Cooking habits: 7 absurd old wives’ tales which serve no purpose

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Cooking habits: 7 absurd old wives’ tales which serve no purpose
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Sometimes we adopt strange cooking habits but have no idea why.  Often we follow these habits as our parents have taught us how or we have found good tips in cookery books or blog forums.  However sticking to these cooking habits to gain better results is often a myth. In fact many of these tricks are just absurd as well as being useless.  Do you want some examples? Here are 7 classic kitchen know-hows that we are all sure use on regular basis which in reality have no purpose.

1) Putting oil in your pasta

Cooking habits
Credits : Pixabay/MelanieFhardy

Sticky pasta, nobody wants that!  That’s why many people add a dash of oil to the bubbling pan to prevent this from happening. However despite following this classic knack, our pasta still ends up stuck together.  You need to think back to chemistry and physics classes to understand why or maybe you were dozing when your teacher explained that water and oil never mix.  The oil always stays on top of the water and therefore serves no purpose.

The best solution :  Cook your pasta in water (1 liter for 100 g of pasta) and add a dash of oil before serving to give your dish more flavour.

2) Never forget to add vinegar (or salt) when cooking hard boiled eggs

Cooking habits
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Apparently this technique prevents the egg shell from exploding and stops the egg white from clotting.  It sounds good but it is all false!  In fact the vinegar can make the egg shell even more fragile so it is more likely to break… so the complete opposite reaction to what you want! To cook hard boiled eggs, it is better to use a pan of simmering water without adding anything.

3) Make your mayonnaise by mixing in figures of eight

Cooking habits
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Mayonnaise is not the easiest to make and can pose some problems.  Sometimes you think there must but a secret technique to help make it easier.  However the common technique of mixing the mayonnaise in figures of eight with the wooden spoon is not the solution. In any case, it is no better than turning your spoon in figures of 4, 6 or 7.  The movement itself is not really that important.  What makes the difference in creating the perfect consistency, is turning the mixture quickly and pouring the oil in slowly when combining. A food processor could be good to use instead if you have access to one. Another good thing to know is the temperature of your eggs doesn’t really alter much.  Whether your eggs have come straight out of the fridge or are at room temperature it doesn’t have an impact on the success of your mayonnaise.

4) Submerge your vegetables in icy water so they stay green

Cooking habits
Credits : Pixnio/Debora Cartagena, USCDCP

Sticking by this cooking habit will make no change to the colour of your vegetables.  What does work is to cook your vegetables in sparkling water or add half a tea spoon of bicarbonate soda to one liter of water.

5) Eggs must be at room temperature when making macarons or meringue.  Really?

Cooking habits
Credits : Pixabay/Stux

It is true that it is not a good idea to leave egg whites out of the fridge or to use old eggs when cooking.   However, using a egg that has come straight out of the fridge will create a mousse just as good as an egg at room temperature. What you need to do is to add the sugar little at a time and continue beating without stopping. To create the perfect meringue, a whipped cream charger could also come in handy.  Add the sugar and eggs, place the cartridge, shake and then use the whipped cream charger.

6) Apparently you should cook meat on a medium heat.

Cooking habits
Credits : Pixabay/Agamaszota

It is better to give your meat two firings to get the best results. You can either choose a quick firing or cook it longer and slowly. In any case, you mustn’t boil meat.  Meat cooks very well at around 55/56 ° C. At 100 ° or more, the meat will no longer have the same taste and becomes the texture of a rubber soled shoe. It’s up to you what you choose, whether it is slow or fast, however watch out for the temperature of your oven or hob.

7) You love to stew aromatic herbs.

Cooking habits
Credits : Flickr/wickenden

There is no problem simmering bay leaves, rosemary and thyme in the pot.  When you start cooking your dish you can add these herbs from the very beginning.  However other herbs like basil, chives and coriander lose half of their flavours if they are cooked at more than 45°C.  So as to have the best flavour, add these herbs near the end.  By adding these herbs last-minutely to the pan you will get the most from their flavours.

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