I went to a cooking class last night, and our teacher offered a simple, oh-and-by-the-way tip while she was rubbing seasonings into our pork tenderloins.
It was one of those cooking moments where you think, "That is so unbelievably practical, and yet I've never thought of it before." Keep one hand meat-free. Why?
It's not even a high-falutin' reason, either. It has nothing to do with the taste of your food or the technique of working with raw meat. It's this: The phone is inevitably going to ring. Or you need to answer the door. Fill in the blank however you want (wipe a child's runny nose... grab another ingredient from the refrigerator...).
The simple truth is that you need a clean hand at the ready. And it's not that hard to rub spices into a piece of meat with one hand. Then, you can dip your other hand back into the salt.
I am constantly getting both hands dirty and having to wash them when I need to open a bottle of olive oil or get something out of the cabinets. Or, yes, answer the phone. Doesn't that happen all the time?
If any New Yorkers are interested, here's the cooking class. The food was excellent.
• Rustico Cooking