They say if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. But the same can be applied to kitchens. Learning your way around the pots and pans takes a great deal of time and effort, and it’s much easier when there’s an expert to guide you. Like your dad. Or grandma.
Recently, Reddit user u/OoopsieWhoopsie made a post on the platform, asking everyone to reveal their most prized family cooking tips. And some people agreed to do it; sharing really is caring. From getting the most out of your leftovers to adding an extra oomph to your dishes, continue scrolling to check them out!
My grandma would save butter wrappers in the fridge and use the leftover butter on them for greasing dishes when she baked. I can’t help but stockpile wrappers, it’s really so handy.
Don’t hollow out a bread bowl; shove the inner bread down to create a thicker bottom. This will prevent leaks and sogginess.
Putting a little fish sauce into a stew or sauce that needs umami. It’s basically liquid anchovies.
My Uncle Arthur’s tip is “clean while you cook!”, and he will not let you forget it, either.
Not really sure if its a tip but my Papa Searcy used to microwave bacon on old newspapers…it was always delicious! In hindsight it’s probably bad for you and you should never do it. I have weird memories of the smell of newspaper and bacon.
Cook them onions – cook them onions loooong n slow. Then add tomato, cook that tomato, cook that tomato looooooong and slow.
Add a pinch of nutmeg to anything with dairy in it, you can’t taste the nutmeg but it makes the dairy richer and taste better.
Sprinkle sea salt on cookies right before or right after baking. The extra salt brings out the flavors more and helps balance out the sweetness.
Bacon always comes out better if you cook it in an oven, and it’s important to put the bacon in before turning the oven on; preheating the oven will make the bacon stick to the cookie sheet
You’re probably using too much flour in your yeast dough. Many recipes say it should not be sticky. On the contrary, you want it a little yucky and sticky before you let it rest. That’s how you get yummy fluffy stuff that doesn’t dry out within hours.
Also, to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, you don’t use flour. You use vegetable oil
Keep in mind I’m from a very Midwestern Scandinavian family. Cream of mushroom soup is kind of a universal solution for improving any dish.
If a dish feels flat it’s often the acidity that’s missing. Dash of White Modena vinegar is the secret to my red sauce for example, even though it’s inherently acidic.
My oma would add plain seltzer to her matzah balls… she said it made them fluffier.
Add citrus zest to enhance flavor and acidity, especially in sauces/salsas…desserts too!
Salt your water liberally when boiling pasta/potatoes, and blanching vegetables
Rub a lemon wedge on the inside of your mixing bowl when you’re making meringue. It works better than cream of tartar and you’ll get a more stable meringue.
I thought adding cocoa powder to chili was pretty common.
I like to add some apple cider to baked beans and a bit of cinnamon to chocolate cake.
MSG makes just about everything better. I add it to the salt mixture when I’m seasoning meats. It also helps make ripe tomatoes pop by accentuating the naturally occurring MSG, keep that in mind when you’re making tomato salads and tomato sandwiches.
My family owns a catering business, starting from my grandparents who came to the states from Portugal. One thing I’ve learned that greatly improve my meals is to add butter to your noodles (for saucy pasta like Spaghetti)
Adding Worcestershire sauce, a bit of soy sauce, and Dijon mustard to your pan-fried chicken livers would ascend them into deityhood (not to forget the caramelized onions, chicken stock stock, garlic, and mushrooms).
A really good sharp knife and running the onion over water can help prevent the teary eyes. (Also holding a piece of bread in your mouth).
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