From quickly peeling a tomato to making dressing out of an almost-empty mayonnaise jar.

By Bridget Hallinan
May 15, 2020
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Over the past few weeks, José Andrés’ Instagram feed has been filled with home cooking videos, part of a #recipesforthepeople series he's started. Together with his daughters, he's made dishes like pea fritters, fried rice, and chicken with vegetables, often with killer background soundtracks (Hamilton is a favorite.)

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His most recent #recipesforthepeople episode focused on tips for working with common pantry ingredients and helpful techniques. With his daughter Carlota, Andrés demonstrates nine different kitchen tricks, ranging from how to make a quick cocktail to finding a task for "an annoying party guest." (Well, technically, it's eight tips, if you discount the one where he says pouring water over ice makes water cold.)

The first tip is using a nearly empty mayo jar to create dressing—Andrés adds some mustard and olive oil, and after giving it a good shake, some more oil, salt, and vinegar, too. You can add barbecue sauce to the mix if you want, or really anything, Andrés says. The end result is a super creamy dressing, which he drizzles over cut avocado halves.

Other helpful tips include how to quickly peel a tomato (boil it for three seconds and then dunk it in ice water—you’ll find the skin comes off super easily) and how to char a pepper on the stove to make the peeling process easier as well. You can also mix condensed milk with water to make (a little sweet) milk, and if you have a jar of pickled peppers (Andrés recommends piparras), combine its brine with ice and vodka in a shaker to make a cocktail.

For more kitchen tips, Samin Nosrat recently launched the podcast “Home Cooking” to help people cook during the coronavirus pandemic, and Ina Garten has been posting advice on her Instagram, recently sharing five tips for freezing food. We published a guide to cooking at home during the pandemic, too, covering everything from storing food to making sourdough.