Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paper Towels in the Kitchen

I never thought of paper towels as equipment--merely a convenience. Now I have found two new uses for them. The first is in the microwave. I had run out of plastic wrap and wanted to cook some cauliflower in the microwave. I layered three sheets of colorless paper towel and wet the thoroughly and proceeded to microwave as usual. Perfect result.

The second trick--usage--was shown me by my assistant, Clara Park, for the forthcoming book, The Opinionated Palate. When putting a hunk of meat to marinate in the refrigerator, cover it with paper towel that hangs into the marinade. The towel wicks up the marinade keeping it moist without turning.


Christine said...

I have your original Opinionated Palate which I've loved for years and dip into it frequently.

I especially enjoyed your way of cooking tiny new potatoes and I seek out those little gems specifically. I've even grown them for this purpose.


Laura and Robert said...

Paper towels are better than plastic wrap in the microwave. A paper plate can also serve the same purpose in some cases. Microwaves can cause plastic wrap to give off harmful substances.

sixty-five said...

I've been microwaving asparagus with paper towels. Wrap small bunches in damp single sheets and nuke for about 5 min (if your microwave is 25 yrs old, as mine is) - maybe less with a newer model. I believe Alton Brown gets credit for this idea. Today I tried something new: since I often end up wasting the stalk ends, I cut them off (before the microwaving), washed them well, and sauteed them in a little butter with a chopped shallot and a very small chopped up peeled potato. When soft I covered with chicken stock and cooked slowly til soft enough to puree with stick blender. Seasoned w/s&pepper. I thinned some with a little heavy cream and head a beautiful cold soup (could just as well have been hot). I froze the remaining "base" in ice cube trays (will transfer the cubes to a plastic bag) so I can have this yummy soup again at the drop of a hat. I have done similar things with spinach stems, bean tips and other vegetable odds and ends.