Award Winning Author of Entrée to Judaism
What are your favorite kitchen tools?
Aside from my Kitchenaid mixer and Processor with the small and large bowl so that I can do different sized batches, my must haves are my Micro-plane zesters, my citrus juice reamer (even though I do have an electric juicer the reamer is great when you need 1 Tablespoon of juice), my 8-inch long and 4- inch wide spatula for helping me lift my cooked side of salmon onto a platter, and my many little varying sized glass dishes for collecting small ingredients for recipes.
Please share a few of your must–have Tina's Tidbits?
• When freezing baked goods, make sure that they are thoroughly cooled. Place in a freezer bag and close almost all the way. Insert a straw into the opening and suck out all of the air and then seal. This technique removes any chance of ice crystals forming in the bag, which would change the texture and flavor of your baked product. Almost any food can be frozen this way.
• A foil tent only protects turkey breast meat from drying out if the shiny side is facing out, because that side reflects the heat AWAY from the bird. If the dull side was placed facing out to you, it would absorb the heat and overcook the meat making it dry.
• The best way to estimate the cooking time of fish, boneless chicken or steak on the grill is to plan on ten minutes per inch of thickness (NOT LENGTH!). Boneless breast that is not pounded thin is usually 1/2-3/4 inch thick. therefore it should take no more than 5-7 minutes TOTAL to grill your food.
During our very enjoyable conversation with Tina, she told us the following about herself; we wanted to share it with our readers:
I am a cooking teacher who wrote a book - I am not a writer who likes food. And about the pictures: I made every dish you see. Nothing fake was added, no glycerine or mashed potatoes or blow torches. It is very important to me that the home cook sees what the dish should really look like.
What will the Seder menu look like at your home?
I keep track of how much I made and how much was leftover so that I know what to do the next year.
*See Tina's Passover Menu and her Passover "To Do" list.
Please share some Passover or Seder tips:
The most important rule for making matzo balls is DO NOT LIFT THE POT LID!!! If you lift the lid cool air comes in and collapses the matzo ball. You can always tell if someone did that because the center of the matzo ball is hard and translucent. For hard matzo balls, add more matzo meal to the batter but DON'T LIFT THE LID! Boiling too hard? then lower the heat so the balls don't break apart. DON'T PEEK until after 20 minutes when they are done.
So, what do you do for fun?
Cooking and dancing are creative outlets for me. I love, love, love to dance – lindy, foxtrot, rumba – everything! The hardest thing is to follow; I like to lead!
Visit Tina at CookingandMore.com.
March 23, 2011