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Test Kitchen tips: Makeshift lids for pots and pans

March 01, 2013|By Noelle Carter
  • Need to cover that pot fast? A baking sheet will work in a pinch.
Need to cover that pot fast? A baking sheet will work in a pinch. (Susan Silverberg )

SouNo matter how hard you try, you can never be prepared for everything that might go on in a kitchen. And when something takes you by surprise, you have to think quickly.

We've compiled a few random quick tips that might help you out if you find yourself in a bind. Please feel free to share your tips with us in the comments below. We'd love to learn more!

  • Need to cover a pot or pan fast but can't find the lid? Use a baking sheet or cookie pan (the "lid of choice" in most restaurant kitchens).
- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2011/12/test-kitchen-tips-quick-thinking.html#sthash.A4JpN1Yg.dpNo matter how hard you try, you can never be prepared for everything that might go on in a kitchen. And when something takes you by surprise, you have to think quickly.We've compiled a few random quick tips that might help you out if you find yourself in a bind. Please feel free to share your tips with us in the comments below. We'd love to learn more!

Need to cover a pot or pan but can't find the lid? Use a baking sheet or cookie pan (the "lid of choice" in most restaurant kitchens).

I don't know about you, but I have a drawer full of pot and pan lids in my kitchen, and I find I simply don't have much use for them. Sure, if I'm working on a slow braise in the oven, or perhaps a recipe calls for a tight-fitting lid as something simmers away on the stove-top, I'll dig out the right lid. But sorting through that drawer to find the right lid can be such a hassle.

More often than not, I simply throw over a baking sheet. It's a perfect substitute, trapping heat or steam that builds during cooking, and it will easily cover most pots or pans. No special fitting required.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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  Soup with wintergreens and chickpeas Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes

Servings: 8 1/4 cup olive oil

2 carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1 turnip, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound chopped mixed greens (mustard, kale, turnip, etc.)

Salt

1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or more, to taste plus additional to pass at the table

16 slices baguette, toasted

Freshly ground pepper

1. In a heavy soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion and turnip, cover and cook until they have softened and become aromatic, about 20 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes.

2. Add the mixed greens, a big handful at a time, stirring and giving them time to soften and shrink before adding the next handful.

3. When all of the greens have cooked, add 8 cups of water, one-half teaspoon salt, the rosemary and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cover and lower the flame to maintain a simmer. Cook until the broth is deeply flavored, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

4. When ready to serve, stir in one-third cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange two toast slices in the bottom of each warm soup bowl and ladle the soup over the top. Sprinkle with more cheese to taste. Serve immediately, passing a bowl of cheese to be added at the table.

Each serving: 235 calories; 7 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 3 mg. cholesterol; 432 mg. sodium.

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