Cheap (and tasty) Cooking Tips

by David Bakke

So, if I could get paid to talk about cooking I would probably be about the happiest guy on Earth.  You see, besides my love for personal finance, I also have a passion for cooking.  Ieasyand tastycookingtips spent what seems like a lifetime in the restaurant business, and I have learned how to cook just about everything on Earth.  I am very thankful for my time in the restuarant business because it allowed me to indulge my passion, allowed me to learn a great deal in this area, and a lot of the talents that I picked up have come in handy in my time in the kitchen at home.

And that is what I wanted to talk about today.  Again, if you have read my previous post on the topic, you will see that at some point I will get into listing some of my favorite recipes that either I created or found over the years.  But rather than starting off with that, I thought I would begin with some tips in the general area of cooking that one could apply to a variety of “kitchen” situations.

So here we go in no particular order:

If you want to “dress up” your chicken the next time you are baking or frying some (and who doesn’t want to find a new way to prepare chicken), try this out.  Insetead of breading with simple bread crumbs, mix about 1/4 cup of ranch dressing mix into each cup of bread crumbs.  It gives the chicken quite a unique zest to it.  If you are frying it, fry it normally.  However, if you want to do the lo-cal thing, try this out.  It is what I like to call my Not Fried Fried Chicken.

Heat your oven to about 375-400 degrees and place a large baking pan, (which has been sprayed generously with Pam or wiped with veggie oil) in the oven for at least 15 minutes.  This is critical because if the pan is not hot, this won’t work.  After that, bread your chicken as usual, and after the pan is hot, take it out of the oven and quicklyplace your breasts on the hot pan and return to the oven immediately.

 

It should cook for about 20-30 mintues, just cook it till its done. (One thing you will also quickly learn about me is that I am not all about exact recpes and cooking times and so forth.  You will hear from me quite often, “a littel bit of this”, “cook till done”,  things like this.  I hope it doesn’t make it more difficult to pick up my ideas, but its the only way I know how to cook.

What you will find is that you will have something that tastes and looks a lot like fried chicken, without all of the claories that go with it.  And a great topping for this chicken is a simple remoulade sauce.  I was so intimidated by this sauce at first becuase I couldn’t even pronounce it.  After I conquered that obstacle and learned what it was, I had a good laugh with myself.  All you do is mix ketchup and mayo till its the color of 1000 Island dressing and mix in a little cajun spice.  There you go!

Speakingof Pam, I love Pam. I am addicted to Pam.  The proper and generous use of Pam will give you amazing results.  I almost always spray just about anything I can with Pam.  You have no idea how much easier it makes things come clean up time.  And believe it or not, it also gives you a litle extra buffer should you forget something in the oven.  You’ve got a few more minutes to get to it before it starts to burn.

Finally, (for this post at least), try this lo-cal tip.  I try to avoid frying foods as much as possible, but I still do eat them from time to time.  Mostly, it is chicken or fish.  Well, here is a tip that I believe keeps the calories down a little, and keeps you from burning your food.  About 99% of the time, whenever I fry something, I usually simply “flash-fry” it in the pan (that is quickly fry both sides of the food before it is cooked in the middle) and then transfer it to the oven and finish it off there.  That way, it is not just abosrbing tons of the cooking oil, and it is just about impossible to burn your dish this way.

 

Hope this stuff helps, much more to come…

 

If you would like to learn more ways to save, click here to download my free report “10 Fast and Easy Ways to Save Money in Your Everyday Life.”

{ 1 comment }

1 Lana August 11, 2009 at 4:13 am

Awesome tips, thanks for sharing, will definitely try cooking chicken this way!

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