You may have a way of doing something for years, but can be surprised at what a few simple changes can mean to get better results in the kitchen. Therefore, if you love to cook and discover hints and tips for cooking that improve your efforts as I do, then you’ll find what I have to share a value.
Fresh lemon juice is often called for in recipes. Perhaps, you just use a glass juicer or a juice squeezer to manually milk the lemon. You could also have a motorized juicer to do the same thing. However, I think the easiest way is using the microwave for this purpose. I have found that using the microwave first before turning to manually squeeze the rest out gets the most out of the lemon.
What I do is place the fresh lemon on a microwave safe dish and cook it on high for about 30 seconds for a fairly large lemon. A smaller size will require about 20 seconds so keep that in mind. Later, I roll it around on the counter top or table before squeezing it. I use my glass juicer because it does the best job of forcing the juice out compared to just squeezing the cooked lemon into a bowl or measuring cup.
Often a recipe may call for lemon, lime or orange peel and you may not have them on hand. However, what I like to do after thoroughly cleaning and drying the citrus is the following. Usually, I grate them in my zester, but you can also just peel and try chopping them as thinly possible before dividing up into little packets to get them ready for the freezer. I measure out about a half teaspoon of the rind into wax paper for individual packets. Afterwards, I place them in a sealable freezer bag and pull out what I need later. The rind prepared this way can keep for about two or three months.
Making homemade spaghetti sauce with tomato products can often give a tart taste, but I have a few hints and tips for cooking to sweeten up the sauce naturally without sugar. You can also try adding a little baking soda to counteract the acidity. You may need a bit more, but try about one-fourth teaspoon and taste. You also may try adding a carrot or two to the sauce. You can even add a tablespoon of raisins or two to sweeten it up as well.
Boiling up pasta for spaghetti can sometimes threaten to boil over. If you want to prevent this, try adding a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water first. You can also just place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot before boiling the spaghetti. The colder temperature of the wood seems to act as buffer when the water bubbles up fiercely.
Sometimes, I have been known to over salt soup. A fix is adding raw, peeled potato to the pot and continuing simmering for about fifteen minutes to an extra half hour. The starch in the potato does a great job in absorbing some of the excess salt.
You may not have ever known this, but you can draw out more flavor from whole spices such as cloves, anise seeds, mustard seeds, whole coriander, cardamon seeds, etc. by toasting them first before using them in your recipe. All needed is pull out your skillet and cook on medium heat for about three minutes to coax more of those precious essential oils out.
Though the white pith of the orange also is rich in vitamin C, many of us hate the bitter taste. For this reason, another of these hints and tips for cooking is after you take something out of a hot oven simply put the oranges that you plan to eat in for about a minute or two. This may sound silly, but it helps to better peel away that white pith.