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Kitchen Secrets & Tips

Oh Bananas!

What to do with those over-ripe blackening ones? Simply peel, place in an airtight plastic bag or container and freeze. When ready to prepare homemade banana cake or banana bread, simply defrost these over-ripe frozen bananas and use them.

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Kosher for Less

Before going to the supermarket, take along a list of those products that do not require kosher certification. Among these are plain rice, cocoa powder, baking soda, ground unflavored coffee and tea and more… As your Rabbinical advisor or see a list at: http://www.star-k.org/cons-appr-no-need.htm

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A Celebration of Olive Oil

Olive oils are produced from many types of olives, in varying locations around the world. For a very enjoyable way to understand the different tastes and nuances of  olive oil, here’s a suggestion:

In lieu of the popular hostess gift of wine, request  guests to  bring a bottle of unique olive oil. As an appetizer course, prepare boiled chunks of potatoes and drain. Put warm potatoes in a serving plate alongside individual bowls of these various olive oils.  Place the bottle alongside each dipping bowl of oil.  Of course, KosherEye suggests that a glass of wine is always appropriate at an olive oil tasting!

tip from Chef Giuliano and Lael Hazan
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Peeling Tomatoes

Boil water; Cut a shallow x at bottom of tomato. Submerge tomato in boiling water for about 30 seconds; let cool slightly and peel.

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Storing Fresh Basil

Cut basil just above leaf. Rinse/clean thoroughly; place in a small vase or tumbler so that stems are partially covered with water and leaves are above water. Poke small holes all over a small clear zip loc bag – and cover top of basil with bag. Place in refrigerator. The basil will retain most of its flavor and last up to a week.

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Freezing Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

Wash and dry herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, garlic or other fresh herbs. Place in a re-sealable bag or plastic sealable tub; cover with olive oil; seal and freeze.

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Quicker Oven Roasted Potatoes

Cut potatoes into chunks and boil for 5-6 minutes, drain thoroughly, season and roast as desired.

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Vanilla Sugar

vanilla_sugar

Add 2 split vanilla beans to 6 cups of granulated white sugar in a sealed container. Shake or rotate twice weekly for about 1 month. Replenish sugar as needed. Leftover sugar lasts for weeks.

We use a full 5 lb. bag of sugar, 4 split vanilla beans, and extend the time to 2-3 months.

Tip: If you do this in a Passover friendly container, not only will you have homemade vanilla sugar for baking, but you will save money too.

Most rabbinical authorities agree that plain granulated sugar and raw vanilla beans are considered kosher for Passover. Check with your Rabbi.

 

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Cooking Pasta

Boil pasta water before adding salt. Use 6 qts. of water to 1 lb. pasta.  Never rinse pasta when making Italian dishes.

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