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101 Tips and Techniques for Cooking like a Chef 61-70

Although it’s tempting to just toss something in the oven for dinner, you probably get tired of the same old things.  Here are some ideas that can get you cooking like a chef in no time at all.

101 Tips and Techniques for Cooking like a Chef 61-70

61. Stir-frying vegetables. Stir-fried vegetables are a quick and easy side dish option. Or serve them over noodles or rice for a delicious meal. The secret to stir-frying is to have the pan or wok very hot and the vegetables cut into similar sized pieces so they cook evenly. Great choices are peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, snow peas and beans. Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes and yams. Stir-fried vegetables should be flavored near the end of the cooking time for the best results.

62. Stop white vegetables from yellowing. When cooking white vegetables, use a light colored pot and add a pinch of sugar to keep the white color and avoid yellowing.

63. Measure vegetables and fruits properly for recipes. When using a recipe that asks you to include a specified amount of a fruit or vegetable, it can be confusing sometimes to know just how much they mean. The general rule of thumb is that if the recipe states “1 cup of diced carrots” then you dice them first and then measure out 1 cup. If it calls for “1 carrot, diced” then it wants you to dice up one carrot. Most recipes are pretty forgiving though; so don’t stress too much over getting the prefect amount.

64. Roasting vegetables. There are lots of vegetables that can be carrots, potatoes, onions, peppers and squashes. For the best results, coat the vegetables evenly in oil and add seasonings before putting them in a non-stick roasting pan. A great way to ensure they don’t stick (and to make cleanup easy) is to line your pan with parchment paper. Ensure that the vegetables are evenly distributed and not overlapping one another.

65. Ripen tomatoes overnight. Putting green tomatoes in a brown paper bag with an overripe banana can quickly ripen them. By the morning your green tomatoes will be red and ready to eat!

66. Perfectly steam vegetables every time. Steaming is an easy way to cook vegetables and is a great way to retain their water-soluble vitamins. Almost all vegetables can be steamed except for starchy ones like potatoes. When steaming, make sure that vegetables are cut into equal-sized pieces so they cook evenly. To steam them, place them in a bamboo or metal steams, place the lid on the steamer and put it over a saucepan of boiling water.  Always steam your vegetables with the highest possible heat to avoid sogginess and get them cooked faster.

67. Make sautéed onions even sweeter. For tastier sautéed onions, add a few drops of honey to the pan after heating the oil or butter and before adding the onions. Or if you don’t have any honey, add some sugar on top of the onions once they start to soften. This is especially tasty if you’ll be using the onions on a pizza, steak or hamburger.

68. Easily peel peaches and tomatoes. Whenever you have to peel peaches or tomatoes, the easiest way is to first immerse them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Then use a sharp paring knife to remove the peel.

69. Make delicious salads. If you’ve only ever used iceberg lettuce to make salads, now is the time to branch out and try something new. Red and green leaf lettuces make an excellent – and healthier – alternative. To make the perfect salad be sure to get yourself an inexpensive salad spinner. Nothing is more unappetizing than soggy lettuce leaves. And the extra water will dilute the flavor of your dressing.

70. Steam vegetables without a steamer. Don’t have a steamer? Make enough small aluminium foil balls to cover the bottom of your pan and fill with water to half the height of the foil balls. Boil the water, and once it is boiling, add whatever you are cooking.  Expect it to be finished in about 10-15 minutes.

Cooking is a hobby that many people enjoy, and these tricks will make it easier for you to enjoy it too! When you know how easy it is to make cooking fun and exciting you will be surprised at the amazing meals you can create with just a little time and effort.

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