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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hell's Kitchen - Contestant Cooking Tips

Elsie Ramos
If the bottom of your pot or pan begins to burn, peel and cut an onion in half and place the cut side down deep into your dish so your food is not left with the burn smell.

Wendy Liu
Save the bones from store-bought rotisserie chicken for stock. You can make about two quarts of stock from one chicken.

Keep masking tape and a permanent marker in the kitchen to label leftovers with a brief description and date (CHX STOCK 10/6). You can also label items, such as spices, with the date they were opened.

When heating or re-heating items in the oven, line the sheet tray with loosely crumpled aluminum foil for a crispier bottom. The crumpled foil allows for better air circulation and drains off excess oil or juices.

Maribel Miller
When searing meat or fish, always make sure your pan is super hot!

Always allow your meat to rest before cutting it.

Polly Holladay
Make sure to smell asparagus before purchasing. The tops should be firm and have no odor.

When shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store where the bulk of "real food" is found.

Bonnie Appetit
Keep citrus fruit separate from other fruits. Citrus causes other fruits to ripen very quickly. But if you want to speed up the ripening process, throw an orange or lemon into your fruit bowl.

Need buttermilk? Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir it and voila!

Don't keep your tomatoes in the fridge! It ruins the flesh!

Brad Miller
Start with great fresh ingredients and the rest is simple.

Eddie Langley
Let your steaks and meat rest before cutting.

Julia Williams
Always check expiration dates.

Always use thermometers for chicken.

Melissa Firpo
When using corn starch as a thickening agent, always mix it with cold water, never hot water.

If you want a perfect hard-boiled egg with a bright yellow yolk, drop it in boiling water for exactly fourteen minutes. Any longer and you will have a gray or green yolk!

Rock Harper
Invest in a classic cast iron skillet. With the even distribution and holding of heat, they are the best metal to cook with. They're inexpensive too!

Sick of dry chicken? Brine it and be done with paper-like poultry forever. Brining is an awesome technique that is simple and so rewarding for many cuts of meat, especially those that tend to dry out easily. Trust me, brining will make you a star this holiday season.

Vincent Fama
Tomato sauce should not be cooked or prepared in aluminum pans. The tomato reacts with the metal and you get an acid taste. If this happens, add a head of celery to the sauce while you stew it and the celery will filter out the acid.

If you make a sauce, salsa, or remoulade that's too spicy, add white sugar in a small amount. This will numb the heat.

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