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Nick’s Tip: Just Add Water

by Nick Vitrano

Fat tastes good, but the general aim is to remove as much of it from our daily routine as possible.  It’s a sound general wellness approach, though it can rob us taste in the kitchen.  There are healthier fats than others, and mere substitutions can do the trick to preserve flavor while axing calories and artery clogging qualities, but ultimately the goal is the same – lower the fat.  As a result, we migrate closer and closer to the 100% lean line, especially when it comes to ground meats.  But super lean meats can require more additives to flavor and moisten.  The end result is that you add calories and sodium and fat just to bring your meal to where you can stomach consuming it.  Lean meats are also measurably more expensive than even slightly fattier cuts.  97/3 ground beef or turkey is great.  But a good 90/10 or even 85/15 can come close with this little tip: just add water.

This tip works when browning any meat and pan frying any food: the addition of a tablespoon or two of plain old water will help extract the fat and oil.  Don’t run the pan under the sink faucet - remember water and oil don’t mix, so there is danger in the splatter.  Just “pour” in the water and watch the magic happen.  The water acts as a grease magnet, drawing it away form the meat and away from your waiting mouth.

Making soup?  You know when you make soup or chili or homemade pasta sauce and you get that grease slick across the top?  Make it easier to skim off that fat by adding a single ice cube.  Like the water in the pan, the cube will draw in the grease and make it a snap.

Just add water and cut the fat!

Tease Image: By Andrew Bossi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons