Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques

May 7, 2014


It's been a while! I have recently acquired several new jobs that ACTUALLY pay me. So, my blogging has sadly taken a back seat. Nevertheless, I am glad to be posting and hope to get back on track as the school year ends and the summer approaches! Ahh, summer...how I've missed you.
I recently had a great experience when I wrote a guest post for DIY Budget Girl, Chelsey. I included some of these techniques in that post but have also added some new ones. 
Under the influence of some close family members and Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals (I have an unhealthy obsession with this show), I’ve developed a set of quick prep techniques that I use almost daily (not Fridays, I don’t cook on Fridays…period). The ATE techniques outlined below not only reduce my kitchen prep time but also make cleanup for The Hubbster a cinch! It’s important to note that while each of these techniques is a time saver, the best way to make the time you spend in the kitchen pass quicker is to have fun. Similar to my new blogger friend Chelsey, I like to do so by cooking with wine. Sometimes the wine even makes it from my glass into the recipe. Cheers!

Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques: Chopping an OnionChopping an Onion: My hips don’t lie! Onions are one of my favorite vegetables because the flavor to calorie ratio is so fantastic. These little guys pack a ton of flavor without adding anything extra to my hips! My favorite variety, Vidalia, has a sweeter flavor and won’t burn your eyes when chopping. I use onions in my recipes almost every night. It is therefore essential for me to master quick and effective techniques that neatly fit in the moments when I don’t have my 18-month-old son hanging off my leg.
Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques: Chopping an Avocado
Chopping an Avocado ¡Muchos aguacates de México por favor! I will eat it with anything. Well, not anything. I don’t typically add it to my spaghetti and meatballs. But, you get the idea. I am a big fan of make-your-own Mexican take-out and avocado is typically one of my star ingredients.
Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques: Dicing Chicken
Slicing or Dicing ChickenThe chicken crossed the road on a slip-n-slide. We eat chicken at least three times a week. It is a staple in our house but the chef (that’s me) is not a huge fan of handling it raw. It’s slimy, slippery and just all around gross! In addition, I am super paranoid about salmonella and feel the need to scrub every surface anywhere near the raw chicken prep area. While the slippery and slimy can’t be completely eliminated, the raw chicken contact time can be reduced.
Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques: Juicing Citrus
Juicing CitrusMargarita anyone? Fresh citrus juice adds a certain distinct freshness to many recipes. I add it to marinades, sauces, baked goods and of course COCKTAILS!
Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques: Grating Garlic
Grating GarlicHow did I not think of this years ago? I love eating garlic, but HATE it when I bite down on a huge chuck of garlic in a sauce or marinade. I prefer a garlicky flavor layered through every single bite of a dish. So, instead of chopping, mincing or slicing my garlic, I ALWAYS grate it with a zester. Grating it directly over my saucepan or bowl saves time and eliminates extra dirty dishes.
Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques: Chopping Herbs
Chopping Herbs: I can't think of a dish that wouldn't benefit from some sort of fresh herb! With how often I cook with fresh herbs, I needed a quick an easy way to chop 'em and drop 'em! I am able to avoid them flying everywhere by compressing them into a ball with my fingers.
Top Ate Quick Kitchen Prep Techniques
Making Burgers: I HEART Grilling! This is because The Hubbster does all the cooking. Rachel Ray will teach you everything you need to know about burgers. Being a self-described burger queen, she wrote a book about it. (surprise, surprise) Using her techniques, I can easily prepare burgers with fresh ingredients from start to finish on a weeknight. Thanks Rach! We're totally friends...we go way back.
Preparing Leeks: Just like shuffling a deck of cards! Before attending a knife skills class at William Sonoma a couple months ago, I never used leeks in my recipes. After watching the instructor trim, clean and slice the leek in less than a minute, my leek intimidation subsided and I've never looked back. Since leeks have lots of dirt in between each of the leaves, it's important rinse thoroughly. By flipping through each layer like a deck of cards under running water, the dirt rinses away with ease.  Thanks Chef Chris!

1 comment:

amy hutto said...

Great ideas and time savers.