Back to Basics: 7 Tips For Improving Your Cooking Skills Today
Welcome to Back to Basics! With the help of instructional videos, this tutorial miniseries breaks down a handful of the most important kitchen skills into easy steps. Learn to refine your knife skills, pickle onions, prevent avocados from browning, store herbs, and get out of chopping garlic. Let’s get started!
1. Keep those avocado halves green.
Don’t let a sliced avocado languish in the fridge, only to turn brown and end up in compost. Instead, simply spray it with Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray. That’s all it takes to prevent oxidation by air (AKA certain death for avocados). While it won’t last forever, it will give you more time—a precious commodity in ‘cado land—to use it before it goes bad.
2. Our favorite flavorful garlic hacks.
Sometimes, you just don’t have the time for a time-consuming task like chopping garlic. But have no fear! The microplane is here. “Microplaner” is just a fancy word for the finest of the fine graters. Using it to process garlic for any dish is an ultra convenient (and safe) alternative to cutting with knives. Don’t be shocked if the result looks more like blended garlic than chopped. It’s a good thing, because the more you can burst open the cells of the garlic, the more potent its flavor will be. 😉
3. The foolproof way to slice an onion (plus a bonus recipe for pickled onions).
Given the number of dishes that call for onions, we estimate that you’ve cut hundreds of onions in your life. If you’d like to learn how to make every slice the perfect slice, follow along with Chef Maria in the next video. Bonus: she’s also provided step by step instructions on how to make pickled red onions.
Perfectly Pickled Red Onions:
½ red onion, sliced in juliennes
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp sugar or agave syrup
½ cup hot water, divided in half
2 limes, juiced
Cut half of a red onion into juliennes or thin slices.
In a small bowl, mix the salt and sugar with ¼ cup of the hot water.
Mix in the lime juice and onion slices.
Pour enough of the remaining hot water over the onions to cover them. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.
The pickled onions will be ready to use right away. Store any remaining amount in an airtight container in the fridge.
4. Extend the life of your fresh herbs.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever purchased a bundle of fresh herbs from the grocery store, only to find them rotten in the fridge drawer a few days later? RIP basil. We are guilty too! That’s why we wanted to share this ingenious hack that’ll help your herbs stay fresher, for longer (so you can actually use them).
5. Peel, cut, and prep ginger for any recipe.
Ginger is one of our favorite ingredients for its spicy, sweet flavor and anti-inflammatory properties. While it’s not the easiest thing to work with, it's always worth the time spent. In the video below, we make the process a bit easier for you as Chef Maria leads us through the best way to peel, cut down, and prep ginger for any recipe.
6. How to roughly chop onions add flavor to your stews, broths, and more.
Learn to quarter and roughly chop onion with enviable precision in this video. Use this knife hack to chop your onion into quarters, perfect for adding extra flavor to stews, soups and broths! Don’t miss this important lesson from our Back To Basics series.
7. How to dice an onion like a pro.
Want to learn how to wield a kitchen knife like Bobby Flay? We’ve broken down the most important cuts into easy steps. This video shows you how to dice an onion with expert precision. Sure, these skills might not make your food actually taste better, but the truth is that we eat with our eyes first.
More cooking tips and inspiration from the Chosen Foods Blog: