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Kosher Kitchen Secrets and Tips from KosherEye
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Corn Tips

Corn_bundt
Cutting kernels off the cob
Cut corn from the cob without a mess. Place an ear in the center of a Bundt pan. As you slide the knife down, the corn will fall into the pan. Sweet Corn even Sweeter
Adding some sugar to the water used to cook to the corn will enhance its sweetness

Decorate with Corn
Cut a couple cooked cobs into small wheels and placing those wheels of fresh corn around the already cooked corn platter dish. A lovely presentation and your guests will know that they're eating fresh sweet corn!

corn-tooth-brush_300Toothbrush as Corn Cleaner
Use a clean toothbrush to remove stray threads of silk from freshly shucked ears of corn. The bristles will lift them away quickly and efficiently.

Cook and Shuck Corn in the Microwave
Watch our KosherEye Featured Video: Shucking Corn - Clean Ears Every Time

If you would like to buy a corn zipper- here's our favorite:
Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper, Stainless

 

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How to make them last longer and eliminate rusting

Gefen Steel Wood PadsWhen you purchase a box of steel wool pads, immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, you'll decide that this will be much more economical. In fact, you'll notice that the scissors get sharpened this way!

Plain steel wool pads, which are NOT filled with soap are kosher.  Steel wool pads which are filled with soap do need kosher certification.  Use steel wool to:

  • Eliminate coffee and tea stains from your carafe and porcelain mugs

  • Make your aluminum, iron and stainless steel pots and pans sparkle

  • Remove sticky tags, labels and glue off jars

  • Purge crusty baked-on food from casserole dishes

  • Brighten up flatware and serving utensils

  • Degrease stoves, ovens, broiler pans, oven racks and range hoods

Rachael Ray's steel wool tip: Watch this video to prevent steel wool from rusting.

One kosher brand of steel wool soap pads is Gefen Steel Wool Soap Pad (certified OU-P).

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10 Ways to Flavor Whipped Cream

by Alice Medrich, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

whippedcream

As much as I adore plain whipped cream, I also love that it can be flavored. It loses its marvelous neutral character and becomes a flavor component in its own right, and sometimes that is exactly what you want.

1.  Coffee Whipped Cream:
Stir 2 teaspoons espresso powder or 2 1/2 teaspoons freeze-dried coffee crystals and a generous tablespoon of sugar into 1 cup heavy cream. Whip as usual, tasting and adjusting the sweetness toward the end.

Tastes good with: chocolate desserts, strawberries, pineapple.

2. Cocoa Whipped Cream:
Use 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder and 4 teaspoons sugar for 1 cup heavy cream. Mix the cocoa and sugar with a tablespoon or two of the cream to form a thick paste (this serves to eliminate the lumps in the cocoa) before stirring in the rest of the cream. (For Mocha Whipped Cream, add 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons espresso powder or freeze dried coffee crystals to taste.) For the thickest texture and richest flavor, refrigerate for an hour or overnight before whipping.

Tastes good with: chocolate desserts.

3. Nibby Whipped Cream:
Start at least several hours ahead. Combine 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons roasted cacao nibs in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream into a bowl, pressing on the nibs to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the nibs. Refrigerate the cream for at least several hours, or overnight, before whipping, adding sugar to taste.

Tastes good with: chocolate desserts, meringues and Pavlov, coffee drinks, sweetened blackberries.

4.  Jasmine Whipped Cream:
Start at least 8 hours ahead. Stir 1 tablespoon good-quality jasmine tea leaves into 1 cup heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours (no longer). Strain the cream into a bowl, pressing on the tea leaves to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the tea leaves. Whip the cream with 2 teaspoons sugar; or refrigerate it to whip up to a day later.

Tastes good with: rich chocolate desserts.

5. Orange Blossom Whipped Cream:
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, and 3/4 teaspoon orange flower water* to 1 cup heavy cream. Whip as usual, tasting and adjusting the flavor and sweetness toward the end.

Tastes good with: chocolate desserts.

6. Rose Whipped Cream:
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon rose water to 1 cup heavy cream. Whip as usual, tasting and adjusting the flavor and sweetness toward the end.

Tastes good with: berries (in particular, strawberries), watermelon, chocolate desserts.

7. Halvah Whipped Cream:
Use 1/4 cup or more finely grated or crumbled halvah and 1 tablespoon of sugar (or more to taste) for 1 cup of cream. Whip and sweeten the cream as usual, then fold in the halvah. Or whip the halvah with the cream to start with, adding sugar to taste along the way; it won't get as fluffy, but the flavor will be more pronounced and the texture smoother.

Tastes good with: strawberries.

