Quick Cooking

Quick Cooking

Nothing slows down meal preparation like hunting down ingredients in every corner of your kitchen. Keep a well-organized, well stocked pantry, and quick meals will always be at your fingertips. When you are in a rush, sauteing, frying, grilling and pressure-cooking are faster methods than stewing, braising, and roasting. However, when you have plenty of time but you can't be in the kitchen to monitor the food, stewing, braising, baking, roasting and slow-cooking require less attention than sauteing, frying and grilling.

To choose the fastest equipment for the job, use the right-size pan to help liquids boil faster and prevent areas of the pan from scorching before ingredients are done cooking. Also, you may want to invest in some gadgets and tools that make life easier, such as a garlic press and kitchen scissors. Consider buying a mini food processor. The mini versions do a better job with small batches of chopping (such as onions), and they're a lot easier to clean.

To speed the preparation time, buy ready-cut fresh vegetables and greens, especially chopped onions, shredded carrots, baby spinach, and other ready-to-eat salad greens. Likewise, buy precut stew and stir-fry meat. Or purchase other quick-cooking cuts of meat and poultry, such as flank steak, boneless pork loin chops, lean ham, boneless skinless chicken and turkey breasts, turkey tenderloin and ground beef. Most seafood is fairly quick-cooking. You can also round out quick meals with frozen vegetables.

To help food cook faster, stir food constantly and consistently, which helps heat penetrate more evenly into the food and speeds up cooking. Also, allow ample room around foods so that heat can circulate. When cooking large quantities of an ingredient, remove individual pieces as they are done to equalize the cooking throughout the batch and allow unfinished pieces to cook faster.

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