I love to learn new tricks, and I’m constantly doing so it seems. Sometimes things will just make so much sense, and I wonder why I never thought of it myself. I figured I would share some of my favorites with you all so that maybe it will save you some time (or taste) in the kitchen.
1. The Perfect Popcorn
I grew up eating stove popped popcorn and have always made it, but all the kernels that don’t cook can be super annoying. Last year I googled to see if there was a way to pop corn without any kernels and sure enough, there was. I tried it out and have been using the recipe ever since.
2. Juicy Chicken Breasts
For the most part I buy skinless and boneless chicken breasts since it’s just a healthier option, but unfortunately they can be a bit dry if you don’t cook it right. First, you always need to lightly pound the meat until it’s all even, about 3/4 inch thick and then soak it in brine (1/4 cup sea salt and 4 cups water and whatever herbs you like) for about 30 minutes. Make sure you rinse the meat and then cook.
3. The Best Indoor Steaks
I cook a lot of steaks, but we don’t have a grill which can be a deal breaker for some, but we love steaks! You should always sit the steaks outside of the fridge for at least 30 minutes so it can drop to room temperature. In a hot iron skillet, cook the steak in something with a high smoke point, I use beef bacon fat that I save. Some people say never to flip the steak unless it’s completely cooked on one side, wrong! Flip that baby as much as you can, until it’s fully cooked. You will have the juiciest steak, I promise.
4. Grilled Hot Dogs
I’ve always been known for making great hot dogs right in my kitchen, but I started doing a new trick last year and wow, it’s a good one. First, you need to get your pan really hot (if you have an iron one use it) and then cut your hot dog lengthwise, but not all the way through, just leave a small part so it’s still intact. Grill on each side until nice and brown, you may need to lay a small pot lid on the top part to get it to go down and cook. After you’ve cooked your hot dogs, warm up your buns right in the pan too.
5. Saving Tomato Paste
Oh man, for the longest time I would add some foil on top of the used carton and pop it back in the fridge never to use again, what a waste. I’ve since started freezing the extra (Always keep freezer bags on hand). All you do is add it into the bag, close it and then draw out portions with your finger (like drawing in the sand). Carefully lay it in the fridge and after it freezes you will have easy to break off portions.
6. Peeling Boiled Eggs
T loves boiled eggs and I use them in my tuna recipe, so I need to make them from time to time. I hate when I take the time to boil and egg and then destroy it trying to peel it. As soon as you cook the eggs drop them in a cold ice bath and let them sit for 5 minutes. Carefully smash the outside on your counter and peel away.
7. Just Freeze It
I freeze a lot of things, since I hate to waste food and I get most of the help from my food processor. I just grind up my garlic, ginger, onions and herbs (usually add a little olive oil) and pop them in an ice tray I bought just for them. It’s so easy to use later on since I don’t have to chop anything, plus it’s as fresh as new.
8. Save The Fat
In the south everyone saves their bacon fat and uses it to flavor other dishes. If you cook turkey bacon, you’re not going to get any fat, but if you go with beef you will have tons. I always allow mine to cool and then pour it in my fat cup, cover it and place it in the fridge. I use it for biscuits, cornbread, veggies and all kinds of other goodies.
9. Make Your Own Buttermilk
I usually always have laban (buttermilk, sour milk) on hand because I grew up drinking it and still always use it in cooking. However, if I’m out I just make my own. All you need to do is add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of regular milk and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
I’m sure that I have more that I use, but these are all I can think of right now and the ones that I use the most. I would love to hear some of your favorite tricks, please share!