The Too Easy Gourmet cookbook contains useful No Brainers, recipes that after you have done once or twice you can do without ever having to refer to the recipe again. These are: Cooking Pasta, Storing and Recooking Pasta, Sautéing, Separating Eggs, Steaming, and yes, even Boiling Water.

Cooking Pasta

Using a pot as large as possible, "boil water" on high. Add 1 t of oil. This will catch and collect loose flour from the pasta. (No salt, it does not do anything.) Cook till tender. (Still firm to bite.) Do not over cook to the point where it is mushy. Drain cooked pasta into a colander. If you have used enough water no rinsing is required.

Storing and Recooking Pasta

Place cooked extra or leftover pasta in an airtight storage (such as a Tupperware container or ziplock bag). Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil and toss to coat pasta. Refrigerate until ready for use. When ready to use take out the amount needed and reheat in boiling water for 30 seconds (lower into a pot using a colander, or strainer.) or steam for about 2 minutes. Thin pasta may stick after refrigerating due to loose flour from cooking. Rinse in cold water to unstick before reheating.


Cooking in a open fry pan over medium heat (for our recipes).

Separating Eggs

Separating eggs means to divide it into its two parts; the yellow yolk (high fat part), and the clear egg white (no fat) for separate uses. Cold eggs separate easily. Crack egg in halves and keeping the yolk in one half while you pour off the white into a bowl. A clever trick if you have trouble doing this is to break the egg into a plastic funnel. The egg white will flow through and the yolk will remain in the funnel.


Steaming is a great way to cook with no fat. Put about 1" of water in a covered sauce pan over high heat. When it boils add the food and cover again. Small metal steamers, Chinese baskets and baskets that will fit in the pan will help keep the food out of the water for steaming. Remember that steam is far hotter than boiling water so handle food and pans carefully. Also, you can usually steam cook for no more than seven minutes or the pan will boil dry.

Boiling Water

Fill pot with cold water and place on stove (open side up). Turn burner under pot on high. When water boils lower heat to medium high.
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Ben Levitan,