FOOD + DRINK, RECIPES + menus | March 2, 2010

My Take on 4 Cooking Tips from Martha Stewart

simple cooking tips from martha stewart

Amongst the Top 40 Good Things on Martha Stewart, I feel that 4 truly makes a difference when you cook.

1. Mise en place

The “mise en place” is the first cooking lesson that my mother taught me. I still do it today. If you prepare all the ingredients – meaning cutting, slicing, measuring – before starting to cook your meal, you simplify the tasks ahead. You will be able to adjust to unforeseen events and be free to experiment with the recipe as you cook it.

2. No-Waste Dressing

I still make my vinaigrette with a whisk and a bowl. Hard habits do not go easily. But each time, I watched Michael Smith on Chef at Home, he reminds me how simple shaking your vinaigrette in a closed jar can be.

This tip takes it further. My French background means that I am partial to the classic Dijon mustard, red vinegar with olive oil dressing. It is responsible to find a good use of your almost empty Dijon mustard jar. Adjust the proportions to the amount of mustard left in the jar. Read more…

3. The Garlic Trick

olive oil to the rescue for mincing garlic and preserving pesto

I always use a garlic crusher at home because of the smell on my hands. But to get rid of the garlic smell, simply rub your hand on the interior of your stainless steel sink. It sounds crazy but it works.

On Martha, they suggest we sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt and a drop of olive oil over the cloves before chopping. The salt acts as an abrasive which helps to pulverize the garlic, and the oil lets it slide off the blade. This trick arrives just in time since my garlic press broke last week. Read more…

4.  Olive Oil to the rescue of Pesto

I learned this trick from Ina Garten many years ago. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before putting the airtight lid on the container. This will preserve the beautiful green color of your pesto. Read more…

+ photos: Top 40 Good Things on Martha Stewart

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2 Responses to “My Take on 4 Cooking Tips from Martha Stewart”

  1. I unashamedly love Martha because I love to learn. She is not gimmicks, or big teeth personality. She is the quintessential teacher. I cook a lot, especially because of food blogging, and yet every day there is room for me to learn something.

    An appreciated post.

  2. Angela: There is no shame in loving Martha. She did a lot to raise the level of entertaining at home. I bought Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook, especially for the tips. Thanks for your comment.