How do you know if eggs are fresh?
A fresh egg will feel heavy and sink to the bottom of a bowl of water, lying on its long side. A less fresh egg will stand on end in the bowl of water. A bad egg will float. When in doubt, use your eyes and your nose; a rotten egg is pretty hard to miss. One side note: older eggs are actually better for soufflés than farm-fresh.
How do you know if cheese has gone bad?
It seems a little counterintuitive, as mold is essential to cheese, but if you see mold on your cheese (fuzzy, green, lichen-looking stuff—not the blue veins in your Gorgonzola), it’s gone bad. It also should not feel slimy or oily. And while some cheeses start out smelly, if a normally non-smelly cheese, like provolone or mozzarella, starts stinking up the fridge, it’s probably time to let it go.
Which part of the green onion (scallion) do you use?
You can use both. The white bulb part toward the root has a deeper, more oniony flavor. The dark green part is milder but adds nice color. (Don’t forget: you eat with your eyes first.) With a leek (it looks like a scallion but much larger), you will only use the white part. The green ends are bitter.
Is there an easy way to peel garlic?
Smash it against a cutting board using the flat side of a large chef’s knife and the heel of your hand. Don’t be shy. Give it a good whack. Then slide or peel the papery skin off and smash again before mincing.