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Tips for Fast Cooking

Cooking tips for the caring cook.


Time Savers for Meal Preparation

A few simple measures can dramatically cut down on time you spend in the kitchen preparing meals. Try some of the following fast cooking tips:

  • Focus on simple recipes rather than elaborate techniques that usually result in more dishes and extra cleanup.
  • Consider what else you can do to speed your meal along after you have started the noodles boiling, the rice cooking or the meat browning.
  • Use quick flavor enhances, such as low-sodium broth's and sauces, herb vinegar's, hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and nuts for fast-cooking flavor.
  • Try freezing different fruits and vegetables for kids snacks such as peas, blueberries, etc.
  • Brown gravy in a hurry with a bit of instant coffee straight from the jar... no bitter taste, either.
  • Gravy can be thickened quickly by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of instant potatoes.
  • To hasten the cooking of foods in a double boiler, add salt to the water in the outer boiler.
  • Add 3/4 cup of wine, beer or stock to a beer can or similar container. Place it in the center of a roasting pan and place a well-seasoned chicken opening over the can and roast. The flavors in the can will moisten and flavor the chicken. The drippings will enter the can and mix with the liquid. When the chicken is done, remove the can and make a pan sauce with the remaining liquid.
  • Toasting Coconut: Place flaked or shredded coconut in a 1-cup measure. Microwave, uncovered, on 100-percent power until light brown, stirring every 20 seconds. Allow one to two minutes for one-quarter cup and one to two minutes for 1/2-cup coconut.
  • Easy Shelling -- Pecans are easy to shell if they are first soaked in boiling water for ten minutes or so. Or microwave 2-cups of pecans or brazil nuts in 1-cup of water for five to six minutes on high.
  • A roast with the bone in will cook faster than a boneless roast - the bone carries the heat to the inside of the roast quicker.
  • Reduce cooking time and splatters by laying slices of bacon on a cookie sheet with an edge; bake at 350 to 375 degrees until done the way you like it. The pieces stay flat with no fuss.
  • Carrots cook faster if you slice them along their length rather than their width.
  • Speed up the cooking time of fried potatoes by first peeling, chopping into small squares and boiling the raw potatoes until softened, but not too much. Then drain and place into skillet with heated oil. Cook while adding seasoning until the outsides are lightly browned and crisp.
  • You can "speed-chill" champagne in about 20 minutes by completely submerging the bottle in a bucket filled with half ice and half water. This will chill the wine much faster than ice alone.

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