There’s a very special secret ingredient in your kitchen. Without it we would all die—and I’m not even kidding.
Everybody knows water is crucial to the health and wellness of our bodies and the planet, but it can also save your life in the kitchen…. Or at least the life of your mayo. Here are some not-so-obvious ways you can use water to make or save some of your favorite food stuffs.
Ever try to make chicken stock with orange juice? Wine? It doesn’t work. The key ingredient to stock is actually good old tap water. Water is the perfect neutral canvas to absorb all the building-block flavors of onion, carrots, celery, herbs, and black peppercorns.
Wilted herbs and lettuces can be a real downer. But you can revive greens with a quick soak in a big bowl of ice water. Drop in your greens or herbs and give them a shake and a swirl. Sometimes the perking process can take as little as a few minutes, sometimes longer. You’ll see the greens perk up and brighten so you’ll know when they’re ready. Just be sure to give them a good spin to dry them completely before you use them.
Homemade mayonnaise is the thing culinary school anxiety dreams are made of. Will it break? Can I whisk it fast enough? Maybe I should try the blender? (I did. It failed.) What will bring a broken mayonnaise back to luscious homogeneity? A few drops of water whisked in furiously can smooth out broken mayonnaise AND hollandaise. Start your whisks.
Few things are better than a creamy ranch-like salad dressing, but not if it lands on top of your iceberg wedge in a stiff dollop. Dressings should run (like the wind!) and be easily drizzle-able. If you make a salad dressing, especially one with a thick and creamy base like blue cheese, tahini, or nut butter, water can be your savior. Adding water can thin your dressing without greatly altering the flavor—you may just need to bump up the seasonings on the back end.
Sauté pan getting too dark? Add a splash of water and scrape up all that flavor before the skillet scorches. Your caramelized onions will thank you.
Digital art director Alicia Brooks’ dad saved over-cured lox with an 8 hour fresh-water soak.
Chilies and dried mushrooms covered with boiling water means everybody can enjoy morels and hot peppers.
Sliced raw onions mellow in a cold water soak.
Sliced radishes and fennel will stay crunchy in ice water—they’ll be salad-ready for hours.
And don’t forget about this life-changing tip for reviving stale bread. I know. It blew our minds, too.
Let’s raise a glass to water. Thanks for all you do.
The post The Secret Ingredient That Will Save the Day (and Your Dinner) appeared first on Bon Appétit.
from Bon Appétit http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/cooking-with-water