Stainless Steel and Briyani

biryaniI was cooking one of my favorite Indian recipes, Biryani. This world famous dish has a great influence on me. My mother does it every time I visit her on my vacations. A lot of patience and skill is needed to master the art of cooking Biryani. However, I was just a rookie, who had wishful thinking of making it on my own. Mom guided me as much as she could but I was just starting out so there was quite a learning curve for me to get over.

The first thing my mom suggested was to use the best stainless steel cooking pots. I wasn’t the expert, so I blindly obeyed. The process was extremely difficult and the whole kitchen turned out to be in a complete mess. However, the final result of this mess was definitely tasty. I was rather surprised while I was using my mother’s old pots and pans. It was nothing compared to my old non stick cookware set at home.

Initially I didn’t care much about the mess I created, but, when I took a proper look of that cyclone hit kitchen, I sunk down to my knees. I had no idea how to clean the kitchen. There were spots of spices, drops of gravy, yellowish cooking pots and scary marks on them. I had to clean it all and that too on my own.

I started by placing the best stainless steel cooking pots in the sink, deciding to clean them last. I started scrubbing the stove and the area I used to prepare my chicken. It took me almost two hours to finish that and I still had the stainless steel cooking pots to clean. But when I started cleaning the pots, oh my God! I was completely shocked. The sticky spots formed by the spices and gravy were gone in an instant. One scrub and everything went away like water. I had no idea that cooking in stainless steel cooking pots would be this cool. All the pots I used were done in a span of a few minutes and I was on cloud nine.

I decided to get a stainless steel set of my own. Of course, I couldn’t find the ones my mom had, that set was almost as old as I was. I went looking for a few best stainless steel cookware sets 2016 reviews. And I picked up an All-Clad set. With the best stainless steel cooking pots in my kitchen, now I flood my kitchen at least once a week.

Things in Your Kitchen That You Should Throw Away Already

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Decluttering the kitchen is one of those projects that’s always on the ‘some day’ list. So do it today. Take an hour, get rid of the biggest offenders and learn what you can do to keep things from ever getting out of hand again.

Strange kitchen magnets

Ask yourself: Does that freebie magnet you got from the local taxi firm bring me joy? If not, why are you letting it clutter up your fridge? If you need a magnet, consider printing out a family photo on sticker paper and covering the magnet with it.

Unused, weirdly sentimental mugs

Mugs are the cucumber-melon body lotion of the cooking world: they’re the go-to gift when you have no idea what to get someone, and they naturally start to pile up. Harden your heart and assume that horrible mug your friend’s mother-in-law gave you was a regift—and toss it. Most people don’t need more than six, Driskill says.

Reusable shopping bags

We know this sounds daft, getting rid of something that’s designed to be eco-friendly, but most people own way more bags than they need. Hold on to a maximum of 10 and donate the rest. Then move the ones you keep to the boot of your car, where you’re more likely to use them, Driskill says. We can’t be the only ones who get to the supermarket and realise our canvas bags are tucked away in a cupboard at home.

Anything that came for free with your dinner

Spare chopsticks, soy sauce packets, kids meal toys—you’re always going to get more the next time you order, so there’s no point stockpiling them, Driskill says.

Your insane plastic container collection

This may just be the single biggest cause of cabinet avalanches. Limit yourself to just two sizes of reusable containers, says Nonnahs Driskill, the declutter guru behind Get Organized Already. Instead, try to stick to five to six pieces in each size. That way you’re not fighting to find the right lid for each tub.

Your sponge

While the USDA’s research group found that microwaving a damp sponge eliminates 99.9998 percent of germs, if your sponge smells, you should throw it out.

Spare Kitchen Knives

Most professional chefs get by with just three to five knives, Driskill says, and she recommends that people stick to the same number. Chances are, you rarely use more than a paring knife, serrated knife, and chef’s knife.

The tea towels and cloths you use for everything

Hand towels are most commonly contaminated surface in the kitchen, according to a March 2015 study from Kansas State University. What’s worse, salmonella can continue to grow on cloths overnight, even after they were washed and rinsed in the sink. Researchers recommend designating one cloth for washing, one tea towel for drying, and sending both through the washing machine daily (especially if you’ve been cooking meat). If you’ve been using one towel to do everything, throw it out and grab a new one.

One-off appliances you swore you’d use

Pasta makers, milk frothers, bread machines  – cookery shops are loaded with drool-worthy gadgets that only serve one purpose. If it’s taking up precious counterspace and you use it less than four times a year, it’s probably worth binning or taking to the charity shop  –  especially if there’s an everyday object that can get the job done just as well. You might be surprised what your gadgets are worth on eBay.

Tinned food that looks not quite right

It goes without saying that anything that’s expired should be binned, but you should also throw out any tinned foods that are rusted or have dents big enough that you could stick your finger in them.

Barely-used cookbooks

If you’ve owned it for over a year and haven’t made a single thing, it’s probably time to consider selling  – unless it’s a family heirloom or other treasured item, in which case, move it to your living room bookshelves or repurpose as a coffee table book.

Front of fridge door clutter

Treat the front of your fridge like a command centre, Driskill recommends. Place anything you need a daily reminder of there, like to-do lists, torn-out recipes and forms that need to be signed or addressed, and as you cross each one off your to-do list, remove it from the fridge. Better yet, take everything off the fridge and move your command centre to the inside of a kitchen cupboard door. When the cabinets are closed, those papers are out of view.

Recipes you’re saving for ‘some day’

If you tore it out of a magazine more than a month ago and you haven’t made it yet, you’re not going to make it. And that’s okay.

Water bottles

You only need one per person, and maybe one to two extra, Driskill says. For the rest: clean them out and donate or recycle them.

via GoodHouseKeeping.co.uk

5 Important Tips for Storing Food

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So maybe you think you’ve got it all figured out. You’re the MacGyver of the kitchen—spatula in one hand, two eggs in the other. Crack, separate, and plop goes the egg in the bowl… with a bit of shell. The horror! What do you do? Hint: Using a spoon or your fingers isn’t the answer. Thankfully, we have a solution to your egg quandary (number 10) plus quick fixes to tons of other food prepping, cooking, and baking predicament, from pitting a nectarine to softening butter the easy way. We’ve hacked your kitchen—prepare to have your mind blown (even if just a little bit).

1. Keep potatoes white

Cover shredded or diced potatoes with cold water before cooking to prevent the spuds from turning that gross grayish/brown caused by the release of a starch that makes them oxidize.

2. Slow down rotting

Store tomatoes stem end down to keep them from spoiling as quickly. This prevents air from entering and moisture from exiting the scar where the tomato once attached to the vine. Storing them at room temperature rather than in the fridge also makes them last longer.

3. Give bananas a longer life

Keep bananas fresher, longer by wrapping the end of the bunch with plastic wrap. Better yet, separate each banana. The plastic wrap blocks ethylene gases from releasing out of the stem, consequently ripening the fruit too fast (see number 8).

4. Speed up ripening

Be a total magician and morph a banana from green to yellow or a peach from crunchy to juicy all with the help of a paper bag. When fruit is tossed into the bag, concentrated ethylene gas helps it ripen faster.

5. Save cut fruit from browning

You’ve probably heard that a little squeeze of lemon juice can keep apple slices from looking unappetizing. A mixture of one part honey to two parts water works much the same to keep fruit from browning. The citric acid and vitamin C in lemon juice as well as a peptide in honey slows down the oxidation process that causes discoloring.

See 68 more tips here.