Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tip’

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to Clean Collard Greens

On this week’s edition of Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer learn how gravity is your friend when it comes to getting all the grit out of collard greens. Don’t grit ruin your dish. Cleaning greens are easier than you think!

Collard greens are not something I grew up on and honestly, I didn’t hear of them until I was in college. It’s funny as I grew up living on 41 acres growing almost all of our own produce but that’s one thing we never had. My first introduction to greens was, I’m almost embarrassed to admit, but in my college cafeteria. They were having a spring cookout and that was one of the side dishes they offered. Now full disclosure I didn’t grab it on purpose but rather it was put on my plate by the server. And yes, knowing me it was the last thing I tried on my plate as I pushed this funky green soft veggie around. My one girlfriend sitting with me finally said “Oh dear Lord Lori just try it. It’s greens with bacon. It’s really good.”

Bacon?  Did she say bacon?  That was all I needed to hear, to be honest. I took a small bite and immediately I was like “WHOA!  What is this stuff and where has it been my entire life???” It was luscious, rich and so good.

After that, every time greens were offered as an option I would get them…until that one fateful order. So you know how when you go to the beach you take a cooler full of food (we’ll say sandwiches). You keep the lid closed, lie out, frolic in the water and then set down to have some lunch. You take a big bite into your sandwich and you immediately make that face. Your eyes get all big and you kind of stop mid-chew. You’re not sure if you should just chew real fast and swallow or spit it out.  Oh, the sandwich is great but something there’s sand in it. Not sure how it happens but it does. That know-that-sensation-anywhere grit/grate against your teeth. Yeah, I had that experience with greens. It was like I bit into a clump of sand. It was delicious but that feeling of sand on my teeth just threw me for a loop.

So what caused this?  Simple – improper cleaning of the greens. And that’s what we’re talking about today. Clean your greens people as no one like sand!

You want to sink your teeth into deliciousness, not sand

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Why you really should rest meat after cooking

We’ve all been taught ‘let the meat rest after cooking’ but do you know the reasons why?  I’ll explain why it’s so important and what happens when you don’t on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer!

So almost every recipe/cooking show/cook book/neighbor/co worker will tell you “let the meat rest after it’s done cooking before you cut it” but do you know why?  And you’ve probably heard it’s because the juices will flow out and you’ll get a tough piece of meat. For many that’s good enough reason to listen (and a smart reason) but for some; i.e., the nerds like me, I need to ask ‘but why??? Why does that happen?’ I can’t help it, it’s the engineer in me. I over analyze things to death. Trust me, ask Mr. Fantabulous or any of my past boyfriends. That’s honestly my biggest flaw. The way my mind works, I’ve been told, is scary. It’s complicated. I will solve a problem in often some of the most difficult ways. I’m the girl who will take the long way because I will analyze the best outcome of both scenarios, the pros and cons and then make an intelligent, informed decision.

HOWEVER that can be daunting so I don’t do it on everything. Please if that were the case I’d never get dressed, would fret over my hair and probably starve. LOL No I tend to only do it when I want to know ‘Why something works that way/doesn’t work?’ But to be honest, to me I see it as a positive thing as it’s made me aware of things and has always driven my thirst for knowledge. Anyway, back to resting meat.

So you’ve found the perfect steak of all steaks. We’re talking a Fred Flintstone® type of steak. You tenderize it, season it and give it the love it needs. You cook it in the most perfect way (i.e., my most requested Steak Recipe) but you fail to read the last line of the rest and let it rest for a few minutes before cutting. You immediately slice into and and on your plate is a pool of beef juice. That gorgeous steak has gone from super juicy to dry and tough in a single slice

And now I want steak!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Making Heavy Cream at Home

Never run out of heavy cream again with this make your own kitchen tip!  It’s seriously one of my top fav tips ever!

OMG people have I got a killer Tuesday’s Tip for you today! So unless you’re well me, most folks never have a quart or so of heavy cream in their fridge at all times. However the other day the unthinkable happened… I ran out AND I needed some. Now there are certain things in my house I should never run out of:

♥ bacon
♥ flour
♥ sugar
♥ salt
♥ milk
♥ heavy cream

Now I’m sure your first thought is ‘what about butter?’ Well have you ever over-whipped cream?  You end up with butter. So the back-end story… as you all know Friday nights are pizza night in my house.  Well I made the “mistake” the one night making one of my creamy strawberry milk shakes. One of the key ingredients in this thing is just a few Tbl of heavy cream.  Oh no, these are not healthy in any way but dear Jesus they are epic. So with his pizza he asked for another shake (healthy, not!). As I was prepping it and went to put some cream in with the milk I saw I was out.  Like my stash fridge was missing some.  You can make it with out buuuuuuuuuut it’s not as creamy.

