What's the most "brilliant" thing you've seen someone do while cooking?

What's the most "brilliant" thing you've seen someone do while cooking?


Cut ginger into chunks, bag and freeze. Frozen ginger never goes bad, peels and grates (microplane) much easier than fresh.


Now this is a tip. Grating ginger is a bitch.


Why even cut it unless its huge? I just throw the thing in a baggie whole, then pull it out and grate it. Don't even have to worry about the skin, but if I get a big piece ill remove it before I continue grating.


I do this too! Side note: if you want to enjoy the texture of the ginger ( ex. Julienne ginger and add to topping for food) don’t freeze it as it becomes much more mushy. Freezing works well if you are going to grate it or add a chunk for stock/flavor.


Thinly slicing meat that is still semi-frozen is SOOO much easier than room temp meat


Another ginger tip: the skin peels off much easier with a spoon.


Another ginger tip: there's really no need to peel it if you're grating/mincing it


Saw a chef on YouTube add flour to a stew that was already cooking by partially submerging a sieve into the stew, add the flour to the sieve and mix it up in there and then push it all through the sieve. No lumps.


My grandmother would dip her measuring cup into the stock and take a cup of the hot broth and add the flour or cornstarch to the cup, stirring with a fork until the thickener in the cup was dissolved and no lumps and then pour that into the pot. I always thought it was so clever and I still use that technique to this day.


This is what I do too! Honestly, it’s easier to clean a measuring cup or any other cup than a strainer, so I’m gonna keep doing it.


Doing that with cornstarch sounds like a recipe for lumps. Cornstarch dissolves fine in *cold* water, it's heat that makes it lumpy.


Yeah you need very little water to make a functioning cornstarch slurry that you can just throw into whatever


Yeah, my technique (and almost everybody's, as far as I know) is to do exactly this but with a little bit of cold water instead of hot broth.


That's why you squish and stir it with a fork. It's much easier to get a lumpless slurry in a measuring cup, small bowl, ramekin etc than it just getting lost in lumps in the soup, stew or gravy. I tend to use the heated liquid from the dish but water, cold, will work too. As long as it's smooth before you pour in the slurry.


With corn starch it’s easier just to use a bit of water or wine. Need such a small amount of liquid it doesn’t ruin anything.


I do this to dissolve miso into broth too. Works great.


Works with a whisk for miso too!


Ladle and chopsticks is how I grew up watching my mom do it, and how I do it now. (Put miso in ladle, get some of your soup in the ladle and mix it all up with the chippy choppies to make a paste.) Whisk/sieve sound great, but you probably will use the ladle and chopsticks again while making/serving the miso, so it's dirtying fewer things.


Similarly I saw someone combine one tbsp each of butter and flour to make a play doh type paste and then let it dissolve into their stew for thickening.


Beurre manié is what that's called! I do this all the time and it works great.


I just used this technique yesterday for a roux that wouldn’t thicken up. Very effective!


I believe that's cold a cold roux ​ I have done that several types when my bechamel isn't thickening


That is genius!


Jean-Pierre? I guess it's pretty common, but I just saw him do this yesterday when getting tips for French Onion Soup.


Thank you for this tip!




An Irish friend triple cooked potatoes. Par boiled, then oven roasted, then smashed and pan fried in butter, it was magic, truly


I like to fry leftover mashed potatoes.


Same. I mix them with an egg and make mashed potato cakes. Bonus if there's any leftover gravy.


You mean leftover everything


Is your friend named Sam Wise?


Boil 'm, mash 'm, stick 'm in a pan with butter?


What is butter, precious?


But-ter? Spread it, baste with it, dollop into soup?


Would've if he could've!


My former chef used to be in awe whenever I prepped mushrooms. The station had a fast/cold rail and I put an empty 1/3 hotel pan there and a cutting board in front of it. When I went chop chop, the first piece of mushroom stuck to the blade and the next chop would see it shoot straight ahead into the container. I could go through 5 pounds of champignons without ever having to empty my cutting board in between.


