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From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host4/25/23 1:19 PM 
To: All  (41 of 159) 
 125.41 in reply to 125.33 

Clean Mushrooms

Fill a strong plastic bag of mushrooms with clear water. Hold the bag closed and shake. Pour out the dirty water and redo if the mushrooms are really dirty. Mushrooms will come out clean and white, without damage. 



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From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host4/25/23 1:21 PM 
To: All  (42 of 159) 
 125.42 in reply to 125.33 
 A green salad can be one of those dishes that really sings on your plate, or it can be the ho-hum obligation that you eat because you think you should. The difference between the two is often just a matter of a few simple tips and small details. This page will give you lots of hints and tips on great green salad making. Put them to use in your kitchen and you'll soon be turning out exciting salads that your dinner guests will be talking about later.

Get creative with greens - gone are the days when salad meant a few leaves of wilted iceberg lettuce drizzled with a fat laden creamy dressing. Today's markets have a wide variety of salad greens. Try to use several varieties in your salads. For convenience you can buy premixed mesclun, which contains a variety of greens. You can also blend your own by going through the produce department and mixing and matching greens. Some that will add interesting flavors to the mix are the slightly bitter chicory's such as endive or radicchio, peppery arugula or even mild baby spinach. Look for interesting textures and colors in your greens as well. Maybe add some frisee or curly red leaf lettuce for extra dimension.

If you bought a pre-washed mesclun mix, you won't have to worry about cleaning the greens; otherwise they should be thoroughly washed. The hardest part of this is that salad greens should also be dried before being turned into salad, otherwise they will water down the dressing. A salad spinner is a handy kitchen gadget that actually works quite well (order online or pick them up for a song any weekend at a local garage sale). Otherwise, after shaking off most of the water, you can roll the washed lettuce in paper towels to help absorb the remaining moisture.

Plan on about 2 cups of mixed greens per person.

For a slightly sweet, mild anise flavor, try adding some chopped fresh fennel bulb to your salad or using fennel as the basis of the salad itself.

You can add all kinds of other vegetables to your salads depending on your mood. I generally prefer simpler salads that allow one or two ingredients to really shine, but to each his own. Tomatoes and onions seem to be standard fare but don't forget cucumbers, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, avocado, olives, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, peas, corn, beans, etc.

Lightly steamed veggies that have been chilled also make excellent salad additions, think asparagus, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower.

While raw mushrooms are a staple of many salad recipes, I now avoid them. Mycology expert Charmoon Richardson of the Sonoma, California Company "Wild About Mushrooms" recently taught me they raw mushrooms are slightly toxic (these elements are released during cooking).

Fruit can add a bright flavor surprise to green salads. For just a few suggestions, try adding a small amount of sliced fresh strawberries, blueberries or raspberries to your salad mix. Citrus fruit like orange or grapefruit slices or fresh pineapple go really well, especially with dark greens like spinach. Add tropical flavor with fruits like mango or papaya or my favorite. In fall, be sure to try my favorite salad fruit: fresh pomegranate seeds.

Ingredients that really make a salad sing! The following ingredients are so potent in flavor, you only have to use a small amount, but they will add a distinctive, unforgettable flavor to your salads: crumbled bacon bits; crumbled hard boiled egg; crumbled strong cheeses such as blue cheese, gorgonzola, Roquefort or feta; brine cured olives such as kalamatas; toasted nuts or seeds; anchovies.

Try roasting vegetables on the grill or roasting them in the oven before adding to salads (you can chill first, or add them warm). This works well for onions, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms (especially portobellos), and many others.

Add grilled chicken, beef or even tofu to your salad and turn it into a meal.

If you like toasted nuts on your salad, try sugared nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, for an even greater flavor spectrum. To make these nuts, combine; 2 1/4 cups nuts, 1-cup sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a heavy skillet. Cook the mixture until the water evaporates and the nuts have a crystal, sugary appearance. Pour onto a baking sheet coated in waxed paper ad immediately separate the nuts with a fork. Let cool, store in airtight container.

