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Share one of your tips or secrets!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

From another post, I came up with an idea that could be interesting. To be a great chef you must be open to new things and its a constant learning process. What if we all share one tip or secret that would help benefit one another someday down the line? Could be something basic to advance, its a learning process so its either we've learned it before or haven't. 

 

I'll start with one. 

 

Some of you might already know but I still see people peeling ginger the hard way. Use a spoon and done.

post #2 of 23

Unless you are eating the ginger there's no need to peel it.  

 

Is there?

post #3 of 23
If your shelling a bunch of garlic, put inside a container and shake vigorously. Cippolinis slip right out of their peel when you soak them for a couple minutes in boiling water. Grate soft cheeses like feta and Gorgonzola with a resting rack. Poach eggs in shallow water
post #4 of 23
Resting rack to cut avo for guac. Sandwich cherry tomatoes between a cam to lid and cutting board to slice them all in half at once. Buy a sauté fork. Keep a stack of pans on a low burner to decrease cook times. Start boiling eggs and potatoes in cold water. Use a cold pan to compress skin on fish to get evenly crisped skin.
post #5 of 23

 dont kick the health inspector out of your kitchen for not having a hat on.......

post #6 of 23
If you need pomegranade seeds for a recipe,try this
Cut it like an orange that you wand for juice and then hold the half in your palm and with a sponn hit it on top...thats it...
post #7 of 23

Don't juggle with knives?

 

Seriously - when moving things on a cutting board with you knife (I know - one should avoid that where possible) turn it around and use the spine - decreases blunting the blade due to sweeping motion

 

When cooking stock - keep the sous chef away (they tend to taste more than is in the pot) *jk*

post #8 of 23

dont grab the plastic wrap when it decides to fall....

 

that saw will take a chunk out of you......

post #9 of 23

When you need to sharpen a crappy kitchen knife (if you don't have your own sharp knives), use the unglazed bottom rim of a plate.

 

Fastest way to remove the skin off peppers e.g. Poblanos: DEEP FRY them for 3-4 min. Let it cool and you can literally peel the skin off by hand or hold the pepper in your hand with a towel and rub the skin off. Personally I cut the pepper and in half and you peel the entire skin off in seconds. Way quicker than roasting or broiling and less waste from burnt peppers.

 

Literally every single person I've ever worked with cleans the flat top grill in a different way, but here's my method that I think is fastest and easiest:

- Just take some oil from the fryer and hit it with the grill brick with a set of heavy duty grill gloves that go up your forearms. Less than 5 min of elbow grease and it's clean, but also won't stick in the morning.

All the other guys that use ice and lemon juice or chemicals and get it shiny silver do a good job too but it just takes too long IMO and the grill sticks like a mofo in the morning.

post #10 of 23
If your pot if chili gets too thick, thin it out with a little bit of quality bloody mary mix like Zing, which is mainly pureed vegetables and spices...adds some good flavor too.
post #11 of 23

if you are having sex in the restaurant after it Closes don't do it below the camera over the bar.

post #12 of 23

Dijon is a fantastic secret ingredient. When finishing a soup, chowder, a dressing, a marinade, crab cakes, just about anything, I find that it can really bring together a dish, gives, depth, bite, it just really makes it.

When cooking bacon on sheet pans, put them on the rack & roll at an angle, it makes it much easier to drain off the grease.

Save your oil from caramelizing onions and garlic, it's tasty.

Par-cooked hash browns in a low temp (350) oven for 20-30 minutes before finishing in a high temp (550) oven gives a nice crisp on the outside and keeps them soft inside.

A tablespoon of coffee and/or red wine and/or the juice from a freshly grilled steak makes a Caesar (or Bloody Mary) absolutely brilliant!

post #13 of 23

I like this thread. 

 

Skewer the butt ends of asparagus and turn them all over at once when grilling. 

De-seed pomegranates in a bowl of water. 

post #14 of 23
That asparagus one is good. Another of my favorites may sound nuts but it works like a charm: use a 1oz or 2oz ladle for a vitamix instead of the plunger or a spatula. The rounded bottom stops it from ever damaging or being damaged by the blade, even if you just let it go. Great for sauces and purées. Also to get the last it out of the bottom just use a small offset spat, it gets right in those corners.
post #15 of 23
If you an EX or owner treat your staff like family.
post #16 of 23

1)  Make sure the dishpit has a stack of boxtops or pieces of cardboard handy.  Use these as disposable "squeegees" to muck out the congealed bacon fat from sheetpans, fat from roasting pans, gunk from hotel pans, or any other crud.  Any eejit will otherwise  aim the spray gun on a bacon fat covered sheetpan and hope it all washes down the drain--NOT

 

2) get a sheet pan and line it with bbq bricks.  Shove this in your standard p.o.s. convection oven, and bake ontop of the bricks for a nice deep bottom crust.