Wow that is magical


okay this is really technically impressive.


I believe you, but I feel like I need a video to understand.


First slice: mushroom stick to blade Second slice: next bit of mushroom also sticks to blade, but knife traveling so fast and consistent that it 'ejects' the previous slice upwards All slicing is angled so that the ejected mushroom slices fly into waiting container Repeat until all mushrooms are cut and sitting in waiting container.


Cooked brownies in a waffle maker. Every bite is the perfect mix of middle and edge and the presentation is amazing!




Leftover mashed potatoes or stuffing is also great in a waffle maker


I was once given high praise for something I did at a dinner party I hosted. 1. Make simple french onion soup. 2. Braise chuck roast in it. 3. Strain out onions. 4. Make a roux, make a gravy out of the "soup". 5. Add onions back to gravy. 6. Serve over the roast. One of my buddies who is a decent cook in his own right was absolutely blown out of his socks that he'd never thought of that. Felt good.


Good for you ma' dude! That is indeed impressive.


Chinese hand-pulled noodles. Blows my mind every time I see it. I've tried, and - spoiler - it's not as easy as [this guy](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2AnYEheaFM&ab_channel=Tasty) makes it look.


It definitely isn't easy but it sure is fun! My girlfriend and I did this for New Years, made our own noodles and chili oil. It was so tasty!


Kudos! I've tried a couple of times, but couldn't get the right kind of elasticity in the dough. I've had more success with biang biang noodles, which are actually relatively easy and also very fun. I'll try hand-pulled noodles again one day!


Actually you're totally right, the recipe I made was for biang biang noodles from Xi'an foods cookbook.


Thank you for the video. That was so peaceful and enticing.


This isn't technically brilliant, but I was always amazed by how people can break an egg with just one hand. ...dozens of eggs have been sacrificed for me to reach that state


one job i had the guy made me break cases of eggs like this until i could do it naturally. it was a busy breakfast place and was a skill that was necessary.


What are you doing with your other hand while cracking the egg?


Cracking another egg


I used to be able to pull a 3 egg crack back when I worked brunch shifts a lot. 2 in my left 1 in my right. Never hit the fabled 4 crack though


You're a mad man


whisking the rest of the eggs you already cracked most likely


Worked at a place that did massive brunches. Multiple times daily I‘d double handed crack 60 dozen eggs into a 5 gallon bucket and blend them up with a commercial paint stirrer on a cordless drill.


Signing autographs


I can't do it anymore, but when I worked at a McDonald's with all day breakfast I used to be able to do this with both hands at the same time. It was necessary, because the local football team got their breakfast there. 160 sausage egg mcmuffins on top of our normal orders and only three morning grill people to manage it.


160 sausage mcmuffins would be what I request for my last meal.


It'd be your last meal, all right.


Damn that's a lot of sausage mcmuffins lol


I knew a short order cook who could do 3 eggs with one hand. It was honestly like watching a magic trick, I have no idea how managed to make his fingers do that.


Now THAT is impressive af


i once avocado handed myself (severed a tendon, had to have surgery, it was a whole thing) and I only had one usable arm. I have eggs for breakfast every day, I couldn't rely on my girlfriend to be up and break them for me so I learned to do it one handed.


How did you Avocado hand yourself? I always worry about it because people seem to do it so often but I can't really figure out how it happens


Honestly just a complete lack of brain cells. Avocado wasn't ripe, I stabbed it (pointy tip first, why, I don't know.) would absolutely not recommend, if the seed doesn't come out it's not ripe and not worth eating yet, it's not something you have to worry about. I think most people do it by cutting through the avocado, but I guess I'm special. Guess what I'll never do again though!


Now do it with your off hand! Impress everyone when you no-look Crack 2 eggs into the pan at the same time.


Even if no one’s around I feel way more attractive cracking an egg with one hand lol


There is an old saying in my town, if a man has big hands then... he can probably crack and egg with just one of them.


