Wolfgang Puck Tips:
(Excerpted from Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy by Rutledge Hill Press)
· When making stock it's important to skim it thoroughly and often so that it will be clear and have a pure flavor. Also, chefs don't salt their chicken stock because they often reduce it for sauces. But you can salt yours if you are going to be using it for soups.
· Store tomatoes at room temperature. Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator, as their sugars will cease to develop and their flavor will be muted.
· To prevent dulling the edges of your knives, store them in either a storage block with horizontal slots or, for blocks with vertical slots, put them in with the cutting edge facing up.
· Choose wooden spoons made of olive wood rather than softwoods, like pine, because olive wood is not as porous and will last longer without splintering.
· Shop for cookware with stainless steel handles that are riveted directly onto the pans. The connection is secure and stays intact when the cookware goes through different temperature changes, plus, it stays cooler than other metals.
· If you have limes that are very hard to juice, microwave them for 15 to 20 seconds before squeezing.
· When deep-frying, choose an oil that has a high smoke point. Corn, canola, peanut, soy, and safflower oils are excellent choices. Also, change your oil after each use to prevent unhealthy substances from being introduced to your food
· Buy shrimp that are firm and have a fresh, clean scent. Avoid any that look or feel gritty or mushy, are yellowing, have black spots on their shells, or smell unpleasant in any way.
· When making mashed potatoes, after you drain the potatoes return them to the hot pan, cover tightly, and allow them to steam for 5 minutes. Doing this allows them to dry out so they'll mash to a beautiful texture and soak up the butter and cream more readily.