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101 Tips and Techniques for Cooking like a Chef 21-30

Do you sometimes feel that your guests compliment your cooking just to be nice?  Everyone who has ever set foot in a kitchen knows that there is always room for improvement in the culinary arts. Here are some of the tips that we have gathered from the experts that might help you to get your guests to say “wow”, and mean it!

101 Tips and Techniques for Cooking like a Chef 21-30

21. Reduce grease splatters. Few things are messier than splattering grease. And if it gets on your skin it can be painful. Reduce grease splatters by sprinkling hot grease with salt prior to adding the food to be fried.  If this is not completely effective, you can buy grease splatter shields at kitchen stores.

22. Easily grate cheese. Make grating cheese a snap by tossing your cheese into the freezer for an hour before shredding. This will make the cheese hard enough to grate without compromising the taste or texture.
23. Make perfect gravy for turkey.  Looking for the perfect gravy to have with your holiday turkey? A great tip from the pros is to use tea!  Boil a large pot of water and when you put the turkey in the oven add two orange pekoe tea bags. Let the tea steep on top of the stove until the turkey is done then add it to the juices in the pan. Thicken with a mixture of flour and water or cornstarch.

24. Keep chicken broth handy. Not only is chicken broth an easy way to add flavor to sauces, it can also be used to add moisture to dry stuffing.  And the unsalted variety can be used to tame over-salty gravy without diluting the flavor.

25. A flavorful alternative to sour cream. Out of sour cream, or looking for something different? Consider a quick crème fraiche, which can be made from one cup of buttermilk and three cups of heavy cream.  Mix them together and let them sit on your counter for about three days. Then store it in the refrigerator for as long as two weeks.

26. Reduce the power of garlic and onions. Sometimes you don’t want a strong garlic or onion taste. Get a milder flavor by sautéing them in butter or olive oil for a few minutes prior to adding them to other foods. This will release their natural sweetness and give a wonderful flavor.

27. An easy way to peel ginger root. To easily peel ginger root, place it in the freezer for an hour before use and then remove the skin with a sharp knife. Or, try using the edge of a spoon when peeling room temperature ginger root.

28. Use caramelized onions to add flavor. Caramelized onions are a delicious way to add flavor to mashed potatoes, vegetables, soups and sauces. Luckily they can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator so they are available when you need them. Do this by chopping onions fine and adding them to melted butter or margarine. Cook at a very low heat until the onions are brown. Be sure there is always lots of butter or the onions will become crispy. Once caramelized, transfer them to a plastic container while the butter is still liquid and store them in the refrigerator. Once solidified it’s easy to take a spoonful whenever you need it!

29. Fix lumpy sauces. Is your sauce too lumpy? Remove it from the heat immediately and toss it in your food processor to smooth out the lumps and blend the flavors. Add some hot water if necessary to assist with the removal of the lumps. Then reheat as needed and serve!

30. Using pre-made tomato sauce. Store bought tomato sauce is an easy alternative to making your own. But sometimes it is too acidic or too salty for the dish you’re using it in. A great tip to cut the acidity of tomato sauce is to add about one-eighth of a cup of sugar. To reduce saltiness, add a little cream.

Cooking like a chef does not require years of professional training. Try out the tips above to get started, and you will quickly realize that you too can prepare fantastic food that looks and tastes better than you could ever expect.


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