Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Few Kitchen Tips

I keep a folder of handy time-savers and tips that I find online or in magazines. Here's a capsule of several that I have found useful in the last several months.
  • Avoid soggy rice. Put a folded towel between the lid and the pot when cooking rice. the condensation will be absorbed by the towel and won't drip back into the rice. (Obviously, you have to make sure the towel is sufficiently clear of the burner. Smoky rice is no better than soggy rice.)
  • Baste with flair. Add some extra flavor as you roast or grill by tying fresh herbs to your basting brush. With each swipe, you'll add extra flavor to whatever you're cooking.
  • Toast breadcrumbs quickly. I always try to keep breadcrumbs on hand, usually there is a big Ziploc bag in the freezer. But if you're in a jam, you can toast fresh breadcrumbs in the microwave. Put one cup in and zap on high for 3 minutes.
  • Steam in the microwave. Vegetables steamed in the microwave are just as delicious and healthy as those cooked on the stovetop. And they don't heat up the kitchen nearly as much. Here's how to fix asparagus: Place trimmed spears in a backing dish. Add 2 tablespoons water and cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap. Cook on high until crisp-tender for 4 to 9 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook.) let stand, covered, for 2 minutes. Experiment with other veggies like squash, broccoli and cauliflower. Times should be about the same.

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