I have compiled a few of my favourite kitchen tricks for you. Hopefully they make your life in the kitchen easier and more fun, while at the same time increasing your meal prep efficiency. As much as I love cooking, I also want the task at hand done without losing too much time. Hopefully these little tricks will help you too with saving time (and often money too)!
Minimize preparation time
I rarely wash or peel any vegetables, as I almost exclusively buy organic quality. If your veggies seem to be a little dirty, give them a quick wash. Peeling them is almost always a huge waste of time and resources. I only trim away the ugly parts. Most of the time, my veggies get roasted anyways, so I save a lot of time here.
Do the roasting combo
As you probably know me now, I love my roasted veggies. But I love a good old sunday roast even more! Why not combine them? Whenever I cook a roast, I put a lot of root vegetables underneath to roast with it. The veggies will suck up all the awesome roast drippings and give flavour to the meat in return.
Use that fat
When I go to my butcher to buy chicken breasts, I always buy them with their skin. At home I rip the skin off and put it into a pan and put it on moderate heat. This will render the chicken fat and turn the skin into amazing crackers. Two for one! Use the resulting fat to roast your chicken breast or strain it into a jar to keep it for later. Never throw this away! Rendered fat is full of flavour and it would be a shame to throw it away. You can use similar techniques for duck breast, or even your steak!
Please invest some money in good quality knives. And also invest a little of your time to keep them sharp. Using a blunt knive to cook makes cooking miserable and dangerous: a blunt blade will slip when you try to cut! A sharp blade will “stick” immediately onto the object you are cutting, which makes working in the kitchen much saver. Trust me, I’ve cut myself several times and it happend only with blunt knives! You also will be working faster in your kitchen 🙂
Instead of me telling you how to shapren a knife, watch this video by someone who really knows what they are doing and who put a lot of effort into production. Yes, it’s a 30 minutes watch, but worth it, as this is all you need to know!
Want to make something tasty? Be sure to incorporate all five flavours:
- Sweet: vegetables high in carbs, fuits, sugar
- Sour: citrus fruits, vinegar, joghurt, wine
- Bitter: herbs, some vegetables or dark roasting
- Salty: salt, algae, soy sauce
- Umami: meat stock, soy sauce, miso, parmesan, algae
Use as much of your vegetables as you can, you paid for it! For example: you can use the roots of spring onions, they are delicious when fried. The green leaves of radishes and many other root vegetables can be turned into a salad. Fennel stalks can be used just as normal fennel, just cut it finer. The same is true for broccoli, cauliflower and cale. The thin ends of parsnips and carrots often get cut away … I don’t understand why, they are as delicious as the rest! You don’t need to peel ginger, if it is organic. Always buy organic citrus fruits and use the cest for additional flavour.
To sum this up: strive for efficiency and waste as little as possible! And don’t forget to have fun ;)!