Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

More Cooking Tips and Tricks

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

Place a slice of bread in hardened brown sugar to soften it.

What should you do with fruit with mold? Throw it away rather than simply cutting off the mold since mold on fruit goes much deeper than what appears on the fruit.

When chopping or cutting up onions, breathe through your mouth instead of your nose to keep from tearing heavily. The smell and the chemicals inside of the onions is what makes your eyes burn.

A little corn starch and water go a long way to instantly thicken a sauce. Just add 1 tbsp of corn starch to 2 tbsp of water (or white wine) and mix. Stir it into simmering sauces for an instant thickener. Be careful to use just enough, add the mixture SLOWLY!

When shopping for pork, choose cuts that are pale pink with white (not yellow) fat. The darker the coloration, the older the meat.

Frozen spinach - after thawing spinach squeeze the water out of it to prevent the water coming out during the cooking process. This may adversely affect your recipes with the amount of liquid that is released. You can squeeze it by hand, or you can press it against the side of a colander. Lay the spinach onto paper towels afterwards, to soak up any excess moisture.

Fresh mushrooms naturally contain water, so stir them constantly while sauteeing to cook off excess moisture. Excess liquid results in weaker flavor.

When buying mushrooms, select ones that are firm and evenly colored, with tighly closed caps.

Mushrooms should never be soaked in water because they absorb liquid and will become mushy.

To keep mushrooms from discoloring, squeeze the juice of one quarter lemon onto a paper towel and wipe each cap with the dampened towel, this also helps clean the mushrooms.

Sugar, honey, or preserves can cause a sauce to burn on the meat's exterior before the meat is fully cooked. To avoid burning the meat, wait until the last 5 or 10 minutes of grilling to brush on sweet sauces. If you wish to serve a sauce at the table, divide it before you brush part of it onto raw meat. Or, if you've brushed on a sauce, boil the remainder in a pan before passing.

Measuring honey with a spoon is pretty easy but getting it off the spoon is another matter. Rub the spoon in margarine and the honey will come off.

The best time to harvest fruits and vegetables for maximum flavor is in the morning.

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