pesticides while in the store.
By Federal law ingredients in prepared food are listed in order of volume. Learn to read those labels!
Never cook with wine you wouldn’t serve at the table.
If stir-frying don’t buy special wok oil – peanut oil and your own flavorings (garlic, sliced ginger) will do just as well.
Don’t buy fancy wraps for food wraps – just use flour tortillas. Warm them a little so they'll fold.
Dry white wine includes Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and dry champagne.
Usually the smaller the chili the hotter it is. Color doesn’t necessarily mean heat. Good luck finding the Quetzlzacatenango chili.
If you have a self-cleaning oven don’t leave bake ware in it when you self-clean. The process will burn off the finish of the bake ware.
To remove stuck bottle tops and jar lids, wear a pair of rubber gloves or twist a fat rubber band around the lid, then twist open.
Never use disinfectants to clean the fridge; foods will pick up the taste and odor.
Avocados are also known as crocodile pears, but probably only by your grandmother!
If you buy measuring spoons make your life easy by getting ones that are attached; that way you won’t be looking all through your utensil drawer when looking for a spoon.
If you buy a small can/bottle opener buy one that's magnetic. That way you can put it on your refrigerator, rather than losing it in a drawer.
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