Your town is home to pretty wise people!


I was also very impressed with this but it's actually pretty easy. Takes just a little practice.


It seems so efficient, but I’ve never had the guts to try!


I'll never forget watching my chef dad set the kitchen "on fire" deglazing a pan with white wine. The flash of flames made me scream and run away as a little boy.


I love doing it but I am afraid my mom will be on my ass for that.


Yeah, no flambé in our house. A family member was severely burned in a kitchen fire, we don’t mess with fire even in a safe technique like flambé. Too many memories.


personally, I'm far more scared of large vessels of hot/boiling water, or worse, hot oil. side note- i've started keeping a blow torch in the kitchen... it's a super useful tool. and not like one of those tiny little butane torches, but a full size propane torch from the hardware store lol. my stove is an old shitty electric ring burner deal from the 90's, and it REALLY struggles to put out enough energy to get good color on stuff sometimes... or sometimes im just in a hurry and want to blacken the edges of some veggies or whatever that already cooked enough and can't go back into an oven or skillet without becoming all sad and mushy and gross. so just blast them with a 6" flame out of the torch for a second. one of the best uses is with kernel sweet corn out of a can for making like, salsa/succotash type deals- when the corn and onions and whatever else is in a ripping hot skillet for a minute to kinda soften onions or whatever, hitting the corn with the torch gives it that nice little blackened/roasted spotting here and there, and it takes all of about 5 seconds. good to go.


Chopping speedily while making eye contact with me


I can do this but you might see me wincing once inawhile.


Use cornstarch for a much "lighter" batter than anything else, such as flour or breadcrumbs. Fried shrimp and fish are AMAZING coated in a mix of cornstarch/egg whites, whatever seasoning you prefer. I read this recipe on [here](http://userealbutter.com/2017/07/09/coconut-shrimp-recipe/)


Corn starch or potato starch is the key ingredient for Korean fried chicken and Japanese fried chicken (karaage). Lighter batter, but huge crunch.


I make a rice flour batter for my cauliflower and it's fantastic - crunchy and light


It was a Friday night and we were getting slammed. I was on grill and the saute guy was cruising. Tickets were coming in and we were grooving. Next thing I know, the saute cook is on his knees clutching his shoulder. With in 5 seconds of him telling me his shoulder popped out of it's socket, he popped it back in, and jumped back into sauteing. It was rad.


Chronic subluxations. I had/have them. They were really bad when I played sports, but I would dislocate, run off the field, pop back in and wait a minute for sensation to come back.


Had a roommate that used to have that happen while he was asleep and rolled over funny (also from getting several forcible dislocations while playing sports). He would literally reach over, give it a good pull and twist, and pop it back into place without even sitting up in bed, then go back to sleep.


Tooting my own horn here: my dad has been working on his hollandaise sauce game for years. My parents came over for brunch and I whipped some up using the immersion blender in about a minute. Blew his mind, and he's going to buy one now.


Hollandaise is one of those things where people are really staunch on the classic method for some weird reason despite technology moving passed it. We don’t whip meringues by hand anymore but people insist on emulsifying hollandaise by hand.


Worried about carbonara or cacio e peppe like shaves breaking ? Blend them then add to the pan. Gonna make a lot of people angry but for 90% of people it will be so much better than the handmade recipe


Okay so.... mind blown, because it never occurred to me to blend carbonara and I stopped making it because I ended up with scrambled egg pasta too many times.


[This is it.](https://youtu.be/3AAdKl1UYZs) This is the one and only true real pasta carbonara recipe. 100% correct. Let the pan cool down after adding pasta. And not in cast iron, it holds the heat far too long. Tastes like heaven and so cheap and fast to make.


Ugh it looks so good.


