There’s nothing more delicious — nor that transmits more love — than the food of our mothers and grandmothers. They make everything in the kitchen look easy because of their experience.
If you want to cook like them, these tricks can help you feel like a pro in the kitchen:
1. If you’re taste-testing a soup or stew and it seems too salty, add a potato cut into cubes. They’ll absorb the salt and your soup or stew will taste just right.
2. Add some grains of rice to your salt shaker to prevent clumpy salt.
3. Add a generous pinch of salt and a glug of oil to the cooking water for pasta. This way, you’ll prevent the pasta from sticking and it will finish with a full flavor.
4. If you want to make grating fresh cheese easier, put it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for an hour before grating.
5. An easy way to peel tomatoes is by making a small cut in the form of a cross at the base of the tomato and submerging it in boiling water for a minute. The skin will peel off easily.
6. To peel a clove of garlic, pound it with the blunt side of a knife. Give it a firm knock with your hand and from there, just peel the paper off.
7. To choose an avocado that’s ready to eat, check to be sure that the skin is bumpy and dark green or black. Give a gentle squeeze — if it yields to gentle pressure, it’s ready to eat.
8. If you bought an avocado that’s still green, don’t worry. To accelerate ripening, put the avocado in a paper bag and leave it in a dark, dry corner of the kitchen. Check it daily until it reaches the point of maturation you desire.
9. When you want to make hard-boiled eggs, remember to let the eggs reach room temperature before you put them in the boiling water with a spoon. That way, the shell won’t break when it makes contact with the water.
10. To peel roasted chiles easily, take them off the grill or out of the oven and place them in a plastic bag. When they cool, the skin will peel off with minimal effort. It’s not a good idea to run them under water because they’ll lose their flavor.
11. If you have leftover avocado, add a few drops of lemon juice to the cut side of the avocado and cover it with plastic wrap. This way, you’ll keep it from going brown and it will stay fresh for a longer period of time.
12. Liven up rice! For every serving of rice, use 1-1/2 cups of salted water. Stir the rice in a little bit of oil until it’s translucent. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover the pot, and lower the flame. In 15 minutes, you’ll have a perfect rice.
Now it’s your turn to pamper your mom and grandmother with a dish you’ve made! They’ll be proud of you!