The pandemic quarantine have "encouraged" or "forced" people to cook at home. Cooking is so necessary to our survival. If we do not cook, we must either eat out, have someone to cook for us or starve. (Please read this post to the end for good ideas)
Cooking is such a pleasant and enjoyable activity. It involves most of our senses; touch, eyes, smell, taste and at times hearing the timer or the sizzle.
The following are some of my hacks and hopefully, they may help you as they have helped me through the years.
Hack #1: If you are roasting meat and do not have a roasting rack, try placing a layer of chopped veggies like carrots and celery, etc. at the bottom of the baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over it generously and place the meat on top. That will keep the meat above the bottom of the pan and won’t burn it.
Hack #2: So, you are making pasta right? Then please do not add oil to the boiling water. Unfortunately, the oil will prevent whichever sauce you are making from sticking to the pasta. I used to do that years ago but thanks to some TV Italian chefs, I learned that it was a no, no.
Hack #3: Always, and I mean always, please taste the food while you are cooking. There is nothing worse than a tasteless meal, or an overly salted steak.
Hack #4: Please plan your weekly meals menu, then, put together your groceries list. This will help you to purchase all the ingredients that you need for the week, prevent wondering through the isles for ideas of what you will cook, help you to just go grocery shopping one day a week, especially, to keep you safe during this terrible pandemic and last but not least, it will save you money, since you are buying what you need for that time period. And please, go grocery shopping on a full stomach, smile.
Hack #5: Purchase at least one rotisserie chicken a week. If you have a household of 2. However, if you have a household of 5 or under, the purchase 2. Why? Read:
Rotisserie #1: You will have the main ingredient of one day already prepared. Use the 2 breasts with a veggie like steamed broccoli and add a starch like couscous.
Rotisserie #2: Save the chicken drums to make arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) for two people. Then add a salad and your meal is complete.
Rotisserie #3: Remove the skin, the bones and shred the rest of the chicken for other dishes. (Then save all the bones and some of the toasty dark brown skin for stock) Refrigerate.
Rotisserie #4: With the shredded chicken you can make enchiladas, chicken chili, or chicken salad for two people any day of the week. To make chicken stock with the bones and skin, saute them in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil, add carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaves, cilantro, peppers, etc., then add enough water to fill the saucepan about half way. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let it cool and strain to get a good homemade stock.
Rotisserie #5: Use your chicken stock to make chicken with rice and drums, or a lentil soup with some of that shredded chicken, chopped carrots and potatoes or add to any stew.
Rotisserie #6: If you still have any shredded chicken leftover, use it to make an omelet mixed with tater tots or chopped potatoes.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.