Think like a chef… Part 2

GP_SurveyResults_2360You don’t have to be a short-order cook to create meals in a hurry, but we can all learn some culinary wisdom from those who can prepare hundreds of meals in a single day. Follow these short-order steps to make healthy meals easy.

Tip 7: Work in a bigger bowl than you think you need. Ever seen someone try to make tuna salad for four in a cereal bowl? Get out the big bowls—you’ll avoid a mess on the counter, and you won’t have to transfer contents to bigger bowls once they become unwieldy.

Tip 8: Do messy work in the sink. Stir batters, coatings and spice mixtures in bowls set in the sink. Spills are simply washed down the drain.

Tip 9: Turn up the heat. While you shouldn’t sauté onions in butter over high heat (the butter solids will burn and the onions will then stick and scorch), you also shouldn’t do so over low (the onions will just wilt and turn greasy). Don’t be afraid of higher temperatures—within reason. If you’re minding the skillet, the ingredients will not burn.

Tip 10: Always have towels and oven mitts at the ready. And make sure they’re dry. Wet mitts conduct heat right to your hands.

Tip 11: Clean up as you cook. Put things in the dishwasher while you’re waiting for the onions to soften, or wash the cutting boards and mixing bowls while you’re waiting for the tomato sauce to come to a simmer. Always put each tool back in the same place—so you will know exactly where to find it next time. Aim to start and finish with a clean kitchen. (Don’t be afraid to recruit help from the ranks of those who will be eating what you cook.)

Tip 12: A watched pot always boils. Pay attention to the dish as it cooks; don’t just set a timer and leave it. All timing guidelines are just that: guidelines, not laws. Pay more attention to visual and olfactory cues.

Resource: Eating Well

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