Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011: Miscellaneous Kitchen Tips

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Every now and then I run across a good idea that isn’t enough to make a recipe out of, yet it’s something I want to share with you. So I’ve compiled this short list of kitchen helps that I hope you’ll find worthwhile. As I come across more, I’ll share them in a future list.

Peeling Tomatoes

How often do you run across a recipe that calls for peeled tomatoes? There’s one I made for my mother-in-law last year that she particularly enjoyed for a corn tomato pie (kind of like a Bisquick impossible pie), yet it would have been much more tasty had the tomatoes been peeled of their tough skin. Usually this is a real chore, but not if you follow this recipe, which will come in handy as you harvest your bounty of garden tomatoes:

Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the tomatoes, X side up, on the paper. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the skin starts to peel away from the Xes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, simply peel off the skin and core, if necessary. Voila! Easy peeling and much more efficient than blanching them in boiling water!

Draining Hamburger Meat

In all my years of cooking hamburger meat, I’ve yet to find an easy to drain the grease, other than using a colander (which doesn’t work too well since the holes are usually too big), until now. Use a splatter screen with a knob in the center. Place it over your pan, tilt the pan and screen, and let the grease pour through the screen holes into a container.

I cook hamburger in my cast iron skillet for the best browning and it’s heavy, especially for my wrists with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, but this was a breeze as far as draining it!

Creamed Corn

Wish to make a recipe calling for creamed corn (such as my Southwestern Cornbread recipe) but all you’ve got is a regular can of corn? Just pour the can, water and all, into your blender or food processor. Add a half teaspoon of sugar and pulse a few seconds.

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