KITCHEN SECRETS

Clean Rice is Nice


Rinse rice in a tilted pot. Put the rice in the pot, then lean the handle against one side of the sink. Adjust the faucet so that the water flows slowly into the pot near the handle, then gently spills out the other side. Swish the rice occasionally. More ways to rinse rice, pg. 113 in 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets.

Staying Green


Avocados inevitably turn rusty brown. Stave off the damage by mashing a ripe avocado with a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise. Then cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap. More ways to limit discoloration, pg. 241 in 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets.

Rolls vs. Buns?


Generally, rolls are cylindrical, buns round. Rolls are yeast breads, buns sometimes sweet. Speaking of rolls and buns, why do eateries persist in stashing veal parmesan into round ones? Given the shape of scaloppini, using a roll seems more reasonable. (Recipe to try: Veal Parmesan.)How to shape bread dough, pg. 534 in 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets.

Feeling Groovy


 Make psychedelic cupcakes. I borrowed this idea from Betty Crocker: Divide white frosting among three bowls. Dye one blue, one yellow, one red. Alternating colours, dollop heaping teaspoonfuls into a piping bag fitted with a large starburst tip.

S is for Scapes


The flower stalks of garlic bulbs are called scapes. They look like chives on steroids. Scapes are sometimes called garlic flowers (although they have no actual flowers) or garlic whips (because they are curly).

G is for Green Garlic


A garlic plant starts out as a wee bulb with a green shoot. This is green garlic a.k.a. young garlic, spring garlic or baby garlic. A farmer may pull it out when thinning a garlic patch, or harvest it on purpose as a delicacy.

Runny vs. Firm?


The butter tart debate is as Canadian as the tarts themselves: Should they be oozy, or firm enough to hold their own once you take a bite? You can adjust a tart recipe. For runnier, silkier tarts, reduce baking time by about 5 minutes and enjoy them slightly warm. For firmer, chewier filling, switch from corn syrup to cane or maple syrup, increase baking time by about 5 minutes, fully cool or refrigerate the tarts, or set them aside for a day. Tart shell tips, pg. 579 in 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets.

Pleasing to the Ear


Soak ears of corn 30 to 60 minutes before grilling. This prevents excessive charring before the kernels become tender, and keeps them moister and plumper. Ways to cook corn, pg. 251 in 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets.

Foiled Again


 Ribs can get leathery on the grill unless you tenderize them first or cook them very slow and low. Utilize the power of steam to tenderize and speed up the process. Double-wrap each seasoned rack in heavy foil and grill, lid down, over direct medium heat for an hour, turning once.