 

3) If you have copper pots, save that pickle brine!!! Vinegar AND salt in one bucket!  , Toss in your copper pots directly in the brine and they come out like a new penny.

 

4) Split a banana into three perfect filets:  Jam your index finger into one end of a peeled bannana and push,  the bannana will automatically split into three perfect filets  If this doesn't impress your boss, it will definitely gross out the waitresses...

 

5) Keep a bunch of (home despot/Lowes) bricks in your p.o.s Garland-type gas oven at all times.  Use these to preheat cambros or heating trolleys.  No danger of burning or noxious fumes as with sterno.

 

6) Try Worcestershire in quiche custard  filling, bay leaves in rice pudding or vanilla sauce.  Brown sugar = 90% regular sugar and 10% molasses..

 

7)Dried papaya seeds make a convincing substitute for whole black pepper..........

 

8) Never ever tell the health inspector they have no right to inspect this or that........

 

9) Baking soda removes stains (Coffee/ tea etc) from s/s sinks and coffee urns faster than any commercial product--and cheaper

 

and

 

10) Cigar butts can be bought from the night porter for the princely sum of a club house s/w.  Drop one butt into each toilet of the women's change room about an hour before morning shift starts.  A good Monte cristo needs about an hour to properly swell up, shed tobacco, and stain the water....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #17 of 23

Peel Kee wees with a teaspoon not a knife

 

clean burnt sheet pans and pots by making a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda rub it in

 

wrap a bunch of celery in aluminum foil it will stay crisp for over 2 weeks

 

to make egg salad without  peeling eggs simply break the eggs into boiling water and let them hard poach, then put in cold water bath to cool then chop.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #18 of 23

Quote:

Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

 

clean burnt sheet pans and pots by making a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda rub it in

 

 

to make egg salad without  peeling eggs simply break the eggs into boiling water and let them hard poach, then put in cold water bath to cool then chop.

 

lol @ chopping eggs for egg salads / potato salads / any kind of salads

 

Just smash the boiled eggs through one of these

 

And to clean anything:

Put it on the stovetop and crank the burners to high until everything is burned off. Turn your pans upside down over the flame. To clean the metal things around the stove, put a half sheet pan over it and it will burn off everything stuck to the metal. 

We use a rectangular cast iron skillet to toast buns in high volume situations and we get them looking like brand new by letting everything on it burn off for 20 minutes. Looks brand new after doing so.

post #19 of 23

Thats what clean fryer baskets are for.....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #20 of 23

Scale your fish in a big plastic bag.

post #21 of 23
We use the metal frame to a linen basket with a trash bag over it to scale fish. No mess.
post #22 of 23

Heh here's one:

 

Slamming a bag or box of frozen stuff on the floor will break it apart.

post #23 of 23

I love this thread!

 

To transfer a puree, aioli or other thick liquid into a squeeze bottle spread it out over a big piece of plastic wrap. Bring the corners up together and squeeze together like you plastic wrap a sous-vide egg. Poke a hole in the middle of the bulge with the tip of a pairing knife and squeeze the contents into the neck of the squeeze bottle. 100% yield, takes 10 seconds start to finish and no more product dripping down the sides of the squeeze bottle.

 

When making a fruit or berry coulis puree in a blender first, cook then strain through a fine chinois. Cooking the puree as opposed to whole berries is a lot faster, cooks very evenly and prevents scorching. Pretty much fool proof.

 

Keep a pint container of salt on your station to hold and sanitize cake testers. Prevents them from falling out of your chef's jacket (happens constantly!) and keeps them sanitized between uses.

 

Poach eggs in a ring mold in shallow water. Eggs keep their shape, are easy to transfer out of the water and can poach as many eggs as rings molds fit in the vessel.

 

Blanch vegetables in a pasta basket and shock in ice water. No more fishing for around for every piece. Alternatively drain the whole pot into a perforated pan and place the perforated pan into a hotel pan filled with ice water. Simply lift the perforated pan out to drain with no ice cubes to pick out.

 

Rub peeled pears and apples with a clean green dish scrubby to give them a perfect shape and round off the faces,

 

Freeze pancetta or slab bacon and set the slicer to the desired thickness for evenly shaped and speedy lardons.

 

Use a fingerling potato for tournes, saves so much time and effort!

 

Gently wrap chives or scallions with a clean towel or moist paper towel to keep in place on the cutting board. Can cut 8 oz. of chives perfectly in the time in takes other cooks to do 1/2 an ounce.

 

Designate a spray bottle for oil for clean and light lubrication for the grill rods. Saves money on non-stick spray and no more sloppy oil rags under the grill.

 

Keep acid reductions on your mise for bearnaise, beurre blanc etc. Saves a step on busy nights and last forever in the fridge.

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