Haven't read, but letting the pan cool is definitely the trick. I use a thin, reactive pan, extra egg yolk and I cool the pancetta with a couple of tablespoons of water to speed along the process after killing the heat. Use the hot noodles and the pasta water that comes with to help start slowly cooking the eggs and creating the sauce. Turn heat on low and stir like your goddamn life depends on it. You're not in a restaurant, so go ahead and take extra long just to make sure the eggs don't scramble.


Isn’t the challenge of carbonara adding the cheesy egg mixture in at the right level of heat on your pasta and guanciale so that it emulsified with the oil and pasta water but doesn’t scramble.


Maybe not brilliant, but my husband is a wild man when it comes to seasonings. I'd watch him cook and he's just grabbing seasonings willy-nilly and adding a sprinkle. I grew up watching my mom cook, and she always under-seasoned (the hallmark of midwestern cooking), or she would precisely measure out whatever seasonings were called for in a recipe. I'd never even considered that you could do it how he was doing it, so it was pretty "brilliant" to me. This revelation really upped my cooking game!


Your mom is just following those Internet recipes with 1tsp of everything


Ugh, right. 1 tsp in online recipes always becomes 1 T with a few notable exceptions


1 T of clove please


Whew! At least your teeth won’t hurt!


She used to season a whole pot of chili with a teaspoon each of chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. God help me, it was so bad.


My husband said I’m the Jackson pollock of seasoning a dish . This that and reckless abandon


Yeah that’s how I cook. When I’m following a recipe I’ll use the seasonings it calls for but always more than it asks. When I’m not using a recipe I just close my eyes and start seasoning with the force like Luke skywalker. Has never failed me and my food is never under/over seasoned


Hell yeah; dash of this, dash of that, give it a taste - some baking things need to be precise, but when you're working the pan on the stovetop, you go by instinct


God bless whatever crackhead discovered that if you mix milk eggs and flour into a thick paste and then fry it you get pancakes


I was eating dinner last week at a restaurant that had one of the chefs work in an open kitchen. He was making a charcuterie board, and added honey to the undersides of the little cups he was using for the olives and nuts; That way, the cups were semi-glued to the plate, and he wouldn't have to worry about whipping the plate around too fast and spilling the cups.




Salvadoran couple taught me how to spice masa before making pupusas and tortillas, and I've been living la vida pura ever since EDIT: Since y'all wanna know so bad, I use bacon fat in the masa and on the cast iron (closest thing I have to a comal), and add in salt, pepper, paprika, whole cumin seeds, a pinch of turmeric, and fresh grated garlic.


related: I started using chicken stock to make tortillas, eventually I went full rogue and subbed Tony Chachere's for the salt.


The only way to improve it from there is to use bacon fat in them as well Smoky, meaty cajun tortillas sounds fucking amazing


Four words: Duck fat flour tortillas


How do you spice them?


My dad is the one and only master of pies. And the most brilliant thing I've ever seen someone do while cooking is the way he handles his pie dough. It's hard to describe exactly but he handles the dough very minimally and gets the absolute best result. He uses only his hands, no gadgets, and his pie dough is made and rolled out in the blink of an eye. Edit: I've gotten a couple requests for my dad's pie recipes so I figured I'd add this edit. I wish the secret was as simple as what recipes he used - his pie dough is just the recipe on the back of a box of Crisco! His magic is all in the manner he handles the dough - with big hands, decades of practice and love. His pies are the kind of thing that are better than the sum of their parts. My best advice: keep it simple, keep your dough cold, work it as little as possible, and do your fillings by taste.


That is a skill, knowing the shortening etc etc.. Pastry is a bastard.


Yeah. Honestly, no one does it like my dad. It's incredible.


Can’t recall where I first saw this but… Stainless steel neutralises the onion/garlic scent on your fingers. So after I chop up the onion I rinse the knife then rub my fingers on the side of the blade. Ta-dah! Smell disappears.


Haha I always refer to this as "giving the tap (faucet) a handjob"


Similarly, I once worked in a kitchen where they called it “jacking off the sink”.


"You're fired" "But... but I thought you guys said you jack off in the sink all the time??"


