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Cooking tips and tricks

 
 
jespah
 
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 11:34 am
Everyone's got these, little tips or tricks to make foods tastier, or lower in fat, or low sodium, or less expensive, or cook faster or whatever.

What are the little things that you do which make a meal special, or make a dish taste just right? C'mon, share your secrets!

PS I cannot believe that this topic has never been tackled here before, but apparently it hasn't.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 1,743 • Replies: 16
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jespah
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 11:36 am
Quick tip - if you're going to use commercially prepared chicken stock, always use the low sodium variety, even if you don't need to watch your salt intake. "Regular" chicken stock tends to taste like just so much salty water, but when the company has to make chicken stock without relying so much on salt for flavoring, the stock tends to taste more like, well, stock.

Personally, I prefer our local store's brand (Star Market). I've tried College Inn and Swanson, and I still use them on occasion, but the store brand seems to be better.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 11:41 am
That question is far too general for me to answer properly, but I know everything. Oops, wrong thread. Laughing

One thing I like are spice rubs. If you are trying to avoid too much oil, a good rub will do, then pop the meat on a rack, inside a roasting pan, and toss it in a hot oven (425-450) and bake. It should get a bit crispy, but still remain juicy inside. Rubs work great on boneless, skinless chicken breasts or lean pork tenderloin, and they go great with tropical fruit salsas, like mango or papaya.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 11:42 am
As regards commercial stock, even if you buy a brand that has a lot of salt, just add water until it tastes like proper stock, then don't add salt to the dish you are using it for. Wink
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jespah
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 12:04 pm
Cool!

Marinating is a wonder, even if you only do it for a short amount of time. Mix together spices and some sort of fruit juice (preferably a citrus fruit) and olive oil, and say good-bye to commercially prepared marinades.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 12:08 pm
Marinades are awesome, not hard to make, and you will save a ton of coin not buying what's on the shelf. Besides citrus juice, you can also use different kinds of mustard, and flavoured vinegars.
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Magus
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 03:24 pm
Butter.

You could serve Stewed Used Moccasins... if you poach them a while and drench them with butter.

Don't forget to garnish...
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 04:39 pm
Two indispensible items for reducing cholesterol in almost any recipe: paper towels for skimming or blotting or otherwise absorbing excess fat and a noble-hearted, loving, scrap scoffing kitchen dog.
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Magus
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 07:22 pm
Reducing YOUR cholesterol by giving it to your dog... ?

Is that "Ethical Treatment of Animals"?

(Not that Spike is complaining... )
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 07:26 pm
I once read that dogs do metabolize fats differently.

Hmm, wonder if Patiodog will weigh in on this...

Me, I don't give much to the Pacc outside of his kibble, in part to keep his teeth in working order.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Sat 4 Dec, 2004 08:20 pm
Dogs do not have cholesterol problems--and they are not supposed to eat bananas.
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Magus
 
  1  
Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:01 am
Dear, dear Noddy... Many dogs DO suffer from arteriosclerosis and heart disease.
Yes, Noddy, obesity and poor dietary habits take a terrible toll upon the canine population, any Veterinarian will assure you of that.
BUT... there are not that many canine Cardiologists. :wink:
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jespah
 
  1  
Sun 5 Dec, 2004 12:18 pm
Hmm cooking cooking cooking ---

I make more whole chickens this time of year because it's cold so it's good to have a hot kitchen. That having been said, well, there's only 2 of us, so we get lots of leftovers, and RP mostly just eats white meat when it's roasted. What to do?

Well, what I do is, I save the limbs (sounds like something Hannibal Lecter would do) in a freezer bag. Once the bag is full, I make hot wings. It's just margarine (no butter here, but use it if you like) and tabasco sauce. Since the wings (and legs) were already basted, it just requires enough sauce to coat everything, then into the pan it goes. And, since everything is pretty wet, the pan just gets a spritz of cooking spray and doesn't need to be oiled. It just needs to be hot (and not frozen, of course, so what I generally do is just take the bag out of the freezer the night before and leave it in the fridge) but not fried or browned or anything. Remember, the stuff is already cooked, you're just adding flavor.

Add celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing. Instant (well, almost instant) new taste for the same old leftovers.

PS I've found when I make foods like this, I don't crave them at all when we go out to restaurants.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:32 pm
Magus--

Thanks for the correction. My information came from a Human Weight Loss Expert rather than a vet.

I'm guessing that canine cardiac troubles come in part from a lack of proper exercise as well as overfeeding. After all, your average wolf travels about 20 miles a day, every day, trekking through the forest.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Sun 5 Dec, 2004 02:07 pm
What I was remembering, I think, was that dogs aren't models for heart disease in humans since they don't deposit cholesterol (in some form) on their arteries. It doesn't mean dogs don't ever get heart disease, it is just that the mechanism is different.

Here's a link -
http://www.petngarden.com/dogs/dogs50.php
0 Replies
 
makemeshiver33
 
  1  
Sun 5 Dec, 2004 03:30 pm
Since everyone is on the topic of chicken...lol

I love to put a whole chicken into a crock pot. Use a dry rub ...as told above, and turn it on. There is no water, no oil or anything to be added to the pot. It will cook up soooooooooo tender that it will practically fall apart inside the pot if you don't get it out when its ready. Also, I have a nice size metal bowl that fits into the lid of my crock. (no it didn't come with it) That I use to make Wild Rice....put the rice in the bowl, add water and butter, close the lid and leave it alone, except to stir it a time or two. It'll steam inside the crock and its WONDERFUL!!
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jespah
 
  2  
Sat 11 Dec, 2004 09:40 am
Oh yum, the chicken almost sounds like tandoori style.
0 Replies
 
 

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