While dads are more likely to spend time behind the grill than a counter, many do pride themselves for their culinary abilities in the kitchen. But if you’re a dad just trying to scrape together a decent meal, or you want to go into full Randy Marsh creme fraiche mode, here are some kitchen hacks to save you time and money.
Dice Vegetables (Hours) Before You Cook
Slicing and dicing vegetables for dishes can be the biggest pain for a starting chef, or a hungry dad. That’s why, if you have some time before dinner, go ahead and dice up everything first. Pop them in some containers and stick them in the fridge, and when it’s time to get to cooking you’ll find most of the hard work has already been finished.
Peeling Tips For Fruit, Ginger And Garlic
Speaking of prep, peeling certain fruits and vegetables can be quite a chore. So if you find yourself using ginger, peeling it with a spoon will save you a lot of hassle. Fruit seems a bit tough? Roll the fruit, or microwave it for a few seconds to loosen it up. And of course, garlic. Peeling garlic is the worst. But you can make the process a bit easier by taking each clove and smacking it with the flat side of a large chef’s knife.
Boil Your Eggs The Right Way
When hard-boiling eggs, there are a few common mistakes you’ll run into. The first one is to cook the eggs in steadily boiling water. This is likely to overcook the eggs, make it taste a bit more like sulfur. Instead, put the eggs in cold water and heat it until the water just starts to boil. At that point, you can turn off the heat and cover the eggs for 10 minutes before placing the eggs in a bowl of ice water to ensure you get perfectly cooked eggs.
Oh, and do you want to avoid eggs that are a pain to peel? Just add some vinegar or baking soda to the water, and peeling will be a breeze.
Freeze Cheese And Steak Before Cutting Or Grating
Grating room-temperature cheese starts off promising but almost always ends up a messy disaster. But if you stick it in the freezer for thirty or so minutes before using it, you’ll see the difference immediately. Similarly, if you are cooking sliced steak before cooking it for any reason (like, say, making steak tartar or a cheesesteak) you’ll find the meat much more forgiving when you freeze it for a half an hour or so beforehand.
Make Your Own Buttermilk
Sometimes you may run into a recipe that requires buttermilk—for example, if you want to make homemade calamari, soaking the squid pieces in buttermilk before frying improves taste and consistency. But realistically you’re using it to make pancakes and biscuits. But the average dad will have buttermilk lying around the house roughly never. Thankfully, that’s an easy fix. Just take a cup of milk and add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Boom, instant buttermilk.
Stop A Pot From Boiling Over
When you’re making pasta, it’s easy to walk away from the stove only to find that starchy water has bubbled over the edge of the pot and splattered all over. To make sure this never happens, just lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pot. This will all but guarantee to stop any over-boiling.
And Finally, Don’t Be Afraid To Try To Make New Things
Make sure to use these tips to get creative out there. Make a dish you’ve seen in restaurants but have always been afraid to cook yourself. After all, why know all these tips if you’re not going to do anything interesting with it?