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Kitchen Basics For The Cosmo Chick

Say goodbye to your failed attempts at cooking! Cosmo shows you the easy way to whip up yummy, healthy dishes.

Fry The Perfect Egg
Sunny side-up eggs a la fine dining resto are best achieved using two to three-day old eggs.

To fry: In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat about a cup of oil in low fire until hot, but not smoking. Add the egg. The goal is to cook the egg slowly. When the white is set, pour some of the oil on the yolk using your frying utensil until a thin film appears. Drain as much oil before transferring to a plate.


Have The Best Hard-Boiled Egg

Choose “older” eggs (three to seven-day old)—their shells are easier to peel when boiled than freshly-laid ones. In a small saucepan, add enough water to cover the eggs. Make sure both eggs and water are room temperature. This prevents shells from cracking in the water. Bring water and eggs to a boil. Twirl the eggs occasionally—this way, the yolks stay centered. Cook for 20 minutes, then rinse in cold water.

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Cook Rice The Right Way

Nothing’s more comforting than a steaming serving of nakakabusog rice to go with your ulam. Here are three ways to earn praises for your sinaing:

Rice Cooker

In a rice cooker pot, wash rice once, drain, then add water to the level corresponding to the number of cups you’re cooking. Cooking brown rice? Add two tablespoons of water for every three cups of rice.

Gas Stove Top

In a kaldero, wash rice once and drain. Using your hand, move the rice on top so it’s flat and even. Add water until it’s an inch above the rice. Cook using high heat while covered. When it starts boiling, turn the heat to very low until rice is cooked.

Electric Stove Top

Turn on two burners, one on high and one on low. Follow the same steps above and cook first on the high-set burner. Once it’s boiling, transfer the pot to the low-set burner.
[nextpage] Heat Leftovers Sans A Microwave

Type Of Food: Dry leftovers like pizza and breads
How To Cook: Place them on a hot frying pan without oil or water.
Heat Intensity: Use medium heat until hot to the touch.

Type Of Food: Spaghetti, lasagna, and other cold leftover pasta
How To Cook: Put pasta (without its sauce) in a strainer and dip into boiling water for one minute, then drain.
Heat Intensity: Use a deep pot. Make sure water is actively boiling.

Type Of Food: Saucy foods such as menudo, chopsuey, or pasta sauce
How To Cook: In a saucepan, add one tablespoon of water for every cup of food.
Heat Intensity: Use medium heat, and heat through until the sauce simmers.

Type Of Food: Previously fried foods like hotdogs, burgers, tocino
How To Cook: Deep-fry for about one minute.
Heat Intensity: Make sure oil is boiling.


Organize Your Fridge

The secret to keeping your ref uncluttered? Group similar foods together. Pour snacks like raisins, dried fruits, or mini jellies in one plastic container so you won’t have small items scattered all over your ref. Use transparent or translucent containers so you can find stuff in a snap. Also, try placing tall jars at the back and shorter ones up front. Otherwise, you’ll never spot that garlic dip if it’s trapped behind a big jar of mayo!


Saute Smartly

Frying’s the quickest way to cook food—but not exactly the healthiest. If you’re on the go, and must fry, here’s a healthier way to do it: Use vegetable or corn oil for deep-frying and olive oil for sauteing. Heat the pan, then add oil. Before adding food, make sure oil is hot to minimize grease absorption. Test the oil by sprinkling a few drops of cold water. The water should sizzle fiercely.


  • Overcrowd the cooking pan with food.
  • Add lots of cold food to hot oil (thaw them first)—it’ll just lower the oil’s temperature, making it more easily absorbed by food.


  • Make sure your oil is fresh.
  • Drain food with a strainer then a paper towel before serving.



Save Leftover Wine

When it comes to vino, remember: The fuller the bottle, the less the oxygenation, the less chances it’ll spoil. So pour leftover wine into a smaller bottle, then stash it in your fridge. Or, get a wine vacuum pump, available at Rustan’s. This sucks out air in the bottle and seals it. Refrigerate white wine for a week and red wine for up to four days.


Say Goodbye To Overcooked Pasta

Here’s a trick to cooking perfect pasta: Use plenty of salted water so noodles don’t stick and have “room” to move and cook evenly. Use four liters of water and two tablespoons of salt for every 500 grams of pasta. For less than 500 grams, use three liters of water and one and a half tablespoons of salt.

Add pasta to vigorously boiling salted water. Test every now and then. You’ll know it’s done when it retains some “bite”—it’s firm, not soggy, when you chew into it. Once cooked, drain the pasta quickly.


Whip Up A Simple Vegetarian Dish

If you’re taking a break from meat, prepare this easy ’n’ healthy meal as your baon to the office. Oh, and your health-conscious colleagues will love you for it!

Chickpea-Spinach Rice

3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 c tomatoes, diced
1/2 c chickpeas
1/2 c greenpeas
1/2 c olives
1 c cooked brown rice
1/2 c flatleaf parsley
1 c spinach
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Saute garlic and onions in the oil. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, greenpeas, and olives. Cook for two minutes. Add the rice and cook for two minutes. Add the parsley, spinach and oregano. Sprinkle salt and pepper, then mix.

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