January 2015

The Top 20 Best Morsels of Advice from Famous Chefs

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Advise from Top Chefs on cooking

Home cooking aficionados, let’s face it – we know we will never be Giada de Laurentiis or Bobby Flay, but we do know that we can use their precious advice and tips in the kitchen to get as close as possible.

Those who love cooking like we do admire the way the top chefs effortlessly create flavorful, eye-catching meals. Before they became famous chefs, though, they were just like us, unaware of how to cut onions, manage three simultaneous pots and pans, and clueless about flavor profiles.

The TV chefs and high-level restaurateurs know just how important it is to home cooks to make a delicious meal. Here are their top tips to keep you motivated all year long, courtesy of Food Network:

  1. Take away the stress by prepping the day or night before. –Paula Deen
  2. Brine your poultry to kick flavor up a notch. –Guy Fieri
  3. Recipes are a guideline, not a Bible. Feel free to swap out things like thyme for oregano. –Alex Seidel
  4. Don’t overcrowd your pan when sautéing; you will steam instead. –Ryan Poli
  5. While drained pasta is still hot, add grated Parmesan cheese. It will give pasta sauce something to stick to. –Giada de Laurentiis
  6. Taste what you make before you serve it. –Brad Farmerie
  7. When making mashed potatoes, after you drain, steam them covered tightly in the hot pan for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry out so they’ll mash to a beautiful texture. –Wolfgang Puck
  8. Always measure what you’re baking. No shortcuts in pastry; it’s a science. –Francois Payard
  9. Clean as you go. –Rick Bayless
  10. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Mistakes can make the best recipes. –Sunny Anderson
  11. Use good oil when cooking. Smell and taste it. If it doesn’t taste good alone, it won’t taste good in your food. –Michelle Bernstein
  12. Cook more often. –Masaharu Morimoto
  13. Always start with a smoking hot pan! –Cat Cora
  14. If you’re cooking for someone important, never try a new recipe and a new ingredient for the first time. –Marcus Samuelsson
  15. For rich, creamy dressings made healthy, use half Greek yogurt, half mayo. –Ellie Krieger
  16. When chopping herbs, toss a little salt onto the cutting board to keep from sticking. –Joanne Chang
  17. Low and slow. –Pat Neely
  18. Take the time to read recipes through before you begin. –John Besh
  19. A cast-iron pan is a valuable kitchen ally. –Linton Hopkins
  20. Always use sharp knives. It’s not only safer but will make you more efficient. –April Bloomfield

Need more innovative kitchen tips? Follow the Cooks Innovations blog all year long.

5 Time-Saving Kitchen Solutions for 2015

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5 time saving cooking tips

In today’s fast-paced world, we juggle a variety of roles that require our precious attention. One of these is the home cook—a job that often takes up much of our time and energy after a hectic day. As our new year begins, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate our kitchen and cooking habits and decide if we are managing our kitchen properly. Review these 5 time-saving kitchen solutions and shave time off your schedule.

  1. Master the Basics

One of the biggest kitchen time-wasters is the failure to utilize proper technique. Even the most famous chefs started with the basics: How to use a knife, principles of dry heat and moist cooking, and how to properly time a meal.

If you’re feeling frazzled during dinner prep, you may want to travel back to your roots and find out how you can improve.

  1. Use Helpful, Innovative Tools

In the modern world of innovation and rapid technological advancement, there are a variety of tools for every type of cooking method available at your fingertips. Whether you shop online or in-store, you can and will find a tool that makes it easier for you to cook.

Our Ceramic Grater Plate Set, for example, peels garlic in seconds and grates a variety of food items in a fraction of the time you’ve spent in the past.

  1. Stock your Pantry and Fridge Properly

A surefire way to waste time in the kitchen is not having the proper ingredients to make the meal at hand. We’ve all stood frustrated at prep time knowing that we missed a small ticket item like soy sauce or vanilla extract.

There are a variety of pantry and refrigerator checklists online that can help you decide what food items need to be in your home at all times. Are you vegetarian, vegan, or on a gluten free diet? You can easily grab diet-specific lists from websites like Pinterest or in recipe books like Vegonomicon. 

  1. Choose Recipes in Advance

Have a grocery store list based on your recipes for the week and stick to it. Staying organized on the front end helps the entire cooking stream.

Again, the Internet is your friend. A wealth of one-pot, slow cooker, and 5-ingredient meals are available on recipe sites and social media. You can also find a host of delicious recipes hand-picked by Cooks Innovations on our Pinterest page.

  1. Clean As You Go

By wiping up, washing mixing bowls and spoons, and putting ingredients away as you go, you’ll be much less stressed after your meal. Strive to have everything but the dinner dishes waiting when you get up from the table.

Need more helpful kitchen tips? View our easy ways to incorporate Greek Yogurt into your meals.