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Cooking Tips & Techniques

 

Food & Cooking Tips from the Greenbeansnmore Kitchen

These are a few cooking tips that we've discovered as we've prepared our different green bean recipes. Some you may know, and a few you may not know. We've also added a guideline for your spices. They don't last indefinitely and stale herbs and spices can ruin a dish. Find out the shelf life of your herbs and spices. We hope these tips are helpful to you.

 


Green Bean Serving Sizes. We often get asked "how many servings is in a pound of green beans?"

One pound of fresh green beans trimmed yields approximately 3 cups raw. One pound of fresh green beans trimmed and cooked yields about 2 cups.



Garlic
There is nothing as bitter as burned garlic. It can literally ruin a dish. When a recipe calls for cooking garlic in olive oil do so over a very low heat and carefully watch the dish. If you do burn the garlic you'll want to start over.






Lemons

The skin of the lemon holds a lot of taste, and smell. When a dish calls for lemon juice add a bit less juice and add some lemon zest. When you zest the skin only use the top layer. Don't use the white pith, which is very bitter.





Mushrooms
The secret to having mushrooms brown is not adding salt while cooking them. When you add salt the mushrooms give off water and won't brown. Don't add salt until you have cooked the mushrooms as desired.




Cooking Colored Green Beans
Colored green beans are best used raw. Once heat is applied to them they will loose their color (it bleeds out). The best way to cook purple green beans and have them retain their beautiful color is to "butter baste" them. If you want to blanch them cookbook author Harold McGee book suggests you add a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water to help retain their color.





Soy sauce vs. Tamari
Soy sauce is best for everyday cooking such as stir frying or seasoning vegetables, as it harmonizes and enhances without overpowering. Tamari, with its stronger flavor, is traditionally used to season longer cooking food such as soups, stews, and baked dishes.





Fresh Spices are Important!
Before you start cooking your favorite green bean recipe you'll want to make sure your spices are fresh and flavorful. Here is a guideline for you to use-

* Whole spices (including peppercorns) -- 4 to 5 years
* Whole leafy herbs -- 3 to 4 years
* Ground spices -- 8 months to 2 years
* Dried or dehydrated vegetables (onions, garlic) -- 1 year
* Hot pepper flakes -- 6 months to 2 years