Five Useful Cooking Techniques No One Teaches You

Most of us learn to cook through trial and error, the Food Network, or being forced to feed ourselves when no one else will do it. So naturally, no one’s born knowing how to sauté chicken, or blanch vegetables. Here are some basic (but useful) cooking techniques chefs use every day, but the rest of us rarely pick up.

Source: Five Useful Cooking Techniques No One Teaches You

#6: Sous vide 101.  How much did you know already?  Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” is a good show – last I heard, most was available on Netflix.

Peel a Tomatillo in Ten Seconds with Boiling Water

This might be a-peeling to some 😉

GREAT! Now how do I get water to boil in 10 seconds?  This works with tomatoes and potatoes, but you need to score them first.

I actually like peeling them by hand, nothing fancy. It leaves your fingers slightly sticky—a strange stickiness that adheres to the papery coating of garlic but not the clove itself. So if you sequence your cooking so prepping garlic comes right after peeling tomatillos, you’re golden.

Turn Vegetable Peels Into a Crunchy Snack Instead of Trashing Them

Warning: You may wish you had a time machine after reading this post. Because what you’ll discover is that, for years, you’ve been missing out on a ridiculously tasty treat — baked vegetable peels.

When prepping potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables, it’s common practice to first wash and then remove the outer layer of skin. But the next time you ready these ingredients for a recipe, throw out old habits instead of the scraps. And then set those peels aside to bake into a crunchy, chip-like snack to enjoy between meals or while making the meal.

Source: Why You’ll Never Again Throw Away Vegetable Peels

This doesn’t work for me – I don’t peel vegetables.  I just wash, prepare/cook, and consume.  There’s nutritional value in the outer skin of vegetables, and it’s more effort to peel (besides mess)…

Give Your Leftover Potato Salad New Life By Roasting It

It was a pretty simple potato salad: large cubes of potatoes, skin on, tossed with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and the last of the season’s chopped ramps. Mayonnaise is mostly oil, and the rest of it amounts to seasoning, so we figured toss it in the oven and see what happens.

Source: Turn Leftover Potato Salad Into Crispy Roasted Potatoes

…you could make potato salad out of it again, after roasting!

Use an Apple Slicer to Cut Potatoes Even Faster

We may or may not need to be bringing in a boatload of mashed potatoes to the Preschool Thanksgiving Pitch In tomorrow morning… so tonight meant peeling and chopping up lots and lots and lots of taters…

So what did Puddie do?

Source: Cutting Up Potatoes~ Super Fast

I wouldn’t recommend you go out and buy an apple slicer for this purpose alone, but if you already own one, we’ve got to admit: it’s pretty handy.   Apples, potatoes, onions, pears, and I think once on a big mozzarella ball.

I personally don’t peel potatoes.  There’s nutritional value in the skin, and I often mash it anyway to the point I can’t tell.  But it’s really important to wash the potato before preparation if you are keeping the skin.  They’ve been exposed to various chemicals and such en route to the grocery store, and while sitting on display.

Potato Extract: Prevents Weight Gain in Mice

Potatoes have long been thought of as a starch-filled food that pack a big punch on your plates — but that could also pack on pounds.

But recent lab testing being undertaken by researchers at Montreal’s McGill University indicates the humble potato could actually provide a key to weight control.

Their research indicates potato extract has been shown to prevent obesity in mice.

…”The one dose of the potato extract is equivalent to eating 30 potatoes. Thirty regular-sized table potatoes,” said Lou Agellon a professor with McGill’s School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition.

Source: Potato extract could prevent weight gain, McGill research indicates

The article claims the extract is working by blocking the fat absorption – but it’s excess calories that are stored as fat, not fat being fat on our bodies.  We know that increased saturated fat food consumption doesn’t lead to fat in the blood

7 foods That Help Fight Headaches

The pain from a really bad headache can stop in you in your tracks. But it doesn’t have to. Thankfully, there are a few foods you can add to your diet that have a soothing effect. So we asked our nutrition director, Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, for her favorite headache-busting eats.

Source: 7 foods that help fight headaches

What to Eat After the Apocalypse

In 1841, an invasive water mold began to infect the world’s potatoes. Starting from Mexico, the infectious agent of blight traveled up through North America, then crossed the Atlantic. Eventually it reached Ireland, where, as the journalist Charles Mann described it, “four out of ten Irish ate no solid food except potatoes, and … the rest were heavily dependent on them.”

The Great Famine, as it came to be known, could have been avoided in any number of ways, not least by ceasing the export of food from Ireland to Britain. But the British government failed to take effective action. The question of avoiding starvation becomes harder still if some apocalyptic event causes the whole world to starve. How might a government prepare for a worst-case scenario?

This is a question Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, and electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, began to think about while working on providing low-cost drinking water to the developing world. He found the prospect of disaster terrifying. “This would make us no better off than the dinosaurs, despite all of our technical progress,” he told me. “Humanity is too smart for that.”

Source: What to Eat After the Apocalypse

The article mentions that we could feed kids wood pulp.  Sadly, most already injest as it’s used widely an additive.  It stops shredded cheese from sticking together, for one…

Years back, a coworker told me about a book called “The Death of Grass“.  It’s fiction, but the idea was that we take for granted the technology we have at our disposal.  And more importantly – we are a population with largely no ability maintain or repair what we currently have.  On a similar vein, “World War Z” speaks about roles and jobs after society broke down – some people were classified as “non employable” or something to that effect.  That their profession and/or skills provided no immediate benefit to survival…  I also know of many who stopped pursuing agriculture related bachelor degrees because they knew that food is not the issue – it’s politics that keeps food from mouths.

20 Filling Foods That Help You Lose Weight

While you might find some of the research that follows surprising, there are no magic potions or super bars on this list. They’re all nutrient-rich whole foods, which a recent study revealed increase calorie burning by roughly 50% compared to processed foods, adds Sass. Eating less without feeling like you’re on a diet and burning more calories? We’ll take it.

Source: 20 Filling Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Of the list, the majority are accessible to those of us on warfarin/coumadin.  Apples, pears, lentils, and leeks are a concern but can be tolerated in small doses without a huge impact.  I don’t see anyone consuming lemons though…  Kimchi was a surprise.

Japan Might Soon Suffer a Massive French Fry Shortage

There’s a labor contract dispute going on right now in a bunch of West Coast ports — Los Angeles, Long Beach, etc. — between major shipping companies and the longshoremen they employ. It’s actually been dragging on since May, and the resultant strikes and work stoppages have ground exports to a crawl. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for Japan to get their potatoes, and…well…they really, really love American potatoes in Japan.

Source: Japan Might Soon Suffer a Massive French Fry Shortage

That’s OK – I’ll just take more gravy and cheese curds on my poutine 😉