Mixed green salads with warm goat cheese are on the menus of countless trendy restaurants today, but it's easy to duplicate this feat at home. Simply take a log of goat cheese ad slice into slices about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch thick. Lightly coat the cheese slices with either some seasoned breadcrumbs or finely chopped nuts. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and place under the boiler. Watch carefully, it takes less than a minute! Broil just until the cheese starts to melt (if you wait too long you will end up it a runny mess). Remove cheese from oven and use a wide spatula to transfer one cheese slice onto each serving plate of dressed, mixed greens.

Dressing the Salad

  • Do not over dress, salad only needs about 1 teaspoon of dressing per person, as long as you toss it well.
  • A lighter vinaigrette type dressing will allow the flavors of the salad to come through.
  • A basic vinaigrette than can be tossed right on the salad is about 1 1/2 tsp. vinegar to 2 tsp. oil. Sprinkle the vinegar on first, then toss, then sprinkle on the oil and toss again. If you do it the other way around, the oil will keep the vinegar from adhering to the leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
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From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host4/25/23 1:22 PM 
To: All  (43 of 159) 
 125.43 in reply to 125.33 

Moisture Proof Your Vegetable Bin

To keep fruits and veggies fresh in the vegetable bin of your fridge, place a clean, dry sponge at the bottom of each bin to absorb the moisture that tends to collect there.




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/12/23 12:43 PM 
To: All  (44 of 159) 
 125.44 in reply to 125.1 


It's difficult to give exact conversion information on translating
traditional oven recipes to the crock pot. Below you will find some
general guidelines for converting your favorite recipes to the crock
pot. Since crock pots vary, you should consult your owner's manual for

Crock pots may vary but generally, the LOW setting is about 200 degrees
F. and the HIGH setting is about 300 degrees F.

One hour on HIGH is approximately equal to 2 to 2-1/2 hours on LOW.

Most crockpot recipes recommend cooking 8-10 hours on LOW.

Some recipes recommend the HIGH setting based on the nature and texture
of the food. You will have to judge your recipe accordingly. For
example, beef cuts will be better cooked on LOW for 8-10 hours to get a
more tender texture, where chicken can be cooked on HIGH 2-1/2 to 3

Reduce the amount of liquid used in most oven recipes when using the LOW
setting, since the crockpot retains all moisture that usually evaporates
when cooking in the oven.

Add liquids for sauces about an hour before done.

You will normally end up with more liquid at the end of cooking times,
not less.

A general rule is to reduce liquids by half, unless rice or pasta is in
the dish.

Spices may need to be reduced or increased. Whole herbs and spices
increase their flavoring power in crockpot cooking while ground spices
may have lost some flavor.

Add ground spices during the last hour of cooking.

Whole leaf and herbs will probably need to be reduced by half.

Rice, noodles, macaroni, seafood, Chinese vegetables and milk do not
hold up well when cooked 8-10 hours. Add these to sauces or liquid about
2 hours before serving when using LOW setting (or 1 hour on HIGH). If
you want to use milk in an 8-10 hour recipe, use evaporated milk.

Browning meats before cooking is a personal choice. It's not necessary
but it will reduce the fat content of some meats if you brown it before

Sautéing vegetables (like onions, etc) is not necessary, (except for
eggplant which should be parboiled or sautéed prior due to its strong
flavor). Just add them to the pot with everything else. You may wish to
reduce quantities of stronger vegetables since they will permeate the
other foods in the crockpot with their full flavor.

Dry beans can be cooked overnight on LOW as an alternative to soaking.
Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Drain and combine
with other ingredients. Be sure beans are softened before adding to any
sugar or tomato mixture.

For best results, use long-grain parboiled/converted raw rice in
recipes, and use standard liquid amounts instead of reducing the liquid.

For mixed recipes requiring pasta, it's best to cook the pasta
separately to al dente texture and add just before serving.

For soups, add water only to cover ingredients. If thinner soup is
desired, more liquid can be added at the end of the cooking time.

General Oven to Crockpot Cooking Time Conversions

Oven 15 to 30 minutes = Crockpot 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours on HIGH or 4 to 6
hours on LOW

Oven 35 to 45 minutes = Crockpot 2 to 3 hours on HIGH or 6 to 8 hours on LOW

...[Message truncated]




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/12/23 12:43 PM 
To: All  (45 of 159) 
 125.45 in reply to 125.44 

Crockpot Conversion Chart

· If original recipe calls for 1/4 to 1/2 hr, cook on low for 4 to 8 hours
or cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours
· If original recipe calls for 1/2 to 1 hr, cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or
on high for 3 to 4 hours
· If original recipe calls for 1 to 3 hrs., cook on low for 8 to 16 hrs.. or
cook on high for 4 to 6 hrs.
· Low is 180 to 200 degrees
· High is around 300 degrees




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/12/23 4:51 PM 
To: All  (46 of 159) 
 125.46 in reply to 125.1 

Looking for a lowfat sour cream substitute?

