Vegetables And Herbs

  1. When you are cooking cauliflower in water, add a little milk to the cooking water to help the cauliflower stay white. Adding a little milk to the water when you are boiling corn on the cob can also help keep the corn tender and sweet.
  2. Before you make french fries, slice the potatoes and soak them in ice cold water for one hour. Dry thoroughly before frying. This removes excess starch and will result in crispier french fries.
  3. To the freshest and best flavor when buying mushrooms, look for stems that are still attached, and caps that are tightly closed. Do not soak mushrooms when cleaning them, but either rinse them quickly, or wipe with a damp towel.
  4. While you can save time with most fruits and vegetables by washing them as soon as you get them home, you should always wait to wash lettuce, mushrooms and berries until right before use.
  5. To get the most juice out of lemon or lime, pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Then roll it along the counter with your hand for a few seconds. You’ll be rewarded by plenty of flavorful juice.
  6. You can prolong the life of fresh herbs by snipping off the ends of the herbs and placing them in water. Some, like basil, may even develop roots and begin to grow!
  7. To make your potatoes last longer, place an apple in the bag with them. The apple gives off chemicals, undetectable to us, which keep potatoes from growing eyes or buds.
  8. Ground spices have a shelf life of about six months. After that, they should be replaced. For maximum freshness, buy spices whole when possible, and grind your own.
  9. Unless a recipe calls for something to be served immediately, try giving it some time to allow the flavors to blend. For example, if you make fresh vinaigrette, allow it to sit for half an hour before serving for the flavors to marry. Then give it another stir, toss your salad, and serve.
  10. Instead of chopping fresh herbs like basil, chives and parsley, snip them with a pair of kitchen shears. The process will go much more quickly, and the herbs will retain more of their flavorful oils.
  11. To freshen up lettuce that is looking a little limp, try placing it in a sink of ice cold water for a few moments. If that doesn’t freshen it up, consider serving it cooked instead of fresh.
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