Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fun Cooking tips and tricks

When I went Thailand I went to a cooking school in Changmai. Went to a couple of different cooking schools there because I was writing an article for a travel website. One of the great things about these cooking institutes were the fun, knowledgeable teachers. One of my favorite teachers would make jokes mixed in with tips.

For example, he would always have a little wedge of lime on the cutting board and he would use this to clean his knife and his cutting board area because the citric acid would kill the bacteria.

I thought of this while I was peeling a pile of green onions and chopping them. You know the thin ones that look like grass. My eyes were watering and my mother taught me a trick. If you take a 4 centimeter piece of the onion and break off the end so it’s like a straw and breath through that your eyes won’t water.

So I wanted to give a couple of fun cooking tips and tricks.

1. If you are trying to peel the skins off of ginger, you can easily use the inside of a spoon. It’s easy and you won’t waste a lot of ginger.
2. You can also use a spoon to get fruit out of kiwi. Just cut off the ends and then stick in the spoon just below the skin and rotate it all the way around the fruit. The skin will just fall away.
3. And if you are trying to boil milk for a sauce or drink, you might have the problem of it boiling over. A trick to stop this is to rub a bit of butter on the edge of the pot and just along the top edge. When the milk starts a foaming, it’ll stop when it hits the butter.
4. The one thing I hate about cooking is having garlicky smelling hands. Now you can buy a special bar of stainless steel “soap” from specialty cooking stores, or you can just take the back of a stainless steel spoon and rub in on your hands that smell under running water and then wash your hands with soap. I don’t know how it does it, all I know is that it works.
5. Now if you are cleaning fish and you need something to get rid of the smell, you can scrub your hands with a little baking powder.
6. If you want to keep celery crisp then cut off the end of the celery and store it upright in a glass of water.
7. If you want to keep big green onions fresh then store them outside, upright on top of a pot of plants.