If you love to cook but hate the wasted time performing certain steps, you’ve come to the right place. Cooking can be time consuming, with numerous steps and preparation that has to be done beforehand. After a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is take the time to cook something. Cooking can take hours of your time and attention away from other things you want to do. Yet there are ways to minimize the hassle and maximize the results. Here are 5 cooking hacks that will save you time and stress.
Making Garlic Paste
This hack is a great way to get flavorful garlic paste without the hassle of putting it into a crusher. This process takes a total of 2 seconds. Take your garlic clove and use the flat side of your knife. Place it on top of the garlic clove and with a flat palm, smash the side of your knife. You should hear a soft pop or crack of the garlic breaking up. Also, this is a great way to peel your garlic. Next, take your peeled garlic clove and mince it. After you mince it, proceed to drag the side of your knife across the minced garlic. It will begin to form a paste in seconds. If you want a little seasoning, add some salt on your cutting board and drag the garlic paste through it. And in seconds, you are left with a beautiful seasoned garlic paste.
Slit in the tomato
Half of the time you spend cooking is cleaning up after it. Cutting various vegetables and meats can be messy and feel like a hassle. Cutting tomatoes is especially cumbersome, having to clean up after all the seeds that squirted out over the cutting board. If you’re sick of cleaning up after squirting tomatoes, this hack is perfect for you. Tomatoes squirt because there is a build up of pressure as the knife slices into them. This causes them to squish out with their seeds all over your cutting board. How can you avoid this? By relieving the pressure in the tomato first. The best way to do this is to create a small slit before you fully slice through your tomato. Now that you have released the pressure, the tomato will no longer squirt all over your kitchen surface. This hack can be used for any size tomato including cherry, heirloom or standard tomatoes. This only takes half a second to do but saves you a lot of time when cleaning up.
This hack is a great replacement for taking time to make a sauce. Sauces can sometimes take hours and can burn! Browning butter is a great saucy alternative to add to any meat. I prefer to use this one on chicken. Depending on the size of your meal, brown a stick of butter in a medium saucepan with very low heat. You have to keep an eye on this one. Essentially, what we are doing is caramelizing the fats in the butter. But we have to be careful not to let it burn. This hack approximately takes 5 minutes. And the best part is you can add anything to it. Sage is a wonderful sweet aromatic addition to this hack. Browning butter gives your dinner that perfect rich caramelized flavor, without spending hours on a sauce.
The Vinegar Vortex
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and wondered, how is that poached egg so perfect? Well, I’ll tell you. This hack is a fast and easy way to get restaurant ready poached eggs in minutes. This hack not only saves you time, but gives your poached egg a unique flavor that will keep you coming back for more. First, take a small pot and boil your water on medium heat. We just want a rolling boil. Be careful not to make the temperature too high, otherwise your egg will burn in the vinegar vortex. When your water is boiling, add a splash of white wine vinegar. This will add that perfect salt and sour to offset the fattiness of your eggs. Remove from heat and carefully stir, until you have a bubbling vortex. This part is a little tricky. Once you have your vinegar vortex at full speed, quickly pour your egg into the eye of the storm. Watch as it spins and twirls and cooks into that perfect ball shape. As your vinegar vortex subsides, you are left with a perfectly round and thoroughly cooked poached egg.
Decadent Instant Ramen
This hack is for all the college students out there. This hack is great for saving time on cooking noodles while also making a decadent meal. Making pasta can take upwards of an hour. But with this hack, your pasta will be done in minutes while still making a great dish. Boil your hot water and wait until it is at a rolling boil. While you’re waiting, prepare ingredients to spice up your ramen, like serrano peppers, seaweed chips and white meat chicken. Even store bought rotisserie chicken is great for this. Once your water is at a boil, simply add the ramen and stir occasionally for two minutes. Add that packaged seasoning, or any seasoning of your choice, and remove from heat. Take your prepared ingredients and add them to the mix while it’s hot. Feel free to add your own sauce like soy sauce or fish oil. Stir for another 5 minutes. And you are left with a beautiful ramen that took you 7 minutes. This is a great hack for any work week dinner or late night snack.
While cooking can be a lot of work, it doesn’t have to take you forever. Here are just a few ways to minimize your time in the kitchen and still get great quality flavors. These hacks can save you potential hours on cooking and leave you time to do other things that you love. Cooking is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be, following these quick easy steps.