Help-Your Heart Sour Cream

1 cup small curd low fat cottage cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice

Blend ingredients in blender till smooth. Use in any recipe that calls
for sour cream. Stir in at last minute as it will separate and curdle if
allowed to "cook".

If you are lactose-intolerant, like I am, and cottage cheese bothers you,
Lactaid makes a cottage cheese that's great. Use it in the above recipe
and you can enjoy Beef Stroganoff again!




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/13/23 10:19 AM 
To: All  (47 of 159) 
 125.47 in reply to 125.46 

1 tsp Epsom salt in 4 c warm water…spray on plant and then again 10 days later. Produces more fruit due to boost of magnesium… especially for tomatoes, peppers and roses.




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/13/23 3:19 PM 
To: All  (48 of 159) 
 125.48 in reply to 125.47 
I saw this online earlier today and decided to try it. Works like a charm! I'm making potato salad and needed 8 boiled eggs, chopped. Did you know you can just crack them in a bowl and put the whole bowl in the pot of water?
No ice bath or peeling required. The resulting bowl-shaped egg loaf is initially horrifying, but once you chop it up, it's wonderful! I sprayed the bowl with Pam, placed it on the little wire rack thing and put 1 cup water inside the pot (not inside the bowl.) I cooked it on manual for 5 minutes with a natural release. (Instant Pot)




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/14/23 9:34 AM 
To: All  (49 of 159) 
 125.49 in reply to 125.1 
Have you ever ran out of brown sugar while baking? Making your own brown sugar is easy ?? Only 2 simple ingredients
Light Brown Sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
Combine sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium speed, mixing until molasses is completely incorporated. Store in an air-tight container.
To make dark brown sugar use 2 tablespoons of molasses for every 1 cup of white sugar.
To keep it moist, put a slice of bread into the storage container.




From: Margie (ILovePhotos) Posted by host5/14/23 9:53 AM 
To: All  (50 of 159) 
 125.50 in reply to 125.49 

Seafood Cooking & Grilling Tips

When cooking or grilling SeaBear fillets of salmon, halibut, Ahi tuna, cod, or sole, we recommend the following approaches for best results:

Slow Down! - Slow cooking seals in the juices, particularly for wild salmon. In an oven, bake at 300º for approximately 25 minutes (less for whitefish). When grilling, let the coals burn down, or place the grill up high. Seafood is done when it turns translucent to opaque (not salmon!), and flakes begin separate easily with a fork. Your seafood will keep cooking even after you remove it from the heat.

Avoid Sticking - Use a light brushing of olive oil to help avoid the seafood sticking to a grill or baking sheet. (Start with a clean grill!) Another option when grilling is to cut a potato in half (lengthwise) and run it lengthwise down the hot grill; the starch will act as a natural lubricant. (I like the potato idea - you can cut it again into spears and grill the potato while you cook the fish, too)

Start With Skin Side Up - If your fillet has skin, keep it on while cooking. It will keep the fish intact and can easily be removed after cooking if you prefer. When grilling, start with the skin side up. This side has the rich oils which will be drawn into the flesh by the heat below. (I just did one up & one down because my wife didn't believe me. Now she does.)

Flip Once, and ONLY Once - Home cooks have a tendency to flip too many times. This can break up the fillet and leads to uneven cooking.(Flip it twice and the fish starts falling through the grates. Trust me...)

Keep It Simple - A great piece of salmon, halibut, tuna, sole or cod cooked or grilled correctly, needs very little else. We recommend a simple brushing with olive oil/sea salt/cracked pepper, a mix of olive oil/chopped fresh mint /cilantro, or a small dollop of one of our simple sauces or specialty butters. Don’t cover the wonderful flavor of a great fish, cooked well, with lots of heavy toppings.




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