23 Rocking Cooking Tips from Wolfgang Puck
23 Cooking Tips from Wolfgang Puck
gathered and written by Jennifer Stitt
We have found 23 of Wolfgang Puck's best cooking tips that could help you rock the culinary world in your very own kitchen. Enjoy!
1. One of the most difficult things to do is maintain the right thickness or thinness of soups and sauces. In order to test the thickness of soups and sauces, run a spoon through the liquid and then pull it out. If a film is left on the spoon, then the soup or sauce is thick enough, especially if you are able to run a finger through the sauce and leave a clean streak behind.
2. If fat is allowed to rise to the top of the stock or sauce, then it can cause problems with cooking. Believe it or not, it can stop the cooking process altogether. In order to stop this from happening, just take a spoon and swirl it around the top layer of the soup or stock. Any liquid or fat that comes off on the spoon when it is removed should be discarded.
3. When working with new cookware, take the time to clean it and season it with butter, oil, or seasonings of choice before using them the first time. This will help to preserve materials and flavor them over time. If necessary season them again after a first clean.
4. If you want to give a vibrant color to your vegetables, place them in hot water for a few moments, then shock them by placing them in ice cold water. This also heightens their texture and taste.
5. Sometimes, lemons and limes can be difficult to juice. There is a trick to making it easier, however. You can simply place them in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds. This loosens up the fruits so they are more giving of their juices.
6. When buying shrimp, make sure that they have a fresh and clean scent. If they are gritty or mushy, then avoid using them.
7. When cooking a whole turkey or chicken, be sure to wrap the drumsticks in foil to prevent excessive browning.
8. Wooden spoons have been a long-time favorite of cooks over the years. However, some wood materials can be porous, meaning they hold onto bacteria and funky flavors for a longer time. Olive wood does not allow this to happen as it is a harder wood.
9. Before buying baking sheets or other baking containers, be sure they will fit inside your oven first. Simply taking measurements of your oven before going to purchase these items can save you a great deal of time and money.
10. When adding shredded cheese to a sauce or a dish, do not over incorporate it. Work it into the dish until it is only just blended with the other ingredients.
11. In order to obtain the best cuts of meat, no matter what kind of meat you choose, be sure they are the top grade every single time you purchase them. How? Simply chat to your local butcher and become familiar with their shop and what they sell, the more knowledgeable and friendly you are the better the cuts of meat that come your way.
12. Another tip to obtaining the best piece of meat is to know which cuts are the best to go after. One cut of meat might be great for pan frying, but it might not be the best for grilling. If you are unsure ask your butcher, most people enjoy sharing their knowledge when asked.
13. Do not rush meat when it is being cooked, it might be done on the outside and underdone on the inside. Fast cooking or overcooking meat can also lead to a nasty texture and taste.
14. When it comes to flavoring meat, do not go overboard. Let the meat speak for itself instead of being overpowered.
15. Mashed potatoes may appear to be one of the easiest side dishes to make, however, overcooking the potatoes, adding too much milk, or adding too much butter can absolutely ruin the taste and texture. Before mashing them, drain, and cover with a lid for a few minutes so they steam a while.
16. Do not store tomatoes in the refrigerator. Instead, store them at room temperature. A cold fridge means under-developed sugars, which can leave tomatoes with a muted flavor.
17. To avoid dulling your knife blades, store them in a knife block. It does not matter if they are vertical or horizontal.
18. Make sure you use oil that has a high smoke point when frying. Peanut, canola, and soy are safe to use because their smoke points are high. Also, be sure to clean oil or replace it routinely to avoid unhealthy build ups of cooked or undercooked food, which can make oil turn rancid.
19. When making potato pancakes, hash browns, tater tots, or French fries, try to drain off excess water from the potato to avoid a mushy or soggy potato dish.
20. Beating egg whites has a variety of purposes. The best types of eggs to use are those that are at least three days or so old. The eggs should also be at room temperature. Make sure the bowl and beaters being used are as clean as possible, too. The idea is to beat the eggs until stiff peaks form, therefore putting as much air into the eggs as possible.
21. Clarifying butter can be a tricky task. It should be melted over low heat so that a foam forms on top. This foam needs to be removed by spooning under it to reach the clear liquid it protects. The clear liquid should then be placed into a clean container. Sautéing food with clarified butter allows you to cook in butter but at a higher temperature, so it is very important that impurities from the foam do not join in on the clear liquid.
22. When it comes to making sauces with butter, be sure to keep the butter at room temperature before adding it to the sauce. You should add the butter into the sauce by hand, a little at a time, while continuing to whisk the sauce briskly. If the sauce becomes too hot, just remove it from heat for a moment. However, do not let it go cold.
23. Do not season clarified butter, and especially not with salt. Usually, clarified butter is reduced during the cooking process so it will naturally become more bold in flavor and does not need to be seasoned.
- Darren Clunie