Dan Can Cook: 32 Things I’ve Learned About Daily Cooking

I love to cook, and I cook a lot. My late mother was a good cook for Italian food. The Baltimore woman whose second son considers me an excellent chef for Italian food. My late father-in-law was an accomplished French chef in New York City. So I had culinary influences. I’ve met professional chefs and foodies. So here, just in time for the cooking and baking season, I’ve learned 32 things In the kitchen, if you know what I mean:

For better results without greasy spots, bake bacon slowly over low heat in the oven rather than in a skillet. (If you must cook bacon in a skillet, always wear a T-shirt.)

To prepare the chicken for grilling, loosen the skin, then place strips of butter under the skin on the breast area.

When making the frittata, use a cast iron skillet. When the pancakes are almost done, put them under the grill for 40 seconds to get a nice look.

Shallots are amazing. Use the white parts in soups or saute them in butter as a side dish. Keep the green parts in the freezer for future soup storage.

Same thing with onion peel. Keep some in the freezer to store.

After you’ve made a large pot of chicken or vegetable broth, pour the mixture and strain it through a colander in the sink. Make sure you put another pot under the strainer first. Otherwise, your tasty stock will go down the drain. I went there and did it. Don’t let this get to you.

Everyone has the right to a decadent plate. Pick one and make it once a year. Mine is spaghetti alla carbonara.

For fluffy and moist scrambled eggs, cook them in a double boiler with a large piece of butter and mix into a small ball of cream cheese.

Get your knives professional once in a while. It will make preparing meat and vegetables a pleasure. do not worry. Just keep paper towels, bandages and a tourniquet nearby.

Place a slightly damp towel under the cutting board to prevent it from sliding off the counter.

Invest in a meat mallet. A little grinding makes chicken breasts tender and uniform thickness, so when frying, both ends finish at the same time.

Do not crowd food in a frying pan. They will become steamy and tender instead of crunchy and brown. Five chicken thighs cook better together than six.

Julia Child’s recipe for Cook or Vin Absolutely perfect if you follow it exactly.

For spaghetti, salt the boiling water seconds before adding the pasta. Do not add oil. If you do this, the marinara will not stick to the noodles.

When preparing the lasagna, cook the pasta over low heat until boiling, then lift each piece into a large bowl of ice water, then clean the kitchen towels to dry them. This makes assembly of the lasagna quick.

Things that are worth keeping in stock because they are good for all kinds of fast food: cans of beans, kidney beans, chickpeas; A can of orzo diced tomatoes.

To thicken the soup, add pureed cannellini beans from the can.

If you’re having some breakfast cereal that you’re tired of looking at, crumble it up and use it to bake with apple slices, honey, butter, and brown sugar.

“London Broil rocks,” a friend said, and I agree. Just be sure to marinate for two days.

Don’t refrigerate the tomatoes unless you’re making a summer sandwich with mayonnaise and plan to eat it over the sink. Otherwise, do not refrigerate; It kills flavor and odor, and it’s scientifically proven.

Cod is an all-purpose, affordable white meat fish. You can bake it or fry it. You can use it as a base for a delicious seafood soup. I also mix it with crab meat for the Crab Corn Codie, perfected by Chef Nancy Longo of Pierpoint Restaurant. (Email me for the recipe: drodriks@baltsun.com).

Look for fresh (not canned) sardines at your local seafood market. Fire up the grill. Place the sardines in the olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. They grill quickly and are crunchy, and the taste is great.

Baking is fun but requires precision. Unforgiving pastry recipes. He veered off course at great risk.

Care for your wooden cutting board with Boos Block Mystery Oil.

This 16″ cast iron pizza pan works great and doubles nicely as a stovetop tray.

Rice flour is a good substitute in pancakes, waffles, or crepes when you need to eliminate gluten.

Roast lean meats on a low heat. If you see edges wrinkling, reduce heat.

If you have to buy spaghetti sauce out of a jar, there are two things: Always add some of your own herbs and spices for a more flavorful sauce, and keep a few jars for storing leftovers.

Invest in a digital thermometer. It takes all the guesswork out of roasting and grilling and gives you more confidence as a carnivorous cook.

Extra virgin olive oil is wasted in most cooking processes. Save it for salads and pizza.

Kitchen shears come in handy for opening frozen food packages, chopping herbs, cutting chicken into portions, and splitting the next day’s pizza to avoid fights.

For great meatballs, remove the wrapper from some light Italian sausage (the Roma brand, made in Baltimore) and add it to the beef mixture. Also, mix some milk with the breadcrumbs, and cool the rolled balls lightly before baking them. (If you must fry it in a frying pan, always wear a T-shirt.)

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