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Kitchen Hacks From The Chefs At Malibu Beach Recovery Centers

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Kitchen Hacks From The Chefs At Malibu Beach Recovery Centers

Cooking more at home isn’t always about spending more time in the kitchen- it’s about small tricks and a little prep. We’ve compiled our list of 10 favorite ways to keep the kitchen simple, sustainable and efficient from some of our favorite chef instructors.

  1. Storing Food. Keep onions, potatoes, garlic and shallots out of the fridge, where they can get moldy. Poke holes in paper bags and store them in a cool, dark drawer or cabinet. Fruits should be stored away from vegetables in the fridge, loosely bagged.
  2. Washing Fruits And Veggies. We’re in a drought and every drip of water counts. Instead of washing your produce, rice or grains under running water, fill a bowl, slosh them about and pour the water out onto your plants, lawn or tree. Don’t peel your potatoes or carrots- most of the nutrients in root vegetables are found just under the skin.
  3. Let Go Of Paper Towels. Purchase a few dozen cotton towels and wash them with our clothes. They’re more efficient for drying hands, at cleaning counters and when scrubbing. Dry them on the paper towel holder and launder.
  4. Making Your Own Dressing. Most commercial salad dressings, even the Organic ones, contain loads of sugars and gums. Save money and unnecessary ingredients by making your own. Once a week, grab a mason jar and drop in 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 3/4 cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil. Put the lid back on and shake it until emulsified. Store in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Remember to bring it back to room temperature (take out of the refrigerator 15 minutes) before using. Pour some of this over shallots or thyme to jazz up a salad or tossed into brown rice with some thinly sliced beets and greens with a little blood orange juice for a bright and satisfying lunch.
  5. Double Up. Making cookies? Crusts? Shepherd’s Pie? Doubling your ingredients rarely doubles your workload. Make one for tonight and freeze the other(s) for a quick dinner or dessert without the takeout price.
  6. Pasta. Cook it 3 minutes less than the package calls for, heating up the sauce in a separate pan while it cooks. Pick up the pasta with tongs and finish cooking them in the warmed sauce. Make double the sauce and store the rest in the fridge or freezer.
  7. Cool Down. Keep a rimmed cookie sheet in the freezer at all times. It’s the fastest and easiest way to cool warm liquids and doughs- simply pour them from the pan onto the frozen sheet pan or place just-made and wrapped doughs onto it in the freezer for a quick rest.
  8. Mise en place. Are you working on a recipe for the first time? Take 10 minutes (wait! always read the recipe first) to measure everything out you’ll need. Put away your measuring cups and spoons and enjoy following the technique instead of panicking that you’re out of eggs halfway through your Crème Brûlée.
  9. Grate. Grate your own cheese and save the rinds. Grated cheese is 30% more expensive and often coated in powdered cellulose. Save the rinds from your parmesan and use it to flavor your next soups or chili.
  10. Buy From The Farmers Market. There’s just no better way to support your local economy, sustainable growers and enjoy the best-tasting produce. Keep your budget on track by buying only what you need (except for cherries, persian mulberries and peaches in June). Try buying in bulk- like the bag of 5 avocados for $3. We get 3 of these, unripe, and use them over three weeks by keeping some out, some in paper bags and the rest in the fridge.

Cooking is not complicated…Enjoy it!

Bon appetit,

Licia Jaccard
Nutritional Consultant
Malibu Beach Recovery Centers

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