I made him his without and as he was drinking it he said “this is good it doesn’t taste like your usual ones. It’s not as creamy.” So the next morning I went out shopping and wouldn’t you know it, even though I had heavy cream on my list I forgot to pick it up. Annnnnnnnnd that night for his snack he wanted another shake (why this man does not get fat is beyond me but I seriously am uber jealous over his metabolism!). So I had to think fast.
This is ridiculously awesome!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to Properly Store Garden Fresh Tomatoes

If you’re like me you love garden fresh fruits and veggies.  On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer I’m sharing with you how to properly store your garden fresh tomatoes (or the ones get at the grocery store). So you already know that garden fresh tomatoes you never store in the fridge.  Any additionally ripening that needs to occur will halt completely once it hits the cold air. Additionally the cold air cause the skin to become hard and the insides to become mealy and tough.

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I love scoring a big bushel of fresh tomatoes from the farmers market.  Marrying into an Italian family having fresh tomatoes on hand all the time is a must.  What I’ve found is the best way to store them is stem-side down.  Now I only do this IF the tomatoes are off of the stem.  If the stem is still attached I leave them set right-side up.  But apparently if you remove the stem but you’re not going to use it anytime in the near future, store it stem-end down (meaning the place where the stem USED to be).  What it does is it prevents air from entering and moisture from exiting where the stem used to be.   This is known as the ‘scar’ on the tomato.  By storing them this way your tomatoes will stay firm and farm fresh longer on the counter top.

 

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Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to store corn on the cob

So if you’re like me, corn on the cob is one of the perfect summer foods. It’s iconic for cookouts, back yard bbqs, carnivals and just because it’s a Thursday night. Corn on the cob is simple and unpretentious yet probably one of the best things in a garden. It’s great as-is but nothing, NOTHING beats a roasted ear of corn with loads of butter and salt – have to have salt. Now when it comes to fresh corn on the cob, it doesn’t have that long of a shelf life once it’s picked off of the stalk. For peak flavor it should be eaten within 24 hours. Yeah, that doesn’t happen in my world.

While I live in countrybumpkinville, we do not have a farm nor grow veggies. Simply put I work waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much to grow a garden. Trust me, I WISH I had time to have one…someday. So I have to rely on farmer’s markets to get my corn. Truth be told, that’s about the only thing that I like about where I live – the abundance of farm-fresh veggies. But with that you aren’t really sure how recent the produce has been picked. Now granted you can check it out but unless you picked it, you don’t know. So with that you need to either eat it that night or learn how to store it to have it last a few more days. That’s what ou’ll be learning on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer! Today I’m sharing with you how to store your corn on the cob to keep it as fresh as possible.

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Growing up, we grew rows and rows of corn. While I’m not sure of the names of the corn but Dad grew 2 types – yellow butter corn (that’s what I called it because it was the color of butter and you really didn’t need butter on it as it was so sweet) and bi-color. I can remember when it came time to pick the corn Mom would give us each a big laundry basket and tell us to go head up to the garden to pick the corn. Now normally I loathed working in the garden because it was well, dirty and there were bugs. I’m sorry but those tomato worms were (and still are) the WORST! They are some prehistoric looking things!

We’d pick bushels upon bushels of corn and would have a huge cookout that night with family and friends. However corn was one of those things that, once picked, you really couldn’t let just set out. Thankfully we had a large fridge because whatever we didn’t cook up Mom would store in the fridge. If you left it set out, the corn wouldn’t go bad over night but it would lose it’s flavor and wouldn’t last more than a day or so.

You see if you store corn in the fridge the coldness helps retard the chemical breakdown that causes it to lose its sweetness and ‘freshness’. Now that doesn’t mean you can leave it the fridge for weeks but it does mean it’ll last 3-4 days in there.

So to store your corn, bring it home WITH THE HUSK ON, wrap it loosely in a paper towel and place in a plastic bag (not sealed up). You do not want the bag to create moisture as it could cause the corn to spoil. Now I’m not a fan AT ALL with boiled corn. It’s gross and you lose the sweetness of the corn by making it waterlogged. Wait, you add sugar to the water? Um.. if you didn’t boil the corn you wouldn’t have to add sugar. Think about it.

Instead roast it; husk on. Yes husk on. Whether you grill it or oven roast it, leave it on. Check out the ONLY way I will make corn on the cob.

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