TIPS, RECIPES, IDEAS, HELPFUL HINTS….

Cats are like chocolate…it’s hard to have just one….
While pondering ideas for this blog, I came up with the idea of offering some of my domestic expertise on food and all things relating to it.  This will include cooking, eating, using in beauty products, gardening ideas, tips and helpful hints along with the occasional recipe and perhaps some unusual items purchased.
And speaking of things purchased, I was in TK Maxx (TJ Maxx in the States) last week and while perusing their ‘reduced to clear’ section, came across a box of teabags marked Le Cordon Bleu Verbena.  I thought that £1.30 for a box of 25 teabags wasn’t too bad, considering the original price was £3.00.  I got it home and was interestingly surprised when I saw that the teabags were not made of paper as most are, but was made of nylon mesh!
The bag is heat sealed all the way around and the string is sealed to the bag.  How very posh!
 How to brown meat perfectly…
Browning is all about beauty, texture and intensity of flavor.  Knowing how to brown well can add big, deep flavors and a restaurant-quality presentation to your repertoire.  Think of a chicken breast with crackling skin, a steak with a crunchy crust, or braised beef with a mahogany color and incredibly complex taste.  Here are the basics for browning perfection.
 GO HOT
 Set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat (do NOT use a nonstick pan) for longer than you normally would – about a full three-four minutes.  The meat needs some stable heat.  Then add a bit of olive oil (NOT extra-virgin) to start the sear off right.
 STAY DRY
 Moisture means steam, so blot the meat dry with paper towels before seasoning and searing.
 SPACE OUT 
Don’t crowd the pan.  You’ve heard this before.  Heed this warning or pay with gray meat, which will be the result if you put too much food in the pan.  Not only does crowding keep heat from circulating, too much food brings the temperature way down.
KEEP IN CONTACT
Once you’ve placed the meat in the pan, DO NOT MOVE IT until the bottom is well-browned.  If it moves easily when you try to pick it up with tongs, it wants to.  If it doesn’t move, don’t force it…it will release when ready.  Then flip it over and don’t forget to brown the edges, even it if means holding the meat with tongs while it cooks. Do not use a fork to stab the meat and flip it as you will release the juices from the meat.  This technique will pay off immediately.
Terri’s Tasty Tip

Dry off prawns/shrimp on paper towels prior to cooking – this helps them to fry quicker, without steaming or overcooking.

Bon Appetito!

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5 thoughts on “TIPS, RECIPES, IDEAS, HELPFUL HINTS….

  1. You probably need to use more cornstarch. I usually go with the ratio of 1 Tbsp of cornstarch for every 1 cup of liquid. Make sure you dissolve the cornstarch in a bit of cold water before adding it to the liquid, which should be near boiling. It should only take a couple of minutes for it to start thickening. If it doesn't seem thick enough for your taste, then add more cornstarch. Hope that helps!

  2. First I want to agree with you on the nylon tea bags. I actually just had the pleasure of enjoying a flavorful cup of tea without the leaves seeping out through the paper & losing the string tag.So much better & peppermint is very soothing on the tummy.:)

  3. Em, you're obviously not starving, so you must be doing something right! Trial and error makes you a better cook. It's not going to happen overnight, but keep on trucking along. Love, Aunty T.

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