Why can Chefs cook for hundreds in a night, when you barely can manage your dinner party?Well of course they have specific equipment, a lot of practice and for most of them, Genius… but that can’t be all. They are humans after all… And one of their secret weapon to make sure you have an amazing time when dining at their place is their use of efficient Tips & Tricks. Some would say “cooking hacks”!
From all his years of training and working in France in Michelin stars restaurants with other talented Chefs, Chef Xavier from ” Chef Up! ” in Sydney tells us what strikes him as “simple but great knowledge to make your life easier”. straight out of the best kitchens in the world
So here we go:
1. To skin and chop tomatoes finely at the same time: Use a grater!Just cut them in half and grate the flesh against the grater. Hold on to the skin and throw it away when it reaches the grater. This is a great technique to chop tomatoes for a sauce.
2. Lemon to brighten your dishes: heighten your seasoning and release the flavour of your food!Lemon is full of virtues. You’ll never take a risk by adding a squeeze of lemon to your food. It might in fact reveal all its potential.
3. Dropped bits of cracked egg shell in the bowl? Use an egg shell to remove it!Go figure why, it is almost impossible to get bits of cracked shell with a spoon! It just wont work. Whereas with an egg shell it will only take you a couple seconds to spot it, aim, and remove it.
4. Add a pinch of sugar in tinned tomatoes!When seasoning you always need to reach a balance. In the tinned tomatoes case, you can temper the acidic taste with the sweetness of sugar. But here again, you want to reach a balance so be careful as to how much sugar you put in!
5. Like pasta? Cook them in water… and a lot of salt.This has nothing to do with the tale saying that it will make pasta cook faster (water temperature will barely even raise thanks to the salt). But it has to do with the actual taste of the pasta and their stickiness. Salt will help prevent the pasta to stick together when cooking, while flavouring them. This will allow you to use less sauce less salt overall to complete your dish.
And the good thing is that pasta can only absorb so much of salt, so in the end all the excess will stay in the water.
6. Use a teaspoon to peel ginger!Everyone who has tried to peel ginger with a knife can tell you as much: waste is terrible! Of course it is, with all these irregularities and knobbly bits! That’s a shame when the simplest solution is right there: use a spoon to scrape the skin off! It will be a lot easier to follow every contour, and the skin will come right off.
7. Take the sprout out of your garlic!It will be easier to digest, and the smell won’t be as strong nor will it follow you all week!
8.Use a serrated knife and 2 plates to cut in half multiple round shaped ingredients (Cherry tomatoes,grapes etc…)!This here can make you save a lot of time when making a large salad for your guests, or just regular sandwiches. However it will require some practice as it isn’t that easy to cut through every items right in the middle. You’ll probably get a lot of uneven cuts in the beginning. But if you pick items of the same caliber, with a steady hand and a good knife you should be fine.
9. When making a sauce, season when it has reached its proper consistency!As sauce reduces, it gets more salty and flavours are condensed. That is when you want to adjust the seasoning, if needs be.
10. Get the most juice out of your orange or lemon!Put it in the sun for 30 minutes or microwave it for 5s to 10s. It will be a lot easier for the juice to flow, and quicker for you to squeeze it.
11. Get meat at room temperature before cooking it!Leave it out of the fridge for about an hour before breaking out the pans. This way you’ll be able to get the perfect cooking!
12. When making your own dough, spread it between 2 baking paper!This way you’ll save flour and time as you won’t need to clean up the bench or the rolling pin + the dough will be very easy to move from one place to another (a baking tin for example). If you have many to make, you can stack them easily separated by the baking paper.
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