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Everyone who transitions from the Standard American Diet to eating real food discovers there is a lot more happening in the kitchen. It can become overwhelming if you don’t know some of the tips and tricks to help you use your time in the kitchen wisely. These tips came from the Splendid Table
podcast and professional chef Lynn Rossetto Kasper.
1. Clean up as you go
Don’t let dirty dishes pile up. Keep a sink full of hot, soapy water. Wash your knife and your bowls as you use them and put them away. This keeps down clutter and keeps your workspace clean.
2. Organize ahead of time
The French term sounds more posh – “mise en place” – which just means everything in its place. Run through the recipe you will be making, get out ingredients and equipment you will need, prep as much as possible including chopping vegetables and measuring spices, and only after this is done do you begin cooking. If you do this prep work you suddenly realize you look like a TV chef!
3. Use the largest cutting board you can find
You can’t have a cutting board that’s too big, only one that’s too small. 24″x30″ will give you plenty of room so your food doesn’t keep falling off.
4. Keep salt handy in an open pot or dish.
When you use your fingers to sprinkle the salt from high above your food it will cascade evenly and season your food thoroughly without too much or too little in one place. Plus this is another chance to let you look totally awesome and professional.
5. Keep frequently used items handy
Get a basket or tray and place items on it that you use with every meal. Salt, pepper, olive oil, butter and anything else in constant use. Keep this tray handy when you are cooking so you don’t have to search for anything. I buy multi-gallon tins of olive oil which wouldn’t fit on my counter so I decant some of it into a smaller dark glass bottle with a pour spout that fits nicely next to the salt and pepper.
6. Don’t throw out your scraps
At the risk of sounding like a hoarder, this is actually a secret flavor tip. High-end restaurant kitchens freeze vegetable peels, pan drippings, bones and carcasses and turn them into flavorful stocks and broths which will then become a fabulous sauce or soup. The key here is to remember these bits are in your freezer and make time later to use them.
7. Save great tasting fats
Butter, olive oil and coconut oil are wonderful. But you can also save the bacon grease left after you cook a pan of bacon. Trim extra fat from your grassfed beef, pork or lamb and freeze it in baggies until you have a pot full then render it into amazing lard or tallow. Excess skin and fat from chicken and duck can also be rendered down into great tasting cooking fat. You’ve spent the money to buy quality grassfed, free-range meat so be sure to get your money’s worth by using the high quality fat, too.
What are your best kitchen tips? Share them here in the comments, and be sure to check out the great link ups with today’s Wellness Wednesday.