Are you ever stuck in the kitchen when you are preparing a dish from a new recipe? And wonder how you could simplify things? I have some cooking tips that every kitchen needs. After reading these tips you will have your aha moment. I’m sure of it. Lol !!
Comfort Cooking Recipe: Instant-Pot Pulled Pork Chili
There are tips here that you wish you knew long time ago. Like what to do with hardened brown sugar. You might just think you have to throw it out. Right? Well . . . no! I have a tip for that.
You know when you are baking and one of your ingredients is “room-temperature” butter. And you forgot to take out your butter. And now it is like a cold hard brick. Well I have a tip for you to use on your next baking adventure that will help.
So, enjoy the following 21 Comfort Cooking Tips Every Kitchen Needs . . .
comfort cooking kitchen tips
1. Hate to throw away that stale loaf of unsliced bread? Next time you face that dilemma, try this trick first. Turn your oven on to its lowest setting and then stick the loaf under running water, with the crust side directly under the water (vs. the soft interior portion). Don’t over-soak the bread, but don’t be afraid to get it wet, either.
Place the bread in the preheated oven for 5-12 minutes (time will depend on the size of the loaf and how wet it is). The added moisture will turn to steam inside the warm oven, which will breathe new life into the stale, hard bread.
2. Baking soda is commonly used as a leavening agent in baking, but it is also affects browning. That means you can adjust the amount of baking soda to achieve the desired level of browning in your recipes.
3. Love thick and rich soups, but not crazy about using all that heavy cream? For a healthier alternative, trade the heavy cream for a combination of equal parts 2% milk and pureed white beans. To remove excess salt, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly before blending with a little chicken or vegetable stock.
4. Don’t boil beer cheese soup after adding the cheese. Doing so will cause the cheese to separate into globs. Instead, simmer at low temperatures for silky-smooth results.
5. Pure pumpkin vs. pumpkin pie filling… Pay attention to which you pick up at the grocery store because they are often found right next to one another. Unlike pumpkin pie filling, cans marked 100% pure pumpkin do not contain added sugar and seasonings. It is usually better to purchase the plain variety so you can control the amount of sugar and other seasonings in your recipes.
6. Pay attention to which pasta shapes you pair with different types of sauce. For example, a hearty, chunky meat sauce would overwhelm delicate angel hair pasta, while a substantial rigatoni or penne shape will complement it perfectly.
7. The key to keeping lasagna from getting soupy is to make sure your noodles are thoroughly dried before assembling. After preparing noodles according to package instructions, arrange them in a single layer on large cookie sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat noodles dry with a paper towel. Turn over and repeat. Air dry until excess moisture is gone.
8. Pulse chunky homemade meat sauce in a food processor to achieve a more consistent texture before using in layered lasagna recipes.
9. For a more satisfying salad, try to balance a combination of flavors, including sweet, salty, sour, and savory. A blend of different flavors will make the salad seem more substantial.
10. When making caramel sauce, pay careful attention as the color deepens from clear to amber. If you allow it to cook even a minute too long, the sauce can become too dark and will have an unpleasant “burnt” taste to it.
11. Let your slow cooker pull double duty at your next party or casual get-together. Use it to create delicious warm drinks, such as caramel-spiced apple cider, that also fill your house with wonderful, seasonal aromas.
12. Moscow Mules are traditionally served in beautiful copper mugs that are both appealing and functional. Unfortunately, this popular metal can be unhealthy if ingested in large amounts. As a result, most copper mugs sold today are lined with a non-reactive metal to combat this. However, if you have the more traditional, unlined versions, avoid serving hot or acidic liquids in them to avoid any issues.
13. Delicious pumpkin butter isn’t just for toast and bagels. It is super easy to make at home, so don’t be afraid to get creative with it. For example, try pairing it with some soft Brie or other creamy cheese and toasted pecans for a yummy snack.
14. Bulk sausage is so much easier to use in recipes than links because you don’t have to remove any casings. However, it can be a bit of a pain to break it up while it is browning. So crumble it with your fingers prior to browning or use a potato masher, if you have one.
15. Don’t forget about color and presentation when planning special meals. For example, the gorgeous, rich jewel-tones of roasted red beets, red onions, and Brussels sprouts can make basic roast chicken or pork loin seem much more elegant.
16. When using decorative coarse sugar, add it halfway through the baking time so the granules don’t break down too much during the process.
17. Roasted acorn squash halves make for a beautiful presentation, but they take nearly an hour to prepare. You can save time by cutting acorn squash into rings instead. 1” rings will be ready in just 20-25 minutes.
18. For a rich and delicious cup of hot chocolate that is oh-so-easy to make, simply add gourmet chocolate truffles to a mug of steaming hot milk and stir. Cut the truffles into small pieces to get them to melt quicker.
19. To soften a hardened mass of brown sugar, pop it in a microwave with a glass of water at 10-second intervals. The steam from the water will help soften it but don’t microwave it too long or it will start to meltdown.
20. To prevent that hard mass in the first place… Store your brown sugar in an airtight container vs. in the plastic bag it came in. Add a couple of marshmallows on top as an extra precaution.
21. To soften cold butter quickly (without melting it in the microwave), grate it. You’ll have soft, spreadable butter within minutes with this technique.
I hope these cooking tips have helped you. If you have some tips of your own please feel free to share them with me in the comments. It just might help some of my readers.