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Posts from the ‘Kitchen Tips’ Category

Kitchen Tip: Pitting Avocados

With the Super Bowl just a few hours away, many of you have avocados sitting on your counter that are waiting to be turned into guacamole. You’ve probably also seen videos or heard from your friends about how to “professionally” remove an avocado pit in three easy steps:

1. Slice the avocado in half lengthwise

2. Take your knife and slam the blade into the pit

3. Twist the knife and remove the pit

How do you avoid a game-changing mishap if in step #2 if you’re holding the avocado and the blade misses the pit?   Leave the half of the avocado with the pit on the counter and then proceed as above. Or, scoop out the pit with a spoon. Then there is a 99.9% probability that you’ll be enjoying the game instead of taking a surprise trip to the emergency room.

Kitchen Tip: Keep Your Iced Coffee at Full Strength

Next time you brew coffee make extra and freeze it in ice cube trays. Add a few cubes to your next homemade iced coffee instead of regular ice cubes to keep it from getting diluted.

Kitchen Tip: Cook Dried Beans Fast

If you want to use some of those dried beans that have been sitting on your shelf forever, but you forgot to soak them overnight, there’s no need to worry. This fast-cook method will have them ready in no time.

1. Place beans in a saucepan and cover with two inches of water

2. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes

3. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour

4. Drain water from pot, fill with fresh water 2 inches above beans and simmer until cooked through

5. Season to taste prior to serving

Why should you use dried beans?  There’s no need to worry about BPA in cans, they’re salt free, and you can save money by using only the amount you need.  Try them the next time you make hummus or white bean dip, black bean and turkey burritos or a spring vegetable soup.

Kitchen Tip: How to Roast Red Peppers

Roasting pepper lends a depth of flavor and versatility to this kitchen staple.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Place pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (don’t forget the bottom!)

3. Place in oven for 30-35 minutes until skin begins to blacken

4. Remove from oven, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap

5. After peppers have cooled peel skin and remove seeds

I used roasted peppers and tomatoes in a delicious sauce from the Candle 79 cookbook this weekend.  They are also perfect for adding to tomato sauce or mixing into hummus for a dressed up appetizer.

Kitchen Tip: Season Like a Chef

In this new monthly Master Class series from the LA Times, Chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon Bistro, and others, shares his insight on wet and dry brines and seasoning your food to perfection. Watch the video for an easy recipe that will transform your dinner table into your favorite restaurant.

The Master Class column will feature a different chef each month – watch for Nancy Silverton talking about focaccia, Tom Colicchio showing you how to expand the use of vinaigrettes and Sang Yoon discussing ketchup alternatives.