Cooking Tips From Rach + Her Celeb Chef Friends
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Rachael and some of her celeb chef friends are sharing their must-know cooking tips in our 2-part tip-tastic show that will help you do everything from slicing beef correctly to taking your popcorn to the next level. They're simple to do and yield BIG results. Honestly, we're shocked we got this far in the kitchen without them.
To Give Tomatoes Extra Flavor:
1. Rach knows that unless you're picking tomatoes straight from your garden, they can sometimes be lacking in the flavor department—especially if they're coming from the grocery store. "By putting tomatoes in a low oven with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, it will give them that juicy, fresh taste," Rach says. Talk about the best way to bring those tomatoes back to life—or just to life (if they weren't great in the first place)!
2. Chef Sara Moulton reminds us that for any and all recipes, salting your tomatoes is essential. Let them sit after adding salt for 20 minutes before you get started on your recipe.
To Avoid Getting Eggshells in Your Dish:
3. We probably all know the struggle of cracking an egg into your bowl of ingredients and seeing that huge piece of shell fall in with it—definitely not fun. So, to avoid this problem, Rach suggests instead of cracking an egg directly into wherever it's supposed to go, "pop it into a little ramekin [instead], so if you get a little shell in there, you can take it out easily," she explains. "And then it's easy to slide the egg into whatever you're [cooking]." Simple as that. Remember, as Rach always says, shell attracts shell—so use a bigger piece of shell to remove the pesky piece of shell that fell in.
To Make Holiday Cooking Manageable:
4. During the holidays, many of us have the tendency to want to do it all—from appetizers to the main dish to dessert. But Chef Andrew Zimmern is here to remind you that you don't have to! "For big holidays...take the things you're not good at and outsource them. You don't need to make all the recipes you've never made before," he explains.
To Cook Beef Evenly:
5. If you're wondering how to cook your beef evenly, you've come to the right place. Sunny Anderson, co-host of Food Network's "The Kitchen," says one tip is "leaving meat out to get to room temperature before you cook it, so it cooks through evenly."
6. Once it's done, she also shares that the most important thing is slicing it against the grain.
To Cook the Perfect Potatoes:
7. Not only is Sunny an expert at cooking steak, but she also knows a thing or two about making potatoes—the perfect accompaniment to any steak dinner. Her tip? "Boil potatoes starting with cold water. This allows the potatoes to boil and cook through evenly. If you start them in hot water, the outsides will be tender with a harder center, and by the time the center is done, the outer portions will be mushy and waterlogged," Sunny explains.
To Make Use of Leftover Wine Bottles:
8. Chef Brother Luck encourages you not to waste a perfectly good wine bottle after you finish it. Instead, you can store oil that you've infused with fresh herbs to take your olive oil to the next level.
To Upgrade Your Popcorn:
9. Before you throw away rendered bacon or onion fat, Chef Brother Luck says you can actually use it. Save it to toss on popcorn—and you won't be disappointed.
Speaking of bacon, get Chef Brother Luck's Bacon Jam Cheeseburgers with Herb Aioli recipe here.
Stay tuned for more tips from Rach and her friends!
To Expertly Poach a Chicken:
10. Don't be intimidated by the idea of poaching a chicken. According to Chef Andrew Zimmern, it's incredibly simple—and the results will have the white meat meltingly tender. "When poaching a chicken, drop a whole bird in boiling stock and cook, lowering to maintain a simmer for 60 seconds and turn off the heat. 90 minutes later it will be perfect. Just cover and let it steep in the hot liquid," he explains. It's as easy as that!
11. Plus, cooking the chicken in stock makes broth, which you can use to make soups.
To Make the Perfect Dumpling:
12. Chef Andrew Zimmern knows a thing or two about making unbelievable dumplings—and he says there's one ingredient that should always be included in the stuffing: cabbage. "For texturally perfect dumpling forcemeat, add steamed, cooled, squeeze-dried and very well minced cabbage to the stuffing mixture. Mixing in some crushed ice to emulsify the fat helps too," he explains.
13. It's also crucial to remember not to overfill your dumplings—or any other food items. "This advice extends to hand pies, empanadas, spring rolls, egg rolls, stuffed grape leaves, turkeys, and especially not dumplings or wontons. Underfill everything. That's the secret to wrapped foods," Andrew says.
To Cook Creamy Carbonara Sauce:
14. If you've ever struggled to make the perfectly creamy carbonara, Rach has a trick for you. "When making carbonara, take the pan off the heat when you add the eggs to prevent grainy, scrambled eggs and instead have a smooth sauce," she says. This is one of her husband John's favorite dishes, so we definitely trust her on this one.
Get Rach's famous Carbonara recipe here.
To Prep Poached Eggs Super Easily:
15. For those who have tried to make poached eggs before, you know the struggle. But, Chef Sara Moulton makes it easy with this tip. "Use a strainer to prep poached eggs," she explains. By straining the egg you get rid of the watery part and instead just hold on to the viscous part, which will seamlessly slip into your boiling water.
To Make a No-Skill Béarnaise Sauce:
16. Instead of having to worry about cooking a béarnaise sauce with egg, Chef Sara Moulton says you can achieve that same creaminess by using cream cheese. Yes, that's right. So, no more worrying about accidentally scrambling your eggs—and whip up this béarnaise sauce super easily.
To Cook Tender Asparagus:
17. This tip comes from Julia Child by way of Chef Sara Moulton. Before roasting up your asparagus, Julia always told Sara to peel the outer layer to ensure that they cook more evenly and achieve that super tender texture.
To Cut an Avocado:
18. Don't risk cutting yourself by stabbing the avocado's pit in the middle to remove. Instead, Chef Sara Moulton suggests cutting it in half both ways and then each of the four pieces can easily be peeled back and the pit simply falls out.
To Peel Ginger:
19. To ensure you're not losing big chunks of ginger by peeling your ginger with a paring knife, Chef Sara Moulton suggests that you use a spoon instead. That way you're only removing the outer layer without losing any of the good stuff.
To Make Biscuits or Pie Dough:
20. Chef Justin Sutherland says when making biscuits or pie dough, using frozen butter makes grating the butter an absolute breeze.
21. Plus, using the coarse side of a box grater to shred the butter is key. You'll have the butter shredded in no time at all—and with minimal mess.