Tips and Tricks to Master Cooking Basics Like a Pro
Whether you’ve been cooking for 20 years or 20 days, we’ve all had at least one Pinterest fail in the kitchen. But consider our first lopsided omelette or run-in with a sharp knife as a mandatory part of learning. Nobody is immune to the steep curve, but that’s what makes it so sweet when you *do* nail it!
With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with OXO to show that you can confidently ace the basics, no matter your experience. Their tools, which aim to make everyday better, will remind you that you are capable of excellence in every of area of your life. That includes owning the kitchen!
Let’s dive in to the six cooking tips that will make you look like a pro!
1. Chop herbs with ease. From chives to basil, fresh herbs can be your key to elevating the most basic meal or cocktail. For this one, it’s all about nailing the technique.
Always start by removing stems and making sure your greens are dry. In order to avoid bruising your herbs, you’ll want to make as few cuts as possible. Stack and roll leaves like a taco. Gather herbs like parsley in a bundle. Once you’re ready to slice, place the tip of your knife down on the cutting board. Move your hands back and forth in a rocking motion without removed the tip from the board. This will be much easier if you opt for something that won’t slip, like the OXO Prep Cutting Board.
Pro Tip: Sprinkle some salt under your herbs to keep them from flying everywhere.
2. Get the most out of your citrus. From finishing off a cocktail or a chicken breast, getting the most out of your citrus certainly isn’t complicated. Still, your wallet (and hands) will thank you for following a few tips that will make life better.
First up: Put your citrus in the freezer. Because this step can be a bit impractical for impromptu occasions, we like to always have a couple lemons or limes frozen and ready to go. Once you remove your produce from the freezer, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to defrost it. Finally, use the palm of your hand to roll the citrus on a hard countertop. Happy juicing!
3. Poach the ultimate egg. Did you know that poaching is one of the healthiest ways to prepare an egg? Because the delicious dish doesn’t require any extra butter or milk, it’s a great way to easily take your breakfast game to the next level with no additional effort.
What you will need: eggs, white vinegar, and this genius OXO Silicone Egg Poacher to do the hard work for you! Place the tool (solid side up) in your pan and fill with water until you hit the marked measurement line. Once your water is boiling, add a splash of white vinegar to help solidify the egg white. Crack an egg right into the egg poacher. Depending on the size of the egg, set a timer for about three minutes and 30 seconds. Ta-da! Remove the contraption to find the perfect poached egg. Finally, use a slotted spoon to transport it to a paper towel. This will remove excess water.
4. Peel to perfection. It’s almost apple pie season, and we can hardly wait. If last year’s holiday prep taught us anything, it’s that the right tool and technique can make alllll the difference.
Start by grabbing a peeler that is easy to grasp — no matter how long you’ll be chugging away. For tougher fruits and veggies, we love working with the OXO Swivel Peeler because of its soft grip handle and grooves. If you’re working with more delicate fruits like tomatoes, throw it in boiling water for about 30 seconds to loosen the skin and opt for a serrated peeler instead. Then, move the blade back and forth across the produce. This will allow you to take full advantage of the two-sided blade and really cut down on prep time.
5. Take full advantage of your grater. One of the most important rules to follow in the kitchen is that really, there are no rules. Around here, we’re all about thinking of new ways to use what we already have.
With a good grater, you’ll be surprised by how many things you can accomplish. Use the gadget to top a salad off with boiled egg or shredded veggies, garnish a cocktail with frozen fruit shavings, or whip up instant hashbrowns. Plus, the real kicker: It’s the ultimate solve for using cold butter. You’ll never rip toast again! Treat yourself to an OXO Spiralize, Grate & Slice Set for an arsenal of utensils to cover all the bases.
6. Freshen up your old veggies. We’ve all opened the refrigerator only to find out that last week’s veggies no longer look, well, quite as appetizing. Don’t panic! There’s still a way to stick to tonight’s dinner plan.
Your funky-looking vegetables just need a blanch and shock. Begin by cutting any large produce into smaller equal pieces. Next, bring water to a boil and throw in your broccoli, green beans, or any other veggie that needs love. Wait until they’re bright in color and tender. Now it’s time to prepare an ice bath. After straining your veggies, immediately transfer them into the cold water. Let them sit until they are no longer warm to the touch. Drain them and dry well with a paper towel. Catastrophe avoided!
Frankly, we wouldn’t be surprised if you quickly become your friends’ go-to source on all things culinary! With these hacks and tricks, you’re well on your way to becoming a total pro. Go on and unleash your inner chef.
PSST: Between 9/12/18 and 10/10/18, head over to OXO for a chance to win over *$500 worth of goodies* for yourself!
Do you have any tips for nailing it in the kitchen? Share with us on Twitter by tagging @BritandCo and @OXO.
Author: Kayla Haykin
Production & Styling: Kayla Haykin & Amanda Anselmino
Photography: Brittany Griffin
Modeling: Natasha Thomas, Kayla Haykin & Kris Stewart