Kitchen Tips - August 2009

  • We have always been told that bananas should never be put in the refrigerator. The fact is that putting bananas in the refrigerator will cause their skin to turn dark brown within 24 hours, since the cold damages tissues in the peel. But the dark skin won't affect the texture or flavor of the flesh, which in fact will ripen more slowly because the enzymes that convert starch into sugar work more slowly in the cold. If you have bananas that are already as ripe as you want, go ahead and refrigerate them.
  • For a lower calorie appetizer, substitute sliced jicama for tortilla chips, and serve along with fresh guacamole.
  • For a better cheeseburger, substitute a good blue cheese (not Danish blue) such as Roquefort, gorgonzola, and Stilton, or sharp Cheddars from Vermont or England. Aged Gouda is also a delicious option.
  • If you have more zucchini than you know that to do with, try grilling it. Cut zucchini lengthwise into strips between 1/8 and 1/16" thick. Brush the slices with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme and grill, turning until well-browned on both sides.
  • Store corn on the cob in its husks in a plastic bag and use it the day you buy it. Freshness is crucial because the sugar in corn begins converting to starch as soon as the ears leave the stalk.
  • To easily remove the silk from corn, remove the husks, then rub the ears with a damp paper towel. The silk will stick to the towel and come right off.

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