COOKING LIKE A CHEF
General Cooking Tips
1. Add a little zest. When a recipe calls for a “zest” of a citrus fruit, it’s referring to the colorful outer part of the skin, not the inner white part, which is known as the pith. The zest contains all of the aromatic citrus oils and provides a hint of citrus tang to the recipe. A simple method of obtaining a fine zest is by rubbing the fruit against the smallest holes of a cheese grater.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Good cooks are never afraid to deviate from a recipe and add their own flair. Whenever you make a substitution or addition be sure to make a note on the recipe so you remember next time whether you liked the change or not.
3. Salted butter vs. unsalted butter. Butter is available both with and without salt. The salt is added for extra flavor and to help preserve it so it has a longer shelf life. The problem is that sometimes the salt in butter can be more than a recipe needs. Choosing unsalted butter gives you more control over how much salt your dish contains. If you only have salted butter, the best thing to do is omit approximately ¼ teaspoon of salt per ½ cup (one stick) of butter used in the recipe.
4. Use your kitchen scissors. Right now you probably only use your kitchen scissors for opening packaging and bags of milk. But next time you’re trimming fat from a roast, opening pitas or cutting chicken into strips, consider using your scissors! Chefs use them all the time for cutting meats and other food items. It’s probably best to have a pair that are designated as food scissors only. And be sure you clean them very well after each use because they do have crevices where bacteria can hide.