I'm the cook sniffing his garlic fingers after the meal.


Wait does this actually work?!?


To all those who naysayers who chant 'stainless steel doesn't interact chemically with garlic', I say no duh. It's the rough surface of stainless steel at a molecular level that is good at stripping away the garlic from your skin. I have a stainless steel "soap bar" for this reason. It works much better than soap alone.


Shut the front door!!! I've had one of these "soap bars" in a drawer that was left by the previous home owner. I had no idea what it was. Thanks, can't wait to try it. 🙂🧼


Unbelievably, yes.


There are actually stainless steel shaped bars of “soap” for this! Williams Sonoma has them!


Why use the side of your steel knife blade when you can buy a cheap bar of steel in Williams Sonoma packaging for $39??


i just use the every part of my sink.


Okay fine. $5.99 on amazon. Amco 5246231 Rub-a-Way Bar Stainless Steel Odor Absorber, Mini https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NXMCM3T/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_JMX664NZSYRKW18APZ9Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


I just rub my hands all around my stainless steel sink while the water's running.


Also works with fish!


Peel garlic by putting all your individual cloves in a medium sized plastic box and shaking like hell. Pointless with small amounts, but there’s no better way I’ve found to peel entire bulbs. I also have a special place in my heart for watching people make sushi. The skill it takes to make good sushi is just beautiful to watch.


for the garlic thing, the skin comes off easy when firmly rolled between the hands. saves a bit of time prepping ingredients


I just smash them with the side of my knife. Works well enough for me, and I'm not using an entire bulb at a time.


To add to this, if you take off the very tip of the root end, before smashing it, it peels even easier. Blew my mind when I saw [Jacques Pépin](https://youtu.be/CshkecuFfMc?t=1204) talk about it.


This is definitely the go-to unless you need to keep the clove intact for slicing or grating on a microplane or something


I was given a small silicone tube to put the garlic cloves in them roll the tube quickly in hands and just like that the skins are off.


I purchased a garlic grinding plate at some trade show or another and it came with one of these and I stg that the tube was worth the purchase. Don't get me wrong, the plate is awesome, too.


I never would have thought of putting mayo instead of butter on bread/buns to toast. It's basically like making savory french toast out of a burger bun. It's not widely useful, but it really ups my burger game.




I usually do garlic, smoked paprika, maybe mushroom powder


Mushroom powder is a thing?!


Yep. Some places (e.g., Trader Joe's) sell it as "Umami Seasoning".


Honestly my Mom and Dad have always had a tendency to cook well-done or even overcooked everything growing up. Had my first medium rare steak cooked for me by a friend's dad, still the coolest parent I knew. Surfer dude who ended up in a near desert thanks to his work. My life changed that day. It was so moist and flavorful. Has been my favorite way to have my steak cooked since.


I know that feeling. My mom always overcooked pasta or noodles. I grew up hating it until I started making them on my own.


Same with vegetables. They were canned or over-cooked, so I thought all veggies were mushy and disgusting. Started roasting, sauteing, or blanching them and love them.


My parents also always cook pork chops until it's a dried out and they always tastes like cardboard. After I moved out, I got a thermometer and made the best pork chop I've ever had.


Adam Ragusea when he just moved his pan slightly off the burner to protect the thin part of an uneven chicken breast from overcooking. I use that for so many things now


Deboning fish. I know in some countries most of the fish sold are already deboned/fillet but here (Philippines) it usually still fresh and has bones. It's amazing to see someone who can debone fish quickly for meals like rellenong bangus (stuffed milkfish).


Not brilliant but of the home cooks I know of none of them do this. I always have a 500ml container on my counter to dump garbage instead of carrying it to the garbage can and dropping crumbs along the way.


Cutting broccoli by turning it upside down and using a knife to cut the branches. I had always made such a mess cutting broccoli but I never once thought to turn it upside down


After doing that, be sure to peel the stem and cut into sticks. The outside can be woody, but the rest is rather sweet and tender.


