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.
For perfect hard boiled eggs, poke a small hole in the large end of each egg with a pin (to prevent cracking), place in a pan and cover the eggs with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a full boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cover and let it sit for 10 minutes. Drain the water and place the eggs in ice water to stop the cooking process…perfect eggs every time!
To slice meat into thin strips for a stir fry, partially freeze the meat for about 20-30 minutes, and then you’ll be able to easily slice it into thin uniform strips. Also, be sure cut it on a bias across the grain to ensure maximum tenderness.
Never use detergent to clean a cast iron pan…it will remove the seasoning. Just sprinkle on some salt and rub with a dry paper towel and when the grime is loosened and the pan is clean, just rinse with hot water.
When measuring oil, honey or syrup for a recipe, first rinse the measuring cup or spoon with hot water, then fill with the ingredient. You will then be able to pour out the ingredient easily and it won’t stick.