Listener Cooking Tips Contest
Store your spices in a cool dark place. Not above your stove. Humidity, light, and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor.
If you want to to cut a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half easily take two plastic
tupperware style lids the same size. Place the lid rim up on the counter cover
the lid with cherry tomatoes. Invert the second lid on the cherry tomatoes and
slice in between the lids with your sharpest knife. You will slice all the
tomatoes in half and do it in jig time.
Instead of letting your root ginger shrivel up on the shelf in the fridge and then throwing it out. Keep it in the freezer and take it out to grate and then return it frozen. No waste.
One of the best investments I ever made was on one of the Food Saver vacuum machines. They really do work - I can double or triple recipes and freeze the leftovers for another meal, and they are as fresh as the day they were made. Plus, buying in bulk (especially meats when they're on sale) and sealing them before freezing saves big bucks. Opening a vacuum bag filled with last year's blueberries, still plump and blue and yummy - unbelievable!
Also grow, or buy at your local farmers' market, more cherry tomatoes than you think you will ever eat, and ROAST them. It's dead easy: slice the tomatoes in half and spread (face up)on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, throw in a few (or many!) garlic cloves, and bake in a slow (300 degrees) oven for approx. an hour, until the tomatoes are a little browned and most of their juices reduced. Once cooled, add some chopped basil and a little more oil, and smoosh it all together. This freezes well, if you can manage not to eat it all standing at the counter! I use it as brochette, or thrown into sauces, or as a topping on baked fish. And in the winter when the tomatoes in the store taste like Styrofoam, these little packets are life savers.
===================When trying to make healthy recipes for my family, I always try to think "sneak" in a bit of ground flax. My uncle was a organic farmer in the prairies - and he always said that there was "nothing better" than ground flax (whole flax are not very effective - but ground allows the body to process it better - get more nutritional value out of it). I keep my ground flax in the freezer in a Ziploc freezer bag - makes it easy to add to recipes if its readily available.
When coating fish, (or chicken), put breadcrumbs or flour mix with the spices you want into a plastic bag, then shake the fish pieces up in the bag of crumbs. This not only coats the pieces very evenly, but saves getting a chopping board all messed up
My favourite cooking tip is for lasagne noodles. You NEVER have to cook them separately. Some people buy the "no cook" variety, but you can do this with any type of lasagne noodle, including whole wheat. Just put down a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan before you put down the noodles. That's it. If you are still wary, add some water to the pan after it is all assembled (1/2 cup poured around the edges) but really all you need is that first layer of sauce.
If you happen to enjoy a libation whilst cooking this is a way to keep ice cubes fresh. After making ice cubes in your freezing compartment, put them in a plastic bag to keep the air from them. This way they remain fresh much longer. It also works for ice cream, if you need to keep it for some time.Ian
When baking Halibut in the oven, remove the skin first. This will drastically reduce the strong
When I cook vegetables I use a bit of water and a little bit of salt or stock mix.
Instead of draining the liquid I don't need in the recipe down the sink, I keep it in a cup and drink after it is cool. This is very yummy, especially from carrots, cauliflower, broccoli.
Love your show,
My cooking tip is around salt: my husband is concerned about his
high blood pressure, so when any recipe calls for salt, even just a
little, I leave it out, and use Kirkland's (COSTCO"s brand) Organic
No Salt Seasoning. It adds great flavour and reduces his worries
about his blood pressure.
Before rolling out dough on wax paper, I wet the counter slightly and place the wax paper on top to keep it from slipping around while rolling.Li
Chicken or turkey soup.
Place all the meat and bones in a large pot and cover or almost cover in
water. Add in one large peeled onion covered in whole Cloves. You poke the
whole cloves into the onion and 30 is not too many. This is the Sputnik.
Bring to a boil and simmer till you go to bed. Just before bed, place
the whole pot into the fridge.
The next day take the Sputnik out and throw it away. Strip the meat
from the bones and go at it. Add what ever other vegetables, rice,
potatoes or what ever you like for your soup.
Makes the best tasting stock ever!!!
When mixing up a cake or even cookies, you can substitute part or all of the fat ingredients with shredded apples, carrots or beets; or even use a combination of all of these. This gives the final baking lot of moisture.
While in Montreal this Christmas I was in an Eastern Mediterranean store called Adonis in the suburbs. Fantastic store full of so many delights. They sold parsley in tubs all chopped up ready to use for tabouli and other delectable dishes.
I have a solution for keeping cheese longer without mildew. You wrap the chunk with paper towel that has been soaked in regular white vinegar,then put in a ziplock bag. This will keep in the fridge for a month or more. This does not change the flavor of the cheese but you get to eat all of the cheese.
Harvest the dill from your garden in it's prime, wrap it (bunch up the tiny green fronds) in plastic wrap like a cigar, & freeze the dill cigars in zip-lock bags.
In the winter unwrap a dill cigar and slice off some dill to use like fresh dill! - Delicious! Then re-wrap the cigar and keep frozen for the next time.
Add a cup or so of cooked red lentils to your favourite chili recipe (I use The Ladle in Red). It thickens the chili, and adds more flavour, fibre and a wide range of nutrients.
Plus... lentils are a powerhouse Canadian crop.
Making homemade pizza dough and freezing it in an oiled zip lock bag. Easy to defrost and use when you want.