I literally cannot think of another way to do it


I've never thought of that but it makes so much sense!


Holidays, my mom makes a big deal about pie crust. How she hates making it, how it takes forever etc. but loves homemade pie crust. I volunteered to make all the pies for thanksgiving. She watched as I cut ice cold butter into flour by pulsing my food processor. It even rolls it into a shaggy, neat ball at the end. My mom looked like she was going to cry. Not sure if it was tears of joy or tears for the hours of her life she’s lost folding pie crusts.


Yeah, when I made pie dough in my mixer for the first time my whole life (of pie) changed. Another pie crust game changer was seasoning the flour with more than just salt. You can add savory spices; black pepper, dried herbs, cumin etc for pot pies and spices like cardamom and cinnamon are amazing in sweet pie crusts!


I've seen my husband dice shit to Pantera in the background it was pretty epic. Dozens of veggies without missing a beat. I'd lose a finger but his knife skills are insane.


Ha, my first job was at a big outdoor company picnic venue and when I turned 16 that summer I became eligible to do cooking and food prep. The dude who trained me was a stereotypical metalhead and the first thing he did was throw on Pantera at max volume and shout THATS RIB CHOPPIN MUSIC BOY


knife skills are totally the most impressive thing to me. it takes me way too long to chop/dice stuff in the kitchen, and I have pretty great knives too. many times i've gone down a youtube rabbit hole of professional cooks and chefs being irl fruit ninjas--it's addictive.


It’s Domination! Give him Five Minutes Alone with the veggies. Don’t Walk away from this guy, he is on A New Level and Becoming somewhat of a Medicine Man.


Don’t Sleep on this comment.


Reminds me of this classic piece of YouTube, [Cooking Hostile with Phil Anselmo](https://youtu.be/8IdCwtIijOA)


She smashed a garlic clove with the flat of a chef’s knife. The skin came right off with no faff and because the clove was smashed already it was super easy to finish mincing. I have never bothered with a garlic press since.


I prefer to smash then press.


Saw a Japanese line cook slip, his arm went elbow deep into the deep fryer, he got up, shook it off and kept going.


First time oven roasting garlic and onions. Vidalia onion peeled top sliced, a crumble of beef boullion, heavy tablespoon of better, Worcestershire sauce, cover in foil and roast for 30-45 minutes. Used on side with steak with some mushrooms. Garlic bulb, cut top, heavy drizzle of oil, sprinkle of salt, cover in foil and roast up to an hour. Pop out cloves smear on grilled bread or mix in butter.


Saw a vid a while back... showed how to get *almost* tandoor level cooking in a standard home kitchen... Mix up a batch of Tandoor style chicken kebabs (I'll toss a recipe at the end), then get them all put on METAL skewers... the flat ones work much better; leave a big gap on both ends. Meanwhile, in your oven heat up two cast iron pans to max temp. Then, pull them out, put on over a stovetop on high, arrange the skewers over the pan, meat suspended over the middle, then place the other pan upside down over the first pan, creating a mini-oven. Cook to temp, getting nice char in the process. **Tandoori Chicken Kebabs** (4 Servings) Ingredients 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1½ tablespoons tandoori spice blend or hot curry powder 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided ¾ teaspoon salt, divided ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 large bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces Instructions: 1) Combine yogurt, lemon zest and juice, tandoori spice blend (or curry powder), garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture to a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. 2) Add chicken to the remaining yogurt mixture and stir to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 day. 3) Preheat grill to high / get coals to the white ash stage 4) Toss bell pepper and onion in a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Thread the marinated chicken, pepper and onion pieces alternately onto eight 10- to 12-inch skewers. 5) Reduce grill heat to medium. Oil the grill rack. Grill the skewers, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender-crisp, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve with the reserved yogurt sauce for dipping.


Woah, that's brilliant!


