When making cheeseburgers (btw, always use 80/20 chopped meat for the best results), if you like your cheese really melty, when your burgers are done the way you like them, top them with the cheese of your choice, drop a tablespoon of water into the pan and cover immediately. The resulting steam will melt the cheese in seconds, and you’ll have the perfect super-melty cheeseburger. Just top it with some caramelized onions, and you’ll be in cheeseburger paradise!
Bananas can be refrigerated for several days to slow down the ripening process. Make sure the bananas are ripe before you refrigerate them. The skin will quickly turn black, but the fruit will remain firm and tasty for up to five days. If it starts to get soft, just freeze it, and it will be perfect for making smoothies or, when defrosted, Killer Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
Instead of using layers of paper towels to absorb grease from fried foods, take a few pages of newspaper and top that with one paper towel. Then put the bacon, or whatever you want to degrease, on top of the paper towel. The towel absorbs the grease, which is then sucked down and absorbed by the underlying newspaper. This not only conserves paper towels (newspapers are a lot cheaper), but it’s also is a great way to repurpose old newspaper…Eat bacon, Save a Tree!
- Tear the kale leaves into approx. 2″ bite size pieces (discard any thick stems)
- Wash and dry the pieces thoroughly (a salad spinner is best for this)
- Toss the dried leaves with the ¼ cup olive oil and ¾ tsp of kosher salt, coating all pieces well
- Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350˚ oven for about 10-13 minutes ’til crumbly and crisp
- Let cool and serve…
If you like, when you remove them from the oven, you can also sprinkle the crispy kale chips with some lime zest, cayenne, lemon pepper, Parmesan, chile powder, garlic powder or just about any other flavor or mix of spices, to add a personal touch.
You know when you look in your freezer and see a UFO (Unidentified Frozen Object), and you have no idea what it is or how long it’s been in there? Here is a simple little tip to remedy that situation. When you freeze something (and if it’s pork or chicken, you should definitely brine it first) just cut the label from the package it came in and stick it in the freezer bag…now you can see what it is, when you bought it and even what you paid for it (check it out…$1.99/lb for center cut pork chops…what a deal!).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Drain one 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- Rinse with water and dry thoroughly with paper towels
- Toss the dried garbanzos with 1½ Tbsps of olive oil
- Roast on a sheet pan for 25-35 minutes until the beans are golden brown and crunchy (start checking at 20 minutes)
- Sprinkle with salt and whatever spices you like (try a little cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder…Spicy!)
- Let cool and serve…Simply delicious!
Don’t you just hate to open an entire bottle of wine when you only need a cup or so for a recipe? Next time you have any left over wine (as unlikely as that may be) freeze it in ice cube trays. When frozen, put the cubes in a freezer bag, and the next time you have a recipe that calls for wine, just grab as many cubes as you need and add them to your dish.
Undercook your pasta for about a minute less then the box directions state and drain, reserving a little of the pasta water. Heat your sauce in the pan and then dump the pasta into the sauce (add a little of the pasta water to achieve the right consistency) and it will finish cooking in about a minute or two, absorbing all the great flavors in the sauce…top with a little Parmesan and you’re ready to go!
We have previously discussed how important a sharp knife is, and the best and cheapest way to sharpen your knives (with the Accusharp Knife and Tool Sharpener)…now here is the best and cheapest way to keep them sharp. Every time you put an unprotected knife in a drawer you run the risk of ruining the edge. It just takes a little bump to bend or roll the delicate edge of a sharp knife, and although honing can straighten it out, it doesn’t sharpen the edge, and over time the knife will start to dull, until one day it slips off the food and slices off your thumb (ok…that’s a little dramatic, but I’m trying to make a point here). Of course, you can buy knife guards, but it’s exceptionally easy to make them at home. All you do is take some cardboard (the thin kind from a gift box works great, but any cardboard will do), cut a long strip that’s the length of the knife’s blade and a little more then twice as wide as the blade, fold it in half length-wise to fit the knife, and just staple evenly down the open edge. Slip this on whenever you store your knives, and they’ll stay sharp no matter how much they rattle around in that overstuffed drawer.