Two of My Favorite Tips and Tricks from Culinary School

I thought I would share two of my favorite culinary school tricks I have learned so far that I am currently obsessed with in my own kitchen.  I hope they’ll be as helpful to you, as they have been to me!

1) Put a mesh drawer liner underneath your cutting board to keep it in place.

On my first day of school, the chef suggested buying mesh drawer liner as a way to stabilize your cutting board. (you can also use a damp towel, but who wants a wet towel lying around all the time?)  I thought this was brilliant and told everyone I knew about it.  I was even readily willing to cut friends and family their own piece from my personal roll.

This works wonders and you will easily be able to chop and slice without the cutting board sliding beneath you.  You can buy a roll at any hardware store.  Cut it so it is about 3/4 of the size of your cutting board.

2) Deglazing.  No more scrubbing burnt pots, pans and baking sheets!  For some recipes, you use the caramelized bits stuck to the pan (called Fond) in a sauce to accompany what was just cooked in the pan.  Typically wine or another type of liquid is used for deglazing when creating a pan sauce.  But when your pan, pot or baking sheet looks like this sans a sauce, here is what you can do:

Heat the pot, pan, or baking dish on the stove top, and pour some water it in.

Using a wooden spoon or the utensil that was used for cooking, push the bits back and forth to remove these pieces from the bottom of the pan.

Empty the pan of the liquid and debris and…….

Voila, you have a clean pan!

I wish someone would have told me about this when I received my new shiny All-Clad set 7 years ago.  Sigh.  Well, at least going forward, no more additional brown stains on my pots and pans!

Stay tuned as I plan on sharing more tidbits of useful information as I learn them!