Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Foothill gourmet: Fun cooking tips

By
From page B2 | October 08, 2012 | Leave Comment

Donna Brown

DONNA BROWN

Finding a helpful preparation or cooking tip is for me almost as much fun as cooking. I constantly read food articles looking for helpful tips. When I find one or more, I save them in a special file. The file is a resource to share with my family, friends and readers. Here are my new best tips and a delicious avocado salad recipe.

To get crisp roasted potatoes in a hurry, jump-start them in the microwave. Check your manual for cooking time. Precooking the potatoes shaves about 10 minutes off the roasting time and they end up crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Try this precooking technique with butternut squash, carrots or any other slow-cooking vegetable.

Sauté parsley for a tasty, easy topping. It tastes great on soup, vegetables, meat or fish. You don’t even need a separate pan. You can sauté parsley in the same skillet you used to cook the main dish item, meat, chicken, fish, or tofu.

How to choose cheese. Check for freshness. Look for shops that make their own cheese, or that sell a lot of it, ensuring fast turnover. At the supermarket, buy it well ahead of its expiration date. Read the ingredients — minimalism matters when it comes to fresh cheese. It should be made of milk, salt, rennet (or some kind of acid) and little or nothing else. It’s important to refine your search. Use the Internet or library to give you important information regarding the best characteristics of the cheese you intend to buy. For example: Imported fresh mozzarella is great, but fresh domestic cow’s-milk mozzarella is a fine substitute. Balls that are sold in water are best. Good sheep’s milk ricotta is creamier and more delicate than supermarket varieties.

Corral your kernels — the next time you want to slice corn off the cob, try this technique to keep the kernels from scattering everywhere. Arrange an ear of corn vertically so that the thicker end sits over the hole of a Bundt pan. Using a small, sharp knife slice the corn off the cob, turning the ear as you go. The kernels collect into the Bundt pan. Capture more of the corn’s milky juices by scraping the cob with the knife.

Peak-season tomatoes are perfect just the way they are for salads and sandwiches. However, for more elegant dishes peeling tomatoes is necessary to do away with the chewy skin. Using a paring knife, slice a shallow X in the bottom end of each tomato. Put tomatoes in boiling water; keep submerged until skin starts to curl, 15-30 seconds. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl of ice water. When cool, peel skin, using a paring knife if necessary.

To ripen avocados more quickly, place them in a sealed paper bag with an apple or banana for 24 hours. Be sure to check them daily and refrigerate when ripe. An avocado feels ripe when there is a slight give to gentle hand pressure.

Avocado salad with peaches — Ingredients: 1/2 of a cored and seeded red bell pepper, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, 2 almost ripe avocados, drizzle of olive oil, 8 cups arugula, and 2 diced peaches.

Preparation. Make the dressing: Roast red bell pepper. Peel off loose skin; then chop pepper. Next, in a blender puree pepper pieces with red wine vinegar, the vanilla seeds and sugar until smooth. With machine running, gradually add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Halve and pit avocados; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and place cut side down on a medium-hot grill until nicely charred, about 5 minutes. With a tablespoon scoop out avocado and thickly slice. Toss with arugula and diced peeled peaches. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Enjoy October with a few new tips and a tasty avocado salad.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

 
Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

 
EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 11 Comments

Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

 
Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3, 48 Comments

 
Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

 
Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 18 Comments | Gallery

.

Letters

Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 50 Comments

 
Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 13 Comments

A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
.

Sports

Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

 
COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A10