Low Salt Kitchen shares instant hints and tips for successful cooking

What's the best way to separate egg yolks from whites?

  1. Cracking eggs over a single bowl can lead to broken yolks in the whites. Use three bowls and follow these steps:
  2. Crack an egg; catch the yolk in your clean hand, and allow the white to run through your fingers into a small bowl.
  3. Slip the egg yolk from your hand into a bowl reserved for the yolks.
  4. Transfer the white into a third, larger bowl of egg whites. Repeat the process, if needed. Refrigerate reserved whites or yolks in an airtight container for up to three days. (Whites can be frozen for up to two months.)

Why should I sift flour for a recipe?

Sifting breaks up clumps that form when flour sits for a while. It also adds air and volume, so a cup of sifted flour and a cup of unsifted flour are two different quantities. Make sure you read recipe instructions carefully to determine whether sifting is needed: when a recipe calls for a cup of sifted flour, sift first, then measure; for a cup of flour, sifted, measure first,then sift. The exception: cake flour, which should always be sifted.

How do you keep from crying when cutting onions

There is a saying in the kitchen world: “The sharper your knife, the less you cry.” Onions sting your eyes because, when you cut them, you rupture cells, leading to a chemical reaction that produces acidic gases that trigger your reflexive tear response. Sharper knives rupture fewer cells, hence less crying. Other strategies include freezing the onion first, cutting it under cold running water, burning a candle nearby, wearing goggles, and my personal favorite, making someone else do it.

How do you keep herbs fresh?

The herbs you get from a spice rack just aren’t the same as the fresh stuff. To keep leafy herbs fresher longer, treat them like cut flowers. Trim the stems, submerge stems (or roots, if the plant is still living) in an inch or two of water in a glass or jar, cover loosely with a plastic baggie, and store in the refrigerator (exception: basil should be kept at room temperature—meaning out of the fridge but not next to your stove). Change the water every few days.

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