Pat meat and fish dry

Pat meat and fish dry before cooking. Surface moisture creates steam when it hits a hot pan or grill, impeding caramelization. If your fish has skin, use a sharp knife to squeegee off the water trapped within it.

Preheat the pan

Pan roasting is a popular restaurant technique rarely employed by home cooks. Preheat a cast-iron or stainless-steel pan on the stove with a bit of olive oil until you see wisps of smoke rise. Add your chicken, steak, or fish, and cook until one side is nicely browned—about 3 to 4 minutes. Then flip it and place the entire pan in a 400°F oven to finish cooking.

Zap citrus fruits in the microwave

More pucker for the price!  Zap lemons, limes, or oranges for 15 seconds in the
microwave before squeezing them. The fruit will yield twice as much juice.

Blend butter and olive oil

Try cooking with a 50:50 mixture of butter and olive oil. Butter brings big,
rich flavors, but it burns and blackens at very low temperatures. Oil prevents
the milk solids in butter from charring, allowing you to ratchet up the heat.

Refrigerate with caution

Never store tomatoes in the refrigerator. And keep peaches, potatoes, onions, bread, garlic, and coffee out of there, too. Cold temperatures compromise the flavor and texture of these staples.

Water down your pasta sauce

The secret to great pasta sauce? The cooking water. Save a cup of the pasta’s cooking water before you drain it, and add the water to your sauce as needed. The starch in it helps the sauce adhere to the pasta, creating a creamier, more flavorful final product.

Let meat rest

If you slice into your meat right after it comes off the grill, those precious juices, still circulating with residual heat, will bleed out onto your plate. Let the meat rest: Wait 5 minutes before biting into burgers or grilled chicken, 7 minutes before cutting into steaks, and at least 15 minutes before carving a turkey or a larger roast.

Counterbalance salt with vinegar

Oops—too much salt? Use a splash of vinegar to provide a counterbalancing punch
of acid and sweetness

Prepare plates beforehand

Warm food served on a cold plate is a ROOKIE MISTAKE. Heat your dishes in a
150°F oven for 10 minutes before plating a meal. On the flip side, lightly
chilled plates (use your freezer) boost the freshness of cold dishes like summer
salads.

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