Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good things

This blog post is my mini-version of a favorite Martha Stewart Living magazine feature, a collection of random tips. Although this version is only about cooking.

1. The typical meatballs (for spaghetti and meatballs) recipe calls for meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, majoram, etc.), etc. I don't always use eggs - I can take it or leave it, it doesn't make or break a recipe. My best secrets for meatballs: use a little brown sugar (or even plain white granulated will do), put in a little tomato sauce and food process tons of garlic and onions into a watery pulp and combine ingredients in a large bowl well. Once combined, form them into balls. THIS YIELDS THE MOST DELICIOUS AND BEST MEATBALLS EVER, after 8 years of experimentation. Any ground meat will do, turkey and chicken will yield more tender meatballs than beef, but they are also hard to keep together and form into a ball. You can also mix meats. Turkey with beef or beef with ground chicken works well and taste good.
2. Before having that navel orange, grab your peeler, make some zest and then freeze. I find navel oranges make the best zest. I got really mad at myself tonight for eating a navel orange without making zest - a lost opportunity!
3. I learned this from a Rachel Ray magazine - to easily peel garlic, microwave it for 10 seconds. Works like a charm, peel comes right off! I wonder if any nutrients are lost though...
4. The best roast chicken ever: combine tons of grated ginger, finely chopped garlic, orange zest a little brown sugar and soy sauce. Take a whole chicken, separate the skin from it and rub some butter between the breasts and skin. Salt between the breasts and skin and all over the outside. Peel a tangerine and squeeze the juice over and inside the chicken. Put the leftover tangerine (with mashed flesh and peel) inside the cavity. Spread your sauce of ginger et. all between the breasts and skin. And then all over and under the chicken. Bake at 500 for 20 minutes. And then 350 for 40 minutes. This yielded the most delicious and tender 4lb chicken for me. I just had it tonight. YUMMMMM!!!

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