Tips & Techniques

                                                                    Back to Home

Carving Meats:

Whether the meat is a steak, chicken breast, pork chop or a roast, allow the meat to 'rest' for at least 15 minutes before carving. Carving the meat directly after removing from the heat causes the juices to run and causes the meat to dry out. Letting the meat rest locks in the juices. You can wrap the meat in tinfoil or make a tent of tinfoil over the meat to keep in the heat.

Defrosting:

~To defrost meats properly without risk of bacterial growth, either place the meat in cool water in a large bowl or place meats on a plate and place in the fridge overnight. Leaving the meat on the counter alone can cause an increase in bacterial growth and possibly food poisoning.

~When defrosting chicken breasts (mainly boneless), leaving the chicken a little frozen allows for easier cutting. (Using scissors specifically for cutting chicken is much easier than cutting with a knife). 

Garlic: 

Every way you use garlic in a dish gives off a different, unique flavour. For example, garlic gives off a different flavour when you slice garlic cloves or mince garlic cloves. Roasting a whole garlic bulb with olive oil, salt, pepper in tin foil in the oven for 1 hour gives off a nice, sweet flavour.

Leftover Liquids:

If you have to open a can of a certain liquid and you don't use all of it with a dish, place the left over liquid in a small place resealable bag, label it and freeze it for whenever you need a small amount of that liquid. Such liquids would be chicken stock/broth, coconut milk, or tomato sauce.

Marinating:

~When marinating meats or fish with an acidic medium such as lemon, lime, orange juice or vinegar, after prolonged exposure causes the meat or fish to 'cook'. Marinating with such items is desirable for no longer than 8 hours, unless the amount of acid is very low. See my Shrimp Ceviche.

~Marinating with fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley or rosemary gives the meat a fresh, clean taste that you can't get with dried herbs. 

Party Ideas:

~If you have a dip and you want to have a unique, decorative dish, cut the tip off of a bell pepper (either red, green, yellow or orange), hollow out the insides and pour the dip inside. Spread bread or vegetables on a platter around the dip. 

Roasting:

~When roasting chicken breasts, bone-in, leave the skin on to ensure moist, juicy meat. You can discard the skin after roasting.

~Roasting nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts or peanuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat gives the nut a more nuttier flavour and adds more depth to a dish. Keep a watchful eye on the pan for nuts can burn easily.