#1 Defrost frozen food at room temperature! When you come to defrosting your poultry, you’d better not leave it in its original packaging, because it may sit too long in a pool of meat juices that will leak from the bird as the poultry thaws. Ideally, place the poultry in a sieve over a bowl, so that the juices leaking from the thawing bird can drop off right away.
If defrosting allows for no delay, you can start thawing the poultry also in the microwave oven, at the lowest temperature or using the defrost setting.
#2 Do not refreeze poultry once it has been defrosted, because harmful bacteria that may appear on your frozen food upon thawing will find the moisture a culture-fluid to multiply in. And by inappropriate preparation, you may also risk serious diseases.
#3 Score goose and duck skin always in the same direction, so it will look nicer when served.
#4 Using a sharp knife score the skin in a diagonal direction closely. Thereby you can enhance the surface that renders more tasty fat to use for cooking later on.
#5 You can boost the taste of your ready-cooked food if you season but not salt the raw meat on the night before you plan to cook it and store it covered or wrapped-up in the fridge overnight. Salt in the marinade or the rub pulls the water out of the meat even before roasting.
#6 Once your food is ready, leave it under a cover until serving. This way the meat will not become dry and lose on its juiciness and pleasurable consistence.
#7 When deboning any kind of meat, use a knife with a narrow blade, because it will enable you to more easily and efficiently remove the bones (and to minimize loss on meat). You can use the bones to prepare a base with vegetables that you can also freeze and later add to any soup or sauce.
#8 Meat and liver pastes can be kept longer if put in a preserving jar or bowl and fully and thickly covered by fat rendered during their preparation.
#9 When preparing meat for cooking - either by seasoning or cutting - use a chopping board made of plastic or glass rather than of wood. The former ones are easier to be kept tidy and are normally dishwasher safe.
#10 When preparing a dish of several ingredients, cut the meat always as last, thus avoiding that all the other ingredients touch raw meat.
#11 Using fresh spices and herbs, you get more delicate tastes and higher nutritional value. Dried whole spices – like green pepper or star anise – will have a more intense aroma, if you toast them on a knob of butter before grinding, bashing or crushing in a mortar, using the pestle to mix.
#12 Never stir caster sugar when caramelising it with a wooden spoon, but wait until the sugar becomes liquid and light brown. Through being stirred, it may become lumpy and will surely stick to the wooden spoon.
#13 Fresh fruits can be substituted by frozen or canned fruits.
#14 Peel and dice potatoes only right before cooking them, because they may turn brown if they have access to oxygen.
#15 Chestnuts are to be scored easier, if soaked in cold water one hour ahead of preparation.
#16 Peel fresh ginger with a teaspoon to minimize loss of the ginger flesh.
#17 You can remove the skin of a tomato easily and efficiently by cutting off the top first and throwing it into boiling water for a maximum of 30 seconds. Then cool it down in a bowl of cold water and peel the fruit.