Discover Your Kitchen Personality

Discover Your Kitchen Personality



Discover Your Kitchen Personality
What kind of​ cook are you? Do you prefer to​ get up early to​ prep the evening meal? Are you simply too crazed to​ even think about dinner until after work? Or are you one of​ those who are able to​ find a​ balance in​ between?
These are some of​ the questions I​ ask in​ Kitchen Life, my new book in​ which I​ quiz readers to​ help them determine what kind of​ cooks they are .​
I've developed recipes and techniques that go along with an​ individual's cooking and kitchen management style.
The quiz results show me that lack of​ time is​ the biggest barrier in​ the kitchen .​
The right tools, though, can help with that.
Among my top five time-saving kitchen essentials is​ a​ vacuum-packaging appliance .​
My favorite is​ made by FoodSaver .​
Whether you're trying to​ preserve meals you've prepared in​ advance or​ maintain the fresh-cooked flavors and textures of​ leftovers, this appliance is​ an​ easy way to​ get more out of​ your time in​ the kitchen .​
As you plan your meals, you can save a​ lot of​ time if​ you look for recipes that allow you to​ use your leftovers .​
I​ call these recipes kitchen workhorses because one batch can yield several different meals .​
When preparing a​ recipe to​ eat now and use later, the key is​ vacuum-sealing the leftovers to​ maintain freshness and prevent freezer burn .​
Take my Chili Shepherd's Pie with Buttermilk Potato Topping, for example .​
I​ start with my Kitchen Workhorse Chunky Beef Chili .​
The chili is​ great as​ a​ stand-alone, but it's also a​ key ingredient in​ several spin-off recipes.
Then, I​ vacuum-package the extra chili with my FoodSaver appliance and freeze the remainder in​ controlled sizes to​ use later for other recipes, like my tasty Soft Beef Tacos or​ Chili and Macaroni Casserole .​
Voila! From one meal, many .​
CHILI SHEPHERD'S PIE WITH BUTTERMILK POTATO TOPPING
(Makes four servings)
2 pounds Yukon Gold
potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk, preferably at​ room temperature
1 quart Kitchen Workhorse Chunky Beef Chili (found on page 150 of​ Kitchen Life), heated
1 1/2 cups fresh or​ thawed frozen corn kernels
1/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Position a​ rack in​ the center of​ the oven and preheat the oven to​ 400 degrees .​
Lightly oil an​ 8-inch square baking dish.
Place potatoes in​ a​ medium saucepan and add enough cold, lightly salted water to​ cover them by 1 inch .​
Bring to​ a​ boil over high heat .​
Reduce heat to​ medium and cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain potatoes and transfer to​ a​ bowl .​
Add the butter .​
Mash potatoes with a​ masher or​ an​ electric mixer on low, gradually adding the buttermilk .​
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the chili and corn in​ the baking dish .​
Spread the potatoes on top of​ the chili and sprinkle with the cheddar .​
Bake until the cheddar melts and the topping is​ tinged with brown, 15 minutes to​ 20 minutes .​
Serve hot.




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