7 Culinary Hacks & Simple Solutions
Genius hacks and simple solutions are amazing because they make our lives easier, save time, and minimize effort. Today I’d like to share with you some more kitchen hacks, including an easy way to squeeze juice from a piece of citrus, simple ways to make zesting easier, four simple ways of pitting cherries, and more. I hope, these simple ideas and tips will make your time in the kitchen a little bit more pleasant!
1. An easier squeeze
Pressing all the juice from a piece of citrus can be tricky. To ensure you get every last drop, try one of the following techniques.
A. Using a paring knife, cut the lemon peel from pole to pole, making four ¼-inch-deep slits. Next, cut the lemon in half crosswise. Place the lemon half in the juicer and squeeze to remove all of the juice.
B. Place quartered citrus in the hopper of a potato ricer and squeeze the handles together. Juicing a quarter is not only easier than juicing a half, but it also yields more juice.
C. Place quartered fruit pieces in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cover the top of the workbowl with plastic wrap, turn on the mixer at low speed, and muddle the fruit to extract the juice (about 2 minutes). After the fruit pieces release their juices, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, pressing on the fruit to extract as much juice as possible.
2. Neater lemon wedges
The thick strand of white pith along the center ridge of a lemon wedge can cause the juice to squirt out in all directions during squeezing.
1. To make sure the juice lands in your teacup (and not in your eye), use a paring knife to remove the tough pith from wedges.
2. The resulting wedges will squeeze neatly into food and drinks.
3. Seriously cool zest shortcut
If citrus fruits are really soft or your grater is dull, removing the zest can be a chore. Here’s one way to make zesting easier. First, place the whole fruit in the freezer until it is partially hardened, about 30 minutes. Then remove the fruit and rub it against the holes of a box or rasp-style grater.
4. Collecting zest neatly
Tired of watching citrus zest fly off your rasp-style grater and all over your work surface? Try inverting the whole operation. When you turn the grater upside down, so that the teeth face down and the fruit is under the grater rather than above it, the shavings collect right in the trough of the grater.
5, Easy zesting
Try this alternate zesting technique to keep precious citrus zest from getting stuck in the teeth of your box grater: cover the fine holes of a box grater with a piece of waxed paper before grating, then grate the citrus to remove the zest. The zest will remain on top of the waxed paper rather than clogging the grater’s teeth. You can easily brush off the paper after grating to collect all the zest.
6. This cool tip is (coco)nuts
Opening the hard shell of a fresh, whole coconut is only half the battle: you then need a sharp knife and steady hand to pry the meat away from the shell. Freezing the whole coconut makes the shell pop away from the flesh as soon as you crack it open.
1. Freeze the coconut overnight.
2. Whack the frozen fruit around its equator with the dull side of a cleaver and then peel the shell off of the meat. An additional benefit: the coconut water inside will be frozen, making it easy to remove without any spillage or waste.
7. Pitting cherries four ways
Cherry pitters, though they work well, are oddball kitchen gadgets. Not every cook will have one on hand, which leaves many of us searching for alternative methods. Here are a few suggestions. Make sure you work over a bowl to catch the cherry juices when necessary.
A. Push the cherries down firmly onto the pointed, jagged end of a pastry bag tip. Take care not to cut your fingers on the points as they pierce the fruit.
B. Use a pair of well-cleaned needle-nose pliers. All you do is pierce the skin at the stem, spread the pliers just enough to grasp the pit, and pull it straight out.
C. Push a drinking straw through the bottom of the cherry, forcing the pit up and out the top.