Cooking Tips from the Governor's Mansion

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To make a pineapple boat to impress your brunch guest, or for a healthy dessert:  cut top & bottom off pineapple, cut in half then each half in thirds or quarters, depending on the size of the pineapple.  Cut core away from pineapple.  Carefully use knife to separate pineapple from skin, cutting half way in from each side.  Pineapple should come loose from skin.  Leaving in place, slice down crossways making ½ inch slices.  At time of service, alternate slices by pushing in opposite directions.  Pineapple should still be resting on skin but each slice will alternate in opposite directions.  Sprinkle with fresh berries.

Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays to use in cooking.

Keep a box of puff pastry in your freezer.  You can use it to make a quick hors d’oeuvres for unexpected company.
IE; smoked sausage & mustard rolled in pastry then sliced & baked or ham & cheese rolled then sliced & baked.

When cooking chicken for chicken salad, save your broth.  Freeze it in ziploc bags to use in soups, stews or starches.

When you buy fresh shrimp, save the shells when you peel them.  Put them in a freezer zip loc bag and keep in the freezer until you want to make shrimp bisque or a flavorful sauce.  You can sauté them in a little butter or olive oil with some celery and onion, then cover, reduce heat and sweat the flavor out of them for about 10 minutes.  Add water, bring up to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Strain in a colander and you have a flavorful base for soup or a sauce.

When pounding or tenderizing meat, place between two sheets of plastic wrap to avoid a mess.

Combine Vitamin C and Iron to gain the maximum benefits.  For example- spinach salad with orange segments

Instead of fat free dressings, use a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to better absorb the nutrients in your salad.

If you're making whipped cream from scratch, mix confectioner's sugar with your cream and vanilla extract instead of sugar.  This will give you a smoother and creamier end result.

When making pesto, blanching the basil before will maintain the bright green color.

As a novice cook, follow the recipe the first time.  Experiment the next time to put your own twist on it.