Daphne Oz is stopping by the TODAY kitchen to share her simple solutions for common cooking mistakes and whip up a few of her go-to healthy summer recipes: spiced chicken skewers, Niçoise salad with Thai peanut dressing and frozen tropical fruit popsicles.
Common Cooking Mistakes
Marinating in acid for too long breaks down the meat and gives it a mealy texture. If using acids like citrus juice or vinegar, remember to keep oil to acid at a 3:1 ratio in your marinade. Don't let it sit more than an hour or two or you risk ruining your meat's texture.
Cutting meat too soon
After cooking, don't slice into that juicy steak right away, no matter how tempting it looks. Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes after it leaves the heat. This gives the tasty juices time to redistribute and keeps them in the meat instead of left on the cutting board.
If you overcook vegetables, dip them in ice water and this will stop the cooking process and help firm them back up.
Overcrowding the pan
Adding too much to a pan will cause the food to steam and become mushy instead of browning properly. Always give your food space when sautéing, frying or roasting.
Cooking with the wrong oils
All oils are not created equal. Some are great for high heat cooking, some are better for medium heat cooking and a some are meant for finishing foods. Here's my easy guide on what to use:
- Oils for frying: Only use oils with a high smoke point like peanut oil, canola oil and vegetable oil.
- Oils for roasting and searing: Olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil and safflower oil
- Oils for finishing: Extra-virgin olive oil and truffle oil
Using too much water for pasta
You actually don't need much water all. Put your pasta in cold water and bring it to a boil. You only need enough water to cover the pasta. Then cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. The less water, the quicker the boil.
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