Secrets of Quick Cooking

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Knowing your way around the kitchen will help you get your meals on the table in minutes... Here are some hints to help you along the way...

* To use your food processor more efficiently, first chop all dry ingredients, such as bread crumbs in the processor, then wet ones, such as onions. This way it will not be necessary to stop in the middle of a recipe to wash the processor bowl.
* To make ten-minute rice. Cook it like pasta. Place the rice in a large pot of rapidly boiling water for ten minutes, drain and add sauce, oil or butter. No need to cover it, but stir the rice once to ensure that it doesn't sit on the bottom of the pot.
* If you make your own salad dressing, mix it in the bottom of your salad bowl. Add salad and toss. You won't have to use extra mixing bowls.
* Use a few chopping boards. They can be carried to the stove or pot with the ingredients - and you won't have to stop and wash boards while working.
* To speed up stir-frying, place each of the ingredients on a plate or chopping board in order of use so you'll easily know which ingredient to add next.
* To get a quick high - or low-heat response from electric burners when sauteing or stir frying, keep two burner going - one on high, one on low - and move your pot back and forth.
* To help meat marinate quickly, poke holes in it with a skewer or knife. Use high temperatures to brown, broil or stir fry in order to seal in the juices.
* To peel garlic quickly, firmly press the clove with the side of a knife and the paper skin will fall off or peel away easily.
* To wash watercress or fresh herbs quickly, immerse the leaves in a bowl of water for several minutes. Lift them out of the bowl. Sand and dirt will be left behind. For quick, easy chopping cut them with scissors.

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