Both experienced and novice cooks look for new methods and
recipes to add to their culinary arsenal. BareFoot Foodie is delighted to present recipes and
instructional cooking videos to assist
Meat and Poultry
Choose perfect cuts of red
meat. Red meat such as beef, pork and lamb should have a moist, red surface with no signs of drying or surface film.
The fat should be a creamy white color and should not be dry. Look for even, well-cut meat that is free from
sinew and excess fat. To store your meat, it is best to loosely wrap it on a plate and put it in the coldest
part of your refrigerator so the air can circulate around it. Red meat should be either cooked or frozen
within 2-3 days or purchase.
Keep the breading on meats. If a recipe calls for coating meat with breadcrumbs, refrigerate the breaded portions for an hour or even overnight
before cooking. This will help the breading cling when you cook the meat instead of sticking to the bottom of
the pan! Breaded meats can even be frozen and pan-fried without defrosting. Be sure to increase the cooking
Freezing meat. When freezing red meat or poultry, wrap it very
tightly or seal it in a plastic bag to prevent air spoilage
or freezer burn. Be sure not to pile pieces on top of each other but do pack meat as flat as possible so it
freezes quickly, which will ensure its texture is not spoiled. Meat should be completely thawed in the
refrigerator before cooking. Never thaw poultry at room temperature or you risk salmonella
Stop meatloaf from sticking to the
pan. Tired of meatloaf that sticks to the pan? Toss in a slice of raw bacon before adding meat to
the pan, and say goodbye to the sticking. It may not be the
healthiest alternative but it does work (and tastes
Make a juicer roast. To keep all of the natural juices inside
your roast, sear it on all sides in a hot skillet with a
little vegetable oil before putting it in the roasting pan. A few seconds per side is all it takes since the
point is not to cook the meat but rather to toughen up the outside so that the juices don’t flow out while
it’s cooking. Then be sure to use a shallow roaster to retain more of the moisture. Uncover the meat halfway
through roasting in order to avoid a steamed appearance and to get the top of your roast browned.
Make tastier hamburgers. Homemade hamburgers are easy to make and taste far better than the store bought variety. Make them with medium ground
beef, an egg and breads crumbs or crushed crackers. Season with your favorite seasonings or add barbecue
sauce for a smoky flavor. For juicier burgers, add one-eighth cup of ice water to your beef or turkey before
Choose perfect poultry. When choosing poultry, the skin should be a light creamy color and it should be moist. It should also be unbroken with no
dark patches. Fresh poultry should be stored loosely covered on a plate in the refrigerator for up to 2
Get crispier fried chicken. For crispier fried chicken, add a teaspoon of baking powder to your coating mix then coat and fry as you normally
would. Remember to make sure that the oil is very hot before adding the chicken to avoid an overpowering
Don’t salt meat before
cooking. One of the biggest faux pas when it comes to cooking meat is to salt it prior to cooking. What the salt actually
does is draws the juices out and impedes the browning of the meat. Instead, add salt once the meat is already
half cooked. Then taste it when it’s done and if more salt is needed you can add it then. The result is
juicy, tasty meat that doesn’t contain more salt then it needs!
Cooking poultry. Despite what you may have heard, poultry
does not need to be washed before cooking. Wipe it with a
damp cloth if needed. If it has been frozen, wipe it with absorbent paper to remove any excess moisture.
Always be sure that poultry is cooked through. To test for readiness, pierce the flesh at the thickest part
with a fork. If the juices run clear then it is cooked.
Cooking fish. To minimize moisture loss when grilling, baking
or sautéing fish, it’s important to use a relatively high
heat and cook the fish for a short time. When you cook fish longer than necessary, the juices
and flavors are lost, leaving the fish dry and chewy. Plus,
overcooked fish is prone to falling apart.
Roast meats perfectly. For tender, juicier roasted meats, substitute wine, tea or beer for water in your favorite recipes. These liquids help
to tenderize the meat more than plain water does and they add a rich flavor to whatever you are cooking. Go
ahead and try it, you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
Make perfect meatloaf. If you don’t want your meatloaf soaking
in drippings of fat and water while it cooks, invest in one
of the new meatloaf pans with a built-in rack. The holes in the bottom of the rack allow the juices to drain
away from the meat. The result is perfect meatloaf every time!
The different fat contents in ground
beef. In most cases, regular ground beef is a better buy than medium or lean. And some foods such as
hamburgers are more tender and tasty when made with regular ground beef because of the extra fat content. Any
excess fat can easily be drained off. So, unless medium ground beef is on sale or not more than 7 percent
more expensive than regular ground beef, it’s not a good buy.
Quickly cook chicken for recipes requiring
pre-cooked chicken. An easy method of preparing chicken for recipes that call
for pre-cooked chicken is to “poach” it. This involves
simmering it slowly in liquid. This can be water, broth, fruit juice, wine or a combination of these. Poach
the chicken until tender, about 15-20 minutes, then chop or slice as specified in the recipe.