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Old 07-27-2006, 10:09 AM   #1
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Tips and tricks in the kitchen

The mother of invention.

Why not for once in a while try your own recipe instead of reaching for a cookbook? (I know that a lot of you will already be doing this, so it is aimed mainly at those who want to break out and would appreciate a few tips)

The key here is to understanding what flavors go together and with what, for instance try stuffing a boneless leg of Pork with Rosemary Thyme and Garlic. it gives the meat a real lift.
Start by learning about a few herbs that work well.
I have lifted this straight out of Culinary artist By Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. (This book has a senior place in my kitchen)

"flavor Pals"

ROSEMARY works well with the following.
Garlic,
Oregano,
Parsley,
Sage,
Thyme.
Keep adding to the list and in no time at all you will be achieving results you never knew possible

Try adding your herbs to wards the end of cooking and make sure that they are fresh, or if dry make sure they are in date.

Always taste the food as it is cooking and adjust the seasoning as needed

Don't be afraid of messing it up the more you experiment the more competent you will become.

Small things make a difference. For instance did you know that the larger the pot of water to volume of vegetable's will give them a better color?

Freshness is also important here, we in the UK a lot of our vegetable's
are imported and irradiated to keep them fresh, but the taste will give them away as soon as they touch the palette. Try and buy locally.

Cook for the eye as well as the taste. If it looks good you are 50% there.

Don't always go for cheap cuts try buying a smaller amount if money is tight. Cheap cuts are great for slow cooking.

Finally have fun.

I have made this post for those that are new to cooking and would add my thanks to my friends that have over many years, held my hand Special thanks to June,Jean,Clive...just a few of my many friends, that I am glad to see are gracing these boards.

Please add to the above and give your own tips and tricks, hopefully we will all learn from the experienced

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Old 07-27-2006, 10:14 AM   #2
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It's OK to follow a recipe to the "T". It's also OK to change it if it looks good but has something in it you don't like. The recipe police will not knock down your door if you vary from the original!
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
The recipe police will not knock down your door if you vary from the original!
Sir, we need you to come downtown and answer a few questions for us, please.

John
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:28 AM   #4
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I'm not talking. I know my rights, I want a lawyer! ...or do I want a chef?
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:14 PM   #5
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Always taste the food as it is cooking and adjust the seasoning as needed
Just a reminder there, if you plan on reducing whatever liquid you have, hold back on the sodium until the end. Sodium refuses to reduce.

Ciao,
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:35 PM   #6
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Small things make a difference. For instance did you know that the larger the pot of water to volume of vegetable's will give them a better color?
I had no idea.
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:31 PM   #7
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I tis easier to peel potatoes once they are cooked...just hold them in a side towel, and rub a little, skin peels right off.
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:48 PM   #8
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I tis easier to peel potatoes once they are cooked...just hold them in a side towel, and rub a little, skin peels right off.
Great tip!
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:06 PM   #9
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"Don't be afraid of messing it up the more you experiment the more competent you will become." Tell that to my roomie and my son.
Actually my roomie has a pretty good palate and I value the feedback. My son on the other hand is an eating machine. As long as it doesn't have olives in it, he will eat it. Once in a while he actually asks what it was or what it is called.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:13 PM   #10
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"did you know that the larger the pot of water to volume of vegetable's will give them a better color?"
Well salted water also helps keep the colour.
Also cooking pasta in a large pot of salted water helps keeping it from sticking together.
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