Basic Knife Skills – NYT Cooking

Welcome to your new skill set. In this guide, you’re going to learn the best ways to choose knives, take care of them, and cut almost anything (without cutting yourself). These aren’t necessarily the knife skills that aspiring chefs learn at cooking school; they are the skills that we, as home cooks, consider the easiest and quickest routes to the food we want to cook. The videos are here for both inspiration and education: watch all the way through before embarking on an entirely new skill.

Source: Basic Knife Skills – NYT Cooking

How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

Recipes often ask us to peel and cube a butternut squash, but actually doing it can be a little puzzling. How does one coax cubes from this wonderfully curvy vegetable? Do we need to deal with the neck differently than the bulbous seed area? And what about the skins and seeds? Read on for a step-by-step guide to breaking down a butternut squash.

Source: How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

Substitutions for Eggs

Egg Equivalents: Bind Your Desserts and Make them Rise Allergen-Free

Eggs are a near-perfect food. But not if you have an egg allergy!

Unfortunately, commercial egg replacers (like Ener-G) contain soy protein and wheat gluten- two highly processed, allergenic ingredients that cause digestive discomfort for many people.

But there are natural, unprocessed allergen-free ingredients that can be used to replace eggs – and they’re probably in your pantry right now!

Before attempting an egg substitute, you need to determine the function eggs have in your recipe. Eggs can bind, leaven or moisturize.
If a recipe contains only one egg, but a fair amount of baking powder or baking soda, then the egg is serving as the binder. This is an easy replacement that can be achieved with almost any of the substitutes listed below.

But if a recipe contains many eggs – like a soufflé – eggs are acting as the leavener and the binder. And the substitution will be a flop.

As a general rule, the fewer eggs a recipe calls for, the easier they will be to substitute.

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch = 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot flour = 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. potato starch = 1 egg
  • 1 mashed banana = 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. milled flax seed + 3 Tbsp. water (set to gel) = 1 egg
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce = 1 egg
  • ¼ cup organic plain yogurt, whipped = 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. oil + 1 tsp. baking powder. Mix well. = 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp agar agar powder + 1 tbsp water. Whip together. Chill. Whip it again. = 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup cooked pumpkin or winter squash = 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum + 1/4 cup of water. Let stand, then whip. 1 egg white

NOTE: For the fruit purees, add an additional ½ tsp. baking powder to reduce density.

Healthy baking, like any art form, takes practice and a little bit of patience.  Be prepared to have some flops at first. But once you get the hang of using these healthy, all-natural ingredients, you’ll delight over brownies for breakfast too!

Crispy Taco Shells

taco

(via eatingwell.com)

Ingredients

  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Wrap 4 tortillas in a barely damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on High until steamed, about 30 seconds. (Alternatively, wrap in foil and heat in the preheated oven until steaming, 5 to 7 minutes.) Coat both sides with cooking spray; sprinkle a little chili powder and salt on one side.
  3. Drape each tortilla over a panel on a baked-taco rack and bake until crispy and brown, 7 to 10 minutes. (Or see Kitchen Tip.)
  4. Remove the shells from the rack and repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the remaining 8 tortillas.

Using the oven rack can be tricky if you were to only use one of the rungs on the grate. So.. as suggested use two!!