Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cooking Tips

There are so many little hints and tips in the kitchen. Experience teaches some of these, but here is a quick index of ideas...
*If you have added too much salt to a soup or stew, add a cut-up raw potato, let simmer and discard. It will soak up some of the salt.
*When thickening stews or gravies, remember, flour will be opaque, corn starch will be translucent.
*For velvety smooth gravies, add flour to the drippings and allow to brown a bit. This does two things, one, mix in the flour for no lumping and two, get rid of the "floury" taste in the gravy.
*Ever wonder??? A "roux" is the thickening mixture of flour and butter (or fat). A "slurry" is flour and water shaken together for thickening.
*You can add the following to mashed potatoes: milk, butter, sour cream, softened cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, peeled, roasted garlic, or horseradish.
*When you fry or saute, always heat the pan, then add the fat (butter or whatever). This will prevent even eggs from sticking.
*If you add a teaspoon of olive oil to the water you are boiling pasta in, the paste will not boil over.
*Before measuring sticky liquids, spray measuring cup with Pam or other cooking spray. The sticky liquid will slide right out.
*Sausages will shrink less if you boil them for a few minutes in water, first.
*If you are having a hard time getting ketchup out of the bottle, push a drinking straw to the bottom. This creates enough air for the ketchup to run freely.
*If a recipe calls for crushed bread crumbs, you can use crushed crackers, pretzels, unsweetened cereal or even potato flakes.

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