Today’s tip of the day comes from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School – her newest book, on shelves now!
To infuse oil with tender herbs, combine 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Blanch one bunch of fresh leafy herbs, about 5 seconds. Immediately transfer to an icebath to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid, then process herbs in a blender with 1/2 the oil until smooth. Add the rest of the oil and process until herbs are very fine – about one minute. Refrigerate in an airtight container overnight. Return to room temperature, then strain oil several times through a fine sieve. Discard the solids. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to one month.
For visual effect, add a couple of sprigs of woody herbs to the bottle.
Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds after carving your Halloween designs… Instead, make a little snack loaded with protein and fiber.
Simply rinse the seeds under cold water and pick up out the pulp and strings. Then place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter. Sprinkle with a little sea salt then bake at 325 degrees until lightly toasted (about 15-20 minutes).
Roasted carrots have a great caramel complexity to them that serves as a great accompaniant to many Fall-inspired dishes. It only takes a few minutes to prep and looks great when served whole.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place carrots on a lined baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. PLace in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
The secret to making the perfect poached eggs that hold together when placed in the water is using the freshest eggs possible. The white clings more strongly to the yolk and the yolk is less likely to break the fresher the eggs are.
So, break the cold eggs into a small dish and add them slowly to simmering water (with one tablespoon of white vinegar in it). As soon as the outsides of the eggs begin to set, lower the heat to just barely a simmer. Remove with a slotted spoon and enjoy!
To avoid pie juices from bubbling out of the pie and burning on the bottom of the oven, place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the rack underneath the pie to catch any overfill.
photo from Gourmet.com
Preventing soggy and quickly spoiling lettuce is one of my kitchen crusades. After trying several techniques, I’ve found the best solution… and it’s actually so simple, you’ll find yourself eating more salads!
When returning from the market or grocery store, wash all lettuce greens and dry in the salad spinner. It’s important to get as much water as possible off the greens. Then wrap the greens in a couple of paper towels and place inside a one-gallon resealable bag. Gently press down to remove a bit of the air and refrigerate. You will be amazed how much longer the lettuce will keep.
So now that it is blazing (and I mean BLAZING) hot outside, it’s time to fire up that grill. With less than a month until the biggest backyard cookout day of the year (yes, I mean the 4th of July), hone up on your grilling skills with these tips and you will be sure to be the BBQ queen (or king) of the party!
- For best restuls, be sure your grill is really hot before putting any food on. This will help prevent sticking and also ensure you get that nice grilled crust.
- Another way to prevent food from sticking is to lightly spray the grill with a cooking spray. Pam makes one just for grilling.
- Grill meat and veggies about 4 inches above the heat source and chicken about 6-8 inches.
- To add more flavor, try adding pre-soaked chunks of natural hardwoods like Hickory to your bed of coals
- If your grill has a lid, close it to allow smoke to add it’s flavor.
- To keep poultry from drying out, grill with bone in and baste continuously.
- Poultry dark meat takes longer than white meat so start it sooner.
- Always sear chicken on the skin side first, again, this helps with the sticking and also keeps the meat more moist.
- When grilling meats, it is usually best to only turn the meat once. This helps to prevent the meat from getting tough.
- Tomato and/or sugar-based sauces should always be added at the end of cooking. The sugar in these sauces burns easily.