The curated kitchen: “Culinary School: The 164 Best Cooking Tips and Tricks”

Culinary School: The 164 Best Cooking Tips and Tricks is an amazing book of, you guessed it, those wonderful, clever, secret tips and tricks culinary school chefs teach culinary school students. It’s written in short, easy-to-read, straight-to-the-point snippets so you can get the insider knowledge, quickly, and get back to cooking. If you want to see the tips, I’ve included an excerpt after the jump.


Use a wooden spoon to test the temperature of cooking oil
Stand the base of a clean, dry wooden spoon, carefully, in hot oil. If the oil bubbles, it is ready. If not, give the oil another few minutes and try again. But be aware, this trick only works twice with the same spoon in the same session. If you need to test the oil more frequently, either use a different spoon or wash and dry the one you were using.


En papillote is ideal for weight loss
En papillote is a cooking technique where food is sealed in parchment paper then cooked in a hot oven. Because the food cooks by steaming in its own juices, it requires no fat, making this fat-free cooking technique perfect for dieters.


Water does not add flavor
Stock does. Wine does. Juice does. And other liquids do. So use them, instead of water, for an extra hit of flavor when you cook your food.


Cherish the fond
Fond is the incredibly flavorful browned bits left in the bottom of the pan after sautéed or roasted food is removed. Use it as the base for a rich and flavorful sauce.


If you are boiling large chunks of potatoes, start them in cold water
Instead of bringing the water to a boil, then adding your potatoes, add them to your cold water, first. This way, the outside of your potatoes won’t cook faster than the inside.