Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Good to know!

on 08/06/2011

Advice.  Everybody has it.  Whether given or received, we all have had our share of advice.  That can be a good thing.   A very good thing.  A wonderful lady named Sandra Ray (no, not related to Rachael but she can cook!) hooked me up with one of my very favoritest things to have on stock in the kitchen.  She had cooked  a pork roast that had the most wonderful flavor and nosy me had to know what she did to it.  Her secret weapon?  Mojo!  Actually, it’s called Mojo Criollo and you can buy it all nicely bottled up by Goya (look in the Hispanic section of your grocery.)  Basically it is a Cuban marinade consisting of oil, garlic, orange juice, lime juice and other wonderful things.  IT IS THE BOMB!  I cannot stress how highly i rate this stuff.  Your meat will never taste better.  Marinate your steaks in it the night before/several hours before you grill them.  Add Mojo and Montreal Steak Seasoning to your hamburger meat before forming it into patties and bada bing, bada boom!  A couple days ago i pulled out a large package of chicken breasts which i’d gotten at a good sale but had frozen as a whole package  because i was in a hurry.  So all 7 or 8 chicken breasts got mostly defrosted and put into the crockpot in a bath of Mojo.  The smell all day was divine and the taste even better.  In the end it was shredded and sauced up with the recently canned Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce but it would have been fine just like it was.  So, honey, get your Mojo working!    As the Cubans would say, “Para luego es tarde” (translated “For later, it’s late”; in other words, “Don’t wait! Do it now!”

Mojo Criollo

Ever have a recipe that calls for buttermilk but you’re just plumb out?  You can fake it.  Add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to your regular ol’ moo juice aka cow’s milk and voila!  Poor man’s buttermilk.  I love tips like that so i was very excited to find this link to Food Network’s Top 100 Tips from their cooking show hosts and other renowned chefs.  I’ll give you a few that i found interesting but you should read them for yourselves.  Good stuff!

If you have favorite tips and cooking secrets you’d be willing to share with the gang, let us know!  They will happily find themselves in another post.  On that note, here’s my last tip for the day, so happy cooking and happy eating!

April’s Tip of the Day:  Southern Cookin’ Makes You Good Lookin’!

Tips from Food Network:

If you’re cooking for someone important — whether it’s your boss or a date — never try a new recipe and a new ingredient at the same time.
Marcus Samuelsson

Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions and cook it the rest of the way in the pan with sauce.
Mario Batali

After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.
Gerard Craft 

When you deep-fry, hold each piece of food with long tongs as you add it to the oil. Hold it just below the oil’s surface for five seconds before releasing it. This will seal the exterior and stop it from sticking to the pot or the other food.
Michael Psilakis

Anytime you are using raw onions in a salsa and you are not going to eat that salsa in the next 20 minutes or so, be sure to rinse the diced onions under cold running water first, then blot dry. This will rid them of sulfurous gas that can ruin fresh salsa. It’s really important in guacamole, too.
Mark Miller

When making mashed potatoes, after you drain the potatoes, return them to the hot pan, cover tightly and let steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry out so they’ll mash to a beautiful texture and soak up the butter and cream more easily.
Wolfgang Puck

When baking cookies, be sure your dough is thoroughly chilled when it goes on your baking pan. This will allow the leavening ingredients to work before the butter flattens out and your cookies lose their textural distinctions.
Norman Van Aken


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