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4 awesome kitchen hacks for steak, fries and more

Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated shares tricks from the book, Kitchen Hacks: How Clever Cooks Get Things Done.
/ Source: America's Test Kitchen

Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated, shares four clever food hacks from the new book Kitchen Hacks: How Clever Cooks Get Things Done.

Kitchen Hack #1: No-Waste Dressing

You can prepare vinaigrettes in a child's "sippy" cup and use the cup as a tool for dressing salads as well. The dressing is released slowly from the small spout, making it nearly impossible to waste vinaigrette or overdress a salad.

1. Add all the dressing ingredients to the cup and secure the lid.

2. While holding one finger securely over the spout, shake the cup vigorously to incorporate. Remove your finger from the spout and sprinkle the dressing over the salad.

Recipe to try: Classic Vinaigrette (Whisk 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Gradually whisk in 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil.)

Kitchen Hack #2: Really Fast Fries

By using an apple slicer, you can get spuds cut and ready for the fryer in no time.

1. Slice one end of the potato to create a stable base. Set the potato cut side down on the cutting board.

2. Push the apple slicer down over the potato, sectioning it into steak fry-size wedges. Cut the center cylinder in half lengthwise before cooking.

Star chef Joël Robuchon came up with a fast and easy approach to cooking fries...You use (far) less oil and there is almost no odor apart from the pleasant aroma of potatoes; you don't need any special pans or fry-baskets; you don't have to stand over a fryer; there seems to be no danger of bubbling over or splattering; and the oil remains relatively undamaged (it never reaches the high temperatures that traditional french-fry cooking demands) and thus can be strained and reused a couple of times. The trick is to put the potatoes into cold oil and slowly bring it up to frying temperature. Cook 25 minutes in a combo of neutral oil and peanut oil.

Kitchen Hack #3: Unwrapping Plastic Wrap

Here's a clever way to find the beginning of a roll of plastic wrap that has torn and stuck to itself: Hold a clean vegetable brush or toothbrush parallel to the roll of plastic wrap, rotating the roll and rubbing the bristles along the surface of the plastic until the hidden edge loosens and the plastic can be unwrapped.

Kitchen Hack #4: Steak Elevator

Most recipes call for resting steaks after cooking to allow the internal juices to redistribute. Inevitably, some of these juices leak out, ruining the nice crust. Try using a bowl to elevate the meat up and out of its juices. Place a small bowl in the center of a plate, and prop the steak on top. Once the steak is done resting, pour the collected juices into a pan to make a sauce.

Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Strip Steaks