It’s often the simplest cooking techniques (chopping an onion, peeling garlic, grilling, poaching etc.) that many of us skip on our way to tackling the fanciful stuff such as lobster thermidor. But it’s those basic skills that we need in order to achieve success with even the simplest of recipes. Over the past year, the Chatelaine Kitchen has taught us many tips, tricks and techniques to help us reach our cooking goals, get dinner on the table in a jiffy and impress our guests.
Here are the top ten most popular tips and tricks from 2011.
1. How to halve grapes or cherry tomatoes. Maybe you didn’t even know you wanted to do this, but now that you know you’ll use this trick all the time!
2. How to pit an avocado. We can’t believe we didn’t know this.
3. How to poach an egg. Going forward, brunch will be a cinch.
4. How to blanch asparagus. One of the most flavourful ways to prepare this vegetable.
5. Six more ways to use your salad spinner. Don’t underestimate this multi-use kitchen gadget.
6. How to make the very best chocolate chip cookies. Essential tips from Chatelaine’s food editor.
7. How to roast beets. And the best way to peel them (without staining your hands.)
8. How to dice an onion. Could this be the most essential kitchen skill?
9. How to make the most out of your vegetable peeler. There is more than meets the eye with this hard-working tool.
10. How to make a simple vinaigrette. We think of this as an essential life skill!