Good To Know

Good To Know

Saute’ – french – use small amount of olive oil in a shallow pan with high heat and move food around for a few minutes. Usually for veggies and thin sliced meat, like chicken or beef strips.

De Glaze – fancy word for adding liquid to a pan after you have removed the cooked or browned meat. The liquid bubbles up and removes all the tasty bits at the bottom of the pan. Liquids you can use are water, wine, beer or broth. Not much liquid is needed and you can add butter and herbs or spices to make a nice sauce.

Poach – a method of cooking chicken or fish. Bring water, beer, wine or broth in a pot up to a temperature of 160 degrees for chicken. Add chicken make sure it is covered by the liquid, and maintain temperature for 18-20 minutes. It’s tricky not to have the water boil and an instant read thermometer is handy. I’ve messed up a lot of chicken because a simmer is hard to get on a flat top stove. Fish requires less time and a firm white fish should be used. I’d rather not use beer or wine for this.

The thinner you cut or slice a vegetable the quicker it will cook and it may become mushier before another veggie. 2 inch pieces of carrots take longer than 1/2 inch slices of zucchini.

For mashed potatoes and roasting veggies you want the pieces to be the same size for even cooking.

Chop – pieces can be cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces or cubes., chopping is fine when you need the food to cook or bake evenly. Zucchini, potatoes, peppers, onions, carrots etc.

Rough chop – cut veggies in irregular pieces of mostly the same size.

Mince – finely chopped, like garlic, chives, jalapeños, time consuming except for ninjas!

Dice – not as fine as mince. Onions get diced a lot in recipes, so do carrots, onions and celery for a mire poix.

Slice – cut whole slices or cut veggie in half and slice thin or thick. ie: Cucumber, sweet potato .

Quarter – cut in half and half again. ie : potatoes

– When you need to spoon or pour food into a plastic bag, it’s easier if you put the bag in a 4 quart measuring cup so the bag doesn’t move and you can use both hands.


When slicing onions, cut a small slice, about an inch, off the bottom, peel back the onion skin towards the top of the onion but don’t remove it.  Grab the skins in one hand while you slice with the other.  Holding the skins gives you some stability while slicing and keeps your fingers away from the knife as you get to the top.

How to open a coconut:
Place coconut in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes.  It should crack, let it cool and pry open the shell with your hands or a knife over a bowl to catch the “milk”.
OR I like to hold the coconut in my left hand and whack it really hard with a sturdy knife.  It takes a few whacks but so much more fun.
 Once you have a substantial crack pry it open over a bowl.  Drink the milk or use the liquid in coffee, smoothie etc.
TO REMOVE FLESH: Take a small paring knife and make a V cut into the flesh at the edge. From here you just have to keep working your knife under and around the flesh breaking off pieces. A mature coconut will come apart with minimal effort.
Bake smaller pieces in the oven for a toasty snack, 350 – 375 till edges are brown.
Place pieces in a Cuisinart and blend till you have a flour consistency.  Use this for cookie, cake, muffin recipes.