Cooking Tips with Water

I recently went to the Visitor’s Center near Pyramid Lake and I picked up some brochures there about what else: water!

Here are some cooking tips that involve the use of water:

-To prevent four or starch from clumping when adding them to any hot liquid, mix them first with a little water in a bowl or small jar; then gradually stir into the hot liquid

-for vegetables that grow underground, place them in cold water and bring to boil with lid on; for veggies that grow above ground, place in boiling water and cook uncovered

-to unmold refrigerated gelatin, dip the mold into lukewarm water, or nestle mold in a warm dishtowel until contents loosen.  Be sure not to let any water come in contact with the gelatin itself

-keep lemons and limes fresh by submerging them in water in a covered and refrigerated container

-before squeezing lemons, submerge in hot water for five minutes; you’ll get more juice

-soak garlic cloves in cold water for a few minutes to remove skins

-to peel tomatoes faster, dip them in boiling water for about a minute, then remove and peel

-to peel oranges or grapefruit quickly and separate sections cleanly, cover with boiling water and let stand five minutes; then drain, cool and peel

-for fluffier scrambled eggs, add a few drops of water when beating (or milk works for me!)

-to remove bitterness in eggplant, soak in salt water for up to  one hour; pat dry and cook according to recipe

-when baking bread, a small dish of water in the oven will keep the crust from hardening

-to make dough stick when sealing pie crusts, eggrolls or wontons, dip finger in bowl of water, then run fingers along edges; pinch edges shut

-a few drops of lemon juice in the water will whiten boiled potatoes or cauliflower

-when slicing cake, rinse knife between slicings to prevent cake from sticking to the blade; same is true when scooping ice cream

-when poaching eggs, add a dash of lemon juice to the water to keep the whites from spreading

-test the freshness of eggs by placing them in a large bowl of cold water; if they float, don’t use them.  Shells are porous and take on air; the older the egg, the more air it contains and eventually it will float.

-to get extra flavor from your dried herbs, soak them in water first, one teaspoon of water to one teaspoon herbs

-you’ll get more volume from egg whites if you set refrigerated eggs in warm water for 10 minutes before using

-you can remove most of the fat in ground meat by boiling and straining it.  Then return meat to skillet and add herbs, seasoning and sauces to replace the flavor of the lost fat

-to keep celery crisp and handy for healthy snacks, cut off base, rinse, and stick stalks in a jar or glass of water in the refrigerator door rack

-before scalding milk, rinse the pan in cold water to prevent sticking

-when measuring shortening or peanut butter, rinse the cup or spoon first and they’ll slip right out

-when creaming butter and sugar, rinse the bowl with boiling water first; they’ll cream faster

-if frosting starts to harden before the cake is frosted, add a drop of water

-potatoes soaked in water for 20 minutes will bake more rapidly.  Before frying, let raw potatoes stand in cold water for at least 1/2 hour to enhance crispness.

These are great because I really love to cook.  Ok, I admit that using more water isn’t exactly the most frugal of things.  However, imagine the time you save when preparing food.  This will make it more attractive to cook at home and will save you money on eating out.  Also, for some of these tips that don’t have direct contact with the actual cooking of the food, you can use water that’s been previously used after washing dishes or what-not.  If you don’t want to reuse the water after using these tips, you can always pour it out on plants and give them a good watering.

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2 Comments »

  1. Great tips! Ive been putting together a huge kitchen tips collection myself because I find them so useful! Thanks

  2. cjtang said

    I just had a chance to look at your collection. It’s amazing! I will definitely have to check it out and try them all.

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