Kitchen tricks and tips

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD -

Here are some of the short­cuts smart cooks use to make cook­ing eas­ier, faster and more fun.

Grate frozen but­ter: You’re about to bake cook­ies, but the but­ter is rock-hard in the freezer. Grab your cheese grater! Grate the frozen but­ter onto a plate and in sec­onds it will be room tem­per­a­ture. Halve grapes in half the time In­stead of cut­ting each grape in half in­di­vid­u­ally, slice a hand­ful at once. Find two match­ing lids for re­us­able plas­tic con­tain­ers. Place the grapes on one lid (lip up) then place the other lid (lip down) on top. Hold the stack firmly with one hand then use a chef’s knife to slice through. This works per­fectly for cherry toma­toes, too. Save Parme­san rinds First of all, yes, you should al­ways buy Parme­san by the chunk and grate it your­self. And once all the cheese is used and you’re left with a thick rind, pop it into the freezer in a re­seal­able bag. The next time you’re mak­ing soup or risotto, add a rind to the pot (and dis­card it be­fore serv­ing). The Parme­san rind adds in­cred­i­ble umami-rich­ness and depth of flavour.

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