Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

3 Great Chef / Kitchen Tips

by Kristen Suzanne in Kristen Suzanne

I love little tips that make big differences for me in the kitchen. Here are three great ones that have dramatically improved my time in the kitchen. Simple as they seem, they rock.

1) Wear a kitchen towel on your hip.

Tip #1 Kitchen towel tucked into waist band.

Tip #1 Kitchen towel tucked into waist band.

Having a towel nearby at all times while you’re in the kitchen is important because it helps keep things clean (namely your hands) and speeds things along.

I know some of you might wear a towel over your shoulder, for similar reasons… so it’s easily accessible. I used to do that, too. However, I never felt like it was totally right, ya know? I mean, it kind of felt weird having something draped over my shoulder, messing with my hair at times or sliding around. It wasn’t ideal, but I needed my towel nearby so that’s where it usually was.

For those of you who don’t know, my dad is a classically trained chef and restaurant owner (actually he just retired). I was visiting him in Michigan back in June, and when we went to his house for dinner I noticed he was wearing a kitchen towel tucked into his waist band (or pocket sometimes). I took note and later tried it at home. Result? Awesome. Having it on my waist keeps it accessible without getting in the way of anything. Thanks, Dad!

2) Breakdown cauliflower with a kitchen towel.

Beautifully separated into florets with just a few smashes on the counter while encased in a kitchen towel.

Beautifully separated into florets with just a few smashes on the counter while encased in a kitchen towel.

I have always been a fan of cauliflower, but rarely used it because I really disliked breaking it down, cutting out the core, etc. It was just kind of messy and took a bit more time than I was willing to invest when I could easily use broccoli instead (in most cases). But. That all changed when I read a great tip for breaking down cauliflower in The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

Here’s what you do. Place your whole head of cauliflower in a kitchen towel. Close the kitchen towel up around it and give it good couple of smashes on your counter. When you open up the towel, you’ll see all of the pieces broken off the core and requiring little, if any, chopping. Awesome.

Cauliflower is now a regular player in our diets as a result, like this delicious soup, Velvety Lemon Butter Cauliflower Soup. I also love making it into a puree, and of course, just steaming it and serving it covered in grass fed butter is a winner every time. Thanks, Tim!

3) Crack your eggs on a flat surface (not the edge of your bowl).

Cracking a pastured organic egg on a flat surface.

Cracking a pastured organic egg on a flat surface.

Now that we regularly eat pastured eggs (“pastured” not pasteurized), I was starting to get frustrated at always fishing egg shells out of my bowls. That all stopped, like pretty much 100% of the time, when I learned the simple trick of cracking eggs open on a flat surface and not on the edge of a bowl.

Wow. That was pretty much life changing for me.

 

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