These can be intimidating ingredients for beginners, but don't let that turn you away from trying out all the various easy you can incorporate them into your go-to recipes.
Eggs, Dairy & Cheese
To hard-cook eggs, place eggs in a saucepan (do not crowd) and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Drain, cover with cold water and let stand 5 minutes before peeling.
Hard-cooked eggs will be much easier to peel if you soak them in cold water for several minutes after cooking. This causes the egg to shrink away from the shell, making peeling a snap.
If a little egg yolk gets into the whites during separating, use a piece of bread to remove any traces of yolk—it attracts the small droplets of yolk like a magnet.
Store hard cheeses, such as Parmesan, in an airtight plastic container with a few sugar cubes. The sugar will absorb excess moisture and prevent the cheese from getting moldy. Replace the cubes when they get soft.
Don’t throw away the rinds of hard grating cheese like Parmesan. Add them to simmering soups to add deep, rich flavor. Remove the rinds before serving.
Revive dried out Parmesan chunks by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and refrigerating in a resealable plastic bag for a day before using. After using, simply store the cheese in the bag again without the towel.
It’s a lot easier to slice soft cheese, such as fresh mozzarella, using an egg slicer. Place the ball of cheese in the slicer, then push the wire tines through the cheese to cut.
Before whipping heavy cream, put the bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. The cream will whip more quickly and be more stable.
After adding sour cream or yogurt to a warm sauce or soup, take care that it doesn’t boil—that will cause it to curdle. Although the flavor will be fine, the dish won’t look as pretty.
Garnish Caesar salads or pasta dishes with big shavings of Parmesan cheese. Simply use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese directly onto dishes for an attractive garnish.
Prevent icy crystals from forming on ice cream by pressing a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on the surface after scooping.
To keep whipped cream from turning watery after whipping, place it in a strainer set over a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
For deviled eggs, mix the filling ingredients in a resealable plastic bag to combine, smashing the yolks with your fingers. To fill, snip off a corner of the bag and “pipe” the filling into the whites.
Keep deviled eggs from tipping on the serving platter by slicing off a small piece of the rounded side with a paring knife before filling.
Make a stick of cold butter spreadable by “shaving” slices of it from with a vegetable peeler. The thin butter ribbon will quickly turn soft and won’t tear holes in soft bread.