15 pro cooking tricks for the kitchen
No one is born the master of their art, especially in the kitchen. However, the following list is not just intended for complete beginners who are standing in front of the cooker for the first time, not knowing what to do with the ingredients. Instead, our tips throw light on the little challenges established professional chefs come up against in the kitchen on a daily basis.
Have fun reading, learning and giving our hacks a try!
1. Removing heat from chili peppers
Remove the seeds and veins from the raw chili pepper, and rinse it in cold water. The heat will disappear, but the flavor will still be there.
2. Cutting onions correctly
After removing the skin, cut the onion into quarters. For each segment, start at the tip, and make horizontal cuts that go as close as possible to the root.
Next, you can make several vertical cuts one after the other. The point of the knife should be facing toward the root.
To finish, cut the onion into slices as you normally would. Again, start from the tip of the onion. You should now have some perfectly cut cubes.
3. Crispy potatoes without oil
Are you in the mood for some tasty crispy crust potatoes, but don't want them to be swimming in oil? Simply sprinkle some flour onto the potatoes before baking to achieve the same crispy effect.
4. Whipped cream cheat
Instead of using the amount specified in the recipe, simply mix one part whipped cream with four parts beaten egg white. First, prepare the two ingredients separately and only mix them at the end. The beaten egg whites will make the cream much lighter and less calorific.
If you're not going to be heating up the mixture, make sure that you use fresh eggs and keep the mix refrigerated.
5. Beaten egg white test
Here's another trick using beaten egg whites. If you want to find out whether your egg whites have been beaten well enough, first move the bowl around carefully. If nothing inside moves, you can then flip the bowl upside down. If the whipped egg whites have the right consistency, nothing should end up on the floor!
6. Rule for cooking vegetables
It's something we're never sure about — are you supposed to put your veggies in cold or warm water before you start cooking? There's actually a simple rule for this problem. If the vegetable grows underground, put it in cold water; if it grows above ground, first bring the water to the boil in a pan and then add the vegetables. For example, potatoes should be placed in cold water and both are then heated together.
7. Don't boil roots and turnips
If you've been boiling your carrots, turnips, and beets in water, you may want to take a new approach. These types of vegetables retain more vitamins when you steam or bake them instead.
Tip: If you bake vegetables in the oven, don't peel them. Instead, cut your veggies into pieces, brush them with a fatty marinade, and cook them on a greased baking tray on a low shelf in the oven.
8. Preparing avocado
After cutting the avocado lengthways and separating it into two halves, carefully chop into the seed and ease it out. Next, remove an entire half of the avocado from the skin with a large spoon and use it how you wish.
9. How to make your salad dressing correctly
If you want to make a "standard" dressing using vinegar and oil, first add the dry ingredients to a bowl and pour the vinegar on top. It's only then that you can mix in the oil, as that's the only way to full dissolve the salt.
10. Correct amount of water for cooking pasta
Though pasta dishes are a popular meal in many American homes, only a few know the following rule: one quart of water to 3½ oz of pasta. That may sound like a lot, but the pasta needs enough space during cooking that it doesn't stick together.
11. Smooth mashed potato
It's a classic, but even long-established dishes are refined over time. Add a little milk and a teaspoon of baking powder to your potatoes, and stir the ingredients for two to three minutes. This should give you a nice and smooth mash.
12. More juice from your citrus fruits
To get as much juice out of your citrus fruits as possible, you can either warm them up in the microwave on the lowest heat setting or run them under hot water and roll them tightly between your hands. This technique works particularly well for making orange or grapefruit juice.
13. More sauce on pasta
If you want the sauce to stay on your pasta, don't use any oil in the water for cooking the pasta. If you're worried that your pasta will stick together without oil, simply stir it occasionally while it's being cooked.
14. Cut perfect tomato slices
The trick for flawless tomato slices (e.g. in burgers or sandwiches) is really quite simple. First, place the tomato on its side. When you cut it into slices in this position, the structure of the the tomato remains intact and the slices don't fall to pieces.
15. The best meatballs
If you like eating meatballs with onions, we recommend frying the diced onions in oil first before adding them to the ground meat. This gives your meatballs a more appealing aroma and eliminates the risk of finding raw onions in your finished meatballs.
It would be interesting to know how many of these tips you were already aware of. We've also dispelled several myths such as the need for oil in water when cooking pasta. Here's to becoming a better cook!