1. Make perfectly shaped burger patties by throwing them against your cutting board to prevent air bubbles, then pressing a dimple into the middle to keep them from puffing up too much.
Throwing the portioned beef against a cutting board gets rid of air bubbles, and a dimple in the center prevents the burgers from puffing up too much in the middle while they cook.
2. Save the stems of herbs like parsley and cilantro and add them to soups, stews, or stocks while cooking.
One thing that restaurant cooks are really good at is putting every scrap to use. After you’ve picked the leaves off of your fresh herbs, keep the stems in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use them to flavor anything that you’ll simmer for a long time on the stove. When you’re ready to use the stems, tie them together with either a long stem or some butcher’s twine, then add them to whatever you’re simmering. Before serving, just remember to remove the tied-up stems and throw them away.
3. Similarly, woody herbs like thyme or rosemary should also be bundled and tied with butcher’s twine before they’re added to the pot.
This way, you can just pull the whole thing out at the end of cooking. The herbs will flavor whatever you’re making while it simmers, and you won’t have to waste time picking the leaves off the stem at the beginning.
4. Sprinkle salt from up high, and season your food at every stage of cooking.
Sprinkle salt from high so it evenly distributes. If you just put a little it sticks to one piece no matter how much you stir it. Most people put too much salt in the beginning and too much in the end of cooking. If you put a little bit throughout the entire process it’s going to be so much better.
5. Use a “roll cut” to give things a varied texture, or to make a dish more visually interesting.
When you “roll cut” something (video below), the pieces you end up with will be thick in the center and thin on the edges, so they’ll cook at slightly different rates and give your finished dish a more interesting texture.