24 Essential Kitchen Tricks Any Chef Should Know
Let's show you how to save time and effort, be more efficient and less messy, how to cook delicious meals and how not to let anything troubling you on the way to the perfect dish. Courtesy of Oven Clean Team London bloggers.
Easy-To-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
Instead of boiling them the traditional way, steam the eggs in a cooking basket over some boiling water for around 15-16 minutes. The shells fall off easily.
Perfect Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Place the pan in the oven to heat in advance. When the vegetables touch its hot surface, they start their roasting with a delicious boost.
When you can't find the brush for the baked goods, or you simply don't have one – make a quick single-use replacement: fold a piece of parchment paper multiple times, in order to make a small rectangle. Cut the corner ends with your kitchen scissors and enjoy your improvised brush.
Make Some Powder Sugar
If you find out you are out of powder sugar just when you need it, grind some granulated sugar in a spice grinder, in order to make it fast.
This professional trick keeps the dishes that stick together and lose volume fast – such as risotto or crème pasta (including mac and cheese), free and less gooey: serve on warm plates. Use the oven, set on “warming” function, in order to increase the degrees.
If you sauté onion and it starts browning too fast, throw in an ice cube in the pan to cool it down fast. The water will evaporate quickly, while your onion will be saved. PS: this oven needs some serious cleaning!
Speed up Cooking the Meat Roll
When you decide to have some meat roll but you don't want to wait for more than one hour to cook it, divide and conquer: split the meat in separate portions and place them in a muffin tray. Bake for around 15 minutes at 230 degrees.
Want to see more ways to cook with a muffin form? Here ya go:
Cook More Delicious Legumes
Improve quinoa, brown rice or groats taste by cooking them in tea water. Kind of Japanese flavour-touch thing.
Make Wine in Ice Cubes
You have a bottle of wine that you simply can't finish but you don't want to spill out the rest? Pour the wine in ice cube forms and freeze it. Take out some cubes for your quick sauce that only needs some extra flavour and aroma, or add them in a wine cocktail or sangria.
If you already missed the moment to sharpen your knives and you simply don't have the time, use a serrated knife. The saw-like blade will deal much better than the dull straight knives.
Ignore the Egg Expire Date on the Carton (and Check It Yourself)
We often joke that eggs never go stale (that's just a joke: they definitely go stale). But the date, specified on the box, shouldn't orientate you whether they are still OK to eat: don't throw them out the minute it's passed. Place an egg in a glass of water: the good eggs sink down, the rotten ones surface.
Use a grill brush to clean the remains, without destroying a kitchen sponge or a towel. For thick layers of grime, turn the pan backwards facing a heated gas hob and the remains will burn quickly and fall off.
Soften and Sweeten Bananas Fast
You want to cook banana bread but the fruits aren't ripe enough? Place the bananas with their peels in a baking-paper-covered pan or plate and shove them in the oven while it's heating, or in the microwave for several minutes to ripe quickly. When the peel darkens, the bananas are ready.
Less Mess in the Oven
Your oven can stay shinier for longer, if you decide to use an oven mat. It's rubbery, it's heat resistant, and it happy takes in all the food leftovers and spillages that fall inside the oven chamber. It doesn't mean you shouldn't occasionally scrape and scour the surface of your precious cooker - whether yourself or with the help of professional cleaners. That's one of the essential parts of being a good cook - having a kitchen hygiene habits and knowing how to take care of your appliances.
Save Waning Greens
When the spinach or the kale are on the verge of rotting or you have too much from them than you can use right now, freeze them in a zipping bag in the freezer. The next time you need greens for cooking (sautéing, soup, omelette, stir-fry), just take them and start cooking.
Cooking nuts? Cook more.
If you roast nuts (at 160 C, it's the perfect temperature to release natural oils), roast a lot of them. Freeze the extra ones and save one step next time you cook in the future (there's no need to melt them before use).
Wonder how to roast the best nuts? Check it here - https://onmogul.com/stories/how-to-oven-roast-crunchy-pumpkin-seeds
Tie Chicken Legs without Threads
Make an incision in the extra skin from both sides of the hole and put the legs in there – for perfect results. Why tie it in the first place, you may ask? That helps for the chicken to cook more evenly and preserve its elegant compact form.
Perfect Fish Every Time
Split fillet in 150 g portions and place the pieces 5 cm away from each other on top of a foil sheet for baking. Spray it with cooking spray. Add your favourite spices. Roast at 200 C for around 10 minutes.
Try a Better Whey Replacement
You probably heard the advice to add vinegar or lemon juice to milk, in order to make whey at home – but this mixture almost never turns out thick and creamy enough to be useful. Instead, use diluted sifted milk or thick yoghurt: beat together ¾ cup of yoghurt and ¼ cup of water or fat-free milk.
But... what is whey, exactly? http://www.cheesemaking.com/Whey1.html
Save Some Washing
When you carry raw meat to the grill, use a foil-covered plate or a baking-sheet paper. After the meal is on the grill, throw out the foil: you can place the ready food on the plate, without having to wash it first.
Don't Spill Your Ingredients
Measure the flour, sugar and other dry ingredients in a dry measurement glass, placed on top of a parchment or wax paper. All that falls down when you even out the spoons can go back in the box easily.
Less Mess with Zipping Bags
When you pour out sauce or leftover soup inside a zipped plastic bag, place it in a large glass/transparent measurement box. Wrap up the upper side the container with the bag – that will leave the bag open and will prevent spilling.
Control the portions next time you make cookies. Split the dough on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet. Instead of roasting the pan, freeze it. When the dough hardens, transfer it in a zipped freezer bag – take one biscuit each time you want, but you don't want to cook and eat too much.
Cook Broth While You Sleep
There's no time to fidget around the steaming casserole? Put the broth ingredients in a Dutch oven (i.e. a cast-iron utensil with thick walls) and bake, without the lid, at 100 C for around 8 hours or for the whole night. You can try it with a slow cooker, too, but the taste won't be as rich. In the morning, scoop up the foam, sift through, cool down to room temperature and freeze.
Why actually stop there? Here is a bunch of other recipes that are perfect to cook while you sleep - http://greatist.com/health/healthy-crock-pot-recipes