20 Aug
2016

grill

Some grilled chicken or fish with veggies might sound like the perfect dinner or lunch but what if you do not have a grill? Don’t race of in search of one just yet.

Here at Maeves Kitchen we love doing things the unconventional way and today we are going to tell you about 4 ways to grill without a grill without ringing the alarm bells of the nearby fire station.

Use the oven Broiler

Your boiler can be turned into a temporary grill by simply reversing it as long as you’re okay without the charred marks or the smoky aroma the coal tends to provide.

To avoid a mess and hours of scrubbing later remember to layer the broiler with some foil. The heat here comes from the top unlike a conventional grill so leave some gap in the oven door, make regular checks and flip the meat or veggies at regular intervals.

This process should work for almost every grill recipe especially the easy ones and cooking time can vary from 5-10 minutes.

Get a grill pan

Well if you’re hell bent on the grill marks the next best option is a cast iron grill pan. It comes with ridges that are meant to keep food off the fat and when hot can also add the grill marks you crave but before you get one ensure you have ample space in the kitchen as they tend to be bulky. Use it only for easy to make recipes. These pans will cost you about $25 to $40 depending on the brand and make.

 

pan

 

Add smoky ingredients

Well since none of the above equipments add the smoky flavor a simple and lazy way to add the lovely aroma and grilled flavor is by incorporating smoky ingredients such as smoked salt, smoked paprika, smoked olive oil on the meat, fish or vegetables and to spice up the sauces and dips you can throw in some chipotle chilies and if all else fails the best alternative is the liquid smoke but avoid overusing it to keep the food from tasting like a pile of ash.

Get a smoking Gun

While this again isn’t the conventional grill if getting flavor is the goal the smoking gun is the perfect equipment and is widely used by even the top chefs to smoke almost any ingredient or recipe etc. You can smoke up your salads, fruits or even chocolate.

It will cost you about $100 and while there are loads of tricks and tips on how to make a smoke gun at home for free I wouldn’t recommend it and by no means will it work on a whole chicken or steak. Learn more about smoking guns in the video below.

12 Aug
2016

Cooking is all about technique and practice but having the right equipments can make your task a whole lot easier and the most expensive and high tech ones may not always be the best choice. So if you’re looking to take your cooking to the next level, here are few equipments every newbie or pro chef must have at all times.

Knives

Every chef needs 2 knives. For all the chopping and slicing of vegetables and fruits and huge chunks of fish, meat etc. you’ll need a heavy duty knife which is commonly know as the chef’s knife. Ensure this knife is the right size for your hands.

Next comes the knife you’ll need for smaller tasks like de-boning chicken pieces or de-seeding the fruits or vegetables etc. With knives keeping them sharp is important as blunt knife tends to slip often and can lead to more serious cuts. Proper maintenance and timely sharpening will ensure your knives last you longer. Here’s an easy to to sharpen your knives.

 

Spoons

A variety of spoons are available in the market but I prefer wooden spoons since they can perform a number of tasks really well and do not scratch the non-stick surfaces unlike their metal counterparts. For all straining and scooping tasks I would recommend you get slotted spoons. For easy maintenance and durability always get stainless steel spoons.

Whisks

For all minor mixing purposes a whisk is a great tool and while you will come across loads of different designs you’ll not need more than 1-2 in your kitchen. Make sure one of those is a plastic one. This will help blending sauces etc. while still on the heat. If you’ve got money and you’re not looking to build some biceps then save yourself the hassle and just get some KitchenAid stand mixers.

whisks

Cutting Boards

With a new knife set you’ll also need a chopping board. You can opt for a wooden or plastic make but since I always recommend having 2-3 boards you can opt for one of each and since they are available in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors my advice would be to have a different one for your meat and fish products and a separate one for the veggies and fruits. They provide a strong base and better stability thus making chopping easier and faster.

Vegetable Peeler

Peeling vegetables or fruits with knives can be a really tedious task and often takes up too much time and effort plus you’ll need to be pro at using knives to get it done correctly but thank god for peelers this task just got a whole lot faster and simpler and neither does this equipment take up much space in the kitchen.  

peeler

 

Spatula

Spatula is really handy tool. It can ease up tasks like spreading, scraping and at times act like a spoon too and does not scratch the non-stick surfaces either. When buying a spatula always look for one that’s heat resistant otherwise they tend to get stuck to the pan and this is why I always recommend my readers to get a Silicone spatula.

 

4 Aug
2016

cart

Shopping for grocery is the most expensive part of cooking but guess what, it’s only so even after all the cheap deals, coupons and offers available because we’re not being smart enough. So next time you’re out at the supermarket follow these tips to get your groceries on the cheap.

Stick to homemade food

It think we all can agree homemade food is not only cheaper but also a healthier choice and no i’m not suggesting you stop the burgers and pizzas but rather than blowing out your budget at fancy restaurants get the ingredients and make your own stuff.

Save more to buy more

Until and unless you’re buying toiletry items or other products such as tissues etc. buying stuff in bulk is useless and more so when it comes to food since most items won’t last you more than 4-5 days even if refrigerated.

Yes raw items like cereals, pasta, oil, and rice are best when purchased in bulk but only if you find a suitable offer or otherwise prove to be expensive.

Use the coupons correctly

Vouchers are usually gifted with every purchase and are also often available in newspapers and magazines and if used correctly can save you tons of cash.

By using correctly I mean only making a purchase for stuff that’s actually needed. Purchasing items for the sake of the coupon or offer only adds to the cost.

coupon

Reduce trips  made to the supermarket

If you have a supermarket next door then move on but if you haven’t then your daily trips to the marketplace is only raising the fuel and car’s maintenance cost. Maintain a list of things you’re running out of to ensure you’re not forgetting the crate of egg or carton of milk.

Purchase frozen veggies more often

Buying fresh stock of veggies is great but people living alone often have a low consumption due to which a lot of it rots leading to excessive wastage. In such as case I recommend people to purchase more frozen stuff. This way food stays fresh longer and readily available.

 

frozen veggies

Make purchase at random stores

Irrespective of what the big stores claim they aren’t the only ones providing all the discount. So on your next shopping trip check out 2-3 places, compare the prices and purchase items accordingly.

If the stores are far, a visit once a week to a different store will give you a good idea about the upcoming discounts and offers for future purchases.

Purchase online

One of the best and most inexpensive ways to shop whether it’s for shoes, clothes or groceries, it’s online.

Not only will you be saving on your fuel and time, services like free home delivery etc. means your products get delivered right at the door step at no extra cost which also prevents excessive purchases.

Apart from that most online companies regularly come up with cashback and discount schemes you’ll benefit from greatly.