Charring pineapple before putting it in salsa. (This was done by a local chef in Mexico …before people come after me for pineapple in salsa).


It was more my ignorance than his brilliance but I had a friend cook up some rib eye steaks once and I was astounded at how much better tasting they are than the sirloins my dad would only make. Now I'm a ribeye guy for life.


While I love the rich fattiness of a ribeye, I like the meatiness and "steakiness" of sirloin. Ribeye is much more fat centric in flavor whereas sirloin imo has that beefiness


Hear me out. Salt and pepper.


I know you jest, but learning to season properly and not being afraid of it has helped a lot.


This is really basic, but it's something I never thought of as a home cook until I saw chefs on cooking shows do it -- hand towel over the shoulder. So useful!


This one is controversial. Lots of chefs do it, but many head chefs will clobber anyone seen doing it (and rightly so in a professional environment). Hanging it over your shoulder leaves the tea towel in direct contact with sweaty clothes, it’s a recipe for cross contamination. Best practice is to hang your tea towel from the draw string of your apron. If you position it right, you can us it to hold the handles of hot frying pans without having to remove it and put it back.


Damn this comment called me short in so many ways


Right? If I put a towel over my shoulder it would be on fire so quick 😂


Yeah, apron string around double, so you're just tucking it under the string but outside of the apron, not between the apron and your pants (and not into your pants, you heathens). When I used to bartend, I would also hang one off my back right hip with a slip knot in the apron string. Take the clean bar rag, roll the corner in about two inches, then roll across perpendicular to make a little "lump". Push a loop slipknot (trucker's hitch) into the apron string, slip the lump through, then tighten down. Guaranteed not to fall off or pull out, though you have to remember to remove them before you throw it in the hamper; no reason to be a dick to the laundry guys.


Shoulder towel is sweat towel. Towels for handling fopd get tucked into the apron. Or thats how I did it


Just learned the trick of holding water in my mouth while chopping onion to prevent it from making me cry. It worked!


Trick I learned from a cook book last week. To easily peel a tomato, blanch it in boiling water for 1 minute. Duh. But before you do that, make a *very shallow* slice in the skin of each tomato. The skin almost peels itself, but leaves the insides intact. I screwed up the first time and pierced the skin too deep and the seeds and innards poured out. Looks better to leave intact.


Something I wish I knew like 40 years ago use tongs to juice limes and lemons. Man so much juice wasted and wrists hurt and time spent cleaning miserable little ridgey things


One of the best things I ever bought was a citrus squisher. Like $10 and it extracts SO much juice in like 2 seconds.


Jacques Pepin deboning a chicken in 60 seconds, or cooking pretty much anything for that matter. Tom Colicchio cooking an entire dish of sautéed fish, veg side and and a root puree from scratch in less than ~~15~~ 10 minutes. He's a badass in the kitchen. Watching Julia cook literally anything.


I had to go back and watch the video of that challenge from Top Chef where Tom Colicchio cooks a fish dish start to finish in less than 9 minutes after this comment. Absolutely bonkers - and no wasted movement or time, just efficiency the whole way through.


Seems kinda obvious, but instead of using newspaper to light a chimney, and getting ash everywhere while not being very efficient, my friend puts his chimney on top of one of those portable gas camping stoves. SO much more efficient and clean, it blew my mind.


