General Cooking Tips

Here are just a few cooking tips.

General Cooking

  1. Milk should never be boiled when you heat it for recipes. It needs to be “scalded” (heated over medium heat just until the milk around the edges of the pan start to bubble slightly). Boiled milk will leave you with a big, ugly gout of “skin” and will not taste half as good in recipes.
  2. Don’t add scalded milk all at once to your recipe. Cool it to just above lukewarm, and add a little at a time to avoid curdling your recipe.
  3. If you are adding scalded milk to the liquid portion of a recipe that contains egg, add a tablespoon or two of your slightly cooled, scalded milk to the egg first, to prevent curdling.
  4. Make sure your kitchen contains basic staples: Herbs, salt, sugar, flour, your favorite grain such as rice or couscous, apples, onions, carrots, potato, consommé or bouillon cubes, your favorite noodles, tomato sauce, beans, cans or packets of soup, butter or margarine, and a good quality cooking oil, such as virgin olive oil. With these basic ingredients, you can whip up a variety of accompaniments and sauces to go with meat or fish.
  5. Make sure your kitchen contains these basic herbs and seasonings: Basil, thyme or marjoram, tarragon, black pepper, sea salt, oregano, dill, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg and paprika. (These are the herbs most commonly used in recipes. Add curry powder, cumin and coriander if you love Eastern foods.)
  6. Did you know that the herb saffron consists of the stamens of a certain type of crocus, harvested individually by hand? (That’s why the price is so high.) Saffron gives a delicate flavor and a deep golden-yellow color to rice or potatoes.)
  7. Store your herbs away from light or heat to prevent compromising the herb quality.
  8. If a recipe calls for “de-glazing”, it means to take the juices and fats remaining at the bottom of a pan after you’ve removed the food you are cooking, and adding liquid. The idea is to scrape all remaining bits of food into this liquid and use it in another sauce, such as a gravy.
  9. When a recipe calls for you to “simmer” a dish, the temperature shouldn’t exceed 180°F. Simmering is done at the lowest heat possible that still allows a stew or sauce to bubble lightly around the edges.
  10. To dissolve the thin glaze of juices and brown bits on the surface of a pan in which food has been fried, sautéed or roasted, add liquid and stir and scrape over high heat, thereby adding flavor to the liquid for use as a sauce.
  11. When a recipe calls for “zest”, this means the freshly-grated rind of a citrus fruit. You can use a fine grater to quickly extract it, after washing and thoroughly drying the fruit.

These tips were provided by


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