I mean the best ever cooking tips ever heard in history are…….
- Find a good restaurant, save the number on speed dial and call them any day for delivery.
- Learn to use a microwave and do a quick run to the freezer section of your local grocery store and find the frozen ready meals.
- Marry a Chef! Seriously though, they are life savers
However, I want to share a few amazing tips that you can keep and will come in handy when you really want to be the ‘star Chef ‘and be truly proud when your guests ask, “did you really make this?”
1. No Fuss Southern Breadcrumb Fried Chicken
We all love some good old southern home fried chicken. Yesss!
But, preparing this southern favorite can be quite messy and did I mention all the cleaning needed after this? Coating the chicken, the regular way (flour, egg wash then breadcrumbs mixture) can honestly be quite tiring. I have a new less involving trick that will make this process so much less painful.
Keyword Mayo! Yup Mayo is the secret!
See Mayonnaise is made from eggs so this allows you to skip the first two steps of coating the chicken in flour and egg wash. It’s simple, just coat the chicken in a few drops of mayo. You may even just squirt a few drops of the mayo on the chicken and use a brush to lather it on the piece of meat and avoid more mess.
Once this is done put the crumb mixture in a brown big or a large sealable container. Place the mayo coated chicken in the bag and give it a shake until all the pieces are coated. Ta daah, your southern chicken is well prepped and ready for cooking.
Place the chicken piece on a wire rack and dust-off excess crumbs and you’re done.
This method is stress free, easy to clean and allows you to flavor the chicken any way you want by adding any other sauce into the mayo. You can use any extra sauce in the mayo from, horseradish to barbecue sauce.
2. Organic Homemade Tomato Puree
Store bought canned tomatoes tend to have a lot of sugar and preservatives. This can be quite a challenge for those who love to consume organic. Prepping tomatoes especially for pasta sauces can be quite the task but toady I want to share how you can make you own homemade tomato puree that will last in the fridge and free from all the sugar and preservatives in the store bought versions.
Grind whole peeled tomatoes in a food processor. Peeling tomatoes is quite easy. Soak the tomatoes in hot water for a few minutes and the skin will come right off.
After the tomatoes are well minced fry them in olive oil on low heat until they are cooked in a thick consistency. Add a little turmeric or paprika powder to retain the vibrant red color of the tomatoes.
Be sure to use a non-stick pan but definitely not your well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Cool the puree and store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. Add a little vinegar to the puree and increase the shelf life for the tomato puree to up to 3 months in the fridge.
3. Manage Over ripe Tomatoes
Speaking of tomatoes, have you noticed how over ripe tomatoes can be such a pain to prepare or even store? A quick hack for this is to soak the overripe tomatoes in cold salty water. Soak the tomatoes overnight and by morning the tomatoes will be firm and ready for a fresh salad. However, you must use them quickly or else transform them to the tomato puree we have just talked about.
4. Thicken your sauces with flavor
Most people will use cornstarch or flour to thick soups. While this is a great way of thickening soups but since the flour tends to absorb flavor, this method may dilute the flavours made from the soup especially if you add the thickening agent towards then end of the cooking process.
How about we add flavor by adding something that you would ordinarily throw away? What you ask?
Cheese rinds are amazing in stews. They not only help to thicken the soup but they also add an extra creamy layer of flavor. So, go ahead and freeze your cheese rinds instead of tossing them away. Parmesan cheese rind is especially great for pasta sauces or red meat broths.
5. Clever way to keep the wine Chilled.
If you are like me then you love having a little bit of wine with your meals. White wine tends to be a bit tricky to serve and enjoy because it warms up before the meal is over. A great trick is to freeze seedless grapes and serve them in the wine. The grapes keep the wine chilled without watering down the wine.
This allows you to enjoy your chilled wine through out your meal and even after 😊
6. Make your own Cottage cheese for that amazing Indian Paneer Curry
You can make cottage cheese at home by simply boiling milk, simmer it and add lemon juice or vinegar until milk curdles. Filter it and run it over cold water and transfer to a mould and let it cool. Cut into necessary shape.
7. Make the most tender steak
Make some great steaks by ensuring you tenderize them before cooking using one of the following methods
- Soak in vodka to infuse more moisture before cooking. I’m sure the cocktail lovers will enjoy this method
- Marinade red meat in soy sauce overnight for the most succulent cut you have ever had
- Season beef or lamb with salt and pepper and then wrap in banana peels before placing the meat in the oven. The banana peels make tough meat softer.