25 time trimmers part 2

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
***** NONE *****

15. If you relish green salads but resist the nightly chore of cleaning the greens... take a little extra time when you come home from the store to wash enough greens for several nights. Then remove all the water with a salad spinner. (Dry greens stay fresh longer than wet ones.) Wrap the greens in a clean kitchen towel, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until needed. With this method, salad greens stay fresh for about four days... Another good tip: Clean, dry and store fresh herbs like salad greens. Then use them liberally in your salads and cooked dishes.

16. To cook an eggplant quickly for baba ghannouj, caponata or ratatouille... First, (1) poke holes in the eggplant with a fork.

Then (2) microwave for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Don't be surprised when you open the oven door to see the eggplant deflated (3) like a balloon. Just cut it in half and (4) scoop the flesh off the skin. Add the softened eggplant to the other ingredients.

17. For a near-instant stock... pour boiling water over porcini, shiitake or other dried mushrooms. Soak for about 15 minutes. Strain the broth, which has a surprisingly meaty flavor, and use as the liquid ingredient in pilafs or to add depth of flavor to stews or sauces.

18. To make lasagna without precooking the noodles...buy no-boil noodles (available in the dried-pasta section of your grocery store).

Just follow the easy directions on the box to assemble the lasagna in record time, with out having to precook the noodles. Pop it into the oven and relax until it's ready.

19. Don't waste time peeling vegetables destined for the stock pot...

Just wash them well (or scrub with a stiff vegetable brush) to remove any surface dirt. Remember that the no-peeling edict applies to onions as well as carrots and other veggies. The onion skins impart a rich, light-brown color to stock that otherwise might look unappetizing and pale.

20. To cook a fish in 5 minutes or less (without a microwave)...

start with fillets. Hardly anything cooks faster than fish fillets.

Choose uniformly thin pieces, such as fluke, flounder, haddock or orange roughy. When baked in a very hot oven (450 to 500 degrees F.), they're ready in minutes. In fact, they cook so fast you should start checking them after 3 minutes. As they cook, baste with a little lemon jucie, orange jucie or spicy vegetable-cocktail juice.

21. Instead of cleaning and cutting potatoes for home fries or potato salad... check you supermarket's frozen-food section for precleaned-and-cubed red-skin potatoes. Just spread the frozen potato cubes on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees until browned. Or microwave according to package directions for even faster potatoes that you can use as a hot side dish or as the basis of potato salad.

22. As a quick-cooking alternative to beans in a salad... use lentils.

Dried lentils cook up in a fraction of the time it takes to rehydrate beans. The small green ones are especially quick to cook. Boil in water for about 15 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain and toss with nonfat vinaigrette, some thawed frozen peas, a little crumbled goat cheese and snipped chives. Serve on a bed of bitter greens for a really luscious main-dish salad.

23. To simplify your spice rack... buy seasoning blends. Supermarkets carry everything from authentic (preblended) curries to mulitherb seasonings and pumpkin-pie spice. There are even blends targeted to fish, chicken, meat and vegetables. With these premixed spices on hand, you can spice up ypur meal in a flash.

24. For an almost instant pasta primavera... (1) throw dried pasta into boiling water; when it still has about 3 minutes to go until it's done, (2) throw a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. They'll take just a short time to thaw in the boiling water. Drain well (3) and toss (4) with a little olive oil and a dusting of grated Parmesan.

25. For a 'perfect-10' baked potato (crisp on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, and ready to eat in just 10 minutes)... try this two-step method. First, pierce the potato with a fork, then place in a microwave oven for about 5 minutes (7½ minutes for two potatoes). Second, remove the microwaved potato, wrap it in a paper towel and let stand 5 minutes. Or pop it into a regular oven or toaster oven for a few minutes to really crisp the skin.

By Barb Fritz and Jean Rogers with the Prevention Magazine Food Center Typed for you by Marjorie Scofield 5/4/95 Recipe By : Prevention Magazine, August 1992 From: Marjorie Scofield Date: 05-07-95 (160) Fido: Recipes

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