8.  Lemon Whipped Cream:
Use 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons cold Lemon Curd for 1 cup heavy cream. Whip the cream with the sugar and fairly thick but not quite stiff. Whisk in the lemon curd.

Tastes good with: strawberries or blueberries, fresh ginger gingerbread.

9. Fresh Mint Whipped Cream:
Start at least 8 hours ahead. Stir 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves into 1cup heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours (no longer). Strain the cream into a bowl, pressing on the mint leaves to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the mint. Whip the cream with sugar to taste; or refrigerate it to whip up to a day later.

Tastes good with: strawberries or other berries, bananas, sponge cake, chocolate desserts, coffee drinks.

10. Praline Whipped Cream:
Use 1/2 cup to 1 1/4 cup (to taste) finely chopped or crushed Praline for 1 cup heavy cream. Whip the cream until it holds a soft shape. If you fold in the crushed praline shortly before serving, it will retain its lovely crunch. If you whip the cream and add the praline a few hours in advance, the cream will dissolve the caramelized sugar and take on more of a burnt sugar flavor and color, though the bits of praline will be less crunchy. Divine either way!

Tastes good with: Berries, peaches, nectarines, bananas, apricots, chocolate desserts. Or use to top or fill a simple sponge cake or a nutty sponge cake. It's a superb filling for cream puffs too.

*Per KosherEye:
Substitutions for Orange Flower Water include: For 1/2 tsp orange flower water substitute 2 to 3 tsp orange liqueur; or additional grated orange zest  Other substitutes are orange extract, unsweetened orange juice concentrate. You can also use rose water or vanilla extract.

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A Pear Guide

There are over 3,000 known pear varieties grown around the world, but only a handful of heirloom varieties have been carefully cultivated into the juicy, delicious fruit known as Northwest–grown USA Pears. Each has a distinctive character, texture, and flavor. Try them all to find your favorites!

greenadjour

Green Anjou
In Season: September - July
Flavor Profile: refreshing, sweet, juicy, with a hint of citrus

The Anjou is an all-purpose pear whose dense flesh makes it excellent for snacking, cooking, and slicing fresh into salads or over a bowl of oatmeal. Its skin color remains green as it ripens, so Check the Neck for Ripeness!

redadjour

Red Anjou
In Season: September - May
Flavor Profile: aromatic, juicy, fresh and sweet

Sweet and succulent when ripe, red Anjou pears have a refreshingly sweet flavor and moist texture similar to their green counterparts. Their gorgeous maroon red skin adds a burst of color to salads, desserts, and entrees.

bartlette

Bartlett
In Season: August - February
Flavor Profile: signature pear flavor with abundant juice

The Bartlett pear is unique in that its color turns from bright green to golden yellow as it ripens. Its creamy, sweet and aromatic flesh is perfect for eating fresh, as well as for canning or adding to salads or desserts.

redbartlette

Red Bartlett
In Season: August - January
Flavor Profile: juicy and sweet with a floral essence

Red Bartlett pears turn a gorgeous bright red as they ripen, and have a smooth, sweet, and juicy flesh. These delicious pears add a colorful pop to salads and desserts, and create a pretty pink hue when pureed or juiced with their skin intact.

bosc

Bosc
In Season: September - April
Flavor Profile: crisp, woodsy and honey-sweet

Bosc pears are easily identified by their long, tapered necks, long stems, and skin that is naturally russeted to a cinnamon brown color. They have a dense, fragrant, honey-sweet flesh with a smooth texture that holds its shape well when heated. It is an excellent choice for eating fresh as well as for cooking.

comice

Comice
In Season: September - March
Flavor Profile: succulent, buttery, and exceptionally sweet

Comice pears have a full, round shape with a short neck and stem. They are most often green and sometimes have a red blush in spots. This succulent pear has a custardy flesh and a mellow sweetness that makes it an elegant dessert pear which is also delicious when paired with cheese.

concord

Concorde
In Season: September - February
Flavor Profile: crunchy, earthy with a hint of vanilla

The Concorde pear is known for its tall, elongated neck and firm, dense flesh. Its skin is golden green and oftentimes has golden yellow russeting in spots. Its vanilla-sweet flavor and firm texture holds up well in heated applications, and it is also excellent for snacking.

forelle1 

Forelle
In Season: October - March
Flavor Profile: crisp, tangy, and refreshingly sweet

The Forelle is an uncommon variety known for its smaller size and its unique yellow-green skin that is naturally decorated with crimson freckles. It has a crisp texture even when ripe, and is perfect for snacking, cooking, and pairing with wine and cheese.

sackel

Seckel
In Season: September - February
Flavor Profile: bite-sized, crunchy, and ultra-sweet

Seckel pears are easily recognized by their small size and olive-green skin with a maroon blush. Known for their crunchy flesh and ultra-sweet flavor, they are an excellent choice for children’s snacks, pickling, or garnishing.

starkrimson

Starkrimson
In Season: August – January
Flavor Profile: aromatic, moist and sweet with a floral essence

The Starkrimson pear is named for its brilliant crimson red color, which brightens as it ripens. It has a smooth flesh, sweet flavor, and a subtle floral aroma, making it perfect for snacking, salads, or any fresh use that shows off the brilliance of its skin.

