A Cool Whipping Trick

Start by placing your bowl and utensils in the refrigerator. When you are ready to whip, take them out and dry off the bowl and utensils. Remove the cream just before you whip. The cold affects the fat bubble that forms during whipping. The colder the cream and the tools, the fluffier the cream will get and the longer it will maintain its finished texture.

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A Frying Temperature Trick

When heating oil for frying, place a slice of raw white or yellow onion in the oil after you turn on the burner. When the onion starts to brown, the oil is at frying temperature. The minute you add something to the oil, the temperature drops so you may want to turn the heat up a bit to maintain a steady 375. Of course, a fry-oil thermometer works best, but the vessel you are using for frying may not be deep enough to allow you to use it.

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A Good Turnout

To turn the cake out of the pan, run a paring knife carefully around the edge of the pan to separate it from the cake. Place the cooling rack over the cake pan. Using oven mitts, slide the cake pan off the table onto your hand. Place your other hand on the rack directly over the cake. Invert the pan and place the rack back on the table. Tap the bottom of the cake pan and lift the pan from the cake.

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A Hot (Vegetable) Stock Tip!

Nothing beats flavorful, homemade stock. It’s easy to make your own and, if you do, all your recipes will be vastly improved. Here is my own recipe for a savory vegetable stock.

Vegetable Stock
Water
4 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6 stalks celery, diced large
1 celery root, peeled and diced large
2 carrots, peeled and pencil cut
2 red bell peppers, stem removed, seeded, membrane removed, diced large
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced large
2 parsnips, peeled and pencil cut
2 bulbs fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme, left whole

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A Quick Trick for Mushroom Cleanup

Mushrooms absorb water like a sponge. Also, if you decide to wash them and then leave them wet too long they will start to break down and get slimy. Better to brush them with a thick pastry brush. I prefer round as opposed to flat brushes; the round ones seem to get in the nooks and crannies better.

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A Sweet Spoonful of Piloncillo

Piloncillo is unrefined Mexican sugar. It tastes similar to brown sugar mixed with molasses, even though it has no molasses. If you cannot find Piloncillo you can substitute 1 cup of dark brown sugar and add 1 tablespoon of molasses.

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A Trick for Pitting Stone Fruit

Pitting stone fruit can be tricky. First, cut along the seam of the fruit all the way around, using a serrated knife. Then, gently twist the two halves and pull apart. You should be able to pull the pit out from the fruit half. If not, lay the half with the pit on the cutting board, pit side down and with your paring knife, carefully cut wedges of fruit around the pit.

If the fruit is too ripe to twist the two halves apart, similarly, you can use your paring knife to cut wedges of fruit from around the pit.

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