1. Proper seasoning is paramount. First, lose your saltshaker. Pinch kosher salt straight from a dish. The coarse grains and the touch of your fingers give you maximum control. Add a pinch, taste, and repeat if necessary.
2. Oops—too much salt? Use a splash of vinegar to provide a counterbalancing punch of acid and sweetness.
3. For deeply flavored foods, don’t overcrowd the pan. Ingredient overload makes a pan’s temperature plummet, and foods end up steaming rather than caramelizing. This adds cooking time and subtracts taste. All ingredients should fit comfortably in one layer, so use a pan that’s big enough for the job, and cook in batches if necessary.
4. Nothing beats crispy chicken skin. Buy a whole chicken the day before you’ll cook it, sprinkle on a tablespoon of kosher salt, and leave it uncovered in the fridge. The air and salt will draw out excess water.
5. If you slice into your meat right after it comes off the grill, those precious juices, still circulating with residual heat, will bleed out onto your plate. Let the meat rest: Wait 5 minutes before biting into burgers or grilled chicken, 7 minutes before cutting into steaks, and at least 15 minutes before carving a turkey or a larger roast.
6. Bottled dressings are a waste of money and calories. Make your own vinaigrette by whisking together three parts oil (olive, canola, or sesame) with one part vinegar (balsamic, red-wine, or rice), plus salt and pepper. Build extra flavor by adding minced shallot, Dijon mustard, fresh herbs, or honey.
7. The secret to great pasta sauce? The cooking water. Save a cup of the pasta’s cooking water before you drain it, and add the water to your sauce as needed. The starch in it helps the sauce adhere to the pasta, creating a creamier, more flavorful final product.
8. Never store tomatoes in the refrigerator. And keep peaches, potatoes, onions, bread, garlic, and coffee out of there, too. Cold temperatures compromise the flavor and texture of these staples.
9. Try cooking with a 50:50 mixture of butter and olive oil. Butter brings big, rich flavors, but it burns and blackens at very low temperatures. Oil prevents the milk solids in butter from charring, allowing you to ratchet up the heat.
10. Teflon coatings can deteriorate on high heat, so save your nonstick pans for gentler tasks like cooking omelets and sauteing fish.
11. Great cocktails need serious shaking. Bond was wrong—martinis (and other drinks) that are made with clear spirits should be stirred. Shake only cocktails made with fruit juices.
12. More pucker for the price! Zap lemons, limes, or oranges for 15 seconds in the microwave before squeezing them. The fruit will yield twice as much juice. Another round of G&Ts, anyone?
13. Pan roasting is a popular restaurant technique rarely employed by home cooks. Preheat a cast-iron or stainless-steel pan on the stove with a bit of olive oil until you see wisps of smoke rise. Add your chicken, steak, or fish, and cook until one side is nicely browned—about 3 to 4 minutes. Then flip it and place the entire pan in a 400°F oven to finish cooking.
14. The problem: Dense meats like steak, pork, or chicken legs can burn on the outside before they’re fully cooked on the inside. The solution: Insert a clean stainless-steel rod or nail into the thickest part of the meat, and finish cooking. “The nail will act as a conductor, drawing in heat and cooking the meat from the inside out,” says Roland Henin, CMC, U.S. coach for the 2009 Bocuse d’Or Culinary Olympics.
15. The best tool in your kitchen is your mouth. Taste a dish at least three times during the cooking process, adjusting the seasoning every step of the way.
16. Go to the supermarket on hump day. Research shows that only 11 percent of people shop for groceries on Wednesday, making it the best day to be in the aisles. And only 4 percent of people shop after 9 p.m. You may have to track down somebody to fetch fresh stuff from the back room, but what else do they have to do at that hour? Plus, shorter checkout lines mean less time reading the National Enquirer.
17. Pat meat and fish dry before cooking. Surface moisture creates steam when it hits a hot pan or grill, impeding caramelization. If your fish has skin, use a sharp knife to squeegee off the water trapped within it.
18. If you want perfect al dente pasta, adapt the box directions. Drain the pasta about 1 minute before the package tells you to. Dump the noodles back into the pot and stir in the heated sauce. The pasta will finish cooking in the pot.
19. Always cook fish skin side down first. The skin keeps the flesh of the fish from drying out and provides a crunchy counterpoint to the tender meat. Cook your fillet undisturbed for 75 percent of the time on the skin side (about 5 minutes), and then flip it to the flesh side to finish.
20. Instantly improve your next TV dinner. After cooking, add fresh herbs, a squeeze of citrus, and a drizzle of olive oil to transform any frozen entree.
21. Warm food served on a cold plate is a ROOKIE MISTAKE. Heat your dishes in a 150°F oven for 10 minutes before plating a meal. On the flip side, lightly chilled plates (use your freezer) boost the freshness of cold dishes like summer salads.
22. Overcooked meat? Salvage dinner: Slice the meat thinly, put it on a plate, and top it with chopped tomato, onion, and jalapeño. Add olive oil and fresh lime juice (or a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette; see #6). The acid and oil will restore moisture and fat to the mistreated meat.
23. Don’t Dice a digit. Cut awkward-to-slice vegetables—such as mushrooms, carrots, and peppers—by first cleaving them in half. Then rest the flat parts on the cutting board.
24. Keep a spray bottle of sherry or rice vinegar on hand while you’re cooking. “Misting a scallop, a piece of fish, or even a salad really helps brighten and balance all the flavors,” says Wylie Dufresne, chef at New York City’s wd-50.
25. Freshen up limp vegetables: Drop your aging produce into ice water before cooking. Plants wilt due to water loss; ice water penetrates their cells to restore crispness.
26. Put steaks and chops in a zip-top bag and then immerse the bag in tepid water for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Raising meat’s internal temperature makes it easier to cook evenly all the way through.
27. Time your salting well. If you add salt to vegetables as soon as they hit the pan, the sodium will draw out moisture. (They’ll steam, not brown.) For deep, flavorful caramelization, add salt at the end.
28. Think of a broiler as an inverted grill, ready to bring serious, concentrated heat to whatever food you place below it. Chicken breasts, pork chops, and steaks take about 10 minutes to broil; just be sure to flip them midway through the cooking process, as you would when grilling.
29. Avoid a visit to the E.R. Place a damp kitchen towel underneath your cutting board to prevent it from rocking or slipping while you’re chopping or slicing foods.
30. The secret to perfectly cooked bacon: Skip the pan or the skillet. Bacon’s tendency to scrunch up makes for uneven cooking. Instead, place bacon on a baking sheet and roast in a 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, for that perfectly crisp (but not too crisp) texture.
got these from Men’s health…..