cooking shortcuts

Plano, TX

was bragging about my meatballs made from deli counter uncooked meatloaf and wondered what other shortcuts y'all come up with when cooking--

sandra lee (i think that is her name) has books, tv etc all based on semi homemade--i love to cook and yet i love shortcuts too--

North Augusta, ON

My favourite is my chili. Brown some hamburger with some onions in a big pot. Add one can each of dices tomatoes (I use the spiced ones), pork and beans, kidney beans (drained), and a small can of tomato paste. Let simmer until thick.

Plano, TX

that's interesting--i never would have thought of putting pork and beans in chili--

Hyderabad, India

My favorite is Fried Rice with Crab. Here is the recipe

* 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
* large pinch of salt
* 3 tablespoons oil
* 1 egg
* 1 cup cooked jasmine rice
* large pinch of ground white pepper
* larger pinch of white sugar
* 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
* 3 spring (green) onions, cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) lengths
* 100g (3 ounces) cooked crabmeat
* 1 tablespoon coriander leaves

Preparation:
Mince garlic with salt. Heat oil in a wok and fry garlic until fragrant and beginning to colour. Crack in the egg, allowing the white to firm before scrambling. Add rice and turn down the heat. Fry gently, mixing and tossing. Season with pepper, sugar and light soy sauce: the rice should be well seasoned, but not too salty. Add spring onions and, after a moment, the crabmeat, reserving a little to sprinkle over the finished dish, along with coriander.

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Lilypotter that sounds really good and I will try it soon.

As for shortcuts, cooking extra rice to have leftovers is a good one. Fried rice needs the leftover rice to come out right as fresh cooked is too wet. I've been doing that forever and you can also have a good outcome with any kind of meat, even a couple deli slices of ham. My favorite is bacon.

Leftover rice is also great for tossing into the soup pot at the end or served with bean soup. It doesn't keep too long in the refrigerator but freezes well and is a quick thaw in the microwave.

Plano, TX

never thought of freezing rice! thanks for that hint--
by the way--any time i buy a ham i start thinking of fried rice! i use the last little bits to make my fried rice and you are correct about only using leftover rice--i always use refridgerated rice to make fried rice

Marlin, TX

I have a lot of recipes that call for skinned tomatoes. I put tomatoes, washed and cored, on a baking sheet and freeze them, then put the hard red balls in a freezer bag. I can pull out what amount I need, run some tepid water over the tomato, and the skin just pops off. Sure beats having to pour boiling water over them, then cool them down enough to peel.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Tomato trick is neat.

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