We’re often asked if we have any insider secrets from our chefs. Greg says, “Many of the recipes we have are from current recipes we have in our collections. Since both Michelle and I come from the food business we have many years of recipes in each of our collections.”
Here are 10 cooking secrets are chefs are willing to part with.
- Assemble all your ingredients and tools in one place before you start cooking. An organized kitchen is a good kitchen. This guy might be a little too organized:
- Want to remove fat from your gravy? Use a fat separator. They’re pretty inexpensive at a kitchen supply store. It’s basically a pitcher, but the spout starts at the bottom. So you let the liquid from your roast or turkey site in the separator until you see the layer of fat on the top. Pour slowly and carefully into your pan until you reach that line of fat, and discard the fat. Simple! That’s why we only have six grams of fat in our sliced turkey with gravy!
- Do you need to cut meat very thinly for a recipe? Firm it up in the freezer first. When it feels solid but not frozen, take it out and you’ll be able to shave it paper-thin with a sharp knife. Be careful!
- Rest your meat before cutting. If you cut into a steak or chop fresh off the stove or barbecue, you’ll see juices run out. If you let it rest in a warm place covered in foil, those juices will re-absorb into the meat, making for a juicier product. Please remember to do this for our Filet Mignon!
- For flaky biscuits and pie crusts, you need cold ingredients. Our pastry chefs will go to the lengths of freezing the flour and chopped butter, and if the kitchen is very warm, they will pause while rolling the dough to chill it in the fridge. Keep your hands cold too, by pouring icy water over them then drying well. And of course handle the dough as little as possible. Our pies are legendary for a reason!
- Safety first! A good knife is essential in the kitchen, but take the precaution of placing a damp kitchen towel under your cutting board to keep it from sliding.
- Save your veggies. If your carrots and celery are looking limp and unattractive, drop them into ice water for a few minutes before chopping and cooking. They’ll freshen right up.
- Pat your meat dry before cooking. That will allow you to get a nice sear (and keep the meat from steaming).
- Don’t crowd the pan. Even if you have to cook in batches, keep everything in one layer with a little room around each piece. You’ll get better flavor that way.
- When boiling eggs, add a small splash of white vinegar to the water. It will make shelling the eggs much easier. When cooked, run the eggs under cold water before shelling.
Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger (with the help of our chefs)