Kitchen Tips - November 2013

  • Salted caramel and salted chocolate are popular flavors because sweet and salty flavors work well together. Accordingly, you can experiment with flaky sea salt (or use coarse kosher salt in a pinch) on all flavors of ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream bars and baked treats – cookies, brownies, apple pie and cake, to name a few. Try sprinkling just a few flakes on fresh fruits, such as apples, oranges, grapefruits, pears, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes and pineapple, too.
  • Turn basic roasted vegetables into a special side dish: drizzle hot veggies with pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze, stir in chopped toasted nuts or seeds and chopped dried fruit such as apricot, pear, apple, cherries, cranberries or golden raisins. Finish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • Brussels sprouts are great raw! Slice them thinly or shred them and use in a slaw or salad. Try mixing with chopped toasted nuts and dried fruit (apricot is great!) and a poppy seed or sweet slaw dressing to offset the sprouts' naturally bitter notes.
  • Keep clean lids and screw tops of often-purchased condiments, jams, honeys, etc. When the top of your current bottle or jar gets sticky or messy, remove it and put it in the dishwasher, replacing the caked-on cap with the clean spare.
  • Make a dinner-party presentation of your favorite layer cake: Following the curve on one side of each plate, put dots of barely warm (not hot!) chocolate, caramel or fruit sauce in descending order: the first the size of a quarter, a second the size of a nickel and the third the size of a dime. Using the tip of a knife or wooden skewer, starting in the center of the largest dot, pull through the center of the dots and past the smallest in a single motion to link them all together. (If you are nervous, practice on a sheet of waxed paper first.) Place slices of cake (or an individual serving of another dessert) on the other side of the plate. Experiment with different sizes of dots and different dragging tools for variations on this look.

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