It may not be the most brilliant thing, but it was something that was very intimate, platonic, and yet oh so romantic in a true sense of the word. When I was younger and of college-age, living off life, parties, and experiences. Food, or sustaining myself nutritionally was not anything of importance. I ate only when it felt necessary and I was still a picky eater that followed me from my childhood days. Cheap and easy fast food was sustainable and freshly cooked meals, while available, were too much in the sense that they were hearty and....well fattening in my mind. I was best friends with a nightclub "dancer" at a club I used to frequent and whom I had met through mutual friends. We were never intimate or even thinking of anything beyond just enjoying and experiencing life together as friends. We often took care of each other when out and about. We used to attend concerts of bands we both enjoyed together and meet new people everywhere we went. One night, after staying up all night attending concerts and afterparties. We retreated to his apartment. Like the starving college students we were, his apartment was very minimal and his pantry was also scant. We slept for a couple of hours and woke up in the late afternoon happy and hungry. He convinced me that we could make spaghetti with the only items he had. A half-used bag of pasta, a small can of tomato sauce, and some salt and pepper packets he had on hand. I sat at the table while he boiled the noodles and heated up the sauce adding salt and pepper. Picky eater that I was, I didn't like tomatoes let alone a sauce that was au natural. But as he served my plate and we sat in the kitchen table in the afternoon sun talking about the amazing experiences and the night before. I couldn't help but feel so nourished and satiated by the food I was eating. It tasted so great. So basic, it felt so so appropriate. There wasn't much and we both ate the small plates he made. All that could be had from the 1/2 used bag of pasta and one can of sauce he had. I just remember how satisfying the food tasted, how it was just enough, and how thankful I was that I had such a great friend who could make a very simple and humble experience a moment of my life I would never forget and always remember him by. Our lives slowly forked away after that night, but I will never forget the simplicity and humbleness of sharing a very basic meal with someone I wasn't in love with but loved living life with and who didn't expect anything but my presence in life at the time in return.


These are the tales I come to Reddit to read, thanks for sharing. I think you must be a very nice person and a good person to have for a friend.


Lol this answer is the lengthy recipe equivalent to this question. **The answer:** My friend made a delicious simple spaghetti out of the few ingredients on hand. **The delivery:** "How do you make 3 ingredient spaghetti? Well... I'll always cherish the memories of visiting my Aunt's house in the Hamptons, the feeling of wind blowing through the silk curtains as the sun kisses my skin..." Good answer. Just hilarious that you did the lengthy recipe version of this question.


Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


Was watching Chef John make red beans and rice and he started smashing beans on the side of the pot to thicken the sauce. So simple, so effective. Another example is less brilliant and more exciting. I had been trying to master the traditional alfredo sauce but always kept screwing something up: parm not finely grated enough, sauce pan too hot, etc. But I was trying to make a knock-off shrimp scampi one night, and as I was placing the pasta into the butter pan I noticed things were coalescing into a sauce. So I finely grated some parm over and lo! and behold I ended up making alfredo almost by accident.


I guess it would count but watching my grandma when she could cook (extremely bad eyesight now) but she could cook 5 diffrent things for a 30 person family dinner without missing a beat. Everything came out when they should in perfect order ready to go. The cooks I work with aren’t nearly that good


My family is Bangladeshi and we live in the UK. Watching my Mum wing a fish curry not local to our region was amazing. She just has this grasp on spices and flavours that just baffles me. I've learned so much South Asian cooking from her, but I'm still not good enough to memorise the 20 odd spice boxes in the cabinet and their varying combinations lol


That word "memorize" is the problem for you. You don't have to memorize anything. When I'm deciding what spices to add to a dish it's all about "does this spice have the right vibes?" rather than "can I add this spice if I've already added this one"


Using a spoon to peel ginger.


Truffle Oil and Onion powder are 'magic' ingredients. Use them at home and impress your guests. However, use it on Chopped, and you will be chopped.


Using paper towels to grasp and rip the silver skin from a rack of pork ribs.


Clean up as you go.


Adding a tablespoon or two of espresso to brownie mix from a box, and subbing some of the oil for peanut butter.


Adding ground cinnamon to our coffee grounds has completely changed the game.


I was making cinnamon buns in front of my mil recently. Apparently i blew her mind when i mixed the softened butter directly with the cinnamon sugar for the filling, then i just spread it on like frosting. No messy ends, the sugar stays put and doesn’t fall out with each cut. I thought everyone did it that way?? My sil blew my mind when i saw her boil water for spaghetti in a large shallow skillet. More surface area = much faster boil than a big pot. I always do it that way now.