USA Pears Bureau

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How to Use Red Star PLATINUM Yeast

Red Star® PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast is so simple to use and can be used in any recipe calling for yeast. It is a premium instant yeast blended with dough improvers* commonly used by professional bakers that will make your dough so forgiving that you will never be intimidated by yeast again!

rstarhowtouseFor Traditional Recipes
• BLEND PLATINUM Yeast with dry ingredients and half of the flour in the recipe.
• ADD very warm liquids (120- 130°F).  Avoid liquids that are too hot to touch.
• BLEND with enough remaining flour to make a firm dough.
• KNEAD on floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic.
• COVER, let REST a minimum of 10 minutes (or RISE to double, if desired)
• SHAPE dough as desired.  COVER and let RISE until doubled in size.
• BAKE as directed according to recipe.

For Bread Machines
• Use liquids at 80°F; Add liquids, flour, dry ingredients.  Add PLATINUM yeast last.
Red Star® PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast is a fast-rising, instant yeast; use ½ teaspoon per cup of flour in regular cycles.
• For express cycles, follow manufacturer’s manual for liquid temperatures and yeast levels.

Like any baker's yeast, Red Star® PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast is a living organism and must be handled properly to ensure optimum performance. Never expose yeast to high temperatures during storage or use. Never use liquids that are too hot to touch. 

Red Star® PLATINUM performs best in recipes that contain sugar and is certified Kosher parve under the rabbinical supervision of KOF-K.

NEVER AGAIN BE FEARFUL OF BAKING WITH YEAST!

*Red Star® PLATINUM is NOT gluten free because the dough improvers are derived from wheat flour.  NOTE: For  gluten free bakers, you can continue to use  Red Star® Active Dry Yeast or Red Star® Quick Rise Yeast.

from Red Star PLATINUM Yeast

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Recipe Card Holder – Improvise

skirthangerrecipes-001

Are you cooking/baking and need to look on the counter at the recipe? From Moxy Magazine, this easy tip for improvising a recipe card holder. Use a pants or skirt hanger instead — just hook it over a cabinet door pull and clip your recipe card into the clips used to hold your clothes.

Moxy Magazine

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How to Separate Eggs Using a Plastic Soda Bottle

This is so clever and so very easy. All it takes to separate the egg whites and yolks is an empty plastic soda bottle. Watch the following videos:

This is the original in Chinese

And here is one in English

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Cookie Tips

cookiestack

  1. To discourage overbrowned cookie bottoms (which can happen when an oven heats unevenly), insulate the baking sheet by placing it inside a second baking sheet of the same size. The thin layer of air between the sheets will  protect the top sheet form getting too hot.

  2. To revive crisp cookies that have softened, bake them for 5 to 10 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Let them cool completely before storing.

  3. To help soft cookies keep their texture, store them in an airtight container with a ceramic brown sugar softener, or with a piece of apple on a piece of aluminum foil, or soft bread (remove the apple after 24 hours).

from Tips Cook Love, Sur La Table, Rick Rodgers, Andrews McMeel Publishing

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Parchment Paper Tip

parchmentbakingpaper

Do you wonder how to make a piece of parchment paper lie flat on the baking sheet? Well, wonder no more!

Parchment paper is often sold in rolls, so when you want to use it, it remains in a curl. When you buy a roll, take a few minutes to cut it into lengths to fit your baking sheets. Put the stack of cut sheets between two baking sheets, then store them together to “iron” the parchment flat. If you have to use curly paper, butter the pan first to help the paper adhere.

from Tips Cooks Love, Rick Rodgers, Sur la Table

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Crème Fraîche

cremefaicheThis thick dairy product resembles sour cream, but its flavor is much less tangy and more buttery. Unlike sour cream, it has the advantage of not curdling when heated. It is available at specialty stores and many supermarkets, but it can be pricey. To make your own crème fraîche:

Whisk together 1 cup heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized) and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a saucepan. Heat over low heat just until the mixture is lukewarm. Transfer to a bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it is about the consistency of heavy cream, 24 to 36 hours) the exact time depends on the room temperature). Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for 24 hours to thicken more. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to two week.

from Tips Cooks Love, Rick Rodgers, Sur la Table

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