Kitchen 101

Cooking Tips

  1. Take the time to make your own stock. Save vegetable and meat scraps and boil them together when you have time. Make a lot and freeze it. It tastes 100% better than store bought.
  2. For best results when baking, have butter and eggs at room temperature.
  3. Make your own vinaigrette! You don't have to whisk or blend, just put ingredients in a sealed container and shake to combine. It's that simple.
  4. How do you taste for seasonings when making meatloaf or hamburgers? Make a little patty and fry it up in a pan. Then you can safely check the seasonings and adjust as needed.
  5. Always read the whole recipe and assemble all the ingredients before starting to cook....no surprises!!
  6. Before browning meat, make sure you blot the surface with a paper towel. That way the meat will develop a beautiful sear instead of steaming.
  7. Allow beef to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing to maintain juices
  8. Blanching beans or other veggies...drop in boiling, lightly salted water...green or wax beans about 6 minutes, broccoli 2-3 minutes, drain and shock in ice water to stop the cooking.
  9. If you buy fresh herbs, put them in water like you would flowers. They will stay fresh much longer and they look nice too.
  10. Cooking fish...by a squirt bottle and put olive oil and a little melted butter in that, one or two squirts on fish, season lightly with salt and pepper and lemon or lime juice, bake at 350 7-10 minutes ( fish is opaque when fully cooked)

Spices & Herbs | Getting Started

Spices and herbs can be confusing when you start learning to cook. Here is a list of 16 must have spices and herbs for your kitchen. Remember! Spices do not last forever and should be updated for freshness every six months.

Bay leaf, black peppercorns, cayenne pepper, chili powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground cumin, curry powder, ground ginger, kosher salt, whole nutmeg, dried oregano, paprika, dried basil, dried thyme, vanilla extract, and dill.

Kitchen Essentials

You may have noticed that there is a gadget for just about everything you can do in the kitchen. The truth is, you don't need half of it. Here is a list of basic tools that can do all the work and keep your kitchen clutter-free!

Tools: Ladle, tongs, spatula (small and large), wooden spoons, whisk, garlic press, grater, kitchen shears, vegetable peeler, can opener, corkscrew, instant-read thermometer, sieve or small strainer, measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, colander, oven mitt (2 is good), medium - large size cutting board, peppermill, and heat resistant rubber spatula..

Knifes: Good chef's knife (8-9 inch blade), paring knife, serated break knife and a manual sharpener and honing steel..

Pans: skillet, sauce pan (atleast 2 sizes), heavy casserole or dutch oven, stockpot, and non-stick 10" skillet, 2qt. and 4qt. saucepans with heavy bottoms (to prevent scorching) and lids, 2-4 gallon stockpot.

Well Stocked

Well Stocked

Even if you don't have a pantry you can have a well stocked cupboard (and fridge and freezer)! Being well stocked means you can throw together a stew in short order or whip up some hors d'oeuvres for friends.

Here's a good list to get your started:

The pantry/cupboard: olive oil, vegetable oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, fresh spices and herbs (see above), canned tuna, canned beans (black, garbanzo, pinto), chicken broth, tomato paste, marinara sauce, red and white wine, rice, pasta, all-purpose flour, sugar, potatoes, garlic, and onions.

The fridge: butter, milk, eggs, plain yogurt, parmesan cheese, dijon mustard, carrots, lemons hot sauce, ketchup, and cellery.

The freezer: peas, spinach, bread, bacon, shrimp, nuts.

Measurement Conversions

  • 60 drops = 1 teaspoon
  • 1 dash = 1/16 teaspoon
  • 1 pinch = 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon = 1/6 ounce
  • 2 teaspoons = 2/3 tablespoon = 1/3 ounce
  • teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
  • 2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup = 1 ounce
  • 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup = 2 ounces
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup = 2 2/3 ounces
  • 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup = 4 ounces
  • 16 tablespoons = 1 cup = 8 ounces
  • 2 cups =1 pint = 1/2 quart = 16 ounces
  • 4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart = 32 ounces
  • 16 cups = 8 pints = 4 quarts = 1 gallon

Ingredient Equivalents

Butter:

  • 1 stick = 4 ounces = 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
  • 4 sticks = 16 ounces = 32 tablespoons = 2 cups

Chocolate:

  • 1 ounce = 1/4 cup grated
  • 6 ounces chips = 1 cup chips
  • 1 pound cocoa = 4 cups cocoa

Creams:

  • Half and half = 1/2 milk + 1/2 cream = 10.5 to 18 percent butterfat
  • Light cream = 18 percent butterfat
  • Light whipping cream = 30 to 26 percent butterfat
  • Heavy cream = whipping cream = 36 percent or more butterfat
  • Double cream = extra-thick double cream = clotted or Devonshire cream = 42 percent butterfat

Eggs:

  • 1 large egg (approximately) = 1 tablespoon yolk + 2 tablespoons white
  • 1 cup = 4 jumbo = 4 to 5 extra-large = 5 large = 5 to 6 medium = 7 small

Flour:

  • 1 pound = 4 cups all-purpose or bread flours = 4 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour = 7/8 cup sifted all-purpose
  • 1+ cup self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon:

  • 1 lemon = 1 to 3 tablespoons juice, 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest
  • 4 large lemons = 1 cup juice = 1/4 cup grated zest

Onion:

  • 1 pound = 2 1/2 cups sliced or chopped

Sugars:

  • 1 pound white = 2 cups white = 454 grams
  • 1 pound packed brown = 2 1/4 cups packed brown
  • 1 cup packed brown = 1 cup white
  • 1 pound superfine sugar = 1 cup white sugar = 190 grams
  • 1 pound powdered sugar = 3 1/2 to 4 cups
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar = 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar = 80 grams
  • 100 grams white sugar = 1/2 cup

Yeast:

1 cake = 3/5 ounce = 1 packet dry = 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 teaspoons dry

 


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