Ten-Second Tips for the Kitchen | boil
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Wine

If you have leftover wine, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and add to sauces when needed.

When cork expands: When you want to re-cork your bottle of wine and your cork no longer fits, immerse it in boiling water for several minutes.

To open without an opener: Peel the lead wrapper off the neck of the bottle so the cork is exposed; then tap, tap the bottom of the bottle until the cork starts to pop out.  When it’s out almost all the way, simply pull it out with your hand.

Boiled Potatoes

Keep them bright white: Put in a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Mashing: Use a “ricer” instead of mashing – The process is easy, quick and produces silky smooth potatoes without clumps.

Rice

When boiling rice, a good rule of thumb is to fill the water in the pan and cover the rice up to about your first digit.  Boil on high until you see little craters and the water receding into the rice.  Then cover and reduce the heat until done.

To prevent boil over: If you rub some butter or oil along the inside rim of the pot, it will reduce or prevent the pot from boiling over.

Pear

To seed a pear, use a melon baller or a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds.

To peel: Carefully dip  pears in boiling water and the skins will slip off easily.

Pasta

To prevent boil over: When cooking pasta, rub or spray the sides of your pot with oil; this will prevent boiling over.

To store: When you have extra cooked pasta, store individual portions in zippered bags and put in the freezer.  In a pinch, throw the frozen pasta in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated. The frozen crystals melt and steam the pasta to perfection!

Milk

To reduce sticking when boiling:  When boiling milk it frequently sticks to the pan, to help reduce this milky film, rinse the pot in hot water before using.

Lobster

When boiling or steaming lobster, tie a chopstick or bamboo skewer to the tail to keep it straight while cooking – This way it will be much easier to remove from the shell and will look prettier if you are making a dish that requires sliced meat.

Beets

Minimize Bleeding: Steam (Don’t boil) beets with the skins, root and part of the stem intact.

Keep Color Bright (when boiling): Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to every quart of boiling water.

Eggs

To boil: When boiling an egg, add salt to the water. This will separate the membrane between the shell and the egg for easy peeling. When separating eggs, try breaking them into a funnel; the yolk will stay put and the whites will come through.  This also helps you get the most egg white from your egg.   Note that cold eggs are the easiest to separate because the yolks are more firm than room temperature eggs.

When poaching eggs, add a pinch of salt and a little white vinegar to keep the egg intact.

To crack an egg, always use a flat surface like a counter. If you crack it on the side of a bowl, for instance, it will not break evenly.

To prevent boiled eggs from cracking, add about two tablespoons of white vinegar for every quart of water before boiling.  The eggs will not crack and will peel easier.

To remove broken shell: If you have a piece of eggshell in the bowl, scoop it out with the shell in your hand; the shell will attract the broken piece and make it easier to retrieve the broken piece.

To make deviled eggs with no mess, put eggs yolks from hard boiled eggs into a zippered plastic bag. Put in remaining deviled egg ingredients, close bag and mix. When finished, cut a small tip off corner of bag and squeeze into egg white. When finished, throw bag away. You won’t have a mess.

To poach in advance: Kept in a container,  eggs can be poached well in advance by storing in a bowl of cool water.  When needed simply drop eggs in simmering water for 30 seconds before serving.  This is especially great when entertaining.

To remove a broken egg from the carton: Wet the carton with water and the egg should slip out.

To bring to room temperature faster: To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of warm – not hot – water for 5 to 10 minutes.  Generally, it is better to cook with room temperature eggs than cold ones.

Potato

To store: To keep potatoes from sprouting, put an apple in the potato bag.

To reduce baking time: Drop the potatoes in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, remove; pierce with fork and bake as usual.  You can also put the potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes prior to baking and get the same result.

To keep from budding: Put an apple in the bag in the refrigerator

To keep raw potatoes from turning brown: Place in cool bowl of water with lemon juice or vinegar – About 1 tablespoon for every cup of water.

To whiten cut potatoes that have already turned brown: Place them in a pan of milk at a bare simmer.