How to

How to Freeze Fresh Carrots

If you’re anything like me, you buy a whole pack of carrots and use two or three of them in one recipe and then before you know it, those gorgeous carrots start to dry out and threaten to turn.  Because I’m a sucker and I buy the large bags of carrots EVER.SINGLE.TIME… I freeze whatever leftover carrots I have.

When you freeze fresh carrots, you should blanch them first.  This way any unwanted bacteria is stopped in its tracks.  Take that bacteria!

Begin by rinsing and peeling your carrots.  Then chop off the ends (about 1/4-inch off of each side, give or take).

Chop your carrots however you deem fit.  It’s always best to make letters in your pile of carrots afterwards.  All of the best chefs do this.  Try your best to keep each piece the same size so they blanch evenly.

I dice mine a little larger since I generally use frozen carrots in soups.  Let’s call it a rustic dice-job.

This is a great time to improve your chopping skills.  Here is a boo-boo of mine.  Poor little guy, sometimes I chop too fast for my own good.

Fill a pot with water, enough to cover all of your carrots, and bring the water to a roaring boil.  Add a bit of salt if you’d like (and I like).  Add your carrots to the water and set your timer for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the size of your carrots).  If your carrot chunks resemble mine, set your timer for 5 minutes.

Drain your carrots and immerse them in icy cold water (complete with ice cubes).  Let them sit in the icy water for 5-10 minutes.  Drain your carrots again and place them in a single layer on paper towels to dry.  Once your carrots are dry, place them in a freezer bag, write the date on it and freeze for up to 12 months.

Use the frozen carrots like you would use any frozen vegetable… in soups, stir-frys, or as a side dish.  Simply pop the frozen carrots in a bit of boiling water for a few minutes to thaw and heat them through.

How to Cut a Pineapple

Tis the season (for pineapples!) Here are some handy tricks to help you shop and cut fresh pineapple!

Note: This is a very juicy process, make sure you’re working on a stick-friendly area.

1. Firstly, you want to buy a pineapple that has firm, golden brown skin. The leaves should be green and not wilted or brown. Also a ripe pineapple will have a fresh pineapple smell.
2. Cut off the leaves and the bottom of the pineapple (about 1/2 inch from the edge). I tend to lean towards serrated knives whilst doing this step. It makes life a little easier.
3. Next, set your fruit upright. You’ll notice brown dots along the top of the fruit. Cut downward along these dot paths and begin skinning the fruit. Follow the curve of the pineapple to maximize yummy fruit action!
4. Cut off the rest of the pineapple skin in the same manner. Just be careful not too cut too much of the fruit off.
5. Once you have completely skinned the fruit, remove any remaining spots with a paring knife.
6. From here you may decide if you want pineapple rings or chunks. If you want rings, slice the pineapple into rings but be sure to remove the inner core with a paring knife. Nobody likes eating that stuff…
7. If you prefer chunks, cut the pineapple into four, long sections (cutting straight through the core).
8. Place the fruit section, core side up and carefully cut the core off of the fruit. You can tell what part is the core because it will be tougher in nature and lighter than the rest of the fruit. Repeat this step with the rest of the quarters.
9. Once you have removed the core, you can cut the remaining fruit into chunks.
10. Make sure you refrigerate your fruit!

How to Boil an Incredibly Edibly Egg

This is a tip I picked up from Monsieur Jacques Pepin.

Simply prick a hole in the shell at the wide end of the egg (through the small air pocket).  You can do this with a sewing needle or pushpin (and if you’re really careful, a single prong of a fork).  Pricking the shell allows the pressure the equalize and gases to escape during the cooking process.  No more greenish eggs!

Place your egg in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the egg and how you like it cooked.  If you have a large egg and you like your hard-boiled eggs with hard yolks, then simmer your egg a little longer (6 or 7 minutes).  Pour the water out and violently shake the egg in the pot, allowing it to bang against the sides to help crack the shell.  Submerge the egg in cold water.  Once cool, peel the egg under running water.

Voilà!  A perfect hard-boiled egg.

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