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Auntie Sable’s Various Cooking Tips and Kitchen Tricks
- If your soup is too thin,for milk-based soups, whisk in instant mashed potatoes by the teaspoonful until you reach the desired consistency. For water-based soups, use Wondra flour and whisk in by the teaspoonful until you reach the desired consisency. You can also use bread crumbs, oatmeal, or crushed Minute Rice, as long as it complements the soup.
- Know the location of your nearest Asian supermarket (ie: in OKC, you must learn the way to Cao Nguyen, a block north of NW 29th and Western). You can find a great many imported ingredients in larger sizes than regular grocery stores, as well as a huge selection of noodles, rices, condiments, cooking oils, teas and spices. Great gadgets, tableware, pots, steamers, strainers and utensils at reasonable prices. And, if they have a butcher counter, you will find a greater variety of meat cuts, fish and seafood. Get meats and fish cut and dressed to order without going bankrupt.
- Rely on Latino markets, like Fiesta and Morello’s, for great meats and fresh tortillas, hard-to-find spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, larger sizes of pots and pans, and food prep equipment. If they have a bakery counter, get fresh yeasty bolillos and pastries early in the day.
- Fresh herbs can bring life to your cooking like nothing else can. As well as drying them, freeze them to keep fresh too. Using a cheap, plastic ice cube tray, simply place the sprigs or leaves into water, oil, or stock then pop them in the freezer. Once frozen, pop out and put into ziploc bags for future use. The same can be done for leftover tomato paste and tomato sauce.
- When trying to cleanly cut something soft and squishy, like dough for cinnamon rolls or cream cheese or a large cake needing to be cut into layers, grab some dental floss for a flexible food saw.
- If you don’t have a lemon squeezer, but also don’t want to get your hands all sticky and messy – just cut the lemon in two halves, and squeeze each one firmly with a pair of tongs.
- Almost-instant mashed potatoes: rinse some potatoes and cook them whole in the microwave for eight minutes (a couple of minutes in a pressure cooker will work, too). Once done, the potatoes will be soft enough to mash. Add butter, milk, etc, as you would if making mashed via stovetop method.
- Easy cheese sticks: cut the crust off slices of bread and then flatten it using a rolling pin. Place a slice of cheese on top of each slice of bread and then roll it up. Fry the sticks in a pan until the outside is brown and crispy and the cheese is nice and melted. Use some jarred marinara sauce as a dip.
- Using a box mix to make a cake is definitely the easiest and fastest option. Make people think your cake is homemade: use butter instead of oil, milk instead of water and add one egg more than what the recipe calls for. This will prevent your cake from being too dry and will give it a very homemade taste.
- Easiest homemade pizza dough: 1 cup of Greek yogurt mixed with 1 cup of self-rising flour… and that is seriously it.
- Microwaveable rice: place the rice in a microwave-safe container and add enough water so that it touches about an inch above the rice. Then, put the covered rice in the microwave for nine(9) minutes. By the time it is done you should have perfectly cooked, and non-sticky rice.
- Quick cook a single serving in your waffle iron: shredded hash browns, cornbread, muffin, cake, or brownie mixes, wop biscuits and rolls, oven-ready cookie dough and the list is virtually endless.